Mobile prepaid users in the Philippines has something good to look forward to in 2018. By January 5, 2018, prepaid load in all local mobile networks will apply a one-year validity.
The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) have recently signed an agreement that extends prepaid load expiration regardless of the amount.
Thus, prepaid mobile users in the country could have more time to use their account load. To date, validity of mobile prepaid load amounting to P10 or lower lasts three days, while that amounting to P300 or more lasts up to 120 days. Under the newly amended NTC Guidelines on Prepaid Loads, any amount of load would last 365 days once the new policy is implemented.
However, this new policy would not cover prepaid credits that are purchased specifically for promotions and other services within a specified period of use. It is also yet to be clarified how this would affect the validity of prepaid credits obtained through mobile load sharing (Pasaload and Share-a-Load).
The three government agencies revealed that the extended prepaid credit validity is actually a ‘happy compromise’ with the major telecommunications companies. Several legislators have been proposing to remove prepaid load expiration period for a few years now. But in 2014, NTC itself turned down such propositions citing findings of its 2009 study that maintaining a mobile phone number and prepaid load in telcoms’ systems entails significant costs.
It is estimated that up to 90% or more than 117 million of the total 130 million mobile subscribers in the country are on prepaid, as of December 2016.