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Rough Cuts | This telco could be ‘nagmata lang ug buntag’

“Nagmata lang ug buntag.”

This is a curt saying in the Cebuano vernacular which means a person is so unknowing that he or she is being taken advantage of by another.

We believe this very well applies to a large telecommunication company that has implemented expansion of its service coverage even to some of Davao City’s remote barangays in the third and second districts.

Yes, this telecommunication firm, after some three years, has finally completed its line extension in certain areas previously not reached by its services. But even as the stringing of fiber optic lines was reported finished after this was re-done allegedly because of a defect in the implementation, the lines has remained not activated until today..

Based on earlier claims by the contractor of the project, a company with its Davao headquarters somewhere in Bangkal, sometime after the first quarter of last year what was left prior to line activation was the installation of the digital box on either the telco’s poles or on the shared posts with Davao Light.

A month after, residents told us that the digi-boxes were already in place. When we passed by the barangays concerned we indeed were able to validate the claims. But after two more quarters ending December 31, 2019, and into the first quarter of the current year, the long-awaited activation has still to come.

We do not know if the non-activation was solely a decision of the telecommunications firm, or it was influenced by some advisers including the supposed experts in the company or from their contractors.

We are saying this because between the time the project was completed including the installation of the digi-boxes until today, some enterprising IT technicians possibly in cahoots with certain personnel of the telecommunications firm or its contractor, are creating their own mini telco and collecting huge sum of money. This surreptitious shadowy telco group is busy providing wide fidelity (wi-fi) connection in houses who can afford their cost. Of course the technician cum telco firm, supplies his own gadgets including antenna. As of last week, we were told by some of those who have availed of the technician’s services, the installation cost was pegged at P5,500 with a monthly due of P1,500.

Our informant further disclosed that after the implementation of the enhanced community quarantine in the whole of Davao City that forced people to stay inside their houses, the technician’s mini telecommunication firm has jacked up its installation cost to P9,000 with the same monthly dues.

We asked one client of the technician to whom they are paying the monthly due, he said the technician has his own collector.

We can only imagine how much this enterprising technician and his probable cohorts inside the telecommunications company or in the firm of its contractors, is earning from the digital boxes and antennas alone.

We are certain between March of last year and up to last week, the technician’s and his group’s pseudo firm could have already installed not less than two hundred households. Multiply it by P5,500 and that would be a whooping cash in their pockets.

And as for the monthly dues the group is collecting from their customers, it is actually a windfall of P300 thousand pesos every month.

Meanwhile, the legitimate telco is still hibernating and in the process allowing the technician and his group to make more money.

Of course it is a different story if there are certain officials of the telecommunication firm concerned, or that of its contractor who share from the proceeds of the technician’s illegitimate but high rewarding business.

In other words, it’s possible that the company is “nagmata lang ug buntag,” or just pretending to be unaware so the flow of their share from the proceeds of the illegal tapping of signal will continue.

Indeed in times of emergency there will always be people who make money at the expense of others.

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