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Signing of DTI-DICT-NTC JMC on Prepaid Loads
Three top officials of DTI, DICT and NTC recently signed a Joint Memorandum Circular on the validity of prepaid loads.

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) together with the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) and the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) recently signed a Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC) amending NTC's Memorandum Circular No. 03-07-2009 or the Guidelines on Prepaid Loads in ceremonies held on December 20, 2017 in Makati City.

The amended guidelines now extend the expiration date of all prepaid loads of ICT providers and public telecommunications entities to one year from the date of top-up. This move affords subscribers more time to use their prepaid loads. Exclusion to this coverage will only be limited to those prepaid loads purchased for promotions and other services with a specific period of use, as approved by DTI and NTC.

Secretary Ramon Lopez shared with DICT OIC-Secretary Eliseo M. Rio Jr. and NTC Commissioner Gamaliel A. Cordoba the importance of better protecting the rights of Filipinos as consumers, especially the existing users of 130 million cellphone SIMs, a figure significantly higher than the 75.57 million subscribers back in 2009. By extending the validity of prepaid loads, a consumer will have more flexibility in using telecommunication services. For MSMEs, this will facilitate business, whether making business calls or sending an SMS to their customers, or by accessing the internet to conduct e-commerce. Maximizing access and usage of telecommunication services develop greater opportunities, generating more inclusive development.

Moreover, Secretary Lopez highlighted that such move is part of President Duterte's goal of developing truly beneficial programs for the Filipino people.♦

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