MANILA -- The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) has recorded more than 20 million registered SIM card users barely a month after the release of the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the SIM Card Registration Act signed by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. last year.
“With regard to the SIM card registration, the recent report I received is we have more than 20 million already registered SIM card users. So we are roughly one month from the implementation—from the release of the Implementing Rules and Regulations and we’ve already achieved more than 20 million registration,” DICT Secretary Ivan John Uy said in a press briefing in Malacañang on Tuesday.
“So we are progressing very, very fast and I’d like to thank the public, the general public for being very responsive to our appeal to register as soon as possible,” the DICT chief said.
However, Uy said one of the challenges in SIM card registration is the lack of Wi-Fi connection in the remote areas of the country.
And to assist people in those areas, the DICT chief said the government launched a SIM card registration caravan that will serve the far-flung communities.
The first caravan went to Ifugao and Mountain Province last week, Uy said, adding in the next few days, there will be a three-day SIM card registration in other remote areas.
On January 25, the caravan will serve the Ilocos Region, Central Visayas, Eastern Visayas, Northern Mindanao and Davao Region.
The sites will be in Ilocos Norte, Cebu, Leyte, Bukidnon, and Davao del Sur – mostly at municipal auditoriums.
“We are providing a press release as to where these sites will be and exactly which auditorium, municipal hall or gym of those municipalities or barangays that we’ll be deploying,” Uy pointed out.
Another challenge is the lack of identity documents (IDs) by individuals registering their SIM cards, which has to be addressed by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).
One of the proposals is to simultaneously hold the SIM card and the National ID system registrations in remote areas.
“Para right there, pagka-rehistro ng National ID, mag-SIM card registration na rin sila. So, we shoot two birds with one stone, ‘di ba? Mas madali iyong deployment. So, iyon iyong mga solusyon na pina-package po namin,” the DICT chief said.
President Marcos signed in October last year the law that requires Filipinos to register their SIM cards, in a move to help curb scams and other crimes.
Under the IRR, subscribers have 180 days from the effectivity of the law to register their SIM cards.
The registration may be extended for a period not exceeding 120 days.
Telco operators or public telecommunications entities (PTEs) are in charge of maintaining the database of registered SIM card users. (PND)