Press Release
September 14, 2021

CO-SPONSORSHIP SPEECH - September 14, 2021
SIM Card Registration Act

Good afternoon, Mr. President.

With the consent of the good sponsor and principal author of the bill, I would like to request to be made co-author and co-sponsor of the bill.

With the permission of the body, I rise before this august chamber to co-sponsor Senate Bill No. 2395 otherwise known as the SIM Card Registration Act which mandates the registration of SIM cards as a prerequisite to the sale thereof.

Mr. President, it is of common knowledge that the COVID-19 pandemic has made us realize the importance of our electronic device and gadgets, which before were merely limited to sending text messages and making phone calls. Now, it gives us the convenience of making online purchases, food deliveries, groceries, bank transactions and even virtual meetings and hearings with just a click of a button. A true innovation which, probably when we were younger, never thought would be invented.

Nonetheless, despite the hardship brought about the pandemic, we have heard of several news involving scammers which use the e-commerce platform to make undue advantage especially with our hardworking food delivery riders. Just last year, at least 10 riders delivered food amounting to P20,000 to a subdivision residence in Las Pinas City who claimed to have not placed any order through a food delivery app. Sadly, when these instances happen, there is no way we could identify the perpetrator and thus, our delivery riders are left with no choice but to bear the burden of losing their hard-earned money.

Bombings triggered by cellphones are likewise not new in our country. In January 27, 2019, security footage of a bombing shows one of the bombers holding a mobile phone that was used to trigger bomb blasts that targeted 2 churches in the south. On September 4, 2016, a blast in Davao City used a mobile phone to trigger an improvised explosive device detonation. And on January 26, 2011, 5 people were killed in Manila when a mortar triggered by a cellphone was detonated in a bus.

With the swift innovation of technology comes the speed of scam innovation brought about by scammers and perpetrators of online frauds. Nakakalungkot man isipin but there are still those who take advantage of the situation by creating fake accounts or using fake names and hiding behind the anonymity of the prepaid mobile number to carry out these crimes and prohibited acts. Unfortunately for us Mr. President, once the prepaid SIM card is disposed, there is no way for us to identify the perpetrator.

With the proposed measure and with the leadership of our hardworking sponsor, SIM card registration shall now be mandatory as a prerequisite for the sale thereof, including all existing SIM card subscribers with active services who shall likewise be required to register with their respective Public Telecommunications Entity. Others may think that it is a simple act but for me Mr. President, it is a huge step to deter the commission of crimes in the country. As the famous saying goes, "Prevention is better than cure."

Thank you and good afternoon again.

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