By Edd K. Usman
Telco giant PLDT recently launched its “Smart City” program highlighted by the unveiling of its #Ready initiative for public safety.
#Ready harnesses the same Israeli-developed emergency response software that is also being used in Rescue 911 hotline in the United States.
The introduction of #Ready is part of the launch of PLDT’s new Smart City campaign leveraging digital technologies for public safety during emergencies.
Smart City, geared towards the empowerment of local government units (LGUs) for disaster preparedness and response, has four pillars: public safety, economic growth, citizen welfare, and digital infrastructure.
The #Ready is the first initiative under Smart City through PLDT Enterprise.
PLDT chairman and CEO Manuel V. Pangilinan led the launch at the Makati Diamond Residences in Makati City, with several LGU executives in attendance.
Also present were Ricardo Jalad, chief of the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) and executive director of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC).
Under #Ready, PLDT is working with the NDRMMC to help LGUs perform their roles as first responders and front-liners during emergencies and disasters using digital solutions.
Jalad cited the importance of technology in the government’s disaster prevention and mitigation campaign.
“Communication is essential in our operations, from disaster preparedness, response, and recovery. Thanks to advancements in technology, we are able to better prepare for these incidents and effectively disseminate warnings to mitigate the impact of natural disaster, damages, and casualties,” said the NDRMMC official.
Israeli firm NowForce’s end-to-end solution provides tools for citizens and the command center of an LGU so they can readily communicate with each during emergencies.
Any citizen registered to an LGU’s command center can report any emergency and the command center can then deploy the closest, most qualified responders as the location of the emergency is also known in real-time.
Eric Alberto, PLDT chief revenue officer and EVP, assured the telecommunications’ firm’s commitment to public safety.
“The safety of its citizens is the first concern of any Smart City. PLDT’s #Ready gives our local governments the tools to ensure their constituents’ safety during times of calamity and emergency, aid efforts in minimizing loss of lives and damage to properties, and speed up recovery and rehabilitation,” he said.
PLDT’s Smart City program also seeks to help through its digital solutions cities’ and municipalities’ economic growth by way of job creation, promotion of local businesses, and encouraging investors within their locality.