MORE than 48,000 residents in the farming villages of Estancia, Ajuy and Concepcion in Northern Iloilo are seen to benefit from the web-based short message advisory platform of a telecom firm.
Called Infocast, it is an effective emergency communications solution which allows the sending of alerts via text message for free.
According to Smart, Infocast enables registered subscribers to connect with other Infocast members through text broadcasts using a common, unique access code.
The project was made possible through the partnership of Smart Communications and the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) to help Iloilo communities prepare for calamities.
In the recent turnover ceremony in Iloilo City, Smart Senior Manager Nova Concepcion said Smart Infocast has been of great service to the local government units and government agencies that use it.
“Through this partnership with ADRA, we hope to help the Yolanda-affected residents in Iloilo not only in preparing for disasters but in re-building their lives,” Concepcion said.
ADRA is a global humanitarian organization of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church, which delivers relief and development assistance to individuals in more than 130 countries, regardless of ethnicity, political affiliations, or religious organizations.
Following the onslaught of Super Typhoon Yolanda in 2013, ADRA has been helping improve the economic well-being of residents of Ajuy, Concepcion and Estancia through its Restoring, Empowering and Protecting Livelihoods (REAP) Project.
Thomas Pignon, ADRA director in the Philippines said that its target beneficiaries are mostly fisherfolk, farmers and women – the poorest sectors in the Philippines and hardest hit by Yolanda.
“These communities are trapped in poverty, highly exposed to climate risks and are not able to quickly recover from shocks,” Pignon said. (PIA-Iloilo)