Updated

By Genalyn Kabiling

President Duterte has ordered authorities to use an independent communication system especially during calamities and other emergencies for efficient response and relief operations.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte (RICHARD MADELO/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte
(RICHARD MADELO / PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

The President said the government should not depend solely on private telecommunication companies since there is usually congestion in their networks during calamity situations.

“As I have said before, the government must have an independent communication and we are not allowed to depend only dyan sa Globe pati Smart because in a crisis, mapuno ‘yan. So many experiences kapag may crisis, lahat magtawag. Hindi na makapasok [because in a crisis, it’s congested. We have so many experiences that many people call during a crisis and you can’t get through],” he said during the post-disaster briefing at the quake-hit Batanes Sunday.

He added the government could start on its own communication project “maybe by the end of the year.”

Duterte suggested to authorities to go back to the “simple” communication system that use of two-way radios.

“We go back to the simple over-over from here to Jolo. We go back to that kind of a simple one,” he said.

“If you want, just use code. Bahala na mag-decode ‘yung kabila [let the other side decode it] but we are better off with yung talagang atin [with our own], not dependent on the telecommunication line,” he said.

The President made the proposal after he conducted an aerial inspection of the earthquake-hit Batanes Sunday afternoon. Eight people were reportedly killed while dozens others were injured during the quake.

Duterte, in a meeting with concerned national and local government officials, said they must ensure the supply line is working and nobody gets hungry as the province recovers from the quake.

He also offered P40 million for a construction of a health facility amid reports the hospital suffered damage during the tremor.