In order to avoid any public inconvenience, the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) has given telecommunication companies six (6) months to adjust their systems to the one-year validity of regular prepaid load.

This is in clarification of the Department’s previous pronouncement that starting January 5, the expiry date of regular prepaid load is valid for one year from the date of top-up.

The 6-month period, starting January 5, 2018, was allowed to prevent telcos’ systems from crashing if changes are made abruptly, which may cause serious damage to the industry and disturb the consuming public.

“We apologize for giving the public false expectations, but if we have to err, it would be on the side of being 100% certain that nothing untoward will happen,” said DICT OIC Eliseo M. Rio Jr. in a statement.

Rio, though, emphasized that the adjustment period poses the challenge for telcos to fulfill the new validity period as soon as possible.

“However, the 6-month period is only a time limit where the telcos can be penalized if they have not complied by then,” Rio added.

“We expect the two telcos to really compete by racing to comply, because the winner can attract the subscribers of the other telco. With this, we expect their compliance earlier than the deadline. This will show that there is real competition on their part.”

NTC was instructed to closely monitor and address all complaints of prepaid loads being eaten up before the present expiration periods lapsed during the adjustment period.

Prepaid credits purchased for promos and other services with specific period of use are excluded from the coverage of the one-year validity.