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Sen. Gatchalian calls for passage of SIM card registration bill

SIM-registration-Philippines

Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian is pushing for a bill that requires the registration of purchased prepaid subscriber identity module or SIM cards to help track down criminals that commit SIM card-related fraud.

Per Gatchalian, there have already been a number of victims of online fraud. He himself got scammed out of more than ₱1 million earlier this month, when he discovered his credit card account was charged for several FoodPanda delivery orders. He said the scammers somehow managed to obtain the one-time password (OTP)—a common security feature used for confirming online transactions—using a prepaid mobile phone.

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Should the Senate Bill No. 176 become law, service provides of SIM cards must require customers to provide proof of identification and submit a registration form, copies of which are kept by the said provider as well as the National Telecommunications Commission. Gatchalian first filed the bill in 2016. He also recently filed a bill aimed at eliminating phone load expiration dates.

Passage of the bill is a challenge, however, as those opposed to the bill worry about its data privacy implications.

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