In a major development that’s sure to bring smiles to many Filipino mobile subscribers, the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) has announced that prepaid load can now be used up to one year from the date of purchase.
In a Joint Memorandum Circular with the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) on December 20, 2017, the DICT extended the validity of prepaid credits up to one year. The circular will take effect on January 5, 2018.
Previously, unused prepaid credits will disappear up to one month depending on the amount. With this new development, a prepaid load worth P300 or more will last up to four months while P10 will expire within three days.
The major telecom players such as Globe and Smart have already agreed with the proposal. “We came up with a realistic solution. The one-year expiry date is very safe for consumers because that one year assures that they will be able to use the load,” DICT Officer-in-Charge Elisio Rio, Jr. said.
This is certainly good news for the 130 million mobile subscribers in the country, of which the vast majority (97%) are billed on a prepaid basis. Subscribers will no longer have to replenish their prepaid load on a regular basis because their unused credits have expired.
As a Smart prepaid subscriber myself, I can feel the pain and disappointment of losing my prepaid load when I forget to avail of the numerous text or call promotions. It’s a major hassle to run to the nearest store to top up because my P30 load had already expired after three days.
Prepaid credits are not perishable products so it makes no sense to put an expiration date on them. I hope that in the future, prepaid credits will no longer expire and can be used for an indefinite period of time, but this development is a start.