PLDT and its wireless arm Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) recently turned over solar-powered streetlamps to the Municipality of General Luna, lighting up the Catangnan Bridge in Siargao Island. This sustainability initiative is expected to help Siargaonon locals while boosting the island’s tourism and economy. General Luna is one of the nine municipalities that make up Siargao island, known to be the Surfing Capital of the Philippines.

John Gregory Y. Palanca, Sales and Development Head at PLDT and Smart, shared, “We have long been supporting Siargao, particularly during surfing festivals and competitions, but also during difficult times such as after Super Typhoon Odette. This year, we have broadened our support by contributing to something sustainable that will be there for the long haul and be part of the community, well beyond the surfing season. We look at Catangnan Bridge as an enabler not only for tourism but also to boost the economy by providing an easier commute, enabling the transport of goods for trading, allowing students easier passage to their schools, and promoting the safety of the community with adequate lighting over the bridge.”

The Catangnan Bridge is one of the landmarks in Siargao, connecting communities, drawing tourists and locals alike, as well as serving its practical purpose of enabling transportation. It has also become a favorite hangout for people, especially at sundown. With the bridge now fully and sustainably lit, this landmark is now a much safer space in which to enjoy the gorgeous scenery and the relaxing vibes for which the island has been known.

“This bridge is a melting pot of culture, with the sunset as the perfect backdrop. I thank PLDT and Smart for helping to bring the light on at the Catangnan Bridge, so the people can see more of the beauty of the island. We truly appreciate the help you have extended to us,” said General Luna Mayor Sol Matugas.

This donation of solar-powered lamps reinforces the PLDT group’s continuing efforts to invest in more sustainable initiatives and help the Siargaonon community recover after Super Typhoon Odette – from the implementation of programs in mental health, education, to disaster preparedness. PLDT’s recent introduction of fiber services on the island has also empowered locals and tourists with faster connectivity, thereby improving livelihood opportunities and promoting tourism, and strengthening partnerships with LGUs in Siargao, towards a sustainable future.