When PLDT was incorporated and given the franchise to establish and operate telephone services in the country on November 28, 1928, a typhoon had just ravaged Eastern Visayas, Bicol Peninsula, and Samar. The ability to communicate amongst loved ones and across the country became crucial. Sadly, phone networks then were like disconnected intercom systems and you could only call people within your own small city. Filipinos were disconnected from neighboring towns, disconnected from friends in the other island and, needless to say, disconnected from the rest of the world. It was under this scenario that the law was signed giving birth to PLDT.
What the new law hoped to achieve was to interconnect these "intercom" systems into a seamless nationwide network that would facilitate communication and delivery of services to the people, as well as spur economic development in the countryside.
The first president of PLDT was Theodore Vail Halsey while Major J.E. Hamilton Stevenot, who represented the American firm General Telephone and Electronics Corp. (GTE), was elected executive vice president and general manager.
Under the American owners of PLDT, many small phone companies in the provinces were acquired by the Company to help speed up the rollout and connection of these different phone systems all over the country. The management of PLDT was then set to lay the groundwork towards linking Filipinos to each other and, more importantly, to the world.
Just a year after PLDT was given its nationwide franchise, the link between Manila and Baguio was established, making the first national long distance calls possible. Overseas radio-telephone service was also established between the Philippines and the US and other parts of the world in 1933.
The first network of PLDT employed the open-wire system that was difficult to maintain and vulnerable to rain, winds, dirt, and tampering. Horse-drawn service vehicles... [continues]
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