PLDT and Smart Communications are making headway in restoring communication services in Palawan in the aftermath of super typhoon Odette.
By Christmas morning, wireless services are up 82% in the entire province. The group’s technical teams are working around the clock to reach affected sites as road clearing and unstable commercial power continue to pose challenges in one of the worst-hit provinces.
Earlier in the week, PLDT and Smart tapped private air charter unit Pacific Global One Aviation (PG1) to fly in additional personnel and network equipment in Palawan to augment deployed teams on the ground.
Smart was the first mobile operator to restore communication services including 5G in Puerto Princesa City enabling residents to make calls, send text messages and connect to the internet. While the typhoon knocked down communication in large areas of Palawan, Smart LTE services in the northern portion of the province including in the towns of San Vicente, Taytay, Roxas, El Nido and the island group of Coron had weathered Odette allowing customers to send and receive SMS, and transact on their LTE-enabled mobile phones. Voice call was also possible for devices with VoLTE function.
PLDT and Smart have ramped up repairs in other severely damaged areas in Visayas and Mindanao particularly in the provinces of Dinagat Islands and Surigao del Norte. Smart was able to reconnect General Luna in the municipality of Siargao just in time for Christmas giving residents in the area the best present yet. Early this week, Smart was also first to restore communication services in Dapa, Siargao, when it fired its portable cell site at the Siargao Institute of Technology bringing back voice calls and text messaging in the area.
Together with PLDT-Smart Foundation (PSF), PLDT and Smart continue to extend assistance in areas that have felt the wrath of super typhoon Odette. So far, the group has distributed more than 13,000 packs of relief aid to severely impacted communities.
The group has also deployed satellite phones and more than a dozen generator sets in Odette-hit sites to aid communication and fire up downed network equipment, as well as power-up Libreng Tawag and Charging stations that have been deployed across Palawan, Visayas, and Mindanao.
With repairs and restoration activities in full swing, PLDT and Smart are committed to bring back affected communication services in remaining badly hit areas soonest and to further extend aid to victims of super typhoon Odette.