With the help of its tech-enabled solutions, PLDT and its wireless division Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) have helped 14,442 farmers, fishers, cooperatives, and micro, small, and medium-sized companies (MSMEs) go digital this year—a 40% increase from 2022.
“Under our livelihood advocacy, PLDT and Smart have enabled farmers, fishermen, cooperatives, and MSMEs nationwide to participate in the digital economy. We have also helped boost their productivity and eventually increase their income,” stated Stephanie V. Orlino, PLDT and Smart's AVP and Head of the Stakeholder Management Team.
The PLDT Group's eBiznovation program has trained 11,464 MSMEs and cooperative members in digital upskilling this year, bringing the total number of local entrepreneurs reached since the program's inception to 21,105.
Another significant achievement for the year is that 2,796 farmers, young people, agri-extension workers, farm field schools, and other stakeholders now have better digital literacy as a result of PLDT and Smart's Digital Farmers Program (DFP). With the implementation of more than 300 trainings, DFP has so far provided 9,351 Filipino farmers with the advantages of utilizing technology in agriculture.
This is made possible by the Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Training Institute (DA-ATI) and the Department of Trade and Industry's close partnership.
“Working together with our stakeholders, including the likes of digital giant TikTok Shop, and from the public sector, such as DTI and our long-time partner DA-ATI, we continue to provide capacity-building sessions, digital and e-commerce solutions, specific product offerings for farmers, fisherfolk, MSMEs, and cooperatives, and our network of thousands of load retailers to further boost their digital literacy and livelihood opportunities,” said Jay C. Lagdameo, VP and Head of Corporate Relationship Management at PLDT Enterprise.
One of DFP and eBiznovation's top priorities is empowering rural communities and small businesses with digital tools and mobile technology to promote equitable growth and sustainable agriculture.
“To respond to the gap between the existing digital ecosystem and farming communities, DA-ATI has partnered with PLDT and Smart to strengthen digital literacy among farmers and fishermen. This is also aligned with the digitalization push of the national government to modernize and upscale agriculture through technology,” stated Engineer Remy Recoter, DA-ATI Director.
In order to support the UNSDGs #1 No Poverty, #2 Zero Hunger, and #8 Decent Work and Economic Growth, PLDT and Smart are working to promote inclusive technologies that can help increase livelihood opportunities among farmers, fishermen, cooperatives, and MSMEs. This further demonstrates the group's backing of the Go Digital Pilipinas initiative of the government. PLDT is a founding member of the Presidential Private Sector Advisory Council's Digital Infrastructure pillar, which aims to improve Filipinos' lives by promoting the use of digital services.
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