The CAMTECO network started operation during the inauguration on February 12, 1994. The ceremony was held at the Provincial Plaza, infront of the Mambajao Municipal Hall. It was a fine sunny morning when it started minutes after the arrival of Usec. Josefina Lichauco of the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC), as the guest of honor, and the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT) executives who flew in directly from Manila.
The highlights of the event were:
Signing of the Interconnection Agreement between PLDT, represented by Ping de Jesus (PLDT-VP and former DPWH Secretary) and CAMTECO Chairman of the Board Ceferino “Bagets” Chan Sr.
Messages of Usec. Lichauco, Mr. Christian Germann (Charge d’ Affairs of the German Embassy), Gov. Antonio Gallardo and Chairman Ceferino “Bagets” Chan
Inugural call between Usec. Lichauco and President Fidel V. Ramos
Distinguished guests present include: NAPOCOR President Ernesto Aboitiz, Jurgen Marx (GTZ), Heinz Pomplun (GTZ), Hans-Peter Paulenz (GTZ-Philipines Manager), top executives of Alcatel-SEL Germany and Alcatel Philippines, Camiguin Provincial Officials, Capt. Wesley Mills and some governors of Mindanao like then Gov. Dongcoy Emano of Misamis Oriental.
The Master of Ceremonies was Catalino E. Chan III, then Provincial Tourism Officer now Regional Director of Dept. of Tourism Region X.
On February 11, 1994, the inauguration activities started with a dinner at the Lab-as 2 Restaurant at the Benoni Lagoon, Mahinog. The same guests at the ceremony where present except Usec. Lichauco and the PLDT executives.
Back at the exchange … a big problem!
While the guests were dining at Lab-as, there’s a major problem … still no incoming call from PLDT to CAMTECO! The switching engineers Karlsten Franz, Jojo Joson, Frank Robe and the PLDT engineers in Cagayan Toll Exchange were sweating it out. The big bosses are around. Sleeping is not an option!
Morning came. The inauguration. Everything was working fine. Pres Fidel Ramos was able to talk with Usec Lichauco. People are calling like crazy – by looking at the red indicator lights of the equipments.
What time was it fixed? Just right before midnight! What follows next? Sleep for the big event? NO … “Prost!” as our German friends cheer for every round of beer until 2 a.m. It was one of the memorable behind the scenes of the project.