House passes SIM card bill on 2nd reading 


CONGRESSMEN on Wednesday approved on second a bill that will require the registration of subscriber identity module (SIM) cards to prevent mobile phone scams. 

Under House Bill 14, telecommunication companies will become the gatekeeper of information obtained in the registration process. No data may be divulged except in compliance with laws, upon a court order or with the written consent of the subscriber. 

Any breach of confidentiality will be punished with imprisonment or a fine of as much as P1 million. 

“This act is not going to be a silver bullet against the ongoing scams that have proliferated in the last few months,” Ilocos Norte Rep. Ferdinand Alexander A. Marcos said in his sponsorship speech. 

House Bill 14 is the exact version approved in the past Congress and was refiled by Mr. Marcos, Speaker Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez and Party-list Reps. Yedda Marie K. Romualdez and Jude A. Acidre. 

Ex-President Rodrigo R. Duterte vetoed the bill in April after senators and congressmen included social media accounts in the coverage. 

The former president found that certain aspects of state intrusion had not been defined, discussed or threshed out in the enrolled bill with regard to social media registration, the presidential palace at that time. — Kyanna Angela Bulan