Advocate for a Safer Philippines, Smart to social media communities

Wireless leader Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) calls on every social media communities in the country to be better prepared for disasters and emergencies.

In his talk during the Social Media Day celebration held last June 28, 2014 at SM Aura, Ramon R. Isberto, Public Affairs Group Head at Smart urged social media communities to also advocate for a safer Philippines.

"Promoting the culture of preparedness couldn't have come at a better time as the Philippines observes the National Disaster Consciousness Month this July. We call on everyone to continue using social media for the common good,” he said.

Louie Domingo, executive director of Emergency Research Center, a non-government organization and one of the partners of Smart for its #SafePh advocacy also shared practical tips on creating one's emergency balde (plastic bucket) or e-balde during the event. More than just a container for liquids, the e-balde can also be used to hold emergency preparedness items such as bottled water, flashlight, lighter, candle, multi-purpose tool, first-aid kit, pea-less whistle, extra clothes, radio, lifesaver or salbabida, umbrella, and food items that don’t need cooking and have longer shelf life.

Social Media Day is celebrated worldwide as a way to recognize how social media has revolutionized the way people communicate and interact. More than 1,000 participants representing 25 various communities attended the activity in Manila. Smart supported the event which was simultaneously held in the cities of Davao, Cebu, Baguio and General Santos by way of connectivity and sponsorship.

Smart also distributed sample emergency kits to representatives of each of the social media communities that participated during the event. The sample emergency kits will serve as guide on the basic items that one needs to have in preparation for disasters and emergencies.

As a key pillar under its corporate social responsibility (CSR) program, Smart has been actively promoting the culture of preparedness not only within its ranks but also with partner-communities, including the millions of its subscribers, and the public in general, under the SafePh advocacy.

“Keeping safe during disasters is not the sole responsibility of the government or of responding agencies. Everyone must embrace the culture of preparedness to reduce the need for rescues, and to minimize loss of lives and properties during disasters and emergencies,” added Isberto.

Preparedness has become more important given the increasing vulnerability of the Philippines to disasters with scale and magnitude never seen in recent history.

To complement its preparedness initiatives, Smart has also been promoting the mobile phone or device as a lifeline during emergencies and disasters. In partnership with developer communities, the telco has been promoting the development of mobile apps to aid in disaster preparedness, management, and response. These apps include the Project NOAH Mobile (the mobile version of the Department of Science and Technology’s Project NOAH site), PINDOT or Provincial Information Network on Disaster Occurrences and Threats (used by the Province of Albay for its disaster management initiatives) and Batingaw (to be used by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council for disaster management).
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