With the rapid development of communication technology, connecting with your friends and loved ones worldwide is possible. However, while innovation provides many benefits, many Filipinos fall victim to security threats. That’s why the SIM Card Registration Act was signed to protect everyone from rampant mobile-based cybercrimes.
And if you’re wondering what this law entails, read on as we share the SIM Card Registration Law Guide. We also included the penalties and requirements for registration, so let’s get started!
What is SIM Card Registration Law?
SIM Card Registration Act, or Republic Act No. 11934, was signed into law by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr on October 10, 2022. It was the first law he signed since he assumed office. Under this law, all end users must register their SIM cards. It aims to help law enforcers track scammers and hold them accountable for their crimes.
In addition, this law is the government’s solution to protect everyone from crimes and scams committed via mobile phones, which have become rampant lately. In short, the SIM Card Registration Law offers protection and aids in solving mobile phone-related crimes.
The past administration vetoed the original version of this law due to privacy concerns, which require mandatory registrations of social media accounts. Nonetheless, lawmakers removed the said provision and passed the SIM Card Registration Act at Malacañang Ceremonial Hall.
With this law, everyone must register their new SIM card with Public Telecommunications Entity (PTE) to activate it. Additionally, those who have existing SIM cards should register with relevant PTEs within 180 days of the law once implemented. But DICT can only extend the registration period not exceeding 120 days.
It will result in the deactivation of SIM cards if the subscriber fails to register within the given period, whether old or new. On the other hand, Telco companies can reactivate SIM cards once subscribers have undergone the proper and complete registration process.
- Under the law, Telco companies and direct sellers have the right to request valid identification requirements before an individual can purchase a SIM card.
- This law covers both prepaid and postpaid SIM cards.
- The registration is done electronically through the platform of Telcos, and the registration is free.
- Subscribers who use fake or fictitious information for registering their SIM cards will face appropriate penalties. The same goes for those registering with fictitious identities or involved in fraudulent activities.
- Telcos must disclose the full names and addresses of SIM card owners in case a court order or subpoena is issued.
- All SIM card users must register with Telcos within the given registration period, or their SIM cards will be deactivated. Note that reactivating SIM cards is possible when the registration process is complete.
- Telco companies must secure the data of their SIM card subscribers. They should also submit a list of authorized agents and dealers nationwide every quarter to the National Telecommunications Commission.
- Law enforcers can also ask Telcos to search for the SIM Card owner when investigating mobile phone-related crimes.
As stated, Telcos should keep safe the information of all their SIM card subscribers and only disclose it to law enforcement agencies under the following circumstances:
- Subpoena/ court order
- Data Privacy Act
- Written consent of the subscriber
To ensure the proper implementation of this law and to prevent any problems in the future, here are the following penalties based on the violation:
Refusal to Register
1st Offense: P100,000 – P300,000
2nd Offense: P300,000 – P500,000
3rd Offense of more: P500,000 – P1,000,000,000
Breach of Confidentiality
P500,000 – P4,000,000,000
Providing False Information/ Fake Identity
P100,000 – P300,000
Sale of Stolen SIM
P100,000 – P300,000
Why is SIM Card Registration Law necessary?
Due to all the crimes committed involving SMS, from scams to spam messages, the SIM card registration Law provides added security to all Filipinos. Since everyone is required to register their SIM cards with their real identity, it reduces crimes committed via mobile phones.
Furthermore, this law assists law enforcers in apprehending perpetrators and other individuals involved in fraudulent activities. Thus, criminals won’t be able to use SIM cards as their means of performing crimes as they’re no longer anonymous to law enforcers.
This law also allows Telco companies to create a database of their subscribers, which is vital in fighting criminal activities. Moreover, the mandatory registration of SIM cards gives justice to victims of online scams, especially those who pay their money in advance to access services or purchase goods.
How to Register SIM Card?
To register your SIM card, you must fill out an online form provided by your Telco provider. You need to provide the following necessary information, such as:
- Full Name
- Complete Address
- Date of Birth
- SIM number
- SIM serial number (For New SIM cards)
Take note you can find the online registration form through the PTEs platform or website. So stand by for an announcement on the SIM card registration form under your PTE. Don’t forget to provide correct and factual information during the registration to avoid legal problems.
Apart from that, submit a valid government ID or document that contains the picture of the subscriber who wishes to register their SIM card. Here are some of the following valid IDs you can submit:
- Driver’s License
- Firearms License
- IBP ID
- NBI Clearance
- OWWA ID
- Philippine National ID
- Police Clearance
- PRC ID
- Senior Citizen’s Card
- SSS/GSIS card
- TIN ID
- UMID card
- Voter’s ID
- Other government issued ID with photo
Although minors may not have a valid government-issued ID, the law still allows them to register a SIM card. As per the law, ages 18 years old and below should register their SIM Cards under the name of their parents or guardians.
For foreign nationals, tourists, or holders of other types of visas, present the following to register your SIM card:
- Proof of Philippine address
- Return ticket to country of origin or any flight documents showing the departure date in the Philippines
- Alien Employment permit from DOLE
- Alien ACRI-Card from BIR
- School Registration and Student ID
But remember, foreign nationals only have 30 days of activation upon registering their SIM cards.
Overall, the SIM Card Registration Law will benefit many Filipinos and everyone using mobile phones. While there are concerns regarding data breaches, rights, and privacy, this law is undeniably beneficial and protects many SIM card users.
As the implementation of the law continues, stay tuned for the online registration form with your Telco providers to avoid the inconvenience of having deactivated SIM cards. Lastly, use your mobile phones responsibly and avoid sharing any information that can endanger your privacy.