MANILA, PHILIPPINES — Less than half of the subscribers have registered their Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) cards, prompting Camarines Sur Rep. Luis Raymund “LRay” Villafuerte to suggest a one- to a two-month extension of the registration deadline.
He pointed out that only 36.79% of the SIM cards sold have been registered as of April 7, based on the Department of Information and Communications Technology’s (DICT) report. With only two weeks left before the April 26 deadline set by Republic Act No. 11934, Villafuerte urged DICT and the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to consider extending the deadline to cover more of the nearly 168 million SIM cards in use nationwide.
“It is time for the DICT and NTC to seriously consider extending the registration period for, say, a month or two, as less than 40% of the nearly 168 million SIM numbers believed in possession of subscribers have been reported to PTEs (public telecommunications entities) with less than two weeks to go before the April 26 deadline set by law,” he said.
As of April 11, only around 66.21 million SIM cards had been registered, which is only 39.41% of the total SIM cards in use nationwide. If the current rate of registration continues, only 85 million SIM cards will be registered by the deadline, which is still far from the desired result.
This means that in five days, or from April 7 to 11, the number of registered SIM cards only jumped by around four million or 800,000 per day. If such a number is sustained until April 26, only 12 million more SIM cards, or just around 85 million cards, would be registered.
Villafuerte emphasized that registering all SIM cards is important to curb cybercrime and to hold perpetrators accountable for breaching privacy and committing other punishable offenses.
The Camarines Sur Representative also pointed out the bugs and errors on the telecommunication companies’ websites that have caused problems for phone users. To address this, he suggested registration per batch and the provision of registration avenues by local governments for people in areas with poor signal strength.
He also urged DICT and NTC to work closely with public telecommunications entities (PTEs) in conducting nationwide registration drives to encourage the owners of unregistered SIM cards to register them before the deadline. – WhatALife!/Jayve
Also read: DICT Not Rushing Decision on Possible SIM Card Registration Extension
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