Digital livelihood for Filipino teachers pushed

From The Philippine Business and News

As Filipino teachers move to the digital sphere in preparation for a “blended education” modality, Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) has partnered with PLDT-Smart Foundation’s (PSF) Gabay Guro program to maximize this digitalization push in the learning sector to improve the welfare of the country’s educators.

RCBC, through DiskarTech – the country’s first and only Taglish financial inclusion super app, will offer alternative digital livelihood to Filipino teachers in the country.

For its part, PSF shall promote the use of DiskarTech during the activities of Gabay Guro, including financial education and digital literacy talks and seminars.

“This advocacy is close to my heart,” said RCBC President and Chief Executive Officer Eugene S. Acevedo who shared that his mother was a public school teacher. “I am overjoyed that we are doing this and benefitting over 700,000 public school teachers nationwide.”

“Filipino teachers are known for their selfless devotion for the betterment of their students. As they face new challenges with the shift from traditional face-to-face learning to a mix of online and homeschooling, our educators also deserve much support in these trying times,” said Lito Villanueva, executive vice president, and chief innovation and inclusion officer of RCBC. “Inclusive digital finance platforms, such as DiskarTech, offer safe and helpful solutions to their financial needs in our new normal.”

Earnings from these transactions are also deposited into a basic deposit account that earns a competitive 3.25% annual interest.

Aside from being a tool for financial inclusion and digital literacy in support of the thrust of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, DiskarTech will enable teachers to earn from offering instant digital financial services in their neighborhoods by performing financial transactions on behalf of customers. These “Paki-suyo” services include bills payment, cash in, cash withdrawal, top-up of airtime and gaming e-load, and money transfers, among others. 

Department of Education Undersecretary Tonisito Umali underscored the timeliness of the project as the agency recently launched its celebration of the National Teachers’ Month. “This collaboration is not just significant but timely during these extraordinary times as it gives so much opportunities not just for our teachers but even to our parents, learners, and non-teaching personnel that would be around over 22 million nationwide. This program will surely benefit all,” Umali said.

“This is something we do for the love of our country. We welcome this partnership with RCBC and DiskarTech as we continue to empower and enable more our teachers around the country. It would be great to see more Filipinos to be digital micro-entrepreneurs” said Gabay Guro Chairman Chaye Cabal-Revila. “We want to keep moving forward and changing lives. Thank you for this partnership as we believe that digital is the way to go,” added PSF President Esther Santos.

Long-time Gabay Guro ambassadors Vina Morales and Pops Fernandez also joined the virtual signing ceremony of the memorandum of understanding between RCBC and PSF. Both Fernandez and Morales have been known as entrepreneurs who also expressed their gratefulness to be part of the advocacy and renewed their commitment to support the activities of Gabay Guro.

Meanwhile, Manuel V Pangilinan, PLDT-Smart Foundation Chairman expressed his commendation for this noble advocacy by saying, “Gabay Guro welcomes this collaboration that would provide greater livelihood opportunities for our teachers and learners through digital channels such as DiskarTech.”

PSF is the social outreach arm of PLDT Inc., the country’s oldest and largest telecommunications conglomerate. It provides helpful communication tools and various avenues for progress and empowerment through partnerships and tie-ups with non-government organizations, people’s organizations and cooperatives throughout the Philippines.

RCBC is one of the leading universal banks accelerating digital transformation in the Philippines. It was recently recognized as the best digital bank in the Philippines at the 14th Annual Alpha Southeast Asia Best Financial Institution Awards 2020. Its digital products include RCBC mobile and online banking, handheld ATM Go mobile POS terminals, and DiskarTech, among others.