Press Release
February 2, 2011


No additional charges, both to network providers and subscribers of pre-paid SIM cards and no invasion to privacy will be committed.

Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III today gave this assurance maintaining that appropriate safeguards will be in place in the crafting of the law making mandatory the registration of pre-paid SIM cards.

"This should be of no cost to the subscribers. The network providers cannot pass on any charges to the consumers. For what reason? For the registration process? With the huge income that these telecoms companies rake in, it will only entail them a minimum amount in complying with this policy," Sotto III said.

Sotto III also sees no reason for the telecoms firms to increase their cost of pre-paid SIM cards, currently priced between P50 to P100 each, due to registration procedure.

"There should be no additional expense to anyone. It is just a matter of public safety," said Sotto III.

On the privacy issue, Sotto III said the telecoms companies can only make the information accessible to authorities if the SIM card had been used in the commission of a crime or to relate to issues that are of public concerned safety.

Furthermore, valid identification cards will be required before any pre-paid SIM card can be purchased.

"Anyone who will present a fake ID will be penalized. Whoever will allow registration of the person who fails to comply with the prerequisite shall also be held liable to the law," Sotto III said.

"This may be seen by some as an inconvenience but looking at a bigger picture, we could be saving lives in the future. Take the case of the recent Makati bus bombing incident, if we already have this in place, authorities could have traced immediately the owner of the SIM card recovered in the scene and not face a blank wall like what is happening to them now," added Sotto III.

Sotto III is the prime mover of this proposition in the Senate, dating way back 11th Congress.

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