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PLDT spearheads relief efforts in areas affected by Typhoon Ompong

by Katrina A. Mallari | Sep 28, 2018
PLDT Community Relations Head Katherine P. Diaz De Rivera leads the distribution of relief packs to the beneficiaries. 

Light shines the brightest in the darkest of times. Too often, this bright light fuels the sparks of hope. The past few weeks were filled with moments of doubt and fear, especially to the people of the Baggao, Cagayan Province. While their hearts grieve for such tragedy caused by the aftermath of Typhoon Ompong, just around the corner is the same hope that their resilient spirits shall never lose. 

PLDT, through its Community Relations (ComRel) Division, recently turned over 500 food packs, 500 blankets, and 500 hygiene kits to families affected by Typhoon Ompong in Barangays Imurung and San Francisco in the Municipality of Baggao, Cagayan Province. It took 12 hours to reach Baggao, but seeing the happy smiles of the beneficiaries made the entire trip worthwhile.   

Believing in equal opportunities, PLDT ComRel also turned over the award in cash to PLDT Home Fibr Broadband Quiz 3rd runner-up Arnold E. Nicdao from Baggao National High School in Cagayan. The award for Krisha A. Publico and Khianne Ed Miguel P. Orteza from Camalaniugan National High School, also in Cagayan, was turned over through the Office of the Mayor in Baggao. Due to Typhoon Ompong, Nicdao, Publico, and Orteza as well as the other contestants from Pangasinan were not able to make it to the grand finals held last September 14 in SM Megamall. 

PLDT Cagayan Valley Customer Service Operations Zone Head Ruel Brual and PLDT Community Relations Head Katherine P. Diaz De Rivera give away the relief packs to two of the beneficiaries. 

“We hope that through our help, the people of Cagayan Valley gradually open a new chapter in their lives. PLDT will always reach out these families to the best of our abilities. Our hearts and prayers are with the families affected by Typhoon Ompong,” said PLDT ComRel Division Head Katherine P. Diaz De Rivera. 

Aside from the cash prizes awarded to the Broadband Quiz winners, PLDT also turned over two computer units each to Baggao National High School and Camalaniugan National High School in Cagayan. 

With shining eyes and full hearts, the beneficiaries expressed their gratitude to PLDT. Despite the aftermath of Typhoon Ompong, they are overjoyed with all the love and support shown their way. “We are extremely grateful for all the help and support provided by PLDT, especially in our time of need. The events that happened in the wake of Typhoon Ompong were truly devastating. But it is with your love and generosity that we continue to anchor ourselves in hope. Maraming, maraming salamat sa inyo, PLDT,” said Baggao Mayor Leonardo Pattung. 

‘Together, we rise’

With the support of the PLDT employee volunteers from Metro Manila and Tuguegarao and with the invaluable efforts of PLDT Cagayan Valley led by PLDT Cagayan Valley Customer Service Operations Zone (CSOZ) Head Ruel Brual, the relief operations took place a week after Ompong severely hit the Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Bicol, and the Cordillera Administrative Region last September 15. 

Baggao Mayor Leonardo Pattung, 2nd from left, also joins the relief efforts of PLDT with the support of its PLDT employee volunteers both from Metro Manila and Tuguegarao.

The Municipality of Baggao in Cagayan was the most severely affected when Typhoon Ompong hit the country. The tropical storm ruined three power transmission towers and 1,041 houses in the Baggao old town area. At the same time, the livelihood of the people of Baggao were also affected as a lot of grain and root crops were lost and destroyed during the typhoon. 

“The aftermath of Typhoon Ompong has truly tested the faith of many of our brothers and sisters, especially in the Municipality of Baggao. But with these efforts from PLDT such as the Libreng Tawag and Libreng WiFi made available in some parts of town in Tuguegarao, we all find ourselves slowly rebuilding our lives. On behalf of PLDT Cagayan Valley, it is a privilege to continuously serve our brothers and sisters. Together, we rise from the tragedy that was Typhoon Ompong,” said Brual. 

Brual also added that the Libreng Tawag and Libreng WiFi services were located in the PLDT Tugueguarao, Cagayan office. The Libreng Tawag service using a satellite phone, Libreng Charging, and Libreng WiFi were also made available in Poblacion Centro Baggao and other areas as well. 

As of September 21, NDRRMC reported over 1.6 million people affected by Typhoon Ompong. Of the number affected, over 50,000 individuals remain in evacuation centers.

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