Sunday, April 21, 2024

SIM registration crucial first step against scammers, says Poe

Sen. Grace Poe said the Senate committee, on public services which she heads, is preparing its report on the SIM Registration Card bill for the approval of its members.

Sen. Grace Poe
Photo from Senate

Poe likewise stressed that the committee will open a separate inquiry on pending resolutions to shed light on the processes of the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) and other agencies in dealing with the unbridled text scams.

“Priority natin ngayon na mai-report out iyong sa SIM card registration. Tapos sa susunod, magpapatawag tayo ng inquiry para sa mga resolution tungkol sa proseso ng NTC,” she said in a radio interview.

The senator said concerned government agencies and stakeholders, including telecommunications companies, have thrown support for the need to have a legislation that would finally dodge the deluge of text scams.

Alam din naman ng telcos na kapag paulit-ulit ang text scams, sila rin naman ang responsible du’n, so gusto rin nila may registration,” she said.

“We reiterate our readiness to work hand-in-hand with the government, especially in protecting Filipino consumers. We also welcome any opportunity to support the legislative process and contribute to the crafting of the bill’s implementing rules and regulations,” he added.

Poe said institutionalizing the registration of SIM cards will be a crucial first step against the scammers. But she pointed out that agencies and telcos must also be on their toes in ensuring the privacy and security of the people’s data under their custody.

PLDT-owned telco Smart Communications earlier reiterated its support for the mandatory registration of SIM cards after the House ICT committee approved the consolidated measure requiring the registration of prepaid and postpaid SIM cards.

“Consumer online protection has always been one of Smart’s advocacies. Safeguarding our customers against fraud is part of our commitment to ensure leveled-up customer experience,” said Alfredo S. Panlilio, PLDT and Smart Communications president and CEO.

Dapat masuri rin ang best practices at protocol ng mga nangangalaga ng ating data, pero unahin natin ang SIM card registration para naka-one step na tayo,” she said.

Poe highlighted the need to also dig deeper on how the telcos guarantee that their respective database is shielded from breaches and leakages.

Dapat matanong ang telcos, halimbawa may database, sino’ng may access d’yan. Sa ibang bansa, meron din naman mga ads na ipinapadala sa telepono, pero itong sa atin, talagang napakatalamak, niloloko talaga tayo,” she said.

Poe said the NTC should also step up its monitoring and response to complaints about text scams.

She said she has verified that at times, no one receives calls to the NTC hotline. “Publicity lang ba ang number na ‘yan?” she said.

During the committee hearing last week, Poe expressed frustration over the NTC head’s failure to cite the agency’s hotline.

Kailangan din alam ng NTC ang gagawin ‘pag nakatanggap ng report, dapat meron itong koneksyon kung sino ang dapat umaksyon, kung PNP (Philippine National Police), NBI (National Bureau of Investigation) o telco,” Poe said.

Dapat ang isang ahensya pinapatakbo ng may kapabilidad at mayroon man lang malasakit,” Poe added.

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