DICT Secretary Ivan John Uy (PNA photo by Jayrome Pablo)

MANILA – The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) will immediately issue the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of the recently signed SIM Card Registration Law after its publication, the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) said on Thursday.

In a Laging Handa briefing, DICT Secretary Ivan John Uy said the NTC is already working on the IRR of Republic Act 11934.

“[RA 11934] will require 15 days to be effective after its publication in the Official Gazette. So, once na mangyari po iyon, iyong IRR ay mailalabas po ng NTC within 60 days (Once that happens, the IRR will be released by the NTC within 60 days),” Uy said.

The main focus of the IRR, he said, is to clarify and expand the details of the law including penalties for violations.

Katulad ng violation ng mga data privacy ay may kaukulang penalty (For example, data privacy violations have corresponding penalties), I think if I’m not mistaken, from PHP500,000 to PHP4 million,” he said.

Uy said the IRR will also detail the process of registration such as allowing online registrations or requiring the physical appearance of registrants, and which IDs will be accepted.

Following the release of the IRR, he said mobile users will have 160 days to register their SIM cards with valid government-issued IDs.

He said those who fail to register their SIM card may result in termination of their mobile service.

Wala pong multa. Puputulin lang ang linya nila (There won’t be a fine. But their service will be cut off),” he said.

With about 144 to 150 million prepaid SIM cards already issued by local telecommunications companies (telcos), he noted that online registration will be necessary to cope with the expected influx of registrants.

Iyan po ang ideal situation ‘no–online po lahat ng registration at submission ng mga verifiable documents katulad ng passport or driver’s license, SSS, GSIS or PhilHealth cards (That’s the ideal situation—the registration and submission of verifiable documents such as a passport, driver’s license, SSS, GSIS, or PhilHealth card should be online),” he said.

Mobile users, he said, will be free to register as many SIM cards as they wish as long as they present their identity with valid documentary requirements.

Ang importante po is iyong SIM card ay properly identified iyong owner. Kasi alam na po natin na hindi naman po sa lahat ng lugar ay may signal po ang bawat telco (What’s important is the proper identification of the SIM card owner. Because we know not all places have coverage with every telco),” he said.

For individuals with no valid IDs such as a driver’s license or passport, he suggested securing an ID from PhilHealth, SSS, or PhilPost for their ease and fast issuance.

Aabutin po nang medyo matagal kung mag-a-apply sila ng national ID dahil medyo mabagal po ang produksiyon (It may take a while if they apply for a national ID because production is a bit slow),” he said.

He reminded telcos of their responsibility to secure the identity of their subscribers as the “primary repository” of data.

Makikita natin po na matagal naman silang may hawak ng information na iyan dahil sa mga postpaid accounts na hawak nila. So ang ginagawa lang po natin ay ini-expand lang iyong coverage (We know that they have been storing such information for a while for postpaid users. So, what we’re doing is just expanding its coverage),” he said.

On Monday, President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. signed RA 11934 and noted its importance in curbing the increasing number of text scams and spam messages in the country. (PNA)