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PLDT and Smart bag international, local citations for 2020 accomplishments

For services and programs that improve Filipino lives, amid COVID-19, PLDT and Smart received back-to-back recognitions throughout 2020 from renowned international and local award-giving bodies.

 • Jan 04, 2021

Manila, Philippines [4 January 2021]—For services and programs that help improve the lives of Filipinos, more so amid the challenges posed by the COVID-19 crisis, the Philippines' largest integrated telco PLDT Inc. (PLDT) and its wireless unit Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) received back-to-back recognitions throughout 2020 from renowned international and local institutions and award-giving bodies.

The Group’s most recent citation came from the World Benchmarking Alliance (WBA), where PLDT ranked 1st in Asia and Emerging Markets, and 4th out of the Top 100 Most Influential Technology Companies Worldwide in the group’s 2020 Digital Inclusion Benchmark (DIB 2020). Developed by an expert review committee of members from the World Bank Group, GSM Association, the International Telecommunications Union, and more, the WBA used four measurement areas in developing the DIB 2020: Access, Skills, Use, and Innovation.

All aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) and informed by research, stakeholder engagement, and related indexes, the WBA evaluated PLDT-Smart according to their disclosures, commitments and performance. The company was lauded for its best practices in cybersecurity, child online protection, and reporting of its economic value generated and distributed. It was also recognized for corporate social responsibility programs such as Gabay Guro, PLDT Infoteach, Smart School-in-a-Bag, Connected Mangroves, and its Libreng Tawag (Free Calls), Charging, and Internet efforts during crisis situations.

For its efforts to keep customers, partners, and frontliners safe and connected amid the global COVID-19 pandemic, Smart’s #StaySmart program bagged the Best Crisis Response honors at the 2020 Asia Communication Awards (ACA). The mobile subsidiary also received a joint ACA citation with network partner Ericsson under the Network Automation category, and nominations under the Best Network Transformation category, Best Social Contribution for Digital Farmers Program, and CEO of the Year for Smart President and Chief Executive Officer Alfredo S. Panlilio.

Prior to ACA, Smart was recognized as one of the Top 3 Emerging Market Operators Worldwide at the 2020 World Communication Awards (WCA). WCA and ACA are organized by London-based industry publication Total Telecom, which recognizes leading communication service providers and telecom operators around the world.

In the area of environmental stewardship, PLDT-Smart also became the first Philippine company to receive an award from US-based Business Intelligence Group (BIG). It was for the umbrella program Gabay Kalikasan, which carries groupwide initiatives for reforestation, marine protection, mangroves preservation, and peatlands conservation - all leveraging on digital technology and PLDT-Smart’s network. Projects in the pipeline include green merchandising and renewable energy for cellsite infrastructures.

On the local awards scene, PLDT-Smart and mobile money and payments pioneer affiliate PayMaya Philippines took home a total of 32 trophies at the 55th Anvil Awards earlier this year. This included the Platinum Award for Gabay Guro, making it the most outstanding PR tool among all the Gold Award winners of the same category. The 13-year-old advocacy program empowers teachers through Seven Key Pillars – Scholarships, Teachers’ Trainings, Classroom Donations, Livelihood Programs, Connectivity and Computerization, Teachers’ Tribute Events, and Digital Innovations.

For more information on PLDT and Smart programs, visit or

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