THE DEPARTMENT of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) on Wednesday said it will study the possibility of simultaneously capturing biometrics for the government’s national ID system while registering subscriber identity module (SIM) cards, especially in remote areas.
“We will be coordinating with the Philippine Statistics Authority on this,” DICT Undersecretary Anna Mae Y. Lamentillo said during a briefing.
She said the directive came from DICT Secretary Ivan John E. Uy.
Mr. Uy said during a Palace briefing on Tuesday that many residents in the country’s remote or isolated areas still do not have valid IDs.
“How will they now be able to register and validate their identity? We need to take that up with our team to address how we are going to validate especially if they don’t have IDs,” he said.
According to the DICT, there are now more than 24 million successfully registered SIM cards nationwide.
“To significantly add to this number, we start today the activation of the assisted registration in identified geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas (GIDAs) — these are the pilot areas, 15 sites in different regions in the country that have been identified by the Ad Hoc committee,” the department said.
Among the identified areas for the assisted SIM registration are Pasuquin, Ilocos Norte; Moalboal, Cebu; Palo, Leyte; Pangantucan, Bukidnon; Malalag, Davao del Sur; Atok, Benguet; Camalaniugan, Cagayan; Calumpit, Bulacan; Rosario, Batangas; Zamboanga City, Zamboanga del Sur; Baco, Oriental Mindoro; Ligao City, Albay; Carles, Iloilo; Arakan, Cotabato; and Tagbina, Surigao del Sur.
The department said that mobile phone users have until April 26, 2023, to register their SIM cards.
“We are reaching out to SIM end-users in areas with limited telecommunication or internet access to assist them in registering their SIMs, as we also continue to encourage the public to register as soon as they can and not wait for the deadline,” DICT noted. — Arjay L. Balinbin