Saturday, March 9, 2024

PLDT, Smart, TikTok bring digital empowerment, economic gains for persons with disabilities in Quezon City

PLDT and its wireless unit, Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) partnered with the social media platform TikTok Shop and the non-profit organization Adaptive Technology for Rehabilitation Integration and Empowerment of the Visually Impaired (ATRIEV) to open economic opportunities for persons with disabilities through the ‘eBiznovation Buy Local Bazaar’, a day-long digital upskilling workshop for business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs.

“PLDT and Smart believe that technology can be a great equalizer. Enabled by innovations and partnerships with like-minded organizations, we empower persons in unique circumstances to participate in their community’s economic activities through digital e-commerce platforms,” said Stephanie Orlino, AVP and Head of Stakeholder Management at PLDT and Smart.

Held at Quezon City Hall’s Community Building Center through the assistance of the Quezon City Persons with Disabilities Affairs Office, resource speakers from PLDT, Smart, and TikTok Shop guided participants through the steps of setting up an online business. They also shared best business practices and gave insights on navigating the intricacies of the digital marketplace given specific challenges that they could potentially face as persons with disabilities.

The module equips participants with the proper tools and knowledge to start and run a profitable online business. It also encourages those who want to start their own digital livelihood but had held themselves back because they thought it was too difficult or believed their disabilities would have made it impossible.


PLDT and Smart’s eBiznovation leverage digital platforms like TikTok Shop to provide avenues for underrepresented sectors to engage in entrepreneurship.

“TikTok Shop aims to empower Filipino entrepreneurs from all sectors by providing them with a digital storefront to showcase their products and reach a nationwide audience. Because TikTok Shop can connect small businesses with consumers and the wider TikTok community, entrepreneurs can create a holistic and seamless e-commerce experience and make real connections with new audiences, allowing them to reach a broader market and grow their business,” said Toff Rada, Head of Public Policy at TikTok.


eBiznovation is PLDT and Smart’s digital upskilling-to-e-commerce program, driven by the telco group’s livelihood advocacy. Additionally, this initiative with ATRIEV is tucked under the PLDT Group’s IDEATe (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Advocacy through Technology) program which focuses on enabling inclusive community participation from commonly marginalized and underserved sectors such as senior citizens, indigenous people, people with disabilities, women, and faith organizations with small populations.


“Entrepreneurs with impairments who have undergone training will be able to sell more and increase their revenues. These experiences will inspire them to innovate, to think beyond the box, and to go beyond tradition to be included in the digital migration,” said Antonio Llanes Jr., Executive Director at ATRIEV.


eBiznovation and IDEATe activities are aligned with PLDT and Smart’s commitment to helping the country achieve UNSDG No. 1 No Poverty, and UNSDG No. 10 on reducing inequality by empowering and promoting the social, economic, and political inclusion of all, including persons with disabilities. They also underscore the PLDT Group’s commitment to innovation and digital inclusion, and to assist in the government’s key digitalization efforts.

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