One month until sim registration deadline

UNREGISTERED Subscriber Identity Modules (SIMs) shall be automatically deactivated as the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) reminded the public that only one month is left before deadline of the registration.

Deactivated SIMs can no longer be used to receive or send text messages, or initiate voice calls, or for mobile data services for digital apps and other services that require two-step verification.

SIM registration ends on July 25, 2023, after it was extended by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. for another 90 days from the initially set deadline last April 26, 2023.

“While there may be a substantial number of citizens that have registered their SIM cards, we encourage those that have not yet registered to register before the deadline so as to not be inconvenienced by the consequences of non-registration,” DICT 7 Director Frederick DC Amores told SunStar Cebu on June 21, 2023.

As of June 13, 2023, the DICT reported that the total number of SIM registrants has reached 99,289,484.

Even though there is barely a month left until the deadline, there are still some individuals who have yet to register their SIM cards.

Reasons include the lack of a valid identification card (ID), the misconception that the registration involved fees and the preference to buy new SIM cards.

Karen Meduea, a resident in Cebu City, told SunStar Cebu she has not registered her SIM yet as she is waiting for a stronger mobile signal in her home.

Roldan Majusay, in a separate interview, said he would rather buy a new SIM card than register.

Rudylyn Arapan shared that no one prevented her from registering, but she felt compelled to do so after hearing that unregistered SIM cards can no longer be used. She said she would buy a new one if she fails to register her SIM card.

None of them reported being restricted in accessing some of the features offered by telecommunications companies.

DICT Secretary Ivan John Uy said at a press briefing on April 26 that the country has more than 168 million active SIMs; however, 50 million of these were believed to be used for telemarketing or scamming activities.

The three-month extension was approved to accommodate 20 million more SIM users to register, particularly those in far-flung communities and the marginalized sector.

Marcos signed into law Republic Act 11934, or the SIM Registration Act on October 10, 2022, which aimed to address spam text messages and deterrent to the proliferation of the various crimes involving mobile phones.