Senate OK of SIM card registration is step closer to ending text scams: Poe

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 28 2022 12:22 PM

MANILA - The Senate approval of the SIM Card Registration bill brings the Philippines closer to putting an end to the SMS-linked scams, Senator Grace Poe said. 

The measure, which was also approved by the House of Representatives, was the first bill passed by the 19th Congress, Poe said in a statement. 

The bill was passed by the Senate on its third and final reading on Sept. 27.

Consumers and mobile phone users have been suffering from receiving conniving text messages meant to collect personal information through deceit. 

Regulators and law enforcement officials have struggled to pin point the source of the scam messages since there is no way to trace the owners of the numbers used in sending the fraudulent messages.

With the bill, SIM card users will have to prove their identity using a valid government ID.

"Finally, meron na tayong magagawa aside from just ignoring, deleting or blocking the numbers with fraudulent or spam messages. We have now in our hands the means to unmask criminals who have been hiding for so long under the protection of anonymity, and to bring them to justice," Poe said.

"Meron na pong pwedeng gawin para makulong sila o magbayad ng malaking multa," she added.

(We can do something to put them in jail or to impose fines)

Telco officials have also been pushing for the bill to curb spamming.

While waiting for the measure to be enacted into law by the president, the National Telecommunications Commission has instructed telco operators to block malicious sites and warn its users of fraud, among others.

Phone manufacturers and sellers were also instructed to inform consumers of text blocking features.

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