NTC rejects 'no expiration policy' for prepaid load

by Alvin Elchico, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 29 2014 06:03 PM | Updated as of May 30 2014 02:03 AM

MANILA, Philippines - The National Telecommunications Commission is not in favor of Sen. Ralph Recto's proposal to remove the expiration period on the validity of prepaid credits or "load."

NTC director Edgardo Cabarios said based on their study in 2009, maintaining the mobile phone number in the system and the load of cards entails cost for telcos.

This is why, according to Cabarios, what they did then was issue a circular extending the life of call cards, but did not impose a "no expiration policy".

For instance, the expiration of the P1-P10 load is now 3 days, instead of 1 day. The P50 load expires in 15 days, instead of 3 days, while P100 load expires in 30 days, instead of 15 days.

Cabarios' statement jibed with Globe Telecoms opposition to Recto's proposed bill.

Globe legal chief Froilan Castelo said there is a carrying cost in maintaining the call and text cards in the system.

According to Castelo, it's like a room where the load cards occupy a space where telcos invest in.

He said the earlier NTC order that rationalized the load expiry is already sufficient.

If a law is approved imposing "no expiration date" on prepaid load, Castelo said it may incur tremendous costs that may eventually be passed on to subscribers in other forms.

Recto has filed a bill that requires telecommunication companies to remove the expiration period on the validity of unused prepaid call and text cards.