Monday, November 19, 2007


The cell-phone detonated bomb which exploded in the House of Representatives killing four persons including a congressman and injuring several others provides a concrete example of one of the justifications for the passage of House Bill No. 92 which provides for the registration of SIM cards whether pre-paid or post-paid.

Under the bill, all SIM cards issued by telecommunications companies to their subscribers must be registered and included in a database of cell phone subscribers. To implement the registration, it is proposed that every time a SIM pack is purchased, the person buying the SIM shall present a valid ID as proof of identity and address. The data shall be included in the database of subscribers of the telecommunications companies and the National Telecommunications Commission.

The system is already in place and is already applicable to post-paid subscribers. All that needs to be done is to include the pre-paid subscribers in the process. It is not an entirely new procedure that will require a total rehabilitation of existing systems and procedures, but merely an expansion of coverage.

SIM card registration will make it possible for authorities to address the issue of cell phones being used to commit crime such as kidnapping, blackmail, and even bombings. It will enable authorities to have a lead in investigating crimes using cell phones and track down the perpetrators of such crimes. Although it will not be the ultimate solution to crimes, registration will at least make it more difficult for the commission of crimes using cell phones.

The proposal will also make it easier to monitor the real number of subscribers of the telecommunications companies and ensure that the right revenues are collected by government since the issuance of receipts can be matched against the registered subscribers.

While some quarters raise the issue of privacy as an argument against the proposal, the registration of SIM cards is consistent with the constitution which provides authority of the State over natural resources such as airwaves and radio frequencies. The use of such resources is a privilege given by the State, not a right of the people. That’s why telecommunications companies, broadcast companies and even users of radio telecommunications need to get a franchise or license from the NTC before operating.

Registration will not violate the privacy of communications since the content of the conversations using the cell phones will not be revealed nor does the proposal intend or authorize the eavesdropping of cell phone conversations.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


I am overjoyed to know that we have lawmakers like you who have genuine concern on the pressing safety and security issues of our nation. I've been sharing the news on the proposed bill regarding mandatory sim registration with my friends and classmates. I am so in favor of the general objective of the bill. Also, to convince them, I've tried to search for the copy of the full text of the bill from the website of the house of representatives and other sites, however, it could not be found.

I believe those of our countrymen who oppose this bill may have been misinformed. In this light,I'm hoping that your bill may be made available to public soon.

Thank you and may God pour out His favor on you this May 2010 elections!