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SIM registration bills welcomed

BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN

Globe Telecom welcomed the progress of bills in the Senate and the House of Representatives that mandates SIM registration for mobile phone users as a crucial step in addressing criminal activity aided by electronic communications.

 As in the previous Congress, Globe is consistent in supporting the SIM Registration bills pending both in the House and the Senate.

“We reiterate our support for legislation that would require all mobile phone users to register, as this will serve as a deterrent against criminality enabled by the anonymity that the status quo affords prepaid SIM users,” said Froilan Castelo, Globe Group General Counsel.

In a statement, Globe believes that this will reduce spam and scam SMS, which have been escalating in various modes and methods in recent months.

Globe, however, hopes that its proposals to the bills will be considered and incorporated.

“One, there is a need for an authentic, verifiable source document that establishes a SIM holder’s identity. This is necessary given the ubiquity of fake IDs. It will also help if mobile phone operators can have access to the National ID system in order to verify the ID submitted by the subscriber,” Castelo added.

Globe also requests for an amendment to a provision that requires telcos to keep SIM registration data for a period of 10 years from deactivation.

“We propose that the bill instead mandate telcos to store historical data on registered prepaid SIM owners given that mobile numbers, being a finite combination of digits, are recycled and may be assigned to different users in varied periods of time,” Castelo said.

This is especially true in the case of prepaid SIM users who are known to frequently change their numbers. The data retention period of 10 years will only be appropriate for registered postpaid SIMs.

Globe is looking forward to continued collaboration and close coordination with the government, towards the final passage and rational implementation of the SIM Registration bill.

We are certain that this legislation will make a dent on the currently thriving trade of fraudsters, who are an escalating threat to our customers and our business, and a growing burden to law enforcement and regulators, Castelo said.*

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