You’re not the only one who had a mini heart attack when the mobile emergency alert blared from everyone’s phones over the weekend. But instead of warning Pinoys about an oncoming severe typhoon or an earthquake (like this service was designed to do), it was a jarring emergency alert notification from a telco company reminding everyone about the SIM registration deadline. Understandably, many Pinoys were annoyed.
Is this the proper use of telecom emergency alerts? pic.twitter.com/Aez9XZzEOt
— Raquel Fortun (@Doc4Dead) April 23, 2023
Pinoys on social media have complained about getting emergency alerts from Globe Telecom urging them to register their SIM cards before the April 26 deadline. One of the alerts was even categorized as “Extreme.” Many shared the initial panic they felt when the alarms randomly hit, two with a ten-minute interval.
“I was surprised when I got this,” shared one Twitter user. “I thought there was a storm because my mom told me it’s been raining heavily in the province. Also thought baka heatwave warning. Them using this was so unnecessary and could’ve triggered someone with severe anxiety.”
the amount of panic kasi di mo alam kung anong emergency meron pero it turns out globe advisory used an emergency alert to remind ppl to register their SIM pic.twitter.com/Hj78IKkuFH
— chris (@kuhraage) April 23, 2023
Another said misuse of the alert would cause unnecessary panic for those living in flood-prone areas or even seniors who wouldn’t immediately know what’s going on.
“My first thought was an earthquake. Then worried about seniors who might have gotten scared because of the alert when it was only about SIM registration. I think this is an improper use of emergency alert. Especially when they’ve had months to educate the public thru other ways,” the tweet read.
It conditions people to ignore emergency alerts
Whoever thought using ACTUAL EMERGENCY SERVICES (you know to alert you of an earthquake, landslide, war etc.) just to remind their user base to register their SIM really needs to rethink what an EMERGENCY is.
this preconditions peoples to ignore when an actual one happens. pic.twitter.com/s3mhBrqnmx
— (@TamayoWenzel) April 23, 2023
More than the unnecessary panic, others on social media are worried that misuse of emergency alerts will condition Pinoys to ignore it.
“So annoying. Alerts should be used by NDRRMC for emergency situations only. Otherwise baka ‘di na seryosohin ng tao yan. Hindi nakakatuwa,” commented another netizen.
Others have a proposal: Different alarms should be used to differentiate between an actual emergency and a simple reminder.
“It would have been better if they used a different emergency tone as reminder and not the real emergency alert tone to differentiate at least. Super lakas pa naman kanina. Nataranta kami only to find out na Globe advisory lang pala,” shared another Twitter user.
Make sure to register your SIM cards
While Globe Telecom has drawn flak online for using these emergency alerts, their reminder is still important. Make sure to register your SIM card before April 26 to avoid deactivation.
According to the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), some 66.2 million out of 168 million mobile subscribers have registered their SIMs nationwide.
To register, visit SMART, Globe, DITO, and TNT‘s official websites or visit your telco company’s Facebook page for more info.
What do you think about using a nationwide emergency alert for SIM registration reminders?