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  • Writer's pictureLeonora Lo-oy

Monkey allowed to register mobile SIM in the Philippines

If only monkeys use mobile phones, they can surely pass the Subscriber Identity Module or SIM card registration in the Philippines.

This was unfolded by the National Bureau of Investigation(NBI) after testing the SIM registration system of the different telecommunications in the country.

NBI Cybercrime Division Chief Jeremy Lotoc disclosed before the Senate Committee on Public Services hearing on September 05 that they bought SIM cards and register them utilizing a smiling face of a monkey. They also register said animal in different names.

Oddly enough, the telecommunications' system accepted the monkey's registration.

The experiment showed that fake IDs can still be used to register one’s SIM, making it still challenging to identify scammers in spite of the SIM Registration Act.

In response, Attorney Ariel Tubayan, the Head of Globe’s Policy Division, Corporate and Legal Services Group said the case is ‘precisely the reason’ why they asked for an access to government IDs while the law was then still being deliberated.

“Mas madali po iyon kasi may biometrics. So yun po talaga ang makakapagpigil niyan,” he said.

Attorney Roy Ibay, Smart’s Vice President and Head of Regulatory Affairs conveyed that smart had processes to verify submitted information and data and that it employed an ‘optical character recognition technology’ not just for verification of information but also to protect and secure its subscribers.

Moreover, Attorney Niño Martin Cruz, Manager of DITO Regulatory and Government Affairs said they implemented the features of the SIM registration law including ‘face liveliness’ where the platform recognizes and traces biometrics.

Senator Grace Poe recommended for the National Telecommunications Commission to amend the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the SIM Registration Act which the agency agreed to particularly that they are now on the post-registration validation of the SIMs.

Republic Act 11934 or the SIM Registration Act was signed into law in October 2022, mandating all users to register their SIMs from December 2022 – July 2023. The act was enacted to promote responsible SIM ownership and also to trace perpetrators behind cyber criminal activities.



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