Poe tells gov’t, telcos to beef up crackdown vs ‘unabated’ text scams
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Grace Poe on Thursday called on concerned government agencies and telecommunication firms to beef up their efforts to put a stop to text scams which continue to victimize Filipino phone users.
“The unabated surge of text scams has brought further hardship and distress on our people who are already mired in debts. This must stop,” Poe, chairperson of the Senate public services committee, said in a statement.
Poe urged the Department of Information and Communications Technology and the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to ramp up their crackdown against text scams.
Poe said she herself has received a number of unwanted texts from prepaid mobile phone numbers promising jobs, extra income, incentives and freebies.
“As more rely on digital technology to cope with the hard times, so must we intensify all necessary safeguards against heightened risks that can overturn our people’s efforts at recovery,” she stressed.
Poe also lamented that despite the NTC’s earlier directive to major telcos to warn subscribers against fake jobs, such text messages have persisted with “new gimmicks to bait and deceive mobile phone users.”
“Hindi natin dapat hayaang patuloy na pagpiyestahan ng mga manloloko at sindikato sa likod ng mga text messages na ito ang mga kababayan nating lugmok pa rin sa hagupit ng pandemya at tumataas pang presyo ng langis at bilihin,” an irked Poe said.
(We should not let these text scammers continue to prey on Filipinos who are still struggling with the impact of the pandemic and the rising prices of oil and goods.)
“To most, the mobile phone is their only means to survive, and it shouldn’t at all be compromised,” she added.
The senator likewise urged the incoming 19th Congress to take up the SIM card registration bill to help institutionalize protection for millions of mobile phone users in the country.
The 18th Congress earlier passed a SIM card registration bill, which was sponsored by Poe in the Senate. The measure, however, was vetoed by outgoing President Rodrigo Duterte over a social media provision.
“The whole of government must ensconce a safer and more secure digital and mobile phone use in the country to protect our people from falling deeper into poverty and helplessness,” Poe went on.
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