PLDT and its wireless unit Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) continue to strengthen their partnership with Cagayan de Oro’s City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Department (CDRRMD) with the recent turnover of emergency communications support to boost the local agency’s response and rescue operations. 

 “The Ligtas Kit from PLDT and Smart is a huge help for us responders during disasters and emergencies. The satellite phone will ensure that we are able to communicate even in hard-to-reach areas or in situations where communication services are severely impacted, and with solar power, we can continue our operations even in isolated areas,” said Nick Jabagat, Head of CDO CDRRMD. 

A long-time partner of the city, the PLDT group donated one PLDT-Smart Ligtas Kit to complement the CDRRMD’s own toolkit. Each package contains essential emergency devices like portable power station, solar panel, rechargeable megaphone, crank radio, rechargeable flashlight, and whistles that can be readily deployed in heavily impacted communities. 

The all-in-one package also includes essential communication devices like a satellite phone, smartphone, and Smart LTE pocket Wi-Fi unit. PLDT and Smart will also train agency personnel on how to fully optimize the kit and further enhance the capacity of local responders. 

“I will recommend the Ligtas Kit to other local government units because this is not only useful in emergencies but also for other important activities in far-flung communities that need this type of equipment. We request for more units to benefit our hinterland barangays,” he added. 

Since the early 2000s, Smart has been an active partner of the CDO CDRRMD, enabling the organization’s emergency warnings through Smart Infocast, a web-based text-broadcasting solution that enables public and private institutions and organizations to easily broadcast messages within their communities more efficiently. 

PLDT and Smart highlight the role of communication in capacity building among communities in times of disaster. At the recent PLDT and Smart Tourism Destination Resilience webinar, Jabagat also lent his time to serve as a resource speaker and shared how CDRRMD is helping the city’s tour operators through capacity building and partnerships. 

The PLDT and Smart Ligtas Kit supports the companies’ #SafeandSmart advocacy campaign which promotes preparedness and immediate response through continuous availability of communication services, mobile solutions and activities to help communities mitigate disaster risks. The initiative also underscores the group’s commitment to attaining the UNSDGs, particularly SDG #11: Sustainable Cities and Communities.