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Sen. Poe calls on the DICT and the NTC to step up their efforts to combat text scams.

MANILA, Philippines — Senator Grace Poe called on the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) and the National Telecommunications Office (NTC) to increase their efforts to combat SMS fraud on Thursday.

After receiving unsolicited text messages from unknown mobile phone numbers promising jobs, extra cash, incentives, and freebies, the lady senator decided to take action.

“As more people rely on digital technology to get through tough times, we must strengthen all required safeguards against heightened threats that could derail our people’s recovery efforts,” she said in a statement.

Poe also asked the newly elected 19th Congress to reintroduce the SIM card registration law, which would serve to institutionalize protection for the country’s millions of mobile phone users.

The proposed Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) Card Registration Act was vetoed by President Rodrigo Duterte in April, citing concerns about free speech and data privacy.

Outgoing Senator Franklin Drilon’s edition of “social media providers registration” was the key cause for the bill’s veto, according to House Deputy Speaker Wes Gatchalian.

Drilon disputed that the item he introduced in the measure was tacked on at the last minute, claiming that it was thoroughly researched before being debated in the Senate plenary.

On the third reading, he said, 22 senators voted in support of the bill, and the House of Representatives adopted it with minor changes.

Incoming DICT Secretary Ivan John Uy has stated that the government’s law enforcement personnel require additional training in order to combat the problem of ongoing text and internet fraud.

“We need to create a better digital police force, or a digital National Bureau of Investigation, to go after these cybercriminals.” In order to accomplish this successfully, we need more training and we need to select the appropriate individuals,” Uy stated in a press conference.

In a previous statement, the DICT reminded the public that, especially in these tough circumstances, offers and invitations to participate in schemes promising easy money must be thoroughly reviewed and analyzed.

“The public should be aware of SMS frauds involving government authorities, in which they receive a text message claiming they have won money in an electronic lottery.” “If an investment opportunity seems too good to be true, it probably is,” according to the statement.

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