Legarda Pushes for Prepaid SIM Card Registration

September 30, 2016

Senator Loren Legarda is calling for the urgent passage of a bill seeking for mandatory registration of all prepaid subscriber identity module (SIM) cards to avoid unregistered numbers to be utilized for malicious or any unlawful acts.

“If we can make postpaid mobile subscribers submit identification, why can’t we do the same for prepaid mobile phone users? With SIM cards registered, criminals and perpetrators who exploit the anonymity provided by prepaid SIM can be identified and tracked down easily,” Legarda stressed.

The Senator added that the registration of prepaid SIM cards will help minimize the opportunity for certain parties to execute terror threats, prank calls and text scams which are becoming more prevalent because of the ease and convenience of purchasing a prepaid or ‘Pay As You Go’ SIM card without having to present identification.

Under Senate Bill No. 1160 authored by Legarda, the direct sellers of SIM cards shall require buyers to present valid identification with photo to ascertain the latter’s identity. The end users are also required to accomplish and sign a control-numbered registration form used by the respective public telecommunications entity (PTE) of the SIM card being purchased.

PTEs will collect accomplished registration forms from direct sellers and submit a copy to the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC). PTEs are instructed to submit an updated SIM card registration of their subscribers to NTC every six months.

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 person intending to purchase a SIM card 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 photo 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 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 absolutely confidential.