• PLDT, Smart empower customers to support sustainability initiatives for the holidays

    Recognizing its role in effecting positive change for communitiesin need, the country’s largest, integrated telecommunications company PLDT Inc.(PLDT), together with its wireless subsidiary Smart Communications, Inc.(Smart), is empowering its customers nationwide to support meaningful programsthis season.

    Forits holiday initiatives for brands PLDT Home and Smart Signature, the telcogroup is enabling its customers through a donation component that convergessupport for local livelihood, climate action, and the protection of children onthe Internet. This comes in light of the impact of recent typhoons that hitlocal communities, as well as the continuously rising cases of online sexualabuse and exploitation of children (OSAEC) in the Philippines.

    “Thisseason of giving, we aim to share with our customers the gift of meaningfulconnections and the experience of supporting different causes that areimportant to us as a company – the continuing livelihood of our localcommunities and the safety of our children online. We have then created thisprogram to further expand our impact and engage our customers in the process,simply through their subscription with us,” said Rebecca de Guzman, Group Headfor Retail Operations of PLDT and Smart.

    “Forevery new postpaid line activation or account retention at any of ourparticipating stores, PLDT and Smart would pledge support to special causes onbehalf of our customer. As a token of our shared donation, our customer gets aneco-friendly set of goodies that consist of an upcycled flour sack bag and abiodegradable tag that can grow seeds,” explained Jacqueline Bocalan, TradeMarketing Department Head for Smart.

    Tofacilitate this program, PLDT and Smart collaborated with Kids for Kids, ayouth-led organization under sustainability and creative change agency TAYOthat champions children’s rights and marries creativity and sustainability forpositive change. Proceeds go towards supporting the livelihood and culturalidentity of local embroiderers from the Hand Embroidery Capital of thePhilippines in Lumban, Laguna, in cooperation with social enterprise Sariwa,and to the barangay-based programs of the SaferKidsPH consortium of UNICEF,Save the Children, Asia Foundation to end OSAEC in the country.

    “Kidsfor Kids has been working towards bridging the gap between corporations, likePLDT and Smart, and changemakers to champion children’s rights – especially theright of every child to a safe environment. We believe in using the Filipinospirit of Bayanihan to connect communities and createvalue-adding campaigns that benefit both people and planet,” said Kids for Kidsco-founders Natasha and Isabella Tanjutco.

    PLDTand Smart, through their collaboration platform Better Today, have also beenworking with Kids for Kids to craft a stream of content that aims to raiseawareness on child online protection and youth-led initiatives to endOSAEC.

    Earlierthis year, the Department of Justice raised alarm on the 264% year-on-yearincrease in cases of OSAEC in the country amid community quarantine measures.This has since led PLDT and Smart to strengthen its child protectioninitiatives through business policies, implementing technology, and educationof communities.

    “Wehope more companies continue to champion youth-led causes, just like PLDT andSmart, in order to foster a community for positive change,” said Tanjutco.

    Withthe inclusion of child protection, PLDT and Smart’s sustainability pillars areanchored on the conduct of its business, particularly in its thrust to championawesome customer experience, environmental stewardship, community impact andexcellence in human capital, among others. The group works on integrating theseareas to beef up its continuing contribution to the United Nations SustainableDevelopment Goals.
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