Together with PLDT-Smart Foundation, PLDT and wireless unit Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) have sent around 1,300 packs of relief aid to communities affected by Tropical Storm Jolina in Marinduque, Quezon, Masbate, and Camarines Sur. Nearly half that, or 600 packs, have been turned over to the province of Marinduque. “To PLDT and Smart, for the relief goods sent to us, we really felt the love. Thank you so much from Marinduque, the heart of the Philippines,” said House Speaker and Marinduque representative Lord Allan Velasco. Jolina caused massive flooding in the province where almost 1,000 families needed to be brought to safer location because of the storm. It damaged more than 500 houses in the province and destroyed as much as Php 111 million worth of farm products and infrastructure.
PLDT and Smart also extended aid to around 200 families in Lucena City, 50 families in Gumaca and another 50 families in Guinayangan in Quezon province. The food pack’s rice component was sourced from PLDT and Smart’s ‘Buy Local’ initiative that helps small-holder farmers in Luzon. Quezon is reeling from losses of up to Php 18 million worth of damage to agriculture and infrastructure. Almost 7,000 families were evacuated. “We thank PLDT and Smart for sending aid to our residents. These donations will go a long way, especially that we are also being saddled with the coronavirus pandemic,” said Lucena City Mayor Roderick Alcala.
“We rarely receive aid in times of calamity because of the challenges of reaching our community. We are glad that PLDT, Smart and PSF took the effort to send relief packs to our barangay,” said one of the beneficiaries in Masbate. PLDT and Smart’s #SafeandSmart advocacy underscores the critical role of the companies in disaster management in the Philippines – from mitigation to recovery.