The House of Representatives approves the SIM Card Registration Bill as it passes the final reading. The bill seeks to mandate the registration of prepaid SIM cards, amid the proliferation of smishing and scam texts in the Philippines.
The chamber passes House Bill 14 with 250 yes votes, six no votes, and one abstention. Under the bill, public telecommunications entities (PTE) or authorized sellers will require customers to present a valid ID and register before they can purchase a SIM card.
All SIM cards will be required to register, even those issued and purchased before the bill is approved.
Subscribers, however, are protected by a confidentiality clause that will protect their identities from unlawful use, unless ordered by the court or subpoena in relation to an investigation or a crime.
Text scams are at an all time high in the Philippines. The SIM Card Registration Bill will go a long way in curbing these activities. Apart from the measure, the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) has also directed Smart Communications, Globe, and DITO Telecommunity to intensity their efforts in addressing smishing and scam text messages.