telecommunications companies

Only 39% of target: Telcos want to extend SIM registration

Ralf Rivas

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Only 39% of target: Telcos want to extend SIM registration
Customers have been struggling to register their SIMs due to the lack of government IDs and internet access

MANILA, Philippines – Telecommunications companies have urged the government to consider extending the deadline of the SIM card registration, as users with no IDs or internet connection struggle to comply.

On Wednesday, April 11, PLDT’s Smart Communications and its value brand TNT filed a formal letter of request to ask the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) and the National Telecommunications Commission for an extension of the mandated April 26, 2023 deadline for subscribers to register their SIMs.

“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.

Smart said that only 46% of the total number of subscribers have registered.

“[W]e see the need to give subscribers more time to secure the government IDs required to register their SIMs. We stand ready with government to support any undertaking to fast track completing the SIM Registration process as required by law,” Yang said.

Globe earlier said it has reached only 32% or 27.85 million of its total mobile customer base.

Globe attributed the low figure to the lack of government IDs and access to the internet.

“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.

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Globe also urged the government to allow the following measures:

  • Alternative forms of identification: 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 IDs.
  • Allow conditional registration: Provide conditional registration options that allow individuals to continue using their telecommunication services while they work to obtain a valid ID within a reasonable period. They can either have a post-verification or update their details once they have the appropriate government ID.
  • Create always-on government-handled assisted registration centers: Use government offices as hubs for SIM registration through volunteers and local government unit employees, complemented by ID issuance services.

As of April 10, DICT said that only 65 million or 39% of total subscribers have registered their SIM cards.

Dennis Uy’s Dito Telecommunity has yet to respond to queries whether it is also asking for an extension.

Failure to register SIMs would result in deactivation and curtail the basic right to communication.

“This will impact several aspects of their daily life including banking (ayuda is distributed via e-wallets), e-commerce, transportation (ride-hailing apps, food delivery, etc), healthcare, education (online learning), entertainment and more,” Globe said. –

1 comment

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  1. JD

    Once again, government incompetence and legislative folly cannot help but show themselves to everyone’s embarrassment. Didn’t it occur to all these officials that this would be the most likely outcome, considering most people haven’t even received their physical copy of their national ID yet, and many more have no reliable Internet access? Suddenly, these stupid telcos who were so in favor of this law last year are now scrambling to push back the deadline, upon realizing they were about to lose more than a hundred million active SIM cards in use. LOL! 😆

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Ralf Rivas

A sociologist by heart, a journalist by profession. Ralf is Rappler's business reporter, covering macroeconomy, government finance, companies, and agriculture.