August 24, 2023 Camille P. Balagtas 174 views

SENATOR Grace Poe has raised the alarm over the continued proliferation of text scams and the reported use of subscriber identity modules (SIMs) in the operations of illegal Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs).

In Senate Resolution No. 745 that she filed, Poe asked the appropriate Senate committees to conduct an inquiry on the matter to find out if Republic Act No. 111934 or the SIM Registration Act is being fully implemented more than a year since it was enacted.

“The law aims to protect users from scams and hasten law enforcement in investigating phone-related scams,” Poe, principal author and sponsor of the law said.

“The registration of SIM should help unmask fraudsters and deny them of sanctuary to hide. But, are these being achieved?” the chairperson of the Senate committee on public services added.

More than a year since the law was passed and despite the termination of the SIM registration, Poe noted that text scams and other mobile-related fraud continue to hound the public.

The senator said a recent raid on POGO establishments revealed that thousands of SIMs are being used for illegal operations.

“The law mandates that SIM should not be used for unlawful purposes and that owners have verified identity,” Poe said.

“However, reports that thousands of registered SIMs seized are being used as a tool for scamming and other cyber fraud raise questions about the effective implementation of the law,” she added.

Poe said the implementing agencies, telecommunications companies and law enforcement agencies should explain how thousands of SIMs used in fraudulent operations were able to register, and if they were signed up using fictitious individuals or by willing victims who sold their identity.

Poe also reminded the National Telecommunications Commission, Department of Information and Communications Technology and other relevant agencies to submit to Congress a report and update on the law’s implementation.