Telco asks govt to give more ID options; says registration unsuccessful


THE country’s telecommunication companies are in unison in appealing to the government to “accept” other identification cards such as company and school IDs to speed up the process of the subscriber identification module (sim) cards.

Globe Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO), Maria Yolanda Crisanto said that they want the government to succeed in the mandated registration, which aims to eliminate scams or any mobile related crimes.

“If we are to look at success rate, parang mababa. parang hindi di tama sabihin (it is low, it is not right to say that is is) successful. Mababa pa (it is still low). That is the reason why we are asking for an extension,” Crisanto said, noting that they have 33 percent of the total 87 million subscribers registered.

“Alam naming masyadong mabigat sa atin customers if mawawalan ang mobile services,” she added.

(We know it will be hard for our customers if the mobile services are gone)

She added that for it to be considered as a success, it should exceed at least 50 percent.

Eric Leif Tanbauco, Vice President & Head, Mobile Prepaid Business for his part said that an increase in the success rate should first be made before the deadline is implemented.

The deadline for the registration is on April 26, 2023, otherwise the sim cards will be deactivated automatically the next day.

Tanbauco stressed that one of the hinderances now is the lack of acceptable identification cards during registration.

“We have been talking to a lot of our customers especially the youth, they don’t have access yet to a government id and yet that is the only requirement to complete registration,” he said.

Crisanto suggested that the government allow conditional registration to which the subscribers are allowed to use company or school ID to give them time to have a government issued identification card.

“Pumasok ka sa sistema, pero walang ma upload na ID tanggapin natin bigyan tamang panahon to upload an ID that way hindi mawawalan ng services by April 27,” she said.

“You enter the system, but no ID uploaded, we will accept and they would be given time to upload an ID. That was their service won’t be lost by April 27)

She also said that government should serve as registration areas.

“Mahirap mawalan ng services. You can’t access all your social media accounts, your services for apps and GCash,” she added.

“The impact on having no service is so grave that we don’t want to lose customers,” she added.

Tanbauco meanwhile that some 90 percent of the scams sent through telcos “have gone down drastically.”

“We appeal to give more options due to the limitations on IDs,” he added.

The Globe officials also admitted that their concern is with the prepaid subscribers.

They added that poor connections likewise is a problem with the registration, that is why they have been mounting various assisted registrations.

They are very much felt in the Visayas and Mindanao rural areas, according to Tanbauco.

Crisanto meanwhile said that they had submitted a formal appeal before the Department of Information and Communications Technology and the National Telecommunications Commission for the extension.

Smart and TNT had also filed a formal letter of request asking the DICT and the NTC for an extension of the mandated April 26, 2023 deadline for subscribers to register their SIMs.

“We are filing this request to help give ample time to all mobile users, particularly the marginalized sectors and those located in geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas of the country, to register their SIMs,” Cathy Yang, First Vice President and head of Group Corporate Communications at PLDT and Smart said.

Yang said they are supporting the government and their aim for registering the SIM cards to avoid scams and smishing, but they need additional time to reach other subscribers.

“While we have led in the number of registrations to date with about 46% of our total number of subscribers already registered, and which is higher than industry average, we see the need to give subscribers more time to secure the government IDs required to register their SIMs. We stand ready with government to support any undertaking to fast track completing the SIM Registration process as required by law,” Yang added.

On Thursday, Dito Telecommunity said that they also submitted their position paper, also calling for an extension.

“DITO acknowledged that SIM Card Registration can alleviate mobile and online fraudulent activities such as smishing, phishing, International Simple Retail (ISR) and other scams. The currently declining number of fraudulent calls and SMS is indicative of the success of the government initiative,” they said in their statement.

“Considering that more than 50% of nationwide subscribers of all telcos have yet to register, disallowing the extension may result in disenfranchisement of subscribers that may prove detrimental to the current government initiative,” they said.

They said that presently, there are 30 percent of the more than 15 million DITO subscribers who have successfully registered.

“This legitimate concern, DITO believes can be addressed by extending the deadline of registration by giving sufficient time to secure acceptable IDs,” they added. 

Catherine R. Cueto

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