House bill to require sellers of used cellphones to seek clearances first | Inquirer News

House bill to require sellers of used cellphones to seek clearances first

/ 10:20 PM October 17, 2023
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MANILA, Philippines — Bicol Saro party-list Rep. Brian Raymund Yamsuan urged his colleagues in the House on Tuesday to pass a bill he had filed — House Bil No. 7969 — that would require sellers of second-hand cellphones to first ask for clearances from the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) and the Philippine National Police (PNP).

“These requirements may appear to be cumbersome, but they are necessary to prevent the rise in street crimes involving the stealing of smartphones, which not only lead to loss of property but, in some unfortunate cases, to loss of lives as well,” Yamsuan said.

“Street crimes involving cellphone theft appear to have increased when pawnshops started accepting smartphones as pawned items,” he added.


The bill — authored by Yamsuan with Camarines Sur Second District Rep. Luis Raymund Villafuerte —seeks to amend the Anti-Fencing Law (Presidential Decree No. 1612).


According to Yamsuan, the NTC received a total of 34,353 cell phone blocking requests and concerns — which means the phones were either lost or stolen.

Such phones often make their way to the black market or other makeshift phone stalls.

Under the bill, shops that fail to get required permits and proof of purchase or ownership before buying or selling second-hand phones would be held liable for violating the Anti-Fencing Law.

READ: 4 suspected robbers slain by cops after stealing Android phone in Cotabato Province

READ: Public warned on stolen items sold during holidays

This is not the first time that a proposal to restrict the sale of second-hand phones has been made. In 2019, then-Manila Mayor Isko Moreno ordered a ban on the sale of such handsets in a bid to stop robbers and snatchers operating in the capital city.

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TAGS: anti-fencing law, Brian Raymund Yamsuan, National Telecommunications Commission, selling used cellphones

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