OVER 20 million Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) cards have been registered across the country barely a month following the release of the Implementing Rules and Regulation of Republic Act 11934, also known as the SIM Registration Act.

“So we are progressing very, very fast and I’d like to thank the public, the general public for being very responsive to our appeal to register as soon as possible,” Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) Secretary Ivan John Uy said in a press conference in Malacañang on Tuesday, January 24, 2023.

The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) earlier said there were nearly 170 million SIM card users in the country.

Under the law, all existing and new subscribers are required to register their SIM cards until April 26, 2023.

Failure to comply with the requirements for registration within the period prescribed shall result in the automatic deactivation of the SIM.

Uy said among the challenges in SIM card registration is the lack of Wi-Fi connection especially in remote areas of the country and the lack of identity documents (IDs) by individuals registering their SIM cards.

He said in order to address geographical issues, the government launched a SIM card registration caravan that will serve the far-flung communities such as in Ifugao and Mountain Province.

There were also caravans in Ilocos Region, Central Visayas, Eastern Visayas, Northern Mindanao and Davao Region from January 25 onwards.

The sites will be in Ilocos Norte, Cebu, Leyte, Bukidnon, and Davao del Sur -- mostly at municipal auditoriums.

He said the issues on IDs are already being addressed by the Philippine Statistics Authority.

One of the proposals is to simultaneously hold the SIM card and the National ID system registrations in remote areas.

“Para right there, pagka-rehistro ng National ID, mag-SIM card registration na rin sila. So, we shoot two birds with one stone, ‘di ba? Mas madali iyong deployment. So, iyon iyong mga solusyon na pina-package po namin,” Uy said.

(So right there, after registering the National ID, they will also do SIM card registration. So, we shoot two birds with one stone, right? The deployment would be easier. So, those are the solutions that we are packaging.) (SunStar Philippines)