SEN. Grace Poe said authorities should start to test the mettle of the SIM Registration law by arresting and penalizing text scammers.
Poe said the law has good provisions, which should be put into effective use by concerned agencies, law enforcers and telecommunications companies (telcos), instead of halting its implementation.
“Nasa awtoridad ang responsibilidad ng maayos na pagpapatupad ng batas na ito. Ang sabi ko nga, kung may matibay na ebidensya laban sa mga nahuli na lumalabag sa batas, sampolan n’yo na,” the principal author and sponsor of Republic Act No. 11934 or SIM Registration Act said.
“Ang dapat talaga, pinatutupad ang ang batas. Kapag may nakita ang ating mga kababayan na nahuli at kinulong dahil dito nga sa mga fake registration ng SIM o nagbebenta ng pre-registered na SIM, kahit papaano mababawasan yan,” she added.
The senator said that police have made recent raids on cybercrime hubs which led to the discovery of hundreds of pre-registered SIM cards.
“Ano na ang nangyari doon sa mga nahulihan ng may fake na SIM card? Hindi ba dapat iyon ang ikulong o kasuhan?” she said.
“Dati, kung may makita na may fake na SIM cards, hindi makasuhan dahil walang batas, ibig sabihin, hindi iligal ‘yun.
Ngayon, binigyan na natin ng armas ang awtoridad sa pamamagitan ng batas. Umaasa ang ating mga kababayan na gagawin nila ang trabaho nila,” she added.
Poe said she expects the inclusion of the live selfie as part of the verification process in SIM registration.
The National Telecommunications Commission and telcos are discussing ways to beef up the law’s implementing rules and regulations amid the continued proliferation of text scams.
She said proposals to impose a fee starting on the fourth SIM as a deterrent to its illegal use should also be discussed.
However, she said those in charge of the SIM registration should also give consideration to legitimate companies that need to register their employees as a group.
Poe said government agencies and tecos must closely work together to bolster mechanisms for reporting about text scams and related fraud.
“Dapat may timeline din ng pag aksyon sa mga nire-report at may agarang feedback para naman maging mas epektibo at mabisa ang batas,” Poe added.