A measure has been filed in the Senate Friday 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.
Under Senate Bill No. 1160, Senator Loren Legarda said that users will be required to sign a control-numbered registration form used by the respective public telecommunications entity (PTE) of the SIM card being purchased.
Legarda said this would 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, PTEs will collect accomplished registration forms from direct sellers and submit a copy to the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC).
They will also provide 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 other requirements.
In a case of losing or any change in the information after the acquisition of the SIM card, the subscriber must notify the PTEs within 30 days from such loss or change.
The concerned PTE 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 confidential.
“If we can make postpaid mobile subscribers submit identification, why can’t we do the same for prepaid cell 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.