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PLDT values respect for human rights in policy declaration

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As part of its commitment to sustainability and doing business responsibly, the Philippines’ leading integrated telecommunications network PLDT Inc. (PLDT) enacted a policy that institutionalizes a human rights-based approach in its operations, value chain activities, and business partnerships.  

The PLDT Human Rights Policy, approved by the Board of Directors, identifies relevant human rights impact areas and details the company’s actions and governance approach for each, providing guidance on the proper conduct of business for its directors, employees, consultants, and other contracted personnel.

“The articulation and declaration of a company’s respect for internationally recognized Human Rights principles is a global best practice that demonstrates a company’s commitment to sustainability and corporate governance – two areas that PLDT strongly advocates.  PLDT’s Human Rights Policy affirms our institutional thrust to respect the rights of our various stakeholders. It also sets expectations for suppliers, partners, and other third-parties that deal with us to observe the same human rights standards and principles,” said PLDT’s First Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer Melissa Vergel de Dios.

Among the principles included in PLDT’s Human Rights Policy is the safety-by-design approach to product development and network design. The telco commits to implementing internal controls to guarantee compliance with laws and uphold privacy protection and welfare of its customers and end-users.

Vergel de Dios explained that PLDT has been adopting top-notch solutions and capacity-building endeavors on cyber security, data privacy, and child safety, in collaboration with its suppliers and industry partners. 

PLDT’s Human Rights Policy also supports strong compliance with fair and just labor practices, as well as supplements prescribed actions under its policy on Diversity and Inclusion and organizational commitments on the occupational safety and health of its employees.

For its suppliers and service providers, PLDT upholds a code of conduct that requires alignment with the company’s sustainability principles and corporate governance standards on human rights. The telco aims to strengthen integration of these into its mechanisms for supplier due diligence, screening, onboarding, and periodic assessment.

Meanwhile, in the context of network rollout and operations within communities, PLDT’s Human Rights Policy provisions for ethical conduct of stakeholder engagements and respect for the rights of indigenous peoples.

“Our Human Rights Policy reinforces PLDT’s longtime commitment towards nation-building, ensuring that we deliver on our purpose to help improve the lives of Filipinos and enable a digital society that promotes the fundamental rights of its stakeholders,” said PLDT Chairman and CEO Manuel V Pangilinan.

In monitoring and communicating results of its human rights impact assessment, PLDT aligns with global reporting benchmarks, including those of the United Nations Global Compact, GRI standards, and the Task Force for Nature-related Financial Disclosures. As a member of the National Economic and Development Authority’s Stakeholder’s Chamber on the Sustainable Development Goals, the telco also keeps abreast of the Philippine roadmap and actions in support of human rights.

PLDT’s wireless subsidiary, Smart Communications, Inc., also formalized a similar Human Rights Policy underscoring how the PLDT Group values human rights.

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