THE Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) called on all local government units (LGUs) to spread awareness among their constituents on the importance of registering their Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) cards starting December 27, “as this will help combat cybercrimes in the country.”
Interior Secretary Benjamin “Benhur” Abalos Jr. said that because there are millions of Filipino mobile subscribers, an intensive information drive must be carried out at the grassroots level and LGUs should step up in educating the public on the requirements and importance of the SIM registration law.
“As we seek to ensure public safety even in the online space, I encourage LGUs to exert all efforts to promote responsible use of SIM cards, educate their stakeholders on the benefits of mandatory SIM card registration and guide them through the whole registration process,” Abalos said in a statement on Monday.
He said the SIM Registration Act will aid the Philippine National Police (PNP) and other law enforcement agencies in curbing rising electronic communication-aided criminal activities in the Philippines such as mobile phishing, text spams, online scams, bank frauds and identity theft.
As the first law signed by President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., the SIM Registration Act aims to regulate the registration and use of SIMs by mandating all end-users to register their SIMs with their telecommunications networks before their activation.
Abalos said the implementation of the law will not only prompt accountability from all sides — the mobile users, the telcos, the government and authorities — but will also help the police to quickly locate offenders of crimes committed in anonymity through the use of electronic devices.
Section 4 of the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of the SIM Registration Act released by the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) provides that DILG, along with other government agencies such as the Department Information and Communications Technology (DICT), NTC, Department of Education (DepEd), and telecom companies, shall “facilitate all SIM registrations in remote areas with limited telecommunication or internet access.”
Abalos said the DILG will cooperate with DICT and the NTC to fast-track the establishment of registration facilities in geographically-isolated areas, which should be done within 60 days after December 27.
He enlisted the assistance of local chief executives (LCEs) and barangay captains in remote areas in processing documents and other requirements to set up the registration centers.
“We know not everyone has access to the internet and other means of communication so let us reach out to them and inform them of this new law,” he said.
To register, all SIM subscribers must submit an accomplished form through a database platform or website provided by the telco company within 180 days.
The DICT can extend the registration period for another 120 days.
If a subscriber fails to register, SIM cards will be deactivated.
Subscribers must provide the following: full name, birthday, sex, address, mobile SIM number and serial number and valid identification cards (for individuals); business name, business address and full name of authorized signatory (for businesses and other juridical entities); full name, nationality, birthday, passport, proof of Philippine address, return ticket to own country (for foreigners and tourists).
Abalos also urged parents and guardians to register the SIMs used by their minor children or relatives under their name to protect them from ill-intentioned individuals. They will be asked to present an identification card and consent form.
Abalos warned people against providing false or fictitious information and documents to register a SIM.
Registering a SIM card with false or fictitious information or using fictitious identities will be penalized with imprisonment of up to two years and a fine of from P100,000 to P300,000.
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