DICT 'studying' extension of SIM registration deadline


Posted at Apr 13 2023 10:28 AM | Updated as of Apr 13 2023 12:02 PM

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The Department of Information and Communications Technology, National Telecommunications Commission and other stakeholders are "studying" if there is basis to extend the April 26 SIM registration deadline, DICT Undersecretary Jocelle Batapa-Sigue said on Thursday.

As of April 11, only 66,220,334 of the total 168 million SIMs have been registered. Failure to register will result in deactivation of mobile services.

"The DICT is currently studying the basis for the extension," Batapa-Sigue said.

Both Globe Telecom and Smart Communications have urged the government to extend the SIM registration deadline, citing the lack of valid IDs among the causes of the low registration turnout.

In a statement, Smart Communications said Thursday it has formally filed a letter of request to the DICT to lobby for the SIM registration deadline extension.

"With the mandatory SIM registration now in place, lack of IDs remains a challenge to those availing mobile communication services. These individuals without valid IDs are at a higher risk of digital, social and financial exclusion, and marginalization as mobile communications may be their only means of accessing online information, financial services, and other social benefits," according to the letter filed by Smart's Head of Regulatory Affairs Atty. Roy Ibay.

Smart said the extension would give the public more time to secure valid IDs. PLDT's wireless arm is asking for a 120 extension, the maximum allowed extension stipulated by the law.