in Cagayan De Oro, Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) immediately set up Libreng Tawag stations in evacuation centers.
Sendong (international name Washi) dumped heavy rains over Cagayan De Oro and nearby areas overnight, triggering flash floods in several localities. Amidst reports of the growing number of casualties and flood waters submerging houses and trapping residents, the local government and emergency units have led affected residents to various evacuation centers.
Libreng Tawag stations were set up as early as Saturday morning in evacuation centers of hard-hit areas like barangay Macasandig and in Smart’s office in barangay Carmen. Additional free calls facilities are also being put up by the telco in other typhoon-hit areas to provide communication and free phone charging services to affected residents.
“We step up efforts to serve the public especially in crucial times like this,” said Ramon Isberto, head of Smart’s Public Affairs. “It is our duty to keep affected residents connected to their loved ones and to assist the local government and emergency response teams in their coordination through our continuous service.”
Smart’s network officials maintain that network facilities continue to be operational in areas affected by the typhoon. Standard preparations for typhoons include the deployment of response teams and equipment, as well as the storage of back-up fuel to keep Smart’s cell sites up and running in the event of any power outage.
“Employees based in the region are already being deployed to affected areas to assess the situation and to respond to the needs of the residents. We are now mobilizing our people and partners and gathering resources to distribute aid in hard-hit areas as soon as possible,” Isberto said.
Smart subscribers all over the country are meanwhile encouraged to send help to those affected by typhoon Sendong. Smart Money users can instantly transfer funds through their mobile phones to the official Baha Fund account number 5577 5130 6822 1104. Donors may also deposit cash to the same Smart Money account number in any Banco De Oro branch nationwide or through Hapinoy and Cebuana Lhuillier outlets.
Smart subscribers may also send their financial help to the Philippine Red Cross through text. To donate, cellphone users should send RED