Law rules

Extensive consultations on the drafting of the SIM law rules

SEN. Mary Grace Poe called for broad consultation in drafting the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) Registration Act (Republic Act 11934).

Poe noted that the government has 60 days to propose TRI from when the law comes into force on Oct. 28.

“We expect an IRR that will embody the spirit of the law to provide the people with a defense in the fight against texting scams and misinformation,” Poe said in a statement Sunday.

“The creation of the IRR not only signals the urgency of protecting people from scams and misinformation. It also means that registration will be facilitated in an efficient and secure manner,” she said.

She noted that an uncommissioned national survey of social weather stations conducted from September 29 to October 2 showed that the majority of Filipinos approved of making SIM card registration mandatory.

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“The rules will get the ball rolling on our goal of providing safe and secure mobile phone use in the country while protecting the right to privacy,” Poe said.

Section 12 of the law states that the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), in coordination with the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), the National Privacy Commission (NPC), the telecommunications (telecoms) and major consumer groups, should enact the IRR.

Landmark legislation requires all mobile phone users to register their SIM card or subscriber ID module as a prerequisite for activation, Poe pointed out.

All SIM card holders must register with their respective telecommunications operators within 180 days of the law taking effect. The DICT can extend the registration by 120 days. Registration can be done electronically through a platform or website provided by telecommunications operators.

In remote areas where telecommunications or internet access is limited, relevant government agencies and telecom operators will facilitate SIM card registration.

The registration process is free.

Earlier, the group CitizenWatch Philippines expressed hope that the agencies involved in developing the IRR will adhere to a transparent process and inclusive consultation.

Poe said the IRR will further clarify details about registration requirements and procedures to give the public enough knowledge and time to comply.

Provisions in the law that would put safeguards against security risks and data breaches should be highlighted in the IRR, she said. “This should include remedies in the event of a complaint.”