The House of Representatives has approved on third and final reading a measure requiring the registration of all postpaid and prepaid mobile phone subscriber identity module (SIM) cards.
House Bill No. 14, or “An Act Requiring The Registration of Subscriber Identity Module Cards,” received 250 affirmative votes, six negative votes, and one abstention on its third reading on Monday.
Principally authored by Speaker Martin Romualdez, Ilocos Norte Rep. Sandro Marcos, and Tingong Partylist Representatives Yedda Marie Romualdez and Jun Acidre, the bill seeks to “require ownership registration of SIM cards to eradicate phone-aided criminal activities.”
Under Section 4 of the bill, every public telecommunications entity or direct seller shall require the end user of a SIM card to present a valid identification document with a photo to ascertain the latter’s identity.
House Information and Communications Technology chairperson Tobias Tiangco of Navotas said the mandatory SIM registration would safeguard people from falling victim to scammers.
“Crimes are not just perpetuated by using a SIM card. What we would like to concentrate on is crimes involving SIM cards. As to the question of the crime rate of those countries, it would not reflect on the law’s effectiveness,” said Tiangco, the principal sponsor of the bill.
Meanwhile, Acidre emphasized that if it becomes legislation, the bill will save vulnerable people from being scammed out of their hard-earned money, resulting in anxiety.
He said it would also prevent the spread of cybercrimes and fake news.
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