On Friday, July 14, a simulation of 7.2 magnitude earthquake and consequent tsunami will transpire in Davao City and Metro Manila using PLDT-Smart’s Emergency Cell Broadcast System (ECBS).
“We understand how important communication is, especially in times of calamities. Our ECBS and satellite solutions, as well as traditional fixed and wireless services, are deployed to affected areas as we recognize communications as a form of relief,” Ramon Isberto, PLDT and Smart public affairs head in a statement said.
In Davao City, the drill will start at 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. in Metro Manila to be led by local officials and Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) personnel, respectively.
Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte will lead the city’s drill together with Disaster Risk Reduction Management Officer and Central 911 chief Emmanuel Jaldon, and key participating units. In Metro Manila, the event will be spearheaded by the Metro Manila Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (MMDRRMC) and managed by MMDA, the Office of Civil Defense (OCD), and other support agencies.
To start the simulation, Smart’s ECBS will send alert messages to residents in the area informing them of the activity. To date, Smart is the only telecommunication company to comply with Republic Act No. 10639, or the Free Mobile Disaster Alerts Act, thru the ECBS.
Isberto said Smart will also deploy Smart Satellite solutions and LTE mobile connectivity to ensure uninterrupted communications among response units. These services will complement the free calling and charging services for the use of earthquake and tsunami drill participants.
Sara urged Davaoenos to join the drill to be always prepared in case a strong quake or tsunami hits the city.
“I encourage all Dabawenyos to participate in the 1st Davao City earthquake and tsunami drill on Friday, July 14, because this will help us prepare ourselves in the event a tsunami or an earthquake hits Davao City. “It is our responsibility to ensure that everyone in our communities and our homes are aware and knowledgeable of the things that should be done in cases of emergencies. Preparation, which involves learning or acquiring emergency skills, is critical in protecting ourselves, our families, and our communities. Readiness is key to survival,” Sara said.
Smart has been active in provide communication support during calamities in the country being a member of the emergency telecommunications cluster of the NDRRMC.
The communication support includes free broadcast alerts, free texts, calls and charging, and satellite solutions to LGUs and response teams.
Smart is also a founding signatory of GSMA’s Human Connectivity Charter (HCC), which aims to empower operators to improve their disaster resilience through mobile technology.
Smart officials said through the company’s #SafePH advocacy and as part of its commitment to the HCC, Smart promotes resilience using technology and communications. The company’s disaster risk reduction initiatives have helped instill a culture of preparedness among its partners and the general public. These include emergency mobile solutions such as the Batingaw disaster preparedness app and the Agos community aid SMS platform, as well as on-ground community caravans such as the Tropang Ready educational series for the youth. Judy G. Quiros