With public service and malasakit in mind, PLDT wireless unit Smart Communications Inc. has strengthened its support for local government units and government agencies in Visayas and Mindanao by providing communication and connectivity devices, fortifying their efforts for COVID-19 response.

The renewed surge in cases has prompted the LGUs and several government agencies to step up their efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19 infections and prioritize the vaccine rollout in their areas. Among the key elements in achieving this is the establishment of seamless and efficient communication channels.

“These initiatives in Visayas and Mindanao are testament to Smart’s unwavering commitment to support LGUs and agencies, especially in these challenging times, embodying the value of malasakit for our customers and the community,” said Catherine Yap-Yang, Group Head and First Vice President of Corporate Communications at PLDT and Smart.

Smart has turned over connectivity devices such as smartphones, Prepaid Home WiFis (PHW), and SIMs with load allocation in major cities in VisMin, including Cebu City, Talisay City, Mandaue City, Lapu-Lapu City, and Davao City.

PLDT and Smart booths and mobile stores, which offer generous discounts for products, have also been set up in the nearby barangays and vaccination centers to bring their services closer and more accessible to the public, helping lessen movements among residents.

“On behalf of Mandaue City LGU, we would like to express our deepest gratitude for your generous donation of connectivity devices. These would be of great help to us, especially in this time of pandemic. Rest assured that your donation will be utilized in continuing our commitment to serving the public,” said Mandaue City Mayor Hon. Jonas Cortes.

Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, on the other hand, also emphasized the importance of reliable and uninterrupted internet connection across the city’s vaccination hubs, where Smart deployed PHWs to ensure an organized vaccination rollout. PLDT and Smart have been providing data connectivity to more than 40 Resbakuna and COVID-19 facilities in Davao City, including the OFW vaccination site at Matina Town Square.

Meanwhile, government agencies such as the Lapu-Lapu City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, and the Philippine National Police (PNP) Talisay City Station have also received communication support from Smart to augment their day-to-day operations in ensuring safety and order.

“The success of every operation is anchored on seamless communication, and these smartphone units from Smart will help us achieve that. On behalf of Talisay City Police Station and of the 110 police officers, thank you very much for this donation,” said PLTCOL Gerard Ace Pelare, Talisay City Chief of Police.

All these efforts are in line with Smart’s #SafePH advocacy, which banners the use of technology to strengthen communications and help mitigate disaster risk in communities.

These efforts are also aligned with PLDT and Smart’s commitment to support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs), particularly the 9th UN SDG on Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure, through building resilient infrastructure, promoting inclusive and sustainable industrialization, and fostering innovation.

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