LEFT BEHIND? On SIM Card Registration

LEFT BEHIND? On SIM Card Registration

May 2, 2023, 7:33 AM
James Veloso and Jai Duena

James Veloso and Jai Duena


The national government’s decision to extend the enlisting period caused relief among many Lagunenses who had struggled to endure going through the rigors as mandated in the SIM Card Registration Act.

For many Lagunenses, the national government’s decision to extend the mandatory registration of subscriber identity module (SIM) cards for another 90 days is a welcome move.

This, as subscribers have complained not only about the cumbersome methods of registering their SIM cards but also the lack of alternative ways for those who can’t access the Internet or who do not have the requirement documents to register.


In a series of man-on-the-street interviews by OpinYon Laguna, Lagunenses acknowledged that the biggest of challenges they faced in the registration of their SIM cards are not just the slow Internet connection but also the fact that some subscribers cannot grasp the mechanics.

While some millennials and tech-savvy youth were able to breeze through the process, many middle-aged and senior citizens interviewed by OpinYon Laguna admitted they have to rely on help from family members to register their SIM cards.

On average, most of those interviewed by OpinYon Laguna took three to five attempts before they finally succeeded in registering their SIM cards.

“Mga limang beses akong paulit-ulit bago ko naparehistro ang SIM card ko. Buti na lang, tinulungan ako ng anak ko,” Ernie, a security guard, related.

“Based on my own experience naman, kung senior citizen ka o di kaya’y hindi gaanong tech-savvy at wala kang kamag-anak na pwede mong mapagkatiwalaan, talagang maiiwanan ka sa SIM card registration,” a writer who requested anonymity also told OpinYon Laguna.

“You had to teach them everything, mula sa pag-upload ng mga ID na kailangan nila hanggang sa pagkuha ng selfie. Tapos minsan mali pa ang napipindot nila o nae-exit nila yung website ng telco, so you have to start all over again,” he added.


What telecommunications companies and LGUs should have done, some Lagunenses opined, was to simplify steps in registering or distributed information to make the system more understandable for those who are not used to technology.

“Sana, mayroong tumutulong para mapadali ang proseso, kasi sa tingin ko mas maraming hindi marunong magrehistro kaysa sa marunong. Aaminin ko, nahihirapan rin ako diyan, so mas maganda kung may tutulong na tao sa gobyerno,” a resident named “Gomer” told OpinYon Laguna.

Others also suggested that local government units (LGUs) should also conduct on-site registration drive down to the barangay level in order to assist those having serious issues and confusion with registering their SIM cards.

This, despite the that the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) had spearheaded “Facilitated SIM Card Registration Activities” in various areas in Laguna province earlier this year.

“Kung maaari, mas maigi sana kung pupunta na lamang sa bawat barangay o munisipyo kung saan merong machine na siyang pagrerehistruhan lamang sapagkat hindi naman lahat ng tao o gumagamit ng cellphone ay may kapasidad magrehistro, lalo na yung mga nasa malalayong probinsya na ordinaryong cellphone lamang ang gamit,” Reanne Mauricio, a student, said.

As for those buying new SIM cards, some believe that telecommunications companies should have the means to have the cards registered on site, instead of having the buyers registering the cards by themselves to activate them.

“Kung bibili ng bagong SIM card dapat doon palang sa mismong binilhan, i-register na nila, may form tapos ipapakita mo ‘yung valid ID mo, bahala na sila [telcos],” a Lagunense who requested anonymity opined.

Less than half

These, critics of SIM card registration charged, are one of the main reasons SIM card registration lagged despite an all-out information campaign by the government and telecommunications companies during the initial 180-day grace period for the implementation of the SIM Card Registration Act.

A few days before the original deadline of April 26, data from the NTC showed that about 82,845,397 SIM cards from the country’s three major telecommunications networks – Globe, Smart and Dito – have been registered.

This translates to 49.31 percent, or almost half, of the estimated 168 million SIM cards currently being used in the Philippines.

Some officials were quick to blame the last-minute mentality of Filipinos for the low turnout in the registration of SIM cards. Even the main proponents of the bill in Congress saw the need to extend registration to accommodate marginalized sectors.

For instance, Sen. Grace Poe was quoted as saying that when the bill on SIM registration was under deliberation, lawmakers considered the compliance of the more than 168 million SIM subscribers and foresaw the need to extend the registration period to accommodate all users from all sectors.

Meanwhile, Camarines Sur 2nd District Rep. Luis Raymund Villafuerte, Jr. hailed the extension, saying that the government has prudently avoided shutting out Filipinos from digital and financial inclusion.

“A non-extension of the registration period will have led to the disenfranchisement come Wednesday [April 26] of the legion of legit SIM owners who had failed to sign up, thereby dealing a severe blow to the Marcos administration’s efforts to fast-track our country’s digital transformation,” Villafuerte was quoted by the Philippine News Agency (PNA).

More about Telecoms

90-DAY EXTENSION Danny Querubin


a month ago



a month ago



a month ago

We take a stand
OpinYon News logo

Designed and developed by Simmer Studios.

© 2023 OpinYon News. All rights reserved.