THE Philippine National Police (PNP) on Wednesday disclosed that it had recorded over 6,000 crimes using prepaid SIM (subscriber identity module) cards in 2020.
The PNP revealed this during the Senate hearing on proposed bills mandating SIM card registration and the non-expiration of prepaid load credits.
Senators Mary Grace Poe and Sherwin Gatchalian conducted the hearing jointly as chairman of the Committee on Public Services and Committee on Trade, Commerce and Entrepreneurship.
Gatchalian has asked the PNP to provide statistics regarding crimes committed in the past five years using prepaid SIM cards.
Police Col. Joel Doria, deputy director for administration, told the senators that in 2020 alone, the PNP Anti Cybercrime Group “recorded 6,110 cybercrime offenses.”
He said the top five crimes related to prepaid SIM card use are: online scam, online libel, computer-related identity theft or phising, violation of Anti-pornography and Voyeurism Act, and grave threat.
“For the specific cases, using SIM cards mostly are from money remittance applications. We have recorded 274 cases,” Doria said.
Internet providers Globe Telecom, Smart Communications Inc., Dito Telecommunity, Sun Cellular, and Philippine Long Distance Telephone Communication support the passage of the bill mandating SIM card registration.
Poe noted that one in five Filipinos has fallen victim to criminals using prepaid SIM cards.
“This could be the reason why 100 out of 155 countries in the world have SIM card registration laws,” Poe said in Filipino.
She noted that the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund also reported that the country saw a 260-percent increase in reports of online child abuse materials during the lockdown.