PLDT wireless unit Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) is collaborating with national agencies and local government units (LGUs) to help boost SIM Registration across the country.
In an online cascade organized by Smart, representatives from the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) urged hundreds of LGU executives to actively collaborate to encourage mobile users across the country to register their SIMs.
The Smart event, entitled “Sulong SIM Registration”, is the first ever LGU cascade on SIM Registration among Philippine telcos, which drew close to a thousand LGU executives, from provincial governments to barangay officials, from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.
Republic Act (RA) 11934 or the Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) Registration Act, the first law inked by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., regulates the use of SIM cards, by mandating all end-users to register their SIMs under their name.
As mandated by RA 11934, which aims to curb the proliferation of text scams and other mobile phone-aided criminal activities, Smart made available its SIM Registration portal http://www.smart.com.ph/simreg on December 27, 2022. Through this platform, millions of Smart and TNT customers have been able to conveniently register their SIMs.
According to Anna Mae Yu Lamentillo, DICT Undersecretary for Public Affairs and Foreign Relations, “The SIM Registration Law will be the public’s protection against fraudulent acts perpetrated through phone calls and text messages. It is also an important tool to make cyberspace safer. The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), under the leadership of Secretary Ivan John Uy, is ensuring the proper implementation of the law in line with President Bongbong Marcos’ vision of harnessing the benefits of technology and ensuring that ICT will improve, not harm, the lives of the people. Thus, we encourage all SIM subscribers to register their SIMs now and let us all help in making the law work,”
According to Atty. Ella Blanca Lopez, OIC Commissioner at the NTC, “Smart’s drive to get as many subscribers to register their SIMs can only be achieved with the solid and steadfast support of the various local government units, especially in remote areas where aided registration is much needed. It is vital that we increase the current pace of daily SIM registration to meet our deadline of April 26, 2023, and the NTC together with PTEs is determined to maximize SIM registration in remote areas. We acknowledge Smart’s effort in organizing this event with the intention of informing more people about the law, and inviting them to register. I appeal to all LGUs to actively take part in our desire to reach as many as many SIM subscribers as possible, and to assist telcos in their aided registration especially in remote areas.”
Atty. Margarita Gutierrez, DILG Undersecretary for Plans, Public Affairs, and Communications, said: “The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), through the leadership of Secretary Benhur Abalos Jr., is providing all the necessary support to ensure the successful implementation of the SIM Registration Law. This law will also help us in the DILG as we fulfill our mandate on peace and order and safeguard our people against ill-intentioned individuals in both cybercrime and offline criminal activities. We also ask the support of our kababayans by ensuring that they register their SIMs as early as now.”
To date, Smart has registered the SIMs of over 10.8 million Smart and TNT customers across the country, the most number among all telcos.
Smart and TNT are also accelerating the deployment of SIM Registration booths and touchpoints all over the country, to help Smart and TNT customers needing information on how to register their SIM, as well as provide physical assistance to customers with special circumstances – seniors, persons with disabilities, those still using basic phones.
“We have taken specific steps to ensure that our SIM Registration will be inclusive. Our representatives and associates manning the booth are instructed to specifically ask for verbal permission so that they themselves can use our customers’ handsets, or do the registration on behalf of our customers using our own device, to register their SIMs. Our goal is to be able to register all Smart and TNT SIM users. As we speak we are preparing other solutions as needed, to make SIM Registration as inclusive as possible,” according to Cathy Yang, head of group corporate communications at PLDT and Smart.
Smart and TNT were the first to set up assisted SIM Registration in Iloilo and Davao. Every day, Smart and TNT are adding more touchpoints in different areas of the country, including in the Cordillera Administrative Region, Bicol region, in the Visayas, and across Mindanao.
PLDT and Smart’s support for SIM Registration underscores the PLDT group’s longstanding consumer protection initiatives, which includes blocking SIMs that send ‘smishing’ messages and Uniform Resource Locators (URL) or links that lead to illegal activities, to help safeguard the public against emerging cyberthreats, vulnerabilities, and other online criminal activities.