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At the time of his retirement from the government service in 1988, FEDERICO A. OQUINDO was a senior executive
assistant and head of the Public Information Office of the National Telecommunications Commission
Prior to joining the
NTC in 1980, he served with the Bureau of Telecommunications (which he joined in 1947 as messenger) as that agency’s
public relations officer and editor of the bureau’s official publication.
writing this short history of Philippine Telecommunications, he consulted records and interviewed old timers and even retirees
of the government telegraph service some of whom claimed that their earliest years in the service date back to the defunct
telegraph division of the Constabulary during the early years of the American occupation.
free lance writer, the author has written numerous articles, short stories and other works some of which appeared in such
national publications like the pre-Martial Law Philippines Free Press, Graphic Magazine, Manila Daily Bulletin, Liwayway Magazine,
Nation Magazine, Sunday Times Magazine, Saturday Mirror Magazine, Taliba, Orient Magazine and certain trade journals. He also
edited trade and technical magazines and publications of professional organizations and a national labor federation -
has attended numerous seminars and workshops in public relations and communications as well as in trade unionism both here
R. OQUINDO, was also a former employee of NTC, once a technical staff of the Rajah Broadcasting Network better
known as DZRJ, has attended numerous trainings and seminars both locally and abroad. Presently, he is a full time faculty
member of the Polytechnic University
of the Philippines under the College of Engineering.
This is a first attempt to chronicle the growth development of the Philippines’ telecommunications Industry.
Being an Initial effort
some quarters may find this volume wanting in certain respects. However, the author- believes that a start has to he
made if the Philippine telecommunications story will ever be written.
As will be noted
a good portion of this work focuses on the role of the government In the industry’s development. It was
only during the post-World War II years that private capital ventured into this field particularly In the domestic record
carrier sector. The international services sector has, of course, always been dominated by multinationals
since way back.
The idea of writing the history of the
country’s Telecommunications sector was first conceived in 1965. The plan then was to prepare a volume to commemorate
the first centennial of Philippine telecommunications, which was to have been marked in 1967. However, various
factors came in the way so that nothing concrete came out of that plan.
Nevertheless the author
continued working on his manuscript over the years adding more details and information to what were already contained in his
original draft. Valuable information were provided by various parties which included
telecom companies, radio amateurs, old timers and even retirees from the government telegraph service some of whom, he learned
were among those whose services date back to the defunct
telegraph division of the Constabulary during the early 1900a. Most of them, sad to say, have since crossed the Great Divide.
Also consulted were
records both government and private.
The year 1867 was a
period of major global changes.
During that year, the “barren” stretch of land near the top of the world called Alaska changed ownership after
Russia. Its former owner, sold it to the U.S. for $7,200,000. Also, the same period, Great Britain established the Dominion
of Canada out of another vast tract of virgin territory below the Alaskan border.
It was also the year when
workmen, laboring round-the-clock under all kinds of weather conditions. Forged the final link of the second trans-Atlantic
submarine communication cable system Interconnecting America with Continental Europe.
That same year Japan abolished
the Shogunate paving the way for the restoration of the Mikado. And In Madrid three members of the Telegraph Corps
of Spain received the Royal Order instructing them to proceed to the Philippine Islands, the Spanish colony in the Pacific,
establish a telegraph training school there and Install nationwide telegraph systems that will interlink the colony’s
towns and cities.
A COUNTRY OF MANY ISLANDS
For the Philippines, a country of many Islands,
a means to keep her people in constant contact with one another has been a problem of centuries. No one knows exactly how
many islands compose the Archipelago. The best estimate Is 7,100 although it is said that, volcanic peaks rise overnight from
the sea and old
islands yesterday washed by the salty surf
may no longer be there the following day having been swallowed by the depths during some unseen upheavals.
Some 85 percent of the
islands are inhabited although about 30 percent remain nameless to this day. The bigger ones such as Luzon, Mindanao,
Leyte, Cebu, Negros, Panay, Samar account for more than two-thirds of the total population of the land.
With such geographic make-up
one will readily appreciate the value of telecommunications to the country particularly where forging her people into a unified
progressive and productive society is concerned.
THE FIRST TELEGRAPH LINE
The first telegraph line to be established
in the country was between Manila and island of Corregidor. Its establishment followed by some twenty four years the inauguration
of the Washington- Baltimore circuit, the first telegraph line in the
United States, and 30 years after the electric
telegraph was invented.
By that time, there was
already in operation here for almost a century a limited former of postal service that served government
officials and certain ranking individuals only.
In 1890, during the administration
of Governor-General Valeriano Meyler y Nicolao, the first telephone system was put into operation.
For a time, after the
installation of the first telegraph line, expansion of the Islands telecommunications network was a bit slow. On April 4,
1871, Rafael lzquierdo Y Gutierrez whom history also credits with having introduced the steamboat into the local
scene became Governor-General. . During his administration, wore
telegraph lines were Installed so that by 1873, two years after he took over as head of the island government, telegraph services
became available in more places. (Izquierdo was also the Spanish Governor-General who, in 1872, signed the death verdict of
the three martyr priests, Father Mariano Gomez, Jose Burgos, and Jacinto Zamora).
From then on, more telegraph
lines were installed so that by 1897, there were already 65 government telegraph offices in operation In the country of which
49 were In Luzon, 9 in Panay, 4 in Negros and 3 In Cebu. The stations were interconnected by 2,818 kilometers of telegraph
THE FIRST INTERNATIONAL TELEGRAM LINK
In 1878, the Spanish Government in Madrid,
recognizing the need for a communications system that will interconnect the Philippines with the rest of the world invited
tenders (bids) for the establishment of a telecommunications link between this country and Hong Kong. The British firm, Eastern
Extension Australasia and China Telegraph Company (now Cable and Wireless) won the bid obtaining, in the process, a 40-year
concession to lay down and operate a submarine telegraph cable between Luzon and the British Grown Colony.
Laying of the undersea
cable for the proposed system was undertaken by the company’s cable ship CALABRIA which completed the work on May 2,1880
with the Philippine end of the 535-nautical mile cable landing at Bolinao, then a part of Zambales and now part of Pangasinan.
From that point an overland cable
was laid all the way to Manila, 160 miles
away. Six days later cable communications between Manila and Hong Kong was officially opened to the public.
In 1898, however, during
the height of the Filipino revolt against Spanish colonial rule, the company converted the Bolinao. Manila aerial cable to
submarine to avoid the frequent cuttings that It suffered from the Revolutionary Forces- During the naval engagement between
the Spanish and American Forces in Manila Bay on May 1,1898, however, the undersea cable was again
cut disrupting once wore the Manila-Hong Kong telegraph line. Finally restored after sometime the line continued
to be in operation for many more years until it was again interrupted when the Japanese invaded the Philippines during World
During the period of the
Japanese Occupation (1942-1945) Eastern Extension suspended its operation in the resuming it only after the end of the war.
In 1952.Philippine Congress granted the company a franchise to continue
its operation as a local corporation.
SERVICE DURING THE FIRST REPUBLIC
much is known about the accomplishments of the First Republic, (inaugurated on January 23, 1899) particularly in the
area of public services. However, we are aware of two services that the government paid particular attention to -
Emilio Aguinaldo, president of the Revolutionary Government, on recommendation of Gen Antonio Luna, his Secretary of War,
and with the concurrence of the Directorate General of Communications, issued a decree officially opening the telegraph service
on November 2, 1898 and on the 10th of the same month, the postal service.. Services, however, were limited to areas in Luzon
which were under the ~jurisdiction ion of the Revolutionary Government~
decree specified the rates for ordinary telegrams, press dispatches, rush telegrams, telegrams with acknowledgement and other
for transmission were telegrams in plain language only, in 41atln characters in the seven European languages of the International
Telegraph Convention and all the dialects of the country.
sender of the telegram paid fifty cents (the Mexican dollar was then still recognized as legal tender in the country) for
the first 15 words. Press telegrams were charged half of the rate of ordinary telegrams while those marked urgent paid double
the ordinary rate.
a telegram with acknowledgement receipt the sender paid the surtax of a plain telegram. He got a receipt for his telegram
by paying an additional six cents.
the Americans took over control of the country, they put up their own telegraph and telephone networks. Initially used exclusively
for military purposes, the lines provided the nucleus for the government telecommunications service which was established
on September 15, 1902 by the Philippine Commission.
the start, the telegraph service was handled by a telegraph division under the Constabulary. In 1906 it was transferred to
the Bureau of Posts in accordance with a law that reorganized the Insular Government. Gradual transfer of the military telegraph
and telephone lines and offices to the Bureau of Posts continued up to 1910.
the transfer, the Bureau of Posts converted most of the telephone lines into telegraph circuits.. Those which were not converted
into telegraph were turned over to certain provincial governments which continued their operation as provincial telephone
systems.. On June 30, 1911 the telegraph division of the Bureau of Posts no longer operated any telephone circuit -
THE POST-TELEGRAPH SCHOOL
To meet the need for trained
Personnel to operate the government telegraphs service, the Bureau of Post established the Post-Telegraph School in 1910.
The school a teaching staff was composed of Filipinos and Americans. Among Its first Filipino instructors were Faustino Navarro,
Jesus Alvarez and Petronilo Taracatac. Student - trainees in the school were given a monthly allowance of P20.00 (later
increase to P30.00) each.
At first only telegraphy
was taught in the school. In 1920, wireless telegraphy (radio), a new course, was added to the curriculum. Among the
first Instructors in wireless telegraphy was Guillermo Rodil of Cavite.
Worthy of special mention
are 10 personnel of the government telegraph service who composed the first and only group of Filipino pensionados
who, in 1919, underwent advanced training in wireless telegraphy (radio), at the US Naval Radio School in Cavite which had
better facilities than the government Post Telegraph School. The training of the ten Filipinos was made possible
through a special arrangement between the naval authorities In the Philippines and the
Insular Government. To select the trainees, a special examination was conducted among the 398 students of the Post-Telegraph
Those who made the
grade were Ludovico Ba'nas of Banate,
lloilo; Alejandro Cardenas (Bauan,
La Union); Jose Ditan (Sorsogon); Fidel Austriaco (Lallo, Cagayan); Juan Alayu (Solano, Nueva Vizcaya);
Felix Gestosani (Binalbagan, Negros Occidental); Eleuterio Funes (lrosin, Sorsogon); Diosdado Dizon (Pampanga); Gaudenclo
Pangan and Rafael Anonas (The last two with no available records of their respective home provinces).
After their training,
all of the 10 went back to their respective places of the assignment In the government telegraph services come of them serving
up to their age of retirement.
Banas was the regional
superintendent of the Bureau of Telecommunications (BUTEL) in llollo at the time of his retirement during the late 1950s.
Cardenas rose from the ranks to become the chief operator of the same bureau’s Baguio City office in the 1950s.
He retired sometime in the 1960s.
Ditan was chief technician
of the BUTEL receiving station in Tagulg, Rizal province at the time of his retirement sometime in the 1960s while Alayu retired
to his native Solano, Nueva Vizcaya after serving the Bureau of Posts and later the Bureau of Telecommunications for many
years after his naval radio school stint.
Pangan was chief
operator of the Bureau of Posts telegraph office In Davao City at the time of his demise on April 16, 1945 while Anonas became
postmaster in a certain Palawan town.
As to other four, they
served the Bureau of Posts telegraph division only briefly after their training at the Naval Radio School. After
resigning from the service they went Into other fields where they made good use of their newly acquired skills.
KEEPING UP WITH THE TECHNOLOGIES
The Philippine telecommunications
industry has always kept abreast with new developments in this vital field.
With the Introduction
of wireless telegraphy the Bureau of Posts put up Its own wireless stations. The first of such stations were established
in 1919 at San Jose, Mindoro; Puerto Prinecesa,Palawan; Jolo; Zamboanga; Davao and Malabang, Lanao, Coastal stations using
the new spark transmitters were also Installed in 1924 In llollo,
Palawan, Cebu, Catbalogan, Lucena, lnfanta and Zamboanga to serve the county’s lnterisland shipping.
A. radio station was also established at Dapitan, Zamboanga placing the old submarine cable coming
from Zamboanguita (in Negros) to Baliangao (April 13, 1924).
1919, the first automatic telephone system to become operational in the country was installed in Manila by the Philippine
Islands Telephone and Telegraph Corporation (PITTC).
1926, Crispulo Zamora marketed the tuned gird, tuned plate medium wave transmitter, an improvement on the then popularly
used long wave transmitter. Zamora later on signed a contract with Bureau of Posts to effect the change of the bureau’s
wireless installations with medium power short wave equipment. The first stations to be equipped with the new type transmitters
where Infanta in Tayabas province (now Quezon) and Cebu with Dapitan following suit on April 13, 1927.
1930, the Bureau of Posts established the first teleprinter circuit between Manila and Batangas. The following year radio
contact between Zamboanga and Sandakan in North Borneo was established as per agreement with the Britsh North Borneo
Company. Most of the operators in Sandakan were Chinese.
1933, RCA Communications established the first radiotelephone circuit between the Philippines and the U.S. in Joint operation
with the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT). PLDT is also credited with introducing the first in—country
microwave communications system in 1955 the same year that RCA Communications introduced telex service between the
Philippines and the U.S.
1948, the Bureau of Telecommunications (BUTEL) inaugurated the first domestic radiotelephone service.
BUTEL is credited with having introduced a number of the “firsts in the local telecommunications sector. These include
the crossbar type automatic telephone exchange reportedly the first of its kind in Asia at the time of its installation at
Malacaņang Palace in 1957, the first domestic telex service (1969) and the first commercially operated trophospheric scatter
system the following year. The Bureau also introduced the social telegram service here in 1955.
the advent of the space age in communications, the Philippines had the distinction of being the first in Southeast Asia to
put up and operate an earth station when the Philippine Communications Satellite Corporation (Philcomsat) inaugurated its
interim earth station in Pinugay, Tanay Rizal in 1967. The firm’s permanent station became operational the following
1992, PLDT introduced the fiber optic technology in the country and six years later inaugurated the country’s first
cellular mobile telephone network.
THE JAPANESE OCCUPATION
the Pacific War broke out in 1941, the Bureau of Posts was already operating en extensive nationwide telegraph network. It
had in operation 106 radio stations and 459 telegraph offices interconnected by 14,607 kilometers of overland telegraph lines
and 326 nautical miles of submarine cables, Most of these facilities were deliberately destroyed by the Bureau to prevent
their falling into the hands of the enemy when it became apparent the country would soon be overrun by the Japanese.
the Japanese upon occupying the country, reconditioned some of the destroyed communication equipment and with them operated
a limited telegraph service under their own version of a postal agency, which they called Densei Kyuku or Kawanihan
ng Pahatiran. The agency also operated a telegraph training school.
Government Telegraphers at the War Front
is an untold story about a group of radio operators and other technical personnel of the government postal telegraph service
who saw action as signal personnel in Bataan and Corregidor. Theses men were recruited by the Armed Forces to man two specially
organized mobile signal units,
the telegraphers were drafted into the service months before the bombing of Pearl Harbor. However, they were called to active
service only a few days before Christmas in 1941.
group was composed of Bartolome Tuazon, Anastacio P. Manto, Cesario Obispo, Geminito Torres, Felipe U. Cunanan, Ricardo
Jimenez, Maximo Cuneta, Domi nador Rayos del Sol, Jaime del Puerto, Florencio Oliva, Alfredo Laquindanum, Malayo de
Guzman, Tomes Guttierez, Eliseo Mendoza, Raymundo Ganuelas, Juanito Umali, Tomas Lumauig, Alfredo Pascual and two
others surnamed Pagadian and Sulit.
In Bataan, they came under the command of another former postal telegraphist, Lt. (later Captain) Petronilo
Taracatac. The Japanese captured many of them when Bataan fell on April 9, 1942 and were among those who were in the infamous
Death March from the Peninsula to the POW Camp at Camp 0’ Donnel in Capes Tarlac. Some of them managed to evade
capture and were able to reach Correqidor where they joined the remaining USAFFE forces there With the fall of that island
fortress on May 7, 1942 they were also captured and eventually imprisoned in the hell hole that was the O’Donnel concentration
camp. March from the Peninsula to the POW Camp at Camp O’ Donnel in Capas Tarlac. Some of them managed
to evade capture and were able to reach Corregidor where they joined the remaining USAFFE forces there. With the fall of that
island fortress on May 7, 1942 they were also captured and eventually imprisoned in the hellhole that was the O’ Donnel
the war ended in 1945, nothing had been left of the prewar telecommunications network of the Bureau of Posts
the assistance of the US Armed Forces which provided vitally needed equipment and materials, the government undertook the
rehabilitation of the destroyed communication lines
first line to be rehabilitated and put into operation was the telegraph circuit between Manila and Dagupan City with intermediate
offices at Malolos, San Fernando (Pampanga), Tarlac and Paniqui At the same time a radio station was also installed for direct
communications between Manila and Tacloban. These where followed by more stations established in major cities and towns.
the withdrawal of the US Liberation Forces from the Philippines after the country regained her freedom on July 4, 1946, it
turned over to the government a sizable stock of surplus equipment, which the newly created Bureau of Telecommunication used
to rehabilitate the telegraph network, which it took over from the Bureau of Posts.
turned over surplus equipment consisted of power plants, radio transmitters and instruments, accessories and materials which
after the necessary reconditioning on certain partly used and worn out parts were made amply served the needs of the new agency.
new bureau, with Felipe Cuaderno, its first director at the helm, started operations on October 4, 1947 with 39 radio
stations and 169 telegraph stations, interconnected by 3,377 kilometers of telegraphic landlines, which it inherited from
the Bureau of Posts. A year later it established and put into operation its first radio-teletype service between Manila and
Cebu City. More such types of service were later on established between Manila and Zamboanga, Cotabato, Iloilo, Bacolod, Lagazpi,
and other places in the country.
operating a telegraph service, BUTEL also put up the Government Telephone System (GTS), a manual system initially with 40
connections using a common battery switchboard serving only the government offices housed in the Bureau of Posts building
originally as a temporary measure to relieve the acute shortage of telephone facilities in government offices at the time,
necessity and demand performed its expansion beyond the confines of the building to cater to the demand for service even among
private homes and business establishment as well
1960, the system switched to automatic operation as exchanges were also established in certain key cities and towns of the
1976, however, in accordance with the inundated government policy on telecommunications, BUTEL started relocating its GTS
exchanges from areas already served by the private sector to other places still without such service..
agency (renamed Telecommunications Office following the reorganization of the Department of Transportation and communication
in 1987) continues to operate its telegraph service. It maintains and operates stations and offices in 90% of the country’s
towns and cities as well as a telegraphic transfer service which it tooks over from the Bureau of Posts in October 1974.
country’s first telephone system was established during the administration of Spanish Governor-General Valeriano Weyler
y Nicolao (1888-1891). It was also during his term that the first street car service in the country was inaugurated. The street
cars were drawn by native ponies and plyed the Manila-Malabon route.
June 7, 1889, Gov. Gen. Weyler was instructed by the Madrid Government to authorize the construction of a telephone system
in Manila. The system inaugurated and became operational the following year. From then on the telephone service in the city
was operated by the government until 1906 when the Bureau of Post converted its telephone circuits to telegraph.
The year earlier, however,
a private company, the Philippine Island Telephone and Telegraph Corporation (PITTC), obtained a franchise from the Philippine
Commission to construct, operate and maintain a telephone system within the island of Luzon. The company was organized by
Louis Glass and John Sabin, both Americans, and registered under the laws of the state of Nevada.. USA.. It
started operations with 400 subscribers in the city of Manila. In 1919 the company installed the country’s first automatic
telephone system in Manila..
1914, another telephone system using magneto-type switchboards was established in Iloilo City. Ten years later the Negros
Telephone Company was put up.
1922, PLTTC was dissolved and its assets and business taken over by another company, the Philippine Telephone and Telegraph
this time, J.E.H. Stevenot, a former major in the United States Army who was Vice President of PITTC, saw the need to merge
the various telephone systems then in existence under one management and operation. To this end, he worked for the acquisition
of the Cebu Telephone and Telegraph Company, the Panay Telephone and Telegraph Company and the Negros Telephone and Telegraph
Company, all in the Visayas.. Having accomplished this he applied for and was granted a franchise by the Philippine Legislature
on November 28, 1928 for the establishment of the of the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDTI. The new company
acquired the assets and business of PITTC and the three southern companies as well as the government telephone system in Davao
City.. Other exchanges were also established in different provinces in Luzon.
1933, the company, in joint operation with RCA Communications, established the first radio-telephone circuit between the Philippine
and the United States. In 1955, it introduced microwave communicaton initially on short haul basis between two of its exchanges
in Luzon. The network was extended throughout Luzon in 1966 then to the Visayas in 1967 and two years later was extended to
the island of Mindanao.
1964, the Trans-Pacific submarine cable system, where PLDT participated with a P 50-million investment, reached the Philippines.
That same year the company inaugurated its tropospheric scatter system in Luzon to carry its overseas traffic via cable to
and from its Manila terminal office..
December 20, 1967, the company passed into Filipino hands.. General Telephone and Electronics Corporation of New York which
previously held the controlling stock of the company voluntarily relinquished control in favor of a group of Filipino businessmen
headed by Ramon Cojuangco who became the first Filipino president of PUTT. In 1980 the company acquired the Republic Telephone
Company (RETELCO) from the Santiagos.
OTHER TELEPHONE COMPANIES
from PLDT there are now 47 independent telephone companies operating in different parts of the country. They are Balaqtas
Telephone System, Bataan Telephone Exchange; Bicol Telephone and Telegraph Inc.; Butuan City Telephone Company; Calaban Telephone
System, Inc.; Calbayog Telephone System; Cruz Telephone Company; Dancar Industries Telephone Company, Inc. De Clam Telephone
Co., Inc.; Dumaquete Telephone System; Evangelista Telephone Company .
Telephone Company, Independent Telephone Company, Ipil Telephone Company; Iriqa Telephone Company; Kidapawan Telephone System;
Labo Telephone System, Lucban Telephone Company; Mabalacat Telephone Company; Marbel Telephone System; Macao Telephone Systems;
Maranao Telephone Company; Mati Telephone System; Mayon Telephone Corporation.
Telephone Company; North Camarines Telephone Company; Northern Telephone Company; Nationwide Telephone Corporation; Ormoc
City Telephone Company; Pagadian City Telephone System; Pampanga Telephone Company; Parulan Telephone System; Pilipino Telephone
Corporation; Radio City Telephone Company; Renato C. Yulo Telephone System..
Telephone Company, San Caries Telephone Company , San CarIos City Telephone Company, Shariqan Telephone Corporation, Tandag
Electric and Telephone Company, Valencia Telephone Company; Victorias Telephone System and Western Batangas Telephone System.
are also a number of telephone systems operated by the government. Aside from the systems operated by the Bureau of Telecommunications,
the other government operated telephone systems are the Bukidnon Provincial Government Telephone System, Cagayan Provincial
Telephone System, City of Basilan Telephone System, Communications and Electricity Development System and Misamis Oriental
Provincial Government System, Municipality of Nasipit Telephone System, Municipality of San Jose Telephone System, North Cotabato
Provincial Government System, Suriqao City Telephone System and Tagbilaran Provincial Telephone System.
DOMESTIC TELEGRAPH SERVICE
From the earliest years
of telecommunications iii the Philippines up to the outbreak of the Pacific phase of Won War II, the domestic telegraph service
was handled exclusively by the government. However, for a brief period in 1930, the operation of nine telegraphs stations
of the Bureau of Posts (Aparri, Laoag, Cagayan de Oro, Zamboanqa, Davao, Iloilo, Cebu and Tacloban) was turned over for temporary
operation to the Radio Corporation of the Philippines, a private communications company, supposedly so that it can be operated
more efficiently. The operation of the stations by the private company lasted only for a few months.. Subsequently, operation
of the stations was returned to the postal bureau..
was only after World War II that private capital actively engaged in this highly technical field..
first privately-owned domestic telegraph company to operate here was the Clavecilla Radio System (CRS) which was issued a
Congressional franchise in 1947.
1960, Republic Act 2963 was enacted granting the Radio Communications of the Philippines, Incorporated (RCPI) a franchise
to operate commercial radio telephony, radio
television, coastal and marine communications for domestic and international operations.
During the same year, Philippine Wireless, In.., was granted a franchise, as per Republic Act 3006, to operate commercial
telecommunication services within and outside the Philippines.
present there are seven domestic telegraph companies in operation.. They are the Philippine Telegraph and Telephone Corporation
(PT&T), Radio Communications of the Philippines, Inc. (RCPI). BFC Corporation, Federal Wireless, Universal Telecommunications
Service (UTS), Clavecilla Radio System (CR5) and the government Bureau of Telecommunications (now Telecommunications Office).
1988 Globe MacKay Cable and Radio Corporation, an international carrier, together with the BPI Retirement Fund and the Ayala
Employees Retirement Fund acquired the Clavecilla Radio System.. GPICR bought 387. of Clavecilla’s outstanding shares
while BPI Retirement and AEWRF acquired 31% each.
INTERNATIONAL TELECOM SERVICES
earlier stated, the first international telecommunications company to operate here was Eastern Extension Australasia and China
Telegraph Company (now cable and Wireless) which established the Philippine-Honqkong cable system in 1880 as well as the country’s
first internal telecom service interconnecting Manila with the principal trade centers of Central Philippines seventeen years
later. With the coming of the Americans other international cable companies established companies here.
On July 4, 1903, the
first Pacific Cable linking Manila with San Francisco, USA was completed by the Commercial Pacific Cable Company. The inauguration
of the system was highlighted by the exchange of messages between US President Theodore Roosevelt and Philippine Governor
General William Howard Taft.
1927, the Radio Corporation of the Philippines opened the first radio-telegraph service between Manila and San Francisco (USA).
This was followed by similar circuits between the Philippines and other countries.
accordance with the provisions of Act 2495 enacted by the Philippine Legislature on December 8, 1928, the Robert Dollar Company
was granted a franchise to provide international telegram service. The company started operations the following year.
1930, MacKay Radio and Telegraph Company established its Manila office.
developments were to follow.
1933, the first telephone service between the Philippines and the United States was established by RCA Communications in joint
operations with PLDT. RCA Communications is also credited with introducing, in 1955; telex services between the Philippines
end the 115 and later from the US to Europe.
November 28, 1934, the Philippine Legislature enacted Act 4150 authorizing the sale, assignment and transfer of the franchise
of Dollar Radio to Globe Wireless (Philippines) Ltd. which started operation a year later offering a new and less expensive
service to the US called Radiomail.
same company in 1949 established the first ground—to-air radio telephone communications for airlines when Pan American
Airways entered into an agreement with the company.
1956 Globe Wireless and Mackay Radio merged their transmitting and receiving facilities On June 19, 1965, Congress enacted
RA 4491 approving the merger of the two companies giving rise to the Globe Mackay Cable and Radio Corporation (GMCR).
are four international record carriers operating in the country today. They
are the Philippine Global Communications (Philcom), a subsidiary of RCA Communications of the Eastern
Telecommunications Philippines Incorporated (ETPI), a subsidiary of Cable and Wireless; Globe Mackay Cable and Radio Corporation
(GMCR), an ITT company; and Capitol Wireless (Capwire). Capwire is a 100% Filipino company.
country has ample -facilities tar overseas telecommunications services both voice and record. These facilities include communication
satellite and submarine cables..
facilities are provided by the Philippine Communications Satellite Corporation (Philcomsat), the government-designated
operating entity which was incorporated in1966 when the country became a signatory to the operating agreement with the International
Telecommunication Satellite Organization (INTELSAT). Philcomsat is a Filipino Corporation with the Philippine Government
and the Philippine Overseas Telecommunication Corporation (POTC), a privately-owned corporation, as stockholders.
POTC manages Philcomsat and operates the facilities of the earth station.
is also a member of the London-based International Maritime Satellite Organization (INPIARSAT) which it joined in March 1981.
company started its operation in April 1967 making the Philippines the first Southeast Asia country to operate such a station.
Its permanent station was inaugurated on May 2, 1966.
it started operation in 1967 services were via the Pacific Ocean Region satellite with initial traffic to Hawaii. Later services
were extended to include the 119 mainland, Japan, Thailand, Korea, Canada, Australia, Guam, Republic of China, New Zealand
December 1971, a second antenna was installed to provide direct links with countries in Europe, the Middle East and other
Asia countries via the Indian Ocean Region satellite.
a carrier’s carrier Philcomsat leases satellite circuits to international carriers, PLDT, Eastern Telecoms, GMCR, Philcomn
. MARITIME COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEM
an archipelago, the Philippines relies heavily on sea transportation as a major means of bringing people and goods to and
from points both within the country and overseas. With a good, reliable and efficient system of maritime communications, this
section of the economy should be a most effective factor in promoting socio-economic growth.
communications in the country today is handled by 21 public coast stations for international public correspondence, more than
100 private coast stations for private correspondence for shipping and fishing firms and a number of government roast stations
-for official business correspondence, port control services and emergency communications particularly for search and rescue
operations purposes in times of maritime disasters.
The set-up, however, owing to its fragmented
management, suffers from major defects resulting in unnecessary drain in capital resources and wastage of vital radio frequencies.
That more than 100 private coast systems operate not withstanding the existence of 21 public coast stations is attributed
to the following:
1.) The unreliability of existing
public maritime services;
2.) Public coast stations
operate independently from each other with each station having its own limited clientele so that wide area coverage cannot
be offered to the ~hips;
3.) Each of the public
coast stations now operating do not have the dedicated network for message delivery and instead rely on the public networks
for such services. At the present stage, however, the public networks are not ready to ensure quick delivery of maritime
There is, however, a proposal which is yet to
be fully implemented, to establish a public maritime telecommunications system. The proposed system is envisioned to provide
all maritime telecommunications services such as Maritime Telex, Digital Selective Calling System, and other value added services.
To he truly effective the system must meet fully international maritime telecommunications regulations in terms of performance,
reliability and maintenance of equipment.
On account of the amount of investment required
for the project, negotiations for a government-to-government loan proposal have been undertaken.
SUBMARINE CABLE SYSTEMS
The country’s first two submarine cable
systems were laid by Eastern Extension, Australasia and China Telegraph Company. The first was the Luzon-Honqkong cable installed
in .1880 and the second was the inter-island system laid in 1897 between Manila and the principal ports in Central Philippines.
In 1901 work on another international cable system
which would interconnect the country with San Francisco, USA commenced. The cable, 7,911 nautical miles long was inaugurated
At present, the country has three submarine cable
landing stations: the Currimao (Ilocos Norte) cable station and the Baler (Quezon) and Infanta (Quezon) cable stations. The
Currimao station which is operated by Eastern Telecoms Philippines (ETPI) is the landing station of the OLUHO (0kinawa-Luzon-Honnqkonq),
ASEAN PS (Philippine-Singapore) and the TAILU (Taiwan—Luzon) submarine cable systems. The Baler and Infanta stations
operated by PLDT are capable of carrying telephone, telex, data and telegraph traffic.
The OLUHU cable became operational on August
26, 1977 while the Philippine—Singapore cable started operations on October 3, 1978.
The TAILU system became operational in 1980 while the Philippine – Guam cable started operations in 1964.
A new technology submarine cable system, the Guam –
Philippine – Taiwan (GPT) fiber optic cable, which forms part of the new Trans – Pacific Submarine Cable System
became operational on February 1, 1990. the new cable system, the country’s first, is partly owned by PLDT.
It lands at the Infantaa cable station.
The fist institution that provided training for telecommunications
personnel in the country was the Telegraph Practical School established in 1872 during the administration of Governor –
General Rafael de Inquired y Gutierrez. Instructions then were in wire telegraph only.
In 1910, the Bureau of Posts inaugurated its own Post
– Telegraph School with Filipino and American instructors. Admission to the school was through competitive examinations.
Successful candidates (called pensionados) were given a monthly allowance of P20 (later increased to P30) during their period
of training. Graduates of the school were later employed as postmaster – operators of the bureau in various parts
of the country.
In 1920, the school started offering the wireless telegraphy
(radio) course. It continued operation until the 1930s when it had to be phased out following the entry of private enterprise
into this field of academic training.
The first private institution to offer courses in wire
and wireless telegraphy and allied courses was the National Radio School (now National
Radio School Institute of Technology). For many years the school practically had a monopoly of this type of technical
training of our youth.
Today, however, a number of educational institutions
have joined NRSIT in offering courses in electronics and communications both in the collegiate and vocational levels.
Using English as the medium of instructions the areas
of training cover radio, telegraph and telex operations and repair and maintenance of communications equipment and appliances
in the vocational level and bachelor’s degrees in electronics and communications engineering and in industrial engineering
major in electronics in the collegiate level.
Up to the late 1960s, training in electronics and communications
was continued in most instances to the vocational level. In the college level, electronics and communications were merely
among the subjects that form an integral part of the electrical engineering course.
In 1969, however, with the enactment of Republic Act
5734 (Electronics and Communications Engineering Law) electronics and communications engineering came its own as a separate
and distinct profession.
THE TELECOMMUNICATIONS TRAINING INSTITUTE
Worthy of mention here is the Telecommunications Training
Institute (ITI) of the Bureau of Telecommunications (BUTEL) which was established in 1963 under the United Nations Special
Fund assistance grant with the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) as the executing agency. The grant
assistance covered a period of five years during which BUTEL engineers and technicians underwent trainings on the construction,
operation and maintenance of the telecommunications equipment of the bureau. ITU provided the services of experts in
the different telecommunications fields, fellowship training for their local counterparts and training equipment for the Institute.
BUTEL provided the site and buildings for the institute plus the local support staff to assist the experts. After the
termination of the project, management of the TTI passed on to the BUTEL which continued its adopted training program.
In 1982 the facilities of the Institute were expanded
under a five-year Japanese Technical Cooperation grant from which the Japanese Government donated latest model equipment including
the services of experts in the field to train technical personnel of the local telecom sector including the TTI training staff.
INTERNATIONAL TECHNICAL COOPERATION
The government has attached much significance to the
contributions received from developed countries including international organizations in terms of technical assistance and
cooperation for the development of local telecommunications.
The Philippine view of this aspect has been expressed
in various position papers which the government submitted to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).
On technical cooperation, the papers pointed out the
“need for a careful review of the level of support to beneficiary countries…aimed at properly identifying
and setting priorities on a country/region basis”.
These papers also underscored the need to upgrade the
level of training and expertise in developing countries. However, while it was noted that “those requirements are also
being addressed on a regional basis through APT and ASEAN forums” belief was also expressed that “perhaps, ITU
can pool its resources to provide systematic operations in developing countries” insisting further that “ITU is
the proper organization to support such a program”.
An active member of international telecommunications
bodies the Philippines has actively participated in major projects and activities of the International Telecommunication Union
(ITU), the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the Asia Pacific Telecommunity (ATI). The country has sent
delegations to conferences, meetings, seminars and workshops during which vital matters affecting the local telecommunications
sector have been taken up.
International Telecommunication Union (ITU)
As an ITU member, the Philippines has been the recipient
of various forms of assistance by that body in the form of expert assistance, seminars and workshops for our technical personnel
and other forms of aids for the development of telecommunications in the country.
The Union has helped the government identify technical
cooperation requirements to meet sectoral and inter-sectoral goals in the socio-economic settings even as it has also helped
assisted in the prosecution of various development-oriented projects.
Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN)
The Philippines is a founding member of ASEAN the six
member (now 10) aggregation of nations in the Southeast Asian region.
ASEAN has initiated a number of cooperative projects
which has benefited the country.
Delegations have been sent to ASEAN conferences, particularly
to its Committee of Transportation and Communications (COTAC) as well as those of its sub-committees on Posts and Telecommunications
(POSTEL). Manila has hosted some of the meetings of these bodies.
Among the various cooperative projects that the ASEAN
has initiated are the submarine cable projects, UNDP/ESCAP programs affecting the region, regional communications satellite
system, radio frequency coordination and other equally important undertakings.
Asia Pacific Telecommunity (APT)
As a member of the APT, the country has availed of the
organization’s program for overseas training of telecommunications personnel.
During the past years the country has sent trainees abroad
to undergo trainings in such fields as digital techniques, electronic exchanges, satellite communications, financial management,
optical fiber systems, public relations, microwave systems, telecommunications economics, pulse code modulation, project planning
and programming, project planning and management for a duration of two to three weeks per course.
The country is also a recipient of grants and other forms of aid from developed countries.
For instance, Japan has initiated programs in different
fields of communications and has also granted loans to the country for the upgrading of the rural telecommunications system.
The Regional Telecommunications Development Program for Regions I and II of the Bureau of Telecommunications is one such project.
The project which will form part of the nationwide telecommunications network makes use of the latest of the art technology
and will provide cheap and efficient telecommunications system to that part of the country.
Japan, through the Japan International Cooperation Agency
(JICA), has also granted aid for the expansion and upgrading of the facilities of the Telecommunications Training Institute
(TTI) / the Bureau of Telecommunications (BUTEL).
Other International Bodies
Aside from those mentioned above other international
entities have also sponsored training programs for our technical personnel. These include the UNESCO, ESCAP, Colombo Plan,
the Asia Electronic Union (AEU) and the United Telecommunications Training Institute (USTTI).
Up to the early 1970’s certain local firms were
engaged in the development and manufacture of their own brands of appliances such as TV and radio receiver sets, stereos and
the like. However, these firms, by virtue of certain policies promulgated by the Martial Law government, eventually folded
up. Today what are being passed off as Philippines-made appliances are actually foreign-developed ones and whatever “manufacturing”
being undertaken here are merely assembly of such appliances by multinational companies.
What can really be considered as local manufacture of
electronics and communications is limited to the manufacture of certain materials and parts used in the assembly of radio
and TV sets, communications equipment and other components such as punched, formed and plated chassis, brackets, transformer
cans, control shafting, dial assemblies, pulleys, some items of hard wares, nameplates and other related items. Similarly,
some entities are engaged in the manufacture of certain parts made of plastic such as knobs, controls, pulleys, telephone
handset and receivers.
Of course, the manufacture of wooden cabinets and special
boxes of the famous “Philippine Mahogany” has long been in existence. Also being undertaken, although reportedly
on a limited scale, are the manufacture of transformers and TV picture rubes although the glass envelops for the later are
still being imported. Another related activity along this line is coil-making which is being slowly developed.
THE RADIO AMATEUR SERVICE
The country’s early radio amateurs (called hams)
were real experiments who tried out different circuits and assemblies or even improvised components to make their rigs work.
They tinkered freely with their wireless equipment without
any licensing or restrictions of any kind so that their crude methods often interfered with the transmission of government
and commercial stations. One of their favorite activity was listening to time signal broadcasts from the US radio station
in Cavite and ships of the US naval forces anchored at Manila Bay. A big number of them escaped to the hills and joined the
resistance movement. Their knowledge of radio communications proved to be of great help not only to the guerillas but the
local population as well. With radios assembled from odds and ends they were able to keep in touch with the Free World and
keep our people abreast with the latest news about the war, in the process, knowing the real score as against the claims of
victories by the occupation army.
One ham who was able to contact McArthur’s headquarters
in Australia as early as late 1942 was Mariano V. Tolentino. Tolentino, demonstrating the ingenuity and resourcefulness typical
of an amateur radio enthusiast, constructed from materials produced here and there, his station WPM (8330 KCS), a transmitter,
receiver. His set proved to be of great help and a morale booster to the underground movement particularly those in the Visayas
during the war years.
In September 1944, following the initial bombing raids
in Manila by American war planes, the amateurs heard the broadcasts from Washington DC made by Gen. Basilio Valdez, Brig.
Gen. Carlos P. Romulo, Jaime Hernandez, and President Sergio Osmeņa himself.
After Liberation, many US Signal Corps men joined PARA.
The first post-war PARA meeting was held at the National Radio School in Manila in June 1945. Frank Swan and George Richard,
re-assumed their pre-war posts PAEA President and Secretary-treasurer, respectively.
In 1947, the association of, in representation of an
independent Philippines Government, applied for and was extended recognition as the official member society of the International
Telecommunications Union (ITU) granted to the Philippines its present official prefix “DU”.
BIRTH OF PHILIPPINE BROADCASTING
It can be rightfully stated that the pioneers in the
field of broadcasting in the Philippines were the radio amateurs or hams.
In fact, the first radio broadcasting station in the
country was an experimental five-watt transmitter put up by Ed Martin, as American ham, in the Pacific Building in District
of Binondo Manila in 1923.
The first low-power broadcasts were made with the use
of low-power GE and RCA transmitter. As was to be expected, the first enthusiastic audiences and listeners were fellow radio
amateurs who, using individual headphones, listened to the impromptu talks and the music played on phonographs. The broadcasts
were made once or twice a week during which time some fellow amateurs would sometimes drop in and play musical instruments
before the carbon microphone.
Later, another station was put up by one Fred J. Elser,
another ham, in Ermita using a pair of 50-watt tubes and about 100-watt power.
Another station was also put up at Camp Nichols, Rizal
(now Villamor Air Base) which enjoyed big listenership among amateurs using crystal sets or the three tube Federal receivers
marketed by the Herman’s Electrical Supply owned by Henry Herman.
Herman himself, in October 1924, put up his KZKZ, the
first high power station in Manila. Studio and transmitter were housed at the penthouse of the Santos Building on Plaza Sta.
A year later, Herman sold KZKZ to the Radio Corporation
of the Philippines (RCP) headed by Marcos Roces which increased the station’s power to 500 watts.
In 1924, another radio corporation, Far Eastern Radio
(FER) headed by Col. Andres Soriano and one Admiral Bullard, purchased Elser’s transmitter and hired him to build station
KZRQ, a 500-watt station, at the Manila Hotel. The station was inaugurated in December 1924.
In November 1925, Isaac Beck, owner of I, Beck Inc.,
a department store on the Escolta which distributed the Crosley and other brands of radio receivers, purchased from Jose Jimenez,
another amateur, the latter’s radiophone transmitter, antenna poles and insulators installed a top the Farmacia San
Fernando in Binondo and with it put up Manila’s third broadcasting station, KZIB, a 20-watt station. Five years later,
the stations power was increased to one kilowatt. (Mr. Beck was interred by the Japanese military at the UST concentration
Camp during the enemy occupation of the Philippines during World War II, due to the harsh conditions obtaining at the camp,
he died some months before the arrival of the American Liberation forces in 1945.
In 1927, Erlanger and Galinger, Inc., put up KZRM, a
one-kilowatt station (subsequently increased to two kilo-watts), and KZEG, a sister station. These stations were sold to J.
Amado Araneta (then owner of the DMHM newspaper chain) in 1939.
In 1939, the H.E. Hecock Company, put up KZRH, the country’s
first commercial broadcast station and the most powerful station then. The new station had a 10-kilowatt transmitter. Its
studios were located at the top floor of the Hecock’s Building on the Escolta Manila.
When the Philippines was occupied by Japan during World
War II, the station, renamed PIAM by the Japanese Occupation Authorities, was the only radio station which the enemy allowed
to operate. However, two other stations aside from PIAM to broadcast anti-Japanese propaganda, during the early months of
the Occupation. The first one, the “Voice of Freedom”, eventually went off the air after the fall of Bataan and
Corregidor. Two days after “The Voice” was silenced another “voice” this time Carlos Malonzo, an 18-yearold
native of Sibul, San Miguel Bulacan. Malonzo made his broadcast daily at noon informing the Filipinos about the progress of
the war at the same time boosting his companions would get out in his car and distributed pamphlets containing information
about the war. They also destroyed enemy property.
On July 4, 1942, he married his sweetheart Violeta Brown.
By this time, however, the enemy had already pinpointed the source of the “voice” and was already shadowing him
following a tip from an electronics dealer who wanted to be in the good graces of the Japanese. He had advised the enemy on
what to do to be able to trap “Juan dela Cruz”.
The next day while preparing gor his new broadcast, the
Japs arrested Malonzo and his friends. He was kept in prison for four months during which time he was continually tortured.
He was offered life and freedom provided that he pledge allegiance to the Japanese flag. He refused to do and was brutally
The next years following the end of World War II saw
the proliferation of radio broadcasting stations in the country. As of December 31, 1985 there were in operations 328 radio
broadcasting in operation, 240 of which were AM and 38 were FM stations.
Television broadcasting on the other hand, came to the
Philippines in 1953 when the Alto Broadcasting Corporation (ABS)owned by Judge Antonio Quirino put up DZAQ TV 3, the country’s
first commercial TV station.
In 1960 the Inter-Island Broadcasting Corporation put
up Channel 13. The following year, the republic Broadcasting Systems (RBS) put up channel 7.
Two more TV stations were established in 1962; Channel
5 of the Associated Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) and Channel 11 of the Metropolitan Broadcasting Corporation.
Color Television was introduced in 1967 by ABS-CBN.
Before the imposition of Martial Law by the Marcos Regime
in 1972, the biggest broadcasting network in the country was ABS-CBN, a merger of the Alto Broadcasting System (ABS) and the
Chronicle Broadcasting Network (CBN). ABS-CBN is credited with having pioneered in several aspects of local broadcasting.
Starting as the Bolinao Electronics Corporation, a dealer
in US Army surplus electronics equipments and materials which has obtained a manufacturing license from RCA, ABS-CBN was the
first to undertake the fabrication locally of broadcast audio and transmitter equipment. In addition, it also had several
other “firsts” to its credit. First to locally fabricate 50-kilowatt AM transmitter, first FM stereo, first to
use the Ampliphase transmitter, first to use the video tape recorder, first to telecast in color (1967), put up a CATV system,
first in TV relay system, first TV multi-station simulcast covering Luzon and the Vizayas, first to have two way TV circuit
via satellite, first to cover the Olympics and various other “firsts” in the local broadcast field.
In 1969, Kanlaon Broadcasting System (KBS) bought the
facilities of Channel 9 from ABS-CBN to start the operation of its own network.
PHILIPPINE TELECOMMUNICATION STORY AT A GLANCE
1867 - Three members of the telegraph
Corps of Spain are dispatched by Royal Order to the Philippines to put up a telegraph training school and establish a communication
system linking all the principal towns and cities in the country. The first telegraph link to be established is between Manila
and the island of Corregidor.
1871 – Rafael de Isquierdo y Gutierrez
assumes the governor-generalship of the Islands. During this administration the country’s first steamship service is
opened and more telegraph lines were installed. He is the same governor general who signed the death verdict of the three
martyr-priests – Fathers Mariano Gomez, Jose Burgos and Jacinto Zamora – in 1872.
1872 – A Telegraph Practical School
is established by Gov. Gen. Isquierdo (March 15).
1878 – The Spanish Government
in Madrid awards to the Eastern Extension Australasia and China Telegraph Company, an English firm, a 40-year old concession
to the lay down a submarine telegraph cable that will link the Philippines with Hongkong, 535 nautical miles away. Cable laying
is undertaken by the company’s cable ship Calabria.
1880 – The Philippine-Hongkong
submarine cable, the country’s first overseas telegraph link, is completed. The Philippine end of the cable lands at
Bolinao, then part of Zambales province. The system is made available for public telegrams on May 8.
1888 – Valeriano Weyler y Nicolao
is appointed governor-general. During his administration (1888-1891), the first telephone system and the first street car
service (pony-drawn and plying the Manila-Malabon route) are inaugurated.
1889 – Gov. Gen. Weyler is instructed
by the Madrid Government to authorize the construction of a telephone system in Manila (June 7).
1890 – the country’s first
telephone system is inaugurated.
1897 – Eastern Extension Australasia
and China Telegraph Company, in accordance with a 20-year contract with the Spanish Government and a yearly subsidy of $22,500,
lays a submarine cable interconnecting Manila with Capiz, Iloilo, Bacolod, Escalante and Cebu using the company cable ship
Sherard Osborne – The manila end of the cable lands on an isolated spot in a beach in the Malate district.
1898 – Revolutionist from Zambales
attack the cable station at Bolinao. The 160-mile overland cable connecting the Bolinao end of the Philippines-Hongkong cable
with Manila is replaced by an undersea cable following frequent cuttings of the aerial cable by the Revolutionary Army.
Telegraph service between Manila and Hongkong is interrupted due to the damage of the cable during the Battle of Manila Bay
between the American and Spanish naval forces. The line is restored in August 20.
Emilio Aguinaldo, head of the Revolutionary Government, issues a decree officially opening the Philippine telegraph services
(November 2) and the postal service (November 10) in areas in Luzon “under the jurisdiction of the Revolutionary Government.
1899 – The Americans take over
control of the Philippines from Spaniards. They establish a their own telegraph and telephone systems for the needs of the
military. The system consists of 2,400 kilometers of undersea cables and landlines linking the major islands of the country.
1901 – a department of posts under
the Department of Commerce in the civil government is created.
1902 – The Philippine Commission
organizes a telegraph division under the Constabulary (September 15).
A submarine telegraph cable is laid between Romblon, and Boac, Marinduque, 121 kilometers apart (November 21).
The Bureau of Posts is created in accordance with Act 462 of the Philippine Commission.
1903 – The first Pacific cable
linking Manila with San Francisco, USA, is completed by the Commercial Pacific Cable Company (July 4). US President Theodore
Roosevelt and Philippine Governor General William Howard Taft exchange messages to inaugurate the event.
1905 – Two Americans, Louis Glass
and John Sabin, organize the Philippine Island Telephone and Telegraph Corporation (PITTC). The company starts with 500 telephone
subscribers in Manila.
1906 – In accordance with the
government reorganization law, the telegraph division is transferred from the Constabulary to the Bureau of Posts. Gradual
transfer military lines and offices to the Insular Government are to continue up to 1910.
Finding the telephone system more difficult to handle than its other services, the Bureau of Posts converts some of its telephone
circuits into telegraph circuits. The rest are turned over to certain provincial governments.
1910 – The Posts-Telegraph School
of the Bureau of Posts is inaugurated. Among its first Filipino instructors are Faustino Navarro, Jesus Alvarez and Petronilo
Taracatac. Trainees (called pensionados) in the school are entitled to a monthly allowance of P20 (later increased to P30)
1911 – At the time close of the
1910-1911 fiscal period on June 30, 1911, the Bureau of Posts no longer operate any telephone line.
1914 – Another telephone system
of the PITTC, using a magneto-type switchboard, is established in Iloilo City.
1917 – With the development of
the government’s own internal telecommunications system, the inter-island cable network of Eastern Extension Australasia
and China Telegraph Company is phased out.
Eugenio Padua is appointed superintendent of the telegraph division of the Bureau of the Telegraph Division of the Bureau
of Posts, the first Filipino o hold such position.
1919 – The country’s first
wireless (radio) stations are established by the Bureau of Posts in San Jose (Mindoro), Puerto Princesa (Palawan), Jolo (Sulu),
Zamboanga, Davao and Malabang (Lanao). Two other stations in Cavite and Corregidor are maintained and operated by the United
The first and only group of Filipino pensionados of the Insular Government graduate from the US Naval Radio Station in Cavite.
Selected in a competitive examination conducted by the Posts-Telegraph School, the pensionados are Fidel Gestosani, Diosdado
Dizon, Ludovico Banas, Gaudencio Pangan, Juan Alayu, Eleuterio Funes, Jose F. Ditan and Rafale Anonas.
The first automatic
telephone system is installed in Manila by PITTC.
1920 – The Posts Telegraph School
of the Bureau of Posts conducts its first class in wireless (radio) telegraphy with Guillermo Rodil (of Cavite) as instructor.
The Philippine Sparks and Postmasters Association, Inc., the first organization of government radio and telegraph operators
and postmaster-operators, is organized.
1921 - The Philippine Sparks and Postmasters
Association, Inc., under the presidency of Guillermo Rodil is successful in its lobby fort he passage of a law by the 6th
Philippine Legislature extending leave privileges to government telegraphists, privileges then already enjoyed by other employees
of the government. The new law grants 21 vacation leave and 30 days accrued leave to telecom personnel.
1922 – The Bureau of Posts establishes
a costal service station using spark transmitters. The stations are located at Iloilo, Palawan, Cebu, Catbalogan, Lucena,
Infanta and Zamboanga. The coastal stations, many of them manned by Americans, serve the country’s inter-island shipping.
Amateur Radio Club of the Philippines (ARCP), the country’s first organization of radio amateurs, is organized. Elected
first president is Tomas Rivera.
The Philippine Islands Telephone and Telegraph Corporation (PITTC) are dissolved and withdraw business from the Philippines.
The Philippine Telephone and Telegraph Corporation are organized and take over the accounts of the PITTC.
1923 – Gov. Gen. Francis Burton
Harrison issues a regulations governing the Philippine telegraph service. A Radio Commission is composed of an officer of
the US Navy, a representative of the US army Signal Corps and Gonzalo Kamantigue of the Bureau of Posts, is created. The Commission
is charged with the supervision and implementation of radio regulations in the country.
Radio Broadcasting is introduced in the country.
1924 – Gov.
Gen. Leonard Wood issues an executive order applying to the Philippines the decisions of the International Radio Telegraph
Convention held in London in 1912 “as previously recommended by the US Senate and ratified by the President of the United
States on February 15, 1913 for the United States and its possessions” (January).
Dapitan (in Zamboanga) radio station is established as replacement for the old submarine cable coming from Zamboanguita in
Negros to Baliangao (April 13).
Negros Telephone Company is established.
KZKZ broadcast station of Henry Herman
starts broadcasting from the penthouse of the Santos Building on Plaza Sta. Cruz in Manila with a 100-watt transmitter (October).
Radio Corporation of the Philippines and Far Eastern Radio (FER) are formed.
Philippines Radio Club, the second amateur
radio club, is organized. Lt. Haydn P. Roberts of the US Army Signal Corps is elected first president.
KZRQ, 1 500-watt broadcast station is
established by Eastern Radio (inaugurated in December).
1925 – KZKZ
is sold to Radio Corporation of the Philippines, which increases its station power to 500 watts.
Isaac Beck, owner of I. Beck, Inc., a Department Store on the Escolta in Manila, establishes station KZIB, a 20-watt station
(November). (The stations capacity is increased to one kilowatt five years later).
Clemente Zamora is contacted by the Bureau of Posts to change some of its spark transmitters to tube transmitters.
1926 – The
first arc transmitters in the Philippines are installed in Infanta and Cebu.
1927 – RCA
Communication of the Philippines opens the first radiotelegraph circuit between Manila and San Francisco, USA followed by
similar circuits between the Philippines and other countries.
Erlanger and Galinger, Inc., establish KZRM. A one kilowatt (later increased to two kilowatts) and KZEG, a sister station.
The Dapitan radio station of the Bureau of Posts is equipped with the new tube transmitters (April 13).
Act 3396 (the first radio law) is enacted (December 5) making it compulsory for all ships of Philippine registry to have radio
apparatus installed aboard. Implementation of the law is delegated to a section of the Telegraph Division of the Bureau of
1928 – The
Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT) is incorporated under the provisions of the corporation law of the Philippines
The Philippine Legislature enacts Act 3495 granting the Robert Company a franchise to province international telegram service
1929 – The
Robert Dollar Company begins operation.
1930 – Mackay
Radio and Telegraph Company establish its Manila office.
Operations of nine telegraph stations of the Bureau of Posts (Manila, Aparri, Laoag, Cagayan de Oro, Zamboanga, Davao, Iloilo,
Cebu and Tacloban) is turned over temporarily to the Radio Corporation of the Philippines, a private firm, with a view to
making the service more efficient. The arrangement lasted only for a few months and the service was subsequently returned
to the Bureau of Posts.
1931 – Direct
radio contact between Zamboanga and Sandakan in North Borneo is established per agreement with the British North Borneo Company.
Most of the operators in Sandakan are Chinese.
In accordance with the first post-World War II conference of the International telecommunication Union (ITU) held in Atlantic
City, USA, call signs of radio broadcasting stations in the Philippines are changed from “K” to “D”.
The call sign “K” is assigned to the US and its colonies and possessions only.
The Philippine Amateur Radio Association (PARA) is extended recognition as an official member-society of the International
Amateur Radio Union (IARU).
1948 – The
country’s first modern radio-teletype service is put into operation by the Bureau of Telecommunications between Manila
The Government Radio and Telegraph Operators Union (GRATOU) were organized by Tranquilino V. Pascual. (GRATOU is credited
with having worked for enactment RA 771, which standardized the salaries and provided for other benefits of government telegraph
1949 – Globe
Wireless establishes the first ground-to-air radio telephone communications for airlines when Pan American World Airways entered
into an operating agreement with the company.
1951 – In accordance
with the provisions of Executive Order No. 392 series of 1951 the Radio Control Division together with the Radio Control Board
was transferred to the newly created Department of Public Works and Communications.
1953 – The
country’s first commercial television station, DZAQ-TV Channel 3 of the Alto Broadcasting System (ABS), owned by Judge
Antonio Quirino goes on the air.
1955 – BUTEL
inaugurates the country’s first social telegram service with President Ramon Magsaysay who marks the 48th
birthday anniversary as the first recipient (August). (Originally in English, the telegrams also had Spanish and Tagalog texts
the English texts were by Jose T. Tumbukon while the Tagalog texts were prepared by Federico A. Oquindo).
RCA Communications introduces telex exchange services between the Philippines and the United States and later from the US
PLDT introduces microwave communications on short haul basis between two of its exchanges in Luzon. (The network is extended
throughout Luzon in 1966,to the Visayas in 1967 and to Mindanao in 1968).
1956 – Work
starts on the automation of the Government Telephone System. The government floated bonds for the purpose.
Globe Wireless and Mackay Radio merge their transmitting and receiving facilities.
RA 146 is enacted. The new law abolishes the radio registration fee charged on all radio receivers’ sets in the country,
the main source of the radio broadcasting fund.
1957 – the
Bureau of Telecommunications installs free GTS public telephones in various public buildings in the City of Manila. (The service
is discontinued after only a few weeks on account of a ruling by the General Auditing Office that it violates government auditing
The GTS starts operation of a crossbar type automatic telephone exchange, reportedly the first of its kind in Asia, at the
time, at Malacaņang Palace.
1958 – PLDT
terminates its contract with RCA Communications on the operation of the domestic side of the PLDT-RCA jointly operated overseas
telephone service even as PLDT warns that it will cut off its trunk line connections with the GTS. A court order restrains
the telephone company from carrying out the plan.
In accordance with an agreement between the Philippines and Japan, bidding for the five-year requirements of the BUTEL expansion
and improvement project is conducted in Tokyo by the Philippines Reparations Commission. Bid winner is the Nippon Electric
Director Jose S. Alfonso of the Bureau of Telecommunications proposes the conversion of the BUTEL into a commission-type-
supervisory body patterned after the Federal Communications Commission of America.
In accordance with an agreement between the Bureau of Telecommunications and the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC),
three telecommunications experts from the national Science Laboratory of the US conduct a survey of the local telecommunications
industry. The project is under the auspices of the International Cooperation Administrations (ICA).
1959 – Congress
enacts RA 2612 authorizing the government to negotiate loans for financing a nationwide telecommunications expansion and improvement
The Philippines wins a seat in the Administrative Council of the ITU during the Union’s Plenipotentiary Conference in
Geneva. During the same conference the Philippines submitted a proposal for new methods of generating call signs for use by
radio stations of all ITU member-countries.
Director of Telecommunications, Jose S. Alfonso suggests seeking the assistance of the ITU technical branch in the implementation
of a telecommunications-training program in the Philippines.
During the year, the Bureau of Telecommunications implements its regionalization plan subdividing the country into eight regional
telecommunication regions; inaugurates its inter-provincial telephone service to Vigan (Ilocos Sur), Laoag (Ilocos Norte),
Bagued (Abra), and San Fernando (La Union) extending for the first time to these Northern Luzon provincial capitals the benefits
of inter-provincial telephone service, initiates a series of talks on the possibility of integrating all communications networks
of various government agencies, and reduces the rates of its press telegrams from three centavos to two centavos per word.
1960 – The
Government Telephone System switches to automatic operation. However, plans to introduce a metered rate system are deferred
due to technical defects in the system’s French-made equipment.
The Republic Act 2963 grants to the Radio Communications of the Philippines Incorporated (RCPI) a franchise to operate commercial
radiotelephony, radiotelegraphy, television, coastal and marine communications for international operation.
RA 3006 grants a franchise to Philippine Wireless, Inc., to operate commercial telecommunications services within and outside
Inter Island Broadcasting Corporation (IBC) puts up channel 13.
1961 – Contract
within the Nippon Electric Company (NEC) for the procurement of capital goods and technical services needed in the first year
requirements of the government telecommunications expansion and improvement projects is finalized.
ITU act on the Philippines’ proposal to put up a national telecommunications- training center in Manila.
Republic Broadcasting System (RBS) put up channel 7.
1962 – Malacaņang
suspends the implementation of several national projects charged against reparations including the contract of the Bureau
of Telecommunications with NEC.
The plan of operation of the telecommunications Training Institute is signed in Manila (June 5) by Secretary of Public Works
and Communications Brigido M. Valencia for the Philippines, and Alfredo McKinzie, United Nations Development Program (UNDP)
resident representative in the Philippines, for the Untied Nations.
Associated Broadcasting Company puts up channel 5.
Metropolitan Broadcasting Corporation puts up channel 11.
RA 4546 grants the Universal Telecommunications System a franchise to operate commercial telecommunications services in the
The Secretary of Public Works and Communications issues Department Order 41 renaming the Radio Control Division the Radio
Control Office (RCO).
Director Jose S. Alfonso puts up the Philippine Telegraph and Telephone Corporation (PT&T). (Congressional franchise is
given to the firm two years later).
1963 – Malacaņang
lifts the suspension imposed on the BUTEL thus enabling the bureau to start work on its nationwide telecommunications expansion
and improvement project.
The Telecommunications Training Institute starts operation in Valenzuela, Bulacan.
A survey of the Philippine Telecommunications service is undertaken by the International Telecommunications Union through
1964 – Senate Bill 644 creating a National Telecommunications Commission
and passed by the Fifth Congress is vetoed by President Diosdado Macapagal.
Construction of the $150-million trans-Pacific submarine cable is completed. The project is a cooperative effort of KDD of
Japan, American Telephone and Telegraph Company, Hawaiian Telephone Company, Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company and
RCA Communications of the Philippines.
1965 – President
Diosdado Macapagal signs Republic Act 4200 (Anti0Telephone Wire Tapping Law) which prohibits and penalizes wire tapping with
a penalty of imprisonment from six months to six years.
RA 4491 authorizes the merger of Globe Wireless and Mackay Radio (June 19) as RA 4630 authorizes the change of name of Globe
Wireless, Ltd., to Globe Mackay Cable and Radio Corporation (June 19).
1966 – Director
Antonio C. Gamboa Jr., of the Bureau of Telecommunications urges the government to initiate the establishment of a factory
to manufacture telecommunications equipment spare parts with $1-million as capital base.
GTS Inter-provincial telephone service between Manila and Aparri, Cagayan is opened to public service.
Another bill proposing the creation of a National Telecommunication Commission is filed in Congress by Rep. Jose C. Aquino
of Agusan. The proposed Commission will have jurisdiction over wire and wireless telecommunications public and private.
The coaxial cable system between Manila and Hongkong via Guam is opened to public service.
The Philippines joins the International Telecommunication Satellite Consortium (INTELSAT).
The Philippine Communications Satellite Corporation (PHILCOMSAT) is incorporated (December).
The Manila-Baguio City microwave link of the Bureau of Telecommunication is established.
1967 – An interim
communications satellite earth station of PHILCOMSAT a government corporation, and operated by the Philippine Overseas Telecommunication
Corporation (POTC), a private entity, is inaugurated in Barrio Pinugay, Tanay Rizal, making Philippines the first Southeast
Asian Country to operate such a station (April).
Final stage of the Southeast Asia Commonwealth Cable (SEACOM) interconnecting Guam and Hogkong is completed. The cable
interconnects with the trans-Pacific cable at Guam thus facilitating the country is linked with Guam via the Trans-Pacific
A survey of the country’s telecommunications services, both government and private, is undertaken jointly by the Bureau
of Telecommunications and the US Agency for International Development (USAID).
Another survey of the local telecommunications industry is undertaken by the International Telecommunications Union through
The 27th meeting of the Interim Committee Satellite Communication Consortium (INTELSAT), held in Washington D.C.,
USA approves the Philippine application to operate a permanent earth station.
ITT-Globe Mackay Cable and Radio Corporation inaugurate its $3.5 million Pentacota automatic telex-switching center in Manila.
Color television is introduced into the country.
Control of PLDT passes into Filipino hands when General Telephone and Electric Corporation of New York, which previously held
the controlling stocks of the company, relinquished control in favor of a Filipino group headed by Ramon Cojuangco.
1968 – The
country’s permanent earth station is inaugurated in Pinugay, Tanay Rizal (May 2).
The Telecommunications development Board is created in accordance with Presidential Administrative Order No. 130 (June 18).
The country observes the first National
Electronics and Telecommunications Week (July 22-28) in accordance with Proclamation No. 382 dated April 15, 1968.
The Bureau of Telecommunications inaugurates its Manila-Baguio Telex circuit, the first domestic telex system to be in commercial
operation in the country (August 8).
The Ilocos Sur automatic telephone system, part of the nationwide telecommunications expansion and improvement project of
the Bureau of Telecommunications is inaugurated in Vigan.
1969 – The Philippine Electronics And Telecommunications
Federation (PETEF), an organization of electronics and telecommunications organizations, agencies and companies, both government
and private, is organized (March 14). Elected first president is Dr. Wigberto P. Clavecilla.
The Philippine joins the rest of the world in the observance of the first World Telecommunication Day (May 17).
The first domestic trophosperic scatter system to be commercially operated is inaugurated between Manila and Cebu by the Bureau
of Telecommunications (May 30).
The Philippine-Taiwan tropospheric scatter link is inaugurated (July 21).
Nine automatic telephone exchanges of the Bureau of Telecommunications Government Telephone System, financed through Japanese,
reparations, are inaugurated (October 24).
Philippines-Japan television link inaugurated.
Dr. Wigberto P. Clavecilla, PETEF President, is elected one of the vice-presidents of the Asia Electronics Union (AEU), Asia’s
highest electronics body, during the Union’s first general assembly held in Taipei, Taiwan. During the Conference
it was announced that the next Asia Electronics Conference and General Assembly of the AEU will be held in Manila.
In accordance with President Proclamation No. 615 dated September 25, 1969, observance of the annual National Electronics
and Telecommunications Week is transferred from July 22-28 to the first week of December of every year.
Kanlaon Broadcasting System (KBS) buys the facilities of Channel 9 from ABS-CBN.
1970 – Newly
installed telex facilities of the Bureau of Telecommunications at the Post Office Building in Manila are destroyed by fire
Cabanatuan City telephone exchange (part of the BUTEL nationwide expansion and improvement project) is inaugurated (January
The Bureau of Telecommunications transfers its administrative offices to its own building in Quezon City. Only the Central
Telegraph Exchange remains at the fourth floor of the Post Office Building in Manila.
1971 – PLDT
announces the inauguration of direct telephone service between the Philippines, Spain, Italy and Germany via communications
satellite. In the past, the country’s telephone links with these places were routed via the United States.
PHILCOMSAT inaugurates its second antenna facing the Indian Ocean communications satellite (INTELSAT IV). (December 1).
The 6th Asia Electronics Conference and 2nd General Assembly of the Asia Electronics Union are held
in Manila (December 1-7), with Dr. Clavecilla, PETEF President and AEU president-elect as conference chairman. The conference
is hosted by PETEF with financial support from the government (Bureau of Telecommunications).
1972 – Direct
telephone service via satellite are established with the United Kingdom (February 8), France (March 15), and Singapore.
President Ferdinand Marcos issues Presidential Proclamation No. 1081 proclaiming Martial Law throughout the country (September
As provided under Presidential Decree No. 1 issued by the Martial Law regime providing for the implementation of an Integrated
Reorganization Plan of the Government, the Radio Control Office is placed under the new Department of Public Works Transportation
and Communications. A Board of Communications is also created as one of the specialized regulatory boards under the new department.
1973 – Studies
are conducted regarding a proposal to integrate the communications and the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
A three-man committee composed of Defense Secretary Juan Ponce-Enrile, DPWTC Secretary David M. Consunji and Dr. Wigberto
P. Clavecilla, President Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, is created to undertake studies on the integration of all
telecommunications systems in the country, both public and private ((February 13).
President Marcos issues Presidential Decree No. 217 authorizing public participation in telephone utility ownership through
a Subscriber Investment Plan (SIP). Under the SIP a subscriber becomes a assured of dividends of 10% of his investment per
1974 – Direct
Manila-Madrid satellite communication link is inaugurated.
Direct Manila-Paris communication link is inaugurated.
Memorandum of agreement for feasibility study project for the eventual establishment and continued operation of a Philippine
Electronics and Telecommunications Research Center is signed at the Elks Club in Makati by Gen Florencio Medina (ret.), chairman,
National Science Development Board; and Rosauro Calupitan, president, Philippine Electronics and Telecommunications Federation
The Radio Control Office is expanded and
renamed Telecommunications Control Bureau of Posts. (October).
Globe Mackay Cable and Radio makes its
employees part-owner of the company and transfers 60% of its stocks to Filipino investors. The company is the first international
record carrier to have its shares listed in the major Philippines stock exchange.
1975 – Broadcast Media Council is created.
International telecommunications companies
operating in the country are “Filipinized” on the 60-40 ratio.
1976 – In accordance with the government policy on telecommunications, BUTEL
starts the relocation of its GTS exchange from areas already served by the private sector to other places without such service.
A memorandum of Agreement is signed on December 17 between Eastern Telecommunications Philippines, Inc., and the Telecommunications
Authority of Singapore for the establishment of a submarine cable system linking the Philippines and Singapore.
The OLUHO (Okinawa-Luzon-Hongkong) cable systems, reportedly the longest submarine cable system in Southeast Asia and Eastern
Pacific is jointly by Eastern Telecommunications Philippines, Inc., Cable and Wireless of London, and KDP of Japan.
1978 – The
domestic satellite communications system of the Domestic Satellite Philippines, Inc., (DOMSATPHIL) becomes operational. The
system leases a transponder from Indonesia’s PALAPA communication satellite.
The Philippines-Singapore submarine cable systems were inaugurated (October 3).
Globe Mackay Cable and Radio introduces international data transfer service to members of the print and broadcast media.
1979 – The
President issues Executive Order No. 546 creating a Ministry of Public Works and a Ministry of Transportation and Communications.
The Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) shall have under it the Bureau of Land Transportation (BLT), Bureau
of Air Transportation (BAT), Bureau of Telecommunications (BUTEL), Bureau of Posts (BOP), and the National Telecommunications
Commission (a merger of the Communications). Also attached to the MOTC are the Philippines National Railways (PNR), Maritime
Industry Authority (MARINA), Philippines Aerospace Development Corporation (PADC) and the Metro Manila Transit Corporation
1980 – PLDT
acquires the Republic Telephone Company (RETELCO).
NTC promulgates the guidelines on PBX interconnections.
The Taiwan-Luzon (TAILU) cable system is inaugurated (March). The system replaces
the tropospheric scatter system (inaugurated in 1969) linking two places. The cable system provides 480 telephone circuits
and covers a distance of 550 nautical miles from the cable head at Currimao in Ilocos Norte province in Luzon to Toucheng,
1981 – Gen. Ceferino S. Carreon director of the Bureau
of Telecommunications, and Junichi Ikejima, head of the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA),
sign the record of discussions for the expansion of the Telecommunications Training Institute of
the Bureau of Telecommunications (April 2).
Gen. Ceferino S. Carreon, Commissioner, National Telecommunications
Commission and concurrently president of the Asia Pacific Telecommunity (APT) during that organizations
management committee meeting held in Bangkok for a three-year term.
1982 – The Philippines wins a seat in the Administrative
Council of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) during the Union’s plenipotentiary
conference in Nairobi, Kenya. The Administrative Council is considered the most important
ITU body whose main functions are to administer the affairs of the Union
between plenipotentiary conferences and the preparation of the budget of that specialized agency of the
The Ministry of Transportation and Communications issues Ministry Circular No. 82-146 which promulgates the ministry policy
on telecommunications technology applications (March).
1983 – The
expanded Telecommunications Training Institute project, a cooperative project of the governments of the Philippines and Japan,
starts operation in Valenzuela, Metro Manila (February 22).
Pres. Marcos approves the transfer of the observance of National electronics and Telecommunications Week from the first week
of December of each year to May 11-17 to coincide with annual celebration of World Telecommunications Day (May 17) declared
by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).
1984 – Gen.
Carreon is elected vice president of the Administrative Council of the ITU during the 9th meeting of that council,
held in Geneva in April, the first Filipino to be elected to that world organization.
He is also elected vice chairman of the World Plan Committee of the International Consultative Committee of Telegraph and
Telephone (CCITT) of the ITU (Washington DC; October); and re-elected president of the Asia Pacific Telecommunity (for another
three years) during the APT meeting in Seoul, Korea (November).
1985 – Phase
“A” of the Regional (Rural) Telecommunications Development Project of the Bureau of Telecommunications for Regions
1 and 2 is inaugurated (September).
Gen. Carreon assumes the presidency (for a term of one year) of the Administrative Council of the ITU (July).
1986 – A peaceful
“People’s Revolution” forces former President Marcos and his family together with his former AFP chief of
Staff and several close associates to flee the country bringing along with them enspecified amounts in cash and jewelry
and many valuable documents.
President Corazon Cojuangco Aquino, widow of former Senator Benigno S. Aquino who was murdered at the tarmac of the Manila
International Airport in August 1983 upon his return from a three-year self-exile abroad, is installed as the new President
of the Philippines.
1987 – President
Aquino issues Executive Order No. 125 (January 30) reorganizing the Ministry of Transportation and Communications changing
its name to Department of Transportation and Communications. The National telecommunications Commission is designated an attached
agency to the department while the BUTEL is designated a staff bureau and renamed Telecommunications Office (TELOF), its director
designated assistant secretary for telecommunications.
1988 – Globe
Mackay Cable and Radio Corporation (GMCR) and two retirement funds (BPI Retirement Fund and Ayala Employees Welfare Retirement
Fund) acquire the Clavecilla Radio System. GMCR acquired 38% of Clavecilla’s outstanding shares while the two retirement
funds acquired 31% each.
PLDT inaugurates its cellular mobile telephone network, the country’s first.
1990 – The
Guam-Philippines-Taiwan (GPT) fiber optic cable, part of the new Trans-Pacific Submarine cable system, is inaugurated (February