Speed up SIM registration, says solon

Senator Grace Poe on Sunday called on authorities to intensify efforts to clamp down mobile phone scammers without letup as the registration of Subscriber Identity Module or SIM cards continues.

Poe, the chair of the Senate Committee on Public Services and principal author of the SIM Registration Act, said the public continues to receive text scams, including recent messages saying their online bank account has been blocked.

“There are still SIM farms out there and spoofing tools. Sinister minds will never stop hatching ways of stealing information and duping people,” Poe said.

The lawmaker stressed that the government should underestimate the lawmakers, despite the recent decrease in the number of complaints received by the Department of Information and Communications Technology.

She said that the DICT and telecommunications companies should exert full effort to pull out all the stops to make the public register their SIM number on or before the deadline on 26 April.

Signed into law in October 2022, Republic Act 11934, or the SIM Registration Act is the government’s weapon against scams through text and online messages, which have become more prevalent last year.

Under the measure, all mobile subscribers should enroll their SIMs, including eSIMs, before the deadline on 26 April.

Poe said that while the law allows for an extension, this should be used to further step up the SIM registration campaign.

“With the law, we expect all fraudulent and unwanted text messages to die a natural death. But we must not let our guard down,” said the lawmaker.

“The extension period, if so decided by the DICT, will be for the legitimate subscribers to register and avoid disruption in their mobile phone services. This should not extend the heydays of the scammers,” she added.

The DICT may decide to extend the period of enlistment for 120 days more.

According to the DICT, around 45.8 million or 27.12 percent of the 169 million SIMs are in use nationwide.

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