MANILA, PHILIPPINES – One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. This holds true for some 300 beneficiary families who are set to receive food packages as part of the waste management program launched by the Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP) to mark its 50th anniversary.
Dubbed as Xtrash Challenge, the initiative was implemented in partnership with Basic Environmental Systems & Technologies, Inc., (BEST), and aimed to raise funds for urban poor communities by incentivizing the waste collection efforts of companies. Points were awarded for every kilo of waste surrendered to collection centers.
As an affirmation of the Group’s commitment to environmental stewardship, PLDT and its wireless unit Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) were able to collect and segregate over 5,400 kilograms of waste. At the conclusion of the challenge, PLDT and Smart were recognized among the top performers in the NCR-wide challenge participated in by PBSP-member organizations.
“Managing waste management is essential for building sustainable and livable cities. This challenge is concrete evidence that behavioral change and private sector participation are key to a functional waste management approach. We recognize the efforts of our members and their role as critical and committed actors in this battle against solid waste,” said PBSP Executive Director Elvin Ivan Uy.
“We are honored and thankful to receive these awards as top participants of PBSP’s recycling initiative. I receive them on behalf of the PLDT and Smart employees who generously participated in the program despite the limitations of COVID,” PLDT and Smart Corporate Sustainability and Investor Relations Head Melissa V. Vergel De Dios said.
The equivalent environmental points gained by PLDT and Smart were used to purchase food packs for underserved areas. In partnership with Samahan ng Nagkakaisang Pamilya ng Pantawid (SNPP), these food packs were distributed to 300 families in waste picker communities in Imus, Cavite, Makati City and Muntinlupa City.
“It is a testimony to ‘malasakit’ – a value that PLDT and Smart continue to demonstrate over and over, from the delivery of services to our customers, to commitment to sustainability projects such as this,” Vergel de Dios added.
This initiative is aligned with the group’s commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs), particularly SDG #12: Responsible Consumption and Production which ensures the sound management of chemicals and wastes to minimize their adverse impact on human health and the environment.
For over 25 years, PLDT, together with subsidiaries Smart and ePLDT, has been an active member of the PBSP which is also currently headed by PLDT Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan.