Gov't. telcos roll out SIM registration drive in remote areas

Jekki Pascual , ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 25 2023 03:49 PM

Sales representatives of telecommunications company assist clients in registering their prepaid SIM at the gadgets section in Greenhills Shopping Center in San Juan City on December 27, 2022. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News/FILE
Sales representatives of telecommunications company assist clients in registering their prepaid SIM at the gadgets section in Greenhills Shopping Center in San Juan City on December 27, 2022. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News/FILE

MANILA - The National Telecommunications Commission along with other agencies and telecommunications providers rolled out SIM registration in remote areas on Wednesday.

Pilot implementation includes 15 sites for the initial phase that will last from Jan. 25 to Jan. 27. 

According to the NTC, remote areas refer to those places with weak signal. There will be booths from various telcos to assist residents in the area who may have a hard time registering their SIMs.

"For Smart, DITO at Globe may mga booth po sila doon (Smart, DITO and Globe have booths there)," said NTC OIC Ella Blanca-Lopez. 

"May mga mag-assist po sa kanila kung paano gagawin ang registration. Ang mag-aassist po ay employee rin po ng respective telcos (there are people to assist them on what to do to register. They are employees of respective telcos)," she added.

Some sites located in municipal halls or gyms, have started registration Wednesday including those in Pasuquin in Ilocos Norte, Moalboal in Cebu, Palo in Leyte, Pangantucan in Bukidnon and Malalag in Davao del Sur, the NTC said.

Globe Telecom and Smart Communications have said they are working with regulators to support the rollout of SIM registration in remote areas.

In a statement, Globe said its assistance desks would be live in the following areas on the specified dates:

 Jan. 25
• Municipal Auditorium, Pasuquin, Ilocos Norte
• Covered Court, Moalboal, Cebu
• Municipal Gym, Palo, Leyte
• Municipal Gym, Pangantucan, Bukidnon
• Covered Court, Malalag, Davao del Sur

Jan. 26

• Atok, Benguet
• Sports Complex, Barangay Dacal, Lafugu, Maharlika Highway, Camalaniugan, Cagayan
• Municipal Covered Court, Calumpit, Bulacan
• Rosario, Batangas
• Multi-purpose Covered Court, Barangay Arena Blanco, Zamboanga City, Zamboanga del Sur

Jan. 27

• Covered Court, Barangay Sta. Rosa 1, Baco, Oriental Mindoro
• Ligao City , Albay
• Covered Gym, Carles, Iloilo
• Emergency Operations Center, Evacuation Center Building, Municipal Hall Compound, Barangay Poblacion, Arakan, Cotabato
• Municipal Gym, Tagbina, Surigao del Sur

Meanwhile, Smart said its assistance desks were operating in the following areas on Jan. 25:

• Pasuquin, Ilocos Norte
• Moalboal, Cebu
• Palo, Leyte
• Pangantucan, Bukidnon
• Malalag, Davao del Sur

Smart said it was planning this replicate this in the remaining pilot areas in the next 2 days. 

The NTC said the National Bureau of Investigation may also soon put up an "NBI On Wheels" desk on registration sites for subscribers who may need a valid ID. 

But DOJ Spokesperson Asec. Mico Clavano reminded the public that the NBI clearance is just an alternative ID.

"Kumbaga para siyang plan B. Of course, the best identification card is a valid government-issued ID," said Clavano.

The government aims to register the 168 million active SIM cards in the country by April 26. But the Department of Information and Communications Technology said a 100 percent turnout is unlikely.

"May mga SIM card na ginamit na for scams, I don't think they'll register that particular number. I think may voluntary deactivation na mangyari. People have been using 2-4 SIM cards during the course of several months," said DICT Usec. Anna Mae Lamentillo.

As of Jan. 23. over 24 million SIMs have been registered or 14.54 percent of the total active SIMs nationwide, according to government data.

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