SIM registration fee allowed—DICT

Retail outlets charging customers for registering their SIM cards on their behalf are not violating any law, a Cabinet member said.

DICT Secretary Uy.jpg
DICT Secretary Ivan John Uy (Photo courtesy of PCO)

Department of Information and Communications Technology Secretary Ivan John Uy said it is merely a "private transaction" between the seller and SIM card user, who opted to get help from an individual in registering the SIM.

"Well, actually it’s a private transaction between the SIM card holder and the, and the SIM seller ‘no, retailer ba ito? Mga retailer, nasa palengke, oo (Retailers in the markets, yes). So, it’s a private transaction between them," Uy said in a Palace press briefing.

He said the SIM card holder is merely "asking for assistance from an individual" and it is only proper to pay for their service, especially if the sellers used their own mobile data for registration.

He likened the transaction to pay phones in stores, where the caller pays for P5 per call.

"Hindi naman siguro lumalabag sa batas na mag-charge sila ng kaunting fee dahil may gastos rin naman sila (I don't think they are violating any law by charging a small fee because they also spent their own resources there)," Uy said.

"And I think 20 pesos is very, very reasonable. And for many na medyo digitally challenged, I think nakakatulong naman iyon (who are digitally challenged, I think this can help them)," Uy added.

The DICT chief said this after President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. approved the proposal to extend the SIM registration period after the April 26 deadline.

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

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