Chikka supports ‘Readysaster’ hackathon on disaster response
Rosalinda L. Orosa (The Philippine Star) - June 9, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Technology advocate Chikka Philippines recently supported “Readysaster: Hack for Resilience,” a hackathon for disaster response and preparedness held at the Smart Tower in Makati City.

More than 200 participants from various schools and organizations gathered for the two-day event, all accepting the challenge of creating innovative Web and mobile applications to help improve disaster risk preparedness in the country.

The hacking competition, spearheaded by Open Data Philippines, is part of the global initiative dubbed Code for Resilience, which aims to build resilience in disaster-affected communities through the use of information and communication technologies.

“We want people to realize the role of information technology in saving lives. Through the efficient dissemination of vital data to the public, we can enhance our preparedness for disasters, respond more readily to emergencies, and help build a reliable source of information for future risk planning and preparedness efforts,” said Nick Castro of Open Data Philippines.

“As a company devoted to easing the lives of fellow Filipinos through technology, Chikka fully supports this call for young developers and IT enthusiasts to come together and build apps that would help solve the problems that our country is facing today,” said Junie Agcaoili, Chikka Philippines corporate communications director.

“The use of innovative technologies to help improve the Filipinos’ quality of life is a cause very dear to our hearts. It is the same principle that drove us to create the Chikka Text Messenger more than a decade ago,” he said.

Chikka’s flagship application product, the Chikka Text Messenger, is the world’s first commercially successful integration of Web and mobile utilities. Since its release in 2000, it has connected millions of Filipinos in different parts of the world to their families here in the Philippines for free.

“We must continue to find ways to make technology beneficial given our country’s unique set of challenges; in this case, the scores of natural and man-made disasters that come upon us every year,” Agcaoili said.

With the question “Can your code save lives?” as inspiration, the participating teams successfully presented 24 applications geared toward data-gathering and information dissemination in times of natural calamities and disasters.

Team Gordon College CSS took home the grand prize for iLigtas, an application that utilizes crowd-sourced information through geo-tags, SMS and social media for disaster prevention and response.

Coming in at second place was Team Kung Saan Man Tutungo at Kung Kailan Kami Hihinto for their app, AlistoPH.

Since creating Chikka Text Messenger, the company has evolved into an incubator for new technologies and innovation, producing telco-grade platforms and real value-added services for the new digital and mobile generation.

Chikka recently developed an app that dispenses mobile data in affordable bite-sizes or sachets. The company’s mission, first stated in 2000, is “to bring together communities, heretofore separated by geographical barriers and differences in technology.”

CHIKKA CHIKKA PHILIPPINES CHIKKA TEXT MESSENGER JUNIE AGCAOILI KUNG KAILAN KAMI HIHINTO MAKATI CITY NICK CASTRO OF OPEN DATA PHILIPPINES OPEN DATA PHILIPPINES SMART TOWER TEAM GORDON COLLEGE
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