SMART calls on social media communities to advocate for a safer Philippines

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Thursday, July 17, 2014


AS PART of its #SafePh advocacy, wireless leader Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) encouraged members of the various social media communities celebrating Social Media Day to be better prepared for disasters and emergencies.

"Promoting the culture of preparedness couldn't have come at a better time as the Philippines observes the National Disaster Consciousness Month this July. We call on everyone to continue using social media for the common good,” said Ramon R. Isberto, Public Affairs Group Head at Smart.

Smart tapped one of its #SafePh partners, Louie Domingo, executive director of non-government organization Emergency Research Center, to share practical tips on creating one's emergency ‘balde’ (plastic bucket) or e-balde.

More than just a container for liquids, the e-balde can also be used to hold emergency preparedness items such as bottled water, flashlight, lighter, candle, multi-purpose tool, first-aid kit, pea-less whistle, extra clothes, radio, lifesaver or ‘salbabida,’ umbrella, and food items that don’t need cooking and have longer shelf life.

Domingo talked during the afternoon program of the Social Media Day Manila activities last June 28 at SM Aura, organized by TweetUpMNL and various partners.

Social Media Day is celebrated worldwide every end of June to recognize how social media has revolutionized the way people communicate and interact.

More than 1,000 participants representing 25 various communities attended the activity in Manila.

Smart also supported similar community events in the cities of Davao, Cebu, Baguio and General Santos by way of connectivity and sponsorship.

The telco distributed sample emergency kits to representatives of each of the social media communities that participated during the event.

The sample emergency kits will serve as their guide on the basic items that one needs to have in preparation for disasters and emergencies.

As a key pillar under its corporate social responsibility (CSR) program, Smart has been actively promoting the culture of preparedness not only within its ranks but also with partner—communities, including the millions of its subscribers, and the public in general, under the SafePh advocacy.

“Keeping safe during disasters is not the sole responsibility of the government or of responding agencies. Everyone must embrace the culture of preparedness to reduce the need for rescues, and to minimize loss of lives and properties during disasters and emergencies,” added Isberto.

Preparedness has become more important given the increasing vulnerability of the Philippines to disasters with scale and magnitude never seen in recent history.

To complement its preparedness initiatives, Smart has also been promoting the mobile phone or device as a lifeline during emergencies and disasters.

In partnership with developer communities, the telco has been promoting the development of mobile apps to aid in disaster preparedness, management, and response.

These apps include the Project NOAH Mobile (the mobile version of the Department of Science and Technology’s Project NOAH site), PINDOT or Provincial Information Network on Disaster Occurrences and Threats (used by the Province of Albay for its disaster management initiatives) and Batingaw (to be used by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council for disaster management).

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on July 17, 2014.

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