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).
Smart donated electronic load to the Department of Health (DOH) for personnel to make calls, send texts, and use data. They also turned over ten smartphones equipped with Smart SIMs with one month free unlimited calls and text plus data allocation to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM). The medical facility will use the phones in its emergency communication hub, an aid to more systematic coordination with the DOH’s central and regional offices, surveillance units, and civic organizations.
PLDT’s mobile network also supplied LTE pocket Wifi units for buses deployed by the transport department, in partnership with their Enterprise unit. These will allow medical workers who will be ferried from various NCR hospitals to stay connected via the internet while on board the free rides.
The MVP-led telco support for DOH coincides with donations of free Wifi for the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). WiFi kits were also supplied to the AFP. The connectivity will be used to augment the unit’s command and control requirements.
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 subscribers from other networks can access the hotline upon the completion of technical adjustments.