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Telcos provide assistance to earthquake-affected regions

Local telcos are still sending relief to areas severely damaged by the magnitude 7 earthquake that struck Abra and the surrounding region on Wednesday.

Three additional “libreng tawag (free calls)” and “libreng WiFi” locations in Northern Luzon have been activated, according to a Thursday advisory from PLDT and its wireless subsidiary Smart Communications, Inc. (PLDT-Smart).

These locations are located in Ilocos Sur in the Candon City PD Office, Vigan Northern Alliance Trading at the UNP Town Center, and the Landmark Building in Poblacion, Vigan City.

Additionally, there are sites at the Benguet Agri Pinoy Trading Center in La Trinidad, Benguet, and the Abra PD Office in Bangued, Abra.

PLDT and Smart continued to collaborate with local government units as they prepared to send relief aid to badly damaged communities, in addition to providing communications as help to affected individuals, according to PLDT-Smart.

Through its Rewards program, Globe Telecom (Globe) has enabled a platform that enables its users to provide aid to earthquake-affected families.

In a second alert, Globe customers were informed that starting on Friday, they may exchange personal data for reward points, which could then be used to make donations to foundations and charities via the GlobeOne mobile app.

Customers for home prepaid WiFi and mobile prepaid and postpaid services can simply touch “convert data” in the Rewards section of the new GlobeOne app, according to the statement.

According to the statement, 1GB of data is worth 1 point for prepaid users and 5 points are awarded for the same amount of data for postpaid users.

According to the statement, “customer donations will be transferred to fund relief operations of partner organizations like the Ayala Foundation, the GMA Kapuso Foundation, Rise Against Hunger Philippines, and the ABS-CBN Foundation.”

GCash, a digital payment system from Globe, can be used to send larger donations.

According to the statement, “donations raised through these methods will be given equally to partner NGOs [non-government organizations] participating in relief operations in earthquake-hit areas, including epicenter Abra and neighboring provinces.”

The KonsultaMD telemedicine service from the Globe Group is providing free general physician consultations for a month to inhabitants of earthquake-affected areas who require immediate medical assistance or comfort.

Quake survivors can receive one free video consultation and unlimited voice KonsultaMD consultations between July 27 and August 31 by using the promo code LIBRENGKONSULTA. According to the statement, KonsultaMD will electronically deliver patients the required prescriptions, laboratory orders, and medical certificates.

Those in need of psychosocial help can use the promo code “HEREFORU” within the same time frame to receive unlimited free mental health consultations using the KonsultaMD app.

In Bangued, Abra, Globe had previously set up a free call, free charge, and free WiFi station.

A disaster deployment preparedness team was sent to Northern Luzon on Wednesday by Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) Secretary Ivan John Uy to look for areas with damaged infrastructure.

He added the DICT might send out communications trucks equipped with a satellite-powered network hub and a generator set for mobile deployment to locations where communications infrastructures have been affected.

At roughly 8:43 on Wednesday morning, a magnitude 7 tectonic earthquake occurred three kilometers northeast of the Tayum municipality in Abra.

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