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4月26日のまにら新聞から

Marcos approves 90-day extension for SIM card registration

[ 628 words|2023.4.26|英字 (English) ]

With less than 50 percent of around 160 million SIM cards registered, President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. approved the proposal of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) to extend the registration deadline by 90 days.

DICT Secretary Ivan John Uy made this announcement during a Palace briefing on Tuesday, a day before the SIM card registration ends on April 26.

“In the sectoral meeting this morning with the President, the President has approved our recommendation to extend the SIM registration by 90 days. So within that 90-day period, we urge our countrymen to take advantage of this extension to register the SIM cards,” Uy told reporters.

The Supreme Court did not issue a temporary restraining order stopping the registration of SIM cards during its en banc session in Baguio City.

It ordered several government agencies and private telecommunications companies to answer the petition that challenged the constitutionality of RA 11934, or the SIM Registration Act.

Uy reported that so far 82 million SIM cards that have been registered, adding they anticipate that there will be probably around 15 to 20 million active SIM cards that need to be registered.

According to the DICT chief, they are expecting that the total SIM card registration will be about a 100 million and the remaining 50 million are disposable ones that are being used for different purposes, either for telemarketing or for scamming purposes.

Uy had warned the public that the deadline extension was the ''last chance'' for subscribers to register their SIMs.

“This is the last chance. The law actually has our hands tied. We’re only allowed to do this extension once up to a certain period of time and thereafter. It will be a hard deadline. And those who do not register will lose all services. They will lose access to their SIM card, which means they cannot call out. They cannot receive calls. They cannot text. And they will also lose access to their e-wallets and whatever financial services that are linked to their SIM cards. So I urge the public really to register quickly,” he added.

Within the 90-day registration deadline extension, telecommunication companies will be gradually limiting the SIM card services that unregistered subscribers could access, Uy said.

“Because of our observation that they are not taking our deadlines seriously, we are now exploring other options to incentivize registration. So one, is that we are talking to our telcos, during the 90-day period, we are going to observe the rate of registration. And after a certain period of time, we’re seeing maybe 30 days or 60 days into registration, we start deactivating some services on the SIM card,” Uy said.

“And so eventually, once we reach the 90-day, you will lose completely all services to all your SIM cards. So those are still being threshed out by the telcos as to which ones will be easier for them to implement and how do we schedule the gradual reduction of the services,” he added.

He said they noticed a surge in registrations from 100,000 per day during the earlier months to one million per day leading up to the days of the April 26 deadline.

“That just goes to show that the issue is not really limited ID or anything. It’s just our bad habit of delaying to the last minute, the compliance to the law,” Uy said.

“So these stubborn people they really wanted some convincing whether we’re serious or not, so they will get a taste of these ‘incentives’. Sometimes, you know, that’s the only language our countrymen understand,” he said.

Uy said that the lowest turnout was in the provinces of Dinagat, Siquijor, and Camiguin Islands so they will deploy more personnel in those areas to assist them with the SIM registration. Jaspearl Tan/DMS