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Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Telcos reach far-flung barangays in Caraga for SIM registration

By Doreen Marielle Rosales

BUTUAN CITY -- Telecommunications giants are reaching out to communities and far-flung areas to further assist subscribers in registering their SIM cards.

Since the beginning of the implementation of the Republic Act (RA) No. 11934 or the SIM Registration Act (SRA) on December 27, 2022, Smart Communications, Inc. has been extending technical assistance to their subscribers in communities in Caraga Region to fast-track the SIM card registration, said Cathy Cultura, Emerging Channels junior manager of Smart.

In a span of nearly three weeks, Smart has amassed a total of 8,367,752 registered Smart subscribers nationwide as of January 11, 2023.  

“When we started on December 27, we already have booths and continuing programs as well na muvisit ug mga barangays to touch base with those na mag-need ug assistance for the registration (as well as visiting barangays to touch base with those in need of assistance for the registration),” Cultura reported during the Kapihan with PIA on Friday (January 16).

Subscribers of Sun Cellular, which is owned by PLDT and its wireless unit Smart, can also take advantage of these services or register online.

With over 7 million registered subscribers, Globe Telecomm continues its online registration and assisted registration in their stores all over the country and will begin its mobile registration on February 1, 2023, according to James Lopez from the External Affairs in Mindanao, particularly in geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas (GIDAs).

Lopez also said that GOMO will reach out to its subscribers in the next few weeks since they have already undergone a quick registration to activate their SIM cards. GOMO is a mobile virtual network operator that is using Globe’s nationwide network. Unlike Globe or Smart, GOMO does not own a radio frequency.

Telcos will reach out to its postpaid subscribers to verify their existing information. As for minors, their SIM cards will be registered under their parent’s or guardian’s name.

Both telcos and the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) Caraga reminded the public that the registration is free and charges will not be made in accessing the registration portal, and warned against those who are offering to register their SIM cards for a fee.

Lopez urged subscribers to register their own SIM cards if they can or ask for assistance from their close relatives.

“SIM card registration is absolutely free. So kung naa mo'y madunggan na nag-offer, tell them 'no, dili pwede'. (Mas maayo) kamo nalang mismo (ang muregister) or kung pwede imuhang anak or close family (If you're given an offer, tell them ‘no, that’s not allowed.’ It’s better if you register it yourself or your children or close family),” said the Globe official.

As for those who are still hesitating to register their SIM cards due to privacy concerns, NTC Caraga OIC Regional Director Ferdinand Mortera said that telcos are mandated to strictly protect the privacy of their subscribers in the implementation of the law.

Both Globe and Smart have had their subscribers’ data encrypted, restricting the companies’ access to it.  

"Ayaw mo'g kabalaka magparegister sa inyung mga SIM sa kung asa man mo na mga telcos (Wag kayong mag-alala na magparegister sa iyong mga SIM sa kung saan man kayong telcos) because safeguarded po 'yan ng ating mga PTEs (public telecommunications entity) 'yung ating mga data. Hindi po 'yan basta-basta mailalabas," Engr. Mortera said. (DMNR/PIA-Caraga)

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