NTC, telcos urged to make SIM registration convenient, secure, inclusive

By HANA BORDEY,GMA Integrated News

The government and the telecommunications companies must ensure that the mandatory registration of Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) will be convenient, secure and inclusive to end users, Senator Grace Poe said Monday.

"The SIM registration should be as easy as texting or sending a message," Poe, chairperson of the Senate public services committee, said in a statement a day before the implementing rules and registration of the SIM Registration Act takes effect.

Poe prodded the National Telecommunications Commission, regulators, and other concerned agencies to ensure that there would be "all hands on deck" for the orderly and effective implementation of the law.

Telecommunication companies must also have user-friendly and secure portals to encourage end-users to register their SIM without inconvenience and interruption of services.

Further, Poe said the system must also accommodate people in need of assistance such as persons with disabilities, senior citizens, minors, pregnant, and those without internet connection,

"Massive and constant information drive should also be undertaken to encourage subscribers to register their SIM and to assure them of the safety of their data," said the lawmaker.

The legislator pointed out that connectivity is crucial to people's daily lives and in bolstering the economy's recovery. Hence, the law must provide a safe and secure environment in using mobile technology.

"We can reap the SIM Registration law's full potential with an effective implementation, and we must do it together as a nation," Poe said.

Warning vs. scam

Meanwhile, Senator Sherwin Gatchalian warned the public against a scam using virtual wallets such as GCash ahead of the rollout of the SIM Registration Law.

In a separate statement, Gatchalian mentioned a fraudulent email made to appear as coming from GCash Promotions advising end-users that their transactions have been restricted.

To reinstate the feature, Gatchalian said consumers have to pre-register by clicking a link, which can compromise the data of the end-users.

“Ipinaglaban natin ang pagsasabatas ng SIM registration sa nakalipas na maraming taon dahil gusto nating protektahan ang mga gumagamit ng SIM laban sa panloloko ng cyber criminals. Kailangan nating abisuhan ang ating mga kababayan na mag-ingat nang husto laban sa mga sari-saring pambibiktima ng mga kawatan,” Gatchalian, co-author of the SIM Registration Law, said.

(We fought for the passage of the SIM Registration Act in the past years because we want to protect the users of SIM against cyber criminals. We need to advise our countrymen to exercise caution against these schemes.)


“Identity theft is precisely one of the online schemes that we want to prevent relative to the enactment of the SIM registration law. The process for the disclosure of personal information is a rigid one that necessitates a court order,” he added.

In a recent Facebook post, GCash warned its users against messages that falsely represent the platform.

It said that the platform is not sending links through text messages, email, and messaging apps.

GCash urged the public to report these incidents to its help center.

Moreover, Gatchalian urged the public to register their SIM immediately, as this would enable authorities to track cyber criminals who take advantage of customers.

SIM users also need to make sure that they register only through a secure platform or website provided by their respective service providers, he added.

The NTC earlier released the IRR of the SIM Card Registration Act, which was signed into law by President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. in October.

The law mandates all public telecommunications entities (PTEs) or direct sellers of SIM cards to require users to present a valid identification document with a photo upon purchase.

PTEs are also required to establish their own registration platform, and submit a verified list of their authorized dealers and agents across the country to the NTC, along with an updated list every quarter.

Under the IRR, end users are also required to immediately report any change in the information supplied in their applications for registration and any instances of stolen SIMs.

In case of the death of the end user, the immediate family or relatives of the end user are required to report this to the respective PTEs, where they will file for any activation or deactivation moving forward.

PTEs are also required to deactivate SIM cards used for fraudulent text or calls upon due investigation. —KG, GMA Integrated News