MANILA, PHILIPPINES — The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) announced on Saturday that it will be meeting with telecommunications companies and other stakeholders to assess whether an extension of the subscriber identification module (SIM) registration deadline beyond April 26 is necessary.
DICT Secretary Ivan John Uy emphasized the importance of identifying the real problem behind why some subscribers have not yet registered to ensure that an extension would be effective.
“We will meet on Monday to get the statistics on how many subscribers have yet to register. We will identify the real problem of why some still have failed to register. If we would just extend the deadline without identifying the gap, then the extension will not be effective. The problem should be studied carefully,” Uy said in a radio interview.
“Their actual estimate is close to 100 million active SIMs. If we use that figure as basis, then we have 78 to 79 million registered SIMs. The registration rate is hitting almost 80 percent,” he added.
The difficulty of some subscribers to secure a valid ID was identified as an issue that must be addressed. Telecom companies have been appealing to the government to provide their subscribers with more time to secure the valid IDs required for registration.
As of April 20, 2023, around 45% of the 168 million subscriber base nationwide have registered their SIMs.
“We might look into other ways they can register if they really cannot secure a government ID,” Uy added.
The SIM Card Registration Act mandates SIM owners to register their numbers within 180 days from the effectiveness of the law or until April 26, 2023, and can extend the deadline for another 120 days as it deems necessary.
The SIM Card Registration Act is an important measure to ensure that all SIM owners are properly identified, but it is also important to balance this with the need to ensure that all subscribers have a fair opportunity to comply with the law. – WhatALife!/Jayve
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