MANILA - The passage of the SIM card registration bill is key to apprehending those behind the alleged hijacking of the emergency text alert system, a lawmaker said on Monday.
Illegal text blasts, similar to the ones sent during the 2022 elections, can be curbed with SIM card registration, according to Makati Congressman Luis Campos, who is sponsoring the budget of the Department of Information and Communications Technology.
"Kung meron tayong SIM card registration, once that text is sent out it can be immediately attributable to a source," Campos said.
The National Telecommunications Commission would be able to recognize the used device once they are turned on, but the devices have since been turned off, Campos said.
He also said the device used to send the text blast was "smuggled."
"Ayon po sa NTC yan pong mga text blast equipment na ginamit diyan ay smuggled," Campos said.
The House already approved on 3rd and final reading House Bill 14 which mandates the registration of SIM Cards last September 19. The Senate received it from the House the next day.
The Congressional Policy and Budget Research Department showed that the total available appropriations of the DICT and its attached agencies for 2023 will amount to P9.82 billion, lower by P5 billion or by 33.8 percent, compared with P14.84 billion in 2022.
The CPBRD also flagged the agency for the P7 billion in unused appropriations in 2021. It said the DICT's disbursement rate remains low at 26.9 percent from 23.3 percent in 2020.
New DICT Secretary Ivan John Uy earlier said he plans to raise the budget utilization of the agency.