The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), in partnership with the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) and Globe Telecom, is opening the Globe network to provide 15 days of free text to all networks and calls to Globe and TM to its customers in Marawi City. This starts today to help reconnect residents and soldiers with their families.
At present, 300-500 Marawi residents are still trapped in the battle zone without any contact with the outside world, while government troops continue to risk their lives in the month-long fight against the Maute terrorist group. Through the free service for Globe and TM prepaid customers, residents and soldiers will be able to keep in touch with their friends and loved ones even if they do not have any means of buying prepaid load.
“We would like to thank the DICT led by Secretary Salalima and Globe Telecom for affording us this avenue for our embattled soldiers in Marawi to maintain communication lines with their families and loved ones during this critical time as they defend the republic against lawless elements,” said Maj. Gen. Jose Tanjuan Jr., J6, AFP Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications, Electronics and Information Systems.
DICT Secretary Rodolfo A. Salalima said: “Information and communication are critical in times of crisis and must be available to the public by all means. We are glad to be in the position to bring together Globe and the AFP to make this endeavor possible which we hope would help address the communication requirements of residents and personnel assigned in Marawi as they work on the resolution of the crisis in the area.”
All Globe and TM prepaid customers in Marawi City will receive a text message from Globe and TM within the next few days to inform them about the free promo, Globe President & CEO Ernest Cu said. He clarified that the free call and text service will be available to prepaid customers and that the service does not include mobile data. Extension of the free call and text service will be re-evaluated depending on the current situation.
“Communication is of extreme importance in any instance of disaster, may it be natural or manmade. As a telecommunications company with a purpose of treating people right, Globe fully supports the AFP and DICT in extending assistance to our fellow Filipinos who are experiencing these challenges by reconnecting them with their families and helping make the situation a little easier to bear,” said Cu.
Meanwhile, Globe, together with former assemblywoman Samira Gutoc-Tomawis, allocated prepaid load and mobile WiFi devices which can be used by volunteers who are helping Marawi evacuees staying in Iligan City. Aside from load, Globe has also put up various Libreng Tawag and Charging Stations across Iligan province.
Earlier, the Globe Store in Iligan City spearheaded the distribution of goods to the College of Arts and Social Sciences (CASS) in Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology (MSU-IIT) which currently houses more than 300 evacuees.
Evacuation kits and relief goods were also sent over to Asst. Dean Sittie Pasandalan to support relief efforts. In addition, food packs and sleeping items were allocated to the Brgy. Tibanga Evacuation Center and Brgy. Balo-i Evacuation Center where Libreng Tawag and Libreng Charging Stations as well as free WiFi connections were set up.