Press Release
December 16, 2021

SIM Card Registration Act gets Senate's final nod

The Senate unanimously approved on third and final reading Thursday, Dec. 16, 2021, 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," Sen. 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.

Aside from the mandatory SIM card registration, SB 2395 was also amended, as introduced by Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon, to mandate social media account providers to require users to register their real names and phone numbers before the creation of their social media accounts.

The bill proposes fines or imprisonment for failure to comply with the mandated registration, breach of confidentiality, use of fictitious identities, spoofing, and unauthorized sale of SIM cards.

"I would like to reiterate at this point that the policy of SIM card registration in the country will be implemented with full regard to our right to privacy. As a champion of privacy rights, we ensured that the measure was crafted in a manner that accords the highest respect for the Filipinos' right to confidentiality. Such right is sacred now, and it will remain as such even after this bill becomes law and is enforced," Poe assured.

"May the passage of this bill pave the way for a safer and more secure mobile-use and cyberspace in the country," she added.

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