THE House of Representatives has approved on third and final reading a bill mandating telecommunication companies (telcos) to provide a subscriber with a “lifetime” cellular phone number.
Dubbed the “Lifetime Cellphone Number Act,” it is seen to promote consumers’ welfare, said Quezon City (QC) Rep. Alfred Vargas, one of the principal authors of House Bill (HB) No. 7652.
Vargas commended his colleagues for the speedy passage of the consolidated House bill seeking to require telcos to provide nationwide mobile number portability (MNP) to their subscribers.
The well-meaning and highly-articulate QC congressman said his HB No. 7148 was included in the final draft of the consolidated bill.
MNP refers to the ability of a mobile postpaid or prepaid subscriber, who has no existing financial obligation to donor provider, to retain an existing mobile phone number, according to the QC lawmaker.
It promotes consumers’ welfare as it fosters freedom to choose and is very cost-effective since consumers would not have to change mobile phone numbers whenever they change service providers.
Likewise, the proposed legislation aims to encourage the country’s telecommunication firms to compete with each other by providing subscribers with best offers and proposals.
At present, cellular telephone subscribers are forced to tolerate poor services of network providers as they do not want the inconvenience of changing their personal mobile numbers.
In our view, our senators and congressmen have no choice but to approve the proposed measure.
Having a “forever” mobile phone number is certainly most welcome in this impoverished Southeast Asian nation of election-crazy but peace-loving and God-fearing people.