[13 July 2017] PLDT wireless subsidiary Smart Communications will provide emergency communications support for the earthquake and tsunami drills in Davao City and Metro Manila on July 14, 2017.
The drills, which will simulate a magnitude-7.2 earthquake situation, will start at 9 a.m. in Davao City and 4 p.m. in Metro Manila.
Officials of Davao City and the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) will signal the start of the city- and metro-wide drills by using Smart’s Emergency Cell Broadcast System (ECBS), which will send alert messages to residents in the area informing them of the activity. To date, Smart is the only telco to comply with Republic Act No. 10639, or the Free Mobile Disaster Alerts Act, via the ECBS.
Smart will also deploy Smart Satellite solutions and LTE mobile connectivity to ensure uninterrupted communications among response units. These services will complement the free calling and charging services for the use of earthquake and tsunami drill participants.
Leading the drill in Davao City are Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, Davao City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Officer and Central 911 chief Emmanuel Jaldon, and key participating units. In Metro Manila, the event will be spearheaded by the Metro Manila Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (MMDRRMC) and managed by the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), the Office of Civil Defense (OCD), and other agencies and stakeholders.
“I encourage all Dabawenyos to participate in the 1st Davao City earthquake and tsunami drill on Friday, July 14, because this will help us prepare ourselves in the event a tsunami or an earthquake hits Davao City,” said Mayor Duterte. “It is our responsibility to ensure that everyone in our communities and our homes are aware and knowledgeable of the things that should be done in cases of emergencies. Preparation, which involves learning or acquiring emergency skills, is critical in protecting ourselves, our families, and our communities. Readiness is key to survival,” she added.
“We understand how important communication is, especially in times of calamities. Our ECBS and satellite solutions, as well as traditional fixed and wireless services, are deployed to affected areas as we recognize communications as a form of relief,” said Ramon R. Isberto, PLDT and Smart public affairs head.
As a member of the emergency telecommunications cluster of the NDRRMC, Smart has provided communication aid during calamities, including free broadcast alerts, free texts, calls and charging, and satellite solutions to LGUs and response teams.
Smart is also a founding signatory of GSMA’s Human Connectivity Charter (HCC), which aims to empower operators to improve their disaster resilience through mobile technology.
Through its #SafePH advocacy and as part of its commitment to the HCC, Smart promotes resilience using technology and communications. The company’s disaster risk reduction initiatives have helped instill a culture of preparedness among its partners and the general public. These include emergency mobile solutions such as the Batingaw disaster preparedness app and the Agos community aid SMS platform, as well as on-ground community caravans such as the Tropang Ready educational series for the youth.