Telcos seek patience on registration, dangles rewards to subscribers

By Joseph B.A. Marzan, John Noel E. Herrera, and Sean Rafio

Telecommunication companies asked for patience from subscribers as they try to fix technical issues for smoother registration of their Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) cards in the next few days.

Smart advised its subscribers that they might experience difficulty accessing the SIM registration site following the high number of registrants.

PLDT-Smart’s first vice president and corporate communications head Cathy Yang also asked subscribers to bear with them as they are trying to increase the capacity of their system to cater to more registrants.

Despite the technical issues because of the volume of registrants, Yang said that it is still a good sign as many people wanted to comply with the law.

Globe, on the other hand, thanked its subscribers for wanting to register early but advised them to be patient and just to “try again later” if they encounter problems accessing the registration site.

“Technical teams are working double time so the online platform can go live before the day ends. Rest assured that we are optimizing our system to give you a better registration experience,” part of Globe’s statement read.

Globe explained that they had to take down their server to comply with the mandate to also include a verification process by uploading a selfie with a government-issued ID.

Aside from the portals being inaccessible, others also complained about minor glitches in the site, as there were also some delays and lag in the website interface.

DITO also assured its subscribers that they will continue “to improve the registration process based on the feedback we received from our Telecommunity.”


The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) launched a 24/7 complaint center where subscribers can report issues and problems related to SIM card registration.

“Concerns related to SIM registration can be directed to them through hotline 1326,” DICT said.

The complaint center under the Cybercrime Investigation and Coordinating Center will serve as a support system for the implementation of the SIM registration and will be a platform where the public can also provide suggestions on how the process can be improved, as it will initially run for 180 days.

Data from DICT also indicated that up to 160 million physical SIM cards and e-SIMs are expected to be registered following the implementation of the SIM Registration Act.

Republic Act No. 11934 (SIM Registration Act) was signed by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on October 10, 2022, which was also the first law signed under the new administration.

The measure also aims to help law enforcement authorities “track perpetrators of crimes committed through phones” and become an effective means of regulating the issuance of SIM cards to curb the spread of spam and scam text messages.

An earlier version of the law was passed by the 18th Congress but was vetoed by former President Rodrigo Duterte, citing the proposed registration of social media accounts as contrary to constitutional and statutory laws on privacy.

Both Globe and Smart recognized the high volume of registrations on Tuesday and said that they were working on these.

“Due to the high volume of registrants, some subscribers may experience difficulty accessing the SIM registration site. Our technical team is working on increasing capacity,” Smart said on its official Twitter account at 10:07 a.m. Tuesday.

“Thank you for taking the first steps to register your SIM! Should you encounter difficulty accessing the site, please try again later. Rest assured that we are optimizing our systems to give you a better registration experience so you can #KeepItGlobe,” Globe said in an advisory on its own social media handles at around 11:15 a.m.

DICT spokesperson Anna Mae Lamentillo said that this was expected, citing that the first 15 days starting on Tuesday were a “test period”.

“The first 15 days starting December 27 is a test period. This means that registrations during this period are all valid, but we are already anticipating that there could be some difficulties because this process is new to both the subscribers and the PTEs. During this 15-day test period, the PTEs will be able to assess what they need to improve on to make the registration process more efficient and easier for subscribers,” Lamentillo said in a press statement.

DICT Undersecretary Alexander Ramos, who heads the hotline, also told that they have received 120 complaints as of around 12:15 p.m. on Tuesday.

Existing Globe, Smart, and DITO users have until April 26, 2023, or 180 days after the effectivity of the Rep. Act No. 11934, to register their mobile numbers.

Users who wish to buy new SIM cards under the law will not be able to use their mobile numbers immediately after they start using them, as these are all deactivated under the new law until the user completes the registration process.

Telecommunications companies also offered rewards to their subscribers who will successfully register their Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) cards on Tuesday.

DITO Telecommunity Corp. announced in an advisory that subscribers who will successfully register their SIM cards will receive 2-gigabyte (GB) bonus data.

As of 3 p.m. on Tuesday, the company reported that over 208,000 of their subscribers have successfully registered their SIMs.

In a separate advisory, Smart Communications Inc. said its prepaid and TNT subscribers can get 3 GB of free data upon completing the SIM registration process.

Smart and DITO also said their subscribers could go to any of their stores where they could be assisted to register.

The mandatory registration of SIM cards aimed at combating text messaging fraud in the Philippines started on Tuesday, Dec. 27.

Users of existing SIM cards will have 180 days to register their SIMs or risk deactivation. New SIM cards, meanwhile, will be automatically deactivated unless their numbers are registered online.

Mobile users will be asked to provide their full name, date of birth, sex, home address, government ID and number, among others.