Third time’s the charm? We’re not exactly 100% up-to-date with each and every bill currently filed in the Philippine Senate right now, but Senator Legarda’s bill might be the third of its kind in the works. The veteran senator filed her own prepaid SIM card registration act a few days ago, no doubt adding her personal touch in tackling the issue.
Fellow Senator Panfilo Lacson filed his version of the measure late last July, while Senator Dick Gordon put his bill up for deliberation last June, and pushed for it again last August, as a response to the number of prank calls on the recently launched 911 emergency hotline.
“If we can make postpaid mobile subscribers submit identification, why can’t we do the same for prepaid mobile phone users? With SIM cards registered, criminals and perpetrators who exploit the anonymity provided by prepaid SIM can be identified and tracked down easily,” Legarda said.
Senate Bill No. 1160 directs the sellers of SIM cards to require buyers to present valid identification, with photo, to confirm their identity. They are also required to accomplish and sign a control-numbered registration form used by the respective public telecommunications entity of the SIM card being purchased.
As for failure to comply? Here’s an excerpt from Senator Legarda’s press release on her bill:
If the end user fails to comply with the requirements, they will be refused the sale of a SIM card by the direct seller. In case the person intending to purchase a SIM card is a minor, the parents or guardian will be required to give their express consent in writing, and submit the same with the registration form and valid identification cards with photo of both the minor and the parents or guardian.
The direct seller can also make further inquiries or require the submission of additional identification if necessary, and withhold the sale of the SIM card pending compliance with the additional requirements.
Your thoughts on the matter, readers? Do we really need a prepaid SIM card registration law? How practical is the bill when it comes to enforcement? Post your comments below.