A TELECOMMUNICATIONS company and its wireless unit recently rolled out a two-day caravan that aims to upskill local micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in Cebu City and Lapu-Lapu City to enhance their online livelihood.

The caravan, “Pilipinas: Aahon at Babangon,” was initiated by PLDT Inc. and Smart Communications in partnership with Shopee Philippines.

Backed by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) 7, PLDT and Smart trained over 100 virtual and in-person attendees in mobile photography, while Shopee presented opportunities for local sellers to join their e-commerce platforms, thereby helping boost their online businesses.

“Our MSMEs make up the largest portion of the country’s businesses today, and the DTI is at the forefront of equipping our MSMEs in their digital transformation, thus helping them become more resilient and sustainable,” said DTI Cebu Director Rose Mae Quiñanola.

According to PLDT Enterprise SMBiz Visayas head Ma. Edna Francisco, the company was “pleased to reinforce the DTI’s goal to empower MSMEs in their digital transformation by presenting our push to enhance our services and innovative offers to enable growth among local businesses.”

When the pandemic upended local enterprises due to strict lockdowns, many MSMEs slowly shifted toward digitizing their business operations.

Mabel Pagal, a Shopee seller and owner of Stitches and Yarns, said: “I hope I was able to motivate my fellow MSME owners through my story.”

“From having a side hustle to running a full-blown business now, I am thankful to Shopee for enabling entrepreneurs like me with a platform to reach customers nationwide,” she said.

This digital upskilling event falls under PLDT and Smart’s “eBizNovation” pillar, which aims to boost the income and market reach of MSMEs, cooperatives and other industries through technology. It is part of the group’s broader commitment to achieving United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth