The country's largest integrated telco PLDT and its wireless arm Smart Communications, Inc (Smart) continue to recognize the hard work of local entrepreneurs in helping keep the economy afloat amid the global COVID-19 crisis.
At the invitation of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the UN Global Compact Network Philippines (GCNP), PLDT and Smart presented actionable solutions and policy recommendations at the GCNP - UNIDO Sustainability Summit 2020: Uniting Business to Support MSME Recovery and Resilience. The virtual event highlighted the resilience of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) who have been the most impacted sector in the Philippines in this time of pandemic.
The 2020 Sustainability Summit followed PLDT and Smart’s participation in the organization’s exclusive Business Expert Group Meetings. PLDT-Smart Chief Sustainability Officer Chaye Cabal-Revilla shared the Group’s inputs valuable towards understanding the challenges in, and possible solutions to, the recovery and resilience-building of MSMEs amid the COVID-19 crisis.
All Business Expert Group ambitions are anchored on the pillars of People, Planet, Prosperity, Peace and Partnerships, and aligned with the Philippine Socio-Economic and Peace Building Framework of the United Nations and the Philippine government.
Among the topics discussed by Cabal-Revilla was the GCNP’s goal to encourage and stimulate investments that will enable industries to contribute to the sustainable development agenda. "While large enterprises continue to struggle to adopt sustainability principles in their operations, MSMEs are even more challenged," Cabal-Revilla says.
"Future advocacy efforts and multi-stakeholder discourses can look at practices such as the unified multi-purpose lending program, a ladderized approach to MSME lending, sector-focused supply chain finance, and the BSP-initiated Credit Surety Fund Program, sustainability reporting, among others," she explained.
Helping businesses recover through stimulus packages
The PLDT Group’s support for MSMEs amid the pandemic include the release of stimulus packages to help the sector get their businesses back on track. The offers are founded on connectivity solutions that feature PLDT Enterprise’s newest fiber broadband service BEYOND FIBER and wireless broadband Smart Biz LTE.
BEYOND FIBER helps inspire MSMEs and local entrepreneurs to rise above the challenge of going beyond with digital acceleration, while striving for financial recovery through affordable curated digital tools and wi-fi fit for enterprise—all anchored-on business-grade fiber.
Meanwhile, Biz LTE is Smart’s Fixed Wireless Broadband service and is perfect for small businesses—providing flexibility for use in stores and when on the go.
Empowering Home businesses nationwide
To empower home-based entrepreneurs affected by the pandemic throughout the country, fixed broadband services provider PLDT Home recently launched the PLDT Home Biz Program. Beyond delivering strong and stable internet connection, free training sessions with celebrity online entrepreneurs and free online tools aim to equip these home-entrepreneurs with the necessary know-how needed to start an online business.
PLDT Home Biz also partnered with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the One Town, One Product (OTOP) Philippines for the DTI and OTOP Virtual Trade Expo 2020. With over 800 virtual exhibitors and over a thousand visitors in its first 4-day run last September, the country's first ever online national livelihood caravan served as the perfect venue for MSMEs to promote their products and services.
Recently, the unit also introduced the new PLDT Home Biz KaAsenso Plans to drive home-based entrepreneurs into digital transformation. The KaAsenso Regular Plan 1888 provides speeds of up to 20Mbps, while the KaAsenso Regular Plan 2199 delivers speeds of up to 40Mbps. All plans come with free installation and activation. Every KaAsenso plan comes with free KaAsenso Partner e-commerce solutions powered by experienced and well-known e-commerce providers that can lend a hand to jump start home-based businesses to success with end-to-end digital business solutions such as online store builder and hosting by UnionBankGlobalLinker, secure and hassle-free online payments by PayMaya, and delivery options by Grab Madiskarteng Boss Club.