Smart sets up free call centers in disaster areas
MANILA, Philippines—More than 30 Libreng Tawag Centers have been set up since Tuesday in the cities of Quezon, Marikina, Navotas, Caloocan, Manila and Muntinlupa and the provinces of Rizal, Cavite, Laguna, Bulacan, Tarlac, Bataan and Pampanga by Smart Communications Inc.
The latest calling centers were opened at Paaralang Elementarya ng Rizal, Rembo, Makati; Bulelak Gym, Malanday, Marikina; Hagonoy Municipal Hall, Bulacan; Sto. Rosario Elementary School, Malolos, Bulacan; Cupang Elementary School, Balanga, Bataan; Mobile Libreng Tawag, Pampanga; Baraca, Camachile, Subic, Zambales; San Juan, Castillejos, Zambales; Lingga, Calamba, Laguna; and Central Elementary School, Poblacion, San Pedro, Laguna.
Smart is also offering free cell phone charging in some areas that have no electricity. Talk ‘N Text and Sun Cellular are also providing free calling services in key areas.
In Pampanga, the National Telecommunications Commission tapped Smart to run Mobile Libreng Tawag around the towns of Sto. Tomas and San Simon. Mobile phone units were brought to residents in a roving van.
“Our experience in natural calamities has shown again and again how crucial communication is to survival,” said Mon Isberto, head of Smart’s Public Affairs. “We are here to provide services that the public can rely on, especially in critical situations.”
Smart is also working with PLDT-Smart Foundation, TV5 and local governments to bring aid to families in evacuation centers. It is coordinating with other companies under the PLDT and Metro Pacific Group, with chair Manuel V. Pangilinan leading coordination meetings.
Smart distributed blankets and hygiene kits in recyclable cloth bags to 400 families in Valenzuela City and fed evacuees at Concepcion Integrated School as well as in Malanday in Marikina, and San Mateo, Rizal, in partnership with the First Pacific Leadership Academy. In Barangay Apolonio Samson, Quezon City, Smart and PSF donated 1,000 family relief packs.
Donations of food, hygiene kits, towels and blankets may be sent to TV5’s Alagang Kapatid Foundation at 730 Quirino Highway, San Bartolome, Novaliches, Quezon City, or other drop-off points.
Mobile subscribers may send donations to the Philippine Red Cross via SMS by texting RED <amount> to 4143. Amounts must be in denominations of P10, P25, P50, P100, P300, P500 and P1,000. Cash donations may also be deposited to BDO Savings Account No. 005310-410164 or Bank of the Philippine Islands Savings Account No. 1443-05333-2 under the account name Alagang Kapatid Foundation Inc.