House OKs bill on sim card registration on final reading
The House of Representatives has approved on third and final reading a bill requiring the registration of all users of sim cards.
Voting 167-6 without abstention, the lower chamber approved on Tuesday House Bill 7233 or the “Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) Card Registration Act.”
The proposed measure aims to help law enforcement agencies in tracking lawless criminals who use mobile phones with post-paid and pre-paid SIM cards to pursue nefarious activities such as kidnapping for ransom and petty crimes like theft.
The bill also:
1. Establishes a system of sale and distribution of SIM card by registering pertinent data in a registration form;
2. Provides for mandatory registration of users who are foreign nationals;
3. Mandates all public telecommunications entities (PTEs) and direct SIM card sellers to establish a register and submit it to the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT);
4. Provides for a confidentiality clause that prohibits disclosure of any information of a subscriber, unless upon subpoena or lawful order from a competent court;
5. Mandates all PTEs to to maintain a SIM card register of their subcribers and submit it to DICT every six months;
6. Mandates registration of exsiting pre-paid SIM card phone subscribers. Failure to do so would result to desactivation of card.
The proposed measure also provides penalties for violations as follows:
1. If committeed by a PTE, the fine is P300,000 fine (1st offense), P500,000 (2nd offense), and P1 million (3rd and subsequent offenses);
2. If committed by a direct seller, the penalty is suspension of operation and a fine ranging from P5,000 to P50,000.
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