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PIA Press Release

Southern Leyte launches faster disaster preparedness with SMS technology

By Erna Gorne

Southern Leyte (15 September) -- To be better prepared for future disasters, some leading corporations of the country took time and poured in logistics in Southern Leyte to strengthen disaster preparedness and response particularly in its communication needs.

The World Bank, Smart Communications and the Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP) in coordination with the Southern Leyte provincial government launched a P10 Million project, Strengthening Disaster Preparedness of Southern Leyte thru SMS Technology ? an SMS innovation for disaster preparedness.

The project's innovation has made it to the World Bank ? Development Marketplace in Washington D.C., where it won together with 24 other projects from among the 1,700 entries from around the world.

The SMS innovations will use the SMART SMS technology to allow for faster, accurate information gathering and dissemination on climate change, multiple hazards, contingency plans and responses.

The fast communication system is anchored on an Infoboard ? a web-based information system and Smart Community SIMs, the local Disaster Risk Reduction Committees and the Provincial Disaster Management Office (PDMO) where it can receive feedback, comments, suggestions and queries from residents and officials, send broadcast messages, advisories and information to community and educate community on disaster preparedness.

It was further learned that residents can access guidelines and disaster preparedness information anywhere and anytime.

The project will initially target selected municipalities such as Maasin City, Libagon, Malitbog, San Francisco, Hinunangan, Liloan, Anahawan, Pintuyan, San Ricardo, Tomas Oppus, all of Southern Leyte.

Governor Damian Mercado signed the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) together with Ramon Isberto of Smart Communications, Chris Pablo of the World Bank and Rafael Lopa of Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP). (PIA SouthLeyte/esg) [top]

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