Two landmark legislations, the bill providing for a national energy policy and regulatory framework for the use of electric vehicles (EVs) and the establishment of electric charging stations and the proposed SIM Card Registration Act, are expected to be signed into law soon.
The enrolled copies of the bills on the Electric Vehicle Industry Development Act and the mandatory registration of all subscriber identity module (SIM) cards were transmitted to Malacañang last March 15 and 17 respectively for the President’s signing.
“Malaking tulong para sa mga awtoridad na mapabilis ang paglutas ng mga krimen o magkaroon ng pagkakakilanlan ang mga kriminal kapag batas na ang pagpaparehistro ng mga SIM card,” said Gatchalian, co-author in the Senate and proponent of the measure since the time he was still a congressman.
The re-electionist senator noted the continuing prevalence of text scams, unsolicited text messages or those offering non-existent or dubious jobs, smishing, and similar activities.
“Initially, when I first filed the SIM card registration bill in the House of Representatives in 2013, it was aimed at addressing terrorism and criminal acts of syndicates. But over a period of time, the anonymity in the use of SIM cards has allowed those engaged in nefarious activities untraceable by law enforcers,” Gatchalian said.
Aside from addressing criminal activities, the legislation of SIM card registration will establish a system for a more secure digital transaction, reduce fraud, provide greater consumer access to e-government services, and create opportunities for mobile e-commerce, he explained.
Meanwhile, the lawmaker’s proposed Electric Vehicle Industry Development Act will require the establishment of designated parking slots and charging points for EVs to help kickstart the promotion and adoption of EVs in the country.
If implemented correctly, Gatchalian said the law can help reduce oil consumption in the country by as much as 146.56 million barrels per year and create a $9.8 billion or almost P510 billion in savings per year based on the current exchange rate. Gatchalian is the principal author and sponsor in the Senate of the EV bill.
“Itaguyod natin ang EVs. Kung dumating ang panahon na maging pangkaraniwan nang uri ng sasakyan ang EVs, hindi lang ito makakatulong na mabawasan ang polusyon mula sa mga transportasyon, mababawasan din ang kinakailangan nating suplay ng imported na petrolyo,” Gatchalian concluded.