TELECOMMUNICATIONS Connectivity, Inc. (TCI), the joint venture run by the Philippines’ main mobile service providers, said on Thursday that the proposed legislation requiring the registration of subscriber-identity-module (SIM) cards will strengthen its resolve to ensure safe and secure mobile number porting (MNP) service.

“It will complement the objective of TCI,” TCI General Manager Melanie A. Manuel said in an e-mailed statement. “Subscribers will also now have a more compelling reason to keep their numbers, which would be registered under their name.”

The Senate recently approved on third and final reading a bill requiring the registration of SIM cards, a measure intended to deter cybercrime committed using mobile phones.

Senate Bill 2395 or the SIM Card Registration Act was filed to add another layer of security for mobile users targeted for Internet or electronic communication-aided crimes, which include terrorism, fraud, unsolicited and indecent messages, and bank fraud.

If passed, the measure will require all telecommunications companies to make registrants give out information and present valid government-issued identification cards upon the sale of the card.

TCI is operated by DITO Telecommunity Corp., Globe Telecom, Inc. and PLDT, Inc.’s Smart Communications, Inc.

The new company enables number porting services in line with the mobile number portability initiative of the government through Republic Act No. 11202, also known as the Mobile Number Portability Act.

Mobile number portability, the law says, refers to the ability of a mobile postpaid or prepaid subscriber, who has no existing financial obligation to the service provider, to retain an existing mobile number despite having moved from one mobile service provider to another, or to change subscription mode from postpaid to prepaid or vice versa.

TCI said around 5,000 customers have availed of the MNP service nationwide since its commercial launch at the end of September.

“Customers now have the choice which network they want to be in without changing their number,” Ms. Manuel said. “MNP gives them the power to choose the network that suits their needs.”

Hastings Holdings, Inc., a unit of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., has a majority stake in BusinessWorld through the Philippine Star Group, which it controls. — Arjay L. Balinbin