MANILA - The National Telecommunications Commission on Monday released the implementing rules and regulations for the SIM Card Registration Act, with penalties for telcos and subscribers who fail to follow the law.
Telco subscribers who refuse or fail to register will have their SIMs deactivated, according to the implementing rules of the NTC.
Telco operators or public telecommunications entities (PTE) who refuse to register a subscriber’s SIM without a valid reason, meanwhile will face a fine of up to P1 million.
Subscribers will need to present a photo along with any valid government-issued ID to register their SIM.
All SIMs must be registered, including eSIMs, and even SIMs intended only for data such as those used for wireless broadband modems, machine-to-machine communications and IoT (internet of things) devices.
Subscribers will have 180 days from the effectivity of the law to register their SIMs. Those who fail to register will no longer be able to use these SIMs. The SIMs can be reactivated after registering, but no later than 5 days after deactivation, the NTC said.
The IRR also says that SIM registration will be done electronically through a secure platform or website provided by the telcos.
Individual registrants will need to provide their full name, birth date, sex, official address, type of ID presented and its ID number.
Businesses that will register their names meanwhile will need to provide their business name, address and the full name of the authorized signatory.
Foreign nationals who will register their SIMs will also need to show their passport and address in the Philippines, among other things.
Subscribers who give fake names or information in their registration can be imprisoned for up to 2 years with a fine of up to P300 thousand.
Telcos are also required to deactivate SIMs used for fraudulent texts or calls “upon due investigation.”
A fine of up to P300 thousand or imprisonment of up to 6 years may also be imposed on people who sell or transfer a registered SIM “without complying with the required registration.” This penalty also applies to sellers of stolen SIMs.
The full text of the IRR may be accessed here.
Globe Telecom said it welcomes the release of IRR for the law.
“Our goal is to have a SIM registration process that is seamless, secure, inclusive and convenient for our customers,” said Globe Group President and CEO Ernest Cu.
Globe said it will have a special assistance process for customers who are currently not using smartphones and may not be digitally savvy so they can go through the registration as well.
Meanwhile, Smart Communications VP and Head of Regulatory Atty. Roy Ibay said the telco is proud to have contributed to the crafting of the IRR.
Smart said it would also provide additional means to assist persons with disabilities, senior citizens, pregnant women and those with special needs during the registration period. A SIM registration portal will be launched in the coming weeks, it added.
Third telco DITO Telecommunity, for its part, said the measure would protect the public from illegal activities.
"We support this important initiative of the government to protect the public from 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 Chief Administrative Officer Adel Tamano said.
The SIM Card Registration Act is expected to be implemented starting Dec. 27.