President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. signed the SIM Registration Act on Monday, October 10.
The act aims to promote accountability in the use of the Subscriber Identity Module or SIM and help Philippine law enforcers to track perpetrators of crimes committed through phones, especially Filipinos who are receiving a lot of SMS spam.
Here’s what you need to know.
Anyone who has a SIM would have to provide and submit these details in a registration form provided by Public Telecommunication Entity or PTE
- Full name
- Complete address
- Date of birth
- Cellphone number of the SIM card and serial number
Aside from the required information, you must also present an original and a true copy of any government ID with a photo, such as:
- Philippine National ID
- Driver’s License
- SSS/GSIS ID
- UMID Card
- Senior Citizen’s Card
- NBI Clearance
- Police Clearance
- Firearms License
- Voter’s ID
- TIN ID
- PRC ID
- OWWA ID
- PWD Card
- School ID (for minors)
Foreign Nationals / ExPat Required Information
On the other hand, foreign nationals also need to provide the required information, such as
- Full name
- Passport number
- Address in the Philippines
and they will be asked and present these documents
- Return or departure ticket (for tourists)
- Proof of address in the Philippines
- Alien Employment Permit
- Alien Certificate of Registration ID
- School registration ID (for students)
- Other pertinent documents
Registered SIM Cards are only valid for 30 days upon arrival of the tourist
Where to register?
It is expected that three telcos, SMART, Globe, and DITO will act as Public Telecommunication Entity and will administer the registration of SIM thru their platforms.
As of this writing, there’s no announcement yet from the telcos on how they’ll be implemented the registration.
How about I need someone to buy me a SIM Card?
All you need is a notarized Special Power of Attorney, stating that you authorized someone on your behalf to buy you a SIM card. Both of you are also required to present an original and true photocopy of the ID.
When you are buying a SIM for a minor (18 and below), together with the registration form, a parent or a guardian needs written consent, a valid ID of the minor, and a valid ID of the parent or the guardian.
What if I don’t want to be registered?
You only have 180 days or 6 months since the effectivity of this law (15 days after the law is published in the Official Gazette or in a newspaper of general circulation) to register your SIM. Otherwise, your SIM card will be deactivated.
This deadline can be extended by the Department of Information and Communications Technology for another 120 days.
DICT is yet to set implementing guidelines for PTEs and retailers for the registration of SIM.
How to ensure that my data is secured?
Since your SIM has been linked to your personal identifiable data and information, the act protects you from any breach of privacy. According to this law, the data will be treated as absolutely confidential. You also have control as a subscriber (via written consent) when to access your information.
However, It is only disclosed when there’s an issued subpoena or order of a court upon finding probable cause or upon written request from a law enforcement agency in relation to an ongoing investigation that a particular number is used in the commission of a crime or it was used as means to commit an unlawful act.
President Bongbong Marcos’ predecessor, Former President Rodrigo Duterte earlier vetoed a version of the bill as it contains requirements to register social media accounts. But HouseBIll No. 14 opted out of this provision.
What are the penalties? Just curious 🤔
The penalties are pretty hefty, if you may be asked.
If the offense is committed by the PTE, in case that data is breached, or for whatsoever reason that violates any provision of the law, the first offense costs you Php 300,000. Second offense not exceeding Php 500,000. While on the third offense and subsequent offenses will be Php 1,000,000.
Meanwhile, if the offenses are committed by the direct seller, a suspension of operation will be imposed, and a fine of Php 5,000 to Php 50,000 will also be imposed.
Will these stop spammers and cybercriminals?
If properly implemented, this law prevents anyone from misusing and abusing cellular technologies to intentionally commit a crime, steal someone’s money and spoof someone’s privacy. It also stops anyone who buys SIM cards from purposely using them for a dummy/burner phone.
What do you think guys? Let us know in the comments