Three senators file mandatory SIM card registration bill

Published July 6, 2022, 2:31 PM

by Mario Casayuran

Senators will try to have a bill enacted into law mandating the registration of all Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) cards being used by cell[phones and electronic gadgets.

This after incoming Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri and Senators Ronald ‘’Bato’’ dela Rosa and Grace Poe filed the Mandatory SIM Card Registration bill.

Zubiri and dela Rosa said their bill is similar to the SIM card registration bill approved by the Senate and the House of Representatives in the 18th Congress, minus a provision that was the cause of the veto by then President Duterte.

A president’s spokesperson said the veto was due to the inclusion of mandatory social media registration in the measure.

Martin Andanar, then the Malacanang spokesman, said Duterte was constrained to disagree with the inclusion of social media in the measure, without providing proper guidelines and definitions thereto, as the same might give rise to a situation of dangerous state intrusion and surveillance threatening many constitutionally protected rights.

He emphasized that the President wanted to ensure that new laws are consistent with constitutional provisions guaranteeing individual privacy and free speech.

The threat of state surveillance and the undermining of civil liberties were also among the reasons cited by concerned citizens and groups when they opposed the measure in Congress.

The three senators said their intention behind the mandatory SIM card registration is to prevent the commission of crimes using prepaid SIM card such as text scams.