PLDT and Smart Communications grant communications support to LGU in North Luzon for promoting and sustaining quality learning amid the COVID-19 global crisis.
The country’s largest fully integrated telecommunications company recently turned over airtime load to cities and municipalities that successfully implemented education programs for School Year 2020-2021. 27 awardees were identified by United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Synergeia Foundation (Synergeia) for the 4th Seal of Good Education Governance, for a total of 2.6 million pesos worth of Bizload from PLDT and Smart for this year’s run.
The first batch of recipients were the LGUs of San Manuel in Pangasinan, Tuba in Benguet, Candon and Vigan in Ilocos Sur, and Agoo, Bacnotan, San Fernando, and San Gabriel in La Union. The communication allowance from PLDT and Smart is expected to help LGUs and citizens stay connected as officials continue to provide quality service to the people.
“We commend LGUs who champion and sustain quality education for citizens. Given the shift to what is now known to be the new normal, the role of LGUs has become more vital in leading education reform in localities,” PLDT First Vice President and Enterprise Revenue Group Head Vic Tria said at the San Gabriel turnover. The PLDT Enterprise business unit is a major partner of organizations such as the Department of Education (DepEd), as well as small to medium-sized businesses that form the backbone of the Philippine economy. Service offerings include enterprise-grade internet, data networking, voice communication, data centers, and solutions for mobility, managed Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and cybersecurity.
Since 2017, PLDT and Smart have been supporting USAID and Synergeia in recognizing local governments that promote and sustain quality education for their citizens. Criteria used in selecting this year’s Seal awardees include a high cohort survival rate, the ratio of current enrollment compared to the previous academic year, a decrease in the number of frustrated and non-readers, a reinvented Local School Board, and functional School Governing Councils.
Apart from the Synergeia collaboration, PLDT Enterprise has also worked hand-in-hand with Smart and other units across the PLDT group to implement education initiatives. “These included special data packages and promos with access to education, work, and productivity applications, as well as fund-raising activities to help deploy School-in-a-Bag portable digital classrooms that have benefitted over 80,000 learners nationwide,” Tria said.
Key as well is Smart’s whitelisting of DepEd Commons (https://commons.deped.gov.ph), the Department of Education’s online education delivery platform designed as an alternative mode for teaching-learning processes. Through this, DepEd Commons’ educational resources for use in various grade levels of curriculum can be accessed by Smart, TNT, and Sun subscribers even without data load.
In support of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDG), particularly SDG #4: Quality Education, education continues to be a flagship corporate social responsibility program throughout PLDT Group, with a strong emphasis on digital literacy.