By Federico D. Pascual Jr.
The Philippine Star
RUSSIAN ACTION: Dismayed by the Philippines’ timid handling of foreign intrusions into our resource-rich waters, we lap up reports of how Russian authorities collared Chinese poachers days ago.
Compare Russian handling of violations by Chinese fishermen as reported in InterAksyon, the online news portal of TV5:
“Russian coastguards have seized a Chinese fishing boat off the country’s east coast after reportedly opening fire on the vessel, Chinese state media said on Wednesday.
“The Global Times daily said the Chinese consulate in the eastern Russian city of Khabarovsk had been informed of the incident, which occurred on Monday after a three-hour sea chase.
“It quoted Russian media as saying the coastguards first fired warning shots and then collided with the Chinese boat, shooting at it directly when the fishermen tried to prevent them from boarding.
“Chinese government officials could not immediately be reached for comment, but the state-run Global Times said in an editorial that the incident was ‘unacceptable.’”
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FIGHTING WORDS?: The report of firm Russian action sends us dreaming of the day when Philippine authorities finally will muster enough guts to challenge foreigners violating our national boundaries.
We are still looking for consistency in the suddenly firm tenor of Malacañang statements on Chinese fishermen treating the Philippines’ Exclusive Economic Zone as their own backyard pond, coming and going as they please.
Although President Aquino was reported this week telling Chinese poachers to stay out (they ignored him), the next moment he was showering China with appreciation for a P5.2-billion loan it had given for a La Mesa dam project.
What he did not say was that the loan was signed in January 2010 by then President Gloria Arroyo. With the way Mr. Aquino has been behaving toward China, it is doubtful he would have gotten the loan himself.
But we are ready to hear a crescendo of brave words from him as the day draws near for his State of the Nation Address on July 23. His handlers know it is easier to rally the people around a “fighting” leader when the nation faces outside threats.
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GLOBE UPGRADES: In telecommunications, we see exciting times ahead as rivals Globe and Smart roll out their respective billion-peso network modernization programs.
For Globe, its playing catch-up reminds us of that inspired Avis ad that said “We try harder” in meeting the challenge of Hertz, then the No. 1 brand in car rental in the United States.
That ad play and the culture of innovation and customer service that resulted in Avis transforming its losses into gains may as well be the hallmark of Globe’s campaign to eat into the market of Smart.
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TAKING UP SLACK: Globe has launched its own network modernization, including the putting up of new cellsites designed for the more demanding requirements of widely used 3G, or even 4G when it moves into the market in a big way.
At the core of each new cellsite is the leading technology of Alcatel Lucent of France which is overseeing the network modernization.
Globe technicians say that the upgraded cellsites are designed to adjust automatically and take any slack that may arise when a nearby cellsite encounters, say, a power problem.
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‘I LOVE YOU’: The “try harder” hallmark is also noticeable in the way Globe handles such problems as vanishing prepaid loads which are among the usual complaints against telcos reaching the National Telecommunications Commission.
Globe has introduced a quick load-checking system under which a cellphone user simply types *143# on his keypad to access solutions and options. The same number is used to upgrade a service or subscribe to Unli (“unlimited”) packages of the Ayala and Singapore Telecom partnership.
Footnote: Globe friends tell me the number “143” is being used because of survey findings that Pinoys, the romantics that they are, easily remember 143 which is some kind of code for “I Love You.”
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LOWER BILLS, HIGHER REVENUE: A colleague who had an P800 monthly Globe subscription plan used to pay P2,500-P2,800 a month because of his heavy calling.
Analyzing his problem with the Globe staff, he found that he could upgrade his service by subscribing to another P600 for Unli calls&texts to Globe users. He did and his bill has dropped to just a little over P1,500 a month.
He expressed surprise why Globe lets its customers spend less on their telco billings until he saw through the market strategy.
By letting customers experience better service, the telco is able to convert/win more users and impress them with its better “trying harder” brand of service. With a growing number of satisfied customers, revenue increase follows.
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AMDOCS TIEUP: Days ago, Globe president and CEO Ernest Cu announced a partnership with leading global customer systems and services provider Amdocs, recognized as BSS Vendor of the Year by Frost & Sullivan for the past three years.
The goal is to deliver more value to customers through innovative products and efficient execution of strategic complex projects, thereby simplifying operations and setting global business-process best practices.
Cu said: “Amdocs’ best-in-class business solutions will allow customers to experience faster responses to service requests and enjoy more relevant product offerings, better credit control and loyalty programs.”
He noted that “the new system Amdocs is putting into place will dramatically simplify our business support systems and operations, as well as business intelligence platforms.”
He said that the delivery of superior customer experience will be the key competitive differentiator for Globe, helping it move ahead.
Let us see what Smart will do in the face of its rival’s taking this giant technological and marketing leap forward.
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