Home NTC Holds Meetings with Telcos to Discuss Possible Extension

NTC Holds Meetings with Telcos to Discuss Possible Extension

ntc holds meetings with telco for possible sim card registration extension

MANILA, PHILIPPINES — On Monday, National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) Deputy Commissioner Jon Paulo Salvahan announced that regulators and stakeholders are still studying the possible extension of the SIM registration deadline, which is set for April 26, 2023.

Major telecommunication companies in the Philippines have urged the government to extend the deadline, citing issues such as a lack of valid identification and digital capabilities for their subscribers to complete the registration process.

Salvahan revealed that the NTC is set to hold a series of meetings with telecommunication companies this week to discuss the possible extension of the deadline. 

“This week, may series of meetings kami (with telcos) to discuss possible extension… Pinag-aaralan na po namin yan ng DICT kasama po ang mga telcos kung kinakailangan po natin mag-extend sa April 26,” said Salvahan.

The SIM registration law mandates the registration of all mobile numbers, with failure to register to result in deactivation. However, regulators can grant a maximum of 120-day extension if deemed necessary.

As the deadline approaches, the NTC is expected to make an announcement soon on whether or not to extend the deadline for SIM registration.

Supreme Court Asked to Nullify SIM Card Registration Process 

Several civic groups filed a 59-page petition to the Philippine Supreme Court on Monday, urging the government to stop the mandatory registration of subscriber identity modules (SIM) cards. 

The groups argued that the SIM Registration Act, which requires mobile phone users to register their SIMs under their names or risk deactivation, violates freedom of speech and privacy.

The plaintiffs, led by National Union of Journalists in the Philippines Secretary-General Ronalyn V. Olea, called the SIM Registration law an “overbroad law that reaches into protected freedoms and restrains the free flow of ideas and information.” 

The groups expressed concern that deactivating SIM cards would suppress civic space and effectively silence Filipino mobile phone users. They also raised concerns about law enforcers being given access to the database of registered SIMs through subpoenas, which they claimed violates their right to privacy.

As of April 18, about 71.95 million SIMs have been registered, or 42.82% of 168.98 million subscribers nationwide, according to the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT). The deadline for registration is on April 26, and major telecom players have urged the government to extend the deadline, citing issues such as a lack of IDs and digital capabilities.  – WhatALife!/Jayve

Sources:  (1)(2)

Also read: Telcos Request Extension of SIM Registration Deadline

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