PLDT, its wireless unit Smart Communications Inc., and the companies’ PLDT-Smart Foundation are joining the relief efforts spearheaded by Tulong Kapatid, the consortium of the foundations of the companies led by businessman Manuel V. Pangilinan.

PLDT and Smart have deployed quick-response communications and relief assistance to residents in communities affected by the series of earthquakes that hit Cotabato starting Oct. 29.

PLDT provided internet connectivity for the use of responders at the command center in Kidapawan City, while Smart set up free callS stations at the municipal grounds of Tulunan, where the magnitude 6.6 earthquake first struck; at Makilala town hall, and in Kidapawan, as well as other locations in North Cotabato and Davao del Sur.

Smart provided satellite emergency communications support, LTE pocket Wi-Fis, and mobile phone load to Philippine Red Cross responders.

The companies turned over to the LGU tents and old banners that may be used as makeshift shelters for those whose houses or buildings were damaged.

Employee-volunteers from Smart and Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation also distributed 300 gallons of water to the affected residents staying at an evacuation center in Barangay Ilomavis in Kidapawan.

PLDT-Smart Foundation, meanwhile, brought relief packs containing rice, canned food, and cereal drink, and hygiene kits for the evacuees. PSF volunteers also distributed to students Sacks of Joy, which include notebooks, pens, crayons, and other school supplies.

Various companies under the Tulong Kapatid initiative have pooled their resources to bring food items, blankets, folding beds, and solar lamps, among other relief items.

These companies include Maynilad, which deployed a mobile treatment plant that can treat 7,000 gallons of water daily; One Meralco Foundation, which provided drinking water; Metro Pacific Investments Corp., table top water filters; Makati Medical Center Foundation, medical supplies and psychosocial materials; and Cignal TV, which donated tents to be used in Magsaysay, Davao del Sur.

The initiative was made possible through the collaboration of Tulong Kapatid, TV5’s Alagang Kapatid Foundation, Miescor, Tzu Chi Foundation, Cebuana Lhuillier, Energy Development Corp., and other companies and organizations.

This support is part of PLDT-Smart’s #SafePH program, which promotes preparedness and immediate response through network resilience, continuous availability of communication services, and mobile solutions and activities that help communities mitigate disaster risks.