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PLDT-Smart Foundation celebrates 25 years of changing lives

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For the last 25 years, the PLDT-Smart Foundation has provided opportunities for every Filipino to thrive through its various corporate social responsibility efforts and activities.
A student from Guihay Elementary School in Lopez Quezon receives a Sack of Joy from PLDT-Smart Foundation.
For the last 25 years, the PLDT-Smart Foundation has provided opportunities for every Filipino to thrive through its various corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts and activities.

As a non-profit organization, the PSF fully serves as the social outreach arm of the country’s leading telco and digital services provider PLDT Inc. and its wireless subsidiary Smart Communications Inc. (Smart). Headed by PLDT and Smart chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan, the PSF created programs focused on education, livelihood and social enterprise, disaster response and recovery, youth arts, and sports development. All these endeavors are geared towards fulfilling the needs and uplifting the quality of life of each and every Filipino.

“Over the past quarter century, the PLDT-Smart Foundation has been actively pursuing various efforts to change the lives of Filipinos for the better.   The Foundation has become a platform for helping the country’s nation-building through its diverse CSR efforts.  It has pursued these efforts through strong, effective partnerships with corporations, non-government organizations, cooperatives, institutions, and, national and local government units and agencies,” Pangilinan said.
 
Silver anniversary milestone

“25 years is a milestone for us. It is a manifestation of our passion for the work that we do, for the many lives we’ve touched, and for the countless hours we have dedicated in reaching out to different people and various communities over the years. In turn, our lives have been changed by these people who have shown such resiliency and bravery,” PSF President Esther Santos said. 

Two of PSF’s main pillars include education and its partnerships. The PSF believes in investing in our teachers and students through educational programs and scholarship grants that can help elevate the overall quality of education in the Philippines.

Sack of Joy
 
In celebrating PLDT’s 90th year, the PSF fuels the sparks of hope and joy in students across the country by giving out Sacks of Joy. These contain school supplies to help students perform better at school. The PSF considers education as one of the pillars of nation-building. PLDT employees are encouraged to nominate any public school which needs support by sending the school profile to the foundation. In less than a year, the PSF has reached out to a total of 77 schools nationwide with over 9,000 Sack of Joy bags distributed. 

Gabay Guro Program
 
In  support of the Department of Education (DepEd)’s goal of improving the quality of education, the PSF, in coordination with the PLDT Managers Club Inc. (MCI), created a program to foster professional development among Filipino teachers. As PSF’s education program arm and flagship project, Gabay Guro provides support through scholarship grants to deserving students taking up Bachelor of Science in Education; teachers’ training; livelihood programs; school broadbanding and computerization; housing and educational facilities; teachers’ tribute; and innovation. 

Since Gabay Guro’s inception in 2007, there has been a total of 1,313 graduates. Of which 680 are Licensure Exam for Teachers (LET) Passers. Over the last 12 years, the Gabay Guro program has trained over 19,000 teachers nationwide. 

School-in-a-Bag (SIAB)
 
Through Smart Community Partnerships' School-in-a-Bag Program, the PSF utilized technology to make educational materials accessible to schools in remote and underserved communities, especially those without access to electricity and connectivity. The Program uses mobile technology coupled with an innovative, 21st century teaching pedagogy and K+12 content to enable learning.  UBS Philippines donated 1M to PSF in 2017 which benefited 10 recipient schools nationwide. 
 
The School-in-a-bag, includes one LED TV, one teacher’s laptop, five mobile tablets, one solar panel with batteries, one teacher’s tablet, one Smart Bro LTE pocket wi-fi with starter load, and one memory drive for storage of educational content and other school files, curriculum-based educational content and training immersion for teachers, which includes the Dynamic Learning Program (DLP) Methodology. Moreover, the PSF also donated three units of SIAB to the 4th district of Ormoc. It was one of the areas severely affected by Typhoon Yolanda in 2013. 
Dynamic Learning Program
 
Powered by the PSF and Smart, the DLP is a framework for teaching that enables children to become independent learners. It also aims to significantly improve the students’ academic performance despite the multiple socio-economic constraints. The program uses the curriculum of the DepEd. The DLP was developed by renowned physicists and Ramon Magsaysay awardees, Dr. Christoper Bernido and Dr. Ma. Victoria Carpio Bernido. Created in 2002, Smart and the PSF have been supporting the program since 2011 and has reached out to over 158 schools across the country. 
PNP Educational Grants
 
The Philippine National Police (PNP) educational grant is a one-time grant given to the children of PNP officers who were killed or injured during service.  A total of 50 dependents have benefited from this program in 2018. Celebrating a decade this year, the partnership has benefited a total of 571 qualified dependents of PNP personnel. 
 
Building strong partnerships 
 
The last 25 years has enabled the PSF to build strong partnerships over time. The PSF is among the members of the MVP Tulong Kapatid, which is the CSR consortium of the MVP Group of Companies. 
 
Some of the most notable projects that the PSF has been a part of through the MVP Tulong Kapatid, includes the MVP Tulong Kapatid Homes in Davao Oriental. Built to withstand at least 280 kph of wind, the 266 MVP Homes by Tulong Kapatid, which follow a duplex-style design with two bedrooms, bathroom, and kitchen, were turned over to the Typhoon Pablo survivors last March 1, 2016. 
 
Led by the PSF, in partnership with the Archdiocese of Palo and One Meralco Foundation, the multi-purpose evacuation center in Palo, Leyte is designed to withstand strong typhoons and floods. The 1,200-square-meter evacuation center can accommodate 1,500 people and aims to be the point of convergence for the residents during special events and a temporary shelter in times of calamity. 
 
The PSF and One Meralco Foundation also turned over the MVP Technology and Innovation Center to the Pamantasan ng Lungson ng Maynila (PLM). Through the donation, the PSF aims to provide better quality education among PLM students by improving PLM’s infrastructure, facility, and equipment. 
 
Every year, the MVP Tulong Kapatid comes together for Paskong Kapatid. Since 2012, the Paskong Kapatid has spread some early Christmas cheer to over 700 kids from different charities and communities.