The Senate on Thursday unanimously approved on third and final reading the bill that will require the registration of subscriber identification module (SIM) cards.
Voting 22-0-0, senators gave their nod to Senate Bill (SB) 2395 or the proposed SIM Card Registration Act, which seeks to eradicate criminal activities aided by mobile phone, internet, or other electronic communication devices, such as terrorism, text scams, unsolicited indecent or obscene messages, bank fraud, and disinformation.
“The measure establishes another layer of security protection for Filipinos which will hopefully deter criminals from perpetrating their wicked plans. It is high time that we beef up our own infrastructures to address these threats to security,” Senator Grace Poe, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Public Services and sponsor of the bill said during Thursday’s session.
To deter the proliferation of SIM card, internet or electronic communication-aided crimes, the bill will mandate public telecommunication entities (PTEs) to require the registration of SIM cards as a prerequisite to their sale and activation.
Under the bill, subscribers will be required to personally submit to PTEs a registration form containing their full name, date of birth and address. They must also present a valid government ID or similar documents that will verify their identity. Minors, meanwhile, must be accompanied by their parents or guardian during the purchase and registration of SIM cards.
Sellers could refuse the sale of SIM cards if buyers fail to comply with the requirements.
All existing and active subscribers shall register with their PTEs within a year from its effectivity, the bill stated. Failure to do so within the prescribed period will authorize the PTEs to deactivate the SIM card number.