Alternative to government IDs for registering SIM cards

(UPDATE) Secretary for Information and Communications Technologies Atty. Ivan Uy said that due to the lack of availability of the national identity card, Filipinos can use passports or driver’s licenses when registering their SIM cards.

Uy admitted that with the backlog or delay in the distribution of the national identity card, the public can use their other valid identity cards.

“We use other IDs – passports, driving licenses, etc. There is a way to validate them,” he said.

“You can always contact the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), LTO (Land Transportation Office), just to revalidate whether these are genuine or not,” he added.

He admitted, however, that the national identity card is more secure since it already includes biometrics.

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“It (other IDs) are definitely less secure, but like I said, if you want the best, shall we wait? How long are we waiting?” Uy said.

“Might as well proceed with that and then, as the technology is more available versus a higher level of security, we [will] deploy it as it comes because we cannot wait forever,” he added.

The SIM card registration law was recently signed by President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.

The said law obliges public telecommunications entities (PTEs) and direct sellers of SIM cards to require buyers to present photo identification upon purchase.

As soon as the law takes effect, this shows that existing users of postpaid and prepaid SIM cards will have to register within 180 days, or about six months.

If you don’t, the SIM card will be deactivated.

Secretary Uy said they can extend the registration period for up to 120 days.

Telecommunications companies Globe, Smart and Dito have expressed their support for the national identification system.

The PSA aims to distribute 30 million physical cards and 20 million digital IDs by the end of 2022.

According to the PSA, they had already registered more than 70 million Filipinos in the Philippine ID system.

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