How to Call a Cell Phone in the Philippines

Calling a Philippine cell phone is generally the same as calling a Philippine landline phone. Both use the country code "63," then instead of the two-digit area codes, the three-digit network provider prefixes are used.

When calling within the Philippines, start dialling a "0," followed by the three-digit network provider prefix, then the seven-digit mobile phone number. When calling from outside the Philippines (which can also be used by anyone making a call locally), you must use the country code, network provider prefix then the seven-digit mobile number.

Confirm the cell phone number you intend to call. Since Filipinos typically call mobile phones without the use of the country code, it is best to ask them to provide you with the complete cell phone number required in making international calls.

Without the country code, a cell phone number starts with a "09." The most popular network providers include: Smart Communications, along with its sister company Talk 'N Text, which use the network provider prefixes "0918," "0919, "0920," "0921," "0928" and "0929"; Globe Telecom, along with its sister company Touch Mobile, which use the network provider prefixes "0918," "0919," "0920," "0921," "0906" and "0907"; and Sun Cellular, which uses the network provider prefixes "0922," "0923," "0932" and "0933." These telecoms are the counterpart of American companies like AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless. The network provider prefixes further expand as the demand for more Philippine cell phone numbers increases.

This list is helpful, especially to those who are not familiar with these Philippine network provider prefixes and how they work when calling from outside the Philippines. If the cell phone number provided to you already starts with a "63" instead of a "09," this is the correct cell phone number used for making international calls to the Philippines. For instance, the Smart Communications cell phone number you must dial when you call from outside the Philippine can be "+63-920-(seven-digit mobile phone number)." Take note that the "0" from the original network provider prefix is dropped and replaced by the country code "63."

Dial the international exit code in the United States which is "011," then continue to key in the Philippine cell phone number you intend to call. It should start with the country code, the network provider prefix, then the seven-digit cell phone number.

Press the call button and wait for the call to be connected to your intended recipient's cell phone number.


Before making a call, note that dialling via the international exit number "011" is the standard but expensive way to make international calls, even when using a phone card or a preferred country plan. A much cheaper alternative can be done by setting up an Internet phone calling service to reach a Philippine cell phone number. Some of the popular ones used for this include Skype and Yahoo! Messenger. Some phone cards may require dialling a toll-free number first before keying in the international exit number. Although the dialling of the actual cell phone number remains the same in whatever process done, the steps in starting a call depends on the service you use for international calling. Ideally, when using a landline phone, the standard way is dialling the international exit number, then the Philippine cell phone or landline number.

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About the Author

Rianne Hill Soriano is a freelance artist/writer/educator. Her diverse work experiences include projects in the Philippines, Korea and United States. For more than six years she has written about films, travel, food, fashion, culture and other topics on websites including Yahoo!, Yehey! and Herword. She also co-wrote a book about Asian cinema.