Press Release
September 9, 2022

Poe: SIM card registration measure to exclude provision on social media

Sen. Grace Poe said the proposed measure on SIM card registration will no longer include the provision on social media to ensure its speedy passage, adding that the social media aspect belongs to another committee.

"Ang gagawin dito sa version na ipapasa natin sa (public services) committee, hindi na namin babanggitin ang social media para walang issue," Poe said in a radio interview Friday.

"Kung gagawa ng batas para sa responsible use of social media, ibang komite na ang tatalakay diyan," she added.

Poe expressed confidence that the Senate can swiftly pass the SIM card registration bill as it had already been approved in the previous Congress by both Houses. The Senate leadership has also made it a priority.

"Ang nakakalungkot diyan, naipasa na natin 'yan noong 18th Congress at na-veto lang. Sa pakikipag-usap ko sa mga kasamahan ko sa Senado, walang tutol dito dahil nga maraming nabibiktima," Poe explained.

Poe and other senators also recently became targets of rampant scam text messages carrying their names.

"The registration of SIM cards is a deterrent for crimes. We almost passed it into law the last time and we are eliminating the issue of contention which is on social media regulation," Poe said.

Many have raised concerns on recent smishing scam messages which were sent through prepaid mobile numbers.

Telcos and other stakeholders said that stamping out the scams will require a whole-of-community approach as the schemes used by scammers continue to evolve.

Telcos have already blocked thousands of SIM cards, hundreds of websites and millions of messages but scammers only get new cards and set up new sites.

"Dapat maisabatas na ang SIM card registration para lahat tayo ay protektado," Poe said.

The chair of the Senate committee on public services said the global trend is toward the registration of SIM cards even in countries with the highest regard for data privacy rights such as majority of the countries in the European Union.

Some 155 countries now require SIM card registration.

"This has been a long time coming but I hope the passage of this bill will result in a safer and more secure mobile phone use here in the country," Poe said.

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