Registered SIMs nearing 25M since IRR took effect–DICT

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NEARLY a month since the rules on SIM card registration took effect, the number of registered SIMs has reached nearly 25 million, according to the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT).

As of January 24, a total of 24,922,249 SIMs were registered. The number represents 14.75 percent of the 168,977,773 million subscribers nationwide.

“Four weeks into the SIM registration, we have reached more than 24 million successful registrations. To significantly add to this number, we start today the activation of the assisted registration in identified geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas (GIDAs)—these are the pilot areas, 15 sites in different regions in the country that have been identified by the Ad Hoc committee,” said DICT Assistant Secretary Anna Mae Yu Lamentillo.

Lamentillo gave a similar progress report as guest at the BusinessMirror Coffee Club on, “SIM Card Registration Act: An Update.”

Also at the BM Coffee Club, FVP & Group Head of Corporate Communications at PLDT and Smart, Cathy Yang, said the telcos are moving fast to reach the goal of registering as many of the 169 million SIMs by April 26. She appealed to the public to “help us reach the numbers” while vowing to take all measures to make the registration as convenient as possible, amid problems raised by subscribers, especially in remote areas. Problems with having government IDs that are acceptable under the registration guidelines are also stalling the process.

Smart Communications Inc. reported a total of 12,608,641 SIMs registered, which is 18.54 percent of its 67,995,734 subscribers.

Globe Telecom Inc. recorded 10,292,954 registered or 11.71 percent of its 87,873,936 subscribers.

Meanwhile, DITO Telecommunity Corp. reported a total of 2,020,654 SIMs registered or 15.42 percent of its 13,108,103 subscribers.

3-day roadshow

Smart also reported on Wednesday the success of its assisted SIM Registration booths in key remote areas on the first day of the three-day, nationwide roadshow organized by the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC).

The regulator mandated the roadshow as part of the government’s efforts to boost SIM registration and reach far-flung areas where mobile customers are.

As of 9am on January 25, Smart and TNT assisted SIM Registration booths are now operating in Pasuquin, Ilocos Norte; in Moalboal, Cebu; in Palo, Leyte; Pangantucan, Bukidnon; and in Malalag, Davao del Sur. Smart and TNT personnel in the booths are also providing a priority lane for seniors, for persons with disabilities, and for those using basic phones, making SIM Registration as inclusive as possible.

“It has been a smooth process so far, and it’s because of our coordination and whole-of-nation approach to the SIM registration process,” said  Smart’s Yang. “We’re hoping to replicate this on Days 2 and 3 in the pilot areas, as well as in the succeeding rollouts of this nationwide SIM registration activity.”

The NTC had earlier mandated public telecommunications entities (PTEs) to deploy assisted SIM registration booths from January 25 to 27 in five regions per day, hitting one far-flung municipality in each of the identified regions.

Lamentillo said the DICT and NTC are working with other agencies for this undertaking. “The DICT’s Free Wi-Fi sites will serve as the hubs for SIM registration. The DILG (Department of the Interior and Local Government) is providing the necessary support through the LGUs (local government units) that have been tasked to disseminate information about this undertaking. The DOJ’s (Department of Justice) booths for NBI clearance will help our kababayans who do not have valid government-issued IDs. Our PTEs are also doing every effort necessary to ensure the success of these registrations.

We want to finish the SIM registration on time, and we want to help all end-users to comply with the law,” added the DICT official.

The deadline for SIM registration is on April 26, 2023.