By Floreño G. Solmirano
LEGAZPI CITY, 3Sept2013 – The Regional Development Council has lauded the role of the communications sector during times of disaster and other calamities by assisting and supporting the Bicol Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council and the DRRMCs of local government units in the region.
RDC Chair and Albay Governor Joey Sarte Salceda said that during critical times, the communications sector has always activated its “Task Force Bayanihan” and coordinates with civic action and amateur radio groups in the region.
The sector hopes to establish additional district offices, particularly in Masbate City and Virac, Catanduanes, Salceda added.
“The Regional Development Plan aims to provide effective and efficient communication facilities and services that are universally accessible, interconnected and affordable,” he said.
The RDC chair noted that there were 63,055 telephone subscribers in 2012, increasing the telephone density from 1.03 in 2011 to 1.16 in 2012.
At present, there are 10 local exchange carriers serving the communications need of the region.
These are the Southern Telecommunications Co., Inc., BTTI, Inc., Bayan Telecommunication, Inc., Digital Telecommunication, LM United, Iriga Telephone Co., Piltel, North Camarines Telephone Co., Labo Telephone System and Santos Telephone System.
Beside these companies, there are six Internet service providers with a combined number of 8,552 subscribers, and these are the DCTV Broadband Services, Inc., Smart Broadband, Inc., Caceres CATV, ICC-Bayantel, Digitel and Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co.
Further, a total of 503 cellular sites are installed in the region to provide cellular mobile telephone service.Not to be left behind, the government-owned and operated Information and Communications Technology Office, formerly the Telecommunications Office, offers telegram, telephone, fax and Internet services while the Philpost Corp. offers upgraded premium postal services and e-pouch which results in fast, safe and prompt mail delivery services.
These two government companies offer services that are focused on rural areas that are not covered by private communication providers.
“We hope to further develop the communications sector to service the needs of a growing number of its clientele, especially in times of calamities – natural or man-made,” Salceda said.(PNA)