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Camiguin leaves P22M internet and telephone service idle

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by Allan Yves Briones

A P22 million internet and telephone service remain unutilized at both the capitol and the general hospital of the province of Camiguin, depriving its constituents of its potential benefits.

“(The internet and telephone service) was not functional as of to date. (It) remained idled and not maintained, thus a waste of government resources if not put to use. It could have provided the telecommunications infrastructure of the Province and could have provided fast and reliable internet service,” a report by the Commission on Audit (COA) read.

The project, named I-Gate-Life-Internet Gateway Service and Cabling System Project, was contracted in 2015 between Camiguin and PLDT, envisioned to provide dedicated internet access to both the provincial capitol and the Camiguin General Hospital.

However, an ocular inspection by state auditors disclosed that while all the project components were already installed, and a year’s worth of internet connection paid for, the system remained idle.

According to the provincial accountant, as stated in the report, the project’s lack of functionality was due to damages to the system.

The provincial government’s failure to utilize the P22 million system runs against Section 2 of Presidential Decree No. 1445 which mandates that all government resources be protected from loss and wastage.

According to Camiguin officials, the failure to utilize the project was “caused by fluctuation of electricity due to successive blackouts”, which damaged some system parts.

However, with the assistance of the PLDT team, the damage has been repaired and restored to good condition for 100% functionality.

COA reminded the provincial government to prioritize the utilization of the facility, allocating the necessary budget to purchase equipment which are necessary for full functionality. #