GLOBE Telecom, Inc. said it saw an increase in daily registrations, recording a million over the weekend after it used emergency cell broadcast (ECB).
The telco said it opted to take the step after it saw daily registrations at 200,000 in March.
“The impact of ECBs [has] been tremendous as daily registrations increased to 400,000 then 800,000 last week,” the company said in a press release.
Under Republic Act No. 10639 or The Free Mobile Disaster Alerts Act, telecommunications service providers are mandated to send free mobile alerts in the event of natural and man-made disasters.
“The alerts shall consist of up-to-date information from the relevant agencies and shall be directly sent to the mobile phone subscribers located near and within the affected areas,” the law read.
“We apologize to our registered customers who have received the emergency alerts and expressed their irritation online,” Globe Group Chief Sustainability and Corporate Communications Officer Yoly C. Crisanto said.
“We appeal for their understanding as these messages are geographically targeted for all. Globe sees the low registration numbers as needing urgent public service because the lack of mobile services is in itself an emergency, severely impacting daily life, from financial transactions and e-commerce to transport and education, among many others,” she added.
Data from the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) showed that as of April 23, up to 82.85 million subscribers have already registered. This is 49.31% of the 168.98 million subscribers nationwide.
The total registered SIMs as of April 23 showed a 5% increase from the 7.86 million recorded on Friday.
Around 39.95 million of the registered SIMs as of April 23 are from Smart Communications, Inc., 37.1 million are from Globe, and 5.8 million are from DITO Telecommunity Corp.
Republic Act No. 11934 or the SIM Registration Act requires all SIM users to register their SIMs under their name until April 26, or risk SIM deactivation. It aims to help mitigate the proliferation of text scams and other mobile phone-aided criminal activities.
The DICT has the prerogative to extend the SIM Registration process for another 120 days.
In an interview with DZRH, DICT Secretary Ivan John E. Uy said that there is an above 50% chance that there will be an extension.
“Nagpulong kami ng mga telcos at ng mga stakeholders at ang report ay may ilan pa na mga kababayan natin ang hindi nakarehistro dahil sa iba’t-ibang rason,” Mr. Uy said.
(We had a meeting with telcos and the stakeholders and the report showed that there are some Filipinos who are not able to register for different reasons.)
“Kino-consolidate namin ang mga report. Bukas may final meeting kami at doon po kami magaanunsyo kung may extension at kung gaano kahaba ang extension na ibibigay,” he added.
(We are consolidating the reports. Tomorrow we will have a final meeting and that is where we will announce whether there will be an extension and how long the extension will be.)
Mr. Uy reiterated that the DICT does not expect all SIM cards to be registered and is only expecting 70%-80% registration from the total subscribers nationwide. — Justine Irish D. Tabile