HOUSE LAWMAKERS from the progressive Makabayan bloc are seeking an investigation of text message scams offering high-paying jobs.  

The group filed House Resolution 2393 asking the House Committee on Information and Communications Technology to probe the matter. 

“It is unfortunate that some quarters take advantage of the (coronavirus) situation by promoting various type of scams,” according to a copy of the resolution.  

Bayan Muna Party-list Rep. Carlos Isagani T. Zarate said in a separate statement that some subscribers claimed that a spike in number of text scams was observed after submitting their phone numbers for contract tracing.  

Senators earlier said that the spam messages could hinder the government’s pandemic response by encouraging a reluctance to share personal information for contact tracing.  

The National Privacy Commission (NPC) has said the groups behind the text scams might belong to an international crime syndicate and called data privacy officers from telecommunication companies to a meeting to address the growing problem. 

The Makabayan bloc said that the NPC along with the National Telecommunications Commission and Department of Information and Communications Technology should “immediately further strengthen their monitoring, safeguard, and regulatory mechanisms” to prevent these messages from harming Filipinos during the pandemic.  

Quezon City Rep. Alfred D. Vargas has filed a similar resolution urging the three government agencies to conduct their own investigations and take legal actions against those involved in the fraudulent activity. — Russell Louis C. Ku