People of PLDT: exemplifying malasakit and excellence

PLDT Global Corporation (PGC) has always been at the forefront when it comes to serving the needs of international customers, especially overseas Filipinos who are working hard to provide for their families back home.

But one thing that truly makes this company special are the people behind the international arm of the Philippines’ largest fully integrated telco PLDT. To honor the sacrifice of these modern-day heroes, PGC launched a digital campaign called #PeopleOfPGC to inspire employees as well as overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and their loved ones.

“PLDT Global is a company that knows the Filipino. We are in the best position to bring the services of our partners closer to the overseas Filipino market. Wherever there’s a Filipino, PGC is there to serve. Through our people, ​especially those stationed abroad, we have a first-hand look at the realities that our kababayans are facing, therefore we can create solutions that are relevant to their needs,” said Albert V. Villa-Real, SVP and Chief Commercial Officer at PGC.

Strong sense of community

Celebrating his ninth anniversary with the company this year, Marlon Eusebio recalled the struggles of working abroad. Stationed as marketing head in PLDT London before getting assigned in a similar role in PLDT Singapore, Eusebio said that it was difficult to be away from home.

“Especially when I was assigned in the United Kingdom. Whenever I missed my family, it was not easy to simply travel back to the Philippines because flights are more expensive. It was hard being far from family, friends, and things that I was familiar with,” he shared.

But finding a sense of community among Filipinos in the U.K. and later on, in Singapore, helped Eusebio to adjust living as an OFW.

Global Filipinos are very resilient, very dedicated with deep love for their families. They will do anything for their families.

“The sense of community among overseas Filipinos is very strong. Anywhere in the world, you will find Filipino organizations for sports, regional groups like Ilocanos or Ilonggos, among others,” he added.

The same was true for Reinan Buenaventura. Buenaventura worked as an IT specialist at PLDT Hong Kong for seven years before he was reassigned to PGC’s Manila office as Service Delivery Manager.

“Most of us are Filipinos in the company. As Filipinos, we enjoy celebrations like birthdays in the office. Having my colleagues as a family is one of my treasured experiences while I was working in Hong Kong,” he said.

Overcoming challenges

Another challenge that OFWs have to face while working abroad is the language barrier. For PLDT Japan logistics officer Ariane Matucading, it was a bit more difficult because she had to learn Nihongo to earn a living in Japan. Originally from Davao, Matucading started as a student in Japan who had to work multiple part-time jobs to support herself, before finally landing a career in PLDT Japan.

“Since I was still studying the language, it was difficult for me to communicate with the local Japanese. When I was working at the restaurant, customers were already scolding me without me knowing because I couldn’t understand everything they were saying,” she recalled.

Matucading’s strength and will were once again tested when she lost her father while she was overseas. “I was so hopeless, I wasn’t there for my dad, my sisters, and my family. It was too late. That time, I had no money, I couldn’t even buy my plane ticket to go back home. Fortunately, my friends and even my teachers from school contributed to help me book a flight home,” she shared.

Having experienced the harsh realities that most Filipinos face overseas, Eusebio, Matucading and the rest of the people of PGC have become well equipped in understanding the sentiments of OFWs.

“I was able to launch several products and services, from Smart Pinoy Store, Smart World 247, Smart Life Global App and Vortex.  At the same time, I was able to learn how to be flexible and how to pivot when we were not getting the expected results. I learned how to adapt and embrace the changes that came our way,” Eusebio said.

“When Filipinos here in Japan are given the opportunity to work, they can really exceed expectations. They are adaptable and hardworking just to give their families back home a better future,” Matucading said.

Malasakit for employees and customers

Twenty percent (20%) of PGC’s employees are present in key markets across Asia, the United States, and Europe. Given the challenges posted by the COVID-19 pandemic, these employees have shifted to work-from-home setups and virtual transactions, which allowed them to cater to more business partners who service Filipino customers in different parts of the world.

“PGC always shows its malasakit by providing the best product, services and solutions that will address the needs of our overseas Filipino market. PGC strives to innovate and create solutions that will uplift the lives of our kababayans,” Eusebio said.

These veteran employees of PGC also shared how much they value the malasakit that the company has shown to them, especially during the time of pandemic.

“PGC always finds a way to reach out and provide our needs — from the smallest to biggest things. They helped us cope with the work-from-home set up with free online sessions on how to stay healthy, even providing us with malasa-kit (alcohol, mask, vitamins et cetera). For me, it’s the fact that they always think of our needs that makes me feel so valued as an employee,” Matucading said.

Apart from sending health essentials kits, PGC also provided each employee with a P5,000 work-from-home ​subsidy so they could purchase gadgets, desks, chairs, or other tools ​to help ease their transition into the new normal work environment. ​Furthermore, employee benefits were expanded to include a Health Equipment Loan for indoor exercise gear and a COVID Assistance Loan to aid employees with family members who ​needed medical attention or lost their jobs ​as a result of the pandemic.

The #PeopleOfPGC campaign is aligned with the PLDT Group’s sustainability pillar of Excellence through Human Capital, and underscores the company’s commitment to help the Philippines attain the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal #8: Decent Work and Economic Growth. To find out more about this campaign, visit PLDT Global’s LinkedIn Page. 

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