THE National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) on Thursday directed all public telecommunications entities to fast-track the restoration of their services in the areas severely affected by the Typhoon Ulysses.
NTC Commissioner Gamaliel A. Cordoba issued the memorandum “pursuant to the instructions from the Department of Information and Communications Technology.”
Mr. Cordoba also directed the telcos to deploy free call and phone charging stations in strategic areas affected by the typhoon.
“You are also reminded to coordinate with the local government units and observe strict health protocols to avoid transmission of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19),” he added.
Mr. Cordoba said further the telcos should provide status updates to the commission every six hours of their restoration activities.
Meanwhile, PLDT-Smart and Globe said they temporarily closed some of their stores on Thursday for the safety of their personnel.
PLDT-Smart ordered the closure of its stores in the National Capital Region, Central Luzon, Nueva Vizcaya and Pangasinan in North Luzon, and South Luzon except those in Bicol.
Globe closed all of its stores in the Greater Manila Area and some in North, South, and Central Luzon.
Globe said its network remained stable as of Thursday afternoon, although “there were major multiple fiber cuts reported” in some areas in Luzon.
PLDT-Smart said it is ready to provide free call, WiFi, and charging services in critical areas “when it is safe to do so.”
Hastings Holdings, Inc., a unit of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., has a majority stake in BusinessWorld through the Philippine Star Group, which it controls. — Arjay L. Balinbin