MANILA, Philippines – President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. signed into law on Monday, October 10, the SIM Card Registration Act which aims to promote accountability in the use of SIM cards and aid law enforcers to track perpetrators of crimes committed through phones.
“We will soon be able to provide law enforcement agencies with the tools needed to resolve crimes perpetrated with the use of these SIM cards, as well as providing a strong deterrence against the commission of wrongdoing,” Marcos said.
|President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. has signed on Monday, October 10, the SIM Card Registration Act (Photo courtesy of the Office of the Press Secretary)|
Under the SIM Card Registration Act, public telecommunication entities (PTEs) or direct sellers will require SIM card end users to present a valid identification document to validate their identities during SIM card purchases.
PTEs will also be required to maintain subscribers SIM Card Register, containing the information required under the law.
They are also mandated to submit a verified list of their authorized dealers and agents nationwide to the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) and also carry out quarterly updates each year.
To cover all SIM card users, PTEs are mandated to ensure the registration of existing pre-paid SIM card phone subscribers within a prescribed period.
Failure to comply will result in the deactivation of services.
Individuals registering using false or fictitious information, fictitious identities, and fraudulent documents or identifications will be penalized.
Data privacy, confidentiality
The legislation also has provisions making it paramount to protect the confidentiality and data privacy rights of subscribers, which will take effect upon SIM card purchases.
PTEs will only be required to disclose subscribers’ information only after a subpoena or court order is issued upon finding probable cause.
They can likewise be compelled to do so upon written request from a law enforcement agency in relation to an ongoing investigation.
Breach of confidentiality due to negligence, registered SIM card spoofing, sale of stolen SIM cards, and non-compliance to government requirements following SIM card sale or transfer are punishable under the law.
The President commended the legislators for coming up with the law, the first legislative measure that successfully passed the approval of the bicameral panel of both houses in the 19th Congress.
— The Summit Express