TWO of the biggest telecommunication companies (Telcos) in the country have installed assistance booths to assist their subscribers struggling with the registration of their SIM (subscriber identity module) cards amid the ongoing Sinulog activities.

In a media interview on Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2022, Smart Communications and Globe Telecom announced that they had put up several assistance desks in some areas to make it more convenient for subscribers to register their SIMs.

As of Jan. 9, the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) said at least 16 million out of about 170 million telephone subscribers in the country had registered their SIMs.

Of the 16 million, 7,584,321 were from Smart Communications, 7,137,764 were from Globe Telecom, and 1,428,841 were from Dito Telecommunity.

PLDT and Smart Group Corporate Communications-Stakeholder Management Visayas Relations head Marylou Gocotano said they installed a booth in Fuente Osmeña, an area near Abellana National School and Plaza Independencia.

Gocotano added that they would also be installing an assistance booth at the South Road Properties (SRP) venue during the Sinulog Grand Parade on Sunday, Jan. 15.

She said they aim to assist more people struggling to register their SIMs.

For Globe, Rofil Sheldon Magto, corporate communications manager for the Visayas and Mindanao of the Globe Group, said they put up assistance desks in some strategic areas while the Sinulog festivities are ongoing.

Magto said they also installed booths at the Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) in Lapu-Lapu City along with booths inside malls, such as at the Passion City Activity Center and Globe Store at Ayala Center Cebu, Globe Store at SM City Cebu, and Globe EasyHub at SM Seaside City Cebu.

They also put up a booth at the Fuente Osmeña Circle, Magto said.

NTC Central Visayas Public Information Officer Bill Peralta advised the public to be extra patient especially those experiencing technical difficulties while registering their SIM cards.

He said the traffic among registration sites is normal, considering that millions of subscribers try to register their SIM cards at the same time.

The public are urged to register their SIMs early and not wait for the deadline to avoid problems.

The NTC announced the start of SIM registration on Dec. 27 last year in accordance with Republic Act 11934, or the SIM Registration Act.

Subscribers are give until April 26, 2023 to register their SIMs to avoid deactivation.

The Department of Information and Communications Technology said on Tuesday, Jan. 10 that they were not planning to extend the deadline for SIM registration as of this time.