95 million SIM cards still unregistered, but DICT won’t extend listup

One of the companies noted that extending the deadline would allow customers to secure the ID requirement for the mandatory registration.

Tyrone Jasper C. Piad

Tyrone Jasper C. Piad

Philippine Daily Inquirer



April 20, 2023

MANILA, Philippines — With only seven days remaining until the April 26 deadline, the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) insisted on Wednesday there was no need to extend the registration deadline for subscriber identity modules (SIMs) even if less than half of the 168 million SIMs in use in the country have been registered.

In a statement, the DICT said it had received the proposals from the telco players to extend the registration deadline by another 120 days.

“However, at this point, there is no extension of SIM registration. With the April 26 registration deadline drawing near, we encourage everyone to register to promote the responsible use of SIMs and provide law enforcement agencies the necessary tools to crack down on perpetrators who use SIMs for their crimes, consistent with the declared policy of the law,” the statement read.

Last week, Smart Communications, Globe Telecom, and DITO Telecommunity lodged the extension requests after only 73.03 million SIM cards were registered as of April 17, or 43.47 percent of the 168 million SIM cards in use.

The majority of the registrations were accounted for by Smart with 36.11 million, followed by Globe with 31.59 million and DITO, 5.33 million.

The figures suggest that more than 95 million SIM users remained unregistered and those cards will be deactivated after April 26.

The firms said that the most common difficulty was having acceptable forms of identification. The government itself has not met its own deadline for providing acceptable identification cards to consumers.

More time to register

According to the Philippine Statistics Authority website, only 33.5 million Philippine Identification System cards have been delivered to registered individuals, although the agency has printed more than 60 million as of March 15.

PLDT and Smart’s first vice president and head of group corporate communications, Cathy Yang, previously said the extension would allow mobile users in remote areas to have more time to register their SIM cards.

Globe said that extending the deadline would allow customers to secure the ID requirement for the mandatory registration. It also suggested that alternative forms of identification be accepted, such as company and school IDs and barangay certificates.

“Considering that more than 50 percent of nationwide subscribers of all telcos have yet to register, disallowing the extension may result in disenfranchising of subscribers that may prove detrimental to the current government initiative,” DITO said earlier.

Under Republic Act No. 11934, or the SIM Registration Law, unregistered SIM cards will be deactivated, causing not only lost profits for telcos but also a great inconvenience to taxpayers.

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