DTI chief pleads for extension of SIM listing for MSMEs’ sake


TRADE Secretary Alfredo E. Pascual on Thursday personally backed calls for the extension of the deadline for the registration of Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) cards, noting this is crucial in hastening the march to digital payments, especially for small and medium enterprises.

Pascual said the government should consider a longer registration period amid reports less than half of SIM card holders have registered with the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT).

He reiterated the importance of ensuring most SIM cards are registered in boosting online transactions for micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSME).

“SIM registration is very important as we move towards digital payments. And digital payments are what we need to happen to further promote and develop our MSMEs because that is how they can facilitate accessing the market and being able to sell online,” Pascual explained.

“If you are dealing with payments, you have to be sure that the communication is coming from a known source rather than from an unregistered SIM,” he added.

Under Republic Act No. 11934 or the SIM Registration Act, all unregistered SIM cards will be deactivated.

It was signed into law by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. “to promote the responsible use of SIM cards and provide law enforcement agencies the necessary tools to crackdown on perpetrators who use SIMS for their crimes.”

On Wednesday, DICT announced it will not extend the April 26, 2023 deadline for the SIM card registration.

This despite the appeals from telecommunication providers to reset the deadline to a later date to allow more of their subscribers to register their SIM Cards.