PLDT, Smart activate disaster response teams amid TS Auring, Taal threats
PLDT and Smart stand ready to respond against the threats of the Severe Tropical Storm Auring in the eastern border of the country and Taal Volcano rumbles in Batangas. The companies provide communication as an aid in affected areas.
Smart has activated its services, including Libreng Tawag (free call), Charging (free charging), and WiFi stations in Mindanao. Smart has also deployed satellite phones to Samar and Panay ahead of Auring’s landfall.
Moreover, both companies have also prepositioned personnel, network equipment, and resources to ensure the resilience of services, and if needed, the quick restoration of communication in areas that will be impacted by the tropical storm. They’re also ready to extend assistance to response and relief teams in affected communities. PLDT and Smart are currently monitoring the situation. The companies urge everyone to take necessary precautions and heed the alerts and warnings of local governments and disaster response authorities.
PLDT-Smart Foundation (PSF) has allocated 500 hygiene kits, as well as 500 boxes of face masks as initial aid to affected residents. Both companies are also preparing tents, blankets, and pillows to be deployed in various evacuation centers. Additionally, food packs are also being prepared to be handed out to the residents.
Early this year, Smart returned to San Nicolas, Batangas, devastated by Taal’s previous eruption, to turn over two disaster warning tools in the form of ‘batingaw’, a bell or a siren used by communities as an immediate warning device. The wireless arm of PLDT also administered a cash-for-work program and informed beneficiaries how to use technology to help them with farming via the Digital Farmers Program (DFP).
These efforts are identified as part of PLDT-Smart’s #SafeandSmart advocacy, promoting preparedness and immediate response through network resilience, continuous availability of communication services, mobile solutions and activities, and relief assistance to help communities mitigate disaster risks.