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Despite being a new member of the House of
Representatives, Congressman Cheeno Miguel Almario
takes satisfaction in the work he has been performing.


By James Steven Batucan


The SIM Card Law, according to one of its main proponents, will help the Philippines’ standards in information technology catch up with those of the rest of the world.

Filipinos can now hope to be protected from crimes perpetrated through the use of unregulated subscriber identity module (SIM) cards as legislators made way for the passage of Republic Act (RA) 11934, or the Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) Card Registration Act.

Congressman Cheeno Miguel Almario of the 2nd District of Davao Oriental is new to the House of Representatives, but he prides himself in what he has been doing, especially since he is one of the principal authors of the abovementioned law.

RA 11934 mandates that direct sellers and telecommunications companies (telcos) demand legitimate identification documents before selling SIM cards. Existing SIM card holders must register with their respective telcos within a specific time or face the consequence of having their SIM cards deactivated. Telecommunications companies are required to maintain records of subscriber SIM cards. They are required to submit a list of all nationwide authorized dealers and agents quarterly to the National
Telecommunications Commission (NTC).

Athough received positively by many, the law raises concerns among human rights advocacy groups. Leaders of such groups say that although they understand the concerns about online scams, they are worried that the data privacy of citizens will be compromised, as SIM card registration entails sharing private information.

Almario understands the privacy concerns of these progressive organizations. According to him, however, the government prioritizes the safety of its citizens. “There are provisions of the law that protect citizens and their private information from being used without their consent,” he guarantees, adding that the National
Privacy Commission’s (NPC) input was .....

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