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An Info Cascade on SIM Registration organized by Smart, for PH LGU executives

via Zoom

Good morning everyone.


On behalf of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) and Secretary Ivan John Uy, I would like to thank Smart Communications for organizing this SIM Registration webinar for our local government units. Thank you as well to all our LGUs participating in this forum.


Republic Act No. 11934, An Act Requiring the Registration of Subscriber Identity Module (SIM), was the first law signed by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. In his speech during the signing of this law, the President said that this sets the tone of the government’s policy to ensure that technology shall only be used to improve people’s lives.


Prior to the enactment of this law, the proliferation of text scams, misinformation, and spam messages, some of which even bear the name of the recipient, has become alarming. Hard-earned money being lost to scammers in just a click of a button; privacy being violated by messages from unknown numbers; and precious time being wasted by prank callers. The sad fact is, authorities could not easily go after the perpetrators because these criminals can easily buy a SIM card and get rid of it afterwards when they are done with their modus.


This is what the SIM Registration Act aims to address. This law will be our protection against fraudulent calls, scams through text messages and even mobile apps. That is why it is very important that we register all SIMs as soon as possible. 


The process of registration has already improved. During the first week of the SIM registration, we received a lot of concerns about the process, website malfunction or not loading, and where to register. There was an average of 109 complaints during the first week, and this went down to 46 during the second week. This is also because of the ongoing efforts of our public telecommunication entities (PTEs) to increase the capacity of their websites and continuously improve the process.


We hope this would encourage those who have not yet registered their SIMs to do it now because the process is now more efficient. 


For those in geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas (GIDAs), an Inter-Agency Ad Hoc Committee, which is composed of the DICT, the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Justice (DOJ), Department of Education (DepEd), Philippine National Police (PNP), Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), other government agencies and PTEs, was organized to facilitate the registration in remote areas. We are already working on the guidelines and we will finalize this soon so we can already rollout the registration in GIDAs.


We have also requested the DOJ to set-up a one-stop-shop in remote areas so the public can secure their NBI clearances, which they can use in registering their SIM to solve the problem of lack of valid government-issued ID.  


Meanwhile, to help the public with their concerns on the SIM registration, whether they have complaints or they need assistance with the process, they can always call our Complaint Center Hotline 1326 under the Cybercrime Investigation and Coordinating Center (CICC). 


We know there are also concerns on data privacy. But we want to assure the public that the SIM Registration Law is being implemented in conjunction with the Data Privacy Act. The PTEs are responsible in ensuring that data from the SIM registration are secured, encrypted and protected at all times. Breach of confidentiality and breach of confidentiality due to negligence is punishable under the law.


The DICT is ensuring the effective implementation of the law. And so we call on our kababayans to register their SIMs now. All SIM and eSIM end-users are required to register their SIMs within the registration period, which is until April 26, 2023. Failure to do so will result in the deactivation of the SIM. All prepaid SIMs in the market are in deactivated state and will only be activated upon completion of the registration process.


While some may find it inconvenient because of the requirements, these are actually necessary because our goal is to deter crime, to prevent those who want to perpetrate crimes from taking advantage of the anonymity of SIMs.


In line with this, we also remind the public of their responsibility to immediately report to their PTE when their SIM is lost or stolen to prevent it from being used by unscrupulous individuals.


Moreover, please be mindful of fake websites, phishing, and other scams that may take advantage of people trying to register their SIMs. Always check the source of the information before following instructions especially if it comes through email or text messages. Visit only the official websites of your telco provider, and if unsure contact them or our hotline 1326.


Again, the aim of the SIM Registration Law is to protect us. It is also an important tool to make cyberspace safer. It is a step forward to securing digital transactions, allowing more citizens to be part of e-commerce, and providing safer and more efficient access to e-government services.


However, in every endeavor, the support and cooperation of everyone is vital to its success. We now call on our LGUs present today to please help us disseminate to your constituents the importance of the SIM Registration in preventing crimes and in harnessing the benefits of technology. Help us in informing them that the process is easy and there are ways to address their concerns about the registration.


We call on everyone’s cooperation, because the sooner we are able to accomplish the SIM registration, the sooner we can experience the protection of the law and its other benefits.


Thank you very much and good morning.


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