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PIA Press Release

Feature: Summit success opens opportunities for Filipino excellence

by Rutchie Cabahug-Aguhob

Cagayan de Oro City (17 January) -- The success of the recently concluded ASEAN and East Asia summits has opened the horizon to great challenges and opportunities in fielding Filipino excellence through a broader regional market of services.

"As a Filipino, myself, I am with Pres. Arroyo in calling on our people to be focused on the ball and not be distracted by the empty wind of partisan politics. Instead, let us all be united to savor this momentous triumph, as we gear towards the realization and implementation of all the accords reached," Regional Director Teodoro D. Buenavista, Jr. of the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), Region 10, said.

The signing of the agreement on "Trade and Services of China-ASEAN Free Trade Area" inches closer to free trade in the ASEAN region cutting barriers on services such as telecommu-nications, transportation and tourism which should anchor the Philippines sustained positives, he said.

Meanwhile, wider coverage, better affordability, as well, as easy access and mobility, could be some of the reasons why users prefer mobile phones instead of landlines in Northern Mindanao, Buenavista said.

Citing figures during the 3rd quarter, last year, a total of 1,769 mobile phone cell sites have been put up all over the region with Globe Telecommunications having the most number of 988, Smart Communications, Inc., 674 and Digital Telecommunications Philippines, Inc., 107.

The most number of cell sites, however, was in Misamis Oriental with 760, followed by Bukidnon with 364, Lanao del Norte, 338, Misamis Occidental, 182, Malaybalay City, 53, Camiguin, 39 and Valencia City, 33.

Showing the telecom industry situation of the region, a total of 173,247 equipped telephone lines (ETL) have been noted, during the period, up by 5.21% compared to164,661 in the same period of 2005.

However, only 73,496 were subscribed, leaving out 99,751 still open for subscription. Compared to 72,844 in the same period of 2005, the increase was a minimal 2.10%.

The ETL is the number of lines with which the switch is capable of servicing under the present condition while the subscribed telephone lines (STL) refer to the number of working lines with existing paying subscribers.

Bautista said Camiguin posted the highest increase of ETL, from 1,050 to 1,528 or 45.52%, followed by Mis. Or., from 76,141 to 84,959 or 11.58%, Mis. Occ., from 10,441 to 10,610 or 1.61% and Lanao del Norte, from 64,045 to 64,057 or 0.02% but that of Bukidnon declined from 12,983 to 12,093 or a negative 6.86%.

On the other contrary, the STL in Bukidnon went up from 5,830 to 6,081 or 4.31%, Mis. Or., from 37,094 to 37,546 or 1.20%, Camiguin, from 1,064 to 1,074 or 0.94% and Lanao del Norte, from 21,957 to 22,136 or 0.82% but that of Mis. Occ. went down from 6,899 to 6,659 or a negative 3.48%.

"With these developments, the region's telephone density per 100 population which was noted at 4.70 ETL per 2.08 STL in the 3rd quarter of 2005 became 4.94 ETL per 2.10 STL in the same period of 2006," he said.

Similarly, the number of public calling offices (PCO) in the region also increased during the period, from 425 to 467 or 9.88% with all the new PCO's located in Mis. Or., thus, the increase of 21.32%, from 197 to 239 while those of the other provinces remained the same, such as Bukidnon, 89, Lanao del Norte, 84, Mis. Occ., 40 and Camiguin, 15. (PIA 10) [top]

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