A few days after electricity was restored in Calatagan proper, this writer contacted someone who had installed Cignal satellite TV receivers in relatives’ homes.
Just like cable TV subscribers who missed news and entertainment after the typhoon felled or cut to ribbons the wires of Tri-Ex Cable TV, majority of the new satellite TV subscribers fell for the promo offered by the local suppliers: free load for two months at P500 per month.
We paid a total of P3,700 for the installation, including the two-month load of P1,000.
So it came as a disappointing surprise that the TV shows on Cignal went dark before the New Year, replaced by this message: “CE-4: No access. Please upgrade your plan or top up to view the channel.”
In short, the supposed two-month free load was a myth.
A complaint with the supplier did nothing to restore the channels, except for a few who had political clout. Two personnel sent to our house looked at the box, where they saw only the access code and no indication as to the free load expiration.
By nighttime, a few channels were back but only the local ones, meaning the supplier loaded only P200 worth, not the P500 we deserved.
It is surmised that many people were duped by the non-existent promo.
Concerned government agencies like the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) should launch a probe into this practice by local satellite TV distributors, who certainly violated existing laws, rules and regulations against misleading and false advertising.
Another essential utility that needs to be restored ASAP is PLDT’s broadband internet, which was also badly damaged by the super typhoon.
To its credit, the management sent over several crews to install new wires and another set of personnel to reconnect its subscribers.
The problem is that while the installation of the wires has now reached areas near the Catanduanes State University, the reconnection of subscribers’ lines is at snail’s pace.
Several subscribers claim that for one to be reconnected to the service, a “service fee” of P1,500 has to be paid to a certain PLDT personnel.
Whether this allegation is true or not, it should spur the local PLDT office to counter the rumor by directing its contractors to hasten restoration work.
Right now, CatSU students, who have been ordered to attend online classes from Monday to Sunday, without a break, are finding it hard to comply in the absence of internet service in their homes.
University officials should have considered this in deciding to compress the second semester. Even before the successive typhoons passed by last year, it was already evident that online and modular learning would not be half as effective as face-to-face learning.
All this trouble with satellite TV makes cable TV subscribers pine for the return of the wired entertainment network.
Contrary to rumors that a Legazpi City businessman is taking over the company, Tri-Ex Cable TV will be back soon.
Its founder, Bagamanoc Mayor Romy Villaluna, told this writer last Monday, Jan. 4, 2021, that maintenance crews have started restoring the cables in Virac poblacion.
This decision to restart from scratch is commendable, as Tri-Ex management has yet to recover the half a million pesos it borrowed to finance the repair of its network after typhoon Nina struck Virac in 2016.
PRE-NATAL CLASS. A couple were at their first pre-natal class. So that the husband could get an idea of what it felt like to be pregnant, the instructor strapped a bag of sand to his stomach.
As he walked around with his new bulge, the husband said: “This doesn’t feel so bad.”
Then the instructor deliberately dropped a pen and said to the husband: “Now I want you to pick up that pen as if you were pregnant.”
“You want me to do it the way my wife would?” confirmed the husband.
“Exactly the same,” said the instructor.
The husband turned to his wife and said: “Honey, pick up that pen for me.”