Socmed services inaccessible for unregistered SIM cards despite extension
MANILA, Philippines — Social media services will be inaccessible for still unregistered SIM cards even if the government extended the registration period that was supposed to end on Wednesday, April 26.
Department of Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla said Tuesday that certain mobile network services, including social media, will be cut off for unlisted SIM cards after April 26 although the registration deadline was moved.
“There is a 90-day extension, but most of the services that come with the cellphones [with SIM cards] that are not registered will be cut off within the telcos,” Remulla noted, adding that “there will be a social media unavailability for those who do not register in the next 90-days.”
The government’s announcement of a 90-day extension for SIM card registration came as the Supreme Court raffled off the petition seeking to declare Republic Act 11934 or the Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) Registration Act as unconstitutional.
The petition assailed the law for supposedly violating the public’s right to free speech, right to privacy, and right to due process because RA 11934 lacks the security and means to protect the information that the public will provide when registering their SIM cards.
Under the SIM Registration Act, all current SIM subscribers must submit a completed form through the websites offered by telecommunications companies. Otherwise, the SIM will be deactivated.
Proponents said the purpose of the law is to deter illegal acts committed through short messaging/message service or SMS technology and to help law enforcers track alleged criminals.
The National Telecommunications Commission said that 75.5 million SIM cards were registered as of April 20 which is only 45 percent of the total 168 million SIM cards that are currently in use nationwide.