Two senators dissatisfied over implementation of SIM Registration Act
Two senators on Sunday expressed dissatisfaction over the implementation of the SIM Registration Act as scam messages still proliferate.
In an interview with dzBB, Senator Grace Poe said the telcos should have a better verification process for SIM registration.
“It is mandated by the law that the telcos and the NTC shall endeavor to make sure that the person who is registering is real. That’s why there is a verification process,” said Poe, one of the co-authors of the mandatory SIM registration law.
“What they should do is first, have the right verification process and compare the person’s face next to their ID or have the telcos take a picture so they have proof that it’s a real person. Second, they should have the proper implementation and arrest those scammers,” she added.
Senator Sherwin Gatchalian said he would propose that only IDs that were secure should be used in registering SIMs.
“Passport, which is hard to fake, the national ID and the driver’s license can be used but the other IDs that easily be faked or acquired should be suspended. I will propose an amendment that limits the IDs that can be used to those that are secure and cannot be easily forged,” he said.
Poe also criticized the telcos for not acting on reports on cyber and text scams quickly.
“It's so hard to report when someone scams us. Then, even if you report it takes ages before they address it,” she said.
“Many syndicates still continue using a fake registration or buy fake SIM cards because none of them are being punished for it,” she said.
Poe, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Public Services, earlier this month conducted an inquiry into the spread of text scams.
During the hearing, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) showed that a fake Philippine Health Insurance (PhilHealth) ID with a picture of a monkey was accepted in the registration sites of telcos.
She said the NTC and telcos met last Friday to discuss what they need to change to improve the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of the SIM Registration Act.
Poe noted that one of the possible changes they could make was to limit the number of SIM cards a subscriber was allowed to have.
Gatchalian criticized the NTC for not having a sense of urgency when it came to the SIM registration issues.
“The NTC should be more alert. When we had a hearing, I felt like they didn’t immediately act. They already know that there’s a problem. The NBI showed that a picture of a monkey could pass through the registration but it’s as if that’s okay with them. They did nothing but point fingers at the telcos. There shouldn’t be pointing fingers at each other,” he told dzBB in a separate interview. Jaspearl Tan/DMS