Voting 21-0-0, senators approved on its third and final reading a bill which seeks to require phone users to register their SIM cards in order to deter the proliferation of SIM card aided crimes.
Before the start of their holiday break, Senators on Thursday passed SB 2395 or the proposed SIM Card Registration Act which includes a provision designed to combat trolls on social media.
Under SB 2395, failure of registering SIM cards would mean the card number would either be deactivated or retired by the telecommunications company.
This comes as a way to stop cases of SIM card, internet, or electronic communication-aided crimes including text scams, unsolicited or indecent messages, bank fraud, libel, anonymous online defamation, trolling, hate speech, and the spread of disinformation.
A new provision was also included in the bill by Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon which will require social media platforms operating in the Philippines to require those who want to create accounts to use their real names and phone number upon registration.
Senator Drilon says this will help prevent creation of fake accounts which are also known as troll accounts.
Registering SIM cards with fake information can lead to jail time between 6 months up to 12 years, a fine up to P200,000, or both once SB 2395 is signed into law.