Governor Narong called for the change at a meeting held at Phuket Provincial Hall yesterday (Oct 26), joined by Vice Governor Pichet Panapong and relevant officers.
Governor Narong explained that the simple administrative change to people’s identification cards would not only help officials keep accurate records of how many people actually live on the island, but also boost budgets allocated from the central government to carry out local infrastructure projects.
“By people doing this, officials can use the information to make proper and quality plans for developing people’s lives. The central government will be able to give more budget to build or develop infrastructures and add more officers to provide services to Phuket people,” Governor Narong said.
The Phuket Government has launched a campaign targeting four distinct groups of people to encourage them to change their registered address, he said.
The four groups comprise officials working in 203 government offices on the island, as well as students, business owners and laborers, and others, he added.
At the meeting, it was explained that there are 8,950 officials posted in Phuket, but only 6,585 officials have changed their registered home address to the island.
The remaining 2,365 officers have not.
“The Phuket Government will publicize information and encourage people to move their registration to the island. Officers of the Civil Registration Department in each district and tambon administrative organization [OrBorTor and municipalities] will be mainly responsible for this project,” Governor Narong said.
The relatively small number of people registered as living in Phuket compared with the number of Thais usually living on the island to work has been an issue for decades, with government budgets allocated according to the province’s registered population.
The difference has resulted in much smaller budgets being allocated for infrastructure projects to serve a much larger population than intended on paper.
Also of note, once a Thai has changed their registered address to another province, they lose their voting rights in their home province.