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DepEd Commends Smart for post-'Pablo' efforts

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The Department of Education (DepEd), through its Adopt-A-School Program, lauded the efforts of Smart Communications, Inc. for its support in assisting communities recover from the devastation of Typhoon Pablo which ravaged several Mindanao towns last year.

(Business Mirror, 09/18/2013) THE Department of Education (DepEd), through its Adopt-A-School Program, lauded the efforts of Smart Communications, Inc. for its support in assisting communities recover from the devastation of Typhoon Pablo which ravaged several Mindanao towns last year.

In particular, DepEd cited Smart's efforts in helping rebuild schools and equipping children in the affected communities with learning resources. These communities include coastal towns of Cateel and Baganga in Davao Oriental and Compostela in Compostela Valley –- areas which bore the brunt of the super typhoon.

Smart, in line with its mandate to make available communication services, was among those who came to the scene just days after the devastation. But on top of providing interim communications services, free call and mobile phone charging, and relief operations, it also went a step further by helping rebuild the affected communities.

Smart distributed learning kits to the elementary students of partner-schools in the coastal towns of Cateel and Baganga in Davao Oriental, and Compostela in Compostela Valley. Each of the schools was also provided two sets of emergency kits and a LifeStraw Family water purifier.

About 8,000 students from Cateel Central Elementary School, Baganga Central Elementary School and Boston Central Elementary School (Davao Oriental), and Monkayo National High School (Compostela Valley) benefited from the distribution of learning kits, while over 1,000 teachers from the same schools were able to get their own teaching kits. The schools are partners under the Smart Schools Program.

Smart also donated its billboard tarps for temporary learning spaces since most of the classroom facilities were destroyed during the typhoon.

"We are happy and at the same time humbled by this recognition. All these post-Pablo efforts are meant to help ensure that the communities, particularly the kids, are able to bounce back following a very traumatic experience. Life must go on and we hope to be able to help in making the transition easier and less painful to bear," said Darwin Flores, Smart department head for community partnerships.

The PLDT-Smart Foundation has funded the construction of eight classrooms and a new library in Cateel Central Elementary School.

Under the auspices of Tulong Kapatid, the consolidated disaster response of the companies under the Metro Pacific Investment Corporation (MPIC), feeding of school kids from affected communities started in January this year and is still ongoing. Smart employees joined colleagues from the various companies under MPIC and PLDT in the book donation drive for school children affected by Typhoon Pablo.