Speaker Martin G. Romualdez on Friday called for a simpler, more convenient, and faster process of registering subscriber identity modules (SIMs) by millions of still unregistered legitimate mobile phone users.
“In particular, let us assist overseas Filipino workers and their families to register. Their mobile phones are their principal means of communicating and
connecting to each other. The thought that they could instantly make audio-video calls eases the pain of being thousands of miles away from home and from their loved ones,” Romualdez said.
He said the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) and the threetelecommunications companies or telcos providing cellular phone services should work jointly on such a process.
“I suspect that OFW families in the provinces are finding it difficultto comply with the registration requirement. Some may even be unaware of it,” he said.
Romualdez said he believes that many OFWs and their families back home are using unlisted prepaid SIMs because of the convenience of acquiring them.
“Let us help millions of Filipinos who have mobile phones, but whostill have not registered their SIMs as required by law, to register.
Let us make it easier for them to take advantage of the 90-day registration extension granted by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Philippine National Police Anti-Cybercrime Group welcomed the 90-day extension for the registration of SIM cards.
“The ACG supports the extension date of SIM registration because it gives those who fail to register their SIM cards an opportunity to beregistered. On the other hand, this will mean that ACG needs to be more vigilant as online fraudsters will have 90 days more of opportunity to try and scam others using prepaid SIM cards,” the group said in a statement.
The Speaker thanked the President for extending the list-up deadline for the millions of still-unregistered mobile phone users.
He said the Department of Migrant Workers and the Department of Foreign Affairs should help the DICT, NTC and telcos inform OFWs and their families of the registration requirement.
The House leader lauded telcos for offering registration assistance and mechanisms for their postpaid and prepaid SIM users to list up.
However, he asked them “to go the extra mile in seeking out people who have bought and used their SIMs and help them to register so they would be able to continue using their cellular phone service.”
“That is to the benefit of the telcos, financially,” he said.
According to reports, as of April 23, three days before the original April 26 registration deadline was extended by the President, some 82.8 million SIM owners have registered.
Of the 82.8 million registrants, 39.9 million signed up with Smart Communications, 37.09 million with Globe Telecom and 5.79 million with DITO Telecommunity Corp.
There have been reports that the three telcos have sold a total of 165 million to 170 million SIM cards.
Romualdez appealed to the telcos to reveal the number of their postpaid mobile phone subscribers and the total number of active unlisted SIMs that they have sold.
“Their combined data should give us, the public, an idea of how many SIMs, postpaid and prepaid, need to be registered,” he said.
He said the telcos should filter their data by discarding inactive SIMs.