PLDT Inc., formerly known as the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company, recently launched its Smart City program, #READY throughout the country. The program is designed to provide local government units (LGUs) with digital solutions to manage public safety, emergency, and disaster situations more efficiently and to improve public services, advance people’s welfare, and accelerate local economic and social development.
PLDT is working with the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC) to help LGUs better perform as first responders during emergencies and disasters with the aid of digital solutions. They will be equipped with mobile communication units and automated SMS broadcast service as a basic package. In future, this service can be expanded to include data center services, 911 hotlines, Smart SMS broadcast service, a full CRM command center, website development, dedicated fiber connectivity, and satellite phones.
“Communication is essential in our operations, from disaster preparedness, response, and recovery. Thanks to advancements in technology, we can prepare for these incidents and mitigate the impact of natural disasters, damages and casualties,” stated NDRRMC undersecretary Ricardo Jalad.
The Smart program will also provide digital solutions that help in the economic growth of cities and local municipalities through job creation, promotion of local businesses, and encouraging investors within their regions. Digital technology platforms like an online marketplace, payment solutions, optimized websites, and micro-lending financial solutions can empower businesses and promote local entrepreneurship.
Under its citizen welfare pillar, the Smart City program aims to promote transparency and efficiency in the interactions between government and their constituents through digital solutions such as the Citizen app, and automating delivery and payment processes for government services.
“The #READY initiative falls under Public Safety – the first main pillar of our Smart City campaign we are undertaking,” explained PLDT chairman and CEO Manuel V. Pangilinan. “The other three major pillars are economic growth, citizen welfare and digital infrastructure. These initiatives will equip our LGUs with digital tools to build a connected community and move towards becoming a future-ready Smart City.”