Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr approved a law aimed at curbing text scams by requiring all SIM cards to be registered and operators to maintain a register of prepaid subscribers.

The SIM registration act requires prepaid users to register and verify their phone numbers with their service provider within 180 days of the law going into effect.

Subscribers can register by presenting a valid government ID with photo. A 120-day extension can be requested from the Department of Information and Communications Technology.

Roy Ibay, Smart Communications VP and head of regulatory affairs, hailed the approval of the act, but stated operators need more time to prepare for SIM registration and test their systems to ensure the safety of the information collected.

He noted an information campaign on the SIM registration process will be launched, with Smart aiming to ensure its prepaid customers “a smooth and hassle-free experience upon registry of their SIMs”.

“This industry-wide effort will impact not just the telecommunications companies but the thousands of retailers and millions of Filipinos using telco services as well.”

He added Smart is prepared to participate in the drafting of of the bill’s implementing rules and regulations.