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Philippine Local Government to Help Implement SIM Registration Act

The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) has asked local government units (LGUs) to assist the national government in its information campaign regarding implementing Republic Act 11934. As a result, the government will effectively implement the Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) Registration Act on December 27.

In a statement, DILG Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr. stated that an intensive information campaign at the grassroots level is required and that local governments should take the lead in educating the public about the requirements and significance of the law.

“As we seek to ensure public safety even in the online space, I encourage LGUs to exert all efforts to promote the responsible use of SIM cards. We also need to educate our stakeholders on the benefits of mandatory SIM card registration and guide them through the registration process,” Abalos stated.

The Act aims to regulate SIM registration and use by requiring all end-users to register their SIMs with their respective telecommunications networks before activation. It will aid the Philippine National Police and other law enforcement authorities in curbing rising electronic communication-aided criminal activities in the Philippines, such as mobile phishing, spam text messages, online scams, bank frauds and identity theft.

The law will prompt accountability from all sides, the mobile users, the telcos, the government, and the authorities. To promote security in The Philippines, the act also quickly helps the PNP locate offenders of crimes committed anonymously through electronic devices.

DILG and other government agencies such as DICT, NTC, DepEd, and telecom companies shall facilitate all SIM registrations in remote areas with limited telecommunication or internet access. It is mentioned in Section 4 of the law’s implementing rules and regulations (IRR) released by the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC).

Together with the LGUs, DILG will cooperate with DICT and the NCT to fast-track the establishment of registration facilities in geographically isolated areas, which should be done within 60 days after December 27. The DILG chief sought the assistance of local chief executives (LCEs) and barangay captains in remote areas in processing needed documents and other requirements to set up the registration centres.

To register, all existing SIM subscribers must submit an accomplished form through a database platform or website provided by the telco company within 180 days. The DICT can extend the registration period for another 120 days. If a subscriber fails to register, SIM cards will be deactivated.

Subscribers must provide the following: full name, birthday, sex, address, mobile SIM number and serial number and valid identification cards (for individuals); business name, business address and the full name of authorized signatory (for businesses and other juridical entities); full name, nationality, birthday, passport, proof of Philippine address, return ticket to own country (for foreigners and tourists).

Abalos also urged parents and guardians to be responsible and register the SIM used by their minor children or relatives under their name to protect them from ill-intentioned individuals. They will be asked to present an ID and consent form.

Likewise, Abalos asked the public to support mandatory SIM card registration as this will be beneficial in the long run to prevent text and online scams. He warned people who will attempt to provide false or fictitious information and documents to register a SIM and those who will try to spoof a registered SIM to defraud or cause harm.

Registering a SIM card with false or fictitious information or using fictitious identities will be subject to a penalty of imprisonment of six months to two years and a fine of PHP100,000 (US$ 1,811) to PHP300,000 (US$ 5,433), while spoofing will be subject to six years of jail time or/and a fine of PHP200,000 (US$ 3,622).

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