Repatriated Filipino seafarers will now be able to stay in touch with their families as they complete their mandatory quarantine period through the help of Smart Communications, Inc (Smart).
Smart has donated a thousand pre-loaded SIM cards to shipping and logistics company 2GO Group, Inc., which is working with the Department of Transportation (DOTr), Department of Health (DOH) and Overseas Workers Welfare Association (OWWA) to facilitate the 14-day quarantine of repatriated seafarers.
These SIMs would help returning Filipino seafarers on these 2GO sea vessels that have been temporarily turned into shelters, to connect with their families. Aside from that, Smart has also provided ten (10) mobile phones to the ships so that the seafarers can call their loved ones for free.
Meanwhile, PLDT will also provide free WIFI on board so that these returning OFWs and quarantine facility personnel can access the internet.
“This is part of our commitment to help our repatriated Filipino seafarers to stay connected with their families during this pandemic. Through this, we hope that we can somehow ease their worries or homesickness while in quarantine,” said Jane J. Basas, senior vice president and head of Consumer Business Wireless at Smart.
2GO has turned two of its ships as quarantine facilities as a response to the call of DOTr. These will be manned by the Philippine Coast Guard and social distancing will be strictly enforced. 2GO will also provide the technical crew and housekeeping staff to maintain the facilities.