Cebu retailers 'shine' through pandemic; PLDT-Smart revives livelihood in communities

·2 min read

From small-time retailer to store owner, Shine Macapas has managed to shepherd her small business to success despite the pandemic.

A sari-sari store owner and Smart load retailer from Barangay Guadalupe, Cebu City, Macapas's business has been so good that she was inspired to extend a helping hand to loyal customers who are struggling through the health crisis. “I let them buy essential goods on credit. It may be a small thing, but I hope it helps ease their burden,” she says.

Her business itself started small. With a capital of only P300, she opened her Smart load retail trade in 2013 on a streetside bare-bones setup: a wooden table, a monobloc chair and simple “load here” sign.

Today she has a sari-sari store, where she now also sells essential goods. Her capital has grown to five-digit figures. She has Smart’s reliable signal to thank for maintaining customer satisfaction.

Better LTE Coverage in the region has boosted small business, like that of Shine Macapas. “It sometimes feels surreal,” she says. Her family now enjoys a more comfortable, secure life. “Why, my husband could even quit his job, if he wants to,” she quips.

Smart, wireless arm of the country's largest and only integrated telco PLDT, has accelerated its LTE-powered network rollout nationwide and has upgraded all its sites with LTE in the Visayas in order to cater to the increasing needs for fast and reliable connectivity amid the pandemic.

To date, all of Smart’s sites in the Visayas are now operating on LTE, including those in Barangay Tucdao, a far-flung coastal community in the municipality of Kawayan in Biliran, Eastern Samar.

Smart has also expanded LTE capacity in the Visayas by 31% compared to end of 2019. All this is part of the PLDT Group's sustained investments in network, which have totaled some P260 billion from 2015 to 2019.

With the regained momentum of its network rollout efforts following the easing of lockdown restrictions, PLDT has leveled up its target capital expenditures for 2020 back up to at least P70 billion. (PR)