PLDT wireless group responds to Bohol, Cebu quake efforts-A A +A
Tuesday, October 22, 2013
THE wireless units of the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT), Smart Communications Inc. (Smart) and Digitel Mobile Philippines Inc. (DMPI), immediately provided assistance in the rescue and relief efforts following the 7.2 magnitude earthquake that hit Central Visayas last October 15 by providing communications support to the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Councils of Bohol and Cebu.
Fixed and mobile internet devices as well as load were quickly turned over to the provincial agencies after the disaster struck.
To assist affected residents, Libreng Tawag and free mobile phone battery charging stations have been set at the City Hall, Carlos P. Garcia Sports Complex and People*s Mansion -- all in Tagbilaran City, Bohol. Smart has also opened its cell site along J. Clarin St. in Tagbilaran City for free mobile phone battery charging. Smart provided volunteer groups such as the Chocolate Hills Amateur Radio League and Tarsier 117 with cellphone load to help in their rescue coordination efforts. Smart is also working with local community partners in opening up Libreng Tawag stations.
Meanwhile, Smart Store operations in Tagbilaran City will resume once the Ambassador Arcade building administrator provides safety clearance.
In Cebu, PLDT Jones along Osmena Blvd. is now open while both Smart Stores in Metro Ayala and SM Cebu area will open as soon as the mall operators give the go signal.
"Communications play a crucial role during and in the aftermath of disasters. That's why providing fast and timely disaster response support is standard practice for us," said Ramon R. Isberto, spokesperson at PLDT and group head of Smart Public Affairs.
"More than just providing free call and power charging services to the affected communities, we also provide support to allow government and humanitarian agencies to coordinate rescue and relief efforts," added Isberto.
The earthquake that hit Visayas was stronger than the one that hit Haiti in January 2010. Majority of the casualties were in Bohol as the epicenter is located in the town Carmen. The quake toppled centuries-old churches, buildings and other structures and also triggered landslides. (PR)
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on October 22, 2013.