Smart honors seafarers, launches Marino PhonePal-A A +A
Saturday, October 12, 2013
RECOGNIZING the valuable contributions of Filipino seafarers to the country, wireless leader Smart Communications (Smart) recently joined over 5,000 participants in celebrating the 18th National Seafarers’ Day held at the Ninoy Aquino stadium in Manila.
This year's event highlighted the growing presence of Filipino mariners in the global maritime industry with the theme, "Marinong Pilipino: Patuloy ang Pag-Unlad."
The annual celeb.ration is mounted by the Apostleship of the Sea (AOS), a global ecumenical organization assisting seafarers.
"Filipino seafarers continue to bring honor and praise to our country because the world knows they are a cut above the rest," guest speaker Vice President Jejomar Binay said, stressing their excellent technical knowledge and skills, as well as their positive impact to the national economy.
Over 700,000 registered Filipino seafarers are deployed all over the world, comprising about a third of the global maritime fleet. They keep the national economy afloat, remitting to their loved ones over USD 4.83 billion in 2012, and over USD 2.98 billion just in the first half of 2013, according to data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.
Smart joined the celebration, which kicked off with an upbeat parade led by maritime students from the Rajah Sulayman Park to the Ninoy Aquino stadium in Manila. The program also featured a fancy drill by students of the Philippine Merchant Marine Academy, and the awarding of the top ten maritime students.
"Smart is one with the nation in honoring Filipino seafarers. As an industry leader in communications, the company has always looked for efficient ways to keep them in touch with their loved ones," said Tina Mariano, head of Smart's Global Access Group.
"This year, Smart is especially proud to present them the Marino Phonepal, which is a milestone in the country's maritime industry," Mariano added.
Launched in July, Marino Phonepal is a prepaid satellite-based maritime voice service that enables seafarers to make voice calls even at the middle of the sea. It also offers the lowest “call home” satellite rates at 18 per minute, paired with affordable call cards at 300, 500 and 1,000 denominations.
"With it, Smart intends to revolutionize long-distance communication by having a more extensive coverage through satellite communications. Smart Satellite Services will be every seafarer's companion at sea, connecting them to their loved ones here in the Philippines," Mariano said.
The Marino Phonepal elevates the maritime services of Smart, which started catering to the needs of seafarers since it launched its pioneering Smart Link service in 2001. Smart Link has been deployed in 7,437 maritime vessels sailing within Asia-Pacific, Indian Ocean, Middle East, Africa, and some parts of Europe and the Mediterranean. (PR)
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on October 13, 2013.