SIM card registration bill nears House passage
The House of Representatives has approved on second reading a bill requiring Filipino phone users to have their SIM cards registered with government.
House Bill 7233 or the proposed “Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) Card Registration Act” aims to help law enforcement agencies in tracking down 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 mandates the registration of SIM cards by directing direct sellers to require buyers to present valid ID cards with photo to ascertain the latter’s identity.
The seller shall also require the SIM card end user to accomplish and sign a controlled-number registration form issued by the respective PTE of the SIM card purchased.
All direct sellers are mandated to register in the SIM card registration form the following information: full name, date of birth, gender and address of the end-user appearing in a valid government-issued identification document with photo.
The bill also requires end-users who are foreign nationals to register their full name, passport number and address in the SIM card registration form.
The measure prohibits the disclosure of any information in the SIM card unless access to information has been granted upon written consent of the subscriber, or upon a duly issued subpoena or order of a court upon finding of probable cause, or upon written request from a law enforcement agency in relation to an ongoing investigation, that a particular number requested is used in the commission of a crime or that it was used as a means to commit an unlawful act.
The authors of the bill are Deputy Speakers Gwendolyn Garcia and Sharon Garin, and Minority Leader Danilo Suarez, among others.