QUEZON City District 1 (QCD1) Representative Arjo Atayde commends the signing into law of the SIM Card Registration Bill. Atayde considers this as a source of major protection for Filipinos against text scams that has become very prevalent since the pandemic.   

“Kapag na-implement ng ng tama ang batas na ito, taumbayan ang tiyak na makikinabang. At maligaya po ako sapagkat nagkakaisa ang lahat ng mga stakeholders upang siguraduhin ang epektibo at maayos na implementasyon nito sa kadahilanang kailangang kailangan natin ang batas na ito,” says Atayde.

The law requisites the registration of Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) cards with public telecommunication entities (PTEs). Thus, PTEs and/or direct sellers shall require users to present a valid identification document that contains a photo with the user disclosing his or her full name as well as home address should a court deem it necessary to issue a subpoena or order.

The law also enforces the investigation of crimes that are committed through mobile phones and may allow the access of the personal information of the SIM card owner who is under investigation.

As one of the authors of this measure, Atayde expresses that the challenge is anchored on the guarantee that the law’s implementing policies will address the concerns that will be raised by other sectors.

“It is imperative to create guarantees and guidelines to ensure that the data collected by PTEs is protected. We must consciously exert the extra effort to make sure that SIM cards will still be accessible to everyone especially to the poor,” says Atayde while underscoring the importance of future-proofing the law with the constant evolution of both technology and the many ways that perpetrators could commit digital crimes.

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“Criminals may come up with other methods just to get around the law and we should therefore be flexible to address and combat these challenges in the future. One thing is certain though, we will do everything for the full implementation of this law, ” says the neophyte lawmaker.