DICT assessing possible SIM registration extension

Will the SIM registration period be extended or not?

The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) on Monday, April 24, said they are considering the possible extension of the Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) card registration period.

SIM card (Unsplash)

Two days before the mandatory measure ends, DICT Secretary Ivan John Uy said there is a possibility that the SIM registration period will be extended.

“[N]agpulong kami ng mga telco and stakeholders, ang report po ay may ilan pa pong mga kababayan na hindi pa makapag rehistro dahil sa iba't-ibang mga rason. Kino-consolidate pa namin ang report at bukas ay may final meeting kami (We met with telcos and stakeholders, and the report is that there are still some individuals who have not been able to register due to various reasons. We are still consolidating the report and tomorrow we will have a final meeting),” said Uy in an interview over DZRH on Monday.

“[Pagkatapos ay] doon kami mag aanunsyo kung may extension man o kung gaano kahaba ang extension na ibibigay (Right after that, we will announce if there is an extension or how long will this extension be) ,” Uy furthered, adding that there is a “higher than 50 percent” chance that the listing period will be prolonged.

Under Republic Act No. 11934, otherwise known as the SIM Registration Act, DICT has the prerogative to extend the registration period for another 120 days. Uy, however, stressed that the longer the extension period is, the longer electronic communication-aided crimes will persist.

“We want the SIM registration period to be completed so that these scammers will disappear,” Uy said.

The DICT official disclosed that he asked public telecommunication entities to provide the list of areas where SIM registrants remain low, stressing that this is one of the factors they are considering to determine how long the possible extension will be.

Behind the numbers

Data from the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) showed that 82,845,397 cards have been registered as of April 23. This is equivalent to 49.31 percent of more than 168 million units across the archipelago.

One of the reasons behind this low registration turn out, according to Uy, is the non-compliance of some Filipinos.

“Ang pinaka malaking dahilan kung gusto niyong malaman? Matitigas po ang ulo. Umaasa na ma-eextend [kahit] anim na buwan ang ibinigay para makapag rehistro. Nakakapagtaka po dahil may nagco-complain na hindi raw sila techie pero marunong gumamit ng Gcash at Paymaya (Do you want to know the biggest reason? Hardheadedness. [They] are hoping for an extension [even if] six months were given for them to register. It makes me wonder because some people complain that they are not techie but they know how to use Gcash and Paymaya),” said Uy.