MANILA, Philippines — A bill steps away from becoming a law awaits President Rodrigo Duterte’s signature requiring the registration of all SIM cards in the country.The Senate Bill No. 2395 and House Bill No. 5793, or the proposed SIM Card Registration Act, was signed by the Senate and House of Representatives during a bicameral conference committee.
The proposed law is intended to prevent SIM card-affiliated fraud and other crimes as well as a measure against internet trolls. In compliance with the bill, when making an account, social media account providers must ask for a real name and phone number. All public telecommunications organizations (PTEs) must register SIM cards before they can be sold or activated, according to the reconciled SIM card registration bill.
Senator Grace Poe, one of the bill’s sponsor, stressed that all existing SIM card users with active services must register within 180 days of the proposed law’s enactment. Poe stated during the bicam meeting that lawmakers have specified that foreign nationals can buy SIM cards only if they meet certain standards, such as having a passport and proof of address in the Philippines, among other things.
Subsequently, the information gathered during registration will be sent to a centralized database, which will be “strictly serve as a register for the processing, activation or deactivation of subscription and shall not be used for any other purpose.”
“Whatever information obtained in the registration process cannot be disclosed to any person except in compliance with any law authorizing disclosure, such as in the case of the Data Privacy Act; or in compliance with a court order or any other legal process; or with the written consent of the subscriber. No waiver of absolute confidentiality is allowed,” Poe asserted.
Poe went on requiring PTEs and social media providers to maintain relevant data and information for ten years after the end-user deactivates their cell number or social media account.
“We hope that by legislating this measure, we would be able to eradicate mobile phone, internet, or electronic communication-aided criminal activities,” the senator added.
“This has been a long time coming but I hope that the passage of this bill will result in a safer and more secure mobile use and cyberspace here in our country,” she concluded.