House ICT panel passes bill on registration of pre-paid SIM cards

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Photo credit: Photo credit:[/caption] House Bill 5231, which substituted House Bills 525, 858, 1519, 2444, 2588, 2624, 3295, 3602 and 3928, establishes a system of sale and registration of SIM card for pre-paid users by registering pertinent data in a registration form. Under the bill, to be known as the “Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) Card Registration Act,” every direct seller will require the end user of a SIM card to present valid identification with photo to ascertain the latter’s identity. The seller will also require the subscriber to accomplish and sign a control-numbered registration form issued by the respective Public Telecommunications Entity (PTE) of the SIM card being purchased. The registration form will include an attestation that the person buying the SIM and the identification documents presented are true and correct and that the person is one and the same. The bill provides that a subscriber who does not produce valid identification with photo and who fails to accomplish a registration form will be refused sale of a SIM card. “The registration of pre-paid SIM cards would put a stop to the brazen theft of mobile phone units which have become an indispensable communication tool to everyone,” according to Muntinlupa City representative Rodolfo G. Biazon, author of HB 525. Other co-authors of the bill said the registration of SIM cards would reduce kidnapping and other petty crimes. Marikina City representative Marcelino R. Teodoro said one of the key provisions of the measure is authorizing the local telcos to automatically deactivate the services of unregistered existing pre-paid SIM card subscriber. A fine of P300,000 will be imposed for the first time if the offense is committed by a telco, P500,000 for the second offense and for the third and subsequent offenses, a fine of P1,000,000 for every offense. Further, the bill imposes a penalty of suspension of its operation on any seller who fails to comply with the provisions of the proposed law and a fine ranging from P5,000 to P50,000. The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) is mandated to promulgate the rules and regulations necessary to ensure the effective implementation of the legislation. ]]>

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