Ako Bicol solon to telcos, gov’t: Assist seniors, PWDs who want to register SIM
MANILA, Philippines — Ample assistance should be given to senior citizens, persons with disability (PWDs), and individuals with special needs who would want to register their subscriber identity module (SIM) cards, Ako Bicol Rep. Elizaldy Co said on Wednesday.
Co, in a statement, said telecommunications companies should help people unfamiliar with procedures needed to register SIM cards, in accordance with Republic Act No. 11934 or the SIM Registration Act.
The lawmaker, chair of the House of Representatives committee on appropriations, said this after the national government announced that the SIM card registration deadline, initially set on Wednesday, April 26, was extended for 90 days.
“Assistance must be given, especially to senior citizens who are unfamiliar with technical matters, persons with disability and persons with special needs who have inherent disadvantages in following online instructions, and solo parents and working parents who are hard-pressed to set aside hours to fall in line at service desks and kiosks,” Co said
“We do not want them to be shut out of telco service because of problems stemming from being poor and marginalized,” he added.
Co said the House leadership, including Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez, has been concerned about the possibility of disenfranchisement among phone users who could not register their SIM cards just because of the difficulty in finding usable identification cards or problems with the registration process.
“As I pointed out before, I still believe the major problem is the lack of acceptable identification. So I am reiterating my suggestion that the following become acceptable documents as these can be verifiable,” he said.
“For these identification documents to be usable for SIM registration, the agencies and entities that have custody of the databases should either give the telecom firms access to their databases or they should have a working arrangement for the verification of documents submitted,” he added.
Co suggested that the following identification cards should be accepted as proof of identification for SIM card registration:
- Barangay Residence Certification with picture and barcode
- Vaccination Card with QR Code
- Filed latest BIR Income Tax Return
- School ID with picture and student number
- 4Ps ATM Card with card number
- DSWD Social Amelioration Card with barcode
- DOLE CAMP identification card
- PhilSys National ID physical card or electronic card
As of now, the following ID cards are allowed:
- National ID
- SSS ID
- GSIS e-card
- Driver’s license
- NBI clearance
- Police clearance
- Firearms license to own and possess ID
- Integrated Bar of the Philippines ID
- OWWA ID
- BIR ID
- Voter’s ID
- Senior citizen’s card
- Unified Multi-purpose ID
- PWD card
On the other hand, Co also appealed to Filipinos to use the 90-day extension to register their SIM cards, considering the huge importance of cellular phones in basic communication, day-to-day tasks, and even businesses.
“The 90-day leeway should not mean another excuse for SIM subscribers to wait until the last few days of the extension before they register. SIM subscribers must realize that their SIM phone numbers are means of identification and access to essential services as the country becomes more digital,” he said.
“Nagpapasalamat tayo kay Pangulong Ferdinand Marcos Jr. sa pag-apruba niya sa rekomendasyon ng Department of Information and Communications Technology at telecommunications companies na palawigin ang palugit sa SIM registration [We thank President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. for approving the recommendation of the Department of Information and Communications Technology and telcos to extend the period of SIM registration],” he said.
On Tuesday, Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla and other government officials announced earlier that a 90-day extension for the SIM card registration period had been adopted due to low registration turnout.
Several lawmakers lauded the decision, as less than half of the SIM cards in the market have been registered.