20-M unregistered SIM cards, low turnout in islands prompted PBBM to extend registration

President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. was compelled to extend the SIM card registration period to 90 more days as he recognized that the remaining unregistered SIM cards are still a significant number.

President Ferdinand 'Bongbong' Marcos Jr. (Photo courtesy of Yummie Dingding/PPA Pool)

Department of Information and Communications Technology Secretary Ivan John Uy said it was actually not the low turnout of registrants that prompted the President to approve the 90-day extension.

He said Marcos believes the remaining unregistered SIM cards, which are estimated to be around 20 million, are still a significant number that warrants an extension.

"Actually it's not the low turnout. We are already at 82 million and as I said earlier, the 168 million original number is not an accurate number in terms of legitimate SIM card users. The expected number would be about a hundred million more or less, maybe a 110 million on a hindsight. So with that number at 82 million, we are about 80 percent registered," Uy explained.

"So, when you're talking about 70 percent of all SIM cards issued being legitimate SIM card users, sa 168 million natin mga nasa (of 168 million there are only) 100 to 110 million, so we are expecting maybe about 20 million pa ang hindi nakapagrehistro (unregistered) and that's still a significant number. So the President has decided to allow the extension of 90 days," Uy added.

Another reason that prompted Marcos to extend the registration deadline is the data showing that most of the unregistered SIM cards were from far-flung areas and provincial islands.

"When the statistics came in, when we're looking at the low turnout, we discovered that some of the low turnouts were in the island provinces," Uy said.

"So with this when it was presented the President noticed that we need to put in more effort to deploy more teams to those island provinces in order to address the low turnout," he added.

The DICT chief said the daily registrants were only hitting about 100,000 to 200,000 per day but it went back up to one million registrants a day nearing to the supposed April 26 deadline.

With the 90-day extension, they are expecting that the remaining unregistered SIM cards pegged at 20 million will be registered as they will not hold back in deactivating all the remaining unregistered SIM cards after the 90 day period.

READ MORE: Marcos approves SIM registration extension