The PLDT Group’s social outreach arm, PLDT-Smart Foundation (PSF) continues to take the lead in assisting fisherfolk, students, and emergency responders in Palawan in their road to recovery from the devastation of super typhoon Odette nearly two years ago.

“We all witnessed the devastation Odette caused to Filipino communities. Part of PSF’s mission is to become reliable partners of our kapatids in need not only during the most challenging times, but also during recovery. We continue to reach out to disaster-affected areas and bring much-needed support, including sustainable livelihood opportunities,” said Ma. Esther O. Santos, President of PSF.

Just recently, PSF provided fishing boats to fisherfolk from selected barangays in Palawan capital Puerto Princesa City, as a sustainable and long-term source of livelihood. The specifications of these vessels can enable fishermen to travel farther into the waters, increasing catch and consequently, their income. 

“We started this project to help Bicol fisherfolk recover from the onslaught of typhoons, by providing them with motorized boats. When Odette struck, we felt that we needed to expand it, and help those affected in other parts of the country. PSF has been generous enough to work with us which led us to providing more boats to Siargao and Palawan communities,” said Carlo Buenaflor, Founder of Fleet of Hope.

To put the project together, PSF worked with Alagang Kapatid Foundation, Inc. (AKFI), the social development arm of TV5, and Fleet of Hope, a livelihood rehabilitation and recovery program that aims to provide motorized boats to disaster-hit communities.

“We lost everything because of Odette, including our boats, which were our main source of income. We had to stop fishing and had to resort to other ways of earning. We thank PSF and Fleet of Hope for giving us fishing boats,” said Jolly Dela Cruz, one of the fisherfolk in Brgy. Manalo, Puerto Princesa City. 

Underscoring the importance of education, PSF and AKFI also provided Sacks of Joy (SOJ), filled with school supplies and learning essentials to students at Manalo Elementary School, also in Puerto Princesa. ‘Extraordinary Manny’, a children’s book on PLDT Chairman Manuel V Pangilinan’s journey to success, was also distributed to motivate students to pursue their studies with renewed enthusiasm. AKFI also provided teachers and students with hygiene kits.

Additionally, two satellite phones were turned over to the Provincial Government of Palawan through Governor Dennis Socrates and to the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (DRRMO) of Puerto Princesa. These phones are meant to serve as a lifeline during emergencies, enabling seamless communication and better response capabilities.

PSF, together with PLDT and Smart, remain fully committed to empowering communities in their journey towards recovery and creating the foundation for long-term progress, making sure no one is left behind. This is also aligned with UNSDGs #1: No Poverty, #8 Decent Work and Economic Growth, and #11 Sustainable Cities and Communities.

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