Categories: PoliticsTelco News

House OKs bill mandating SIM card registration

The House of Representatives has passed on final reading a measure seeking to require the registration of subscriber identity module (SIM) cards.

Lawmakers voted 181-6-0, approving House Bill No. 5793, which aims to support law enforcers in tracking down those who use mobile phones in criminal activities including theft and kidnapping.

The said bill mandates all public telecommunications entities (PTEs) and direct sellers of prepaid and postpaid SIM cards to fill out a registration form with the SIM card owners’ full name, birthdate, gender, and address, plus control numbers, and present a valid ID with photo.

Foreign nationals in the Philippines who will buy and use SIM cards are also covered by the said bill.

To protect the information of SIM card owners, a confidentiality clause that prohibits disclosure of any information “unless upon subpoena or lawful order from a competent court or written request from a law enforcement agency in relation to an ongoing investigation, that a particular number requested is used in the commission of a crime.”

PTEs and direct sellers who will not comply with the rules stated in the bill may face suspension of operation, with penalties including a fine of up to PhP 1 million for PTEs, and PhP 50,000 for direct sellers.

 

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Myra Santos Santos

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