The Calamba City government teams up with PLDT and Smart to power the city’s frontliners. Smart turned over 70 SmartBro WiFi devices and 30 Smart 5G-ready SIMs with load allocation in support of the city’s modern-day heroes during the celebration of the fifth “Buhayani” festival.
The festival honors the life and the works of national hero and Calamba native, Dr. Jose Rizal, who was born on June 19, 1861. This year also marks Rizal’s 160th birthday. In his honor, the “Buhayani” also pays tribute to the sacrifice and unequalled love of country by Filipino heroes who fought for Philippine freedom.
“The support of PLDT and Smart for the frontliners is very timely. LGUs can only do so much given our limited resources,” noted Calamba Mayor Timmy Chipeco.
Filipino frontliners have taken on the role of the modern-day heroes in the time of the Covid-19 pandemic. Facing threats from the coronavirus, they have continued to serve selflessly just like Rizal and the many Filipino heroes who have committed their lives to helping their compatriots.
“Just as our national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal, inspired an entire nation to fight for our freedom, our frontliners today are also inspiring us to rise up to the challenge and do our share in the fight against an invisible and lethal enemy that is Covid-19,” said John Palanca, Smart First Vice President and Regional Head for Luzon Consumer Sales.
“While they are entrenched on the front lines, Smart is firmly behind them in every battleground as we work together to free our nation from the grip of the coronavirus,” added Catherine Yap-Yang, First Vice President and Group Head of Corporate Communications at PLDT and Smart.
With the government limiting people movement, frontliners have been the ones going around the communities to check on residents’ health, trace close contacts of Covid-positive patients, monitor residents undergoing quarantine, and implement the government’s anti-Covid measures. To help local government units see the bigger picture, frontliners need to share relevant information they have gathered during their rounds.
“Internet connectivity is very important in the time of the pandemic. Our frontliners need connectivity devices and data load so they can promptly submit numerous reports that are being asked of them every day. We need to look at these reports so we can immediately respond to growing concerns,” said Dr Adelino Labro, Calamba City Health Office Head.
Getting those reports in and on-time won’t be a problem with the Smart Bro Pocket WiFi. The device allows frontliners to connect to Smart LTE, the fastest mobile network in the country according to international analytics firms. To date, Smart’s mobile network covers 96% of the Philippine population. LTE is present in all sites in Calamba, Laguna. Supporting Smart’s mobile infrastructure is PLDT’s fiber optic network that stretches more than 478,000 kilometers as of end-March 2021, the most extensive in the country.
Ookla, the global leader in internet testing and analysis, named Smart as the country’s fastest mobile data network in the second half of 2020, and has also cited Smart as the country’s fastest mobile data network for three years in a row now.
On the other hand, Smart also recently scored a rare sweep in the April 2021 Philippines Mobile Network Experience Awards by independent analytics firm Opensignal*, beating the competition across all metrics in three essential aspects of service: Coverage (4G Coverage Experience, 4G Availability), Speed (Download and Upload Speed) and Experience (Games, Video and Voice App).
PLDT and Smart have been formidable allies in the government’s Covid-19 response, which also includes the roll-out of fiber-powered WiFi connectivity to government-run quarantine, swabbing, isolation sites, vaccination sites, and other COVID-19 facilities.
Since last year, PLDT and Smart have been providing connectivity and communications support to frontline agencies and their personnel such as the Departments of Health, Transportation, Public Works, the Armed Forces and police, local governments, and non-governmental organizations in different parts of the country, to help frontliners and patients stay connected despite the challenges of the pandemic.
These efforts are aligned with Smart’s thrust in its “Live Smarter for a Better World” campaign, which highlights Smart’s long-running community partnership programs, enabling “personal revolutions” that spark lasting positive change through connectivity and CSR initiatives. These efforts are also part of the company’s commitment to helping the Philippines attain the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals, including SDG #4: Quality Education and SDG #9: Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure.