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PIA Press Release

NorMin public calling offices up 117% in 3Q 2007

by Rutchie Cabahug-Aguhob

Cagayan de Oro City (18 February) -- Northern Mindanao had a total of 1,014 public calling offices (PCO) as of the 3rd quarter of 2007, thereby, making telecommunications more accessible to the rural folks in the region.

"This number of PCO's actually posted an increase of 117% compared 467 PCO's in the same period of 2006," Regional Director Teodoro D. Buenavista, Jr. of the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), region 10, said.

Of the region's five (5) provinces, Lanao del Norte posted the biggest increase, from 84 to 659 PCO's or 684.52%, followed by Misamis Occidental., from 40 to 128 PCO's or 220%.

However, the other provinces posted declines: Misamis Oriental, from 239 to 143 PCO's or negative 40.17%, Camiguin, 15 to 12 PCO's, or negative 20% and Bukidnon, 89 to 72 PCO's or negative 19.10%.

Meanwhile, Northern Mindanao had a total of 153,458 equipped telephone lines (ETL) in the 3rd quarter of 2007, posting a negative 11.42% compared to 173,247 ETL in the same period of 2006.

Of this number, however, only 69,124 lines were subscribed leaving out 84,334 lines open for subscription, thereby, posting a 5.95% decline in the number of subscribed telephone lines (STL) compared to the previous year's 73,496 STL.

The ETL is the number of lines with which the switch is capable of servicing under the present condition while the STL refers to the number of working lines with existing paying subscribers.

"The decline in STL could be due to the user's preference for mobile phones which offer wider coverage, better affordability, easy access and mobility," Buenavista also said.

Camiguin was the only province that posted an increase in ETL, from 1,528 to 1,828 lines or 19.63% while the rest of the provinces posted declines: Lanao del Norte, 64,057 to 47,172 lines or negative 26.36%, Mis. Occ., 10,610 to 9,370 lines or negative 11.69%, Mis. Or., 84,959 to 83,094 lies or negative 2.20%, and Bukidnon, 12,093 to 11,994 lines or negative 0.82%.

Moreover, Bukidnon was the only province that posted an increase in STL, from 6,061 to 6,159 lines or 1.28% while the rest of the provinces posted declines: Mis. Occ., 6,659 to 5,100 lines or negative 23.41%, Mis. Or., 37,546 to 35,401 lines or negative 5.71%, Camiguin, 1,074 to 1,020 lines or negative 5.03%, and Lanao del Norte, 22,136 to 21,444 lines or negative 3.13%.

Buenavista said the region had a total of 453 mobile phone cell sites during the period with Globe Telecommunications posting the biggest number of 230, followed by Smart, 177 and Digitel, 46 cell sites.

These cell sites are distributed as follows: Mis. Or., 217, Bukidnon, 99, Mis. Occ., 66, Lanao del Norte, 55 and Camiguin, 16. (PIA 10) [top]

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