[24 June 2014] Wireless leader Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) and the Bohol Provincial Government have jointly organized a summit to strengthen the capabilities of barangay officials to prepare for and respond to disasters.
Wireless leader Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) and the Bohol Provincial Government have jointly organized a summit to strengthen the capabilities of barangay officials to prepare for and respond to disasters.
Barangay captains representing the province’s over 1,100 barangays participated in the Disaster Preparedness Summit that was held recently at the Bohol Cultural Center in Tagbilaran City with the theme, “The Role of Punong Barangays on Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction Management”.
“The Bohol earthquake and Yolanda underscored the need for everyone to work together towards preparedness. This summit provides an opportunity for the Province of Bohol to bring preparedness during disasters down to the barangay level where there is most engagement with high-risk communities,” said Ramon R. Isberto, head of Public Affairs at Smart.
“This joint initiative with the provincial government of Bohol forms part of our emerging disaster preparedness strategy anchored on building partnerships with local government units (LGUs) in disaster-prone areas,” added Isberto.
Smart has been working closely with LGUs on disaster preparedness and response. One of these initiatives is the Noah’s Ark Project, a six-month capacity building program implemented by the Corporate Network for Disaster Response (CNDR) that aims to beef up capacities of high-risk communities to prepare for, respond, and manage the impact of disasters, particularly floods.
During the summit, Noah’s Ark community, Brgy Captain Gregorio Oira of Dumaguete City’s Brgy Candau-ay, shared experiences and learning from the Noah’s Ark Project. Initial response from the participants indicates that the province is also interested to become a Noah’s Ark community.
Smart’s Infoboard, a web-based SMS tool that helps disseminate information to a community, was also turned over to the provincial government. The Infoboard has proven useful as a communications tool before, during and after disasters as it allows faster, wider and accurate dissemination of advisories coming from the local disaster risk reduction and management office.
Dr. Cedric Daep, head of the Albay Public Safety and Emergency Management Office (APSEMO) and CNDR consultant, was tapped as resource speaker during the conference.
Smart has been promoting the culture of preparedness not only within the organization but also with its partner-communities amid the increasing vulnerability of the country to disasters. It is harnessing mobile and wireless technologies as communication tools before, during and after disasters. It is also helping build the capacities of high-risk communities to prepare for, deal with, and manage the impact of disasters.
Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) turns over the Infoboard to the Province of Bohol. The Infoboard is a web-based tool using short messaging service (SMS) technology that has proven to be an effective communications tool for LGUs before, during and after disasters.