How Telcos are helping in Bohol and Cebu After the Earthquake

I am sharing this news about how the two telcos are in one way helping. This also serves as updates on how to access to these services. Both are press releases from the two telcos.

PLDT Wireless Group

PLDT wireless group responds to Bohol and Cebu quake efforts

[October 16, 2013/ Manila] – The wireless units of the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT), Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) and Digitel Mobile Philippines, Inc. (DMPI), immediately provided assistance in the rescue and relief efforts following the 7.2 magnitude earthquake that hit Central Visayas Tuesday morning by providing communications support to the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Councils of Bohol and Cebu.

Fixed and mobile internet devices as well as load were quickly turned over to the provincial agencies after the disaster struck.

To assist affected residents, Libreng Tawag and free mobile phone battery charging stations have been set at the City Hall, Carlos P. Garcia Sports Complex and People’s Mansion – all in Tagbilaran City, Bohol. Smart has also opened its cellsite along J. Clarin St. in Tagbilaran City for free mobile phone battery charging. Smart provided volunteer groups such as Red Cross, Chocolate Hills Amateur Radio League and Tarsier 117 with cellphone load to help in their rescue coordination efforts. Smart is also working with local community partners in opening up Libreng Tawag stations.

Meanwhile, Smart Store operations in Tagbilaran City will resume once the Ambassador Arcade building administrator provides safety clearance . In Cebu, PLDT Jones along Osmena Blvd. is now open while both Smart Stores in Metro Ayala and SM Cebu area will open as soon as the mall operators give the go signal.

“Communications play a crucial role during and in the aftermath of disasters. That’s why providing fast and timely disaster response support is standard practice for us.” said Ramon R. Isberto, spokesperson at PLDT and group head of Smart Public Affairs.

“More than just providing free call and power charging services to the affected communities, we also provide support to allow government and humanitarian agencies to coordinate rescue and relief efforts,” added Isberto.

The earthquake that hit Visayas was stronger than the one that hit Haiti in January 2010. Majority of the casualties were in Bohol as the epicenter is located in the town Carmen. The quake toppled centuries-old churches, buildings and other structures and also triggered landslides.

GLOBE TELECOM

Globe Telecom’s network in the Visayas region did not sustain any significant damage from the 7.2 magnitude earthquake that hit the region Tuesday morning based on the initial assessment made by its local network personnel. “Our network continues to be operational to provide critical telecommunication services for rescue and relief operations affected by the earthquake,” said Robert Tan, Globe Chief Technical Adviser. Initial reports showed key Globe facilities in Lahug, Talisay,Abacus, San Remegio, Dauin, Cadiz, Iloilo, Roxas, Ormoc and Tacloban incurred no damage and are fully operational. Still, power outage in earthquake-damaged areas like Tagbilaran in Bohol may adversely affect operations in some of the company’s base stations,Tan said. Store operations in Cebu and Bohol have been temporarily suspended as employees were evacuated. Tan emphasized that continuous site damage assessment is being conducted in all sites hit by the earthquake as a standard operating procedure. He added efforts undertaken by the company to further strengthen our resiliency and redundancy program have made Globe network disaster-ready. Globe Telecom will provide network advisories as necessary.

Globe Telecom is also currently setting up a Libreng Tawag and Libreng Charging station in Tagbilaran Municipal Hall in Tagbilaran City, Bohol where families affected by this morning’s strong earthquake are currently staying. Tents are being put up outside the municipal hall to serve as evacuation centers until it is assured that there will be no more risk for the people to return to their homes. Aside from giving Bohol residents an opportunity to get in touch with their friends and relatives for free, Globe is also providing free charging of cellular phones since the earthquake has also caused power failure in the island.

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