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SIM REGISTRATION TO EXPOSE SCAMMERS – DELA ROSA

Senator Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa assured that text scammers and other cyber fraudsters using subscriber identity modules, commonly known as SIM cards for cellphones, can no longer hide their identities once the SIM Registration Bill becomes law.

In his co-sponsorship speech of Senate Bill No. 1310 to be known as Subscriber Identification Module (SIM), under Committee Report No. 5, Dela Rosa urged his colleagues to immediately pass the bill, which aims to mandate the registration of SIM to easily identify and eventually arrest text scammers.

“Lagyan natin ng mukha at pangalanan ang mga mamamatay tao at mga manloloko. No more unknown callers. No more scams. Hindi na sila makapagtatago sa likod ng kanilang mga cellphones. Gamitin natin ang teknolohiya upang matukoy ang mga kriminal,” the legislator said.

The former chief of the Philippine National Police said the first paragraph of Section 4 of the proposed SIM Registration Act captures the principal objectives of the bill because it states, “In order to deter the proliferation of Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) or electronic communication-aided crimes, such as but not limited to terrorism, text scams, unsolicited, indecent or obscene messages, bank fraud, and massive disinformation, all Public Telecommunications Entity shall require the registration of SIM as pre-requisite to the activation thereof.”

“Nais natin na tanggalan ng kapasidad na makapanloko at makapanakit ang mga masasamang loob gamit ang ating mga cellular phones.”

“Malinaw po ang gustong makamit ng panukalang inihahain natin sa araw na ito. Nais natin na tanggalan ng kapasidad na makapanloko at makapanakit ang mga masasamang loob gamit ang ating mga cellular phones,” the lawmaker stressed.

“Marami pong nasasawi at binabawian ng buhay dahil sa mga masasamang loob na ginagamit ang mga cellphone upang makapaghasik ng terorismo. Ngunit higit na marami marahil ang nawawalan naman ng kabuhayan dahil sa mga text scams gamit ang mga hindi rehistradong mga SIM cards. Dalawang magkaibang sirkumstanya, pero parehong nakamamatay,” the senator added.

“There have been 14 improvised explosive device bombing incidents that used cellphones as switching or triggering mechanisms.”

From January 2019 to February 2021, there have been 14 improvised explosive device bombing incidents that used cellphones as switching or triggering mechanisms, according to the Philippine Bomb Data Center of the Philippine National Police.

Of the 14 bombing incidents, 39 Filipinos have died while 206 others have been injured.

He said text scams continue to surge despite the efforts of the government and telecommunications companies to prevent the proliferation of the fraud.

In June this year, PLDT reportedly blocked over 23 million text messages that showed signs of scam threats while also blocking 78,000 SIM cards. Globe Telecom also reportedly blocked almost a billion malicious text messages last year.

“Sa gitna ng kaliwa’t kanan na pag-block ng ating mga telecom company, hanggang sa ngayon, wala tayong makasuhan sa mga nagtangkang mang-scam sa ating mga kababayan. Hanggang ngayon, hindi natin matukoy ang mga mukha sa likod ng mga text scam na ito. Habang pinapaigting ng ating gobyerno ang kanilang aksyon para masugpo ang mga panloloko, tila mas nagiging ‘sophisticated’ ang kanilang mga modus,” Dela Rosa said.

He said the proposed SIM registration will not equate to the complete eradication of crimes, but will, however, serve as a tool for our law enforcement agencies to solve crimes and deter the commission of crimes.

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