In a health crisis, accurate and credible information is critical. When the Covid-19 pandemic reached Lanao del Sur, the provincial government strengthened its information drive using Smart Infocast, a text-broadcast solution powered by PLDT wireless unit Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart).
With Infocast, the provincial government can send the latest advisories on health protocols and efforts of the government against Covid-19 to Maranao constituents. The platform also allows registered subscribers to send feedback directly to the LGU.
“Information is vital especially during a crisis. If you can inform 1,000 people, you can save around 5,000 more. This will cause a ripple effect until the information reaches everyone,” said Jennie Tamano, head of the Provincial Information Office.
The service complements other communication tools of the LGU, such as social media and radio broadcast “Not all people have access to internet connection and radio to stay updated. Infocast, allows us to reach a wider audience. It is convenient since we can disseminate information in an instant,” Tamano added.
“With Smart Infocast, the Provincial Government of Lanao del Sur is able to beef up its communication and information drive especially during this health crisis we are experiencing. We are assured that we can give fresh, vital and relevant information to our constituents in the grassroots,” said Lanao del Sur Governor Mamintal Adiong, Jr.
The partnership of Smart with the LGU was facilitated by the USAID and Plan International’s Marawi Response Project (MRP) that supports the government endeavors in their fight against Covid-19.
“We are grateful to have partnered with the LGU in various capacities. Smart’s Infocast system makes valuable, real-time information available to their constituents,” said Marlon Libot, Deputy Chief of Party of USAID MRP.
“The Infocast system supports the province and MRP’s aim to combat disinformation regarding COVID-19 by strengthening sources of accurate information, thereby, protecting the civil liberties of vulnerable populations,” he added.
“Through Smart Infocast, we hope to be instrumental in enhancing both the communication and preparedness efforts of Lanao del Sur,” said Smart VisMin Public Affairs Affairs AVP and Center Head Maria Jane Paredes. “The service supports our #SafePH advocacy which promotes the use of technology to help mitigate risk in communities,” she added.
The solution has boosted the communication efforts of institutions where it has been implemented, among them local government units, government agencies, and other organizations. In Mindanao, Smart Infocast has been used as part of the Covid-19 information campaigns of Maguindanao, Cagayan de Oro City, Surigao del Norte, Pagadian City, among others.