How Globe’s Field Personnel Restored Services in Cebu
Braving Odette’s aftermath
Out of the devastation that Typhoon Odette brought to thousands of families across the country in December, a wellspring of stories on courage, resilience and compassion emerged.
Among these are stories of selfless service by Globe’s technicians and field engineers who risked their own safety to restore connectivity in affected areas. Their service proved critical in ensuring prompt response to the disaster and connecting typhoon-hit residents with their loved ones.
Odette toppled 80 cell sites in the Visayas last December, mostly located in Cebu. Over 4,000 wireless and wireline facilities have also been damaged, affecting mobile, broadband, and reloading services.
The typhoon also affected other key utilities like power and transportation, further complicating restoration efforts. While teams continued to work even in the dark, there was a limit to what deployed technicians and field engineers could do within a day without compromising their safety.
For Globe’s technical personnel, it meant responding beyond the call of duty. Mark Dimataga, Richard Aranton and Jaime Fernande Salvador III were among those who did not hesitate to answer this call.
As a resident of severely-hit Cebu City, Mark knows first-hand the effects of Typhoon Odette. His family was not spared from the onslaught. The typhoon had blown off the roof of their house, and he, his wife and their five-year-old child had no choice but to sleep there, exposed to the elements.
“Sobrang grabe ‘yung tama ng Odette dito. ‘Yung inupahan naming bahay malaki pero nagawa pa niyang tanggalin ang bubong. Nag-struggle din kami sa paghanap ng tulugan dahil nasira na halos ang mga establishment dito," he said.
Despite such circumstances, Mark heeded the call of his critical role as Globe repair technician, knowing the importance of telecom services especially in a disaster. He did so even if it meant long hours away from his family who themselves were affected by the typhoon.
“Nakakaintindi naman sila sa tawag ng trabaho,” he said.
Richard, a member of the broadband installation team in Iloilo, meanwhile had to fly to Cebu to help in restoration efforts.
While his family was spared from the impact of the storm, being called to help in its aftermath meant being away from them for almost two months. But Richard took it as an opportunity to further hone his skills and help others.
“Dito lang namin naranasan ang hindi namin nararanasan. Kahit mahirap ang gawain dito, kinakaya namin para makatulong at matuto,” he shared.
Another installation technician, Jaime, who lives around 700 kilometers away from Cebu, was part of the Globe Batangas team dispatched all the way from Luzon to assist in restoration efforts. He responded to Cebu’s call for help even while his wife was due to give birth to their first child at the time.
Jaime witnessed first-hand the impact of Odette when he reached Cebu.
“Dito ko lang nalaman na ganito kalakas ang Odette," he said of the powerful storm that destroyed over 400,000 houses and damaged more than a million more in Southern Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao just before Christmas.
Seeing the situation gave him greater resolve to do his job well and complete it as soon as possible. With the task finished, Jaime is now looking forward to coming home as a first-time father.
In March, Globe completed its network restoration in Odette-hit areas through the combined effort of some 220 teams from around the Philippines that responded to the call for help. Together, they braved the storm’s aftermath and sacrificed time with their loved ones to ensure that connectivity was restored in affected areas.
"We are very thankful to our teams who took upon the difficult challenge of restoring Globe facilities despite their personal circumstances to provide our customers the services that they need. They truly embody Globe's purpose of treating people right to create a Globe of Good," said Rebecca Eclipse, Globe’s Chief Customer Experience Officer.
Globe’s network restoration and expansion efforts are in line with its commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, particularly UN SDG No. 9, highlighting the roles of infrastructure and innovation as crucial drivers of economic growth and development. It is committed to upholding the UN Global Compact principles and contributing to 10 UN SDGs.
To learn more about Globe, visit www.globe.com.ph.