PLDT’s wireless unit Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) and its value brand TNT are filing a formal letter of request to ask the Department of Information and Communication Technology (DICT) and the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) for an extension of the mandated April 26, 2023 deadline for subscribers to register their SIMs.
“We are filing this request to help give ample time to all mobile users, particularly the marginalized sectors and those located in geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas of the country, to register their SIMs,” according to Cathy Yang, First Vice President and head of Group Corporate Communications at PLDT and Smart.
“We are here to continuously support the government in its SIM Registration initiative. While we have led in the number of registrations to date with about 46% of our total number of subscribers already registered, and which is higher than industry average, we see the need to give subscribers more time to secure the government IDs required to register their SIMs. We stand ready with government to support any undertaking to fast track completing the SIM Registration process as required by law,” Yang added.
Smart has set up hundreds of assisted SIM Registration booths in far-flung municipalities in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao, in close collaboration with organizer NTC, DICT, the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), the inter-agency committee on remote areas registration, and other public telecommunications entities. These booths offer information and guidance on how to register Smart or TNT SIMs using acceptable ID cards, as well as provide physical assistance to senior citizens, persons with disabilities, and those using non-data phones.
“Over the past 10 days, our daily registration numbers have ballooned as more customers catch up before the deadline,” Yang added.
According to Republic Act (RA) 11934 or the Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) Registration Act, which regulates the use of SIM cards to help curb the proliferation of text scams and other mobile phone-aided criminal activities, all SIM users have until April 26, 2023 to register their SIMs under their name, or risk deactivation of their SIM, however, the DICT may yet order an extension period.
“SIM deactivation will result to you losing the load balance you may still have. You will also lose the ability to send or receive text messages, including the ‘One Time Password’ that’s now required by banking and mobile wallet apps, or even by social media apps like Facebook, Messenger, TikTok, or YouTube. You will also be unable to make or receive calls or connect to the internet using mobile data when your SIM gets deactivated,” added Yang.
New and existing Smart Prepaid and TNT subscribers may access Smart’s SIM registration portal through https://www.smart.com.ph/simreg, while Postpaid customers can simply text YES to 5858 to confirm their registration.