SIM registration rules out, to take effect Dec. 27
Telecommunication companies are preparing to roll out their respective SIM registration portals in the coming weeks while new SIM cards will be sold in “deactivated mode”, as the mandatory rules on registration take effect on Dec. 27 this year.
The National Telecommunications Commission on Monday issued the implementing rules for the SIM Registration Act.
The rules require all mobile subscribers to enrol their SIM cards within 180 days or six months from the effectivity of the act or face automatic deactivation of their cards.
These may be reactivated but only within a period of five days, according to the rules.
SIM registration will be done through a secure platform or website to be provided by the telecommunications company.
Individual users must provide their full name, date of birth, sex, address and valid government ID or similar documents with a photo while business users must provide their business name, business address and the full name of an authorized signatory.
Foreigners must provide personal data as well as passport information and their address.
Those visiting as tourists will be issued a SIM card valid for 30 days, which may be extended upon presentation of an approved visa extension. Foreigners with other types of visas can acquire SIM cards without the 30-day validity period.
The SIM Registration Act, which was aimed at reducing anonymous mobile phone-based scams and other criminal activities, was signed by President Marcos last Oct 10.
An earlier version of the bill was filed during the 18th Congress but was vetoed by President Rodrigo Duterte over contention provision that required the enrolment of social media accounts, raising data privacy concerns.
Telco giant PLDT Inc.’s Smart Communications said more details on its SIM registration portal will be released in the next few weeks.
“We are ready to roll out our SIM registration processes after months of preparations, which have included, among others, studying best global practices and technology solutions from other countries that have already implemented SIM registration,” Smart vice president and regulatory heard Roy Ibay said in a statement.
He added the company would provide added assistance to persons with disabilities, senior citizens, pregnant women, and/or persons with special needs in registering their respective SIMs.
Globe said new SIMs will be sold in deactivated mode, adding that these must be registered immediately to enjoy Globe services.
There are an estimated 87.9 million SIM cards in the Globe network.
“Our goal is to have a SIM registration process that is seamless, secure, inclusive and convenient for our customers,” Globe president and CEO Ernest Cu said in a separate statement on Monday.
Dito Telecommunity said the new rules would protect the public from data theft through “phishing” and similar types of fraudulent activities.
“We will do our level best to make the registration process as simple and painless as possible for new DITO subscribers and our 14 million existing customers,” Dito Telecommunity chief administrative officer Adel Tamano said in a statement on Monday.
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