Telecom technicians keep households connected amidst COVID-19 threat

BUSINESS
April 20, 2020

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Despite mounting fears over the continuous spread of COVID-19 in the country, hardworking telecom technicians bravely go to the field day in and day out, leaving the safety of their homes just to ensure that customers are connected even while under enhanced community quarantine.

Installers, repairmen, and other technicians working for Globe Telecom’s various contractors all over the country, for instance, visit as many as 10 homes a day but their challenges start before they reach the residence of the customers.  Many barangays refused to grant them entry even with government orders exempting telecom services from ECQ.

“Mahirap po pakiusapan ibang barangay na papasukin mga technicians natin, kung minsan kami naharap at pinapakita namin yung ID na issued ng Globe pero ayaw pa din (We’re having difficulties requesting some barangays to allow our technicians to enter their areas.  Sometimes, we even have to face them and show the IDs issued by Globe but they still refuse), said Nerissa Gama, EdgeComm Field Supervisor.

They also have to face apprehensive customers who are now wary of allowing strangers into their homes due to the virus threat.

“May subs po na ang trato samin parang may COVID na din kami. Hindi po kami pinapapasok sa loob na ng bahay.  Ung iba po halos paliguan kami ng alcohol bago kami papasukin sa bahay nila. (There are subscribers who treat us like we are COVID patients.  They don’t allow us to enter their houses.  Others would almost bathe us in alcohol before they allow us to go inside their house),” said Christian Almonte, a repair technician of EdgeComm in Metro Manila.

Aside from the challenges at work, the frontliners also have to bear the burden of being away from their loved ones at this time when most families stay at home.

Jedlian technician in Tarlac, Alvin Fronda, whose wife and three kids reside in Nueva Ecija, said:  “Ngayon po mahirap po kasi malayo sa pamilya  pero pinipilit ko pong kayanin  dahil sa trabaho po na to para po sa pamilya ko at sa company po ng Jedlian and Globe  para sa serbisyo po. (Right now, it’s hard because I am far from my family but I’m trying my best to carry on because this work is for my family, for Jedlian and Globe, and for service).”

But despite the hardships,  each of them only has one goal in mind -  to keep customers connected especially in this time of need.  

“Unang inisip namin frontliners kami dahil contractor kami ni Globe. Ang kailangan ng tao lalo ngayon naka lockdown at nasa bahay lang sila para makabalita sa mga kamaganak nila ay internet at telepono para may komunikasyon (The first thing that we think of is that we are frontliners because we are Globe contractors.  With the lockdown where people are at home, they need the internet and phone to communicate with their relatives),” said Michael Ariza, technician of Visatech in Manila.

Michael’s words were echoed by Larry Antenor, Technician of JBD in South Luzon province who proudly said: “Dahil po frontliners tayo. Basta may problema ang internet ng subs kailangang ipagpatuloy natin ang serbisyo at responsibilidad natin sa subs (We are frontliners.  If the customers have a problem with their internet, it is our responsibility to continue providing services to them).”

Globe, for its part, expressed gratitude and extended full support to the frontliners who make sure that telecom services are always available to the country and its citizens.

"Our critical skeletal team of technicians are hard at work to provide support for Globe At Home broadband lines so that our customers remain productive, connected and informed.  In line with this, we continue to implement stringent health check protocols to ensure the overall safety and well-being of our customers, our installers and repairmen,” said Martha Sazon, Globe SVP and Head of Broadband Business.

Health and safety measures undertaken by all Globe at Home installers and repairmen begin before deployment, consisting of the following:

▪ They must pass a series of health checks such as a body temperature of less than 37.8°C, no signs of cough or cold, and no difficulty in breathing or pain in the throat and chest area.
▪ Installers must also disclose if they have gotten in touch with anyone who has displayed any of the aforementioned symptoms, or has come from a country affected with COVID-19.
▪ Before leaving for deployment, installers must also pass hand wash, alcohol and water stations to stay clean and hydrated

At the same time, technicians are required to ask homeowners three mandatory COVID screening questions to protect themselves.  The questions are:  1)  Is there any household member considered as a person under investigation or monitoring or has fever, cough or breathing difficulties? 2) Has anyone undergone COVID testing and has either tested positive or is still waiting for results? And 3) Has anyone arrived from abroad in the last 14 days?  If the answer is Yes to one or more questions, the technicians are advised not to proceed but instead return after 14 days.

Ensuring the safety of its frontliners and customers is part of the ongoing efforts of Globe in making everyone connected, informed and #SafeAtHome amid the extended ECQ in Luzon. Learn more via 
https://www.globe.com.ph/stay-safe-at-home.html.


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