Gatchalian to refile SIM card registration bill, eyes separate discussion on social media
MANILA, Philippines — If reelected in the Senate, Senator Sherwin Gatchalian on Monday vowed to refile the SIM Card Registration Bill and seek a separate discussion on mandatory social media registration.
President Rodrigo Duterte earlier vetoed the measure because of the inclusion of the social media registration which Malacañang said was not part of the original version of the bill and had not been discussed thoroughly.
“Ito ang isa sa mga una kong ihahain ‘pag tayo ay nakabalik sa Senado,” Gatchalian, who authored Senate Bill No. 176 or an Act Requiring The Registration Of All Users of Pre-Paid SIM Cards, said in a statement.
(This is one of the first measures that I will file if I get reelected in the Senate.)
“Pero ihihiwalay ko ang panukala para sa social media para mas malalim at mas komprehensibo ‘yung detalye pagdating sa pagmamandato nito.”
(But I will separate a proposal for social media so we can have thorough and more comprehensive details when it comes to mandatory registration).
“Aminado ako na ang social media ay nagagamit ngayon sa maraming hindi magagandang bagay. Unang una, yung mga troll, ako mismo nabiktima. Aatakihin ka at sisirain ang puri mo,” he further said.
(Admittedly, social media today is being used negatively. First of all, the trolls — I have been a victim of them myself. They will attack you and defame you.)
Gatchalian underscored the need to separate the legislation on social media “after a more thorough and comprehensive discussion.”
For one, the senator noted that the scope of social media is broad.
“Saklaw pa ba ng NTC (National Telecommunications Commission) ‘yung Facebook, Instagram o Tiktok accounts na ino-operate sa China? May mga ganun na komplikasyon na dapat ayusin,” he pointed out.
(Are Facebook, Instagram or Tiktok accounts being operated by China still covered by the NTC? There are such complications that need to be addressed.)
“Ako naman ay bukas na ayusin pa ‘yung batas para maging klaro. But in theory, dapat totoong tao lang ang mag register sa social media,” he stressed.
(I’m open to fix the law to make it clear. But in theory, only real people should register on social media.)
Gatchalian, meanwhile, defended the need to enact the SIM card registration measure into law to combat fraudulent digital activities.
He noted how criminals “have been abusing the anonymity to carry out their nefarious activities and this reduces the confidence of the public in using their mobile phones in doing online or digital transactions for fear of falling victim to fraudsters.”
If passed into law, the bill would promote accountability in the use of SIM cards and sets mechanisms that would make it difficult for criminals to commit mobile phone, internet or electronic communication-aided criminal activities, the senator explained.
“At the same time, it will provide law enforcement agencies with tools to deter the commission of wrongdoings and come up with needed evidence trails that can easily lead to the resolution of cases,” Gatchalian said.