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Smart turns over Infoboard service to Cebu Capitol

| by: Xerxes Alkuino

Smart Communications, Inc. brought in internet-based communication tool, Infoboard to Cebu to enhance its disaster preparedness communication system.

Infoboard complements and improves the conventional or other advanced communication systems such as telefax, text messaging, and the social media sites.

For the Province of Cebu, the communication tool would speed up the delivery of processed emergency advisories to its constituents from the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO).

Governor Hilario P. Davide III said the software is highly recommended for the towns in the province to also avail of the product.

“Our experience with typhoon Yolanda and the earthquake last year has taught us how very important communication really is. The provincial government is very happy with this partnership and we thank Smart for providing us with this capability,” he said.

Gov. Davide assured that Infoboard will become part of the Capitol disaster’s body and its contingency plans.

How to use the Infoboard? Smart Public Affairs Head Ramon Isberto said as soon as the state weather bureau issues advisories, the PDRRMO translates the messages in to local language and customized it based on the protocol they designed on different locations and corresponding hazards.

For example, he said, for the communities near the shoreline, they are alerted for possible storm surge, and for those near the river are warned for flood.

Isberto said this is already done in the provinces of Albay and Southern Leyte. Both are already using Infoboard.

He said the nice thing about Infoboard is that it is web-based, which means “you broadcast the messages in one blast. He said they also use SMS because it is still the “most robust mobile communication,” which means “with the smallest amount of network resources the messages will get through.”

“Besides most people don’t have smart phones. So, it is the most popular way of getting the messages around,” he added.

To operate the technology, there will be an Infoboard Management. The PDRRMO may act as the administrator and assign content providers to send vital information to its registered smart subscribers. PDRRMO is assured of free monthly allocation of SMS from Smart.

Smart is still in the process of incorporating Sun subscribers into the system.

Infoboard can also be used in other forms of communications such as to receive feedback, comments, suggestions, and queries, and conduct polls, surveys, and real time results.

Smart is also partnering with the Capitol in the implementation of a community-based disaster risk reduction and management project called Noah’s Ark in the province.

This came after super typhoon Yolanda battered northern Cebu last November. In preceding month of October, Cebu also felt the 7.2 magnitude earthquake that hit the neighboring province of Bohol.