By Emmie Abadilla
Wireline users in the metropolis and some nearby provinces need to dial an extra number when making a call starting Sunday, October 6, 2019.
The current 7-digit phone numbers of PLDT’s wireline subscribers in Metro Manila, Rizal, San Pedro, Laguna and Bacoor, Cavite, as well as those of Globe Telecom and its subsidiaries, and everyone within the 02 area code, will be moved to the 8-digit format, in accordance with the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) directive.
The NTC issued Memorandum Order No. 10-10-2017 on October 27, 2017, requiring local telcos to do the migration “to address the insufficient number of assignable exchange codes” and cater to the surge of landline customers in major cities.
The commission assigned each telco with a public telecommunications entity (PTE) identifier as an additional prefix to their phone numbers. The assigned PTE identifier for PLDT is 8. However, some PLDT vanity numbers with 5-digit telephone numbers will also be changed. All PLDT vanity numbers and shortened numbers in Metro Manila will be extended to 8-digits.
For Globe and subsidiary Innove, the PTE identifier is 7, while for Bayan, its PTE is 3.
The migration process for subscribers of the country’s telcos starts Sunday morning, from 12:01 a.m. until 5:00 a.m. During this period, affected customers may experience service interruption as telcos update their system to the new format.
The voice services of PLDT Metro Manila subscribers will be affected. These are the direct lines, trunklines, PLDT Landline Plus, Call All, FEX Lines, SIP Trunks, ISDN, and Vanity Numbers, including virtual numbers like short-digit numbers, Toll Free (domestic, international and universal), Premium numbers such as embassy hotline and 1900 service hotline, #MyNumber.
PLDT HOME customers should expect 5 hours (from 12:00 MN to 5 a.m.) downtime, or no dial tone, during the migration period. Provincial and international callers will not be able to reach all Metro Manila lines during the activity.
For important calls during the migration, telcos encourage customers to use other available means of communication.
PLDT said its subscribers and those calling them will have no difficulty adjusting to the number change. All they have to do is add the number ‘8’ at the start of the current 7-digit landline number.
To illustrate, if one’s existing PLDT number is XXX-XXXX, then it will become 8XXX-XXXX.
Callers from the provinces will only need to do the usual national direct dialing procedure which now includes their Metro Manila contact’s 8 digit number: Dial 0 + Area Code (2) + 8 digits landline number.
Those outside the Philippines will have to dial 00 + Country Code (63) + Area Code (2) + 8 digits landline number.
On the other hand, a Globe or Innove customer with existing landline or DUO number of (02) 210-XXXX will have to use (02) 7210-XXXX by October 6. A Bayan customer will have to change his number from (02) 220-XXXX to (02) 3220-XXXX.
The following are the 3-digit prefix for Globe and Innove which will require the assigned PTE identifier “7” at the beginning of the prefix: 210-219, 225, 238-239, 261, 263-266, 349, 358, 368-369, 473, 482, 500-509, 576-577, 585-587, 610-619, 621-625, 717-720, 728-730, 738-739, 744-748, 750-759, 791-799,900-910, 914-919, 933-934, 940, 943-946, 949-950, 954-960, 964, 966, 968, 970-976, 978, 980, 987, 989.
The following are the 3-digit prefix for Bayan which will require the assigned PTE identifier ”3” at the beginning of the prefix: 220-224, 226-228, 262, 377-394, 406-419, 427-428, 430-440, 443-450, 453-456, 466-469, 474, 480-481, 483-499.
The National Complaint Hotline 8888 and emergency special numbers which are less than 7-digits and start with 1 or 9 such as Emergency Hotline 911, MMDA 136, Lifeline Arrows 16911, and Rescue Operations 161, among others, will remain the same.
Originally, NTC set the migration date for March 18, 2019, but the Bankers Association of the Philippines and Credit Card Association of the Philippines petitioned to have it moved to a later schedule.
For three months after the October 6, 2019 migration (until January 6, 2020), customers who incorrectly dial the old 7-digit numbers will hear a special announcement, saying the number has been changed to 8-digits (toll-free). After the special announcement is played, the call will be terminated and customers have to redial using the new 8-digit number.