Displaced Marawi residents avail themselves of government's free call and text services at the Balo-i Evacuation Center in Lanao del Norte (NTC photo)
A free mobile phone service for residents displaced by the recent Marawi conflict is now available in the Islamic City of the South.
The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) started implementing “Libreng Text at Tawag” services together with telcos and civic radio groups starting October 31 in various evacuation centers in Iligan City to allow displaced families to update relatives here and abroad on their current status and the sort of assistance they needed.
Over 300,000 people have been reportedly displaced by the terror siege in Marawi City last May and the subsequent government effort to restore normalcy.
To further expand the service, the NTC Central Office recently directed its Region X Office in Cagayan de Oro City headed by Engr. Teodoro Buenavista Jr., to offer “Libreng Text at Tawag” in the following Barangays in Marawi for five days that started last November 21: Tampilong; Matampay; East Basak; Basak Malutlut; Poblacion; Locs a Datu; Saber; and Panggao Saduk.
The service was previously made available to displaced individuals in 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 Iligan City; Indahag Evacuation Center, Cagayan de Oro City; Pantao Ragat and Balo-i Evacuation Center , Lanao del Norte, Saguiaran Evacuation Center, Lanao del Sur, and at the Municipal Hall in Initao, and Community Hall, Vamenta Subdivision, Opol, Misamis Oriental.
The “Libreng Text at Tawag” service is being implemented in line with President Duterte’s directive to concerned government agencies to fast-track preparations in anticipation of the reconstruction and recovery of the besieged city. (NTC-10/Queries may be directed to NTC Region X Director Engr. Ted Buenavista, Jr. at 0915.277.4068.)