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[ NTC-DICT-DTI JOINT MEMORANDUM CIRCULAR NO. 05-12-2017, January 05, 2018 ]


Adopted: 20 December 2017
Date Filed: 05 January 2018

the 1987 Constitution recognizes the vital role of communication and information in nation-building;

WHEREAS,  pursuant  to  Republic  Act  No.  7925,  or  otherwise  known  as the Public   Telecommunications    Policy   Act   of   the   Philippines,    the   National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) is the agency mandated to promote consumer welfare by facilitating access to telecommunications services whose infrastructure and network must be geared towards the needs of individual and business users;

WHEREAS, RA 7925 further states that a healthy competitive environment shall be fostered, one in which telecommunications  carriers are free to make business decisions   and   interact   with   one   another   in   providing   telecommunications services,  with  the  end  in  view  of  encouraging   their  financial  viability  while maintaining affordable rates”;

pursuant to Republic Act No. 10884, otherwise known as the Department of Information and Communications Technology Act of 2015, the Department   or  Information   and  Communications   Technology   (DICT)  is  the agency  mandated  to  formulate,  recommend  and  implement  national  policies, plans, programs and guidelines that will promote the development and use or Information and Communications Technology with due consideration to the advantages of convergence and emerging technologies;

WHEREAS,   pursuant   to  Republic   Act  No.  7394,  otherwise   known  as  the Consumer Act of the Philippines, the Department or Trade and Industry (DTI) is the agency mandated to protect the consumers against deceptive, unfair and unconscionable  sales acts or practices and from misleading advertisements  and fraudulent sales promotions, other than those falling under the jurisdiction of the Department of Health;

WHEREAS, pursuant to its mandate, NTC issued Memorandum Circular No. 03-07-2009 or otherwise known as the Guidelines on Prepaid Loads which provides for the expiration periods of prepaid loads depending on the amount of the loads;

WHEREAS, there is a need to amend Memorandum Circular No. 03-07-2009 because based on analysis conducted in 2009 when the number of subscribers was 75.57 million, the carrying cost per prepaid subscriber was around PHP3.00 per day;

WHEREAS, more than 90% of' the costs of the networks are fixed, the carrying cost per subscriber decreases as the number of subscribers increases;

as of end December 2016 there were around 130 million cellphone subscribers;

NOW, THEREFORE,  pursuant to existing laws, and to afford subscribers  more time to use their loads, the NTC, DICT and DTI hereby promulgate the following regulatory guidelines:

SECTION  1.  Definition  of  Terms. 
For  the  purposes  of  this  Regulation,  the following terms shall be defined as follows:
a.     Bucket of services is a unit of storage to include an array of services such as but not limited to calls, SMS, internet/data or content that are purchased by a subscriber for a specific volume, value and/or duration.

b.     ICT or Information  and Communications  Technology  means  the totality  of electronic means to access, create, collect, store, process, receive, transmit, present and disseminate information;

c.     ICT  Provider  -  refers  to  any  entity  in  the  ICT  Sector,  which  includes telecommunications and broadcast information operators, ICT equipment manufacturers, multimedia content developers and providers, ICT solution providers, internet service providers, ICT training institutions, software developers and ICT-ES providers;

d. ICT Sector - refers to the industry engaged in providing goods and services primarily  intended  to fulfill or enable the function  of information  processing and communication by electronic means;

e. One (1) year - shall consist of three hundred sixty-five days (365).

f. Prepaid    service    is    a    service    enabling    subscribers    to    avail    of telecommunications  services  through  various  means  such  as top up from prepay cards featuring a mobile refill service or through electronic reloading.

g.     Promotions  refer  to  the  entire  set  of  activities,  which  communicate  the product, brand or service to make people aware, attract or induce to buy the product, in preference over others by offering during a limited time discounts and/or cheaper rates of telecommunications  services.

h.     Public   telecommunications    entity   is   any   person,   firm,   partnership   or corporation, government or private, engaged in the provision or telecommunications  services to the public for compensation.

i.     Telecommunications      refers     to     any     process     which     enables     a telecommunications  entity to relay and receive voice, data, electronic messages, written or printed matter, fixed or moving pictures, words, music or visible or audible signals or any control signals of any design and for any purpose by wire, radio or other electromagnetic,  spectral, optical or technological means; and

j.     Top-up  refers  to  the  adding  of  credit  value  to  enable  a  subscriber  to  a prepaid telecommunications  service, such as to make calls, send SMS and or internet/data.
SECTION 2. Scope. This Memorandum  Circular shall cover all prepaid loads of all ICT providers and public telecommunications  entities.

SECTION  3. Expiration  of Prepaid  Load.  Prepaid  loads of whatever  amount shall expire one (1) year from date of top-up of prepaid loads.

The one (1) year validity of the prepaid loads shall be reckoned from the date of the latest top-up.

Public telecommunications entities may offer longer validity of expiry period for prepaid loads.

SECTION  4.  Exclusion.  Prepaid  loads  purchased  for  promos  and  bucket  of services with specific period of use duly approved by the Department  of' Trade and Industry (DTI) and/or the National Telecommunications  Commission  (NTC) shall be excluded from the coverage of this Memorandum Circular.

Section 5. Violations and Penalties. All violations of this Memorandum Circular on the period of expiry for prepaid loads shall be penalized in accordance  with the  pertinent  provisions  of  the  Public  Telecommunications   Policy  Act  of  the Philippines, the DICT Act of 2015, their IRR, and other relevant laws, rules and regulations of the NTC and DICT.

All violations on False, deceptive and misleading advertisement  and promotions on prepaid load and buckets of services shall be penalized  in accordance  with the pertinent provisions of the Consumer Act of the Philippines, its IRR, and other relevant laws, rules and regulations of the DTI.

SECTION 6. Repealing Clause. All rules and regulations of the DTI, NTC, and DICT not consistent with this Order are hereby repealed or amended accordingly.

SECTION 7. Separability Clause. Any circular, memorandum, order, guidelines, rules or any parts thereof inconsistent herewith are considered superseded or amended.

SECTION 8. Effectivity. This Circular shall take effect fifteen (15) days after publication  in  a  newspaper  of  general  circulation  and  three  (3)  certified  true copies are furnished the UP Law Center.

Quezon City, Philippines, 20 December 2017

Department of Trade and Industry
Department of Information and Communications

National Telecommunications Commission

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