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SIM registration law in full effect before yearend

SENATOR Grace Poe said the government is expected to roll out Republic Act 11934, or the Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) Registration Act by Dec. 27.

Poe made the disclosure on Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2022, in sponsoring the P11.32-billion proposed 2023 budget of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) before the Senate plenary.

Informed by DICT Secretary Ivan Uy, Poe said the agency is expected to promulgate on Dec. 12 the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of the law. A public hearing is set on Dec. 5 to gather inputs from stakeholders.

“Dec. 12 is the issuance of the IRR, so it will be effective definitely on Dec. 27,” she said, quoting targets from the DICT.

Signed into law last Oct. 10, the SIM Registration Act requires the registration of SIMs as a deterrent to mobile phone-aided crimes such as text scams. The said registration is a prerequisite to the activation of the SIM.

All existing SIM users must register within a period of 180 days, which could be extended for another 120 days.

Poe said an IRR would elucidate details on SIM registration requirements and processes, giving telecommunication entities and the public adequate knowledge and time to comply.

“The telcos are also waiting for the IRR so it will be clearer to them how to police these texts,” Poe said, even as she noted that telcos have already taken initiatives to combat spam texts and text scams.

The National Telecommunications Commission, in coordination with the DICT, the National Privacy Commission, telcos and consumer groups, is mandated to issue the IRR 60 days from the law’s effectivity.

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