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Telcos Request Extension of SIM Registration Deadline

telcos request extension of sim registration deadline

MANILA, PHILIPPINES — Telecommunications companies in the Philippines have formally requested the government to extend the deadline for SIM card registration as users without identification documents or internet access struggle to comply.

PLDT’s Smart Communications and its value brand TNT have filed a letter of request to the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) and the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) for an extension of the mandated April 26, 2023 deadline. 

“We are filing this request to help give ample time to all mobile users, particularly the marginalized sectors and those located in geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas of the country, to register their SIMs,” said Cathy Yang, head of group corporate communications at PLDT and Smart.

Currently, only 46% of Smart’s total number of subscribers have registered, while Globe has only reached 32% or 27.85 million of its total mobile customer base.

Globe attributes the low figure to the lack of government IDs and access to the internet. As of April 10, DICT reported that only 65 million, or 39% of total subscribers, have registered their SIM cards. Dito Telecommunity, owned by Dennis Uy, has yet to respond to queries on whether it is also asking for an extension.

“Given these issues, we appeal to the government to extend the SIM registration process to give our customers more time to get their required government IDs and input the required information on our site,” Globe said.

Globe urges DICT to consider implementing alternative measures to comply with the SIM card registration requirement

Globe also urged the government to allow the following measures these measures include:

  • Alternative forms of identification: The telco is asking the government to consider allowing alternative forms of identification, such as company IDs, school IDs, and barangay certificates, for those who do not have a valid government-issued ID.
  • Conditional registration: Globe proposes providing conditional registration options to allow users to continue using telecommunication services while they work on obtaining a valid ID within a reasonable period. Users can either undergo post-verification or update their details once they obtain a valid government ID.
  • Always-on government-handled assisted registration centers: The telco is also proposing the use of government offices as hubs for SIM registration through volunteers and local government unit employees, complemented by ID issuance services.

Failure to register SIMs by the deadline would result in deactivation and curtail the basic right to communication. The telcos are urging the government to consider their request to ensure that all subscribers have ample time to register their SIM cards. – WhatALife!/Jayve

Sources: (1)(2)

Also read: Globe Telecom Appeals to Government for Extension of SIM Registration Deadline

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