Dominant telecommunications players Globe Telecom Inc. and Smart Communications Inc. are calling on the government to extend the April 26, 2023 deadline for SIM registration.
With less than two weeks before the SIM registration deadline expires, Globe said it has seen a low registration count primarily due to the lack of valid government IDs and challenged digital literacy.
“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,” the Ayala-led telco said.
Smart, likewise, said it is filing a formal letter of request to ask the DICT and the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) 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 Corporate Communications at PLDT and Smart.
“We see the need to give subscribers more time to secure the government IDs required to register their SIMs. We stand ready with the government to support any undertaking to fast track completing the SIM Registration process as required by law," added Yang.
Globe, meanwhile, suggested allowing alternative forms of identification, such as company IDs, school IDs, and barangay certificates to boost SIM registration efforts.
Figures released by the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) as of April 11 showed that 66,220,334 mobile subscribers have registered their SIMs, representing 39.41% of the 168 million mobile subscriber base nationwide.
Broken down, Smart accounted for the majority of the total number of registered SIMs with 32.932 million, followed by Globe with 28.334 million.
DITO Telecommunity Corp, meanwhile, accounts for 4.953 million of the total registered SIMs to date.
Under the SIM Card Registration Act, signed into law in October 2022, those who have SIMs have 180 days from the effectivity of the law to register their numbers, or until April 26, 2023.
The law also provides that the DICT can extend the deadline for another 120 days as it deemed necessary.
The DICT and the NTC have yet to issue responses to the calls of Globe and Smart to extend the SIM registration deadline.
The DICT earlier said it is planning to extend the registration deadline.
The DICT also reminded the public to register their SIMs with their respective Public Telecommunication Entity (PTE) and to be vigilant as they complete the registration process.