The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) has revealed that it could start limiting SIM card registrations to 10 per person after observing that text scams remain prevalent long after the SIM Registration Act was implemented.
The plan was revealed to the press by DICT Undersecretary Alexander Ramos.
DICT to Limit SIM Card Registrations
Ramos shared that the decision to cap SIM card registration to 10 was decided along with the telco after the government agency initially proposed the cap of five SIM cards. He added that Filipinos prefer to buy prepaid SIM cards because of the ability to budget the services, thus it makes no sense for prepaid owners to own over 10 SIM cards.
However, it was revealed that the agency detected that one user registered 600 SIM cards.
DICT also said that one of the reasons behind the continuing surge of scam texts to the buying and selling of registered SIM cards nationwide. Over 100,000 pre-registered SIM cards listed for sale online were seized last month alone.
The agency wants to implement the 10 SIM registration limit “within a few months”. Moreover, it is working with telco providers, the National Privacy Commission (NPC), and the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to further strengthen the SIM Registration Act implementing rules and regulations.
“As far as the IRR is concerned, we are looking at strengthening it. We don’t need to amend [the law] because the safeguards are there. It’s more of the IRR that we need to really fix and we are working closely with the telcos, NTC and NPC on this,” said Ramos.
The SIM Registration Act was signed into law in October 10, 2022 with its implementation starting on December 27, 2022. The deadline was originally set for April 26, 2023 but was later on extended for 90 days.