PLDT mobile subsidiary Smart Communications has deployed free call and charging stations to areas hit by Typhoon Lando as part of efforts to provide relief to the communities affected by the powerful storm.
"Libreng Tawag" services are ongoing at Calanasan Terminal (Centro 3, Claveria) and Barangay Hall (Centro 10, Tuguegarao City) in Cagayan; San Vicente Barangay Hall in Ilagan, Isabela; and at the evacuation center located at the office of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council in Lagawe, Ifugao.
Telecoms Sans Frontieres, the leading international NGO specializing in emergency telecommunications, has also volunteered and is on standby to offer free calls in partnership with Smart.
To facilitate faster coordination of relief efforts, Smart also provided satellite phones to the Department of Social Welfare and Development.
Due to lack of commercial power, Smart has also made available free charging of mobile phone batteries in the following cell sites in Nueva Ecija: Brgy. San Roque, San Jose City, Munoz; Brgy. Bantug, Munoz; Brgy. Baloc, Sto. Domingo, Baloc; Brgy. Pulog Buli, Sto. Domingo; Brgy. Poblacion (behind municipal hall), Talavera; Poblacion North, Lupao; Poblacion Centro, Pantabangan; Brgy. Sinipit (behind municipal hall), Bongabon.
Charging services were also set up in Marcos Village (beside Iglesia ni Cristo), Siclong, Laur; Brgy. Paltik, Dingalan; Gabaldon town proper and Neust Compound; Cabu, Cabanatuan; Bangad, Cabanatuan; Aliaga Poblacion; Brgy. Mambangan, Quezon, San Leonardo; Cuyapo Poblacion, San Leonardo; Saranay Disctrict, Guimba; Penaranda Poblacion; San Vicente, Gapan; P Carmen St., San Isidro 1; Brgy. San Fernando, Cabaiao; Brgy. San Roque, Cabaiao; Gapan, Balwarte; Brgy. Concepcion, General Tinio; and Agbanawag, Llanera.
In partnership with Rappler’s Project Agos, Smart subscribers can help provide vital information and report on-ground situation in their respective areas for free by sending RELIEFPH or RESCUEPH to 2929.
“There was minimal damage to our wireless network brought about by Typhoon Lando. However, services in affected areas may be intermittent due to massive loss of commercial power,” said Smart Public Affairs Group Head Ramon Isberto.
Recognizing communications as an important form of relief, Smart has been consistent in immediately providing free calls and charging services during disasters. By making available emergency communication links, Smart is able to help government and humanitarian agencies assess the needs of survivors and coordinate with each other better for more effective relief efforts to affected communities.