PLDT and wireless unit Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) push through with repairs in the new year to reconnect more areas in the Visayas and Mindanao that were devastated by super typhoon Odette.
On January 1, the group fully restored services in the provinces of Antique, Iloilo, Eastern Samar, Northern Samar and Western Samar in the Visayas and in Agusan del Norte and Camiguin in Mindanao.
PLDT and Smart technical teams have been working around the clock to repair downed sites in areas severely impacted by the typhoon. The group has, likewise, ramped up restoration activities in Palawan, Bohol, Cebu, Leyte, Southern Leyte, Negros provinces, Dinagat Islands, Misamis Oriental and Surigao provinces.
But due to the massive damage inflicted by Odette on public utilities and major infrastructure including roads, customers in areas where services have been restored may experience service quality issues due to the lack of available commercial power and accidental cuts during road clearing activities that damage lines leading to individual homes.
PLDT and Smart’s network teams are working to reconnect the rest of customers as soon as possible. The group also operated Libreng Tawag (free calls) and Charging stations, free public WiFi services, and free SIMs in heavily damaged areas to serve typhoon victims who were cut off from their loved ones. PLDT Sales and Services Centers and Smart Stores have resumed operations in Odette-hit provinces, except for stores located in malls that have remained closed, to serve the needs of customers.
Odette smashed into northeastern Mindanao in mid-December before cutting across the Visayas leaving a trail of devastation. Government data shows agriculture and infrastructure damage from the super typhoon have topped Php 23 billion. The national government has placed MIMAROPA, the entire Visayas, Northern Mindanao and Caraga regions under a state of calamity to hasten rescue and relief operations and regulate commodity prices in these areas.