DICT: No damage to telco facilities following major earthquake in N. Luzon

Pia Gutierrez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 28 2022 07:45 PM

Photo of the damaged Santa Catalina de Alejandria Parish Church on Tayum Church in Abra,a day after a powerful earthquake jolted the province. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News
Photo of the damaged Santa Catalina de Alejandria Parish Church on Tayum Church in Abra,a day after a powerful earthquake jolted the province. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) on Thursday said telecommunication facilities in Northern Luzon provinces were not affected by the magnitude 7 quake that struck the region.

DICT Assistant Secretary Anna Mae Lamentillo said this was based on the results of their recent inspection of existing facilities following the earthquake.

“Tapos na po natin, iyong inspection mula po sa Cordillera Region sa Region I, sa Region II at saka sa Region III. Wala pong na-damage na telecommunication facility pati po government facility,” she said in a public briefing.

“Pero nag-deploy na rin po kami ayon sa utos ni Secretary Ivan Uy ng mga mobile VSATs, satellite phones, doon po sa mga affected regions para po makatulong doon po sa ating rescue operations. Pero as of now po, restored na po lahat ng ating communication points," she added.

Lamentillo, meanwhile, noted that her agency is prioritizing strengthening government’s internet capacity, through the Luzon Bypass Infrastructure project.

“Iyong Luzon Bypass Infrastructure po natin will be online by next year, so we expect iyong government internet capacity to increase by 50 times,” she said.

She adds that the DICT also welcomes the entry of new technologies that will help solve the country’s slow internet connectivity woes.

The construction of new digital infrastructure, she said, continues.

“Now, the concentration is to expand iyong Build, Build, Build not just to roads, bridges and school buildings for example, but we also want to expand doon sa ating digital infrastructure and we feel and we believe that there will be drastic improvements as early as next year as far as internet connectivity is concerned,” said the official.

Five people were killed and more than 150 injured when a 7.0-magnitude quake struck the province of Abra on Wednesday morning, authorities said.

The powerful quake rippled across the mountainous region, toppling buildings, triggering landslides and shaking high-rise towers hundreds of kilometers away in the capital Manila.

Abra already declared a state of calamity because of the powerful quake. 

- With a report from Agence France-Presse