Press Release
September 8, 2023

Poe pushes for 'live selfie' requirement for SIM registration

Sen. Grace Poe prodded concerned agencies and telecommunications companies (telcos) to make "selfies" a requirement in the process of SIM registration as deterrence against fraud and scamming.

Poe said the selfies, or one's photograph taken by oneself, should be part of the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of Republic Act 11934 or the SIM Registration Act.

"Kahit nandyan na ang SIM Registration law, hindi nawala ang scammers. Kaya pakiusap

ko na isama na ang live selfie sa requirement ng registration," Poe said.

"Ang batas ay ginawa para mas pangalagaan ang ating mga kababayan laban sa mga manloloko," she added.

The head of the Senate public services committee renewed her push for the selfie requirement after the National Bureau of Investigation bared in a hearing that it was

able to register a SIM using a fake government ID bearing the photo of a monkey.

Prior to this, several raids in alleged cybercrime hubs yielded thousands of SIM cards that have been pre-registered and containing e-wallet purportedly used in the scam operations.

Poe, author and sponsor of the law, said she expects the National Telecommunications Commission to come up with a reinforced IRR that can be more effective in addressing scams.

"We have seen that fake government IDs can get through the telcos' system. The selfies will be an added line of defense in the SIM verification process," she said.

However, the senator reminded the IRR must ensure protection of subscribers against privacy violations.

Poe also exhorted telcos to make an extra effort that would make it easy for subscribers to comply with the selfie requirement, especially those in far-flung areas and without internet access.

The senator said government agencies and telcos should also work closely in tracking down individuals and groups who try to get around the law to continue their illegal activities

"Hindi simpleng registration ang pakay ng batas na ito. Pagsisiguro ito na ang perang naipon ng ating mga kababayan ay hindi mananakaw ng manloloko gamit mismo ang SIM," Poe said.

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