BIZ BUZZ: Was it an emergency? | Inquirer Business

BIZ BUZZ: Was it an emergency?

/ 02:08 AM April 25, 2023

It is safe to assume that Filipinos were alarmed over the weekend—given the volume of posts that flooded social media platforms—when they received an emergency alert from Globe Telecom, reminding them to register their SIM (subscriber identity module) cards immediately as the deadline looms.

Some netizens questioned if it was the proper use of the emergency cell broadcast system, given that it is usually used to alert the public about typhoons and other natural disasters.


But Globe said they had found it necessary to do so, saying that “lack of connectivity” is an “emergency itself.” The Ayala-led company said the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council expressed “no objections” with its move.

“We are looking after our customers as we do not want their SIMs deactivated. If they do not register by April 26, customers stand to lose their mobile services, now considered a lifeline, especially postpandemic,” Globe Group chief sustainability and corporate communications officer Yoly Crisanto said.


The emergency alert, Globe said, resulted in a boost in registrations.

She also apologized to the registered customers who still received emergency alerts.

“We appeal for their understanding as these messages are geographically targeted for all,” she explained.

—Tyrone Jasper C. Piad

Smear campaign against banks?

Cybersecurity remains a pressing issue for the banking industry. In previous years, the Bankers Association of the Philippines and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) launched their own educational campaigns on cybersafety practices for the banking public.

Despite collective efforts to promote cybersecurity, there seem to be parties who are looking to hijack banks’ efforts by exploiting victims for their personal gain.

Recently, certain banks have become the subject of scrutiny by some members of the press over these scams. Oddly enough, these journalists have been reaching out to the banks for comments over matters that had already been addressed months, or even a year ago.

Complaints from victims who had already reported their issue to the relevant parties and authorities—such as the financial institution involved, the BSP, and even law enforcement agencies such as the police—were being taken on by some members of the press on their respective platforms.


The victims have even spoken out in a public fora to claim the banks were at fault as to why they ended up in these situations.

It should be noted that once cybercrime-related complaints are filed, banks and law enforcement agencies follow stringent protocols to ensure the resolution of these cases through due process.

But some tabloid and broadcast journalists seem to have these banks in their crosshairs. Most have even done their own “exposés” while investigations are ongoing and with disregard to the purpose of due process, bank secrecy, and data privacy laws, leaving banks vulnerable to trial by publicity.

Of course, the public is reminded daily through all their banking touchpoints that cybersecurity is everyone’s responsibility. Most of the banks’ advice comes in the form of how not to become a victim, with emphasis on the importance of reporting cybercriminals to banks and authorities so that the full force of law will be applied to hold cybercriminals accountable.

As stakeholders work together to be safe from cybercriminals, there is definitely no place for people who are looking to exploit victims just so they can gain more public recognition. INQ

— Daxim L. Lucas
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TAGS: Biz Buzz, cybersecurity, emergency, Globe, NDRRMC
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