PLDT and wireless unit Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) together with the PLDT-Smart Foundation (PSF) have extended 3,800 packs of relief aid to provinces in northern Luzon that have felt the wrath of Tropical Cyclone Maring. This is the biggest tropical storm aid that the Group has deployed in the time of the coronavirus pandemic.
“PLDT, Smart and PSF empathize with residents whose lives have been disrupted by the storm. We are committed to help the communities that we serve as they recover from natural and man-made disasters,” said Cathy Yap-Yang, First Vice President and Group Head of Corporate Communications at PLDT and Smart.
Keeping the spirit of ‘malasakit’ or compassion alive in times of disaster, the Group sent almost 2,000 food packs to the province of La Union, 1,000 packs of relief aid to Cagayan, 500 food packs to Benguet and 300 more to Ilocos Sur. #MaringPH has displaced more than 70,000 families in Regions 1, 2 and the Cordilleras. The storm also damaged more than Php 2 billion worth of agriculture products and infrastructure.
“The support you extended reinvigorates hope as we push for recovery both from the onslaught of TS Maring and the COVID-19 pandemic. Through our collective participation, we are looking at the future of La Union that is stronger than ever,” said La Union Governor Francisco Emmanuel “Pacoy” Ortega III.
“We would like to thank PLDT and Smart for the blessings they shared with the municipality of La Trinidad. This is a huge help to our residents especially to our farmers whose crops have been destroyed by the storm,” said La Trinidad Mayor Romeo Salda.
PLDT and Smart also deployed Libreng Tawag (free calls) and Libreng Charging (free charging) stations in areas that experienced disruptions in communications. In previous disasters, these pop-up booths have been the lifeline for affected residents to connect with their relatives.
PLDT and Smart aim to create a #SafeandSmart Philippines by championing initiatives that promote a culture of preparedness, provide immediate response through network resilience, continuous availability of communication services, and relief assistance to communities affected by disasters, and aid in recovery.
The programs in helping communities become more resilient in times of calamities are in line with the commitment of PLDT and Smart to help the country attain the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) #11 of making cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable by significantly reducing the number of people affected by disasters.