Home SIM card registration bill in the Philippines awaits signing by the President

SIM card registration bill in the Philippines awaits signing by the President


MANILA, PHILIPPINES — On Wednesday (February 2), the Senate and the House of Representatives ratified in their sessions the bicameral conference committee report on varying provisions of the proposed SIM Card Registration Act. The proposal is now awaiting the signature of President Rodrigo Duterte.

The House Bill 5793 and Senate Bill 2395, known as “An Act Eradicating Mobile Phone, Internet Or Electronic Communication-Aided Criminal Activities, Mandating For This Purpose Ownership Registration Of All SIM Cards For Electronic Devices And Social Media Accounts,” is a proposed law to help prevent crimes aided by mobile phones with SIM cards.

Deputy Speaker Wes Gatchalian, a principal author of the bill, said all telcos should require SIM card registration and subscription activation as a pre-requisite upon customers buying a SIM. The bill is a new way to fight cybercriminals who commit crimes such as bank fraud, text scams, libel, trolling, the spread of fake news, anonymous online defamation, indecent or obscene messages, and terrorism.

Existing SIM card subscribers shall register with their respective Public Telecommunication Entities (PTEs) within 180 days upon effectivity of the proposed law. An extension period of up to 120 days shall be allowed through a valid request to the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT).

Failure to register will result in automatic deactivation or retiring of the SIM card number. In case of loss, SIM card owners are responsible for reporting the said incident, including any change of information after registration.

Telcos have also expressed their support for the ratification of the SIM registration bill.

A statement by Globe Telecom said, “This is part of our commitment to support the government in its fight against fraud, terrorism and other crimes. It also paves the way for greater digital and financial inclusion.”

Smart Communications also shared their support with the following statement by Roy Iba, their vice president of regulatory affairs, “We welcome this development from Congress. We have always maintained our stance that the SIM card registration bill will help quash the proliferation of fraudulent spam messages, smishing cases and fraud, and will boost telecom security efforts to keep subscribers safe.” – WhatALife!

Source: (1), (2)

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