PLDT, Smart's PlantSmart make home, urban gardens bloom in VisMin

PLDT and its wireless unit Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) sustained its PlantSmart program in 2022, demonstrating the Group’s commitment to food security and sustainability in the country, particularly in the Visayas and Mindanao.

More than 1,500 planting kits with vegetable seeds, loam soil and organic fertilizer were distributed to schools, people’s organizations, and local government units in VisMin, encouraging communities to grow their own food. In celebration of National Cooperative Month last October, PLDT and Smart also turned over 600 kits to 20 partner-cooperatives in Vismin.

With the donation of PlantSmart kits, the cities of Ormoc, Digos, Butuan and Cotabato were inspired to promote their own urban planting programs. Atty. Aelan Arumpac, Cotabato City administrator, shared, “We are grateful to be chosen as partners for this effort that is aligned with the Department of Agriculture’s Plant, Plant, Plant program. A lot of us are interested in having our own small gardens at home, and with these free planting kits, we can finally start.”

In Bantayan Island, Cebu, farmer-parishioners aim to develop their church’s backyard lot into a farm. “We thank PLDT and Smart for helping us build our farm here in the parish. We will maximize these kits to help provide food and livelihood for our people in Madridejos,” said Rev. Fr. Jimmy Tolintin, Parish Priest of Immaculate Conception Parish.

The PlantSmart kits also helped 30 Mindanao schools reestablish their Gulayan sa Paaralan Program at the start of in-person classes last August. To date, PLDT and Smart have distributed more than 7,400 planting kits to over 200 communities nationwide.

The Group also started a PlantSmart GrowHub in Cagayan de Oro City, following the successful launch of its GrowHub in Makati. The GrowHub is an edible garden grown by PLDT and Smart employees in idle office spaces, to encourage volunteerism and champion sustainability through urban gardening. More PlantSmart GrowHubs will be sprouting in Bukidnon soon.

“We thank all our partners who helped conceive, build and actualize our PlantSmart programs. Through these collaborations, we underscore our commitment to sustainability and shared value programs to benefit farmers and Filipino communities,” said Cathy Yang, PLDT and Smart FVP and Group Head for Corporate Communications.

This is aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDG) #2: Zero Hunger, #3: Good Health and Well-Being, #11: Sustainable Cities and Communities, and #12 Responsible Consumption and Production.