Bill on mandatory SIM card registration filed in Senate for nth time

A measure has been filed in the Senate on Friday, Sept. 30, to direct SIM card sellers to require all buyers to present valid IDs before they are sold to avoid unregistered numbers used for unlawful activities.

loren legarda

Under Senate Bill No. 1160, Sen. Loren Legarda said that users will be required to sign a control-numbered registration form used by telecommunication firms of the SIM card being purchased.

Legarda said this will help minimize the risk for users to execute terror threats, prank calls, and text scams which are becoming more prevalent due to the ease of purchasing SIM cards.

According to Legarda, the telcos will collect accomplished registration forms from direct sellers and submit a copy to the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC).

They will also submit an updated SIM card registration of their subscribers to NTC every six months.

The senator’s measure said that if the end-user fails to comply with the requirements, they will be refused the sale of a SIM card by the direct seller.

In case the SIM card buyer is a minor, the parents or guardian will be required to give their express consent in writing, and submit the same with the registration form and valid identification cards with photos of both the minor and the parents or guardian.

The direct seller can also make further inquiries or require the submission of additional identification if necessary, and withhold the sale of the SIM card pending compliance with the additional requirements.

In case of loss or any change in the information after the acquisition of the SIM card, the subscriber must notify their operator within 30 days from such loss or change.

The concerned operator must notify the NTC of such loss or change in the information within 15 days from receipt of notification from the subscriber. All information in SIM card registration shall be treated as absolutely confidential.

“If we can make postpaid mobile subscribers submit identification, why can’t we do the same for prepaid mobile phone users?” Legarda said.

“With SIM cards registered, criminals and perpetrators who exploit the anonymity provided by prepaid SIM can be identified and tracked down easily,” she added. — PNA

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