Poe, Zubiri refile bill on SIM card registration
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Grace Poe and Juan Miguel Zubiri have refiled separate bills seeking to mandate the registration of subscriber identity module (SIM) cards, a measure earlier vetoed by former President Rodrigo Duterte over provisions involving activities on social media.
Poe’s measure requires SIM card registration for electronic devices and social media accounts. Zubiri, meanwhile, left out the social media provision.
The proposal aims to end all forms of fraud using mobile phones and the internet as it made millions of Filipinos poorer, said Poe.
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“We must not turn a blind eye to the untold misery of millions of our people who are further mired in debts and sunk in poverty after falling prey to these unceasing text scams,” she said in a statement on Wednesday.
“Unregistered SIM cards and social media accounts can also be used to facilitate other and more heinous crimes such as terrorism, cyber bank heists; the proliferation of unsolicited, indecent or obscene messages; and the dissemination of a massive disinformation campaign which could cause chaos and disorder among the public. That these crimes are flourishing under the current system only proves that the system is flawed and needs to be changed,” she further pointed out on her bill’s explanatory note.
Under her bill, public telecommunications entities must facilitate SIM card registration as a prerequisite to its sale and activation.
Social media account providers will also ask for a real name and phone number upon the creation of the account.
The process should be free of charge for users, said Poe.
All existing SIM card users must also register with their providers or else their SIM card number will be “automatically retired.”
In April, the Palace announced that Duterte vetoed the SIM Card Registration Act as the inclusion of social media providers in the registration requirement “was not part of the original version of the bill and needs a more thorough study.”
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