The House of Representatives has approved on third and final reading the bill that requires the registration of subscriber identification modules or SIM cards.
The chamber approved the measure House Bill 5793 or the SIM Card Registration Act in the wake of complaints that criminals, scammers, hackers and other suspicious persons have been using prepaid sims in plying their nefarious trade.
Rep. Manny Lopez of Manila, chairman of the House Committee on Metro Manila Development and one of the bill’s authors, said the measure will serve as a deterrent for the commission of crimes particularly those involving acts of terrorism and acts aimed at propagating fear, panic, confusion, and even false information.
The bill requires sim vendors to record the names and addresses of their buyers.
“Without a law requiring the disclosure of personal information prior to purchasing a SIM Card, it would be very difficult, if not impossible, for government authorities to prosecute criminal acts arising from the use of mobile phones, as there are very limited means to identify the perpetrator,” Lopez said in a statement.
“With the passage of the said House Bill, we now have the means to track and know the identity of persons who, through the use of their mobile phones, commit illegal acts,” he added.
According to the National Privacy Commission, the country may harness the benefits of the proposed SIM Card Registration Act by enabling SMEs engaged in e-commerce and engendering consumer trust in a fast-growing identity-linked digital services society.
The NPC said the mandatory SIM-card registration will succeed only under a framework of guaranteed privacy protection for mobile users.