This new law will help prevent text scams that have plagued several users since the pandemic.
The SIM Registration Act is expected to be signed today, 10th October by President Ferdinand “BongBong” Marcos Jr, making it the first law signed during his administration.
“President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. will sign into law on Monday, Oct. 10., the SIM Card Registration Act which aims to promote accountability in the use of SIM cards and aid law enforcers to track perpetrators of crimes committed through phones” Cheloy Gerafil, officer-in-charge of the Office of the Press Secretary said in a statement.
When enacted, All new and existing postpaid and prepaid SIM Card users are required to register within 180 days, or about six months to avoid the risk of deactivation. This could be extended by another 120 days or about four months. SIM Card users are required to present any form of a valid document with a photo.
If a user fails to register within the given amount of time, their SIM Card would be deactivated immediately. However, they can be reactivated if the user registers in accordance with the law.
If a user is a foreigner, then they must present their passport and must give a Philippine address. Minors are also required to activate but the registration will be under the name of their parent/s or guardian/s.
Meanwhile, tourists visiting the Philippines who wish to get a SIM Card are required to present their passport, proof of address in the Philippines, and a return ticket to their country (or any ticket showing the date and time of their departure from the Philippines).
PTEs, agents, and employees who violate this law will be fined from Php 500,000 to 4 million for breach of confidentiality. In addition, those who refuse to register without any valid reason can be fined from Php 100,000 up to 1 million.
Telecoms companies like Globe, Smart, and Dito expressed their support for this new implementation. Meanwhile, the National Privacy Commission (NPC) hopes that this new law would “prevent the proliferation of various and evolving electronic communication-aided criminal activities.”