November 30th, 2012 05:22 AM
MANILA, Philippines—Smart Communications Inc. is supporting Tingog 2015, a citizen feedback initiative to promote the effective delivery of basic services toward the realization of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015.
An innovative SMS-based service, Tingog (the Bicolano and Cebuano word for “voice”) has been piloted in Tabaco, Albay. It seeks to provide ordinary citizens with a voice in the development process.
Tabaco residents can now report, monitor and provide feedback via SMS on the delivery of public health services, including the expanded program on immunization, maternal and reproductive health services, medical consultation, tuberculosis and nutrition.
To have their feedback heard, Tabaco residents may text TINGOG <space> TAB <space> NAME OF BARANGAY <space> THEIR COMMENT and send to 2015. The citizen reports will be fielded to the concerned government agencies for urgent action.
To back the initiative, the telecom industry, including Smart, has agreed to slash the rate to P1 per SMS report sent to 2015, instead of the standard P2.50 per text. “Smart recognizes the role of wireless technology in addressing urgent gaps in basic social services by enabling communities. Tingog 2015 empowers citizens and encourages the government to provide efficient and quality social services,” said Smart public affairs head Ramon Isberto.
It is no surprise that Albay’s Tabaco City is taking the lead on this initiative, Isberto said.
Albay was the pilot site for Smart’s Infoboard, a Web-based group broadcast service. The Albay Infoboard service allows local government units to send out vital information during calamities and emergencies. Using its feedback module, subscribers can also easily send requests for government assistance during disasters.
The Philippines, including fourth-class cities like Tabaco, is working to meet the 2015 target on MDGs on ending hunger.