Telcos unite for free advisories during emergencies, disasters

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 15 2011 08:03 PM | Updated as of Apr 16 2011 07:56 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Telecommunications giants Smart, Globe Telecom, and Digitel Telecommunications Philippines (Digitel) have joined forces with the government to launch free advisories and warnings during disasters and other emergencies.

The Partnership in Public Safety and Disaster Communication (PPSDC) was launched in Malacañang Friday.

Under the program, telecommunication companies will send out free text message alerts on public safety and disaster information during calamities and major emergencies.

Text messages will contain information on disaster warnings related to typhoons, earthquakes, tsunamis, and other emergencies.

Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Sonny Coloma said the program aims to give the public timely and accurate information during emergencies, and to avoid panic.

The messages sent will only come from the numer 1456, and will be sent by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), in cooperation with 40 other government agencies.

Among the cooperating agencies are the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs), Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (PNRI), Department of Health, Philippine Information Agency (PIA), and the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC).

The three companies said they can localize sending of messages to affected areas if needed. With reports from Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News