Gov’t starts SIM card registration in remote areas, ID hub in the works

Ralf Rivas

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Gov’t starts SIM card registration in remote areas, ID hub in the works

NTC. The National Telecommunications Commission holds a press conference on SIM card registration, January 25, 2023.

Ralf Rivas/Rappler

An initial 15 sites for SIM card registration are identified across the country, especially for those who don't use smartphones or those who don't have IDs

MANILA, Philippines – Government agencies and telecommunications companies put up sites for assisted SIM card registration in select remote areas to reach people who have limited access to the internet.

So far, 15 pilot sites have been identified across the country, which will be up between Wednesday, January 25, and Friday, January 27.

The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) and the National Telecommunications Commission said they intend to add more sites to help those who don’t use smartphones or those who don’t have identification cards.

The pilot sites are located in covered courts and gymnasiums. Transportation to get to the areas will not be covered by the national government and it would be up to local government units if they would want to provide such services.

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SIM card registration starts December 27. Here’s how you can register.

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ID problems

SIM card registration requires an ID, which millions of Filipinos do not have.

For those who do not have a government ID, the Department of Justice said there will be booths for securing a National Bureau of Investigation clearance within the SIM card assistance hubs. An NBI or barangay clearance would suffice for SIM registration purposes.

DICT Undersecretary Anna Mae Lamentillo said the agency is looking into the possibility of simultaneously capturing biometrics for the national ID while registering SIM cards.

SIM cards that are not registered on or before the April 26 deadline will be deactivated.

As of Tuesday, January 24, a total of 24.9 million SIMs have been registered, representing 14.75% of the 168 million subscribers nationwide.

Smart Communications reported 12.6 million SIMs registered or 18.5% of its total subscribers. Globe Telecom has onboarded 10.29 million subscribers or 11.7% of its total users. Dito Telecommunity has been able to register over 2 million SIMs or 15.4% of its total subscribers. – Rappler.com

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Ralf Rivas

A sociologist by heart, a journalist by profession. Ralf is Rappler's business reporter, covering macroeconomy, government finance, companies, and agriculture.