One of the things to be done when I arrived in Dubai that was around three years ago was to purchase a simcard and I was suprised because buying one would require me to provide identification cards to the retailer. Since I was on visit visa at that time, I presented a copy of my visa and passport copy too. Those served as my identification which enabled me to own an Etisalat simcard. The activation though was fast, just a few hours after the purchase and I was good to go.
Why they needed those identifications? Well if you wonder why there are lots of sms and text scams in the Philippines, that is because we don't have that central system wherein the government have an idea of who holds that phone numbers. Anyone here in the Philippines can get himself a simcard for as low as fifteen pesos. I remember I paid 35dirhams for the simcard in Dubai that's more likely 400 pesos.
But what is the advantage of this system? There's a lot though one that I can tell is the elimination of text scams. No one would ever dare to scam anyone if the police and the government has a record of who owns this number.
Today, I am glad to read on the news that this bill has been already approved from yesterday. House Bill 5231 also known as the Subscriber Identity Model (SIM) Card Registration Act.