Monday, June 17, 2024

House passes SIM card registration bill on final reading

The House of Representatives on Monday, Sept. 20, approved on third and final reading House Bill 14, which require the registration of subscriber identity module (SIM) cards in mobile devices.

The proposed measure received 250 affirmative votes, six negative votes and one abstention.

The legislation seeks to regulate the sale and distribution of SIM cards; promote end-user accountability; prevent the proliferation of mobile phone scams and data breaches; and assist law enforcement agencies in resolving crimes involving the use of mobile phones.

The bill would also establish a system of sale and registration of SIM cards through registration forms. Aside from full name, date of birth, gender, and address, subscribers must also present the original copy of a valid government-issued identification document. This would be facilitated by all local telcos and direct sellers.

In compliance with Republic Act 10173 or the “Data Privacy Act of 2012,” local telcos are prohibited from disclosing any information of a subscriber, and all information would be treated as confidential.

The bill provides that all existing prepaid subscribers would be required to register with their respective service providers. Failure to do so would authorize the telco to automatically deactivate its services to the concerned subscriber.

When signed into law, telcos who violate its provisions would be fined with P300,000 for the first offense, P500,000 for the second offense, and P1 million for the third and subsequent offenses.

As for direct sellers, a penalty of suspension of its operation and a fine of P5,000 to P50,000 would be imposed.

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