Mobile SIM card registration rolling out soon in Davao region

Residents in Barangay Ned in Lake Sebu, South Cotabato play with their smart phones. MindaNews file photo by BONG S. SARMIENTO

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 09 January) – Telecommunications (telcos) companies will roll out mobile SIM card registrations in different municipalities in the Davao region to reach out subscribers in far-flung communities without internet access, an official of the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC)-Davao said on Monday.

Nelson Cañete, NTC-Davao director, said during the Kapehan sa Dabaw at SM City Davao on Monday that the telcos are planning to start the mobile registrations of SIM cards, also known as subscriber identity module, in a few weeks’ time to provide assistance to mobile phone users in areas with no access to the internet.

He said the telcos are mandated by Republic Act 11934 or the SIM Card Registration Law to take the lead in registering the SIM cards of their mobile subscribers.

Cañete said that reaching mobile phone users “is a lot of work” since registration of SIM cards is done online and that there are still several areas in the region with no internet access, particularly in communities in the hinterlands and even in the coastal areas.

“We have several areas with slow or no signal at all. We are coordinating with the telcos and other agencies so that they can put up mobile registrations,” he said.

He said telcos would provide temporary internet signal during the mobile registration.

Cañete expressed hopes that mobile phone users will have their SIM cards registered within 180 days from the commencement of the nationwide mandatory registration last December 27.

He also reminded the public to buy SIM cards from sellers authorized by the telcos.

Cañete said that one of the intentions of the law is to prevent scams on mobile phones and to allow enforcers to determine the persons behind the fraudulent activities.

Section 9 provides that any information and data obtained in the registration process “shall be treated as absolutely confidential” and shall not be disclosed to any person, except in the following instances:  in compliance with a law obligating the telcos to disclose information in accordance with the provisions of Data Privacy Act, in compliance with court order or legal process upon finding of probable cause, when telcos receive subpoena from a competent authority pursuant to an investigation based on a sworn complaint that a specific mobile number was or is being used as a means to commit a malicious, fraudulent or unlawful act, and with written consent of the subscribers. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)