To enable owners of subscriber identification modules in far flung or remote areas across the country to register their respective SIM cards, the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) on Wednesday officially launched their three-day roll out of the government and telco assisted mandatory registration.

DICT Spokesperson and Undersecretary Anna Mae Yu Lamentillo said that four weeks into the SIM registration, the government has reached more than 24 million successful registrations.

"To significantly add to this number, we start the activation of the assisted registration in identified geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas (GIDAs)—these are the pilot areas, 15 sites in different regions in the country that have been identified by the Ad Hoc committee," Lamentillo said during her opening remarks at the DICT office.

She added that they are basing their move on the on-site experience in Barangay Sapang-Kawayan, Masantol, Pampanga where they conducted the first assisted registration last January 7.

"This experience provided us valuable insights as we prepared for the roll out in the different GIDAs in the country," she said.

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Aside from our public telecommunications entities, the DICT and NTC have been working with partner agencies in the undertaking.

The DICT's free wi-fi sites will serve as the hubs for SIM registration.

The DILG, on the other hand, is providing the necessary support through the LGUs that have been tasked to disseminate information about this undertaking.

Lamentilo also said that the DoJ's booths for NBI clearance will help those who do not have valid government-issued IDs.

"Our PTEs (public telecommunication entities) are also doing every effort necessary to ensure the success of these registrations. We want to finish the SIM registration on time, and we want to help all end-users to comply with the law," she said, adding that the deadline is on April 26, 2023.

"DICT Secretary Ivan Uy has also tasked us to see the possibility of simultaneously capturing biometrics for the National ID while registering SIM cards, especially in remote areas. We will be coordinating with the Philippine Statistics Authority on this," Lamentillo said.

"We are reaching out to SIM end-users in areas with limited telecommunication or internet access to assist them in registering their SIMs, as we also continue to encourage the public to register as soon as they can and do not wait for the deadline," she added.

The DICT and the NTC had identified 15 locations in different provinces that will serve as pilot areas for the assisted registration that will run from January 25 to 27, 2023.

For January 25, among the areas chosen will be in Pasuquin, Ilocos Norte (Municipal Auditorium of Pasuquin); Moalboal, Cebu (Municipal Hall of Moalboal); Palo, Leyte (Municipal Gym of Palo); Pangantucan, Bukidnon (Municipal Gymnasium of Pangantucan); and Malalag, Davao del Sur (covered court of Malalag).

On Jan. 26, 2022, it will be at Atok, Benguet (Atok basketball court); Camalaniugan, Cagayan (Camalaniugan Sports Complex in Barangay. Dacal, Lafugu, Maharlika Hi-way); Calumpit, Bulacan (Municipal Covered Court of Calumpit); Rosario, Batangas (Luancing Covered Court, back of Municipal Hall Brgy. Poblacion) and the Zamboanga City, Zamboanga del Sur (multi-purpose covered court in Barangay Arena Blanco).

For the last day of the three-day pilot run, or January 27, it will be at Baco, Oriental Mindoro (covered court in Barangay Sta Rosa 1); Ligao City, Albay (multi-purpose covered court in Baranga Paulba, Ligao City); Carles, Iloilo (covered gym of Carles in front of municipal hall); Arakan, Cotabato (Emergency Operations Center [MDRRM Office] in Evacuation Center Bldg., Municipal Hall Compound, Poblacion); and at the Tagbina, Surigao del Sur (municipal gym of Tagbina).

DICT: SIM Registration more than 24M

Meanwhile, the DICT said that the SIM Registration has been completed for 24.120 million subscribers as of Jan. 22, 2023.

Based on records provided by the NTC, the total number is 14.27 percent of the almost 169 million subscribers nationwide.

Smart Communications Inc. reported a total of 12.167 million SIMs registered, which is 17.9 percent of Smart's almost 68 million subscribers. Globe Telecom Inc. recorded 9,988,656 registered — 11.37 percent of its almost 88 million subscribers. Meanwhile, DITO Telecommunity Corp. reported a total of 1.96 million SIMs registered or 14.99 percent of its 13.1 million subscribers.

"The NTC, through the concerted effort of its regional offices and in coordination with the telcos and relevant government agencies, will ensure the proper conduct of the SIM Registration in Remote Areas. This endeavor is aimed at maximizing SIM subscriber participation in the SIM Registration process, thereby helping ensure the successful implementation of the SIM Registration Act," NTC Officer-in-Charge Commissioner Ella Blanca Lopez said.

For complaints and concerns related to SIM Registration, the following DICT numbers can be contacted: hotline 1326; 09477147105 (Smart); 09669765971 (Globe); and 09914814225 (DITO).