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dotPH - The Official Domain Registry of the Philippines
Introduced 1990
TLD type country code top-level domain
Status Active
Registry dotPH Domains Inc.
Sponsor PH Domain Foundation
Intended use Entities connected with the  Philippines
Actual use Used by Philippine individuals, businesses, and organizations, as well as those seeking to reach Philippine markets and audiences.
Registration restrictions None in general; some specific subdomains (.gov.ph, .mil.ph, .edu.ph) have restrictions; domain names are written in basic Latin alphabet without diacritics only.
Structure Registration may be done at second level or at third level beneath generic-category 2nd level domains such as .com.ph
Dispute policies dotPH Dispute Resolution Process[1][2]
Website www.dot.ph

.ph is the Internet country code top-level domain (ccTLD) for the Philippines.


The official domain registry of the .ph domain is dotPH Domains Inc.[3] dotPH holds and maintains the database of PH domain names, specifically .ph, .com.ph, .net.ph, and .org.ph.[4][5][6] Its domain name registrars are not only individuals, businesses, and organizations in the Philippines, but also those in other parts of the world.[3]

The PH domain is currently administered by José Emmanuel "Joel" Disini,[7] who is also dotPH's current CEO.[8][9] Disini has been the domain administrator since Jon Postel assigned him the domain in 1990.[10][11] The domain is sponsored by the PH Domain Foundation,[7] a social outreach arm of dotPH which was also founded by Disini together with a group of IT professionals in August 1999.[12]

In 1994, the administration of the .gov.ph domain was sub-delegated to the Government of the Philippines.[13] In like manner, .edu.ph was sub-delegated to the Philippine Network Foundation, Inc. (PHNET).[14]

Aside for being the registry, dotPH sells domains and web-related services such as web hosting, co-location, private registration and e-mail forwarding.[15][16] dotPH also offers a free referral service which connects Small- and Medium-sized Enterprises with a network of over 300 accredited professional Filipino web designers.[17] It formerly offered a free blogging service through .i.ph domains.[5][6]

Second-level domains[edit]

Managed by dotPH (web: www.dot.ph / PH tel: +632 637 2104 to 05 / US tel: +1 213 6341499 and +1 617 8481913 / HK Tel: +852 36931426 / NZ tel: +649 9250495 / email: helpdesk@dot.ph)

There are no restrictions on registering the ff. domains:

  • .ph
  • .com.ph
  • .net.ph
  • .org.ph

Reserved for use by the Philippine Military:

  • .mil.ph — Philippine military

dotPH registration fees are US$ 35.00 a year (US$70.00 for a 2-year registration)[18]

Managed by DOST - ASTI (web: www.dns.gov.ph / tel: +632 9258598 / email: dns@asti.gov.ph)

Reserved for use by Philippine Government agencies:

  • .gov.ph

Registration is free to qualified Philippine government entities.[19]

Managed by PHNET (web: www.ph.net / tel: N/A / email: support@ph.net)

For bona-fide educational and training institutions in the Philippines only:

  • .edu.ph

PHNET registration fees are US$ 55.00 a year[20]

General policies for registering PH domain names[edit]

(These are for .ph, .com.ph, .net.ph, and .org.ph domain names.[21] For .edu.ph domains, see PHNET Policies and for .gov.ph domains, see .gov.ph Registry website)

  • .PH domain names are registered on a first-paid, first-served basis.
  • There are no local residency requirements for registering a .PH domain. With the exception of .mil.ph, .gov.ph, and .edu.ph domains, anyone may register any available .PH domain.
  • PH domain names must have at least 3 characters. One and 2 character domain names are not allowed for registration.
  • PH domain names can have as few as 3 characters and as many as 63 characters (not including the .PH extension). Because some mail programs do not accept more than 26 characters in a combined TLD and second level domain name, registering names with more than 23 characters for the second level domain (plus .PH = 26) is not recommended. Names may not begin or end with a dash, and upper case and lower case are treated as lower case only. Besides the - character, only alphanumeric characters a-z, 0-9 are accepted. Spaces and any other characters in a name will not be accepted. Names with only numeric characters and names with spaces will not be accepted for registration.
  • Domains registered prior to October 1, 1999 were known as 'Lifetime domains' and were not subject to renewal fees. They had to, however, be able to send/receive email. Specifically, the Registry had to be able to send mail to postmaster@domain.com.ph and receive a reply other than a bounce. Otherwise, the domain would be forfeited due to non-activation/non-use. If a lifetime domain, however, filed to transform into an annual (regular) domain, the postmaster rule would no longer be in effect.

Terms of Service[edit]

(These are for .ph, .com.ph, .net.ph, and .org.ph domain names.[21] For .edu.ph domains, see PHNET Policies and for .gov.ph domains, see .gov.ph Registry website)

All domain names are serviced for limited periods. Specifically, Nameholders may choose to register a domain for the following time periods:

  • two (2) years or;
  • five (5) years or;
  • ten (10) years.

One (1) year registrations are also available from any of over 150 dotPH-accredited Registrars.[22] With the exception of .mil.ph, anyone seeking to register a PH domain may do so either directly with dotPH or through any PH domain registrar.

Registrants agree that the Service Agreement shall be governed in all respects by and construed in accordance with the laws of the Philippines. By submitting a domain name for registration, the registrant consents to the exclusive jurisdiction and venue of the appropriate court in Pasig City, Philippines.

The registrant further agrees to abide by DotPH's Policies, including its Dispute Resolution Policy, patterned after ICANN's UDRP but with some key distinctions:[23]

  • Under ICANN's UDRP, the registrant warrants that "registration of the domain name will not infringe upon or otherwise violate the rights of any third party" or result in "violation of any applicable laws or regulations". Since the registrant cannot be expected to know all the laws and regulations of all countries, dotPH DRP limits those representations to the laws existing where the registrant resides or conducts business.
  • ICANN's UDRP states that a registrant may not claim legitimate rights to a domain if it is used "to tarnish the trademark or service mark at issue." This clause does not appear in the dotPH DRP since it may be abused by trademark and service mark owners in order to stifle legitimate criticism of their marks.
  • dotPH DRP allows a losing nameholder 30 days to appeal the decision to an appropriate court. ICANN UDRP allows only 10 days to do so.


The birth of the .ph Registry[edit]

In 1989, Joel Disini founded the Email Company (EMC), one of the earliest Internet service providers in the Philippines.[24][25] At that time most networks (including EMC) were connected to the Internet via UUCP. Disini's network had a UUCP connection to UUNET. This network connection, along with Disini's credentials as a Computer Science and Electrical Engineering graduate of CalTech and five-year experience in Macintosh Networking & Communications software development in Cupertino, California, became Jon Postel's basis for delegating the .ph domain to him.[11] The .ph country code top-level domain was officially delegated on September 14, 1990.[7] Since then, .ph domains have been commercially available to the public.[10][26]

In 1994, the PHNET wide-area network, a project funded by DOST, completed its development and was able to connect the Philippines to the rest of the world by establishing TCP/IP connections to the U.S. using 64 kbit/s international leased lines.[27]

At this point, the PHNET Foundation wanted to take over the administration of the .ph domain registry. Protracted negotiations took place, and eventually the responsibility of administrating the .edu.ph and .gov.ph domains were transferred to the PHNET Foundation and the Department of Science and Technology, respectively.[10]

At that time domain fees ranged from Php 450 to Php 1,350.[10] Domains registered during this period had no expiration and therefore had no renewal rates, thus the label lifetime domains.[28] However, a fee was charged for modifications to these domains. Lifetime domains were non-transferable, and were only valid for the lifetime of the original Registrant.

The PH Domain Foundation and dotPH[edit]

In August 1999 Disini and the technical people at EMC formed the PH Domain Foundation. It sought to promote the Internet and free unlimited email services in rural areas.[12] It also took charge of the domain selling business[29] and the management of the .ph domain registry.[7]

On October 1, 1999, the PH Domain Foundation launched a fully automated online system for domain registration. It also launched a flat .ph domain space, enabling people to register domains like "domainname.ph".[30][31] Lifetime domain registration was halted, and all domains registered after October 1 subsequently carried expiration dates. These domain owners had to pay a fee to renew their domains.[28]

At around this period, the "for-profit" business and technical side of the PH Domain Foundation became identified as dotPH. Activities related to domains and the business were now attributed to dotPH, such as the resolution on the dispute between Yahoo! Philippines and another Philippine company,[32] the launching of the automated online registration system,[31] and even the administration of the .ph domain registry itself. To this day, dotPH is the official domain registry of the Philippines.[33]

In 2000, dotPH developed a system called the Shared Registry System (SRS) which enabled domain name registrars and ISP's to manage domains and accept registrations on their own website by connecting to the dotPH registry backend. This is done by downloading and installing on their server a module that does the actual communication with the registry backend using an XML-based protocol.[34]

dotPH also became one of the first Philippine websites to accept online credit card payments.[3]

Other developments[edit]

In 2001 several complaints against dotPH were formally filed by members of PhilDAC with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). One complaint was formally withdrawn, and the rest were eventually dismissed with prejudice for reasons including "failure to prosecute" and "lack of interest".

After studies made by the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) in 2002, the Philippine Commission on Information and Communications Technology (CICT) Commissioner, Ver Pena, created an Advisory Board composed of representatives from the academe and various industry groups, including PhilDAC, to draft guidelines for the operations of the PH ccTLD. After two public hearings conducted through the NTC in 2004, the "Guidelines in the Administration of the .ph Domain Name" was issued by the CICT in November 2004.

The administrator has publicly expressed doubts about the viability of the Guidelines, and raised questions about the manner in which the Advisory Board was appointed. In particular, that dotPH was excluded from participating in drafting the Guidelines and from the Board's subsequent deliberations; and that the Guidelines contain practically no input from dotPH representatives despite their submission of several position papers. PhilDAC, however, has responded by pointing out that the administrator was invited to participate in the two hearings but refused to do so.

The administration of the PH ccTLD has long been criticized by some members of the Philippine Domain-Name Authority Convenors (PhilDAC). Members of PhilDAC have been involved in five separate attempts to redelegate and seize control of the PH domain, claiming as their basis, the need for greater transparency, accountability, and community input in the way PH Domain Policy is created.[13]

Currently, Jose Emmanuel Disini is the administrator of the PH domain. PhilDAC asserts Disini uses the registry for his own personal interests.[35] Disini claims the PH domain is better off being "policy light", rather than being policy heavy.[36] The PhilDAC stand is that Policy Oversight will not result in undue or burdensome requirements. Public hearings were held, but instead of attending Disini sent a position paper,[36] The PhilDAC reply was written by Horacio T. Cadiz.[37] The CICT Guidelines call for the separation of the Registry from the Administrator. While Mr. Disini claims they have been separate as of 1999, with the PH Domain Foundation as the Administrator, and DotPH as the Registry, PhilDAC contends they are run by Mr. Disini himself or his representatives. The PH Domain Foundation website actually states that it "is the social outreach arm of the local PH domain registry (dotPH)".[38]

PhilDAC says that because the Administrator and Registry are not separate, the redelegation clause of the Guidelines has become operative. Disini maintains that the Commission on Information and Communications Technology (CICT) guidelines were created under such a climate of hostility, that it is riddled with factual errors.

The CICT came under fire for its involvement in the ZTE scandal, and was officially dissolved by President Benigno Aquino III on June 23, 2011.[39]


  1. ^ http://www.dot.ph/corporate/policies/uniform-dispute-resolution-policy. "dotPH Dispute Resolution policy". Retrieved on June 18, 2013.
  2. ^ http://www.dot.ph/corporate/policies/icann-vs-dotph-udrp. "ICANN v. dotPH UDRP". Retrieved on June 18, 2013.
  3. ^ a b c "DotPH FAQ", dotPH Website. Retrieved on April 29, 2012.
  4. ^ "Domain Name Service Agreement", dotPH Policies. Retrieved on May 30, 2008.
  5. ^ a b "dotPH releases world's first anonymous domain", dotPH News. Retrieved on May 30, 2008.
  6. ^ a b i.ph Website defunct. Retrieved on May 30, 2008.
  7. ^ a b c d ".ph Whois information", Internet Assigned Numbers Authority. Retrieved on May 30, 2008.
  8. ^ Disini, Joel. "About Me", jed.i.ph. Retrieved on May 30, 2008.
  9. ^ "Gov't. ICT Services Criticized", dotPH News. Retrieved on May 30, 2008.
  10. ^ a b c d The PH Domain and the Need for Policy Reforms. Retrieved on May 30, 2008.
  11. ^ a b Disini, Joel (June 8, 2005). "My Reply To Winthrop Yu On His PICS Letter", jed.i.ph. Retrieved on May 30, 2008.
  12. ^ a b "PH Domain Foundation Profile/Background", PH Domain Foundation website. Retrieved on May 30, 2008.
  13. ^ a b Whitepaper of PhilDAC
  14. ^ PHNET website
  15. ^ dotPH homepage. Retrieved on May 30, 2008.
  16. ^ dotPH Services. Retrieved on June 13, 2013.
  17. ^ dotPH Web Design Page. Retrieved on June 13, 2013.
  18. ^ dotPH Services. Retrieved on June 5, 2013.
  19. ^ ASTI Domain Delegation page Retrieved on June 5, 2013.
  20. ^ Payment for PHNET Services. Retrieved on June 5, 2013.
  21. ^ a b [1] "dotPH General Policies. Retrieved on June 17, 2013
  22. ^ Retrieved on June 17, 2013.
  23. ^ "ICANN v. dotPH UDRP". Retrieved on June 18, 2013.
  24. ^ Garcia, Jing (July 1, 2001). "A Day In The Life Of Joel Disini", Manila Standard Business Sunday column. Quoted in full at the PH Domain Foundation website. Retrieved on May 30, 2008.
  25. ^ Mallari, Rene (July 1, 2000). "Doing It Hard", Cargonews Asia. Retrieved on May 31, 2008.
  26. ^ "EMC Company Profile", EMC website. Retrieved on May 31, 2008.
  27. ^ PHNET's history, Philippine Network Foundation, Inc. website. Retrieved on May 30, 2008.
  28. ^ a b "Manage Lifetime Domains", dotPH Website. Retrieved on May 31, 2008.
  29. ^ Lewel, John (September 9, 1999). "Philippine Domain Registry Adopts Quicker Policy", asia.internet.com. Retrieved on May 31, 2008.
  30. ^ "PH Domain Foundation launches flat domain space, automated registration", Manila Bulletin, October 21, 1999. Quoted in full on Internet Toolbox Vol. 11, November 1–15, 1999 series at the Web Dot Com Website Development Philippines site (Web Archive copy). Retrieved on May 31, 2008.
  31. ^ a b Rajendran, Joseph (October 20, 1999). "DotPH Introduces Flat Domain Names", asia.internet.com. Retrieved on May 31, 2008.
  32. ^ "Yet Another Yahoo! Dispute: Yahoo! Philippines wins dispute against local company", Financial Times Limited, May 22, 2001. Retrieved on January 2, 2014.
  33. ^ dotPH Website. Retrieved on May 30, 2008.
  34. ^ "Registrar Program - Setup Your Registration Page", dotPH Website. Retrieved on May 31, 2008.
  35. ^ On the Potential for Collusion Between NTC and .COM Resellers
  36. ^ a b The Disini Paper
  37. ^ On the DotPH Comments to the NTC Proposed Guidelines on the Administration of the Philippine Country Code Top-Level Domain
  38. ^ PH Domain Foundation - Profile
  39. ^ GMA News, "Aquino dissolves ICT Commission". Retrieved on June 6, 2013.

External links[edit]