Mandatory Prepaid SIM Registration Bill Sought to Be Passed Immediately

by Duey Guison  May 9, 2021

With SIM cards being so easy to buy nowadays, there’s a good chance that some people would attempt to buy one to use in some scheme that victimized people through scams. Congress aims to address that, as they are proposing for mandatory registration of prepaid SIM cards.

Deputy Speaker for Trade and Industry Wes Gatchalian, who filed House Bill 5793, also known as the Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) Card Registration Act, appeals to congress to pass the said bill immediately, citing that some prepaid SIMs are being used for illegal activities.

Aside from Gatchalian himself, delivery riders and DTI also support his bill calling for mandatory SIM registration–which also covers postpaid subscribers as well. “We want to protect the interest of our hardworking food and package delivery riders who have no choice but absorb the expenses and the penalties incurred when they fall victim to these pranks and scams,” Gatchalian said.

Gatchalian’s sentiments stem from the number of food delivery incidents, where multiple riders would be delivering food to a certain place–only to find out that they were scammed by the person who set the order. The same also goes for anonymous SMS messages that attempt to exploit people with money.

Part of Gatchalian’s proposal includes requiring everyone to present a valid ID before purchasing a SIM card as a means of properly establishing the identity of the person using the said SIM card.

Gatchalian adds that his proposed bill will work together with the Internet Transactions Act (ITA), of which he is also the principal author, to curb illegal online activities. “With these two laws in place, the e-commerce sphere would be a safer place for consumers and businesses alike.”

Currently, prepaid SIM cards are not regulated unlike postpaid SIM cards, which is why bulk purchasing the former is prevalent in the country.

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    Still a useless law. Filipino’s are great thinker on how they can dodge a law. Very simple, using fake ID’s when purchasing sim card, also first of all, how you can control people to purchase prepaid sim cards if it is everywhere? You can purchase in sari-sari store, online, even bangketa, everybody can sell prepaid sim cards, so how the law can control that? The best control is purchasing of prepaid sim cards should only be done or an authority to sell only by network service provider themselves of that prepaid sim cards then make that prepaid sim pricey, so anybody, who can only afford to pay and it is hard to malicious person’s to throw it (after said person had a successfully made a victims using that prepaid sim card) because the cost of that prepaid sim card is ?10,000.00. LMAO! That’s it! The proposed law made by Gatchalian will only be useless, i guarantee that.

    You got a point there. But overpricing a sim card is just absurd. Limiting sim card purchase is a much better way. Maybe 1-2 sim cards per individual.

    Overpricing of SIM card is not the solution to stop scammers and criminals. Why not let the service provider to sell the SIM card at reasonable price and let the buyers to present their valid ID when buying . Apply more stricter penalties to those who violates the law, let say make it criminal offences .

    On other countries, you can only buy sim card in an authorized and certified shops wherein they will require you to present a “valid ID with Photo”. The authorized shop is mandated to register the sim card under your name. For foreigners, they’ll ask for your passport for proof of identification. If the prepaid sim was stolen, you can report it on the network and they will disable the sim permanently.

    Over pricing of sim card will never be the solution nor Limiting users to just 1-2 prepaid sim card. This is a matter of identifying authorized shops who will register the prepaid sim card. Supporting documents or the Identification presented by the consumer must also be uploaded in the system. Lapses of not registering the sim card by the seller, should be liable to criminal act as well.

    The authorized shops will now be responsible now for registering all prepaid sim cards, including the existing prepaid sim cards. If you will ask me how, I proposed All networks mandated prepaid users to go to authorized shops for registration, failure to comply will be subject for termination of the existing prepaid line. For new prepaid sim card, mobile network will not activate the prepaid line if the sim card is not registered.

    This is not a useless law. This law is being implemented in so many countries now a days.
    On some countries there are also a legal age in buying a sim card.

    Our government officials should propose a law according to their people’s pleas not because it’s for their only advantage or gain. Did one of those riders that he is telling approached him because they were victimized badly or he just thought of it because he was a victim too? If that is his main reason that, “I also became a victim and lost some money”(that we don’t really know how much were taken to him that made him conclude to pass an unnecessary law) then he’s just being selfish. And why does he think of this now when his country is having more serious problems? Why?

    For so many years, Prepaid sim card had been used so many times in a Criminal Act. Its about time that they acquire this law from other countries. Those who says that this is an unnecessary law, does not understand the real benefit of it. This law has been set aside for so many years.

    In 2015 the House of Representatives approved a bill which calls for the systematic registration of all prepaid SIM cards in the country. The new rules require that anyone purchasing a SIM card fill in documentation and provide photographic proof of identity (such as passport) at the time of purchase. In 2016 the legislature has filed a bill in a bid to implement a mandatory SIM card registration scheme in the country so that anyone buying a SIM will be required to sign a control-numbered registration form used by the respective public telecommunications entity (PTE) of the card being purchased. The PTEs then have to collect registration forms from direct sellers and submit a copy to the National Telecommunications Commission. Similar proposals have been put forward in 2019 and 2020.