Smartphone Hands Texting

PLDT increased free SMS broadcast services for Philippine Red Cross’ contact tracing app

Philippine integrated telecommunications company PLDT Inc. (PLDT) increased the free SMS broadcast services for the Philippine Red Cross’ contact tracing mobile app, RC143. This is part of the company’s efforts to help authorities in fighting the COVID-19 crisis.

Developed by VOXP Technologies & Innovations Inc., RC143 enables users to determine their levels of exposure to COVID-19 based on their movements and location after the user agrees and confirms consent. This information is collected through the PRC database that determines individuals who have come into close proximity with COVID-positive cases. The Smart Messaging Suite platform allows the RC143 app to send one-time passwords and alerts via SMS through the Soprano API.

“By providing free data use and text capabilities to RC143, the people are able to protect themselves, get informed, and communicate with us directly,” said Richard Gordon, CEO of the Philippine Red Cross (PRC).

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Two million texts

PLDT, through its business unit PLDT Enterprise and wireless subsidiary Smart, supported and helped promote the RC143 contact tracing app when it was introduced last year and now has over 100,000 downloads in the Google store. Over two million texts have also been sent in support of app registrations and safety alerts from the PRC.

“This partnership with the Philippine Red Cross is part of our relentless efforts to enable authorities with technology solutions that will allow them to strengthen their initiatives against COVID-19,” said Jovy Hernandez, ePLDT president and CEO and SVP and head for PLDT and Smart Enterprise Business Groups. “We at PLDT Enterprise commit to continue supporting the public sector with whatever requirement they may need to improve services for Filipinos especially during these critical times.”

The whitelisting of the RC143 mobile app is one of the many initiatives that have been rolled out to help agencies and local government units (LGU) in mitigating the spread of the virus. These include free broadcast messaging services for various LGUs, connectivity in quarantine facilities, telecommunications support to various government programs, and now with the roll out of the much anticipated COVID-19 vaccine.