Local governments tapped in SIM card registration
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has directed local governments, especially those in far-flung areas without internet connection, to help their constituents register their subscriber identity module (SIM) cards as required by a newly enacted law.
“We know not everyone has access to the internet and other means of communication so let us reach out to them and inform them of this new law,” Interior Secretary Benhur Abalos said in a statement.
Abalos said the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) released the implementing rules and regulations of Republic Act No. 11934, or the SIM Registration Act, on Dec. 12 and required the DILG, along with other government agencies, and telco companies, to “facilitate all SIM registrations in remote areas with limited telecommunication or internet access.”
Based on figures from Smart Communications Inc., Globe Telecom Inc., and Dito Telecommunity Corp., there are about 120 million mobile users in the country. The three telco companies have told their respective subscribers to register their SIM cards on their provided online platforms starting Dec. 27.
According to Abalos, with millions of Filipino mobile subscribers, an intensive information drive must be carried out at the grassroots level and local governments should step up in educating the public on the requirements and importance of the law.
He said the SIM Registration Act would aid the Philippine National Police and other law enforcement authorities in curbing rising electronic communication-aided criminal activities in the Philippines such as mobile phishing, text spam, online scams, bank fraud, and identity theft.
As the first law signed by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. in October, RA 11934 aims to regulate the registration and use of SIMs by mandating all end-users to register their SIMs with their respective telecommunications networks before their activation.
To register, all existing SIM subscribers must submit an accomplished form through a database platform or website provided by their telco company within 180 days. The Department of Information and Communications Technology can extend the registration period for another 120 days. Failure to register the SIM card will lead to its deactivation.
Abalos said parents and guardians are responsible to have the SIMs used by their minor children listed under their name. They will be asked to present an ID and consent form.
He warned people who will attempt to provide false or fictitious information and documents to register a SIM and those who will try to spoof a registered SIM to defraud or cause harm.
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