I used to have a Smart SIM card but I have since changed it to Globe. Smart has a very weak signal where I live and I had a hard time sending/receiving text messages and making/answering phone calls. I also didn’t like the fact that Smart kept sending me text advertisements promoting just about anything under the sun. The crazy thing is that the company seems to have a knack for sending text ads at times when I am waiting for crucial messages. So my cellphone beeps, I open it for a much anticipated message, but all I get is this text ad encouraging me to download this ring tune or to join some raffle where I can win a cellphone. Aargh! So I eventually came to dislike Smart.
Still, this blog likes to give credit where credit is due and Smart should be credited for its Smart Schools Program which has been bringing free internet access to different schools across the country. In the Cordilleras, the following schools are part of this program: Alejo Pacalso Memorial National High School in Itogon, Benguet; Baguio City National High School – Loakan Annex in Baguio City; Mt. Province General Comprehensive High School in Bontoc Mt. Province; Sagada National High School in Sagada, Mt. Provine; and Tabuk National High School in Tabuk, Kalinga.
Students of said schools are now having fun surfing the web mainly because of this program. One wishes that this free internet access is not only for a year but in a country where corporate social responsibility is unheard of, this program is something. And something is better than nothing especially in the Philippines where only 9.1% have internet access [Source: Internet World Stats]
But still, Smart should not only be smart. It should get smarter. It should make the free internet access five years, or ten years, or if it really has to make the schools pay then it should make it very affordable, say P100/a month. Eh kasi pag one year free internet access lang, eh di parang patikim lang. Nanlibre ka nga, patikim lang pala! He he.
Seriously, it is not as if Smart with its billion-peso annual income is going to get poor with a much longer free internet program. Also, true corporate social responsibility is not only for pa-P.R. effect (and one year is only pa-P.R.), it should be one that has a more lasting impact on peoples and communities. That is how you build real public goodwill. And that is what might convince me to go back to using my Smart cell card despite the crappy signal where I live.
INFO AND PHOTO CREDITS: smart.com.ph