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Saturday, January 28, 2023

NTC launches Nationwide SIM registration in Tagbina as pilot area for Caraga

By Nida Grace P. Barcena

TAGBINA, Surigao del Sur -- The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) successfully facilitated the Nationwide Launch of the Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) Registration in Remote Areas in which the municipality of Tagbina is the pilot area in Caraga Region, held at the Municipal Gymnasium of Tagbina, Surigao del Sur on January 27, 2023.

NTC Caraga Regional Director Ferdinand Mortera revealed that the Nationwide Launch of the SIM Registration in Remote Areas  was  scheduled from January 25 to 27. He further elaborated that the primary purpose of the law is to mandate all public telecommunications entities (PTEs) to require the registration of SIM cards prior to their sale and activation.

Mortera shared that they expected some 300-500 individuals from the different barangays of Tagbina and nearby municipalities who would be registering their SIM cards through the help of the PTEs such as Globe Telecom, Smart Communications, and DITO Telecom.

During the activity, the personnel from the NTC Caraga and the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) Caraga briefed the registrants on the salient features of the Republic Act No. 11934 or the SIM Registration Act.

They highlighted the importance of having the end users' SIM cards registered to prevent the incidence of fraud and scams, and the corresponding penalties stipulated in the said law.

The NTC also distributed information, education, and communication (IEC) materials for participants to read and understand during the event.

The local government unit of Tagbina, Surigao del Sur headed by Mayor Glaiza Jane Polizon-Lanete, on the other hand, extended full support, as the municipality was chosen to host the event.

Rhodora Millan of P3 San Jose, Barangay Poblacion, Tagbina, Surigao del Sur was delighted to experience a fast, convenient and successful SIM registration after several failed attempts  from the websites/links of the different telcos. She appreciated the initiative of the NTC for  helping her fellow Tagbinanhons complete their SIM card registration.

Millan is optimistic that any complaint due to fraudulent calls and texts from scammers will be addressed and can be identified easily.

Due to unstable internet connection, Wilfredo Pandeling, a resident of P-5 Barangay Maglambing, Tagbina, Surigao del Sur, benefitted from the government assistance rendered as he lined up early on the day of the registration. "Sa akong nasayran importante nga marehistro ang SIM nga atong ginagamit aron dili kini mablock o madeactivate human sa deadline karong April 26, 2023. Importante usab nga marehistro aron dili kita dali mabiktima sa mga pagpangilad pinaagi sa pagtext ug tawag sa atong mga cellphone numbers (It is important to have our SIM registered on or before the deadline on April 26, 2023 as the NTC will automatically deactivate all unregistered SIMs. Apart from that, it is important that we will not become victims of scams)," he said.

As the communication arm of the government, the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) Caraga headed by Regional Director Venus L. Garcia, and its Surigao del Sur Provincial Information Center strongly support the initiatives of the NTC and the Department of Information and Communications Technology in the feasible implementation of the law.

Meanwhile, the activity conducted was a collective effort of the following government offices and agencies namely:  NTC, National Privacy Commission (NPC), DICT, Department of Education (Deped), Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), Philippine National Police (PNP), Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philip Army (AFP-PA), PIA and LGU-Tagbina to address the challenges in the implementation of the SIM Registration Act to remote areas in the country. (NGPB/PIA-Surigao del Sur)