President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr.’s signing of the Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) Registration Law has buoyed up the Philippine National Police (PNP) in terms of its campaign against scammers and other criminal elements.

PNP chief Gen. Rodolfo Azurin, Jr. said the enactment of the SIM Registration Law will certainly add more teeth to law enforcement in the form of accurate identification of all mobile phone users.

“We are confident that our people will learn to accept the fact that the benefits of mandatory SIM card registration for all mobile phone users outweigh the perceived privacy issues and other concerns regarding confidentiality of communications that are duly protected under Philippine laws,” said Azurin.

Over the years, the PNP has been at the forefront of pushing for the legislation of SIM card registration, which all started at the height of bomb attacks in Mindanao, Metro Manila and other parts of the country using cellphone-detonated improvised explosive device.

Early this year, former president Rodrigo Duterte vetoed the bill over the inclusion of social media in the registration.

Azurin emphasized the importance of the SIM Registration Law, saying it is an added tool in the PNP’s crime prevention and crime solution measures amid the fast-paced revolution in information and communication technology.

He cited the PNP experience in the past two years of the Covid-19 pandemic when online crimes went up as the people were forced to go digital due to lockdown measures.

“Telecommunication has been revolutionized extensively over the years such that even criminal syndicates and terrorist organizations have taken advantage of technology for criminal and terrorist activities,” said Azurin.

“In our experience, during the pandemic when people were prevented from going outside their homes, criminals shifted activities from traditional crimes to online crimes using telecommunication and cyberspace platforms. They have devised different modus operandi to scam people of their hard-earned money. They hid behind the comfort of anonymity by using prepaid SIM cards to defraud unsuspecting victims,” he added.

Citing PNP data, Azurin said the Anti-Cybercrime Group alone has recorded a total of 4,254 SIM card related offenses from January to September this year.

The data, according to Azurin, does not include cases handled by other units of the PNP, other government institutions, reported incidents being handled by the different financial institutions and cases unreported by victims.

Source: Manila Bulletin (