The Philippine House of Representatives has approved House Bill 5793 or the SIM Card Registration Act for final reading. This comes after over 180 lawmakers voted in favor, while 6 voted against it, and 0 abstained.
Under the bill, public telecommunication entities (PTE) or direct sellers shall require the buyer of a SIM card to present a valid ID with a photo to ascertain the identity of the buyer. The PTE or direct seller shall then also require the buyer to sign a control-numbered registration form. This includes foreign nationals.
Among the details that will be given in the registration includes full name, date of birth, gender, and address appearing in the valid ID.
PTEs and direct sellers have the right to refuse the sale and issuance of the SIM card upon failing to comply with the requirements.
The bill includes a confidentiality clause that states that any information of a subscriber will be strictly confidential unless a court issues subpoena or on a written request from law enforcement agencies on an ongoing investigation when a number is used in a crime or unlawful act.
Additionally, under the bill, PTEs will maintain a SIM card register of their subscribers and update the Department of Information and Technology Communications (DICT) every six months.
The SIM Card Registration Act aims to help authorities track down lawless criminals who use mobile phones with SIM cards to commit or engage in unlawful activities.