The 911 National Emergency Hotline was activated yesterday — incredibly convenient to know that we only need to remember one number in case of an unfortunate incident. In case you missed the photo making its rounds on social media regarding the number of calls the hotline received, here’s a quick break down. From the hours of 12:01AM to 7AM, our new emergency hotline received 2,475 calls. 1,119 of which were dropped calls — probably citizens checking to see if the hotline was active — and then there were the 304 prank calls. We shouldn’t have to tell you that you shouldn’t tie up emergency lines for what you think is a laugh and a half. That’s why Senator Dick Gordon wants to push the passage of SIM Card Registration Bill to help deter these prank calls and, hopefully, get rid of those pesky text scams and business solicitations.
Just to recap, Senator Gordon filed Senate Bill No. 105 or the SIM Card Registration Act back in June. Section 4 of the SIM Card Registration Act requires mobile phone companies to register its subscribers, whether prepaid or postpaid, and maintain a directory that includes: Name, Mobile Number, Address, and the SIM Card serial number of the Subscriber.
This is something we’ve seen done during our overseas travels where you have to produce identification so they can scan it into their system and register your purchase. This will also be the case here in the Philippines if the bill does get passed. Refusal or inability to produce an ID and completion of the registration form means that you won’t be sold a SIM Card.
In case your iffy about our personal information in one directory, there’s also a provision in the bill for that. Section 5 of the SIM Card Registration Act indicates that these directories will not be looked into except when probably cause is determined by a competent judge after examination under oath of affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses, if any. We just hope there aren’t any boo-boos and they are indeed held under lock and key.
If you violate the bill in any way, you can get slapped with a Php 5,000 to Php 50,000 fine. What about existing SIM Cards and Mobile Numbers? They will have to be registered within 3 months of having the bill passed or these numbers will be deactivated.