Environment, education initiatives underscored at GenSan’s Tuna Festival

For this year’s Tuna Festival, General Santos City pushed for environmental and education awareness with the support of PLDT and its wireless unit Smart Communications, the festival’s official advocacy partners. PLDT and Smart showcased homegrown innovations #PlanetSmart recyclables collection system and #LearnSmart educational apps.

The festival is celebrated every year during the anniversary of the charter inauguration of General Santos City, also known as the Tuna Capital of the Philippines.

Throughout the celebration, Smart set up its #PlanetSmart recyclables collection system at the Oval Plaza and Plaza Heneral Santos. The #PlanetSmart collection bin includes a reverse vendo machine, where users can dispose of their plastic bottles and used drink cans in exchange for free Smart Load. The trash collected from the #PlanetSmart bins will be turned over to the local waste management office for recycling.

“We teamed up with the GenSan local government unit for this activity as part of our campaign to promote environmental conservation,” said Smart public affairs senior manager Nova Concepcion. “This is also in line with this year’s Tuna Fest campaign message of protecting our oceans through sustainable development and responsible use of our oceans,” Concepcion said.

During the Tuna Festival, Smart also showcased its mother tongue-based teaching apps under the #LearnSmart program.

The award-winning program features educational apps in various languages, which mobile users and Indigenous Peoples learners can use to enhance their learnings in several areas. The apps include lessons about letters and numbers, colorful stories, songs, games, and other interactive activities.

The #LearnSmart campaign is part of Smart’s digital literacy program, which includes the Bahay Kubo Tagalog app, Kaalam Cebuano app, Taallam and Tahderiyyah Arabic apps, and the Matigsalug app for the Davao and Bukidnon tribe, as well as Kaaram, Katao, Singsing, and Sanut apps.

In the pipeline are other mother tongue-based apps such as Tboli, Blaan, and Chavacano, among other languages.

“Experts have suggested that students learn better when using their mother tongue in instructions and activities. Plus learning is more fun for the kids if its apps based,” said Smart public affairs senior manager Stephanie Orlino. “Smart is in the best position to help deliver this effective combination of modern

technology and proper basic education, all the while promoting the tribe’s culture for their next generation,” Orlino said.

Apart from the #LearnSmart and #PlanetSmart programs, PLDT-Smart also made its presence felt at the Tuna Festival through merchandising support during the Fish Fest sa Fish Port and the yearly Sugbahan sa Dalan.

Smart’s value brand TNT also helped power the city’s Mr. and Ms Tourism 2019 and brought in TNT influencers Kyo Quijano and Pam Swing, and rapper Al James during the festival’s closing program.

In the photos, Smart representatives discuss the #PlanetSmart and #LearnSmart installations with LGU and DepEd officials on sidelines of the Tuna Festival in General Santos City.

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