As I am writing this column, a little more than a week remains before the deadline for the registration of SIM cards on April 26.
However, data released by the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) has revealed that less than half of all active SIM cards in the country have been officially registered.
According to the DICT, out of the 168,977,773 active SIM cards in the Philippines, only 69,828,115 SIM cards, or 41.32 percent, have been registered so far.
What’s keeping most of our citizens from registering their SIM cards even though they have been given 180 days to comply with the SIM Card Registration Law?
Of course, it’s easy to blame the “last-minute habit” of most Filipinos, or the tendency to put off doing important tasks until the very last minute – then cram and complain when they face long lines and slow service.
But the truth is that despite an extensive information campaign, most subscribers are still at a loss on how to register their SIM card.
I’m talking from experience here: some subscribers, most especially senior citizens, can’t follow through some steps of online registration, such as uploading a digital of a valid ID or having a “selfie” taken to prove their identity.
If those seniors don’t have a family member, relative or a close friend who’s a “techie” and can help them through online registration, I’m sure they’ll just give up registering their SIM cards out of frustration.
Most telcos, sure, have opened their retail stores inside malls and other commercial establishments to SIM card registrants, and the DICT have opened up kiosks to enable more people to register their SIM cards.
But shouldn’t the LGUs themselves step up to the plate and launch their own drives to enable their residents to have their SIM cards registered?
Heck, barangays should have done their own share here and set up their own kiosks to enable those with poor Internet connection to have their SIM card registered.