Dec. 23, 2020

PLDT Global Corporation, the international subsidiary of the country’s largest integrated telecommunications company PLDT, has teamed up with Coca-Cola Beverages Philippines, Inc. (CCBPI) to provide livelihood opportunities for overseas Filipino workers who have been repatriated due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Balik Pinas, launched by the Philippine Coca-Cola bottling arm, has been providing former OFWs with opportunities to be part of the Coca-Cola family as distributors, wholesalers, or community resellers. Through the PLDT Global platform Free Bee app, Coca-Cola will be able to reach more Filipinos seeking to restart back at home.

The Free Bee app, PLDT’s go-to mobile app for OFWs and their families to stay connected, has integrated a convenient gateway to Balik Pinas: Free Bee users will be able to see promotions on the app until that will redirect users to a form from Coca-Cola to help them apply for the program. The ad will run until January 21, 2021.

After applying through Free Bee, OFW submissions will go through CCBPI’s screening process—with the first twelve OFWs having successful applications coursed through Free Bee, being awarded additional livelihood packages.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged us in many ways. This is particularly true for our kababayans abroad who have found themselves without jobs because of massive layoffs or closures of businesses and institutions that they were part of,” said Albert V. Villa-Real, SVP and Chief Commercial Officer at PLDT Global. “That’s why we are happy to be part of Coca-Cola’s Balik Pinas campaign, because this will allow us to help OFWs restart their lives and rise above the challenges brought by the health crisis,” he added.

Balik Pinas is ensuring that deserving entrepreneurs are backed by practical support from a global beverage brand—from setting up the business, to sustaining it, to ensuring growth and profit. This is aligned with CCBPI’s consistent creation of programs lending assistance to MSMEs across the Philippines.

“Coca-Cola’s Commercial team makes sure that when we execute programs, we are creating value not just for the Company, but most especially for local communities,” says Hernando Garcia, CCBPI Commercial Excellence Director. “When we expanded the Balik Pinas program on a national scale this year, this principle was the foundation of our goal to help overseas Filipinos to be able to restart as business owners here in the Philippines,” he added.

“We’re honored to be part of our kababayans’ journey to restart and rebuild here at home.” says Ramon Pesigan, CCBPI General Trade Director. “We’ve received hundreds of inquiries from our kababayans and our Commercial team has been hard at work to reach more OFWs. Since the expansion of the program, we’ve been able to launch more new and mostly family-run businesses under Balik Pinas,” he added.

“It’s important to CCBPI that aspiring entrepreneurs, especially those affected by the pandemic, are aware that livelihood opportunities are available. We are grateful to PLDT for this opportunity to reach more OFWs,” adds Pesigan.

Powered by PLDT Global, Free Bee is an internationally recognized ad-sponsored VoIP solution that bridges the distance between OFWs and their families through high-quality IDD calls to the Philippines for free.

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