In Verde Island amid isolation, pandemic
Globe’s inclusive goal of bringing its services to locations or areas where connectivity is needed most has enabled a community to survive isolation exacerbated by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Globe’s recent network rollouts and site expansion in Batangas have made it possible for residents of Verde Island to make the most of the challenges despite its location and constant fear of the global health crisis literally reaching its shores. Their story is another #KwentoNgTagumpay.
“Most of the time, we take for granted our access to the internet but to some of our kababayans, having a signal is nothing short of a miracle especially if you are on an island where travel is almost non-existent. Opportunities are limited due to health protocols and leaving the island is not always an option. But we can give them something that will level their odds because we care for our customers,” said Joel Agustin, Globe Senior Vice President for Program Delivery, Network Technical Group.
Verde Island is located between the islands of Luzon and Mindoro. It will take at least an hour and a half by boat or 20 minutes by ferry boat to reach the island from Batangas City port. The island has six barangays and is known for its many dive spots for tourists until the pandemic brought a halt to its primary source of income.
Since last year Globe has installed a significant number of new cell towers and has completed several site upgrades in the whole province. These efforts have resulted in improved services even in Verde Island.
Gela Petines, the founder of Reef Picks, says the connectivity brought by Globe made it possible for her kababayans to survive the closure of the island to tourists and scuba divers due to the pandemic.
“Mas humirap ang buhay at naramdaman ko na hindi dapat basta pabayaan na lamang ang mga kabayan ko. Kailangan gumawa ng paraan. Bale kinausap ko sila at kung ano pwede namin gawin. Naisip namin yung paggawa ng tampipi boxes kasi marunong sila na mag-weaving nun,” she recounted.
After coming up with the products, Petines then used the power of the internet to look for potential buyers and partners to promote and support their crafts.
“Kailangan mayroon kaming mga buyer kaya naisip ko pumunta online at ibenta mga produkto nila at siyempre kanila ang kita. Ngayong pandemic maraming taong online. This is a powerful tool to help other people and I think yung nakikita nating pagbangon ng Verde Island is a living testament,” Petines said.
While life in Verde Island remains challenging, Petines believes they have a fighting chance now with technology helping her and her community. “Parating may paraan para matulungan ang sarili, gayundin parating may paraan para makatulong sa iba,” she added.
Globe strongly supports the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) particularly UN SDG No. 9 that highlights the roles of infrastructure and innovation as crucial drivers of economic growth and development.
To know more about Globe, visit www.globe.com.ph.