ITU approach vs text scams sought by NTC


September 9, 2022

The National Telecommunications Commission recommended adopting the approach of the International Telecommunication Union in addressing text scams in a recent public hearing conducted by Senator Grace Poe.

The approach hinges on a comprehensive public information drive, the use of blocking software/app to help screen unwanted messages from unknown numbers, the need for a SIM registration law, encouraging the public to follow government’s advice on disregarding unwanted messages and the continued upgrade of the phone users’ IOS to prevent any malware and virus attacks.

The proliferation of text scams was discussed in a public hearing by Sen. Poe, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Public Services, with representatives from the NTC, Department of Information and Communications Technology, National Privacy Commission, Department of Justice, National Bureau of Investigation, Philippine National Police, Globe, SMART/PLDT, DITO, CONVERGE, GCash, DTI and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.
The NBI and PNP said that there is a need for a SIM registration law to identify the real sources of the text. With a law in place, proper legal charges may be filed against the perpetrators.

Poe advised the NTC and the telcos to continue their information drive and increase the frequency of their text blasts to constantly remind the public to disregard text spams.

At the end of the hearing, all parties were unanimous in expressing its support for the passage of a SIM registration law.

Senators Joel Villanueva, JV Ejercito and Jinggoy Estrada were also present during the session.

DICT Secretary Ivan John Uy reported that a memorandum of understanding was recently signed with the Singaporean ICT Ministry in relation to sharing know-how on the upgrade of digital response to cyber-related issues.

Poe requested Secretary Uy for updates on this development in the future.
Together with the NBI and PNP, the NPC said that it is still in the process of finishing its investigation on the proliferation of fraudulent text messages, which now bear the names of the users. NPC representatives claim that they have not seen any issue of breaching thus far.

Senator Nancy Binay requested that the NPC finish their investigation soon.

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