Congress ratifies bicam report on SIM registration bill

enablePagination: false
maxItemsPerPage: 10
maxPaginationLinks: 10

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 28) — The Senate and the House of Representatives ratified on Wednesday the bicameral conference committee report on the bill seeking the mandatory registration of subscriber identity modules (SIMs).

Sen. Grace Poe, the bill's author and co-chair of the bicam panel, said during the chamber's session that lawmakers have agreed to use the Senate version as a working draft — but with several reconciled provisions.

These include:

- The term "card" will be dropped from the bill to cover all variations of SIMs;

- Registration goes directly through telcos' platform as prerequisite to SIM activation;

- There will be a 180-day period of registration by minors through a parent or guardian;

- The data of existing postpaid subscribers should already be included in the SIM Register; and

- Telcos will be mandated to establish registration facilities in remote areas within 60 days from effectivity of the law.

"Today we finally send a clear reply to these scam and spam messages — 'stop' under pain of penalty," Poe said. "Any one who abuse or misemploy the system for their own fraudulent and unlawful interests must be traceable and subsequently held accountable."

The consolidated version of the bill shall now be forwarded to President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. for signing into law.

House Speaker Martin Romualdez said the measure may be one of the first to be inked and enacted, as he expressed optimism that it will not suffer the same fate as the similar bill vetoed by former president Rodrigo Duterte.

"This act will not only help promote responsibility in the end users of SIMs for electronic devices but also provide our law enforcers the necessary tools to resolve crimes involving telecommunication devices," Romualdez said.

Explainer: What you need to know about the SIM registration bill

CNN Philippines Correspondents Eimor Santos and Xianne Arcangel contributed to this report.