No registration, no SIM card activation

No registration, no SIM card activation thumbnail

A mobile phone and accessories vendor shows simcards from different networks, for sale inside her stall in Quiapo, Manila, on 08 October 2022. (PHOTO: MIKE ALQUINTO)

Read this in The Manila Times digital edition.

THE Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) reminded cell phone users to register their SIM (subscriber identity module) cards to avoid their deactivation.

Speaking at a briefing on Thursday, DICT Secretary Ivan John Uy said SIM card users must register within the prescribed 180-day period or their SIM will be automatically deactivated.

Newly bought SIM cards must also be registered first before use, Uy said.

“No registration, no activation of the SIM cards,” he said.

President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. has signed Republic Act 11934, or the “SIM Registration Act,” which requires all public telecommunications entities (PTEs) or direct sellers of SIM cards to require users to present a valid ID with a photo upon purchase.

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This means that postpaid and prepaid SIM users must register within 180 days, or about six months, to avoid deactivation.

Users with more than one SIM card can register all their numbers.

Uy said he is looking at 150 million prepaid and postpaid cards due for registration.

The main target for registration, however, are prepaid card owners, since postpaid users have already given their IDs and other relevant information to the telecommunication companies or telcos when they applied for a line.

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He said the registration is best carried out online because telco offices or registration sites could be swamped if registration is through a personal appearance.

“‘Yan po ang ideal situation, online po ang lahat ng registration at submission ng mga verifiable documents katulad ng passport or driver’s license or SSS (Social Security System), GSIS (Government Service Insurance System) or PhilHealth cards upang maverify (Ideally, the registration and submission of the documents such as passport or driver’s license or SSS, GSIS or PhilHealth cards should be done online for verification),” Uy said.

Since the national ID is not yet available, SIM card registrants can present their passports or driver’s licenses instead.

“There are other IDs that we’ve been using — passports, driver’s licenses, and so on. There’s a way of validating them,” he said.

“You can always contact the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) [and] LTO (Land Transportation Office), just to revalidate whether those are authentic or not,” he said.

He said, however, that the national ID is more secure since it already includes biometrics.

Other IDs are less secure, “but as I said, if you want the best, do we wait? How long do we wait?” Uy said.

Major telcos Globe, Smart and DITO have expressed support to the national ID system.

The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) aims to distribute 30 million ID cards and 20 million digital IDs by the end of 2022.

The PSA said it had already registered over 70 million Filipinos to the Philippine Identification System.

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