Students in Laoag City are now able to go online and do their schoolwork–thanks to a “mobile internet truck.”

The truck is called “Vertext on Wheels” and it has been deployed in the capital city of Ilocos Norte by PLDT and its wireless subsidiary Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart), in partnership with their provincial distributor in Ilocos Norte Vertext Handyphones.  This was done under their Learning Access Online (LAO) project.

LAO also provides entrepreneurial training for students for business opportunities as retailers of Smart Load, freelance agents for PLDT Home and installers for Cignal TV. 

The project was initially rolled out in May as a Vertext Handyphones barangay caravan throughout Ilocos Norte. It provided free internet, free use of LTE gadgets, free document printing and discounted load offers, among others.

The project was also cited by the City Government of Laoag as among the “55 Inspiring Heroes: Rays of Sunshine in the Time of Pandemic” for its “meaningful contribution to the community through generosity of resources, selfless service, volunteering spirit and remarkable compassion for others during the Covid-19 pandemic” during the online celebration of the city’s 55th Founding Anniversary on June 19.

LAO is among the efforts of PLDT, Smart and its partner distributors in helping their customers cope with the new normal, especially in anticipation of the coming school year.

“Together, we can make a difference in the lives of our customers and help them embrace the ‘new normal’, particularly in education. We’re proud to be working with our provincial distributor Vertext and the local government of Ilocos Norte in putting these resources within easier reach of our Ilokano students,” said John Palanca, Smart vice president and regional head, consumer sales group.

Vertext Handyphones has also partnered with the City Government of Laoag, the Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte, Philippine Councilors League – Ilocos Norte, National Movement of Young Legislators (NMYL) Ilocos Norte and the Ilocos Norte SK Federation.

“Vertext would like to acknowledge the support of Gov. Matthew Marcos Manotoc, Vice Gov. Cecile Araneta-Marcos, Laoag City Mayor Michael Marcos Keon, Vice-Mayor Vicentito Lazo in making this effort possible,” said Vertext Handyphones heads Handy T. Lao and Bjorn T. Lao.

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