PLDT wireless subsidiary Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) has partnered with the Integrated Bar of the Philippines-Quezon City chapter to provide the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) Quezon City Jail Male and Female Dormitories with additional videoconferencing equipment to speed up the hearing of cases and help decongest jails amid COVID-19 pandemic.
Aside from providing tablets, Smart LTE Pocket Wifis, SIMs and load, Smart also boosted its LTE network in the area to enable the BJMP and the Quezon City courts to conduct more hearings in order to cater to the needs of persons deprived of liberty (PDLs).
In a letter to Smart President and CEO Alfredo S. Panlilio, IBP-QC said the equipment will help bring their Jail Decongestion Project into fruition. “The Quezon City judges were also informed of this project, and they were so happy as they could have more hearings with the PDLs and administer speedy justice,” said Atty Donna Alagar, IBP-QC chapter president.
“We are grateful for the opportunity to assist the IBP, BJMP and our judges in providing justice to the underprivileged and needy, especially in the midst of COVID-19 and our efforts to build the ‘new normal’,” said Panlilio. “We look forward to more partnerships like this, where we can enable and connect more Filipinos.”
This is the latest in PLDT-Smart’s efforts to use its data services to help frontline agencies fighting the pandemic. Previously, Smart has extended assistance to health authorities in contact tracing by providing free mobile data access to StaySafe.ph, an online application that gathers health information from its users. Smart has also provided 540 smartphones with data load to enable the government to use in the entire Metro Manila area an online application called RapidPass.Ph that allows health workers to go through quarantine checkpoints quickly. Smart also supplied 40 mobile phones to the Philippine General Hospital to enable the hospital staff to handle COVID patients while reducing their exposure to the risk of infection.
PLDT-Smart has also extended communications assistance to the Department of Health (DOH), the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the Philippine General Hospital, the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine and the Department of Transportation by donating SIMS, load cards, smartphones and Wi-Fi kits to provide for the connectivity of their frontliners.