The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) has released the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the SIM Card Registration Act. The measure will take effect on December 27, 2022.
Signed into law last October, the SIM Card Registration Act or RA 11934 mandates the registration of all SIM cards to hold end-users accountable for how they use their mobile communications devices. It gained traction amid the proliferation of text scams.
For those of us wondering what’s going to happen next, read on to find out what we, the end users, need to know about the SIM card registration act.
SIM Card Registration Act: What to expect
- First off, the SIM Card Registration Act covers all SIM cards, including eSIMs, used in any device or equipment such as smartphones, broadband modems, pocket Wi-Fi devices, etc., both postpaid and prepaid accounts. If you have more than one SIM card, you are required to register all of them.
- You are required to register your SIM cards within 180 days from the effectivity of the SIM Card Registration Act. Registration can be extended for a period not exceeding 120 days.
- Failure to register will result in the deactivation of your SIM card. Deactivated SIM cards can be reactivated after completing the registration process. However, reactivation should be made not later than 5 days after its automatic deactivation.
- SIM card registration is free and shall be accomplished electronically via a secure platform or website provided by your telco.
- For minors, their SIM cards should be registered under the name of their parent or guardian.
- According to the IRR, those who provide false information or submitted fraudulent identification documents will face imprisonment from 6 months to up to 2 years, or a fine of not less than Php 100,000 but not more than Php 300,000, or both.
- Meanwhile, imprisonment of 6 months to 2 years, and/or a fine of Php 100,000 to Php 300,000 will be imposed on those who sell or transfer a registered SIM card without complying with the required registration.
- Spoofing a registered SIM card will face a penalty of imprisonment of no less than 6 years, or a fine of Php 200,000, or both.
- Failure or refusal to register a SIM card will face the following fines:
First offense: Php 100,000 to Php 300,000
Second offense: Php 300,000 to Php 500,000
Third and subsequent offenses: Php 500,000 to Php 1,000,000 for every offense thereof.
- Those found to engage in the sale of a stolen SIM card shall be held criminally liable under the Act and will face imprisonment from 6 months to 2 years, or a fine of Php 100,000 to Php 300,000, or both.
- Breach of confidentiality by PTEs, its agents, or employees, either by negligence or otherwise, shall be fined Php 500,000 to Php 4,000,000.
Part of the registration process will require end users to submit a valid government ID or documents with a photo.
- Philippine Identification Card
- SSS ID
- GSIS e-Card
- Driver’s License
- NBI Clearance
- Police Clearance
- Firearms License to Own and Possess ID
- PRC ID
- Integrated Bar of the Philippines ID
- Overseas Workers Welfare and Administration ID
- BIR ID
- Voter’s ID
- Senior Citizen’s Card
- Unified Multi-purpose Identification Card
- PWD Card
- Other valid government-issued ID with photo
For minors, any of the IDs mentioned above and consent of a parent or guardian.
For tourists, a valid passport, proof of address in the Philippines (i.e. booking accommodations, affidavit or letter from the house or residence they will stay in, etc.), and a return ticket to their own country.
Disclosure of Information
The IRR states that “any information and data obtained in the registration process described under the Act shall be treated as absolutely confidential and shall not be disclosed to any person.”
But the telcos (PTEs) can disclose your full name and address under the following instances:
- In compliance with any law obligating the PTE to disclose information in accordance with the provisions of RA 10173 or the Data Privacy Act of 2012;
- In compliance with a court order or legal process upon finding probable cause;
- In compliance with Section 10 of the Act and Section 12 of the IRR; or
- With the written consent of the subscriber. Such waiver of absolute confidentiality shall not be made as a condition for the approval of subscription agreements with the PTEs.
The confidentiality clause in the SIM registration shall take effect at the point of activation and even after the deactivation of a SIM card as long as the end user’s data is still in the PTEs’ database. Data and information from the SIM registration will be kept by a PTE for a period of 10 years.
Smart and Globe’s Guidelines
You may refer to our post here (https://www.technobaboy.com/2022/12/18/smart-globe-guidelines-faqs-sim-card-registration/) for Smart and Globe’s SIM Card Registration FAQs and guidelines