After the Storm, “Bangon Pinoy”

“Wait a minute! Isn’t ‘Bangon Pilipinas’ Eddie Villanueva’s political party? Ay, yung sa Globe, ‘Bangon Pinoy’ pala.”

That was the first question in my head when I was invited to the media launch for Bangon Pinoy, Globe Telecom’s program to rebuild communities affected by typhoons Ondoy (Ketsana) and Pepeng (Parma). Its main beneficiaries are Globe subscribers and business partners from those communities. Globe also aims to restore, upgrade, and/or relocate their equipment and installations damaged by flooding.

Globe pegs their affected cellular subscribers at 1.6 million total (prepaid and postpaid), and broadband subscribers at 14,000. That’s a lot of people, and Globe is about to spend approximately 150 million pesos on consumer offers for them. Broadband subscribers are set to get rebates on their service from September 26 until the date service is restored, or they can be migrated to Globe’s WiMax service (wireless broadband) with a 50% discount on their first month. Globe also offers free replacement for damaged modems.

While postpaid cell subscribers get one month free, prepaid cell subscribers will automatically receive one week’s worth of load (amount dependent on how much they usually purchase in a week). I’m not sure exactly how Globe can track all the affected prepaid subscribers. Globe doesn’t have their place of residence on record, so they are doing this with a computer algorithm that determines the last few times where the SIM was last loaded and where the SIM usually is active. But what if you work and shop in Quezon City but go home to Marikina? Hopefully Globe can also address situations like that.

I wasn’t directly affected by the typhoons, but I and many friends in Metro Manila experienced deterioration in Globe cell signal in the days after Ondoy. During the Q&A; portion, I asked why Globe lost service, but other cell providers didn’t. CEO Ernest L. Cu answered my question and said one of their elements was in an area that flooded, which took down 150 cell sites in the Pasig and Cainta area (nationwide, Globe has 6,000 cell sites). According to the chief technical officer, wireless networks are now at 99%, while 92% of wireline facilities (broadband and landline) have been restored.

I may not feel the benefit of any of these programs Globe has unleashed on a select subscriber base, but I am sure that subscriber base will appreciate all the help they get. There are also lots of community building efforts in Metro Manila and Northern Luzon Globe is sticking its pie thumb into, so kudos to them.

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