The mandatory registration of subscriber identity modules (SIMs) came to an end on July 25, 2023, signifying an opportunity for the government to intensify its efforts in combatting text scammers.

Aio Bautista, the lead convenor of the Philippine Transportation and Communications (PhilTraComm), praised the successful implementation of RA 11934 (the law on mandatory SIM registration) and emphasized that this should mark the beginning of a more robust crackdown on text scammers.

PhilTraComm is a non-government organization advocating the fight against fraud and the proliferation of fake news on social media.

Senator Grace Poe, who authored and sponsored the SIM Registration Act, shared the sentiment, urging authorities to demonstrate how they are enforcing the law.

With over 105 million officially registered SIM card subscribers, the Philippine National Police, and other relevant enforcement agencies now possess the necessary tools and reliable data to monitor and address SIM-related crimes.

RA 11934, the first bill signed into law by President Marcos, aims to put an end to text scams by requiring telecommunication providers to submit a verified and updated list of their authorized dealers and agents to the National Telecommunications Commission every quarter.

Senator Poe reassured the public that the law includes adequate safeguards to protect consumers’ right to privacy.

The government is set to start deactivating unregistered mobile numbers on Monday, July 31, 2023, Bautista said.

Following deactivation, services such as calls, mobile data, and texts will no longer be available to unregistered SIM subscribers.

After the deadline on July 25, mobile owners were granted a five-day grace period to reactivate their SIM through proper registration; otherwise, the telco provider will permanently block the number.

As of now, more than 105 million, or over 60 percent of the total number of active SIMs in the country, have been successfully registered, according to the Department of Information and Communications Technology.