Philippines: The Department of Information and Communications Technology not extending the SIM registration 26 April 2023 deadline

In brief

The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) has issued a statement that it will not be extending the deadline set for the mandatory subscriber identity module (SIM) registration set on 26 April 2023.1


Contents

SIM registration deadline, in more detail

The DICT and the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), as the government agencies charged with the facilitation of SIM registration across the country, issued a statement that they are not looking into the possibility of extending the deadline for mandatory SIM registration, which is set on 26 April 2023. The DICT and NTC announced this even if Republic Act No. 11934 or the Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) Registration Act provides that the registration deadline may be extended for a period not exceeding 120 days.

Various groups have criticized the set deadline, arguing that since the registration process only started on 27 December 2022, the 180 days should toll from that date and the deadline should preliminarily fall on 25 June 2023. 

In view of the set deadline, by 26 April 2023, all end users (individuals and juridical entities alike) are required to register their SIM with their respective Public Telecommunication Entities (PTEs). Major PTEs have launched their campaigns for end user registration, which would require the end user to provide their SIM mobile number and other information such as full name, date of birth, sex, address, valid government ID and ID number for individuals; and name, address, and name of authorized signatory for juridical entities.

For foreigner SIM end users with tourist visas, they must still register with their PTEs by submitting their passports, proof of address in the Philippines, and return tickets. The SIM will be automatically deactivated after 30 days.

For all other foreigner SIM end users, they must register with their PTEs by submitting, in addition to their passport and proof of address in the Philippines, any of the following pertinent documents: alien employment permit issued by the Department of Labor and Employment, alien certificate of registration identification card or similar official ID issued by the Bureau of Immigration or other visa-issuing agency, school ID or registration if student, or travel or admission document issued by the Department of Justice if Persons of Concern  or POC.

Failure to register by the scheduled deadline will cause the automatic deactivation of the unregistered SIM, which will render the SIM incapable of being used for outgoing and incoming calls, internet access, or sending and receiving messages.

Why the SIM Registration Act IRR is important

With the variance of reported deadlines for SIM registration by various groups, as well as the slowdown in registration among SIM users, all SIM users — individuals, companies and foreigners alike — must be vigilant with their obligations under the law and the IRR. While there exists a possibility of extension, SIM users are urged to register at the soonest possible time to ensure continued availment and use of services from PTEs.


1 This deadline supersedes the deadline indicated in our previous Client Alert published on 22 December 2022, found here.


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*Authored by Quisumbing Torres, a member firm of Baker & McKenzie International, a Swiss Verein. Please contact QTInfoDesk@quisumbingtorres.com for inquiries.

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