More than 110 million SIM cards have been registered in the Philippines as of July 25, 2023, the last day of the mandatory registration period for existing and new SIM users, according to the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT).
The number of registered SIM cards represents 65.58% of the estimated 168 million SIM cards in the country, based on data from the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC).
The SIM Card Registration Law, which took effect on December 27, 2022, requires all SIM card owners to register their mobile numbers with their respective telecommunication service providers using a valid government-issued ID. The law aims to prevent crimes involving unregistered SIM cards, such as identity theft, cybercrime, terrorism, and illegal drug trade.
The DICT has extended the registration deadline by 90 days, from April 26 to July 25, to give users more time to comply with the law. However, it warned that there will be no more extensions and that unregistered SIM cards will be deactivated after the deadline.
Users who fail to register their SIM cards will lose their mobile numbers, access to calls and texts, and online services linked to their phone numbers, such as e-wallets and social media accounts.
For their part, the DICT will continue to monitor the implementation of the law and impose penalties on telcos, SIM card sellers, and government workers who fail to comply with the law. The penalties range from fines of up to P1 million to imprisonment of up to six years.
As stated in the implementing rules and regulations of the SIM Registration Act, users who missed the deadline and got their SIMs deactivated may still process the reactivation of their SIMs not later than five days after the deadline or until July 30, 2023. After that, reactivation will no longer be possible.