Speech by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. at the Ceremonial Signing of the SIM Card Registration Act

Event Ceremonial Signing of the SIM Card Registration Act
Location Ceremonial Hall in Malacañan Palace, Manila

Thank you very much. Vice President Sara Duterte; [Please take your seats] Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri and the other honorable members of the Senate; House Speaker Martin Romualdez and the members of the House of Representatives here present; Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin and the members of the Cabinet; other distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon.

I am pleased to join you here as we sign into law the Sim Card Registration Act.

With the signing of this act, we will finally achieve what has long been overdue, an effective means of regulating the issuance of sim cards to curb the spread of spam text messages and scams.

We will soon be able to provide law enforcement agencies with the tools needed to resolve crimes perpetrated with the use of these SIM Cards, as well as providing a strong deterrence against the commission of wrongdoing.

Under the Sim Card Registration Act, every public telecommunication entity or direct seller shall be required to demand end users of SIM cards to present a valid identification document to validate their identities.

These telecommunications entities shall also be required to maintain a SIM Card Register of their subscribers, containing information required under this law.

It also mandates that they submit a verified list of their authorized dealers and agents nationwide to the National Telecommunications Commission, with updates every quarter of the year.

To cover all users of SIM cards in this act, telecommunications entities are mandated to ensure the registration of existing pre-paid SIM card phone subscribers within a prescribed period.

Failure to comply results to the grant of authority for telecommunications entities to automatically deactivate services to the specific SIM card subscriber under the force of law.

The use of false or fictitious information, the use of fictitious identities, and the use of fraudulent documents or identifications to register a SIM card shall also be dealt with by appropriate penalties.

Crucially as well, included in this crucial piece of legislation are provisions that makes paramount the protection of confidentiality and data privacy rights of subscribers, which shall begin to take effect at the point of sale.

Any information in the SIM card registration shall be treated as absolutely confidential, unless access to this information has been granted by the written consent of the subscriber.

These public telecommunication entities shall only be required to disclose information contained in the SIM card, upon a duly issued subpoena or order of a court upon finding of probable cause.

They can likewise be compelled to do so upon written request from a law enforcement agency in relation to an ongoing investigation, that a particular number is used in the commission of a crime or that it was used as a means to commit an unlawful act.

Appropriate penalties shall be imposed for any breach to this confidentiality due to negligence, for spoofing a registered SIM card, for the selling of stolen SIM cards and for the sale or transfer of a registered SIM without complying with required registration.

So I commend the legislators from the House and from the Senate for coming up with this timely and necessary law. It is the first legislative measure that successfully passed the approval of the bicameral panel of both houses in the 19th Congress.

Truly, the legislation is going to be welcomed by many of our people, especially now with reports of the commission of various crimes using mobile phones, including proliferation of text scams and spam.

Indeed, with the signing of this law, we set the important tone that it is our national policy to ensure that technology shall only be used to improve our people’s lives.

Moving forward, it is my hope that we will be able to enact even more measures to help bring forth the security, progress, and prosperity that we aspire for our Filipino brothers and sisters and for the entire nation.

Thank you at mabuhay tayong lahat! Magandang hapon po sa inyong lahat. [applause]



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SOURCE: OPS-PND (Presidential News Desk)