House bill for prepaid SIM card registration approved

House Bill 5231, which requires the registration of prepaid subscriber identity module (SIM) cards in the Philippines, has been approved.

Existing and future prepaid mobile phone SIM cards will be covered once the bill is signed by the President and becomes a law.

Currently, anyone can purchase and use a prepaid SIM without registration. Unregistered SIMs could be used for malicious purposes and illegal activities such as text scams and kidnapping.

A PhilStar report says that under HB 5231, sellers of prepaid SIMs would require buyers to fill up a registration form with control number issued by the service provider.

Buyers would be asked to present a clear proof of identification with recent photo such as company ID, passport, driver's license, or any government-issued ID card.

A seller would attest that the buyer and details in his ID match, and that the buyer is the same person who accomplished the document.

Sale of the prepaid SIM may be denied if the buyer won't comply, according to the report.

Within 15 days from date of sale, the registration forms will be forwarded to the service provider, who is obliged to furnish the same to the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC).