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Smart joins Mayon relief operations

PLDT wireless subsidiary Smart Communications Inc. has taken part in a relief assistance activity for hundreds of families displaced by the ongoing Mayon Volcano eruption in Albay.

Smart volunteers, in a joint effort with the Tulong Kapatid initiative of Manuel V. Pangilinan’s group of companies, served hot meals to over 2,000 evacuees housed in evacuation centers in Ligao City and Malilipot town in Albay.

Tulong Kapatid is the Pangilinan-led companies’ consolidated corporate social responsibility efforts geared toward helping families who have fallen victims to calamities such as the Mayon eruption.

These children hold plates of hot meals during the relief drive conducted by employees of companies under the Tulong Kapatid initiative at Ligao City Technical and Vocational High School, which has been turned into an evacuation center due to the eruption of Mt. Mayon.

Smart also provided Libreng Tawag (free calls) and Wi-Fi service to evacuees and personnel, allowing them to communicate with their families and loved ones.

Apart from the feeding program, the relief drive also provided hygiene kits, grocery packs, bottled water, parlor games for children and adults, and free cable viewing at Ligao City Technical and Vocational High School in Barangay Nasisi and Malilipot Central Elementary School.

Among the organizations part of the Tulong Kapatid initiative are PLDT, Smart, PLDT-Smart Foundation, One Meralco Foundation, Philex Mining Corp., Maynilad, Alagang Kapatid Foundation, Makati Medical Center, Metro Pacific Investments Corp., and TV5.

Each of the companies played a significant role during the Albay relief operation, which started on Feb. 10 until Feb. 16, said Menchie Silvestre, Alagang Kapatid Foundation executive director.

Silvestre said Alagang Kapatid set the ground work in determining where the relief activity should be held, while PLDT and Smart provided hot meals, hygiene kits, and communication services. Maynilad, for its part, provided free drinking water, while Meralco took care of electricity needs, Philex distributed more relief packs, and Cignal offered free cable entertainment.

“Tulong Kapatid aims to reach out to victims of calamities and help make their lives more bearable by making sure they get the basic services that they need,” said Silvestre. “What we did in Albay was a team effort, where you see volunteers from the different MVP companies working hand in hand for this humanitarian event,” she added.