The PLDT Group launched its disaster resilience program Project Ligtas, in partnership with various local government units (LGUs). In Mindanao, Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) Offices in Surigao del Norte, Misamis Oriental, Davao del Norte, and Maguindanao del Norte are now more equipped to withstand calamities.
“Tagum City is prone to flooding. Project Ligtas will be a huge help in operations, as we continue to keep the public safe. For years, we have been planning to augment our communication equipment, so this is a dream come true,” said Shieldon Isidro, Acting DRRM Officer of Tagum City.
Along with Tagum City, Cagayan de Oro, Datu Odin Sinsuat, Dapa, Pilar, and Surigao del Norte LGUs each received the PLDT-Smart Ligtas Kit, an all-in-one emergency communications package. A power station, solar panel, rechargeable handy megaphone, crank radio, rechargeable flashlight, and whistles allow teams to communicate despite lack of power. The kit also contains several communication tools including a satellite phone (SmartSAT) with initial load, smartphone and a Smart LTE pocket Wi-Fi.
Dapa was one of the hard-hit municipalities after Super Typhoon Odette made landfall in Siargao. For Irrah Sildora, head of Dapa’s Municipal DRRM Office, communication is crucial in their response operations and the Ligtas Kit will supplement their existing tools. “These gadgets will enable us to respond immediately. With the SmartSAT, we can coordinate more closely with the provincial office and different agencies during calamities,” she said.
The initiative also includes a workshop for responders to fully optimize the equipment during disasters. “PLDT and Smart want to empower response teams nationwide, to build more resilient communities. With Project Ligtas, we equip them with both the technology and the knowledge to effectively respond to any disaster. Mindanao has had its share of calamities, and we will continue to partner with LGUs, as they keep all of us safe,” shared Judee Caroline Chaves, Smart Mindanao Relations Head.
Project Ligtas is part of the #SafeandSmart advocacy of PLDT and Smart, which promotes preparedness and immediate response through continuous availability of communication services, mobile solutions and activities to help mitigate risks. This initiative also underscores the commitment of PLDT and Smart to attaining the UNSDGs, particularly SDG #11: Sustainable Cities and Communities.