SIM Card Act signing welcomed

Senator Christopher “Bong” Go lauded President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. for signing Republic Act 11934 or the Sim Card Registration law, saying it will surely be welcomed by many people.

Go was a co-author and co-sponsor of the measure.

Marcos signed Republic Act 11934 also known as An Act Requiring the Registration of SIM Cards in a ceremony witnessed by Vice President Sara Z. Duterte, lawmakers, and other government officials at Malacañang Palace.

RA 11934 is the first law signed under the Marcos administration. It was signed two days after Marcos marked his first 100 days in office on Oct. 8.

“With the signing of this law, we set the important tone that it is our national policy to ensure that technology shall only be used to improve our people’s lives,” the President said.

Go shared that there were instances wherein his name was used by scammers to lure victims to their illegal schemes.

He early on expressed confidence that the measure will deter fraudsters and create a safer online environment for Filipinos.

“This will be able to help the current administration protect the welfare and privacy of the Filipinos and make them feel safe as they use their devices,” he said.

Mobile scams

Interior Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr., likewise welcomed the new law, saying authorities can now quickly act on complaints and cases involving mobile scams.

Abalos said with many Filipinos victimized by text scams and data breaches on a daily basis, the signing of the SIM Card Registration Act is a welcome development in inciting accountability at all levels towards significantly reducing electronic communication-aided criminal acts that are being widely committed in anonymity.

“This new law will enable the Philippine National Police and other law enforcement agencies to quickly act on complaints and cases involving mobile scams as they will be able to easily track offenders and resolve misconduct involving telecommunication devices, “ Abalos said in a statement.

He added that the DILG can better shepherd the attached agencies and local government units to adapt to the demands of the digital world as we fulfill our mandate on peace and order and safeguard our people against ill-intentioned criminals in both the offline and online space while continuing to operate within the bounds imposed by existing data privacy laws and regulations.

“The DILG, its attached agencies, and regional offices commit to supporting this new law’s implementation, keeping in mind the best interest of the Filipino people,” he said.

Accurate identification

PNP chief Gen. Rodolfo Azurin Jr. allayed fears of mobile phone users over the issue, saying the confidentiality of communications is duly protected under the country’s laws.

He added that the measure will strengthen law enforcers’ capability to go after criminals through the accurate identification of all mobile phone users.

Citing data from the PNP Anti-Cybercrime Group, Azurin said the police recorded a total of 4,254 SIM card-related offenses from January to September this year.

This excludes cases handled by other units of the PNP, other government institutions, reported incidents handled by different financial institutions and cases unreported by victims.

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