No more ‘monkey’ photos? SIM registration now requires live selfies
MANILA, Philippines — Expect no more “monkey” registrations of Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) cards with the new guidelines issued by the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC.)
NTC Commissioner Ella Blanca Lopez on Tuesday told senators that her office already issued a memorandum order (MO) on Monday, requiring a live selfie photo when registering a SIM card.
“We issued an MO yesterday, so it’s effective immediately…” Lopez said as the Senate finance subcommittee tackled the proposed 2024 budget of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT).
NTC is an attached agency of the DICT.
Lopez said the new guidelines would ensure that those registered are legitimate users.
“They (telecommunications companies) will install technologies that will ensure na wala na pong monkey po na makaka-register katulad po ng live selfies. We require live selfies,” she said.
“Hindi na rin po i-allow yung stock photos as selfie,” the NTC chief added.
Telcos have until December 18 this year to install the technology needed for the live selfie, Lopez explained.
It was Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Pimentel III who raised about the monkey photo used to register a SIM card as previously disclosed by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).
Pimentel lamented that when lawmakers crafted the SIM registration law, it was clear that they were talking about the registration of “human beings.”
“Hindi [Not] pair of eyes, nose and mouth but human beings,” he stressed.
Lopez agreed that the law was meant to curb text scams but admitted that many are still using it to commit crimes.
“Sadly, may mga nagre-register using fake IDs,” she said.