MANILA - The country's top 2 telecommunications firms will reduce rates rates for domestic mobile voice calls in preparation for the onslaught of typhoon "Pepeng" (international code name Parma).
In separate statements, Smart Communications Inc. and Globe Telecom Inc. said they will lower per-minute voice call charges to P3 on Saturday, October 3.
Standard voice calls are usually priced at P6 per minute.
Smart's rate cut will start at 2 a.m. on Saturday, and will end at around the same time on Monday, October 5.
On the other hand, Globe subscribers can avail of the P3 per-minute call rate from 12:01 a.m. on Saturday until 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, October 4.
The price adjustment will cover subscribers of Smart's and Globe's mass-market brands, which are Talk 'N Text and Touch Mobile, respectively.
However, the lower rate will only be applicable to users belonging to the same network (Smart to Smart, Smart to Talk 'N Text, Globe to Globe, and Globe to Touch Mobile).
Smart added that the temporary voice call rates are effective for both pre-paid and post paid subscribers.
"No special dialling procedure will be required to avail of the P3 per minute rate. Just dial directly as you would when making a regular voice call," Globe said. Subscribers of the Ayala-led phone firm typically have to add prefix numbers to avail of lower call rates.
As of 3 p.m., Globe said 99% of its affected facilities are already back online. The company said it is expecting a full restoration of its cellular sites "very soon."
For its part, Smart ensured its subscribers that its network "will continue operating and provide vital communication services to the public and to emergency authorities."
The government has already placed the entire Philippines under a state of calamity as "Pepeng" is expected to make landfall on Saturday.
Just last week, tropical storm "Ondoy" dumped the heaviest rains in more than 40 years in Metro Manila and its neighboring provinces, leaving 293 people dead and 42 people missing.
Phone companies have business continuity and preparedness plans to allow them to bring back operations to normal after typhoons the soonest possible time.