Globe, Smart comply with prepaid credit expiry extension

enablePagination: false
maxItemsPerPage: 10
maxPaginationLinks: 10

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 5) — The two major telecommunication companies vowed to comply with the government's order to extend the expiration period of phone prepaid credits to one year.

"Effective January 5, 2018, all Globe prepaid load with denomination of 300 pesos and above will carry a one (1) year expiration period," Globe Telecom said in a statement on Friday.

Smart Communications followed suit, saying, "Smart, TNT and Sun prepaid loads worth P300 and above shall moving forward have a one-year validity, regardless of the validity period printed on the physical cards already out in the market."

Both Globe and Smart welcomed the six-month adjustment period given by the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) for companies to comply with the order.

This will "prevent telcos' systems from crashing if changes are made abruptly, which may cause serious damage to the industry and disturb the consuming public," the DICT said in a statement.

It, however, said telcos are expected to comply earlier than the deadline since the first one to do so could gain the other's subscribers.

"The six-month period is only a time limit where the telcos can be penalized if they have not complied by then," said DICT officer-in-charge Eliseo M. Rio Jr.

Related: Prepaid load expiry regardless of amount extended to one year from loading

The one-year validity of prepaid load was a result of a joint memorandum signed by the Department of Trade and Industry, National Telecommunications Commission, and DICT in December 2017.

They agreed prepaid loads regardless of the amount shall have an expiration date to last up to a year from top-up.

Earlier, the validity of prepaid loads was shorter and depended on the amount of load purchased. Load worth ₱10 or lower was used within three days, while prepaid credits more than ₱300 may last up to four months.

There are 130 million cellphone subscriptions in the country as of December 2016, more than double from 2009, statistics show.