Saturday, 18 July 2009

Smart says 1.4m Filipinos engaged in e-load business

By Roderick T. dela Cruz
Manila Standard
http://www.manilastandardtoday.com/?page=business5_july17_2009

Some 1.4 million Filipinos are now involved in the e-load business, or the sale of pre-paid mobile phone credits to subscribers.

Ramon Isberto, head of the public affairs group of Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. and Smart Communications, said the figure confirmed that telecom companies were in business with ordinary Filipinos.

“About 1.4 million micro-entrepreneurs are in the e-loading business,” Isberto said during the launching of the Tipid-Sulit Pinas! advocacy campaign of Talk ‘N Text, the low-cost brand of Smart.

Smart chief wireless advisor Orlando Vea said the 1.4 million micro-entrepreneurs in the e-loading business highlighted the importance of livelihood in the Philippines.

There are nearly 70 million mobile phone SIM cards in the Philippines, although the actual number of users may be less, as a typical subscriber now owns more than one cellphone. Pre-paid subscribers account for more than 90 percent of all mobile phone users in the country.

“Tipid-Sulit Pinas! believes that Filipinos have and continue to overcome crisis situations by using the cheap text messaging as a tool,” said Perry Bayani, group head of Talk ‘N Text.

The campaign hopes to raise funds to support 10 livelihood projects, initially with a seed capital of P100,000 each.

Danilo Mojica, head of Smart’s wireless consumer division, said the campaign would eventually evolve into barangay-based efforts to support livelihood opportunities nationwide.

Bayani said Talk ‘N Text had teamed up with several organizations, including social development foundation Philippine Business for Social Progress, the Payatas women’s initiative Rags2Riches, nationwide sari-sari store chain Hapinoy, the talented group of sculptors Banglos and recruitment network JobsDB.

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