MANILA, Philippines — The government should expedite the national ID card system as it can be a good deterrent against the proliferation of fake users of registered SIM cards, ACT-CIS Rep. Erwin Tulfo said Thursday .
In a statement, Tulfo said the full implementation of Republic Act No. 11055 or the Philippine Identification System Act will help resolve issues related to the SIM Card Registration Act , because the database could be used by the government to cross-check people who register their SIM cards.
“The issuance of national ID cards to Filipino citizens and resident aliens, as required by law, will give service providers easy access to the government database for the truthful profile of bona fide holders applying for the “registering a SIM card,” Tulfo explained.
“We support my fellow legislators’ call for telecommunications operators to take strict action on SIM card registration and help law enforcement track down online fraudsters, but I also call to the speedy implementation of RA 11055, because, in my opinion, the use of National ID cards inspires confidence in our pursuit of foolproof SIM registration,” he added.
Tulfo said this as concerns have been raised over the government’s SIM card registration process, including fears that the security measures put in place are not enough to block fake apps.
Just Tuesday, NBI Cybercrime Division Chief Prosecutor Jeremy Lotoc told a Senate panel that they attempted to register SIM cards from different telecommunications companies (telcos) using the face of an animal – in this case, a monkey.
Lotoc said it succeeded, proving that fraudsters can still register fake personalities for their SIM cards despite the law.
This led Senator Grace Poe, chair of the Senate Public Services Committee, to suggest that a selfie or live photograph be taken as a prerequisite for registering SIM cards.
READ: After NBI Registers SIM Card Using Monkey’s Face, Poe Wants ‘Live Selfie’ Required
Tulfo, however, believes that a unique identification system to verify people’s identities would be essential to strengthen SIM card registration.
“A single identification system, encompassing all Filipinos, is the key to ensuring the integrity of SIM card registration,” Tulfo said.
“In conclusion, the call to accelerate the implementation of the national identity system, as advocated by Globe, not only has a considerable impact on various aspects of daily life, from the simplification of bureaucratic procedures to to strengthen national security efforts, but also constitutes a valuable tool in the fight against cybercrime by curbing the spread of false SIM identities,” he added.
RA No. 11055 was promulgated in July 2017, but its implementation stalled for several reasons. Last May, Senate Minority Leader Koko Pimentel asked the Legislative Chamber to investigate delays in the issuance of national ID cards, saying the quality of the cards was also in question.
Department of Information and Communications Technology Secretary Ivan John Uy on Wednesday admitted that even President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. is growing impatient with persistent delays in the national identification system.
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