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Re-imagining Juan’s trash: PLDT’s Team LMNP wins golden ticket to Silicon Valley at 1st MVP Geek Olympics

by Adrian T. Elumba | Jun 04, 2018
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Members of Team LMNP showcase their invention, Likha, that’s bound to change the way people recycle. From left, Laemar John Chavez from Fixed Service Quality Management (FSQM), May Ann Furio from Finance, Nicole John Mortel from FSQM, and Pol Wilbert Gavino from Project Management Office.

After months of preparation, Team LMNP from PLDT can finally pack their bags for the coveted Silicon Valley destination after being hailed as the winners of the first MVP Geek Olympics challenge. 
 
With their CSR-inspired solution, the group was able to convince the selection committee and successfully showcased the advantages of their creation Likha — the first commercial, Filipino-made reverse vending machine. Through this innovation, communities are encouraged the practice of proper plastic and tin waste disposal and segregation through incentivizing users with points or credits through the mobile app Juan Earth.
 
Composed of Laemar John Chavez and Nicole John Mortel from Fixed Service Quality Management, May Ann Furio from Finance, and Pol Wilbert Gavino from Project Management Office, the group intends to distribute Likha among private partners making it part of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives particularly those inclined to promote environmental awareness and proper waste management.
 
Once in place, collected plastic bottles and tin cans will be turned over to organizations that make viable items from waste materials. In the meantime, LMNP is in talks with private organizations that repurpose plastic bottles to useful items like school chairs and park benches, and tin cans into tent pegs.
 
“The idea is to promote a habit-forming practice among Pinoys to properly dispose their trash given the incentives for these actions. We plan to populate the Juan Earth app with sponsor establishments that they may get discounts from or collect points to purchase items from these partner stores,” said Chavez.
 
“It’s a win-win solution for both. The user gets rewarded for this practice, while companies get to promote their environmental CSR causes, and will get actual output usable items that can be made out of these collected trash,” he added.
 
The group intends to reach out to more partners and get more private companies on-board to install Likha in their premises for employees and other communities such as schools. Part of the group’s presentation as well is to build their own recycling facility that will manage the repurposing of the collected plastic and tin cans.
 
“Likha is an imaginative solution to the problem of waste disposal that is destroying the natural beauty of our country. The judges were impressed by the PLDT team’s ability to build a machine that helps resolve the issue and increase environmental awareness,” said QBO President and chairman of the MVPGO finals  judges Butch Meily.
 
“The MVP Geek Olympics is a creative way to introduce the spirit of innovation and risk taking into the culture of our entire group. Too often, we are hampered by corporate speak and think. We need to say yes to new ideas and not be afraid to fail,” he added.

Team LMNP’s Juan Earth idea was among the 98 ideas that were submitted during the preliminaries of MVP Geek Olympics which continued to push through to the semis and finally rising to the top at the finals. 

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The Top 10 finalists of the 1st MVP Geek Olympics take a posterity batch photo at the finals venue in Voyager Innovations Launchpad.

Teams from ePLDT placed second and third with Team Mycellia for their hybrid solar panel and cellsite, and Team Chronos with their culture-changing solution for better time management with a really smart scheduling assistant, respectively.

“There is much more to do after this, as we set to maximize the ideas from the output of these groups. We will continue to work with each of the teams to see how we can progress further and come out with commercially ready solutions,” said PLDT VP and Head of Core Business solutions Jojo Gendrano.
 
Other teams from Cardinal Santos, Smart, Meralco, Maynilad, and Voyager Innovations in the finals also proved their innovations as viable solutions that are feasible and executable.
 
“Employees, given the right inspiration and avenue to freely pursue their interests, will not only excel in their given task but could actually shine in areas where we never expected. We just need to provide them the platform to voice and execute their ideas to spark inspiration and could even increase their contribution to the organization,” said PLDT Group Chief People and Culture Officer Liza Sichon.
 
“We hope to continue this process with the MVP Geek Olympics next year, and to give more opportunities to more employees to get their game-changing ideas out there.”
 

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