House Speaker Martin G. Romualdez and Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri on Tuesday signed the enrolled bills on the SIM Registration Act and the Barangay and SK (Sangguniang Kabataan) Elections Postponement Act in simple rites at the Manila Golf Club in Makati City.
“Today, I am honored to join Senate President Migz Zubiri in signing the enrolled bills that will be officially transmitted to Malacanang for the President’s signature,” said Romualdez.
Romualdez is the principal author of the House version of the SIM Registration Act (House Bill No. 14) which was approved on final reading last September 19.
House Majority Leader and Zamboanga City Rep. Manuel Jose Dalipe, Reps. Toby Tiangco, Marjorie Ann Teodoro, and Juliet Marie Ferrer, Senate Majority Leader Joel Villanueva, Senate Deputy Majority Leader JV Ejercito, Sens. Imee Marcos and Grace Poe attended the event.
The twin measures were the first enrolled bills accomplished under the First Regular Session of the 19th Congress.
An enrolled bill is the printed final copy of the approved measure, certified correct by House Secretary General Reginald “Reggie” Velasco and Senate Secretary Renato N. Bantug Jr.
After the signing of the enrolled bills, they were turned over to Presidential Legislative Liaison Office Secretary Mark Llandro Mendoza, who would submit the documents to President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. for his signature, the final act required to sign the twin measures into law.
The Senate passed its version of the measure (Senate Bill 1310) last September 27. Both Houses ratified the bicameral report on September 28.
“This (SIM Registration Act) may be the first legislative measure to be signed into law by President Bongbong Marcos. Once enacted into law, this will be our first line of defense against scammers, con artists, and criminal elements who use cellphones and other electronic communication gadgets for nefarious activities,” Romualdez said.
He warned text scammers to desist from their illegal activities, saying they will be caught and prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
Under the measure, end-users are required to register their SIMs with the concerned Public Telecommunication Entity (PTE) as a prerequisite to activation. Existing SIM subscribers are also required to register with their respective PTEs within 180 days from the effectivity of the law.
Failure to register the SIM within the prescribed period will result in automatic deactivation and may only be reactivated after it is registered in compliance with the requirements of the law.
Certain acts such as failure or refusal to register a SIM, breach of confidentiality, using fictitious identities or fraudulent identification documents to register a SIM, spoofing a registered SIM, sale of stolen SIM, and sale or transfer of a registered SIM without complying with required registration, are penalized with varying amounts of fines or duration of imprisonment.
Meanwhile, Romualdez noted that aside from the proposed 2023 national budget, the houses of Congress filed for the postponement of the barangay and SK elections originally slated for December this year.
House Bill (HB) No. 4673 and Senate Bill (SB) No. 1306 both sought the postponement of the local elections to December 2023, but on different dates.
However, the bicameral conference committee report ratified by both Houses set the date of the next barangay and SK elections on the last Monday of October 2023, and every three years thereafter.