Oliver Bugarin 1 0 0 5 min to read

Obstacles with the required SIM card registration bill Home panel.

The House of Representatives passed a bill requiring the registration of all postpaid and prepaid mobile phone subscriber identity module (SIM) cards at the committee level.

The House committee on information and communications technology presided over by Navotas Representative Toby Tiangco, adopted the combined bill aiming to require SIM card registration to reduce fraud and criminal activity during a hearing on Monday.

Due to House Rule 10, Section 48, which allows the committees of the House of Representatives to vote on priority issues that have already been filed and approved on the third reading in the most recent Congress, the bill was rapidly passed.

Rep. Jude Acidre of the Tingog party-list, who is the measure’s sponsor, claimed that several mobile phone scams, ranging from straightforward text messages requesting users to send cellular loads to more complex voice phishing techniques and marketing spams, which are used to obtain unauthorized access to vulnerable personal information of unwary mobile phone users, have been made possible by the unregulated SIM card market.

“This modest representation is aware of the importance of making mobile communication accessible to the general public. Government service delivery has become more effective and feasible in the most remote parts of the country because of the rise in connection enabled by reasonably priced SIM Cards and mobile phones. However, we are also aware of the fact that the availability of SIM Cards has prompted dishonest individuals to exploit this and utilize it to commit crimes,” Acidre stated.

He said the proposal would force SIM card owners to register their cards to end the use of mobile phones as a tool for illegal activity.

In order to encourage end-user accountability, stop the spread of mobile phone scams and data breaches, and aid law enforcement agencies in solving crimes involving the use of mobile phone units within the bounds set by data privacy laws and regulations, the proposed law would also regulate the sale and distribution of SIM cards, he added.

In this spirit, Acidre remarked, “I implore my fellow members of this chamber to join me in securing the swift passage of this law.”

Speaker Martin Romualdez, Rep. Sandro Marcos of Ilocos Norte, and Rep. Yedda Romualdez of the Tingog Party list are additional writers of the legislation.

The legislation requires every public telecommunications enterprise (PTE) or authorized supplier to demand that an end user fill out and sign in triplicate a numbered registration form provided by the PTE.

An affirmation that the person in front of the seller is the same person who completed the document and that they showed legitimate identification cards must be included on the form.

The form must include the subscriber’s assigned cellphone number, serial number, name, date of birth, gender, and address as they appear on a valid ID with a photo.

Unless the subscriber has expressly given access to certain information in writing, all information in the registration document must be viewed as being completely secret.

Prior to the proposed SIM Card Registration Act becoming effective, all SIM cards sold or issued must be registered.

PTEs are required to keep a registry of all subscribers and the SIM cards they have been given. They must present a list of their authorized vendors and agents to the National Telecommunications Commission.

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