Senator Alan Peter Cayetano on Friday said rather than discontinuing SIM registration due to an incident in which a photo of a smiling monkey was successfully used, the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) should focus on enhancing the process and implementing stricter measures.
“Sa akin baligtad: hindi itigil muna – higpitan nila,” Cayetano said in an interview with reporters on September 15, 2023.
“Mas dadami pa ang loko-loko diyan ‘pag walang registration,” he added.
This after the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) revealed in a Senate hearing on September 5, 2023 that its Cybercrime Division had conducted a test and managed to register a SIM card using a photo of a smiling monkey.
Cayetano said the NCT can prevent such incidents from happening by setting an example and hunting down at least five persons who have committed such acts and filing a case against them.
“Ang Pilipino mahilig sa ‘sample.’ Sampolan mo lang y’ung isa. Kung nakita mong hayop [ang ginamit na litrato] hanapin mo. May address naman y’un, may name. Tapos kasuhan mo,” he said.
The independent senator also urged the NCT to coordinate with other agencies like the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Department of Information Communication Technology (DICT) which have established tried-and-tested online systems.
He also suggested that the SIM registration be integrated into the National ID system to make the verification simpler and more reliable.
“Ang PNP magaling na ang kanilang cybercrime unit. Ang DICT napakagagaling ng mga tao diyan. And then [i-connect] y’ung National ID,” he said.
Cayetano said while it is nearly impossible to dodge security breaches, maximizing the National ID system can solve “most of the problems” in the SIM registration process.
He also encouraged the NTC to approach the Senate and the House of Representatives and report on the lapses so Congress can strengthen the laws that cover SIM registration.
“We’re humans. Later on baka pati AI (artificial intelligence) can register their own SIM cards – we don’t know. But if we solve 99 percent of the problem, OK na y’un.” he said.###