THE Senate of the Philippines has ratified the bicameral version of the Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) Registration Bill, Senator Grace Poe said on Wednesday, September 28, 2022.

Poe, the chairperson of the Senate contingent to the Bicameral Conference Committee, said they have harmonized the disagreeing provisions of Senate Bill No. 1310 and House Bill No. 14 known as the SIM Registration Act.

Among were the “reconciled” provisions of the measure:

*The term "card" from the bill will be dropped considering that the innovation in mobile technology is fast-paced and the law must be able to accommodate all present and future variations of SIMs;

*Registration goes directly through the telecommunications platform as a prerequisite to the activation of a SIM, noting that it poses less risk of data breach and places less burden on small-scale resellers who may not have the proper training to handle personal information;

*180-day period of registration of a SIM by a minor through a parent or guardian;

*The data of existing postpaid subscribers should already be included in the SIM register to ease the process;

*Telco firms should establish necessary registration facilities in remote areas within 60 days from the effectivity of the act.

Poe said they made a few modifications to ensure that the SIM registration process is clearly outlined and seamless, inclusive and accessible, and tourism and business environment-friendly.

She said they clarified the documentary requirements for foreign nationals who purchase local SIMs.

Poe said they also added extra measures in the confidentiality clause such as ensuring that the court order for disclosure is only upon finding of probable cause.

“Mr. President, today we finally send a clear reply to these scam and spam messages--"Stop" under pain of penalty. As the text capital of the world, we hold precious our means to communicate, and anyone who abuses or misemploys the system for their own fraudulent and unlawful interests must be traceable and subsequently held accountable,” she said in her speech.

“This is not a magic cure for all our telco problems, but it is a huge step in the right direction. I couldn't be more grateful and proud to be part of a Congress that prioritizes the welfare and safety of our end-users,” she added. (SunStar Philippines)