SIM Registration’s IRR to take effect before 2022 ends – NTC

Published December 5, 2022, 6:46 PM

by Charie Mae F. Abarca

The SIM Registration Act’s implementing rules and regulations (IRR) will most likely be effective before 2022 ends, the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) disclosed.

Republic Act No. 11934, otherwise known as the SIM Registration Act, aims to make end users accountable for their usage of mobile communications by mandating SIM registration. President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. signed the controversial measure into law on Oct. 10.

In coordination with several government agencies including the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), and National Privacy Commission (NPC), NTC drafted the IRR within 60 days after the effectivity of the said measure.

Along with NTC and the said government agencies, members of the technical working group for the crafting of the IRR include Cybercrime Investigation and Coordinating Center (CICC), House of Representatives, Senate of the Philippines, Office of the Solicitor General, as well as public telecommunication entities (PETs) Ditto, Globe, and Smart.

In a public hearing held on Monday, Dec. 5, NTC Deputy Commissioner Jon Paulo V. Salvahan disclosed that members of the TWG, including PTEs, took “painstaking efforts and conducted laborious deliberations” to come up with an IRR draft that is practical and workable.

“The SIM Registration Act recognizes that while modern technology is indeed beneficial, its illegal and malicious use endangers the community, poses risks to public order, and threatens the security of the nation,” said Salvahan.

“After this public hearing, all parties interested will still be given additional time to submit any supplemental position papers, if any, [until] Dec. 7. The target date of issuance of IRR by the Commission is on Dec. 12, 2022. The effectivity of the IRR will be 15 days after the publication or on Dec. 27, 2022,” he furthered.

(MB Visual Content Group)

On registration

As stated in the IRR draft, all existing SIM subscribers shall register within 180 days from the effectivity of the Act. The registration may be extended for a period of 120 days, but NTC underscored that failure to register an existing SIM within the given period will automatically result in the deactivation of the SIM.

Registration will require individual users to submit their full name, date of birth, sex, and their present or official address. Violation of any provision of the law will result in strict penalties.

Respective PTEs, on the other hand, were mandated by the law and IRR to maintain their own “SIM registers,” which will serve as the “database of their information” to be given by the registering subscribers.

“Equally important, the SIM registration process itself, which shall be done electronically, has unanimously been agreed to be [held] as seamless and easy as possible for the benefit of our registering subscribers,” Salvahan furthered.