Manila solon sees SIM card registration law a potent anti-terrorism 'weapon'

Published December 9, 2021, 4:21 PM

by Ben Rosario

Manila Rep. Manny Lopez lauded the House of Representatives for the passage on final reading of the proposed ‘SIM Card Registration Act”, stressing that its enactment will be a potent weapon in averting terrorism and other criminal activities in the country.

Rep. Manny Lopez2

Lopez, chairman of the House Committee on Metro Manila Development, said House Bill 5793 entitled “An Act Requiring the Registration of Subscribers Identity Module Cards” is a major boost in the fight against criminality.

Lopez, together with Tarlac Rep. Victor Yap, said the bill makes mandatory for all prepaid SIM Card sellers to register and have a record of the names and addresses of all SIM card buyers.

Lopez and Yap are among the principal authors of the measure .

The two lawmakers are convinced that the mandatory registration of SIM cards will serve as a deterrent for the commission of crimes, particularly those involving acts of terrorism and acts aimed at propagating fear, panic, confusion and even false information to the public.

Lopez is the principal author of House Bill No. 453 entitled “An Act Mandating the Cooperation of All Telecommunications Corporations, Internet Service Providers, and Social Media Networks in Creating an Efficient Identification Mechanism for the Deterrence of the Commission of Terrorist Activities and Providing Penalties for Violations Thereof”.

On the other hand, Yap filed House Bill No. 298 entitled “An Act Requiring the Registration of All Users of Subscriber Identity module Cards”, two of several bills consolidated to form part of House Bill No. 5793.

The two solons explained that without a law requiring the disclosure of personal information prior to purchasing a SIM Card, it would be very difficult, if not impossible, for government authorities to prosecute criminal acts arising from the use of mobile phones, as there are very limited means to identify the perpetrator.

As explained by Rep. Lopez, “(O)nly when government agencies are able to pinpoint the root cause of this problem can they begin to hold certain individuals responsible for the commission of this crime. Without any means of identifying these anonymous texters and personalities behind the fake social media accounts, we will not be able to put a stop to this recurring criminal act.”

With the passage of the said House Bill, we now have the means to track and know the identity of persons who, thru the use of their mobile phones, commit illegal acts.