By By Fernan A. Gianan
Good news and a dream
posted 23-Jul-2018  ·  
997 views  ·   0 comments  ·  

The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) launched with great fanfare last week its Pipol Konek free public wifi project, conducting a ceremonial switch-on at the CSU administration in front of IT students of the university. Present during the program were Assistant Secretary Alan Silor, former Usec. Atty. Jorge Sarmiento, Cong. Cesar Sarmiento, PBM Vincent Villaluna, Caramoran Mayor Agnes Popa and several agency and LGU representatives.

The free wifi project was enthusiastically received although as it is with novel projects, there are birth pains, with the Pandan access point still unusable after breaking down just three days after it was switched on. The northern towns are reportedly being services by Globe while rival PLDT is concentrated on the southern towns.

According to DICT Pipol Konek project manager Enrico Toledo, PLDT is now working on co-locating its equipment for the project at the tower of the PAGASA Doppler Radar station in Buenavista to receive wifi signal from Bacacay, Albay. From there, a fiber-optic line will be laid towards Virac and will link government offices.

This April, I was informed by a former classmate from MIT who is now with PLDT that the telco is allocating funds in 2019 for the laying of a submarine cable that will carry the fiber-optic line from the mainland to a point somewhere along the western side of Virac.

Engr. Toledo says at current prices, the cost of laying the submarine cable would cost P10 million per kilometer, or about P600 million for the 60-kilometer or so distance across the sea.

If the National Power Corporation allocates the same amount and joins PLDT in laying its own power submarine cable alongside the fiber-optic line, then we have an excellent solution to the power crisis. Power supply will be assured, there will be less of political and supplier interference in FICELCO affairs and there will be lesser brownouts.

We can still afford to dream…

*****

NFA rice is already available at its Catanduanes warehouse.

But the 2,000 sacks of imported rice have been reserved as buffer stock in preparation for any calamity or emergency that could strike the island.

A report quoted an NFA Catanduanes official as saying that the regular rice allocation for the province is still awaiting shipment and will probably arrive before the end of July.

*****

Political camps claimed victory in the Liga ng mga Barangay elections for its municipal federation officers in all 11 towns last Monday, July 16, 2018.

A source to Governor Joseph Cua disclosed that the latter’s allies won the Liga presidency in eight of the 11 towns, losing only in Bato, Baras and San Miguel.

On the other hand, a former PBM close to the defeated vice governor claimed that the latter wove his magic in his candidates winning in Bato, Baras, San Miguel, Gigmoto and Panganiban.

As usual, money and the “keeping” practice were the norm in the Liga campaign. Voters in Virac were offered P5,000 to P10,000 each while local politicians called in their chits by pressuring barangay captains whom they supported in the May polls.

In Baras, a candidate for the Liga presidency allegedly offered 18 of his colleagues P30,000 each plus  P1,000 each from his monthly salary as ex-officio SB member for the next two years.

In Pandan, one barangay captain went missing, with his brother and wife reporting the matter to the police. Later the wife also disappeared, with the couple eventually found in Virac whiling away the time until the Liga polls.

Despite the non-partisan nature of their position, barangay captains are crucial in ensuring support for municipal and provincial leaders during the local elections.

*****

MISSION OF MERCY. A surgeon was relaxing on his sofa when the phone rang. The doctor calmly answered it and heard the familiar voice of a colleague on the other end of the line. ―We need a fourth for poker, said the friend.

―I‘ll be right over, whis-pered the surgeon,. As he was putting on his coat, his wife asked, ―Is it serious?

―Oh, yes, quite serious, said the surgeon gravely. ―Three doctors are there al-ready.

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