Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Smart and TNT Facilitate NTC's SIM Registration in Remote Areas

PLDT’s wireless unit Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) and value brand TNT have fully complied with the set-up of assisted SIM Registration booths in key remote areas on the first day of the three-day, nationwide roadshow organized by the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC). The regulator mandated the roadshow as part of the government’s efforts to boost SIM Registration and reach far-flung areas where mobile customers are.

As of 9am todayJanuary 25, Smart and TNT-assisted SIM Registration booths are now operating in Pasuquin, Ilocos Norte; in Moalboal, Cebu; in Palo, Leyte; Pangantucan, Bukidnon; and in Malalag, Davao del Sur. Smart and TNT personnel in the booths are also providing a priority lane for seniors, for persons with disabilities, and those using basic phones, making SIM Registration as inclusive as possible.  


It has been a smooth process so far, and it's because of our coordination and whole-of-nation approach to the SIM registration process,” said Cathy Yang, FVP & Group Head of Corporate Communications at PLDT and Smart.  “We're hoping to replicate this on Days 2 and 3 in the pilot areas, as well as in the succeeding rollouts of this nationwide SIM registration activity.


In response, DICT Undersecretary Anna Mae Lamentillo said, “Thank you very much to Smart for the help. In fact, we've been working closely with Smart and other telco providers and ensuring that we're able to reach far-flung areas. This has always been a team effort. We're really taking advantage of all possible avenues so that the public knows about the SIM registration process.


The NTC had earlier mandated public telecommunications entities (PTE) like Smart to deploy assisted SIM Registration booths from January 25 to 27 in five regions per day, hitting one far-flung municipality in each of the identified regions.


Smart and TNT were the first to deploy assisted SIM Registration booths and touchpoints across the country starting December 27, 2022, on the same day that Smart launched its SIM Registration portal

Last week, Smart also organized “Sulong SIM Registration”, 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.


During the online cascade, representatives from the NTC, DICT, and the DILG  urged hundreds of LGU executives to actively collaborate to encourage mobile users across the country to register their SIMs. The government agencies also commended Smart for actively engaging LGUs, to boost SIM Registration.  


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.”


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.


PLDT and Smart’s support for SIM Registration underscores the PLDT group’s longstanding consumer protection initiatives, which include 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 cyber threats, vulnerabilities, and other online criminal activities.

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