By Wilnard Bacelonia

CURBING TEXT SCAMS. A staff member of a telecommunications company (left) helps a client in registering his subscriber identity module card at a stall at the Quezon City Hall grounds on April. 25, 2023. Republic Act 11934 or the SIM Card Registration law seeks to put an end to scams. (PNA photo by Ben Briones) 

MANILA – A senator on Thursday said higher payment for registering a fourth subscriber identity module (SIM) card can prevent the proliferation of text scammers.

Senator Francis Tolentino said criminals tend to buy 50 to 100 SIM cards to use different phone numbers in scamming their victims.

Ang pakay po natin dito ay matulungan yung ating mga mahihirap na kababayan na isa lang yung cellphone o dalawa lang yung cellphone at [mahuli] lalong-lalo na po yung mga may balak na gumawa ng krimen, yung mga scammer na bumibili ng singkwenta SIM cards, isang daang SIM cards, nang sa gayon ay tumaas na ang presyo ng SIM cards na iyan, at wala na kayong malolokong mga Pilipino (Our intention is to help our poor countrymen who only has one or two cellphones and capture those who plan to commit a crime, scammers who buy 50 to 100 SIM cards, to also increase the price of these SIM cards so they cannot fool more Filipinos),” Tolentino said in his statement.

He cited as an example the regulations in subdivisions and schools wherein higher fees for stickers are collected from homeowners or clients who have multiple vehicles.

[Ang binabayaran para] sa mga nangungupahan nating mga kababayan, sa mga condominium, yung parking slot mo kapag dalawa na ang kotse, mas mataas na rin ([Fees for] renters in condominiums who have two cars for additional parking slots is also higher),” Tolentino said.

In a recent Senate hearing, Senator Sherwin Gatchalian urged the National Telecommunications Commission to do a post validation on registered SIM cards to ensure that those who are registered are real people.

Gatchalian made the call amid the proliferation of text scams after the National Bureau of Investigation bared that there are registered SIM card owners who sell their SIM cards.

He said post validation could prevent anyone with fake IDs to register SIM cards and prevent syndicates from using them.

“We cannot allow monkeys, horses to be registered. We have to do something or else this will happen over and over again,” he said. (PNA)