The international division of local telco PLDT has launched a new mobile app that allows Filipinos overseas to call their families in the Philippines for free.
Filipinos abroad can make long distance calls to any PLDT, Smart, Sun or TNT subscriber in the Philippines by downloading the Free Bee mobile application.
OFWs can avail themselves of a free 2-minute call upon listening to a sponsored ad while on a data connection or connected to WiFi.
Families in the Philippines who receive calls through Free Bee, on the other hand, do not need to download the app, connect to the Internet or even own a smartphone.
Free Bee, available on Android and iOS, was launched recently by PLDT Global Corp., PLDT?s international marketing, sales, and operating arm.
Apart from free ad-sponsored calls, OFWs can also purchase Premium Voice Buckets for an ad-free calling experience. Free Bee offers IDD rates of as low as $0.01 per minute, while delivering high-quality voice calls.
The free service is expected to benefit the more than 10 million Filipinos overseas and their respective families.
Overseas Filipinos remain to be among the primary forces that drive the country?s economy, contributing more than $28 billion in remittances in 2017. With many Filipino families having at least one member working abroad ? bulk of them aged 25 to 34 ? smartphones and apps are now the preferred way to keep in touch.
?As overseas remittances continue to drive our economy, more brands are targeting their messages toward overseas Filipinos. Free Bee is a channel for brands to reach out to this key target market and communicate their offers directly to the bread-winners and decision-makers of the family,? said PLDT Global president and CEO Kat Luna-Abelarde.
?Free Bee users from all over the world are thankful for this opportunity for short but precious calls that they enjoy every day for free. Through Free Bee, we hope to continue delivering more and more value to a truly deserving segment of the market, keeping true to our mission to empower and uplift,? Abelarde added.
Among the first partners of Free Bee is Cebu Pacific?s GetGo rewards program. Every download of Free Bee entitles the subscriber to GetGo points, which can then be converted and used for flights back to the Philippines.