Senate OKs mandatory SIM registration on 2nd reading

The Senate on Monday approved the proposed measure seeking to mandate the registration of subscriber identity modules (SIM) in the country on second reading.

The Senate Bill (SB) No. 1310 or the proposed SIM Registration Act, sponsored by Senate public services committee chairperson Sen. Grace Poe, is again close to hurdling the Senate.

SB 1310 aims to curb mobile phone and electronic communication-aided crimes — from text scams to terrorist activities—by requiring mobile phone users to present valid government IDs and documents in registering their SIMs.

Refiled in the 19th Congress, the proposed measure has been amended to expand its coverage from ordinary SIM cards to newer types of SIMs, such as eSIMS.

Under the Senate-approved bill, minors who bear SIMs shall register using their parents’ or guardians’ names.

Meanwhile, telecommunication companies will be tasked to protect the submitted personal information in a secure database. Their compliance with security standards shall be audited by the Department of Information and Communications Technology annually.

Poe assured the public that any breach of confidentiality will be punishable by the meaxsure.

Also included in the bill are penalties for “spoofing,” or the altering of the SIMs to make it appear that messages were sent by other registered users.

“The intent of this proposed measure is to strengthen our cybercrime laws,” the lady lawmaker said.

Poe acknowledged her colleagues for finetuning the bill.  She expressed hope that its passage would help deter crimes committed with the use of mobile phones and other electronic devices.

Meanwhile, the proposed measure’s counterpart in the lower house has been approved on the third and final reading on Monday.

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