Whilst the growing fears over the escalation of Covid-19 cases spreading in the Philippines, telecom technicians still stay on duty to ensure that customers are connected while under the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).
This is such the case for Globe Telecom’s installers, repairmen, and other technicians who are working for its contractors throughout the country, as they visit about 10 homes per day, with hurdles right before they even arrive at the supposed destination. Some barangays rejects technicians the grant of entry even with government orders exempting telecom services during the 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.
What’s more, they face agitated customers who are 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.
Much like frontliners, technicians also have to bear the brunt of being apart from their loves ones and family at this very period when most families stay at home.
Jedlian technician in Tarlac, Alvin Fronda, share such sentiments, as his wife and three kids reside in Nueva Ecija.
“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,” he related,
(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)
However, they are aware they play a major role as technicians in bringing connectivity for everyone imposed to be home-quarantined, and adheres to such critical responsibility despite the apparent risks involved.
“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,” said Michael Ariza, technician of Visatech in Manila.
(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)
“Dahil po frontliners tayo. Basta may problema ang internet ng subs kailangang ipagpatuloy natin ang serbisyo at responsibilidad natin sa subs,” determined of the same by Larry Antenor, Technician of JBD in South Luzon province.
(We are frontliners. If the customers have a problem with their internet, it is our responsibility to continue providing services to them)
Globe Telecom is not without gratitude, as they expressed thanks and full support to the frontliners who ensures good maintenance of its telecom services and made it available to the Philippines. Globe provided safety measures and health checks for their technicians to ensure not only its customers are safe from potential infection but so do their fellow telecom workers.
“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.
Before their deployment, they must undertake health and safety measures by all Globe at Home installers and repairmen, compromising 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 disclose if they have been in contact with anyone who has displayed any of the aforementioned symptoms, or has come from a country affected with Covid-19.
- Installers must do hand wash, alcohol and water stations by the letter in order to stay clean and hydrated before leaving for deployment.
They’re also required to ask homeowners 3 Covid-19 screening questions to protect themselves, which are:
- Is there any household member considered as a person under investigation or monitoring or has fever, cough or breathing difficulties?
- Has anyone undergone covid testing and has either tested positive or is still waiting for results?
- 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 and instead return after 14 days.