NTC: Over 3 million SIM cards registered so far

MORE THAN 3 million subscriber identity module (SIM) cards have been registered as of Dec. 28 as required by law, according to the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC).

Figures released by the agency showed that 3.319 million SIM cards have been registered as part of Republic Act No. 11934 or the SIM Card Registration Act.

Of the total, Globe Telecom, Inc. accounted for 1.769 million, followed by Smart Communications, Inc. at 1.019 million, and DITO Telecommunity Corp. at 530,424. 

According to the NTC, the figures were provided by the public telecommunication entities to the commission.

All SIM cards in the country are mandated to be registered under the SIM Card Registration Act, which took effect on Oct. 28.

All mobile device users are required to register their SIMs on their telcos’ authorized registration platforms within 180 days from the effectivity of the law or until April 26, 2023.

The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) may extend the registration period by another 120 days. Unregistered SIM cards would be deactivated. 

Meanwhile, the NTC disclosed that it instructed the three telcos to submit a daily written report over seven days starting Dec. 28 after reports of unsuccessful or incomplete SIM registration and inaccessibility of registration sites.

The report would contain any incident of incomplete SIM registration, the platform involved, the number of subscribers affected, their geographical area, and other issues and concerns affecting SIM registration. It should also cite the actions taken to address these issues and actions to mitigate or eliminate similar incidents.

The NTC said the telco reports are to be submitted to the Office of the Commissioner and Regulation Branch on or before noon of the following day through e-mail.

In a separate statement, the National Privacy Commission reminded the telcos that the processing of data involved in the selfie verification requirement for SIM card registration should observe the provisions under Republic Act No. 10173 or the Data Privacy Act.

“As an additional layer of protection against fraud and identity theft, the processing involved in selfie verification should pass the general data privacy principles of transparency, legitimate purpose, proportionality, and all other data privacy safeguards in the law,” Privacy Commissioner John Henry D. Naga said.

“Ensuring the privacy of our registrants is paramount to instilling trust in the full implementation of the SIM Card Registration Act. This will be bolstered if public telecommunications entities can guarantee that all the data in their possession are protected against misuse, unauthorized processing, data breaches, and all other security incidents,” he added. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave