Medical and security personnel who are on duty amid the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) crisis can stay connected through various communications support from digital services provider PLDT, Inc. (PLDT) and its wireless subsidiary Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart).
Health and security frontliners are among the most vulnerable during the ongoing Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine, aimed at containing the spread of COVID-19.
Free e-load, smartphones, and emergency hotlines for DOH
Smart donated electronic load to the Department of Health (DOH) for personnel to make calls, send texts, and use data without worries.
To help the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) in establishing its emergency communication hub, Smart also turned over ten smartphones equipped with Smart SIMs with one month free unlimited calls and text plus data allocation to one of the country’s key testing sites for COVID-19.
The phones are seen to aid RITM’s systematic coordination with the DOH’s central and regional offices, surveillance units, and civic organizations, at a time when the RITM is experiencing a huge surge in specimens for COVID-19 testing from all over the country.
Prior to these donations, PLDT, Smart and ePLDT developed the COVID-19 emergency hotlines in partnership with the DOH and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG). Filipinos seeking consultation and forwarding concerns about the disease can contact the 24-help line 02-894-COVID (02-894-26843) and 1555.
The free service is initially exclusive for Smart and PLDT subscribers only, while subs from other networks can access the hotline upon the completion of technical adjustments.
WiFi kits for DOTr and the AFP
PLDT-Smart’s communications support for DOH coincides with its provision of free Wifi for the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
In partnership with PLDT Enterprise, Smart supplied LTE pocket Wifi units for buses deployed by DOTr. The donation will allow medical workers who will be ferried from various NCR hospitals to stay connected via the internet while on board the free rides.
WiFi kits were also supplied to the AFP. The connectivity will be used to augment the unit’s command and control requirements.