Senator Grace Poe on Wednesday urged her colleagues in the 19th Congress to pass the SIM Card Registration bill to “effectively thwart text scams.”
Unless a law is passed, that the bombardment of unwanted text messages will persist, Poe stressed.
“We need more than band-aid solutions to these unrelenting scams,” she said.
The senator said she will refile her original bill that will make the registration of all SIM cards mandatory.
“Our problem today is the growing number of pranksters, offering jobs. They will rob you once you gave your information,” she said.
Poe, chair of the Senate Committee on Public Services, admitted it is difficult to go after the text scammers who were using prepaid SIM cards.
“They are not registered,” she added.
Under Poe’s bill, all existing prepaid SIM card subscribers with active services should register within 180 days from the effectivity of the proposed law. Telcos will be authorized to deactivate SIM card numbers that have not been registered within the prescribed period.
Poe said that without the protection of the measure, the public becomes vulnerable to fraudulent transactions that place their sensitive data such as bank accounts, passwords, profiles, among other information, at risk.
Despite efforts by the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) and telecommunications companies to warn the public against text scams and make them block or report the messages, Poe bewailed that text scams have remained rampant.
Poe said she intends to talk with her fellow senators in the incoming 19th Congress to rally support for the measure to help expedite deliberations.
The senator said they will discuss if the provision on social media registration can be incorporated anew in the bill, or can be a subject of a separate legislation.