We are creating some awesome events for you. Kindly bear with us.

Philippines local government units expand COVID-19 info awareness with Smart Infocast

Image credit: Philippine Information Agency

To enhance Damanjug’s, a third-class municipality in Cebu, COVID-19 response, the local government has been using a web-based short message service (SMS) platform to send out updates via text broadcasts to keep their residents informed about the pandemic situation.

The town’s residents received a message on their smart mobile phones informing them that 64 persons under monitoring (PUM) with history of travel from Cebu City are under a 14-day quarantine.

According to a press release, the message came from the municipal government of this town of around 51,000 people.

To further boost the town’s efforts at curbing the spread of the virus, Dumanjug is now also using the same platform to collect COVID-19-related feedback and reports from their residents.

The system, called Smart Infocast, is a web-based service powered by PLDT wireless arm Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart).

It is a text message broadcast solution can send out several SMS alerts to a specific group of people as defined by designated users. It has been initially used by inter-agency task force groups and local government units (LGUs) to broadcast text updates to officials and employees, health workers, and barangay and police authorities.

A representative of Dumanjug’s Public Information Office said that Smart Infocast has helped to broadcast the town’s COVID-19 efforts, particularly for the LGU’s COVID-19 surveillance, where the government inform citizens about PUMs and their status.

Because the system can deliver immediate messages to a large number of predetermined recipients, LGUs responding to the COVID-19 emergency are now also able to send out news broadcasts, official announcements, and other critical information about COVID-19 to their residents through the service, enhancing the LGU’s information dissemination capabilities.

Smart Infocast also allows registered subscribers to send reports or feedback to the system administrator. In Dumanjug, the local government is asking its residents to report through Infocast persons coming from outside Dumanjug, particularly from areas with existing COVID-19 cases, as part of their municipality’s efforts at curbing the spread of the disease.

The representative noted that the government has a feedback system called ‘I-report ang Bag-ong Naabot’ (Report New Arrivals), where residents could provide through Infocast information about persons arriving from outside their barangays (small administrative divisions) so that they can be immediately assisted by their Barangay Health Emergency Response Teams.

Outside of Dumanjug, in the towns of Madridejos in Cebu and Ubay in Bohol, the local government has been actively encouraging residents on social media to register their numbers to receive regular COVID-19 developments via text message.

In the University of Cebu-Banilad Campus, the university’s student affairs unit has been using Infocast to help its students amid the COVID-19 emergency. The office can be alerted whether students you are living with their relatives in CC or rented rooms.

In Baguio City, the local Public Information Office has been using Smart Infocast to broadcast programs, health advisories and efforts of the city against COVID-19, particularly to Baguio City’s barangay captains.

The city’s mayor said that the Smart Infocast system is of great help to the city in its relentless information and education campaign against the COVID-19 menace.

Smart Infocast is also available in the cities and towns of Cagayan De Oro in Misamis Oriental, Digos, and Zamboanga, in Mindanao; Batuan, Pitogo and Carlos P. Garcia in Bohol, Danao, Bantayan, Sta Fe, Lapu-Lapu and Brgy Tisa in Cebu in the Visayas; as well as in the Northern Mindanao provinces, and the provinces of Batangas, Albay, Sorsogon, Catanduanes, Surigao del Norte and Basilan, among others.

Send this to a friend