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HomeNewsSen. Gatchalian asks NTC: tighten SIM registration

Sen. Gatchalian asks NTC: tighten SIM registration

TARLAKENYO (April 15, 2024) — Senator Win Gatchalian urged the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to rigorously enforce provisions of the SIM registration law after authorities raided a POGO compound here last month.

The raiding team retrieved a substantial number of Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) cards during a series of search warrant implementations against the Tarlac-based Philippine Offshore Gaming Operator (POGO).

On March 13, authorities led by the Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission and police and military operatives raided Zun Yuan Technology’s premises in Barangay Anupul here and rescued 868 POGO workers – 371 Filipinos and 497 foreign nationals. The raid was based on two court-issued search warrants for alleged human trafficking and serious illegal detention of the POGO workers.

During the execution of a warrant to seize and examine computer data from the raided Zun Yuan Technology Inc. on March 22 and 23, authorities were able to recover assorted sim cards, along with hundreds of cellular phones and digital devices.

Authorities also found SIM cards when they recently opened all the safety vaults at the premises of Zun Yuan Tech.

“This illustrates the extent of scamming activities being carried out by POGOs. It is not the first time this has happened. In fact, many SIM cards have already been confiscated in previous raids on POGOs/IGLs,” said Gatchalian, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means.

POGO is now called Internet Gaming Licensee (IGL).

The senator noted that legitimate SIM card users continue to receive text messages aimed at defrauding unwitting subscribers. Gatchalian is a co-author of Republic Act 11934 or the SIM Card Registration Act, which was signed into law in December 2022.

According to Gatchalian, groups behind many scamming activities in the country could be related to POGOs/IGLs.

“It is alarming to note that unscrupulous individuals or groups continue to commit fraud and various scamming activities even after the measure was passed into law. This goes to show that we have yet to achieve the purpose of this legislation, and it is the job of the NTC to ensure that provisions of this law are implemented thoroughly,” Gatchalian said.

He emphasized that the measure is intended to establish accountability in the use of SIM cards and deter the use of SIM-related technology in various scamming activities.

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