Telecommunications firm PLDT Inc. and Smart Communications on Monday reported that they are almost finished in reviving services in Mindanao while also speeding up recovery of services in Visayas that were cut off due to Typhoon Odette.
“In Mindanao, restoration of wireless services is nearly complete at 96% while fixed services are almost fully restored at 99%. But major restoration activities are still ongoing in Surigao del Norte including Siargao, Misamis Oriental and Dinagat Islands,” the telco firms said in a statement.
In Visayas, meanwhile, 85% of wireless services and 69% fixed services have been restored.
“Major areas for restoration remain in Cebu, Bohol, Leyte and Negros provinces,” the companies added.
The telco firms also bared that slow restoration of communication services in Visayas was due to the “prolonged delay in resuming commercial power supply in Cebu and difficulty in procuring fuel for gensets to power up telco facilities.”
Meanwhile, the telco firms also said that more personnel and equipment have been deployed for repair works in Siargao and Palawan.
“Departing Manila at 2:15 p.m., PLDT’s Super King Air 350 ferried Smart engineers and carried mission-critical equipment on a three-leg journey from Manila to Siargao to Cebu. Both chartered flights have arrived in their respective destinations,” the companies said.
Meanwhile, Smart has set up more Libreng Tawag and Charging (Free Calls and Charging) stations across the Visayas:
- PLDT Office in Tipolo, Mandaue
- Biasong, Talisay City
- PLDT Office, Mactan, Lapu-Lapu City
- Pagtimbayayong Foundation, Cebu City
- J Clarin St., Tagbilaran City, Bohol
- Evacuation Center, Brgy. Balocawehay, Abuyog, Leyte
- Tomas Oppus St. Brgy. Tagnipa, Maasin City
- Asuncion, Maasin City
- Kabankalan, Negros Occidental
- Villamonte, Bacolod City, Negros Occidental
- Sipalay, Negros Occidental
- San Vicente, Baclayon, Bohol
PLDT and Smart said they will set up more free calls and charging stations in the Visayas and Mindanao in the coming days.
“In the wake of connectivity disruptions brought on by typhoon Odette, PLDT is giving bill rebates and its wireless unit Smart is crediting calamity load assistance to severely affected customers in Visayas and Mindanao,” the company also announced.
“Impacted customers in Visayas and Mindanao will not be required to pay for any service fees incurred during the days they experienced connectivity disruptions during typhoon Odette,” PLDT said, adding that “there will be no disconnection of service due to non-payment until January next year, and the rebate that we will credit will be reflected in customers’ January/February 2022 billing.”
Customers will be informed of the bill rebates via SMS, PLDT said.
Smart, on the other hand, is giving calamity load assistance to those most severely impacted in Visayas and Mindanao.
On Monday, based on data from the Philippine National Police, at least 375 people have died, 500 were injured while 56 are still missing after Odette battered areas in Visayas and Mindanao. — Consuelo Marquez/BAP, GMA News