Press Release
September 12, 2022

Poe: SIM card registration panel report out soon

Sen. Grace Poe said the Senate committee on public services which she heads is preparing its report on the Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) Registration Card bill for the approval of its members.

Poe likewise stressed that the committee will open a separate inquiry on pending resolutions to shed light on the processes of the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) and other agencies in dealing with the unbridled text scams.

"Priority natin ngayon na mai-report out iyong sa SIM card registration. Tapos sa susunod, magpapatawag tayo ng inquiry para sa mga resolution tungkol sa proseso ng NTC," she said in a radio interview.

The senator said concerned government agencies and stakeholders, including telecommunications companies, have thrown support for the need to have a legislation that would finally dodge the deluge of text scams.

"Alam din naman ng telcos na kapag paulit-ulit ang text scams, sila rin naman ang responsible du'n, so gusto rin nila may registration," she said.

Poe said institutionalizing the registration of SIM cards will be a crucial first step against the scammers. But she pointed out that agencies and telcos must also be on their toes in ensuring the privacy and security of the people's data under their custody.

"Dapat masuri rin ang best practices at protocol ng mga nangangalaga ng ating data, pero unahin natin ang SIM card registration para naka-one step na tayo," she said.

The bill mandates telcos to register SIM cards as a prerequisite to sale and activation.

Poe highlighted the need to also dig deeper on how the telcos guarantee that their respective database is shielded from breaches and leakages.

"Dapat matanong ang telcos, halimbawa may database, sino'ng may access d'yan. Sa ibang bansa, meron din naman mga ads na ipinapadala sa telepono, pero itong sa atin, talagang napakatalamak, niloloko talaga tayo," she said.

Poe said the NTC should also step up its monitoring and response to complaints about text scams.

She said she has verified that at times, no one receives calls to the NTC hotline.

"Publicity lang ba ang number na 'yan?" she said.

During the committee hearing last week, Poe expressed frustration over the NTC head's failure to cite the agency's hotline.

"Kailangan din alam ng NTC ang gagawin 'pag nakatanggap ng report, dapat meron itong koneksyon kung sino ang dapat umaksyon, kung PNP (Philippine National Police), NBI (National Bureau of Investigation) o telco," Poe said.

"Dapat ang isang ahensya pinapatakbo ng may kapabilidad at mayroon man lang malasakit," Poe added.

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