Olongapo Telecom & Information Technology

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Interconnection of phone lines in Subic, Clark backed

CLARK FREEPORT -- The Angeles City council has endorsed a proposal for the interconnection of phone lines along the Subic-Clark growth corridor in a resolution unanimously approved by its members last Tuesday.

In the resolution sponsored by Councilors Jesus "Jay" Sangil and Ruben Maniago, the members of the city council stated they are "endorsing the move of the Metro Clark Advisory Council (MCAC) to press for the immediate interconnection of telecommunications facilities in Clark Freeport Zone with those in Tarlac and Zambales."

"It would definitely fast-track business undertakings and greatly minimize costs to local residents," Sangil said, referring to the MCAC-initiated project which was earlier lauded by President Arroyo. Sangil likewise called on other officials of local government units (LGUs) situated along the Subic-Clark corridor to support the move, saying this will attract investors and provide jobs for the people.

"I am urging our counterparts in government in the cities, towns along the SCTEx to follow suit and support the same as it will invite investors and eventually create employment for our constituents," Sangil said.

In the resolution, the city council stated that the "Clark Freeport and the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Growth Corridor are foreseen as one of the world’s major economic hubs and catalysts for development, hence a major employment generator in North Philippines."

Also, "the development and improvement of infrastructure facilities, including the establishment of state-of-the art telecommunications facilities in the Metro Clark Area (Clark FZ, Pampanga and Tarlac) enhance the viability of the Metro Clark area as a choice investment destination."

The city council noted the importance of providing interconnected telephone exchanges, saying it "is vital in minimizing costs to investors and their clientele that includes government offices."

"Interconnecting telephone exchanges in Metro Clark Area is in keeping with the integration policy of the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) in which long distance and other toll charges are waived," the resolution also said.

"The general welfare clause of the Local Government Code, among other provisions, obliges us to support moves of major employment generators," it further stated.

In December 2008, President Arroyo bestowed an award on Clark officials led by Clark Development Corp. (CDC) President Benigno N. Ricafort for the telecommunications interconnection project that was one of the top 10 winners in the 1st Gawad Pampublikong Korporasyon (1st GPK).

Ricafort said CDC’s winning entry, which was conceived in 2001, aims to interconnect Clark’s telephone lines to Angeles City and the City of San Fernando, as well as other areas in Pampanga.

He said that the interconnection project was an initiative of the MCAC, "an influential partnership group between the CDC and contingent LGUs within Metro Clark." By FRED ROXAS - Manila Bulletin

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Explain expiring loads, telcos told

LAWMAKERS yesterday slammed telecommunication companies for their scheme of putting expiration dates on cellular loads.

The House committee on information and communication technology asked telecom firms to submit within 10 days a written explanation on the scheme.

Representatives of Globe, Smart and Sun Cellular failed to convince the solons of their marketing strategies.

Makati Rep. Teddy Locsin questioned the short life of loads, saying it is not economical for mobile subscribers.

“Why is it that cellular phone loads have a short shelf life? Such scheme forces people to make 50 phone calls so that they will consume the value of the load they have paid,” Locsin said.

Nueva Ecija Rep. Rodolfo Antonino shared the same view and asked why there should be an expiration date for pre-paid phone load.

The solons raised the complaint of many people that a P20 load should be consumed within 24 hours otherwise it will be forfeited.

Meanwhile, the P100 load should only be used within 15 days while a P300 card only lasts for two months.

“Why 90 days, why not six months? We have to consume it or else the money goes to them, hindi naman parang gatas na napapanis ito, electronic naman ito,” Cavite Rep. Jesus Crispin Remulla said.

The lawmakers said this scheme means more profit for telcos.

Lawyer Froilan Castelo of Globe said the expiring load balance was part of the design of the network to avoid clogging. Lawyer Roy Ibay of Smart said there is a “financial and technical explanation” to the scheme.

Meanwhile, Muntinlupa Rep. Ruffy Biazon demanded that telcos submit the actual cost of calls.

Solons said that in these hard times, telecoms should not make huge profits out of electronic loads, which is considered the cheapest form of communication. By: Jester P. Manalastas - Journal Online

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