The recently concluded ACC 2023 convention has gone beyond thought leadership and business networking. With the support of international and local delegates and partners, together with PLDT Global Corporation and the PLDT-Smart Foundation (PSF), ACC gave back to the community that has been hosting them for almost two decades, by empowering overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and their families in the Visayas.
“Many of our people have gone to work in other countries in hopes of providing a better future for their families, much like our Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan, who for many years also considered himself an OFW in Hong Kong. We at PSF would like to help our OFWs have a more sustainable future for their families by giving opportunities for upskilling and livelihood,” said Esther O. Santos, PSF president at the turnover ceremony.
“Since our country experienced Typhoon Odette in 2021, we have been helping several farmers in Bohol to rehabilitate their cacao trees. In the process, we discovered cacao and its large market potential, so we would like to bring this training to more farming families nationwide,” she added.
Working in Qatar for over a decade, Elyn Abrasado plans to devote her time to her cacao farm when she retires in the Philippines in the future. For now, her mother, Yermalinda, manages their small land to augment their family’s income.
Elyn was one of the recipients from ACC, PLDT Global and PSF of cacao agricultural kit for 200 trees and a certification training program that will upskill and enable them to use digital tools to improve their cacao farms.
“Thank you so much for choosing our family to receive cacao farming training. Thank you also for the 200 seedlings you are giving to us for our little farm, which we hope will be a source of income for me and my family in the future,” Elyn said.
Another recipient is Qatar-based OFW Raymond Aleria. Hailing from Bohol, Raymond and his family invested in a farm for their future. “My family and I wish to wholeheartedly thank the ACC, PLDT Global and PLDT-Smart Foundation who are spreading awareness about cacao farming training here in Qatar,” said the OFW of 12 years.
Another recipient is Johannie Apor, an accountant based in Qatar. “I wholeheartedly thank ACC, PLDT Global, and PSF for this wonderful initiative and for choosing me so that I can have an additional source of income. Thank you so much and hopefully you get to help more people.”
For Albert V. Villa-Real, PLDT Global president and chief executive, this event was just one of the many initiatives that they have in line to help uplift the lives of OFWs by equipping them with digital skills and agricultural input. “This program is just one of the many ways to fulfill our commitment to our OFWs. Our goal is to empower our OFWs – from the moment they decide to leave the country and work abroad, until they return home and reintegrate in our community.”
This program contributes to the PLDT Group’s thrust for digital inclusion and supports the UN Sustainable Development Goals, particularly SDG #8: Decent Work and Economic Growth and SDG #9 on Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure.
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