Singtel is rallying Singapore against COVID-19 by providing financial support for impacted communities and extending a care package of services to support the broader community. The Group has raised S$2 million collectively to help vulnerable groups in the community and frontline healthcare workers and volunteers. The Singtel Touching Lives Fund, the Group’s flagship philanthropy programme, will channel this donation to 18 charities and social enterprises including S$500,000 to The Courage Fund and S$600,000 to various healthcare groups. The funds comprise contributions from Singtel’s Management Committee who have given at least half a month’s salary and voluntary contributions from Singtel’s directors and staff. The company matched these contributions dollar for dollar.
Ms Chua Sock Koong, Singtel’s Group CEO, said, “This is an unprecedented time in our history. The COVID-19 outbreak has impacted the health of our loved ones and disrupted not just our lives, but the livelihoods of many around us. As a homegrown company, we want to stand together with the broader community and keep them supported during this time. We hope this will provide some relief to vulnerable individuals and families and tide them through this difficult period. We also want to encourage and show our gratitude to our healthcare workers and volunteers who have been working tirelessly and risking their lives to keep us safe.”
“The extensive help and courage we have seen during these uncertain times have been very heartening. We are grateful that one of our longstanding partners, Singtel, has stepped forward to help support the community. Their support through Community Chest and The Courage Fund will help augment what the government and social service agencies are doing for those affected by COVID-19. Singtel’s other contributions to special education schools, healthcare groups, social enterprises and seniors are also highly meaningful as they show a thoughtfulness for other segments of society. It is with many helping hands during this climate that we are able to overcome the challenges together,” shared Mr Phillip Tan, Chairman of Community Chest.
Singtel has also been supporting and funding efforts by six SG Cares Volunteer Centres island-wide to reduce the impact of COVID-19 on the community as part of the Singapore Cares movement to build a caring society. These funds go toward care pack distribution, meal deliveries, education on health and hygiene and the provision of medical escorts or transport. With befriending services for seniors curtailed due to the current social distancing measures, prepaid mobile services are also being extended to isolated seniors to help them stay connected with volunteers.
Separately, in a show of solidarity with the company and its wider community of stakeholders, Singtel’s Board of Directors have volunteered a 10% cut in fees for the upcoming financial year.
Care package of free services to support consumers and SMEs
With consumers and businesses having to make major lifestyle and work adjustments as stricter measures are taken against the COVID-19 spread, Singtel has put together a care package of free services to support and sustain the wider public with effect from 1 April. These services range from free entertainment for the general public to business solutions for SMEs.
Ms Chua added, “The businesses we depend on, the way we live our lives have been completely upended. People are having to stay home, businesses are trying to cope and survive. We want to offer up some of our services to sustain and support the public through this time. This is our way of saying we are in this together, our commitment to you has not changed and hopefully, we can also spread a little cheer.”
On the business front, SMEs implementing work-from-home plans, remote working or split team arrangements will get six months free usage of productivity, collaboration and security tools. This will help them secure their communications and minimise disruption to business operations while keeping their staff safe. With many SMEs experiencing a drop in customer traffic at their physical stores, they will also get free access to Singtel’s 99sme.sg e-marketplace where they can set up their online shops, build a digital presence and continue to reach consumers.
On the consumer front, with people spending more time at home as a result of social distancing, all residents will get three months free access to Singtel’s CAST streaming app and its most popular entertainment and education channels including Discovery, Asian Food Network, Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon. Singtel TV customers will also enjoy free access to 30 channels such as AXN, CNBC, Discovery Asia and KBS World on Singtel TV and Singtel TV GO. All Singtel mobile customers will enjoy data-free messaging on WhatsApp to make it easier for them to stay in touch with friends and family. Free 30-day COVID-19 insurance coverage by Income will also be extended to new and existing prepaid customers.