Philippine lawmakers have approved the SIM Card Registration Act, mandating the registration of prepaid SIM Cards for electronic devices and social media accounts.
The bill also has a section that mandates social media users to register their legal identities, along with their phone numbers, when creating new accounts.
Congress and the Senate have passed the bill, and need only the approval of the president for it to become law.
The move was made to aid authorities to track and dissuade the use of prepaid and postpaid SIM cards from criminal and fraudulent activities, as well as curb online trolling and disinformation from anonymous social media accounts that seem to proliferate in our country.
As the world’s foremost users of social media in terms of time spent, Filipinos are no strangers to trolling and disinformation, especially now with the COVID-19 pandemic and with the upcoming presidential elections in May. Many believe social media to be a key component of many campaigns, which can likely impact the success or failure of a candidate.
Smart, Globe, and DITO all support the bill, believing it will lessen the use of mobile phones in scams and other fraudulent activities.