Globe earmarks P300-M for rebuilding, donations, rebates

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 20 2009 04:01 PM | Updated as of Oct 22 2009 03:45 AM

MANILA - Officials of local telecommunications firm Globe Telecom Inc. shared on Tuesday that the twin typhoons that hit the country recently were costly. Based on the company’s initial reckoning, the tab so far is pegged at P293.6 million.

In a press briefing, Globe president Ernest Cu said that overall cost of typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng (international code name Ketsana and Parma) to the Ayala-led phone company will be finalized when the company closes its financial books in the last quarter of the year.

"Yes, we will be affected but I can't say the extent for now. It will still be determined in the fourth quarter," said Cu.

Of the almost P300 million-worth amount earmarked for the back-to-back typhoons, P148 million will be spent on rebuilding its physical infrastructure and P134.5 million will be spent for subscriber-related efforts, including rebates to customers.

About P9.8 million was also set aside for ongoing programs that aim to build goodwill with communities that host their cellsites, assistance to dealers, and various donations to flood victims.

Customer rebates

About 1.6 million Globe post- and pre-paid mobile and broadband service subscribers affected by 'Ondoy' and 'Pepeng' are entitled to rebate offers.

The phone company, which recorded 25 million pre-paid and post-paid mobile subscribers as of June, is setting aside P103 million for these customer rebates.

For post-paid subscribers, Globe is offering one month free mobile service and one week free load for prepaid subscribers.

The rebate amount will be determined based on the subscribers’ historical reloading patterns.

For affected Globe Broadband subscribers, Globe is offering rebates starting September 26 until service in the area has been restored.

Post-paid broadband subscribers also have the option to suspend their broadband service for a period of one to 3 months to enable them to fix their homes or replace PCs or other equipment.

Subscribers will also have the option to use alternative Globe Broadband services available within their areas, at a special rate of 50% off the normal monthly service fees for the first month of subscription, without fear of any fees for downgrades or pre-termination of their existing service.

Globe said they will waive any credit requirements for the change in plan provided the broadband subscriber has no outstanding balance and his subscription is active.

Rebuilding infrastructure

About 200 of Globe’s cellular sites were affected by the typhoons.

The company's president said Globe will be more prepared next time so as to prevent further damage to its network facilities.

"Restoration expenses will amount to roughly P150 million. We retain a certain potion of our capex (capital expenditure), which is about $450 million (almost P21 billion), to fund the modernization of our equipment," said Cu.

Globe, he said, has learned a lot from the recent calamity brought about by the twin typhoons.

On logistics, Cu said some Globe facilities will now be installed on higher location. The company also promises to minimize the length of time by which it can restore service to affected areas.

Globe has restored 99% of its wireless services and 92% of its broadband services in typhoon affected areas including Antipolo, Pasig, cainta, Tanay and Marikina.

Social responsibility

For Globe sub-dealers and distributors, Globe will spend nearly P 1.3 million to introduce special assistance packages providing free replacement retailer SIMs and handsets, along with new SIM stocks for selling to replace any lost in the floods.

In addition, distributors will get further discounts on their stock orders, a benefit which the distributors can extend down the line to their sub-dealers and retailers within their areas.

Community rebuilding activities will cost an estimated P 4.4 million. The cellular firm has partnered with local government units and church groups in Metro Manila and North Luzon locations, to put up stations offering free calls, free internet and free phone charging services for residents in those areas.

In addition to its community visits, Globe's Bangon Pinoy program will bring technology to bear by enabling web users to reach out in cyberspace.

On one day in October, top bloggers and internet users will rally to make a difference by volunteering in the cleanup and tweeting updates, with Globe donating P 1 per tweet to flood victims.

Bangon Pinoy projects up to P400,000 raised through this effort.

"Bangon Pinoy is our way of rebuilding the country by lending a hand to those who baldy need assistance during these times. The program enjoys the full support and cooperation of the communities, the local government, Globe employee volunteers, and even partner NGOs," Cu said.

The firm also provided relief packages to 17,000 families in Marikina, Rizal, Muntinlupa, Laguna and Pangasinan.

A P5 million donation was also made to various foundations for the flood victims.