PEOPLE are seen using their mobile phones along Claro M. Recto Avenue in Divisoria, Manila, Dec. 27, 2022. — PHILIPPINE STAR/EDD GUMBAN

THE Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) has ruled out an extension of the registration of subscriber identity module (SIM), seven days before the deadline.

In a press release on Wednesday, DICT said that it had received a request from public telecommunication entities (PTEs) to extend the deadline, but said “at this point, there is no extension of SIM registration.”

“With the April 26 registration deadline drawing near, we encourage everyone to reqister to promote the responsible use of SIMs and provide law enforcement agencies the necessary tools to crack down on perpetrators who use SIMs for their crimes, consistent with the declared policy of the law,” it added.

The DICT also reminded the public of the repercussion of non-registration, which is the deactivation of the subscribers’ SIMs and eSIMs, barring them from using their PTEs’ calling, texting and digital wallet services.

“The DICT reiterates that the SIM Registration Act places primacy on the fundamental rights of Filipinos and is replete with safeguards to ensure the confidentiality and security of user data,” it said.

Republic Act No. 11934 or the SIM Registration Act requires all SIM users to register their SIMs under their name until April 26, or risk SIM deactivation. It aims to help mitigate the proliferation of text scams and other mobile phone-aided criminal activities.

Previously, the three PTEs — Smart Communications, Inc., Globe Telecom, Inc., and DITO Telecommunity Corp. – requested the extension of the SIM registration’s deadline for at least 120 days. The call came after they noticed that about half of the subscribers nationwide have not yet registered.

Data from the DICT showed that only 73.03 million or 43.2% of the 168.98 million subscribers nationwide have registered.

Of the total SIMs registered, 36.11 million are Smart subscribers, 31.59 million are from Globe, while DITO recorded 5.33 million. — Justine Irish D. Tabile