By Junex Doronio

DESPITE THE CLAIM of Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) Secretary Ivan Uy that the number of text scams declined after the enactment of the SIM (subscriber identity module) Registration Act, the Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission (PAOCC) on Friday said online registration of SIM cards should be temporarily stopped.

PAOCC executive director Undersecretary Gilbert Cruz argued that the system still accepts fake identities and information.

“Siguro po for the meantime — suggestion lang po ito sa amin — huwag muna natin gamitin iyong ating SIM registration, iyong mga bago lang na magpapa-rehistro,” Cruz said in his interview with GMA Integrated News’ Unang Balita.

Earlier, on Wednesday, September 13, in a press briefing Uy claimed that there are now lesser SIM card-based scammers.

The mandated SIM registration under RA 11934 lapsed on July 25, 2023 with more than 100 million validated SIM cards by the three telcos namely: Globe, Smart and DITO Telecommunity.

“Kung mapapansin ninyo during the SIM card registration period, for me, in my personal case, I averaged about six or seven text messages na scam per day – six or seven. Today, I probably get one or one in two days or three days,” Uy said.

It was gathered that the DICT is also seeking an additional P300 million in confidential funds to go after the remaining scammers.

But Cruz expressed apprehension to the effectiveness of SIM card registration.

He disclosed that they found and confiscated an equipment that can register up to 64 SIM cards at the same time.

The PAOCC official noted that this equipment is for sale even online.

Cruz suggested that telecommunication companies (telcos) and authorities should “physically or manually” check the information of registrants.

With this procedure, they can remove those who submitted dummy information and conduct and go after the “scammers”, he concluded.