PBBM to sign SIM card measure

President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. will sign into law on Monday, the Senate Bill No. 1310 or the proposed SIM Registration Act, newly-installed Press Secretary officer-in-charge Cheloy Garafil said Sunday.

“President Marcos’ decision to approve the measure will significantly boost government initiatives against scams committed through text and online messages, which have become more prevalent this year,” Garafil said in a statement.

The SIM Card Registration Act aims to promote accountability in the use of SIM cards and aid law enforcers to track perpetrators of crimes committed through phones.

Under the measure, all public telecommunications entities or direct sellers shall require the SIM card user to present a valid identification document with a photo.

Any information in the SIM card registration shall be treated as confidential unless the subscriber authorizes access to his information.

Law enforcement agencies that conduct probes on purported crimes committed through phones may also submit a written request to telco firms to disclose the details of the SIM card holder.

Globe Telecom Inc. and Smart Communications Inc., the country’s two biggest telcos, previously expressed support for SIM card registration and vowed to assist the government in deterring crimes committed electronically.

“We believe that once signed into law, SIM registration will take us a step ahead of fraudsters and help achieve our shared goal of eradicating scam and spam messaging,” Globe Group general counsel Froilan Castelo said in a separate statement.

Smart vice president and head of regulatory affairs Roy Ibay also said his company was looking at key features of the bill ratified by the House and the Senate and would be prepared to share his company’s “knowledge of global best practices.”

The House of Representatives approved House Bill No. 14, which was sponsored by Speaker Martin Romualdez with presidential son Rep. Ferdinand Alexander “Sandro” Marcos and Tingog party-list Representatives Yedda Marie Romualdez and Jude Acidre as co-authors, on 19 September.

Meanwhile, the Senate approved Senate Bill No. 1310, which was sponsored by Senate President Juan Miguel “Migz” Zubiri, Grace Poe, Win Gatchalian, Joel Villanueva, Ronald Dela Rosa, Joseph Victor Ejercito, JinggoyEjercito, Cynthia Villar, Nancy Binay, Christopher Lawrence Go, Francis Tolentino, Imee Marcos, Ramon Bong Revilla Jr., and Pia Cayetano last 28 September.

A day after, the Senate and the House of Representatives ratified the bicameral conference committee report on the proposed measure.

The ceremonial signing to be held at the Ceremonial Hall in Malacañang will be attended by Romualdez, Majority Floor Leader Rep. Manuel Jose M. Dalipe, Marcos, Romualdez, and Acidre, and Reps. Tobias Tiangco, Cheeno Miguel Almario, Roman Romulo and Rex Gatchalian. Officials from the Presidential Legislative Liaison Office headed by Mark Llandro Mendoza will also attend the ceremony.

Also present are Reginald Velasco and David Robert Amorin, Secretary General and Deputy Secretary General of the House of Representatives, respectively.

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