BUSINESSES play an important role in helping address some of the most pressing social, environmental and economic challenges that the country is currently facing, prompting them to bring purposeful innovations for societal impact to the spotlight.
Globe, one of the biggest players in the Philippine market, harnesses the power of digital technology to accelerate social changes and create significant social impact.
Huge investments in the local telecommunications industry in the past two decades have given mobile access to a much larger percentage of the population, opened the floodgates of data, and increased efficiency of large corporations and micro, small and medium enterprises.
Information and communication technologies (ICT) also opened the doors to innovations that could address various societal problems such as financial inclusion for unserved and underserved Filipinos through GCash mobile wallet as well as access to medical advice via KonsultaMD hotline.
“For us to be relevant we must continue to contribute to the progressive development of our markets and communities,” said Yoly Crisanto, Globe chief sustainability officer and senior vice president for corporate communications.
She further said: “We do our best to bring about the change needed to make a genuine impact through social innovations that utilize technology.”
Solving a multitude of problems in the country requires all the help it can get.
Globe, through its Globe Future Makers (GFM) program, for instance, taps startups interested in using tech for social good by providing them mentorship, marketing assistance and networking opportunities, among others.
The GFM program was implemented in 2017 to influence and build a whole ecosystem of social innovators who could help create a positive impact on society with the help of technology. It is aligned with the social innovation program of the Singtel Group of Companies for Asia Pacific.
In 2019, Antipara Exploration and Alternative Indigenous Development Foundation Inc. (AIDFI) emerged as the top social innovators for GFM. Both groups developed technological tools to help solve some of the country’s most exigent social challenges.
Antipara is an underwater 3D geospatial mapping and analytics company for maritime and environment inspection. It created an algorithm that provides information for marine zoning and management which can be used for various projects such as tourism, building of ports and designation of marine protected areas and for damage assessment and maritime examination through 3D inspection of undersea infrastructure such as cables, pipes and foundations.
Globe, being also an advocate of marine biodiversity and eco-tourism, is currently working with Antipara in checking the waters around major tourist spots in the country, starting in Siargao.
On the other hand, AIDFI operates the hydraulic ram pump, a water-powered pump that brings water from lower to elevated villages or farms with no electricity or fuel, and the device emits zero pollution. AIDFI also developed an app to monitor water delivery, technical repairs, money collection and meetings.
AIDFI adopted a solar-powered, coin-operated water kiosk that serves households and releases 20 liters of water for only P1 to ensure fairer water distribution and better collection for the water association compared to public tap stands.
Indigenous communities benefit from the potable water brought by AIDFI’s hydraulic ram pump.
“We now see how mobile applications can be integrated since the program is about shared value. Globe is active in communities or schools that have no easy access to water which the ram pump could help solve,” said AIDFI co-founder and chief executive officer Auke Idzenga, a Dutch national who has been living in the country since 1985. He further said: “We are already discussing this with Globe, and we are excited about the areas for possible cooperation.”
Likewise, Globe helps uplift the nation’s education through the Global Filipino Schools (GFS) program, which empowers public schools with ICT-trained teachers, new gadgets and critical infrastructures. It also provided ICT infrastructure support to Hopeline, the 24/7 emotional crisis intervention hotline.
Aside from employing technology, Globe also tries to safeguard the public against the negative aspects of ICT. As the leader in digital entertainment and lifestyle, Globe came out with the #PlayItRight campaign against pirated and illegal content and encourages the public to firmly stand behind content creators, respect their hard work and help sustain their jobs.
On the other hand, the Digital Thumbprint Program (DTP) teaches Filipino youth about the impact of their online behavior through workshops on cyber security, safety, online responsibility and leadership, and empowerment. DTP was recently adopted by the Department of Education as part of the Values Education subject in the K-12 program.