KORONADAL CITY – The Economy Response Cluster (ERC) of the Regional Task Force 12 for COVID-19 prodded all telecommunication outfits in Region 12 to support the war versus coronavirus by improving services.

In a statement (Monday), the National Economic Development Authority 12, as Chairperson of the RTF XII on COVID 19 – ERC said Cluster members and representatives of telecommunication giants and telephone utilities, more known as TelCos, have agreed to cooperate in addressing internet connectivity problems during a meeting early on.

Local representatives of TelCos present in the meeting assured of their efforts to serve the public better, apprehensive of a sanction threat from President Rodrigo Duterte during his July 27 state of the nation address.

ERC members are worried of the adverse effects of weak telecommunications to regional anti-COVID-19 initiatives.

ERC members have also learned that the telecommunications giant Globe is setting up 20 more relay facilities, or cell sites, in strategic spots in Koronadal City, including the regional government center in the City.

The ERC acknowledges the need for efficient telecommunications to distance learning, which is the national government’s temporary mode for furthering its education thrusts amid the coronavirus pandemic.

ERC members are optimistic of a positive response from TelCos on President Duterte’s warning of drastic actions if services are not improved within 2020.

Representatives of TelCos had told ERC members they were elated with the creation by the local government unit of General Santos City of a task force to help accelerate processing of permits to operate in the area.

General Santos City is a major trading and port hub in Region 12 that also covers the cities of Koronadal, Kidapawan and Tacurong and the provinces of Sarangani, South Cotabato, North Cotabato and Sultan Kudarat.

The NEDA-12, citing an ERC report, said there is close coordination now among TelCos, the Department of Education-12 and the Commission on Higher Education-12 in support of the innovative distance learning measures, one of Malacañang’s anti-coronavirus contingencies. The TelCos have asked LGUs in Region 12 to work with them in addressing poor telecommunications and other issues affecting the public, according to NEDA-12.  (Myra L. Sajo/Eden F. Ridao, NEDA XII-DRD)