The House of Representatives approved the bill requiring the registration of all prepaid mobile phone Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) cards.
If Bill 5231 passes as law, it will cover millions of prepaid mobile phone users. Currently, anyone can buy a prepaid SIM card and use it without filling out any form or being asked to present an identification card.
Authors of the proposed bill said the use of modern technology is encouraged but it bears great responsibility. Technology should be used for the good of all and not for illegal or malicious purposes to take advantage of others.
They added that prepaid SIM cards are frequently used for illegal activities since they can’t be traced.
The proposed bill states that a seller of a prepaid SIM card should require the buyer to fill out a control numbered registration form issued by the mobile phone service provider that owns the SIM card.
The buyer needs to present clear proof of identification with photo, including passport, driver’s license or any government-issued ID card.
The registration form includes a confirmation from the seller that the buyer’s ID is authentic and the same person who provides the document.
The buyer will not be allowed to buy if they can’t present any clear proof of identification.
Sellers will submit the forms to the mobile phone service provider within 15 days from date of sale while the service provider will provide copies of registration documents to the national Telecommunications Commission (NTC).