Technology is a great equalizer. Its important role in addressing societal problems was felt more than ever during the pandemic as even disadvantaged members of society are now able to gain access to financial products and affordable healthcare with the democratization of essential services through GCash, KonsultaMD, and HealthNow.
This inclusive reality was mentioned by Yoly Crisanto, Globe Chief Sustainability Officer and SVP for Corporate Communications during the BusinessWorld Insights: An Online Forum Series with the topic “How ESG Criteria Guides Leading Companies.”
Crisanto said Globe utilized technology to pivot and make its products and services more affordable and aligned with the needs of the public. This allowed consumers to cope with unprecedented challenges when the pandemic hit over a year ago.
“We brought down our prices and brought down the services to even the lowest economic segments of our society. For us, that is the true spirit of inclusivity and sustainability, when you're doing business and you're not leaving anyone out. We use technology to solve some of the societal problems that we have,” she said.
One of the most important contributions of Globe is GCash, an electronic wallet being used by over 40 million Filipinos. GCash was able to fulfill the need of the public for contactless transactions to avoid contracting COVID-19. As a result, it has become the go-to service for money transfer, bill payments, and e-commerce in the country. On top of these services, GCash allows everyone to save money, get credit, buy insurance, and invest in bonds and stocks even if they do not have traditional bank accounts.
Healthcare is also more convenient now compared to the pre-pandemic scenario. Anyone can quickly get unlimited consultations with licensed doctors for as low as P60 a month through KonsultaMD and HealthNow. This keeps people safe at home and helps decongest hospitals and clinics attending to patients with critical illnesses.
GCash, KonsultaMD, and HealthNow are portfolio companies under 917Ventures, the country’s biggest corporate venture builder wholly owned by Globe.
“Our purpose as a company is that, in everything we do, we treat people right to do a Globe of Good. To us, treating people right is being customer-centric, by being a responsible business to our partners and communities. Doing a #GlobeOfGood is really about our strength as a business using technology. Our strength is being able to harness technology for innovations that can impact the lives of various sectors including farmers, fishermen, sari-sari store owners, and even street vendors,” Crisanto said.
Globe has also been assisting the education sector through a reliable and affordable internet connection which is crucial for distance learning. The telco provided free Globe At Home Prepaid WiFi modems and pocket WiFis to select public school teachers and students who have no access to the internet.
With the growing demand for connectivity, Globe is building on its programs to ensure that everyone is safe and remains responsible online citizens, one of which is the Digital Thumbprint Program (DTP). DTP helps young people, especially students to increase their knowledge of digital citizenship and cyber safety by helping them develop insights into the influences of the online world and the choices they are making.
“From a sustainability standpoint, when we offer our products and services, we also do programs that make sure that these products and services are safe to use by anybody, from children to adults. There must always be a balance,” said Crisanto.
Globe’s digitalization efforts respond to the people’s growing reliance on the internet for work, learning, entertainment, and others.
Crisanto lauded the government for passing enabling laws like Bayanihan 2 and Anti-Red Tape Act (ARTA) that helped address permitting issues. This helped Globe to fast-track the rollout of its network infrastructure for better connectivity. Globe has built more than 500 new cell sites and upgraded 10,000 others to 4G LTE and 5G to improve the data experience of Globe customers.
Globe strongly supports the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals such as UN SGD No. 3 on good health and well-being, UN SDG No. 4 on inclusive and equitable quality education for all, and UN SDG No. 9 on the roles of infrastructure and innovation as crucial drivers of economic growth and development. The company is also committed to supporting the 10 United Nations Global Compact principles.
To learn more about how to create a #GlobeofGood, visit www.globe.com.ph/about-us/sustainability.html.