Oliver Bugarin 0 0 0 5 min to read

On the second reading, the House approves the SIM card registration bill.

The House of Representatives passed a bill requiring the registration of all postpaid and prepaid mobile phone subscriber identity module (SIM) cards on Wednesday during the second reading.

House Bill 14, which seeks to stop the spread of mobile phone scams and data breaches and help law enforcement agencies solve crimes involving mobile phone units, was approved by the parliament during the plenary session through a voice vote.

Ferdinand Alexander “Sandro” Marcos, the senior deputy majority leader, raised the alarm about the prevalence of text scams and fraud through short message service (SMS) messaging in his speech on sponsorship. Marcos said that these scams range from “ridiculous winnings” in raffles to dangerous but fictitious warnings about issues with bank accounts.

According to Marcos, the pattern has changed to include people’s complete names, an “entirely new breach” of privacy in light of the dangerous disclosure of private, sensitive information.

According to Marcos, regulating the purchase or sale of SIM cards will allay our people’s concerns that their information is being arbitrarily and maliciously shared with certain parties without consent. “These text scams have shaken or eroded our trust and confidence in electronic commerce and digital transactions,” Marcos said.

Speaker Martin Romualdez, Representatives Yedda Romualdez and Jude Acidre from the Tingog Party list, and others are also major architects of the legislation.

For his part, Acidre asserted that requiring SIM card registration establishes users’ identities and holds them responsible for everything they do with their number.

The bill, according to Acidre, will prevent criminals from committing cybercrimes since they will be unable to conceal their identity.

Jurisprudence is replete with examples clarifying the limits of our rights in cases of illicit acts or when public safety and order are at stake, Acidre said. “Mr. Speaker, each day without the safeguards from the measure makes our people vulnerable to ripoffs that take their money and cause them anxiety; the onslaught of cybercrimes and fake news that tear away the fabric of our democracy.

Toby Tiangco, a representative for Navotas, stated that although the policy won’t be a “silver bullet” against the ongoing frauds that have exploded in recent months, it will act as a deterrent against dishonest persons preying on Filipinos.

The legislation requires every public telecommunications enterprise (PTE) or authorized supplier to demand that an end user fill out and sign in triplicate a numbered registration form provided by the PTE.

An affirmation that the person in front of the seller is the same person who completed the document and that they showed legitimate identification cards must be included on the form.

The form must include the subscriber’s assigned cellphone number, serial number, name, date of birth, gender, and address as they appear on a valid ID with a photo.

Any information in the registration document must be treated in the strictest of confidence unless the subscriber expressly authorizes access to it in writing.

Before the proposed SIM Card Registration Act becomes effective, all SIM cards sold or issued must be registered.

PTEs must keep a registry of all subscribers and the SIM cards they have been given. They must present a list of their authorized vendors and agents to the National Telecommunications Commission.

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