Where to find electricity and free Internet for work

CEBU, Philippines – While Cebu province recovers from the aftermath of Typhoon Odette, internet and power services remain spotty in several areas.

The Visayan Electric Co. (VECO) on Monday, January 24 said power has returned to 85% or 403,288  of the 474,182 affected customers within its franchise area.

The cities of Cebu, Mandaue, Talisay, and Naga and the towns of San Fernando, Minglanilla, Consolacion, and Liloan have power back, the VECO update said.

PLDT announced on January 20 that it has restored 93% of wireless connections and repaired 82% of lines in the Visayas, with full services back in Antique, Iloilo, Negros Oriental, Northern Samar, Eastern Samar, and Western Samar.

With many barangays still lacking internet and electricity, municipal and city governments have put up “work-from-home” stations for residents. 

Here are places where residents can find internet and electricity for work and study:

Cebu City

Cebu City’s Sangguniang Kabataan Federation (SKF) set up its free work from home (WFH) and study station called Youth Desk on January 15, in partnership with SM Seaside City Cebu and PLDT. 

Only fully vaccinated persons are allowed into the workstation, which is divided into student and worker sections. 

Students get a maximum of 3 hours to use the facility while workers can stay for up to five hours.

The Youth Desk, on the 3rd floor, Cyberzone area of SM Seaside City, is open from 10 am to 9 p.m.

Those who are interested to use the Youth Desk can secure their slots at the workstation by booking here.

Talisay City

Talisay City mayor Samsam Gullas on January 6 made the first move in Metro Cebu to create a WFH station within city hall premises. This move was later adopted by other LGUs.

Since dili pa tanang area sa Talisay ang nasigaan and daghan sad ang nag work from home dinhi sa atong city, we decided to open a place for you in city hall. (Since not all areas in Talisay have been energized and there’s a lot of people who work from home in our city, we decided to open a place for you in city hall),” Gullas said in a Facebook post.

At the Talisay City WFH station, residents get free internet and access to a charging area if they present their company ID and proof of work from home arrangement. 

Due to social distancing protocols, the facility can only accommodate up to 70 individuals at a time. Gullas on January 10 said they would provide additional tents, chairs, and tables to serve more residents.

“We value our workers because they are truly working hard to provide the needs of their families during these difficult times,” he said.

Talisay City has an indoor work station in city hall and a bigger, tent-like space on its grounds. (Mayor Samsam Gullas’ Facebook page)
Mandaue City

Mandaue night-shift workers have the city’s free co-working space, which opened on January 17.

Located inside the Mandaue City College – Annex Building, behind the Mandaue City Sports Complex, the station has multiple charging areas and free internet powered by Globe Telecom.

It is open 24/7 and city even provides free snacks and coffee.

The Mandaue City Public Information Office also reassured users that a city security team monitors the area.

Residents need to present their company ID or certificate of employment, proof of work from home arrangement, proof of residency, and their own mug/tumbler for beverages.

Due to limited capacity, the free co-working space can only accommodate residents on a first-come, first-served basis.

Lapu-Lapu City

Lapu-Lapu City opened two WFH stations at the E-Library on January 14.

One station is in the Hoops Dome in Barangay Gun-ob, the other at the Tourism Office near the city hall.

Lapu-Lapu City mayor Junard “Ahong” Chan initially said the E-Library facility could accommodate 40 individuals 24/7, while the facility at the Tourism Office could host 20 from 8 am to 5 pm. 

On January 15, the city added 25 seats in an alfresco-style space outside the E-Library, opening the area to night shift workers from 6 p.m. to 5 a.m.

“Kusog gayud ang atong internet tungod sa tabang sa PLDT ug SMART kung diin gihatagan gayud kita og fiber nga connection (Our internet connection is strong thanks to the help of PLDT and SMART who gave us fiber connection),” Chan said.

The city is shouting for new locations and a bigger facility that could accommodate 100 individuals. 

Residents who want to use the Tourism office facility can register here. The E-library station accommodates individuals on a first-come, first-served basis.

Liloan

Located in front of the municipal hall, Liloan’s Free Co-Working Space is open for WFH employees from 9 am to 7 pm daily.

“This is a service we are offering for free to help those whose homes have not yet been energized by VECO, and are in need of electricity and internet to be able to work from home,” said Mayor Christina Garcia Frasco in a Facebook post on January 9.

Formally opened on January 12, the facility offers free charging stations, internet and can accommodate 100 individuals at a time (first-come, first-served basis). 

Residents should present their company ID and proof of work from home arrangement. Freelancers are allowed if they are able to show proof of work.

Consolacion

The Consolacion municipal government opened their free co-working space on January 14 at the Vice Mayor’s Conference Hall and ABC Session Hall, on the 3rd Floor of the town’s government center.

Residents have access to the internet and charging areas from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. They must show their proof of residency, company ID, and proof of work from home arrangement.

Currently, the facility can accommodate 30 individuals and reservations are on a first call, first-serve basis. Residents who want to avail of this service can call via (032) 239 2908.

Carcar City

Carcar City’s WFH station, available 24 hours a day for residents, opened on January 14 at the New Carcar City Hall. 

Residents can go to the Mayor’s Office to register and submit proof of work and proof of work from home arrangement. 

Registrants will receive a text confirmation and will be able to use the city’s 1,000mbps internet connection and charging stations. The city encourages registrants to bring their own extension wire for personal use.

Rappler.com

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