CEBU CITY, Philippines—Some cellphone users here were delighted when the deadline for the extension of SIM registration was extended for 90 days.
The national government on Tuesday, April 25, 2023, extended the deadline for mandatory SIM registration, which was originally set on April 26.
The deadline is now on July 25.
Based on data from the National Telecommunications Commission website, 52 percent of users in the country have registered their SIM cards as of April 24.
In an earlier article, some users said delayed one-time pin (OTP), digital illiteracy, and doubt on the effectiveness of the program, in general, are some of the reasons why it took them some time to register their SIM cards.
Some users reactions
With the news of the extension, some users heaved a sigh of relief since it gives them more time to register.
“Na-happy ko. As someone nga mo-report to work from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. then grabe [ka] busy the past days, helpful siya to find taas-taas nga time to register,” said Iris Hazel Mascardo, an office worker from Cebu City.
(I was happy. As someone who reports to work from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and has been busy in the past days, it is helpful that we have a longer time to register.)
Angie Mae Roallos from Urgello, Cebu City, also believes the extension will benefit a lot of people.
“I think it is beneficial to a lot of people who finds the SIM registration quite challenging, especially the elders in the community, those who don’t have smartphones, and those in remote areas,” she said.
Reinier Dakay, a 29-year-old technical support engineer, for his part, shared why he did not register at all.
Dakay said he was skeptical about how data gathered through the SIM registration would be used.
“Although admittedly it has its advantages, but recent data leak and data breach in the Philippines indicate that data privacy and security in the country remain weak against cyber threats,” he said.
‘Final’ 90-day extension
Meanwhile, the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) said that no future extensions would be made to the “final” 90-day extension.
NTC Deputy Commissioner Jon Paulo Salvahan reminded the public that unregistered SIM cards would be automatically deactivated once the deadline would expire on July 26, or 91 days after the original deadline.
On July 26, unregistered SIM owners will immediately lose access to call-and-text services and e-wallets among other features.
The SIM Registration Act, aimed at reducing anonymous mobile phone-based scams and other criminal activities, was signed by President Marcos last October 10, 2022. / with report from Morexette Marie B. Erram and Wenilyn Sabalo