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Monday, July 22, 2024

Poe: Consultations still needed in SIM registration

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Sen. Grace Poe on Sunday urged wide-ranging consultations involving concerned stakeholders in the drafting of the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of Republic Act 11934 or the Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) Registration Act.

“We await an IRR that will embody the spirit of the law to provide the people a defense in fighting text scams and misinformation,” Poe said.

A noncommissioned nationwide Social Weather Station survey conducted from Sept. 29 to Oct. 2 showed that the majority of Filipinos approved of the law which makes SIM registration mandatory.

She noted the rules will get the ball rolling to provide secure and safe mobile phone use in the country while protecting the right to privacy.

The government has 60 days to come up with the IRR from the effectivity of the law on Oct. 28, 2022.

Section 12 of the SIM Registration Act states that the National Telecommunications Commission, in coordination with the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), National Privacy Commission, telcos, and major consumer groups, shall promulgate the IRR.

The landmark legislation requires all mobile users to register their SIM as a prerequisite for activation. All existing SIM holders must register with their respective telcos within 180 days from the law’s effectivity. The DICT may extend the registration for 120 days.

The registration of SIMs may be done electronically through a platform or website to be provided by the telcos.

In remote areas with limited telecommunication or internet access, relevant government agencies and telcos will facilitate SIM registration.

The registration process under the law is free.

Earlier, the group CitizenWatch Philippines expressed hope that agencies involved in crafting the IRR will adhere to a transparent process and inclusive consultation.

Poe said the IRR will further elucidate details on registration requirements and procedures to give the public ample knowledge and time to comply.

The provisions of the law that would put safeguards against security risks and data breaches must be highlighted in the IRR. This should include avenues for redress in case of complaints, the senator said.

“Coming up with the IRR not only signals the urgency to protect the people from scams and misinformation. It also conveys that registration will be facilitated efficiently and securely,” Poe said.

The SIM Registration Act is the first law signed by President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.

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