Globe, a prominent mobile service provider, has welcomed the National Telecommunications Commission’s (NTC) latest guidelines aimed at enhancing the identity verification process in SIM registration. With a strong commitment to customer protection, Globe emphasizes the importance of close cooperation and consultation among industry stakeholders, regulators, and law enforcement agencies for the effective implementation of the SIM Registration Act.
During a recent Senate hearing, concerns were raised about the acceptance of animal photos instead of valid personal IDs, casting doubts on the reliability of the SIM registration verification process. Despite having fully adhered to the SIM Registration Act’s requirements, which resulted in the registration of 54 million SIMs, there are areas that can be improved to prevent online fraud and scams.
Firstly, the need for a comprehensive national identification system, such as the national ID, is paramount. This would eliminate the reliance on various government-issued IDs that may be susceptible to tampering or compromise. Globe strongly advocates for discussions with the government to enhance the rollout of the National ID system and collaborate with law enforcement agencies.
Secondly, Globe appreciates the NTC’s recent guidelines for verifying SIM owner identities. While Globe commits to complying with these guidelines, investments must be made to implement a more advanced identification solution. Careful consideration of technical options is crucial to ensure compliance with the intricate requirements of the SIM Registration law.
Thirdly, implementing the SIM Registration Act represents just the initial step in combatting online fraud and scams. A robust system of law enforcement and intelligence capable of addressing technology-driven criminal activities is essential. Additionally, the issue of citizens selling registered SIMs and serving as intermediaries needs to be addressed.
Atty. Froilan Castelo, General Counsel of the Globe Group, pointed out the challenges faced by telcos during the initial implementation of SIM registration, including limited time to design the registration platform and insufficient access to a verification database. “We are currently working with the government to enhance our SIM registration platform, and we hope to get access to data with which we can verify documents submissions, including photo IDs,” added Castelo.
Looking ahead, Globe remains optimistic that the NTC’s post-validation guidelines will help identify and deactivate SIMs registered with fake credentials, leading to investigations by law enforcement agencies. Globe urges SIM users to provide only accurate information and valid IDs during registration, as the SIM Registration Act imposes penalties on those submitting fraudulent information. Individuals who provide false information or fake IDs may face imprisonment ranging from six months to two years and a fine of P300,000.