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Smart provides communications support and extends relief operations in Western Visayas

by SMART Public Affairs | Nov 17, 2013
[17 November 2013] Leading wireless services provider Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) has extended vital communications support to assist survivors in areas severely affected by Super Typhoon Yolanda in Western Visayas.

Residents queue up for libreng tawag in Tibiao, Antique.

Leading wireless services provider Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) has extended vital communications support to assist survivors in areas severely affected by Super Typhoon Yolanda in Western Visayas.

In partnership with Thuraya, an international mobile satellite services provider based in the United Arab Emirates, Smart deployed satellite phones in the towns of Carles, Estancia, Sara and Concepcion to support the emergency relief efforts of government units and humanitarian agencies, and to connect typhoon survivors with families and loved ones via the set up Libreng Tawag stations.

The command center of the province and the Iloilo City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO) stationed at the Provincial Capitol was also given support in the form of airtime load to enable the office to coordinate post-disaster response to affected areas.

Network coverage has been restored in all cities and municipalities in the province.  

For Capiz, residents availed of libreng tawag and charging services in front of the Roxas City Hall and Smart cell site, while a satellite phone was dispatched to Dao to provide free calls at the public market.  Residents from towns of Panit-an, Pontevedra and President Roxas have also been able to connect with their loved ones using satellite phones.

Free airtime load was also provided to the Capiz Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC).

For Antique, another satellite phone was deployed so residents from the towns of Culasi, Tibiao and Libertad can avail of free calls. Free airtime load was also extended as support to the Antique PDRRMC.

In Eastern Samar, satellite phones have been dispatched to address the need of residents in Borongan and Guiuan to call their loved ones.

Smart and Sun Cellular personnel distribute relief goods to residents of Brgy Baybay in typhoon-hit Roxas City.

In Aklan, residents have been charging the batteries of their mobile phones for free at the Smart cell site in Old Buswang, Kalibo. Cellular services are available in the area but commercial power is yet to be restored. Free calls and distribution of relief goods in the province are scheduled in the coming days.

As of November 14, approximately 88 percent of the network coverage in these provinces has been restored.

Meanwhile, Smart and Sun Cellular personnel have distributed relief packs to residents of Brgy Baybay in Roxas City last Wednesday. More relief goods will be distributed to Estancia in Iloilo, and in Antique within the week.