FIRST MEETING. Engr. Teodoro Buenavista Jr. (right) briefs Tuesday (Aug. 9, 2022) the representatives from the Cagayan de Oro City government and the Misamis Oriental provincial government on the preparation of network modernization that includes the underground cable system. Also in attendance were other stakeholders in the government and private sector. (PNA photo by Nef Luczon)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – The National Telecommunication Commission in Northern Mindanao (NTC-10) has gathered officials from 16 telecom firms, organizations, and government offices for the proposed cable system modernization plans in this city and Misamis Oriental province.

During their initial meeting here Tuesday, NTC-10 Director Teodoro Buenavista Jr. said the groups form part of the Cagayan de Oro Information Communication Technology (CDO ICT) Task Force created on August 5.

Buenavista said the ICT Task Force will make a recommendation to the city government and improve the cable system as part of the previous Task Force “Hapsay Kable” initiative.

Formed in 2017, the task force aims to get rid of “spaghetti wires” overlapping in electric posts.

Buenavista said the project's second phase intends to introduce the underground cable system, in which an existing infrastructure was already installed under the Misamis Oriental Telephone System Inc. (Misortel).

Buenavista said the task force will seek approval from Misortel on August 12 for the utilization of the underground cabling facility and hoped for its official launching in the transfer of cables and wires by the end of 2022.

“There is no need to worry about floodwater (destroying the cables) because we will be using the highest grade materials which were used in large undersea networks crossing between countries,” he said, responding to concerns raised about the city's flood-prone areas.

Buenavista said there will be minimal digging for expanded infrastructure installation because modern boring equipment will be used.

“I would also bring this up to RDC (Regional Development Council-10) and the DPWH (Department of Public Works and Highways-10) that whenever there are infrastructure projects, the designs should include an underground cable line ready to be installed,” he said.

Rene Guinguing, former Misortel manager now assigned to the Misamis Oriental Environmental and Natural Resources Office, said Misortel's underground facility created in 1991 remains in good condition and capable of modern upgrades.

“Its first phase cost at the time was PHP168 million, the second phase was PHP260 million for the expansion,” Guinguing said, adding that back then, the underground lines used “jelly-filled” cables for the analog telephone system.

With the modernization plan, Buenavista said Misortel can be upgraded to become a value-added service provider once transformed into a fiber-cable-based internet provider with the help of the Department of Information and Communications Technology. (PNA)