By John Noel E. Herrera
The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC)-6 has reminded mobile phone users in the region to register their Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) cards as the deadline for the registration approaches.
NTC-6 legal officer Atty. Deo Virgil Tan said that individuals who will fail to register their SIM cards will face contact deactivation as stated in the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) for Republic Act (RA) No. 11934 or the SIM Registration Act.
“So dapat gid niyo ni nga ipa-register para atleast hindi ma deactivate pagkatapos sang deadline. Wala ni limit, you can register as much kung pila ka number sang sim cards ninyo subong and libre man ini,” he said.
Tan noted that there is no directive yet as to whether they would extend the deadline as the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) needs to assess the status of registration first.
“Wala pa kita directive nga ma-extend ini for another 120 days, kay as the law states, if the DICT will assess na kailangan pa naton mag-extend, then may-ara dapat directive. So, the deadline still stands and that is on April 26, 2023,” he said.
NTC-6 previously explained that if there are still many unregistered subscribers once the 180-day registration period is finished, the DICT might give an extension of another 120 days.
Tan added that the interface of Public Telecommunication Entitties’ (PTEs) online portals are now easy to access as the PTEs have optimized it already after some mobile users experienced glitches and technical difficulties during the first few weeks of the implementation.
“Ang aton platforms, kung gusto mo ikaw mismo maparegister, mahapos na and it’s a friendly-user platform and na-optimized man na sang PTEs every day,” he said.
To help other individuals who are struggling to register their SIM cards, Tan said that they have already conducted facilitated sim card registration in remote areas where users were struggling to access the online portals due to low internet connectivity.
“May ara kami nga gina-conduct facilitated sim card registration sa mga identified remote areas. Nag-umpisa kita sa Carles sang January 27 and may ara na kita 14 municipalities nga gin bisitahan para mag-conduct sang registration,” Tan said.
NTC-6 officer-in-charge Leah Doromal earlier said that they have been working hard to bring the facilitated SIM card registration to 40 areas in the region by April 26.
Data from NTC-6, as of March 7, 2023, indicated that they have already registered 9,415 SIM cards in the region through facilitated SIM card registration.
DICT also reported that nearly 24 percent of all the SIMs in the country have been registered with their respective PTEs, as of March 5.
DICT said that based on the latest consolidated data reported by PTEs, a total of 40,498,324 SIMs were registered so far, equivalent to 23.97 percent of the 168,977,773 subscribers nationwide.
RA No. 11934 was the first law signed by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. under his administration and it aims to help law enforcement authorities “track perpetrators of crimes committed through phones” and become an effective means of regulating the issuance of SIM cards to curb the spread of spam and scam text messages in the country.