There has been a long-lasting partnership that exists between the Pastoral Parish Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) and PLDT. Even when the automated elections were tracing its roots back in 2010, PLDT Chairman and CEO Manuel V. Pangilinan has been extending his support to PPCRV since its early years.
“The PPCRV and PLDT partnership has been going on for as long as I can remember. Since there were no automated elections back then, we didn’t need servers or any of those technical things,” De Villa said. “We are the masa. So I have to beg for every activity we underwent – voters’ education, poll watching, and always, I’d ran to Mr. Pangilinan, to MVP. And he’d help.”
“That’s how we were kept afloat – by the help of the people like MVP and the resources of PLDT and Smart,” De Villa added.
On a Monday afternoon, De Villa took some time off to personally visit Pangilinan in order to present to him PPCRV’s trophy of appreciation. With a radiant smile, she tells the story behind the gold encrusted trophy. “I wanted it to be very special because this is for very special people – for MVP and to everyone in PLDT and Smart,” De Villa said.
Inscribed in the trophy was Pangilinan’s name hailed as PPCRV’s “beloved champ”. The trophy of appreciation was given to Pangilinan for his efforts in supporting PPCRV’s vision of a clean, honest, accurate, meaningful, and peaceful elections, or ‘CHAMP’.
The trophy of appreciation presented to MVP.
“That’s why I’m very, very grateful for him. Not just of the things he has given for PPCRV but the lessons I learned from him about inclusiveness – it doesn’t matter if you are big or small, or prominent or unknown. But if he could help, he helps,” De Villa added.
With a legion of faith as its backbone, the PPCRV has been the citizens’ arm during elections since its establishment in 1991. For 25 years, Ambassador Henrietta De Villa has chaired the organization, fondly calling it as her own.
During the 2010 elections, a new day unfolds for the Filipino people – it was the first year of the automated elections. PLDT direct lines, internet connectivity, via IP-VPN and i-Gate, together with Smart Prepaid load credits for poll watchers were crucial technological tools for a successful first time automated elections.
With a stronger build on its information technology (IT) backbone, PLDT again responded to the needs of PPCRV for an even more successful second year of automated elections. In an effort to protect the route of PLDT’s copper and fiber optic cable facilities in the different election command centers including PPCRV, all CoreNet and CSOZ-identified priority manholes were secured and welded.
But on its third year, the 2016 automated elections was by far the most outstanding. Fixed and wireless networks were stable and fully functional, contributing to a rapid election returns. The PLDT Group donated fiber-optic cable connectivity and hosting services to the PPCRV for their transparency servers which supplied election results data to the various media organizations.
Without a doubt, the PPCRV now has a solid technological support backed by PLDT and Smart. Despite its ongoing digitalization, PPCRV continues to operate in good faith. De Villa recognizes the efforts of a man whose kindness has brought PPCRV to its peak.
“MVP is the wind beneath our wings. And I think his goodness extends to both PLDT and Smart, where a culture that embraces people is very much prevalent,” De Villa said. “It is where people are simply a call away when you need help and they always respond. It is where they are very much available to reach out and simply help.”