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PLDT, Smart CSR Efforts Foster Nation Building

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(Philippine Daily Inquirer, 07/09/2012) An out-of-the-box education program that features lots of intense classroom work but no homework and no books. A new flood monitoring program that promises to rewrite the rules of disaster preparedness. A program that allows a patient in Mindanao to be operated on by a specialist in Makati via mobile Internet.

(Philippine Daily Inquirer, 07/09/2012) An out-of-the-box education program that features lots of intense classroom work but no homework and no books. A new flood monitoring program that promises to rewrite the rules of disaster preparedness. A program that allows a patient in Mindanao to be operated on by a specialist in Makati via mobile Internet.

 These are just some of the corporate social responsibility programs of the PLDT Group showcased at the recent CSR Expo 2012, emphasizing the convergence of its services and resources to improve the way Filipinos live.

More than just bridging people, PLDT-Smart Foundation (PSF), together with telco giants PLDT and Smart Communications, are committed to make use of information and technology as tools to enable its partners towards nation building via the various CSR initiatives in education, health, environment, disaster management, and livelihood.

 For instance, Smart along with PSF, partnered with 2010 Ramon Magsaysay awardees Dr. Christopher Bernido and wife, Dr. Ma. Victoria Carpio-Bernido, for their Dynamic Learning Program (DLP), an innovative learning method meant to help improve public school education.

 Under the DLP, students are given activity sheets instead of textbooks with 70 to 80 percent of the session allotted to student activities, and only 20 to 30 percent to lectures, addressing the needs of a new generation of learners who have access to a vast network of information.

 The goal of the DLP is to develop students to their fullest potential and ensure that students learn thru’ attainable activities that help develop their confidence by letting them progress from simple to complex tasks.

 Smart has established itself as a long-term partner in community development through its various initiatives under Kabalikat….sa Edukasyon, Kabuhayan, Kaligtasan, Kalikasan at Kalusugan.

 With the onset of the typhoon and rainy season, Smart is focusing both its resources and technology infrastructure towards Disaster Preparedness and Response through capacity building and risk reduction initiatives, including the implementation of a flood monitoring system covering 18 major river basins nationwide.

 Under Project Noah, Smart and sister firm Sun Cellular have agreed to let the Department of Science and Technology to install automated rain gauges in 600 of their cell sites in the target river basin systems. Its network services will also help transmit pertinent weather data for analysis and formulation of the DOST’s grand flood warning system.

 In education, Smart has tailored various programs to fit the needs of students and teachers, including the CommuniTeach for grade school students; Smart Schools for the secondary schools; the Smart Wireless Engineering Education Program (SWEEP) and Online Campus Journalism for college students; and special projects for both students and teachers like Doon Po Sa Amin that encourages communities to generate and share local web-based content.

 The government has also found a solid partner in Smart in attaining the country’s Millennium Development Goals targets on health through programs such as the award-winning Secured Health Information Network and Exchange (SHINE), Mobile Profiling, Teleconsultation, Wireless Access for Health, and support to the public-private partnership projects of the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth).

 To help save the planet, Smart went ahead of its peers to go green in its operations, such as using alternative energy like solar power for some of its cell site towers; using biodegradable materials under Green Merchandising; and tree planting initiatives throughout the country.  Smart is also among the prime movers behind the Marikina Watershed Initiative to help protect, reforest and rehabilitate said watershed.

 In livelihood and community building, Smart has launched its programs on Entrepreneurship, sustainable livelihood under the Tipid Sulit Pinas campaign, Microfinance, and Livelihood for Gawad Kalinga communities.

Meanwhile, the PSF Gabay Guro program empowers teachers to improve their lives through skills and knowledge trainings; opportunities for additional livelihood and income; providing Internet to schools in far-flung areas; and putting up an initial funding for their housing needs.  PSF’s Gabay Guro also has a scholarship program for Education students to help fill the teacher backlog for the public schools.

 The PLDT Infoteach Outreach Program also gives learning opportunities to high school students as well as elementary and high school teachers all over the country by upgrading their cyber-technology skills through the use of the Internet and basic information technology education. 

 Last week, PSF also launched together with PLDT Ka-Asenso, RFM Foundation and The Outstanding Students of the Philippines Alumni Community, Project Pagsulong, a nationwide on-line youth social entrepreneurship challenge.

 The booth, which PSF shared with One Meralco, the foundation of affiliate Manila Electric Co. Inc., had an artwork for a backdrop depicting the group’s CSR efforts and scenes showing how the services offered by the group connect and empower communities.

 Those who visited the PSF booth at the SMX Convention Center also had fun with the Spot MVP game where they had to identify the many faces of PLDT chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan in the artwork and get a chance to win prizes in the raffle.