Libreng Tawag: NTC tells Globe, Smart to offer free calls in storm-ravaged areas

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 02 2020 07:59 PM | Updated as of Nov 02 2020 10:35 PM

MANILA (UPDATE) - The National Telecommunications Commission has ordered Globe and Smart to provide stations that offer free calls and cellphone charging in areas affected by typhoon Rolly. 

In a memorandum issued on Monday, the NTC said it has also ordered its officials in the Mimaropa, Calabarzon and Bicol regions to monitor the compliance of the telcos with the “Libreng Tawag and Libreng Charging Stations” directive. 
 
The NTC said the order is valid until Nov. 8. 

PLDT-Smart meanwhile said it has already deployed Libreng Tawag and Libreng Charging in the provinces of Aurora, Bataan, Batangas, Bulacan, Camarines Sur, Marinduque, Pampanga and Sorsogon. 

Cathy Yang, PLDT Group's head of communications, said telco services in most provinces hit by typhoon Rolly have stabilized, while PLDT technicians are working round the clock to fully restore services in areas hit hard by Rolly. 

PLDT said customers in Albay, Camarines Sur and Norte may still experience connectivity issues due to commercial power failure and transport-related concerns.

Yang added that PLDT is also focused on restoring services in Catanduanes where Rolly first made landfall as a super typhoon. 

"Naghihintay pa rin kami ng update sa aming mga tauhan doon kasi nga cut off pa rin ang probinsya dahil sa matinding tama ng bagyong Rolly," Yang said in an interview with Teleradyo. 

(We're still waiting for updates from our personnel there because the province was cut off because of the damage wrought by typhoon Rolly.)

She said that 2 of PLDT's 3 microwave radios were severely damaged by the typhoon. 

PLDT engineers are set to fly to Virac, Catanduanes to help augment the company's technicians in the island province, Yang said. The telco also deployed a team to sail to Catanduanes but gale force winds prevented them from setting sail, Yang said. 

Meanwhile, Globe said it has restored mobile and internet services in Camarines Norte.

The Ayala-led telco however said its call, text and data services in parts of Albay, Camarines Norte, Catanduanes, Masbate, Sorsogon, Quezon, Laguna, Batangas, Marinduque, Samar and Western Samar continue to be affected. 

“Rest assured that our Globe technical teams are addressing the issue to bring our services back to normal as soon as possible,” Globe said. 

Rolly, which slammed into the Bicol region as a supertyphoon, also cut off power in large parts of the region.

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