DECEMBER 31, 2008
(STAR) Residents housed by Gawad Kalinga (GK) in Barangay Pinagsama – Phase 2, Taguig, witnessed the opening of the first GK I.T. Center in their neighborhood recently – the first of its kind in all GK sites in the country. Through a partnership with PLDT myDSL and SMART, access to the information superhighway was made possible in this particular section of Taguig with the installation of six myDSL-powered computer stations.

Leading the PLDT and SMART team at the launch and ribbon cutting ceremony were Tony Valdez, PLDT vice president for Retail Marketing, Raul Alvarez, PLDT assistant vice president for Retail Marketing Services and Darwin Flores, SMART Community Relations senior manager. “This Gawad Kalinga took some time as both PLDT-SMART and GK wanted a sustainable business model — from here, we hope to move on faster,” said Valdez prior to the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Referred to simply as iGK, the project allows not just GK residents of the barangay but also other members of the community to use the computers on a first come first served basis – for as low as P10 per hour. It is the result of PLDT and SMART’s continuing support of GK’s efforts to sustain and develop their community while teaching the residents to be more productive via enhancement of their business and computer skills. In fact, iGK will feature a guest speaker from PLDT or SMART every week who will visit the community and conduct workshops designed to give the people a better understanding of certain programs and applications.

Also in attendance was Tony Meloto, founder and champion of GK. “We will not accept that our legacy is a country of slums and squatters. We will build a Philippines for a better tomorrow to pass on to our children”, said Meloto during his speech. He went on to acknowledge the 12 visiting Yale University student volunteers who were present at the launch and appealed to them to share what they learned about GK with their peers and professors in the hope that the Ivy League university can one day help fund its own GK project in Taguig.

The event was also graced by Taguig City Vice Mayor George Elias, Gina Laylo of the Taguig City Hall, the “Mabuhay Ladies” of Barangay Pinagsama who welcomed the guests and the “Civil Kids ng Pinagsama” who performed a song number for the visitors.

For more information about PLDT products and services, call 171, log on to or visit your nearest PLDT Business Office or SMART Wireless Center.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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