Telcos restore services in Catanduanes, other typhoon-hit areas

Telcos restore services in Catanduanes, other typhoon-hit areas

MANILA – The country’s two largest telecommunication companies on Wednesday restored their network services in several areas ravaged by Super Typhoon Rolly.

In an advisory, Globe Telecom, Inc. (Globe) said its network coverage has been “fully restored” in the National Capital Region (NCR), the provinces of Rizal, Batangas, Camarines Norte, Marinduque, Sorsogon, Samar, and Western Samar while its network in Quezon, Laguna, and Masbate are “nearing full restoration”.

“Globe is exerting all means possible to immediately restore critical telecommunications services in other provinces hit by Super Typhoon Rolly such as Albay, Camarines Sur, and Catanduanes,” Globe said.

So far, it said call, text, and LTE internet browsing has been restored in Virac, Catanduanes while call and text services are restored in San Andres, Catanduanes, and the municipalities of Bombon, Bula, Cabusao, Calabanga, Del Gallego, and Lupi in Camarines Sur.

To make up for its limited service and help its users in these three provinces that bore the worst of Rolly’s onslaught, it is now providing free unlimited calls and text to Globe and TM subscribers in Albay, Camarines Sur, and Catanduanes.

“Globe Prepaid customers will also get 50MB for surfing while TM users can enjoy 50 texts to all networks. Likewise, Globe Prepaid/TM customers will have PHP30 worth of IDD (international direct dialing) credits with seven-day validity that will allow them to place calls to North America and the Asia Pacific for PHP2.50 per minute; and to the Middle East and Europe for PHP5 per minute,” Globe said.

Its postpaid users, it said, will also be given PHP30 worth of IDD credits aside from allowing those with unpaid bills to continue using their mobile service from November 3 to 9 “regardless of account payment status.”

“In addition, those who want to temporarily suspend their assigned spending limit may text SL LIFT to 268201 on or before November 5,” Globe said.

It will also provide its Globe at Home broadband postpaid users with 20 gigabytes (GB) of free data and valid for 15 days while its broadband prepaid users will have 5 GB of free data valid for three days.

“Globe will also reverse charges in the bills of Postpaid customers corresponding to the days when they have experienced no connection,” Globe said.

Meanwhile, Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart), in an advisory, said it has restored its mobile services in Catanduanes at 8:42 a.m. Wednesday, noting that it was the first telecommunications company to do so.

“PLDT and Smart sent additional personnel to the island, bringing with them vital equipment to repair downed sites in the area. PLDT worked closely with the Armed Forces of the Philippines and also chartered flights to fast track restoration of mobile services in the isolated province,” Smart said.

Smart president Alfredo Panlilio said the company flew its service restoration crew and equipment using private aircraft to restore its services in as little time as possible.

“It is important that we immediately restore services to our customers that’s why we are also providing Libreng Tawag (Free Call) and Libreng Charging stations to typhoon-hit communities,” Panlilio said.

Libreng Tawag and Libreng Charging stations are currently available in Virac, Catanduanes, and other areas in Aurora, Bataan, Batangas, Bulacan, Camarines Sur, Marinduque, Pampanga, Sorsogon, Tarlac, and Zambales.

On Tuesday, PLDT and Smart said its services have normalized in Albay, Batangas, Bulacan, Camarines Sur, Camarines Norte, Pampanga, Northern Samar, Tarlac, and Zambales “except in areas affected by commercial power outages and transport-related concerns”. Raymond Carl Dela Cruz / PNA –