Now that it’s a law, what’s the next step?
Now that the SIM Card Registration Act is a law, there are a few things you must keep in mind. If you could recall, there was a similar bill before called also called the SIM Card Registration Bill which was vetoed by former president Rodrigo Duterte as the previous proposal also mandated that users must only have one social media account.
The newly amended law was created in order to combat text scams that has plagued the Philippines for several years. It is an effort by the Philippine government to connect SIM Cards to real identities of each SIM Card user. When registered, information given can be used to track suspicious users who are to perform dubious and criminal activities.
- Existing and new SIM Card users can have their SIM Card registered for no more than 180 days, or within six months, to their respective network carrier
- If a user fails to register on time, the SIM Card would be deactivated. An additional 120 days or two months would be given upon submitting a valid request to the Department of Information and Communications (DICT) to successfuly register their SIM Card.
- Registration is required for all postpaid and prepaid users.
- Public Telecommunication Entities (PTEs) or the telecommunication companies have 30 days to submit a list of all authorized dealers, branches, and resellers to the National Telecommunications Commission. They also have to submit a refreshed list of authorized dealers every quarter.
- The SIM Registration Act requires users of one valid document with a photo. These could any be of the following:
- Driver’s License
- SSS/GSIS Card
- National ID
- NBI Clearance
- Police Clearance
- Senior Citizen’s ID
- Voter’s ID
- TIN ID
- PRC ID
- IBP ID
- OWWA ID
- PWD ID
- Government Office ID
- School ID (for students)
What information would be required?
PTEs would require users to submit the following information:
- Complete and Full Name as stated in the Birth Certificate
- Complete Address
- Birth Date
- Cellphone Number and Serial Number of the SIM Card
DATA PRIVACY: Who could access my data?
- Your data could be accessed upon a subpoena as requested by a court.
- Any law enforcement agency can perform a written request for the purpose of criminal investigation.
- Your data will be treated with AN EXTREME LEVEL OF CONFIDENTIALITY and unless stated otherwise by the registrant.
WHO ELSE ARE COVERED?
Foreigners are also required to register if they wish to use or purchase a SIM Card in the Philippines. They must present a passport and must give a Philippine address.
Minors are also required to register under the name of their parent or guardian.
Tourists visiting the Philippines who wish to purchase or use a Philippine SIM Card must present the following:
- Any proof of address in the Philippines
- Return Ticket or any Ticket showing the date of time of their departure from the Philippines.
In addition, SIM Cards registered to tourists will only be valid for 30 days. Afterwards, their SIM Card will deactivate.
What are the penalties?
- Php 500,000 to Php 4 million for breach of confidentiality
- Php 100,000 to Php 1 million for those who fail or refuse to register a SIM Card without any valid reason
- 6 months to 2 years imprisonment for those who present forged or false information and selling of stolen SIM Cards