PLDT (Philippine Long Distance Telecommuncations) used to be the phone monopoly. In the Ramos years it was given some competition in the form of Islacom. In 2002 Islacom was taken over by cellular communications provider Innove aka Globe, and the name changed to Globelines. Globelines numbers in Cebu can be identified by the fact that they start with the numeral 4.

As you would expect, the monthly bill for a non-commercial PLDT line, at around 800 pesos, is slightly higher than the bill for a Globeline. That puts the Philippines behind Japan as the second-most expensive country in East Asia to pick up the phone, so rates will probably continue to drop. As is the case in the US, local calls are free.

However, contrary to what one might expect, PLDT does not provide inferior service compared to Globelines, and they've managed to stay in the game. PLDT was even voted the best-managed company in the Philippines in 2003.

It must be said, though, that Globelines are far better at marketing. In fact, Globelines unleashed a major weapon which might end burying PLDT: flat rates within the same area code. I hear that this concept will even be expanded to flat rates within the country, though I'll believe that only when it happens.

In any case, free calls within the same area code is a fairly important concept in Cebu. Believe it or not, PLDT consider calls from Cebu City to Toledo City long-distance, even though they are both within the 032 area code (which covers all of Cebu province). In the case of PLDT, you will need NDD (National Direct Dialling) for long distance calls within the country (including to Toledo City) and IDD (International Direct Dialling) for calls to other countries. It will be interesting to see how PLDT will counter the attack from Globelines. Watch this space.

Like any modern phone company, PLDT and Globe offer various services such as call forwarding, etc. PLDT will also let you get a vanity number for 5000 pesos or more, but approval for your number must come from Manila and this usually takes a few weeks (unless you know someone or, shall we say, become friends with someone really fast).

Globelines has several service centers across the city, including Ayala and SM, the two big malls. PLDT has one in Mandaue, on A S Fortuna, and on Osmena Blvd, commonly known as the Jones branch. Bills can be paid at the branches using cash or check, or at just about any bank.


There are none. A few payphones are available at gas stations and major shopping centers. Both SMART and Globe operate their own payphones which use cards with embedded microchips; these can be bought for denominations starting at 100 pesos. The payphones are designed for calling other provinces, rather than local calls. But that's irrelevant, because almost all of these are out of order.

No need to fear, however. At least as far as local calls are concerned, private entrepreneurship has taken over where the phone companies have failed. Countless stores - neighborhood groceries, photocopy shops, laundries, restaurants, and so on - will let you make a call on their landline for 5 pesos. You are supposed to limit your call to 3 minutes but how this is timed, I have no idea, since the phones used are the common household phones supplied by the phone company for residential use.

pay phone in Cebu

Site Copyright - 2004-2011