President Duterte rejects SIM Card Registration Bill. Cites privacy concerns

The bill also includes registration for social media, which, according to Duterte, was not part of the original bill.

Cherry Mobile Aqua S9 with SIM Card tray on the left

President Rodrigo Duterte has vetoed the proposed SIM Card Registration Bill, as announced by the Palace this Friday. The goal of the bill was to have every individual who owns a SIM Card have it registered using their real and legitimate information. This bill was created in order to eliminate phone-aided terrorism and reduce SIM Card fraud.

The bill was vetoed because it also involved social media. Citing privacy and data breach concerns. Acting presidential spokesperson Martin Andanar said that the inclusion of social media “was not part of the original version of the bill”.

The proposed bill required users to register their SIM Card before having it activated once it is purchased. Those who already own one have to register it using their legitimate info within 180 days. Failure to do so would have their SIM deactivated. The bill also required users to use their real name and phone number when creating a social media account.

Andanar said that Duterte was “constrained to disagree” with the inclusion of social media as part of the bill. Stating that it may give rise to a “dangerous state intrusion and surveillance threatening many constitutionally protected rights.”

It is incumbent upon the Office of the President to ensure that any statute is consistent with the demands of the Constitution, such as those which guarantee individual privacy and free speech,” Andanar said.

Source: Inquirer, Rappler, CNN Philippines