Senate to take up bill on registration of SIM cards

Published January 26, 2021, 11:14 PM

by Vanne Elaine Terrazola

The Senate will start tackling on Wednesday, January 27, the bills that seek the mandatory registration of prepaid subscriber identity module, or SIM cards, and the non-expiration of unused prepaid load credits and data.


Senator Grace Poe said Senate public services and the trade, commerce and entrepreneurship committees will conduct a joint hearing on at least seven bills proposing to require the registration of prepaid SIM cards. 

Meanwhile, there are two Senate bills proposing the prohibition on the imposition of expiration date of prepaid load and mandating a roll-over data allocation scheme.

In a statement Tuesday, Poe, public services committee chairperson, recalled government officials saying that phishing, online selling scams and misinformation were prevalent during the imposition of strict quarantine rules amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

She also noted a report from the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund stating that the Philippines saw a 260-percent increase in reports of online child abuse materials during the lockdown.  

Several officials were invited to air their positions about the proposed laws, including heads of the Department of Information and Communications Technology, Department of Justice, Department of Trade and Industry, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and the  National Telecommunications Commission.

Also invited to the virtual hearing were officials of the National Bureau of Investigation; Philippine National Police; and  National Privacy Commission Commissioner.

Executives of telecommunications companies are also invited to speak for the private sector.