Digital Edge Accelerates Growth in South East Asia with Expansion into the Philippines

Digital Edge (Singapore) Holdings Pte. Ltd. established a joint venture in the Philippines with the Threadborne Group, a local family office focused on technology and real estate. The JV will construct and operate a 10MW data center in Manila, with a capital commitment in excess of USD100 million collectively from both parties. The new data center will be based on Digital Edge’s next-generation architecture and operated under the Digital Edge brand name.

Already under construction, the Manila data center is slated to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2022. It will be the largest operational carrier-neutral data center in the Philippines. The facility also aims to be the most advanced facility in the market, in terms of energy and water efficiency, with an expected annualized PUE of 1.193 at optimal operating temperature and WUE of 1.355.  The facility will allow Digital Edge to offer flexible, high-quality colocation and interconnection services to both local and international customers in the Greater Manila region. The low PUE and WUE make the facility uniquely suitable in the market for cloud and other high power density colocation applications.

According to Structure Research, the Philippines’s colocation market is expected to become a US$313M market by 2026, growing at a CAGR of 22% between 2021 and 2026. Jabez Tan, Head of Research at Structure Research, notes that “Alibaba Cloud is currently the first and only hyper-scale cloud platform to announce a cloud region deployment in Manila, Philippines, and we believe more cloud region announcements will soon follow in the next two years driven by the overall decentralization of hyper-scale cloud platforms into more distributed and in-country data center architectures to cater for the increasing performance requirements and data privacy regulations.

“The Philippines is an underserved market with huge demand for data center capacity and, together with the Threadborne Group, we intend to be at the forefront of developing the critical data center infrastructure for this market,” said Samuel Lee, Chief Executive Officer of Digital Edge. “The Threadborne Group’s principals are experienced real estate developers with a proven track record and we are very pleased to have joined forces with them to undertake this important initiative. This venture is another step forward in the Company’s ambition to transform Asia’s digital infrastructure by building and operating the most energy-efficient and connectivity-rich data centers in key emerging markets.”

“Digital Edge’s knowledge and experience in designing, constructing, and operating data centers combined with our local real estate and customer knowledge, has created a solid foundation on which to grow this partnership,” said Raymond Rufino, Principal for Investments and Real Estate of the Threadborne Group. “Digital Edge shares our strong conviction for this market and in the importance of setting robust, long-term ESG goals. We are already receiving very positive feedback from a number of potential customers and are confident that this is just the beginning!”

“We are very excited about the energy and water efficiency achieved in the design of the Digital Edge Manila data center. Given Manila’s hot and humid climate, it is extremely difficult to achieve an annualized PUE of 1.193 at the optimal operating temperature, but the team has been able to achieve an impressive result,” said Jay Park, Chief Development Officer of Digital Edge. “The WUE of 1.355 is also significant in that it uses less than a quarter of the water needed for cooling when compared to traditional-style cooling tower type setups. These are industry-leading numbers. We will be seeking LEED Gold certification, EDGE certification, and participating as an early pilot partner for BERDE (Philippines Local Green Building Certification). This data center will most certainly put the Philippines into the league of having one of the most advanced data centers in Asia.”

Gear up with MSI’s Back to School Promo

It is once again that time of the year where school starts right around the corner. MSI, a world leader in producing high-performance and innovative laptops, is ready with its back-to-school promo that starts on August 1 and lasts until September 30, 2021.

Students of different backgrounds, whether they are gamers by night, studious types, or artistic individuals, and coming from all sorts of diverse strands from arts, business, engineering, to even from the sciences, can all gear up for this upcoming school year when they purchase their MSI gaming, or business and productivity laptops that come with various freebies that can be worth as much as PHP 11,000. Freebies such as gaming headsets, backpacks, neck pillows, wireless mouse, external HDD, and many more are up for grabs!

Make the most out of your school experience with MSI

The hustle and bustle of school have its own challenges, especially while people are still stuck in their homes. MSI’s GF Series, Modern 14, SummitE15, and Stealth 15M are perfect for facing tough tests and tedious artworks and projects while doing synchronous online classes. Students do not have to worry about laptop lags as these laptops are built for long and robust performance.

The thin and light laptops, GF series are made foron-the-go students that can carry their laptops everywhere, coming in at 1.86kg. These laptops are built to withstand the heavy loads of school and gaming with their heavy-duty performance, but also made to be stylish with their sleek framework, having a 21.77mm build. It is a good thing these high-end series laptops come with gaming backpacks, gaming headsets, and a gaming mouse when bought on MSI’s Back to School promo, as this perfectly pairs with GF series’ aesthetic and mobile design.

MSI’s Back to School Promo also includes the brand-new Katana GF Series. These laptops are inspired by the swift power of the Katana, designed by famed Japanese illustrator Tsuyoshi Nagano, who is noted for his work in the “Romance of the Three Kingdoms” video game series. The Katana GF66 is set to inspire users and students with it being powered by NVIDIA® GeForce RTX™ 30 Series graphics and featuring independent number pads, even on the smaller 15-inch variant. These laptops are more than just entry-level gaming configurations; they are your first partner for long-lasting battles in online school and the virtual world.

The Modern 14 on the other hand, boasts its style and high performance. Powered with the AMD RYZEN 4000 series processor, these laptops last up to 10-hours on-the-go and are perfect for gaming, productivity, and content creation. These laptops are made to last as they are engineered to withstand the high demands that come with everyday student work, gaming, and online classes.

Meanwhile, the Stealth 15M is perfect for students who love to multi-task as this laptop expands ones’ vision across multiple displays with HDMI and Thunderbolt™ 4. Students may also enjoy up to 8K resolution output via Thunderbolt™ 4 for some extra productivity and fun.

For students of Business, Statistics, Mathematics, and students who like to pull an all-nighter who require high performance of computing, SummitE15 is a perfect choice. Its portability and performance are boosted with the latest 11th Gen Intel® processor and NVIDIA® GeForce GTX™ 1650 Ti graphics, which is the most powerful ever. It is also equipped with TPM 2.0 that provides enterprise-grade security to keep all students’ documents safe and secured. This laptop is designed for non-stop, on-the-go, study, or work anytime, anywhere with a long-lasting battery and fast-charge technology.

So, what are you waiting for? Grab these amazing laptops with various freebies while you still can! The MSI 2021 Back to School Promo runs for a limited time only. For full details, please visit https://ph.msi.com/Promotion/back-to-school-2021/nb.

Saying goodbye to Twitter Fleets

Photo by Benjamin Dada on Unsplash

After eight months since its roll out, Twitter’s ephemeral Fleets feature now bids its goodbye starting August 3.

The company announced this move in a blog post last July 14, stating that they haven’t seen an increase in the number of new people using Fleets.

The said feature was created to help people share their fleeting thoughts, in a lower-pressure way compared to declaring it out loud using Tweets.

The company also shared that they hoped Fleets would help people be more comfortable in joining conversations on Twitter, but those who are using Fleets were already Tweeting.

Meanwhile, people will still see icons of accounts holding live Spaces at the top of the timeline, where Fleets were originally placed.

Despite the lukewarm turnout, Twitter promised to continue evolving and learning to serve the publication.

For the full blog post, please click here.

Smart 5G powers Mountain Telemedicine, bringing help and hope

PLDT wireless unit Smart Communications Inc. (Smart) has fired up more 5G sites across the country.

There are now more than 3,000 sites across the country, enabling communities to experience Smart 5G’s super-fast data service. One of these is Barangay Linut-od, a mountain barangay in Argao in the province of Cebu. The availability of 5G in the area has enabled remote patient health consultation—or what we now know as “telemedicine”.

Mario G. Tamayo, Head of Technology at PLDT and Smart, emphasized the importance of expanding the network to support far-flung communities, even with the hurdles posed by the pandemic. “Rolling out the network in an archipelago and the countryside presents various unique challenges. But we are committed to expanding our network and making sure our technology reaches all communities and have the best customer experience with Smart.”

Smart powers Mountain Telemedicine

Telemedicine offers a low-cost and more convenient means of delivering healthcare services that can support mountain communities and reach more residents living in far-flung areas like Linut-od.

Among the beneficiaries of mountain telemedicine is a 51-year-old patient in Linut-od, Elena Camson, who was diagnosed with End-Stage Renal Disease in 2018. Before the firing up of Smart’s cell site in the barangay, Elena had to travel to the town proper for her medical consultations. “When there was still no network signal here, we had to go to the city for check-ups. We used to walk from our house to another barangay where we can ride jeepneys to reach the city,” says Elena.

Argao’s community doctor, Dr. Stanley Caminero operates two charity clinics in Argao: one in the municipality’s town proper and one in barangay Linut-od. With telco facilities enhancing the delivery of medical services, efforts at promoting healthcare can now reach longer distances and underserved communities.

“A strong network signal is a huge help in our advocacy to treat patients, which is made possible by telemedicine. Patients can directly contact us whenever they feel sick or if they are in need of consultation, especially if they cannot immediately proceed to the city hospital,” shared Dr. Caminero.

Since the Smart cell site in Linut-od, Argao was fired up in 2019, the delivery of essential health services in the barangay has also improved. Cristina Alberca, Barangay Health Worker for 3 years, has also felt the difference and the massive improvement in the mobilization of their services since the availability of signal and connectivity in the barangay.

“Back then, we had to tread our way to the different puroks or districts because we did not have direct access to them. With Smart’s fast connectivity, our job has been made easy. We’ve created several group chats via online multi-media platforms where we can directly send announcements, updates, and schedules in order to also prevent crowding,” shared Alberca. Alberca and other barangay health workers have utilized technology and connectivity in ensuring the timely delivery of quality healthcare in the mountain barangay.

Dr. Caminero underscores the value of fast and reliable connectivity in enabling a more inclusive healthcare service, especially in unserved and underserved communities, “Through Smart’s 5G signal, we can assure quality service and accurate diagnoses to our patients. I hope for the continuous connectivity advancement in our mountain barangays, especially those areas that are still not reached by network providers. It can greatly aid us, especially in treating patients living in the mountains with little access to quality healthcare service.”

Smart’s 5G nationwide rollout, strengthening its leadership

Launched last year, Smart ‘s 5G service was quickly expanded to cover key cities in Visayas and Mindanao, strengthening the company’s commitment to bring the best digital technologies closer to more Filipinos across the country. This advancement has benefitted several communities, including mountain barangays in Argao.

Continuing this big push for 5G in the country, Smart also recently expanded its Unli 5G offer to cover all Smart 5G sites nationwide–an unprecedented move that enables more Filipinos to enjoy Smart’s most powerful offer on its fastest technology yet.

5G, the latest upgrade in wireless communications, offers fiber-like data speeds on mobile and ultra-low latency, enabling excellent customer experience in uploading and downloading large files, uninterrupted playing of online games, seamless streaming of high-resolution videos, and next-level audio-video call experience which aids mountain telemedicine, among others.

These initiatives are part of PLDT and Smart’s continuous expansion of their fully integrated network, the largest in the country. Smart’s mobile network, which serves 96% of the population from Batanes to Tawi-Tawi, has also been recognized as the fastest mobile network in the country by third-party analytics firms including Ookla and Opensignal. Enabling Smart’s 5G network is PLDT’s fiber infrastructure, the country’s most extensive at over 478,000 kilometers as of end-March 2021.

PH ranks 6th on Twitter gaming and esports insights for H1 2021

Cover photo by Alex Haney on Unsplash

Gamers around the world come to Twitter to discuss all of the latest happenings and trends. In the Philippines, gamers definitely levelled up their voices and excitement on Twitter’s gaming scene in the first half of 2021. From the 9th place in 2020, PH now ranks up to 6th surpassing India, France, and the United Kingdom.

Filipinos sure know what are the latest and trending games, expressing their excitement and experience through Tweets. But of course, mainstay games remain in the hearts and discussion of Filipinos and around the globe.

Here are the most talked about games among Filipinos on Twitter in the first half of 2021.

A lot has happened in the esports scene, even though only half the year has passed. Filipino gamers showed their support for their favorite teams and players and connected with the source themselves on Twitter.

Here are the most talked about esports Team among Filipinos on Twitter in the first half of 2021.

Even though the year is almost halfway over, there’s still plenty to look forward to in the second half of the year. Be sure to stay tuned for even more gaming events like Gamescom & The Game Awards, along with plenty of esports content from Call of Duty League, League of Legends Esports, Overwatch League, and the VALORANT Champions Tour among others.

I-Pay bolsters longtime partnership with Western Union, Offering Money Transfers into Bank Accounts with Shopee

I-Pay, a longtime direct agent of Western Union in the Philippines, will now offer millions of  Shopee users the choice to redirect international and domestic Western Union money transfers into their bank accounts digitally with its ‘Direct-to-Bank (DTB)’ service.

As part of its partnership with Shopee Philippines, I-Pay will leverage Western Union’s cross-border digital capabilities on Shopee’s popular online shopping platform, enabling customers to enjoy the convenience of directing any Western Union money transfers into their bank accounts.

This partnership is timely given the limitations brought about by the continuing enhanced community quarantine due to COVID-19, as people search for convenient options in completing important tasks, especially receiving remittances.

“This brings about added convenience and assistance to remittance beneficiaries faced with challenges during the ongoing community quarantine, wherein health risks and social distancing measures make it quite an ordeal, along with having to deal with having to travel far away to visit a limited number of available sub-agent outlets,” said I-Pay Commerce Ventures President Ronald Allan Aquino. “With I-Pay’s partnership with Shopee, our long-held vision of servicing beneficiaries in the most convenient and helpful manner is now realized.”

Alberto Castañeda, Brand Acquisition Manager of Shopee Philippines welcomed the I-Pay alliance as this would expand the mobile commerce site’s reach and offer the opportunity to serve more Filipinos. “Shopee has always been in the forefront of providing shopping convenience to the people, especially during this unfortunate pandemic, particularly offering essential products and services. With users able to arrange their remittance bank transfers soon through the upcoming I-Pay Direct-to-Bank feature in our interface, Shopee is certainly delighted to have this opportunity to serve more people needing such critical services in their lives.”

“The Philippines is an important market for Western Union,” said Jeffrey Navarro, Head of Network, Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei & Indochina, Western Union. “It is also among the best-in-class examples of how our multi-channel strategy, aimed at using technology to provide consumer choice, comes alive. We are excited about the partnership of our direct agent I-Pay with Shopee, as it further illustrates our commitment to providing outstanding services to customers in the country.”

In addition to this new service expansion, I-Pay continues to provide both inbound and outbound Western Union money transfer services at over 1,000 of their retail locations.

Customer Guidance

To avail the service, customers must have a Shopee account. Customers can look up Western Union on the Shopee website search bar and click on the IPCVI Store to purchase a PHP20 service voucher.

After payment, the customer will receive a notification on Shopee which will include the voucher code. To receive a money transfer, customers can visit d2b.i-pcv.com and fill out a form including the Western Union Money Transfer Control Number (MTCN) and the voucher code. I-Pay will then validate and process the remittance transaction via Western Union systems into the bank account of the customer.

Customers will be able to receive their remittances on the same day[1] via credit to bank accounts or e-wallets through InstaPay, an electronic fund transfer (EFT) service by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.


[1] Transactions will be paid out on the same day if received between 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM. Any transactions after 5:00 PM, will be processed the next business day.

A quick guide to apps every K-Pop fan needs to vote on music shows

Welcome to the wonderful world of K-Pop!

Aside from the fancy outfits, stellar choreography, and catchy singles, it is a norm in K-Pop promotions to appear on music shows. This activity is one of the avenues for artists to create exposure, perform for fans, and reach the public aside from concerts and events.

These shows also rank which is the “hottest” song of the week based on various scoring systems or criteria. Each week, there will be only one artist or group who can win a much-coveted trophy. Most of the fandoms also target to hit triple crowns or more, showing how fans are devoted to their faves (personal note: and how the field can be quite competitive).

If you are new to K-Pop music voting, an international fan, or are already a fan but just got interested in the whole voting process, here are some of the apps you can download to get your votes counted.

STARPASS

Use it to vote on: The Show and Inkigayo (SBS)
Pre-voting and live voting is available for The Show (airs every Tuesday)
Live voting is available for Inkigayo (airs every Sunday)

Other voting categories/options:

  • Monthly Individual Ranking – Vote for your idol or make donations under their name
  • Battle Ranking – Make donations under their name for anniversaries or birthday celebrations
  • Various Ranking – topics vary monthly

IDOLCHAMP

Use it to vote on: Show Champion (MBC)
Pre-voting is available (airs every Wednesday)

Other voting categories/options:

  • IDOLCHAMP CHART – Donate “chamsim” or hearts to your bias group. When your group wins the Monthly Chart, they will be rewarded with a promotion video to be aired on MBC channels
  • Special ads – fans can cast their vote on special ads projects (subway ad, bus stop ads, etc) to promote new album releases. K-Pop artist’s birthday, or artist debut anniversary
  • PR Voting – this voting category allows the winner idol in the poll to be featured in an online news article

MWAVE

Use it to vote on: M Countdown
Pre-voting is available (airs every Thursday)

Other voting categories/options:

  • Vote & Rank K-POP voting – topic varies
  • Official voting for Mnet Asian Music Awards (MAMA)

MUBEAT

Use it to vote on: Show! Music Core
Pre-voting is available (airs every Saturday)

Other voting categories/options:

  • Mubeat voting categories – varies monthly, one of the rewards is a spot ad on The Show TV
  • Fandom ads – fandom support projects for artist anniversaries, can be subway ads, video ads, etc.

To know more about the shows’ criteria, this article from Soompi has a detailed breakdown from broadcast scores to SNS.

It’s never too late to join in the fun! Download these apps to vote for your faves and see them get wins and encores on music shows 😉

Photo by Joel Muniz on Unsplash

Manufacturers See Collaborative Robots as Key Driver to Higher Productivity

According to the Philippine Statistics Authority, the manufacturing production in the Philippines reported an annual rate of -46.5 percent in February, a drop from its previous months’ annual rate of -16.7 percent. [1] This downturn was continuous from February last year amid the disruptions caused by the pandemic. In time of strict distancing measures, collaborative robots are the solution to help perform tasks that people in groups could not safely do. An additional advantage is that cobots are immensely capable of handling increased workload due to backlogs. With this, there is an optimism that the country’s Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) will continue to improve in 2021.

According to “Collaborative Robot Market by Payload, Component, Application, Industry, and Geography – Global Forecast to 2026″ report by Markets and Markets, cobots are increasingly being adopted by various industries due to advantages such as increased productivity and effective employee utilisation. The market is expected to reach US$7,972 million by 2026 at a CAGR of 41.8%. Cobots’ market in APAC is also expected to surpass that in Europe by 2021 due to large scale manufacturing industries especially automotive, electronics, and metals sectors which are increasingly deploying cobots.[2]

The Philippine manufacturing industry may leverage on the use of robotics in processes that involve repetitive work in confined, structured spaces, and environments. Additionally, cobots can work around the clock and can produce consistent output at any given condition.

Today, UR’s cobots allow employees to move from repetitive, low-value tasks to higher value activities that increase work productivity and quality. “Ever since the term ‘Collaborative Robotics’ was coined, we have been the frontrunners in the robotics industry. We have also marked an entire decade since the very first cobot from Universal Robots was deployed in South Asia. Safety is imperative and has become the cost of entry into the cobot market now. UR believes in developing affordable, lightweight, and flexible cobots that could deliver a rapid ROI for the manufacturing industry,” says James McKew, Regional Director of Asia-Pacific in Universal Robots.

With an average payback period as short as twelve months due to increased productivity, quality, and consistency, manufacturers may foresee a return of investment (ROI) before year-end or early 2022.


Safety and Versatility

Yokota Corporation, a Japan-based company that designs and manufactures bearing races, Factory Automation (FA) equipment, machines for assembly, packing and inspections, selected UR5 cobots to address its labour shortages[3]. The company tried engaging part-time employees and redeploying workers from other departments. However, these measures proved unproductive. Traditional industrial robots were also considered as a solution but were later found not feasible due to additional space requirements and the need for safety guarding.

With safety and versatility as key benefits, the deployment of UR5 cobots led to the establishment of a stable production system, delivering a 20 percent production increase without the need for additional human resources. As Asia remains the strongest market for industrial robots, Universal Robots encourages local manufacturers to deploy cobots on manufacturing floors.
“By lowering automation barrier within the reach of manufacturers who never thought that they could deploy robots due to cost and complexity, we hope to help the Philippine industries realise higher productivity and maintain effective utilisation of their plants,” concludes McKew.


[1] https://psa.gov.ph/content/production-index-and-net-sales-index-monthly-integrated-survey-selected-industries-february

[2] https://www.marketsandmarkets.com/PressReleases/collaborative-robot.asp

[3] https://www.universal-robots.com/case-stories/yokota-corporation/

Universal Robots Unveils Enhanced UR10e with 25% Greater Payload

Universal Robots (UR) is launching an enhanced UR10e with an increased payload of 12.5kg (27.55lbs), creating new possibilities for applications such as palletising, machine tending, and packaging. The robot’s price remains unchanged.

“Universal Robots is committed to continuous improvement based on meaningful conversations with customers and our ability to address critical market opportunities. Our customers have already deployed UR collaborative robots (cobots) on a wide variety of palletising applications. Over time, they have identified opportunities to utilise our UR10e cobot in handling tasks with heavier items,” says Kim Povlsen, President of Universal Robots. “In response to this demand, we have enhanced the UR10e to support greater payloads, providing customers with exciting new deployment capabilities.”

The enhanced UR10e retains the small footprint, intuitive programming experience, uncompromising repeatability, commitment to quality, and trusted performance that Universal Robots customers have come to expect, but its increased payload capacity means that users can now do more:

  • The UR10e can now be used in palletising applications with cartons weighing up to 10kg and a 2.5kg gripper.
  • The UR10e is now more versatile for other material handling tasks, too, such as loading and unloading heavier workpieces in machine tending deployments and packaging of heavy items.
  • The enhanced UR10e’s greater payload takes more weight from the hands and shoulders of humans, leading to improved ergonomics and working conditions. With overexertion/strenuous movements accounting for a total of 38,235 occupational accidents that occurred in 2017 in the Philippines, this provides relief to human workers.

“One of the major benefits of cobots is its flexibility in taking over unergonomic activities, freeing human workers from dangerous and injury-prone tasks. UR cobots are designed to work alongside humans and perform best as a minimally disruptive solution to safety concerns. The results of deploying cobots are clear; a boost in productivity, improved quality outcomes, enhanced working conditions and leaving space for businesses to re-evaluate how to best use the problem-solving abilities of their workforce,” says James McKew, Regional Director Asia-Pacific Universal Robots.

Feedback from UR partners has been extremely positive; MBO Postpress Solutions in Germany has integrated the UR10e as part of its CoBo-Stack stacking cobot.  “Increasing the payload of the UR10e will make our MBO CoBo-Stack much more profitable for our customers by expanding their application possibilities to include larger packages and heavier products, such as perfect bound or saddle stitched catalogues and brochures,” says Sebastian König, Head of Research & Development at MBO Postpress Solutions GmbH.

In addition, the updated UR10e also provides plug-and-play compatibility with products from Universal Robots’ UR+ ecosystem of hardware and software peripherals, ensuring that users can quickly and easily get started with collaborative applications.

Nicolas Lauzier, Senior Product Manager at Robotiq comments: “The greater payload of UR10e makes a big difference to palletising applications by enabling users to handle loads up to 12.5kg in weight. With 25% greater automation potential, it also means that the UR10e can help whenever there is a single line that needs to palletise a wide range of products of different weights.”

Clients in the Philippines can place orders for the enhanced UR10e at this corporate mobile number +63 1800 1 320 0139. Shipments of the new UR10e are scheduled to start in the second half of June.

For further product details, please go to https://www.universal-robots.com/products/ur10-robot/

CyberSmart joins resilience tools on iADAPT platform, boosting cyber defenses

Powered by the Philippine Disaster Recovery Foundation (PDRF) – iADAPT is the go-to site for information on disaster resilience in the face of the public health crisis. The e-learning solutions hub equips Filipinos with the right tools, skills, and resources needed to face disasters.   

PLDT and Smart’s CyberSmart has been gaining momentum since it rolled out its maiden virtual run in September 2020, bagging Platinum honors at the 56th Anvil Awards, long considered the “Oscars” of public relations in the Philippines. The citation is given to the most outstanding public relations tool that stands out among all Gold Award winning PR tools. The program is a collaboration between business units across the country’s largest integrated telco PLDT and its wireless subsidiary, Smart, and is supported by the Department of Education, the National Privacy Commission, and UNICEF.    

“The program’s inclusion in iADAPT further fortifies CyberSmart as an important tool in safeguarding the digital presence of Filipinos in the new normal. With more users logged on into the internet for work or for school, it’s important that we are armed with the knowledge on how to thwart online attacks,” said Darwin Flores, Smart VP for Community Partnerships.  

Smart is also uploading other programs on disaster preparedness, education, and food security on the platform. 

The interactive courses on the iADAPT platform are developed by industry leaders on risk reduction and management, business continuity, and climate change adaptation. The platform is packed with information presented in various formats such as videos, webinars, interactive modules, and microsites.  

When the government imposed lockdowns on mass gatherings because of COVID-19, PLDT and Smart migrated the cybersecurity caravan to cyberspace to continue educating students and teachers on how to protect their digital presence even during the coronavirus pandemic.   

More than 28,000 members of the academe from around 1,300 schools across the country logged on into the virtual hall for the whole month of September, which is the National Cyber Security and Awareness month. There were interactive booths where participants played games while learning how to identify online threats.   

The highlight of the program was the Ted-style talks that happened inside a virtual auditorium. The speakers shared tips and best practices on data privacy and security, internet safety, responsible social media use, spotting and combatting fake news, and computer and mobile protection especially for online teaching and learning.  

During the program’s 2020 run, National Privacy Commission Commissioner and Chairman Raymund Liboro appealed to the public to adopt practices that will protect them against cyber attacks.  

“Digital offers a lot of convenience but also has its risks and potential harms. With this in mind, we should adopt and practice privacy protection and inculcate this as our personal values. Times are changing. And we, as a nation, should be well equipped to tackle digital challenges that we currently face as we intensify the use of personal data,” he said. 

PLDT and Smart also adapted CyberSmart for their employees and transformed it into a learning series as part of their “Cyber Security Awareness Campaign: Empowering employees through online safety”. The internal digital safety program also took home a Silver Anvil.   PLDT and Smart swept this year’s Anvils bagging 19 citations including the coveted Company of the Year award.