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Smart reconnects Catanduanes, first to restore after super typhoon Rolly

PLDT wireless unit Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) restored mobile services in Catanduanes on Wednesday, at 8:42 a.m. Philippine Standard Time, making it possible for residents to make calls and send out SMS. The province was isolated for a few days after it was devastated by Typhoon Rolly. Smart is the first telco firm to restore connectivity to the badly-hit province.

On Tuesday, PLDT and Smart sent additional personnel to the island, bringing with them vital equipment to repair downed sites in the area. PLDT worked closely with the Armed Forces of the Philippines and also chartered flights to fast track restoration of mobile services in the isolated province.

“We used our own aircraft to bring our crew to Catanduanes to begin repairing downed equipment so we can immediately connect the province to the rest of country,” said Al S. Panlilio, PLDT Chief Revenue Officer and Smart President.

Earlier on Wednesday, PLDT-Smart flew augmentation teams and equipment, as well as satellite phones, to Catanduanes on board a Philippine Airforce C-130 cargo plane. A third team also took off from Tabaco, Albay to help in repair and restoration activities.

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“It is important that we immediately restore services to our customers that’s why we are also providing Libreng Tawag and Libreng Charging stations to typhoon-hit communities,” added Panlilio.

Libreng Tawag stations are already operational in Virac by 8am, providing vital communication links to affected residents so they can connect with their loved ones. Smart is also running Libreng Tawag and Libreng Charging operations in other provinces that have suffered the wrath of Rolly such as:

  • Aurora
  • Bataan
  • Batangas
  • Bulacan
  • Camarines Sur
  • Marinduque
  • Pampanga
  • Sorsogon
  • Tarlac
  • Zambales

Wireless services have been restored in most areas affected by Typhoon Rolly. PLDT and Smart are now focusing efforts on hardest hit provinces like Catanduanes, Albay, Camarines Sur and Norte. Personnel are working round-the-clock to restore affected services.

PLDT and Smart, together with the PLDT-Smart Foundation, Alagang Kapatid Foundation and the Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP) have initially sent more than 5,000 relief packs to the Bicol region and Marinduque.

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