PLDT wireless unit Smart Communications, Inc. has partnered with the local government of San Jose in Batangas by providing communications and connectivity support to San Jose’s COVID-19 and emergency response.
Under this partnership, Smart has provided San Jose with a central hotline for their COVID-19 and emergency reporting. Smart has also activated Smart Infocast, a web-based text broadcast solution that will help the San Jose LGU in disseminating regular COVID-19 updates and other city health and LGU advisories among their constituents.
Smart has also deployed safe, fast, and reliable fiber-powered Smart WiFi in San Jose’s municipal hall, plaza, and public market.
“We thank Smart for considering our municipality for this partnership. We are happy to partner with you in serving the people,” said San Jose Mayor Valentino R. Patron, who led the partnership ceremonies with Vice Mayor Noel J. Virtucio and PLDT and Smart representatives led by Smart FVP and Regional Head – Consumer Sales Group John Y. Palanca.
Citing the impact of recent calamities, such as the Taal eruption and the pandemic, on San Jose, Patron highlighted the importance of technology and connectivity in information dissemination. “Communication is key to delivering efficient government service, especially during times of calamities like Taal and COVID-19, where we need fast information dissemination,” he added.
Palanca highlighted Smart’s role in facilitating trust and confidence between the San Jose LGU, the health centers and the constituents, where service-oriented and community-led programs can contribute to meaningful and impactful change.
“By joining forces and sharing resources, San Jose and Smart can be closer partners in delivering a better world for more Filipinos through digital innovation, technology and connectivity,” Palanca said.
“Technology plays a key role in keeping citizens updated about the pandemic, through WiFi, social media, and the hotline. In the new normal, access to the Internet has become more vital than ever, as it enables people to access health-related information, and keeps them connected with their families,” Palanca added.
These efforts are aligned with Smart’s thrust in its “Live Smarter for a Better World” campaign, which elevates Smart’s long-running community partnership programs and enables “personal revolutions” that inspire lasting positive change through connectivity and CSR initiatives.
The deployment of Smart WiFi is part of PLDT and Smart’s nationwide rollout and expansion of their integrated fixed wireless networks. To date, Smart’s wireless network, the fastest mobile network in the country according to third-party analytics firm Ookla, covers 96% of the Philippine population from Batanes to Tawi-Tawi.
Enabling these services is parent company PLDT’s fiber infrastructure, the most extensive in the country at over 478,000 kilometers as of end-March 2021.
PLDT and Smart’s relentless push to provide connectivity for all is aligned with the group’s long-standing commitment to help the Philippines attain the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, particularly SDG #9: Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure.