The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) plans to resurrect a ten-year-old plan to enforce the mandatory registration of SIM cars in a bid to counteract criminal activities and terrorism. According to NTC Deputy Commissioner, Douglas Michael Mallillin, a draft memorandum circular is being prepared in the event that Congress fails to enact a law before it adjourns for the forthcoming elections in May. Under the plan, telcos would be required to ensure that either they or their authorised vendors register the personal details of anyone buying a SIM card. The Philippines had hoped to install such a set-up in 2000 but its efforts were derailed by privacy and cost concerns. ‘If we started as early as the year 2000, we could have been at the forefront of anti-terrorism efforts,’ Mallillin said, adding that at that date the Philippines was home to around two million mobile phone subscribers, compared with around 70 million today.
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