Press Release

Brand & Business: PLDT-Smart Foundation provides relief, connectivity tools for Bahay Aruga kids, carers

MANILA, PHILIPPINES — Reaching out to sick children and their caregivers, the PLDT-Smart Foundation (PSF) donated food, connectivity tools, and other essential items to Bahay Aruga, a halfway house for pediatric cancer patients.

Driven by malasakit, the core value of the PLDT Group, the donation was led by PSF Chairman Manuel V Pangilinan and PLDT and Smart President and CEO Alfredo S. Panlilio themselves. The donations included Smart LTE-advanced Pocket WiFi units and load cards, milk for babies, alcohol, soap, shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrush, and other hygiene items, fruits, vegetables, fish, and chicken, a refrigerator with juice drinks, vitamins for parents or caregivers, and blankets and pillowcases, among other necessities.

“Deeply concerned with the pain and suffering of pediatric patients from the provinces and their parents and caregivers, PSF Chairman MVP has been assisting them through Bahay Aruga, their temporary home while undergoing treatment at the PGH and other medical facilities in Metro Manila,” said PSF President Ma. Esther O. Santos. “We hope to alleviate the suffering of these very young patients and their parents by providing some of their needs the best way we can, as we constantly pray for their complete recovery.”


Connectivity tools, such as the Smart LTE-advanced Pocket WiFi, form part of the most essential items for Bahay Aruga. In an email, Viana Joan Bonilla-Mata, who oversees the facility’s patients, caregivers, and staff, wrote that reliable connectivity is vital because “It is imperative that we communicate with the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) on a regular basis, which often requires video calls/chat regarding the patients’ condition, if unable to go to the hospital. We are also constantly liaising with LGUs and other members of the community, and often require the use of the internet.”

PSF started to support Bahay Aruga in November 2018 when Pangilinan provided noche buena packs for the residents. On Valentine’s Day in 2020, PSF teamed up with the People Group of Smart to bring school items in Sacks of Joy for the children.

The PLDT Group and PSF’s support for ailing children and their parents are aligned with the Group’s commitment to helping the country attain the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDG), particularly SDG #3: Good Health and Well-Being.

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