THE regional office of the National Telecommunications Commission is offering free calls and short text message services for displaced Marawi residents still staying in evacuation centers in Iligan and Cagayan de Oro.
The “Libreng Text at Tawag” services are in line with NTC Office Order 179-10-2017 as a result of President Duterte’s Oct. 17 declaration that Marawi City has been liberated from terrorist influence, and Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana’s Oct. 23 announcement that combat operations there had been terminated.
Engr. Teodoro Buenavista Jr., NTC director, said the free services would be for seven days starting from Oct. 31. These are being offered in five evacuation centers in Iligan City: Kanaway Evacuation Center, Tibanga; Sta. Elena Gymnasium, Sta. Elena; Buru-an School of Fisheries, Buru-an; Buru-an Gymnasium, Buru-an; and Maria Cristina Gym, Maria Cristina.
In Cagayan de Oro City, the “Libreng Text at Tawag” services are being offered at the Indahag evacuation center.
With the service, Buenavista said, displaced families can communicate with their relatives, here and abroad, and inform them of their safety and plans regarding their eventual return to Marawi City.
Buenavista said the services include free domestic and overseas calls, and would be expanded to include other evacuation centers in the coming the days.
The NTC’s effort was implemented in cooperation with telecommunications companies Globe and Smart, and various amateur and civic radio groups like Race9, Acts Radio Club and Kabalikat.