DICT urged to fix SIM registration problems during extension
MANILA, Philippines — A digital advocacy group, Digital Pinoys, urged the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) on Tuesday to fix some of the issues of the Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) Registration Act implementation.
Ronald Gustilo, Digital Pinoys national campaigner, cited problems such as the lack of physical registration hubs in remote areas, lack of valid identity cards, and the technology gap for the low turnout of the registrants.
“DICT should consider coordinating with the Department of Interior and Local Government and mobilize physical registration teams at the barangay level. They should be accompanied by duly authorized representatives of telecommunication companies to provide assistance to subscribers experiencing registration difficulties,” suggested Gustillo in a statement.
He added that, unless the problems could be fixed, suspension of the registration should be considered.
“Suspending the implementation of the SIM registration should still be on the table in case there are no significant improvements in the process and mechanisms and if the numbers don’t improve. The government should always first assume that the unregistered SIMs are being used and that the paramount thought is to ensure that no subscriber will be disenfranchised,” Gustillo said.
According to the National Telecommunications Commission’s website, only 52.04 percent of SIM cards have been registered, with the deadline originally being on Wednesday.
The SIM card registration period has since been extended for 90 days after the April 26 deadline, according to Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla.