President Bongbong Marcos has just signed into law the SIM Card Registration Act, his first signed law as the President of the Philippines.
Under the bill, public telecommunications entities (PTE) or authorized sellers shall require customers to present a valid ID with a photo and register before they can purchase a SIM card.
Moving forward, all SIM cards will be required to register, even those issued and purchased before the bill’s approval.
Subscribers are protected by a confidentiality clause to protect their identities from unlawful use unless ordered by the court or subpoenaed in relation to an investigation or a crime.
At this point, the process of how to register your SIM card is still not yet determined. The time frame for this will be decided after consultation between the NTC and PTEs.
See also: NTC orders telcos to help stop smishing and text scams
The passing of the SIM Card Registration Bill will go a long way to help slow down rampant text scams. According to the Cybercrime Investigation and Coordinating Center (CICC), fraud via mobile phones is costing Filipinos “millions of dollars.” What’s more, cybercriminals have shifted to aggregators as the new modus.
Both Smart and Globe have blocked clickable links to malicious sites on SMS messages. As a result, some of the text scammers include instructions to input the URL on a browser to access it.
If you have received a text scam or have been a victim of one, you are encouraged to report it to NTC, Smart, and Globe.