PLDT and its wireless arm Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) continue to empower local government units in disaster-prone communities through the disaster resilience program, Project Ligtas. Under this program, responders from the provincial government units of Misamis Oriental and Misamis Occidental recently received PLDT-Smart Ligtas Kits, to strengthen their response capabilities amid disasters.
In Misamis Occidental, flooding incidents have been an emergency concern in the past year. For BGen. Joseph P. Villanueva AFP (Ret.), Misamis Occidental Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) Head, the Ligtas Kit is a welcome addition to their arsenal. “Aside from strengthening the capabilities of our personnel, we also must level up with our equipment. With the Ligtas Kit, we have the tools to continue our operations during emergencies. Thank you, PLDT and Smart. Your donation will help a lot of Misamisnons,” he said.
Each kit contains a portable power battery, solar panel, satellite phone, smart phone, megaphone, pocket WiFi, among others. “The devices in the Ligtas Kit will be a big help to our disaster response and rescue operations here in Misamis Oriental. On behalf of Governor Peter Unabia, we thank PLDT and Smart for this helpful donation,” said Fernando Jun Dy, head of the Misamis Oriental PDRRMO.
For local disaster management officer Henry Floy Francisco, having stable communication helps expedite emergency response. “When Super Typhoon Odette affected the eastern part of Misamis Oriental, getting updates from the ground was difficult. Traveling to these areas to get complete information caused a delay in our response efforts. With the power set and satellite phone, quick and efficient communications have now become more possible in any situation,” he added.
The Ligtas Kit also contains analog tools like whistles, flashlights, megaphone, and a crank radio. Operations leader Kenn Marjhone Cabugason said, “We can distribute the whistles to our team members so we can still communicate and help each other no matter the scenario.”
PLDT and Smart, in partnership with the Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation, will also conduct an emergency communications training course with Misamisnon responders to fully optimize the kit and further enhance their emergency response capacity.
The PLDT-Smart Ligtas Kit is part of the group’s #SafeandSmart advocacy, which promotes preparedness and immediate response. This initiative underscores the PLDT group’s commitment to attaining the UN SDGs, particularly SDG No. 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities.