Telcos urged to implement free mobile disaster alerts act

PIA Regional Dircetor and CODAC Co-Chair Purita S. Licas presents the proposed resolution urging NTC to compel Telcos to implement RA 10639 or known as “The Free Mobile Disaster Alerts Act”. (Photo by PIA-2)

TUGUEGARAO CITY, Cagayan,March 18 (PIA) – – Members of the Regional Development Council (RDC) in the Cagayan Valley Region recently urged the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to compel mobile phone service providers to strictly comply with the provisions of the Republic Act 10639 or the Free Mobile Disaster Alerts Act.

Purita Licas, regional director of the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) and co-chair of the RDC’s Committee on Development Administration and Communication (CODAC), said the law mandates telecommunication (Telcos) companies to send out alerts at regular interval, free of cost to subscribers, in the event of impending calamity.

According to Licas, it has been observed that the law was not implemented during the past typhoons that hit the region.

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“The law was promulgated to protect the citizens from injuries, destruction and loss of lives and properties in the event of disasters,” Licas told members of the RDC.

Jessie James Geronimo of the Provincial Government of Isabela, a CODAC member, said Telcos failed to comply with the mandate of the law when super typhoons Lawin and Ompong made landfall in Northern Luzon in 2016 and 2018, respectively.

He also said that based on the reports they gathered, residents of disaster-affected municipalities did not receive alerts from their mobile phones while residents outside the affected areas received the disaster advisories.

“There were also instances wherein disaster alerts were only received hours later after the government warning agencies sent their own advisories using the mobile networks of Telcos,” Geronimo said.

Members of the council, who also experienced failure of the Telcos to send updated disaster alerts during the series of typhoons in the region, unanimously approved the RDC resolution urging NTC to compel all Telcos to comply with the provisions of the law. (ALM/OTB/PIA-2 Cagayan)

Source: PIA Feed