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Anna Mae Yu Lamentillo

Apr 5, 2023

SIM registration deadline nears

It’s less than a month before the deadline for SIM registration on April 26, 2023. As of April 1, a total of 56,192,720 SIMs from the three telco providers have been registered. This is 33.25 percent of the estimated 169 million active SIM cards.

The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), which is tasked to implement Republic Act No. 11934 or the SIM Registration Act, has been receiving queries if the deadline for SIM Registration will be extended.

While the DICT may extend the registration period for up to 120 days, this is still for review based on our continuous monitoring of the daily number of SIMs registered. However, as of now, this is not our priority. Our priority is to encourage the public to register their SIM cards before the April 26, 2023 deadline.

There are also concerns that registered SIMs are still receiving spam and scam messages. This is precisely the reason why we hope to finish the registration period by the original deadline. We do not expect 100 percent of the active SIMs will be registered because those used from scams and crimes will just wait for the voluntary deactivation of their SIMs. But as long as the registration is ongoing, these unregistered SIMs can still be used for spam messages and illegal activities.

Primarily, the SIM Registration Law was enacted in order to regulate the use of SIM cards.  It will help deter crimes committed through mobile phones. Moreover, it will be able to provide law enforcement agencies the tools needed to resolve crimes perpetrated with the use of these SIM cards as well as providing a strong deterrence against the commission of wrongdoing.

The goal of the SIM registration is to ensure that ICT benefits the people. This is actually a tool not only to prevent mobile and online fraud, but also to suppress crimes such as human trafficking, online sexual abuse and exploitation of children, and terrorism, among others.

But in order for the law to be effective, everyone must cooperate in the registration of their SIM cards.

SIM registration is mandatory. Failure to register will result in deactivation of the SIM. Moreover, all new SIMs to be sold or issued by the public telecommunication entities (PTEs) and their authorized agents and resellers will be in a deactivated state until such time that the end-user completes the registration process.

For those who are concerned with data privacy, the law mandates PTEs to ensure that data from the SIM registration are secured and protected at all times.

Acts such as disclosing any data of an end-user, providing false or fictitious information and/or fraudulent documents; spoofing; sale of stolen SIM cards, among others, are punishable under the law.

The DICT calls on everyone’s continued cooperation with the SIM registration. Let us all work together to make the law work.

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