No Facebook, no TikTok? DICT warns of harsh consequences for unregistered SIM card users

In order to further encourage the public to register their SIM cards, the government is planning to cut them off from various services like calls, texts, and access to social media accounts if they would still fail to do so within the 90-day extension.


This, however, is not yet final and is still under discussion, Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) Secretary Ivan John Uy said.

"So this is the last chance. The law actually has our hands tied. We are only allowed to do this, the extension once and up to a certain period of time. Thereafter, it will be a hard deadline," Uy said in a Palace briefing on Tuesday, April 25.

He reminded them that those who do not register will lose all services, numbers, access to their SIM card, which means they cannot call out, receive calls and cannot text. They will also lose access to their e-wallets and other financial services linked to their SIM card.

"So I urge the public really to register quickly," he said.

The DICT chief said they are exploring options in order to further urge the public to register their SIM cards promptly and not delay it.

"We are exploring some options that will be available to us in order to incentivize our public to register. We did not put those conditions in the first SIM card registration. But because of our observation that people are not taking our deadlines seriously, we are now exploring other options to incentivize registration," Uy said.

By "incentivizing", it means that users who fail to register their SIM cards within 90-day period might lose certain services even if the registration period is still ongoing.

"Let’s say, after the 60 days, you will lose your access to your Facebook accounts or to your TikTok accounts. But you still can use your phone – you can still call; you can still text, and then after a certain period, you will lose your outgoing calls so that way, ramdam ninyo kung anong effect na hindi kayo nagpaparehistro (you can feel the effect of not being able to register)," Uy said.

"And so eventually, once we reach the 90-day, you will lose completely all services to all your SIM cards. So those are still being threshed out by the telcos as to which ones will be easier for them to implement and how do we schedule the gradual reduction of the services. So iyong mga matitigas ang ulo, they wanted some convincing whether we’re serious or not, makakatikim sila nitong mga incentives namin (they will have a taste of this in incentive)," Uy explained.

Uy pointed out that the 90-day extension is a reasonable time for everybody to register.

He, however, expects that the government might be back to a hundred thousand or less for the next 30 days and would only start to peak up again when the deadline starts coming in.

"That's why we are exploring with the telcos with the possibility of incentivizing them by letting them taste what it would be like if certain services are no longer available to them if they do not register," Uy said.

"Whether you like it or not we are going to deactivate all the remaining sim cards after the 90 day period," he added.

President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. has approved the extension of the SIM card registration period after the April 26 deadline.

Marcos was compelled to extend the deadline due to the remaining 20 million unregistered SIM cards and low turnout in island provinces.

READ MORE: 20-M unregistered SIM cards, low turnout in islands prompt PBBM to extend registration