The House of Representatives has approved a bill requiring the registration of all prepaid mobile phone subscriber identify module (SIM) cards.
If Bill 5231 becomes a law, it will cover tens of millions of existing and future prepaid mobile phone users.
At present, anyone can buy a prepaid SIM card and use it without filling out any form or being asked to present an identification card.
Authors of the measure said the use of modern technology “is greatly encouraged but carries with it tremendous responsibility.”
“Thus mechanism for its effective use for the good of all and not for an illegal or malicious purpose to benefit a few must be installed,” they said.
They said prepaid SIM cards are often used for illegal activities because these could not be traced.
Under the bill, a seller of a prepaid SIM card would require a buyer to fill out a control numbered registration form issued by the mobile phone service provider that owns the SIM card.
The buyer would be asked to present clear proof of identification with photograph such as passport, driver’s license or any government-issued ID card.
The registration form would include an attestation by the seller that the buyer and his ID are true and correct, and that he is the same person who has accomplished the document.
Sale may be denied if the buyer does not present valid and clear proof of identification.
Sellers are to forward the forms to the mobile phone service provider within 15 days from date of sale. In turn, the service provider would furnish copies of the registration documents to the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC).
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