PLDT, Smart provide relief to Batangas, Mindoro

August 5, 2021 People's Tonight 230 views

PLDT and its wireless unit Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) distributed relief goods to communities in Batangas and Mindoro provinces inundated by floods due to the habagat.

The Group sent around 300 packs of relief goods to residents of Barangay Sambal Ilaya in Lemery, Batangas. The week-long torrential rains have flooded the community, damaging homes and other infrastructure. Around 180 families had been evacuated at the height of the flooding.

“We are thankful to PLDT and Smart for helping us. The continuous downpour inundated half of our barangay forcing residents to flee their homes,” said Roger Eguia, Executive Assistant to the Municipal Mayor in Lemery, Batangas.

Eguia added that around 120 families from the surrounding barangays of Sambal Ibaba, Palanas, Wawa and Maligaya were evacuated as well.

PLDT and Smart also turned over almost 400 packs of relief goods to affected communities in Naujan, Oriental Mindoro and San Jose, Occidental Mindoro.

Some 275 families in Barangay Arangin in the town of Naujan benefited from the aid. Provincial distributor Tristar also extended P 30,000 to boost relief efforts.

Sitting at the foot of Mount Halcon, Arangin is among the far-flung barangays in Naujan. Non-stop rains brought by Habagat drenched the area causing floods and landslides, damaging crops and rice fields.

Meanwhile, PLDT and Smart also handed over 100 relief packs to residents of Barangay 5 in San Jose, Occidental Mindoro. Barangay Captain Rene Fabular said his constituents had to deal with the rising seawater apart from the habagat.

“The water was quite deep. Sea level rose by 2 meters in the five days of non-stop rains. Affected residents had to seek shelter with their neighbors who live on higher ground. We had to remind residents along low-lying areas to evacuate their homes from 9 a.m. to 12 noon during the ordeal,” recalled Fabular.

The Group also distributed relief aid to about 100 families in Barangay Barahan, Santa Cruz, Occidental Mindoro. PLDT and Smart are also lining up relief operations in other impacted communities in the province.

Habagat pounded parts of Luzon and dumped torrential rains in the third week of July. PAGASA reported that the 5-day downpour was equivalent to half of the average month-long rainfall for July. The relentless rains forced more than 26,000 families out of their homes across Luzon and some parts of the Visayas and Mindanao. Habagat also left more than P300 million worth of damage to agriculture particularly in Central Luzon.

PLDT and Smart continue to send aid to communities that were impacted by the deluge. The two companies together with PLDT-Smart Foundation (PSF) will also extend help to affected residents in Orion, Pilar and Balanga in Bataan, and Masantol, Macabebe and Lubao in Pampanga.

These efforts to extend aid are part of PLDT and Smart’s #SafeandSmart advocacy, which promotes preparedness and immediate response through network resilience, continuous availability of communication services, mobile solutions and activities, and relief assistance to help communities mitigate disaster risks. These also underscore the commitment of PLDT and Smart to helping the Philippines attain the UNSDGs, particularly UNSDG #11: Sustainable Cities and Communities.