Southern Iloilo Telephone Company (SITELCO) is a local telephone company that serves the landline telephone and internet needs of the Municipalities of Miagao, Guimbal, San Joaquin and Igbaras in Southern Iloilo, Philippines. It started as a Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT) Public Call Office in Miagao in 1987. It was registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission as a Corporation in October, 1992.
Its Municipal and Provincial Franchises for 50 years were granted in 1993. On February 28, 1998 the House of Representatives granted it with a Congressional Franchise for twenty five (25) years to cover six (6) Southern towns of Iloilo, including Tigbauan and Tubungan, which to-date remain un-served.
SITELCO is a family corporation owned by the Frantilla family. Rosalinda (vda. de Frantilla) Villavicencio, the mother, is the Board Chairman and President, and her four children compose the Board of Directors. A Technical Consultant, a Managing Consultant and 18 regular employees comprise the working Staff.
Its Main Office is at the family-owned compound at Quezon Street, Miagao, Iloilo. Offices, which house the equipment and function as collection centers are also maintained in each of the served town.
PLDT provides inter-connection with other Public Telecommunication Entities. PLDT also provides International Gateway Facility for international transmission and exchanges. DSL bandwidth for internet is subscribed from both PLDT and Bayan Telecommunications Company. Hi-com Exchange Systems are used with fiber optic cables as backbone and copper cables and wires for distribution.
The four towns currently served have total population of almost 200,000 or more than 37,000 households. SITELCO’s 2,300 existing subscribers represent about 80% of total landline telephone connections in the area served. The rest are accounted for by national carriers PLDT and Globe. The 2,300 subscribers also represent less than 10% of the total household population. These suggest rich potentials for growth and expansion.
Bulk of income is derived from basic telephone and internet monthly fees. Subscribers fall other the following categories: “Residential Base Rate”, “Residential Outside Base Rate”, “Commercial Base Rate” and “Commercial Outside Base Rate”. Each is priced differently. The Company also earns from Outbound and Inbound Long Distance Calls, and to a limited extent, from the sale of supplies like cables, telephone sets and modems that are sold to subscribers.
While the Company is relatively smaller vis-à-vis national carriers like PLDT and Globe, it enjoys good business patronage because of strong competitive advantages which are related to local presence, goodwill, and quicker response to subscriber concerns. These advantages are further strengthened by government protection for small business players that have very significant roles in the development of rural communities. These protections include pricing and subscriber-acquisition guidelines from the National Telecommunications Commission.
Notwithstanding superior facilities, products and services, and aggressive promotion thereof by national telecommunication companies, SITELCO has remained profitable through the years. Number of subscribers has remained at its highest to-date despite the entry of Globe and PLDT in the area, and even with the proliferation of mobile phones and wireless connectivity. While it is true that SMS or texting and internet have reduced income from long distance calls, the still growing popularity of DSL or internet has offered new grounds for business and growth. Sales have been robust at profit margins of 35-40%.
The Company has embraced the Mission to provide excellent communication facilities for connecting people and developing communities. As the Founder, the late Lorenzo Frantilla, Sr. said as he envisioned SITELCO to be during its early stage, “Development for the Community, Development for the Family”, “Communication…. In any Language!”