Mandatory registration of prepaid SIM cards gets fresh push
MANILA, Philippines — Deputy Speaker for Trade and Industry and Valenzuela Rep. Wes Gatchalian renewed his call Friday for the mandatory registration of prepaid SIM cards amid reports of fraudulent activities, including fake bookings on food delivery services.
Gatchalian, who is one of the authors of the House Bill No. 5793 or the Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) Card Registration Act, said that since users of food delivery services can create fake names and hide behind the anonymity of their prepaid mobile number can give, “they become brazen in committing fraudulent act.”
“We change SIM cards as fast as we change our soiled shirts. Alarmingly, this seeming boundless stream of supply has become a magnet for nefarious and illegal activities,” Gatchalian said in a statement, noting that mobile phone numbers are used to register to food delivery services.
“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,” he added.
Further, Gatchalian said that even text scams would virtually be eradicated should the SIM Card Registration Act be enacted into law.
“We would easily be able to ascertain the identity of these scammers as everyone purchasing a prepaid SIM card would now be required to provide a valid ID,” Gatchalian said.
“SIM card registration imposes liability on the user while the ITA (Internet Transactions Act) imposes solidary liability on the e-commerce platform with the online merchant in specific instances. With these two laws in place, the e-commerce sphere would be a safer place for consumers and businesses alike,” he added.
A similar measure has been filed in the Senate.
Under Senate Bill No. 176 or the proposed SIM Card Registration Act, end-users of prepaid SIM cards shall be required to present a valid ID and photo and sign a control-numbered registration form issued by the service provider of the purchased SIM card.