PH telcos ready to implement SIM card registration bill once signed by Duterte

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, February 3) — Philippine telecommunication players are welcoming the ratification of a measure seeking the registration of SIM cards of mobile phone users, stressing their readiness for its implementation once approved by President Rodrigo Duterte.

In separate statements, dominant players Smart Communications and Globe Telecom, as well as new entrant DITO Telecommunity, all vocalized support for the proposed measure.

The bill, only awaiting Duterte's signature, will require all social media networks to get real names and phone numbers of users upon creation of their accounts, primarily to help combat telecom fraud.

READ: Congress ratifies bicam report on SIM card registration bill

"We welcome this development from Congress. We have always maintained our stance that the SIM card registration bill will help quash the proliferation of fraudulent spam messages, smishing cases and fraud, and will boost telecom security efforts to keep subscribers safe," Smart Communications vice president for Regulatory Affairs Atty. Roy Ibay said in a statement.

"We are also ready to support and aid in the development of the IRR (Implementing Rules and Regulations) to ensure the bill's effective administration, while safeguarding privacy and information security," Ibay added.

The Smart official also said the policy could further increase e-commerce adoption.

Globe Telecom likewise echoed the same statement, stressing this is "part of our commitment to support the government in its fight against fraud, terrorism and other crimes".

"It also paves the way for greater digital and financial inclusion," it said.

The Ayala-led firm further noted, "As the bill awaits the President’s signature, we are looking forward to threshing out critical issues surrounding its implementation, including addressing challenges on the timetable for registration of tens of millions of SIM cards currently in use."

Meanwhile, during a virtual briefing on Thursday, DITO Telecommunity chief technology officer Rodolfo Santiago said that their camp has already considered the mandatory registration of SIM cards when it was crafting its IT plan.

"We will have no major challenge in terms of implementing whatever the objective of the law. Basically, we will just await it to be passed," he said.