Local government units (LGUs) and their constituents now have an additional communications channel in the fight against COVID-19 through Project Hotline, a dedicated wireless solution offered by Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart).
Designed for use nationwide, the Project Hotline platform includes a free smartphone, a Smart Prepaid or TNT SIM, and free data load allocation good for six months. Smart is also helping out local governments spread the information about their local hotline by bundling tarpaulin banners that can be strategically placed in public places. With these inclusions, the platform will benefit community residents, local government officials and employees, and frontline responders.
“Project Hotline is part of our efforts to ensure that LGUs are equipped with reliable connectivity during these trying times,” said Jane Basas, SVP and head of consumer wireless business at Smart. “By providing our partners with a platform to send and receive community messages, Smart helps LGUs to better address the public health needs of their communities during this pandemic,” she added.
The new communications solution complements other community innovations rolled out by Smart. These include the Smart Infocast Service—a web-based text broadcast solution; the Smart Emergency Cell Broadcast System (ECBS)—a platform that can quickly send public warnings to mobile phone users in specific areas; and the Batingaw emergency app—a mobile application that provides government agencies, organizations, and individuals, immediate access to disaster warnings, advisories, location data, and disaster mappings.
All these innovations underscore Smart’s #SafePH advocacy, which promotes the use of technology to strengthen communications and help mitigate disaster risk in communities.
These efforts are also in line with the commitment of Smart and its parent firm, PLDT Inc., to support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs), particularly the 9th UN SDG on Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure, through building resilient infrastructure, promoting inclusive and sustainable industrialization, and fostering innovation.
Recently, the country’s leading mobile network held a webinar billed as #WeHealAsOne with more than 400 local governments and communities from 32 provinces across Luzon to lay out various digital innovations in education, livelihood and agriculture to help communities adapt to the new normal. They learned from success stories of existing programs supported by Smart.