5, 2013

NR # 3278B

Solon seeks regulation of sale/distribution of SIM cards
A lawmaker has proposed to regulate the sale and distribution of Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) cards to discourage unscrupulous people from using these cards in illegal activities. Rep. Sherwin . !atchalian ("st #istrict$ %alen&uela 'ity) filed (ouse )ill *+*,$ which mandates the registration of all prepaid SIM cards and re-uires telecommunication companies to keep a registry of these subscribers. !atchalian said the seeming boundless stream of supply of SIM cards has become a magnet of nefarious activities. ./e hear countless victims of te0t scams$ ransom demand thru untraceable mobile numbers and mobile phones become triggering devices for bomb e0plosion that kill hapless civilians in our midst$1 !atchalian said. he bill directs telecommunication companies to ensure that the users of their prepaid SIM cards are properly identified and their addresses verified through the presentation of valid identification cards (I#s) such as government2issued I#s and company I#s among others. It provides that proof of payment of the sale shall be evidenced by an official receipt$ duplicates of which shall be submitted by the telecommunication company to the 3ational elecommunications 'ompany (3 '). Information obtained in the SIM card registration shall be treated as confidential. 40cept upon order of any competent court or based upon a written re-uest from a government law enforcement agency upon finding of probable cause that a particular number is being used in the commission of a crime or that it was utili&ed as a means to commit an unlawful act$ the telecommunications company shall be obliged to provide the information. All e0isting prepaid subscribers are re-uired to register their SIM cards with their respective mobile phone companies within three months from the effectivity of this Act. 5ailure to register within the prescribed period shall authori&e the telecommunications company to suspend its services to the negligent user. he telecommunications company shall lift the suspension of its service upon compliance with the provisions of this Act. elecommunications companies found guilty of violating provisions of the Act shall be fined of 6788$888 for the first offense9 6:88$888 for the second offense and 6"$888$888 for the third offense and subse-uent offenses. !atchalian said the government should follow the lead taken by Singapore$ Malaysia$ Indonesia and )runei and other countries that have put this into law and succeeded in its effort of regulation. (78) mvip

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