Group holds protest at NTC to call for SIM registration suspension

Jekki Pascual, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 11 2023 02:08 PM

MANILA - A group held a protest at the National Telecommunications Commission on Wednesday to call for the suspension of the SIM registration law citing privacy concerns.

The Junk SIM Registration Network said the use of selfie verification, among others, poses a risk to the data privacy of citizens. 

"Itong SIM card registration law ay pahamak po sa mga mamayanan. Ito po ay pahirap sa kanilang privacy. Hindi natin masisiguro na ang kanilang mga datos ay malalagay sa mga kamay na ligtas," said group spokesperson Maded Batara III. 

(The SIM registration law is a risk to the citizens. This is a burden to their privacy. We can't ensure that their data are safe)

He added many Filipinos, especially those living in poverty, do not have a touchscreen phone, government IDs and fast internet data. Hence, there are still millions who have difficulty registering their SIM.

The group said even if it is already a law, SIM registration can still be suspended, citing what happened to other laws like the one creating the Negros Island Region.

Batara said they are consulting legal experts on filing a petition to suspend the measure. The group added, the law will not stop text scams and other crimes.

"Ito po scam hindi po siya mawawala dahil sa SIM registration, maiiba lang mukha nila. Ngayon ang tanong po, ito po bang SIM card registration law, does it do more harm than good?" Batara said.

(SMS-linked scam won't be eliminated just because of SIM registration, they will just change face. The question now is, will SIM registration law do more harm than good)

Various government agencies have said there are now fewer complaints about the SIM registration process based on the calls received by Hotline 1326. NTC, with the DICT, said they will soon begin registration in far-flung areas.

Authorities have also insisted that the privacy of data is very important and telcos are required to protect the information of subscribers. Fines and sanctions are also in place for those violating the privacy rule.


Watch more News on iWantTFC