Today's Top Stories

  • NGCP restores earthquake-damaged Kidapawan Substation

    NGCP restores earthquake-damaged Kidapawan Substation

    NGCP has restored its Kidapawan Substation on Sunday, November 10, ahead of its November 17 target energization. The substation is now ready to fully accommodate power from Mt. Apo Geothermal Power Plant (MAGPP) to the Mindanao grid once it goes online. The Kidapawan Substation suffered damage to its high voltage substation equipment and control room facilities due to the magnitude 6.7 earthquake in Tulunan, Cotabato last October 31. Access to the substation was also initially hindered by landslides around the area, necessitating rescue of substation personnel by chopper. Despite the damage to facilities, supply of power to electricity consumers in the area was uninterrupted as NGCP was able to shift and transfer power supply through its Tacurong Substation. As soon as the situation in the area was deemed safe and passable, NGCP deployed its personnel to assess the substation damage and implement a restoration plan. This plan involved clearing of debris; design and installation of scaffolding/support structures; removal of damaged high-voltage equipment; and installation, testing, and evaluation of new equipment.  “We are pleased to report that with the collective efforts of our Mindanao personnel and additional line crews from Visayas and South Luzon, we were able to energize Kidapawan Substation and Kidapawan-Matanao 138kV Line 1 and 2 one week ahead of schedule. Our customers can be assured that we will continue monitoring the situation in the area,” stated the company. NGCP defers to the DOE on the status of generation, sub-transmission lines owned by the electric cooperatives, and distribution lines. NGCP is a Filipino-led, privately owned company in charge of operating, maintaining, and developing the country’s power grid, led by majority shareholders Henry Sy, Jr. and Robert Coyiuto, Jr.###

    November 13, 2019

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  • Lima: Paghanduraw, HIV Monologues Part 3 to be staged this November

    Lima: Paghanduraw, HIV Monologues Part 3 to be staged this November

    After a two-year hiatus, Lima: HIV Monologues is back for its third installment. First staged in December 2015, Lima is a collection of five stories about real people – mostly Kagay-anons – who share their experiences about the challenges they had to face because of HIV and AIDS. The stories are also about people who are caught in the middle of the fight for HIV and AIDS awareness. This year’s show will focus on “paghanduraw” or reminisce. The five featured stories will take us back to significant events in the lives of Olivia, Billy, Divine, Ethan, and Aaliyah – events that somehow changed the course of life for them. Like the two previous HIV monologues, Lima: Paghanduraw aims to educate and inform – and to remind us that awareness is just as important as prevention, especially since Cagayan de Oro is considered one of the hots pots – or an area with a concentrated epidemic. Likewise, awareness will help people understand that a person Living with HIV (pLHIV) should not be discriminated or condemned. The Paghanduraw stories will be brought to life by actors Christy Bacoto, Christy Aboniawan, Benjie S. Manuel, Kale Alphe Ramons, Zilpha Ibañez, John Teves, Karl Owen Sayson, and  Reynards Abaloyan Tan under the direction of Maia Fortich-Poblete. Lima: Paghanduraw will be staged on November 29&30, 2019, 6pm, at Viajero Outdoor Centre along Domingo Velez and Aguinaldo Streets (across Echo Store). The show is free but donations starting at PhP50 are encouraged. Proceeds of the shows will be used for various HIV and AIDS awareness campaign. (MFP)

    November 13, 2019

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  • LWUA chief faces graft raps

    LWUA chief faces graft raps

    SAN Francisco, Agusan del Sur--Top officials of local water utilities here and in Butuan City have filed a graft complaint against Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) Administrator Jeci A. Lapus. The complaint was filed by San Francisco Water District general manager Elmer T. Luzon and Butuan City Water District general manager Engr.  Anselmo L. Sang Tian against Lapus for allegedly engaging in “moro moro” transactions with private partners that were disadvantageous to the welfare of local water districts in the entire country. In their complaint sent to Ombudsman Samuel R. Martires, Luzon and Sang Tian claimed Lapus engaged in irregular transactions between private companies and at least 100 water districts in the country  which were flawed from the very start because of the shortcuts in the processes and without public hearing as prescribed by Executive Order No. 68, series of 1999 signed by former President Joseph Estrada. The two complainants also cited Lapus issued a travel ban to LWUA designated representatives to water districts joint venture selection committee meetings leaving water districts vulnerable to questionable transactions with the private partners. Inquirer has sent a query to get a reaction from Lapus at the Contact Us online form of LWUA website but has yet to get a response at press time. Luzon said Public-Private Partnership (PPP) or Joint Venture Agreement (JVA) between water districts and private water suppliers rapidly proliferating in the country are grossly disadvantageous and a heavy burden to the consuming public because the operation, maintenance, billing and collection are taken over by the private partner putting the government into lesser control. He noted the Primewater Infrastructure Corp. owned by former Senate President Manny Villar has dominated the PPP scheme in the country and had already engaged three large category B and C water districts in Mindanao including Metro Ozamiz Water District in Ozamiz City, Panabo Water District in Panabo City and recently the Surigao Metropolitan Water District in Surigao City. This despite the assurance of Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar in 2016 that their family-owned companies will not bid for any PPP projects to prevent conflict of interests. Of the more than 500 water districts in the country, 76 of these utilities were engaged under the concession-type partnership with a total of  1.4  million service connections equivalent to some 6.7 million consumers.Local water districts are Government-Owned or Controlled Corporations. “Clearly, the concession-type PPP is highly irregular,if not, unlawful because the local water districts’ core functions were outsourced to private partners,” Luzon said. The EO 68 has mandated LWUA to conduct preliminary and final reviews of Build-Operate-Transfer and similar proposals on water supply projects of local water districts.

    November 13, 2019

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  • Cops kill Mindanao’s most wanted robbery gang leader in Oro

    Cops kill Mindanao’s most wanted robbery gang leader in Oro

    CAGAYAN de Oro City--The leader of Mindanao’s most wanted robbery group was killed in a running gun battle with the local police here Tuesday. Archolito Palubon, a.k.a “Bingcol,” the leader of the notorious “Bingcol robbery gang,” the group believed responsible for various unsolved armed robberies in Mindanao, was killed in a running battle with the pursuing police Tuesday evening. The “Bingcol” robbery group was believed to be responsible in the robbery holdup of the Quality Appliance center here a few months ago and the LBC cargo offices in the past. A Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) camera led the police to Palubon’s identity whose face was recorded clearly by the security camera. The police then issued a Mindanao-wide alarm placing the Palubon and his “Bingcol” group in the top list of the wanted criminals in the island. Police investigators said that the “Bingcol” robbery gang operated in Zanboanga Peninsula, and in the regions of Caraga and North Mindanao. Cagayan De Oro City is the “rest and recreation” place of the “Bingcol” robbery gang, a police officer said. Two of Palubon’s companions, now the subject of a manhunt, escaped after the police responded about an ongoing robbery on a hardware, a few meters away from the police station in Ipil, Carmen Tuesday evening. Palubon attempted to hostage the cashier of the New Cagayan CCH Hardware along Ipil Street, but ran away under cover of the market goers while the police gave chase. In a bid to mislead the pursuing police, Palubon threw bundles of the loot money along the escaped route resulting in a melee among the bystanders and marketers who scooped money bills scattered along the street. The police, however, cornered Palubon along Lerio Street in Carmen killing him in the ensuing shootout. Dr. Christian Caballes, the Chief of the Scene of the Crime Office, said that Palubon died of multiple gunshot wound on the body. He said that a fully loaded.45 pistols were recovered from Palubon along with a crystalline substance in a cellophane in his pocket. Caballes said that the firearm would be subjected to a ballistic examination while the unknown crystalline substance would also be submitted for laboratory exam.

    November 13, 2019

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Suzuki Philippines boosts strong performance in 2 quarters; introduces New Vitara 

November 4, 2019

Motoring

By: , MANILA, Philippines – Consistent with its strong performance for the first two quarters of the year, pioneer compact car distributor Suzuki Philippines (SPH) finishes the third quarter with positive growth yet again, enabling the company to post 19 percent sales growth for the first nine months of the year over the same period in 2018. The continued sales increase is the result of the brand’s strategic marketing efforts, which emphasize numerous promotions and interactive events and are aimed at boosting product visibility. SPH hopes to ride on this strong market and brand momentum to further strengthen its position in the market through the remaining months of 2019. “Suzuki’s current standing in the Philippine automotive industry is a significant milestone for the brand. After securing the 4th spot in the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines Inc. (CAMPI) ranking – the highest rank in the brand’s history – and climbing to the 5th spot in the local automotive industry roster last quarter, we at Suzuki Philippines can definitely say that 2019 has been a monumental year for the brand,” shared SPH Director and General Manager for Automobile Division Keiichi Suzuki. “These back-to-back achievements further fuel our drive to deliver on the brand’s promise of quality driving experience with every Suzuki vehicle,” he added. Top sales drivers: Ertiga, Swift, Celerio The Ertiga, Swift and Celerio continue to excite and stimulate the market as Suzuki’s best-selling vehicles. The three award-winning models combined accounted for 56 percent of total sales from January to September this year. The well-loved family vehicle Ertiga still dominates the Suzuki auto sales chart with a 34 percent share. This 7-seater vehicle fortified its position as the top-favorite Suzuki vehicle with the release of the Ertiga Black interior version, which drove sales up even further. Aside from its fuel efficiency and spacious interior that complement the body’s elegance and modern style, the Ertiga demonstrates good engine performance that is powerful and cost-efficient, making it an ideal vehicle for practical Filipino families. Swift kept its position as the second top-selling Suzuki model with an 11.4 percent share of total sales. This hatchback remains the millennials’ top choice among Suzuki vehicles. With its sleek and stylish design that is very recognizable on the road, millennials can definitely identify with this fun and compact Suzuki hatchback. Accounting for 11 percent share of sales, the Celerio ranks third among Suzuki’s top-selling vehicles. This hatchback, known for its space and roomy dimension, can accommodate up to 254-liters worth of cargo with an uncompromised 5-seater capacity. Alongside its remarkable fuel efficiency that ups the ante for its category.  SPH debuts New Vitara to Philippine driving arena Another vehicle from Suzuki Philippines that stunned the market this year and won the 2019-2020 Auto Focus Media’s Choice Awards’ Compact SUV of the Year: Best Value for Money award is the Suzuki Vitara. Committed to continue its legacy and stand firm to its promise to provide value-packed and affordable products to more Filipinos, Suzuki proudly debuts the improved and upgraded New Vitara. This CBU Unit from Magyar Suzuki Corporation (MSC HUNGARY) is available in GL+, 6 speed Automatic Transmission and GLX, 6 speed Automatic Transmission variants.  Suzuki has made several improvements and upgrades in both the exterior and interior of the New Vitara. It is now equipped with newly designed grills, lower bumpers and new rear combination lamps, all of which create an expressive exterior. The new stylish suede front and rear seats, cluster meter and premium-feel cabin create a comfortable yet stylish interior vibe. “The New Vitara will surely appeal to car enthusiasts looking for an improved version of the classic Suzuki vehicle. It is our pleasure to bring another modified Suzuki vehicle to the Philippines. The New Vitara will certainly deliver an exceptional driving experience to Filipinos – the Suzuki way,” shared Keiichi Suzuki.For more information about Suzuki Philippines and its automobiles, please visit www.suzuki.com.ph and like them on www.facebook.com/SuzukiAutoPH.     About Suzuki Philippines Incorporated Suzuki Philippine Incorporated is a wholly-owned Japanese multinational firm highly recognized in the automotive industry. The company specializes in the manufacture and sale of motorcycles and distribution of compact vehicles and outboard motors. Suzuki has established its reputation worldwide for quality, versatility and innovation, and has created a heritage of trust and reliability. www.suzuki.com.ph

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Taiwan Excellence Returns at Taiwan Expo 2019

October 23, 2019

Motoring

By: , With Technology and Smart City Concept  The Taiwan Excellence Pavilion is creating a major buzz during the Taiwan Expo 2019, held in Davao for the first time, as visitors are treated to some sterling products and hi-tech gadgets. The overwhelming response received during the first edition of the Expo urged the participation of Taiwan Excellence this year as well. The two-day expo on the 8th and 9th of November will showcase products from more than 15 brands in the field of AI Robot, Unmanned aerial vehicle systems (UAV), and smart city solutions.  Taiwan Excellence is the highest mark of distinction bestowed upon the best of Taiwanese innovations since 1993 and has honored many innovators over the past 27 years. The aim of the award is to encourage continual innovation in product quality, design and image; and winners of the coveted title are selected on multiple strict criteria including their R&D, design, product quality, and marketing model. In recent years, Taiwan Excellence has made itself known in the Philippines through various activities such as Taiwan Excellence 3x3 Hoop Challenge, exhibitions in shopping malls and leading trade shows. These hands-on interactions are a hit with Filipinos and have helped to extend the reach to businesses and consumers. Taiwanese technology has always been well regarded internationally and Taipei City was even ranked by Business Insider as Asia’s most high-tech city for two consecutive years in 2017 and 2018. Taiwan’s solid R&D, excellent design track record and production capabilities are instrumental in its success and Taiwan Excellence recognizes the best of the best. During the two-day event, the Taiwan Excellence pavilion will prove to be a major highlight as it showcases a range of tech products that define the innovation of Taiwan. Coming to Taiwan Excellence Pavilion, visitors will have a chance to individually interact with a series of breakthrough technologies, which span across various categories, including information and communication technology (ICT), home appliances, leisure & health care and smart building solutions. These state-to-the-art technologies are invented to bring a more convenient life and satisfy Philippine consumers. Sharing Smart City Solutions In conjunction with the exiting products on display, the Taiwan Excellence Pavilion organized a smart city seminar, Transform Cities with Technological Solutions from Taiwan, to share Taiwanese experience in this area with Philippine counterparts. Davao has become a well-developed tourist destination in the Philippines and one of the most booming tourist destinations that tourist want to visit. Besides, the government is gearing up to improve its competitiveness in tourism by investing more and more resources for tourism-related service and facilities. During Taiwan Excellence smart city seminar, there will be companies, such as GEOSAT Aerospace & Technology providing smart agriculture solutions with Unmanned aerial vehicle systems (UAV) and Cal-Comp Technology offering AI smart robots for SM Group and 7-Eleven in the Philippines, to share their technological solutions for the smart city. We anticipate to provide different ideas for city planning or city transformation and give people better living or touristic experience by innovative technology and eco-friendly solution from Taiwan.   About Taiwan Excellence The symbol of Taiwan Excellence honors Taiwan’s most innovative products that provide tremendous value to users worldwide. All products carrying this symbol have been selected for specific Taiwan Excellence Awards based on their excellence in design, quality, marketing, Taiwanese R&D and manufacturing. Initiated by the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA), R.O.C. in 1992, the symbol of Taiwan Excellence is recognized by 100 countries. About Taiwan Excellence Mark  The Taiwan Excellence logo is inspired by the pursue of “perfection” and the six interwoven arcs represent the close ties Taiwan has with the global economic system and the interconnectivity of today’s industries while the red color represents the vitality of Taiwanese companies. The six arcs are independent on their own but yet come together to form a strong collective image to represent the way Taiwanese industries complement each other to form a whole. The Taiwan Excellence logo has been registered in 102 countries to date.

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IPC Signs MOA with JZGMSAT

October 14, 2019

Motoring

By: , Isuzu Philippines Corporation (IPC) and the Jacobo Z. Gonzales Memorial School of Arts and Trade (JZGMSAT) signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) last September.      This was the second MOA signing between IPC and JZGMSAT. The first was on July 3, 2017, wherein IPC donated three mock-up/cutaway engines, and implemented its Diesel Engine Technology Training Program to JZGMSAT students enrolled in the Automotive Servicing course.      In the September 3 MOA signing, IPC turned over two Automotive Lifters, another mock-up Isuzu engine, and five computers. The addition of the Lifters are seen to help the students accomplish their NC3 Automotive Servicing accreditation. After the signing, JZGMSAT trainees performed a demonstration of their servicing skills. Alumni of the JZGMSAT Automotive Servicing course were also on hand to convey their special message during the formal signing ceremonies.      IPC President Hajime Koso remarked during his speech before students and guests at the signing ceremony that, as IPC has remained true to its mantra of being “Your Responsible Partner”, it has always prioritized efforts to contribute “to the progress of society.”      “Without a progressive society, no business will grow. IPC’s goal, then, is to help create a knowledge-sharing culture in the Philippines. That is why, we invest on knowledge. Knowledge inspires innovation. Innovation, on the other hand, is the key to a progressive, healthy economy,” Mr. Koso said.      IPC first trained 12 CALABARZON-TESDA Automotive Trainers on Diesel Engine Technology at the IPC Plant in June 2017, in preparation for the first MOA between IPC and JZGMSAT. The full implementation of the training program for the initial batch of 114 JZGMSAT students was held July 2017 to May 2018.      The training program covered topics such as: Direct and Indirect Fuel Injection; Valve trains; Carbon Dioxide Reduction Technology; Common Rail Fuel Injection, and; Engine Management System.      The new MOA will add the Isuzu PUV Modernized Jeepney Model Product Review to the training program scheduled for 2020. This includes topics on the main features and specifications of the modernized Isuzu PUVs, and a familiarization of their drivetrain and under chassis components.      Under the new MOA, IPC will also provide an opportunity to qualified JZGMSAT students for possible employment in Isuzu dealerships that need technicians. The MOA signing was witnessed by representatives of IPC, JZGMSAT, and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA). Signing the MOA were IPC President Hajime Koso, JZGMSAT Vocational School Administrator III Benito Reyes, and TESDA Regional Director Florencio Sunico, Jr.

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Isuzu Celebrates 5th Year of mu-X with Limited Edition mu-X Boondock

October 14, 2019

Motoring

By: , Five years after its market introduction, Isuzu Philippines Corporation (IPC) hosted a special Grand Family Event to celebrate its best-selling SUV, the Isuzu mu-X.      Held at the Filinvest Tent Alabang, IPC invited some 300 Isuzu vehicles coming from their big car clubs – Team Isuzu Pilipinas, Team Isuzu Car Enthusiast and mu-X Owners Philippines in a whole day of fun and activities like the car club motor show, mini games, parts & accessories display, Isuzu iconic vehicle display and a free concert at the end of the day.      “Introduced in 2014, the Isuzu mu-X became an instant hit to Filipino families nationwide, mainly due to its excellent performance, elegant styling and outstanding comfort – factors that are very important for a family vehicle,” said IPC President Hajime Koso.      During the event, IPC also introduced its latest addition to the mu-X line-up, a limited 5th year anniversary edition, the Isuzu mu-X Boondock. The Isuzu mu-X Boondock is more than just aesthetics, its lift kit suspension and off-road tires are designed for off-roading performance.      The Boondock Edition is based on the popular mu-X 3.0L LS-A. Equipped with upgraded features to increase ride height to 247mm and get that off-road look that the Boondock is known for. Running on the ever reliable 4JJ1-TC Blue Power Engine, the mu-X Boondock can provide 177PS maximum power and 380 N-m maximum torque, that is EURO 4 compliant.      Completing its off-road look, the new Isuzu mu-X Boondock comes with a gray over fender, newly designed front bumper, steel step board with Boondock logo and a fully functional roof rail with cross bar, perfect for family road trips.      “Isuzu mu-X Boondock Limited Edition is truly as special treat to the mid-size SUV market. Coming from the success of the Boondock Series, this variant is a great addition to the mu-X line-up. Which has proven its outstanding performance, impressive design, comfort, safety and over-all reliability as family vehicle in the past five years,” Koso added.      Available in 4×2 automatic transmission, the mu-X Boondock comes exclusively for Havana Brown body color.

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Magic Cracker surprises CDO with Magic Moments

November 8, 2019

Corporate

By: , Jack ‘n Jill Magic Crackers continues to surprise and give joy to the snack-loving Filipinos.   This time, through a retro arcade-themed Magic Moments event in Limketkai Mall, Cagayan de Oro last October 12, 2019.   Magic Moments brought people back in time with its retro-themed photo booth and fun arcade activities.  Mall-goers enjoyed the Magic Hoops: a basketball free-throw game, Onion Chives Surprise: an old school arcade attraction, and Apat Dapat booth: a slot machine-inspired game.    The best part was how participants were able to take home their favorite Magic Flakes products as prizes. Participants were also treated to a surprising Magic Moment when all four lightning icons of the Apat Dapat booth matched.    First, loads of Magic Flakes products came out of the Apat Dapat booth as prize. Then, an energetic dance flash mob by the Magic Squad surprised and entertained the audience.    Three lucky participants experienced this Magic Moment and won special prizes. Those who were present during the Magic Moment also went home with big smiles as they also received Magic Crackers giveaways after the flash mob dance.   Check out Magic Crackers’ Facebook account (@MagicCracker) to see how the Kagayanons experienced this Magic Moment. Watch out for more surprises from Jack ’n Jill Magic Crackers. You never know… the next Magic Moments might just come to your neighborhood!  Universal Robina Corporation’s (URC) Jack ‘n Jill Magic Crackers has been delighting Filipinos with its different cracker formats - Magic Flakes in plain, cheese and onion chive flavors; Magic Creams in butter, chocolate, peanut butter and condensada flavors; Magic Juniors in plain, chocolate, butter & berry and condensada flavors; and Magic Chips in cheese and barbecue small and big packs, as well as sour cream ‘n onion in small packs.

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From classroom to cockpit: Cebu Pacific welcomes second batch of Cadet Pilots

November 5, 2019

Corporate

By: , Search for next batch of Cebu Pacific Cadet Pilots opens A second batch of Cadet Pilots from Cebu Pacific successfully completed 56 weeks of rigorous and complex training at the prestigious Flight Training Adelaide (FTA) in Australia and are set to join the pilot corps of the Philippines’ leading carrier. The second batch of 12 Cadet Pilots returned to Manila and will complete ground school and other requirements before becoming full-fledged commercial pilots. They are: Neil Mark Enriquez, David Jonathan Francisco, Norman Viktor Tugot, Jr., Orville Anana, Maria Angelica Ignes, Jerson Leonardo, Michelle Jean Saquing, Christian Andrew Esguerra, Kert Rafols, Terence Cruz, Tristan Gacott, and Ferdyn Ranosa Among those who completed the FTA flight training program is Boljoon, Cebu resident Orville Anana, a certified civil engineer and master plumber who graduated from the Cebu Institute of Technology. Another newly-pinned cadet pilot is Karl Nino Dionson, a native of Pagadian, Zamboanga del Sur who earned a degree in electronics and communication engineering from the University of San Carlos. The Cebu Pacific Cadet Pilot Program aims to enable aspiring Filipinos who wish to become commercial pilots. It is a "study now, pay later, zero-interest" training program wherein Cebu Pacific shoulders the entire cost of the pilot training and guarantees employment to cadet pilots who successfully complete the training. To date, there are five batches comprised of 71 Cebu Pacific Cadet Pilots currently at FTA in Adelaide, Australia, one of the best aviation training facilities in the world. Coinciding with the homecoming of the cadet pilots is the search for a new batch of Cebu Pacific Cadet Pilots. Application period for Batch 9 of the Cebu Pacific Cadet Pilot program will run from November 4 to 13, 2019. The program is open to Filipino citizens who hold a college or university degree and are proficient in English. Applicants must have an average grade of at least 80% or its equivalent in subjects related to Math, Physics and English, and be in good physical condition. They must hold a passport with minimum validity of two years There is no application fee for the program, and only applicants who pass the online pre-screening will proceed with the next stages of the selection process. Interested applicants may apply for the program through https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/JWFMS5G . For more information, visit http://www.flyfta.com/pilot-training/cebu-pacific-cadet-program         About Cebu Air Inc. (PSE: CEB) Cebu Air Inc. is the largest carrier in the Philippine air transportation industry, offering its low-cost services to more destinations and routes with higher flight frequency within the Philippines than any other airline. CEB and subsidiary Cebgo fly to 37 domestic and 26 international destinations, with over 108 routes. The CEB network operates flights out of seven strategically placed hubs in the Philippines: Clark, Davao, Cagayan de Oro, Kalibo, Cebu, Iloilo and Manila. The Cebu Pacific fleet is comprised 74 aircraft—three (3) Airbus A321NEO, three (3) A320NEO, seven (7) Airbus A321CEO, 31 Airbus A320, eight (8) A330, seven (7) ATR 72-500, 13 ATR 72-600, and an ATR Cargo Freighter. CEB boasts of one of the youngest fleets in the world, with an average fleet age of five (5) years.  A member of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), Cebu Pacific has achieved full compliance with IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA)—considered as the benchmark of the highest standards for safety in the airline industry, joining a roster of 429 airlines worldwide that have strictly complied with the most stringent of international standards governing aviation safety.  For bookings and inquiries, guests can visit www.cebupacificair.com or call the reservation hotlines (+632)7020-888 or (+6332)230-8888. The latest seat sales can be found on CEB’s official Twitter (@CebuPacificAir) and Facebook pages. Guests may also download the Cebu Pacific official mobile app on the App Store and Google Play

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Samsung Opens a One-day Pop-up Restaurant Using a 6-in-1 Cooking Appliance

November 5, 2019

Corporate

By: , With everyone’s busy lifestyle, it’s hard to find the time to create dishes that are healthy and delicious. Many would opt for instant or ready-to-heat food, which may not be the most nutritious choice. Samsung's Smart Oven aims to make mealtimes easier by allowing individuals to do it all with one handy device. Because of this latest cooking innovation, anyone can now cook their favorite dishes for any type of occasion anytime. Samsung has created a solution for quick and healthier meals that can adapt to anyone's lifestyle. To showcase its culinary capabilities, Samsung Digital Appliances built a pop-up smart kitchen and restaurant for mall-goers and media at Robinsons Magnolia. “We developed the idea of setting up this pop-up restaurant because we wanted people to experience first-hand what the Smart Oven can do,” says Household Appliances Group Head Mon Medina. “Homemakers don’t need to go to a culinary school to start cooking or have the fanciest ingredients to create a scrumptious meal.” In this first-ever Samsung pop-up restaurant, the Smart Oven was put into action as guests got to taste a wide variety of dishes. To start off, guests were served Roasted Eggplant and Pepper Dip with Pita Bread for appetizer. Then they got to choose their main course from a selection that includes Baked Spiced Chicken Breast with Creamed Spinach, Texas Style Pulled Pork Sandwich, SlimFry Honey-Sriracha Chicken Wings, Beef Kebabs with Garlic Cream Sauce, Charsiu BBQ pork, and Salmon Teriyaki Fillet. Finally, for dessert, guests were treated with Dark Chocolate brownies. All these amazing dishes were cooked and prepared using the Samsung Smart Oven. A live cooking demonstration was also held to guide the guests with how easy it is to cook a meal using the Smart Oven. Dishes cooked during the event were based on the soon-to-be-launched Do It All Cookbook in partnership with Samsung and Maggi. During the live demo, the chef was able to prepare Steamed Zesty Garlic Shrimp, Ribeye steak, and Baked Apple Cobbler, using just the Smart Oven. The device is a 6-in-1 kitchen partner that can produce virtually any dish with its HotBlast™ technology that reduces cooking times significantly. Powerful hot air is blown through multiple air-holes directly onto food, so it’s cooked evenly, retaining the crisp texture on the outside but still juicy on the inside. It also has a Cook with Ease presets that makes it easier to use by individuals who aren’t kitchen savvy. With these two features, there’s no more excuse for not having tasty and healthy meals at home. This innovation is breaking the barriers in cooking technology as it makes meal preparation faster and more convenient. Beyond this, its Grill function evenly distributes heat so perfectly grilled and browned meat are achieved without having to set up an entire grill at home. Those looking for healthier alternatives meanwhile, can use the Slim-Fry™ Technology, which can cook meals with less oil. They can also try the Power Steam function for nourishing ways to prepare fish, chicken breast, and vegetables. Whipping up scrumptious desserts is also possible with the Smart Oven. Aspiring and expert bakers can design sweet confections through the Convection Mode. It can keep the oven’s temperature even and regulated so treats are always soft and moist. Moreover, they can also create homemade yogurt or dough with the Fermentation Technology. “It will amaze everyone with the different functions it could do. It will surely change the way people see cooking innovation. We want everyone to be inspired and get excited to start cooking, whether for their families or for anyone looking to have a healthier lifestyle. We just want people to know that by using Samsung's Smart Oven, we don't need to worry anymore about the work and time we need to put in cooking" shares Head of Product Marketing of Samsung Digital Appliances, Stephanie Chua. With the Smart Oven, homemakers, young professionals, and students living in condominiums can feel the joy of cooking healthier meals with just one device. Now, it’s easier to be a kitchen master and experience tasty food, no matter how busy the schedule. The Samsung Smart Oven has two models: The 35-Liter Smart Oven (MC35J8088LT/TC), is priced at P29,995 and the 32-Liter Smart Oven (MC32K7055KT/TC) is priced at P15,995. The Do It All Cookbook will be available this November and can only be availed upon purchasing a MC35J8088LT/TC or MC32K7055KT/TC Smart Oven. It contains 35 easy-to-follow recipes specially made for the Samsung Smart Oven. For more information on the Samsung Smart Oven, visit https://www.samsung.com/ph/cooking-appliances/microwave-ovens/ and like SamsungPH on Facebook.  About Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. Samsung inspires the world and shapes the future with transformative ideas and technologies. The company is redefining the worlds of TVs, smartphones, wearable devices, tablets, digital appliances, network systems, and memory, system LSI and LED solutions. For the latest news, please visit the Samsung Newsroom at http://news.samsung.com and SamsungPH on Facebook.

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Php 5.3-B Mivela Garden Residences by Cebu Landmasters  80% sold in 3 weeks

November 3, 2019

Corporate

By: , Cebu Landmasters Inc.’s (CLI) is starting constructions works of its 5.3 billion worth project, Mivela Garden Residences condominium in Metro Cebu.  The development has generated overwhelming buyer interest as it is 80 percent sold out after 3 weeks of selling. The listed developer pointed out that this remarkable record means that the company is on track to meet the expected P12.5-billion worth of reservations sales for this year.  The four-tower Mivela Garden Residences, with P2 billion development cost, is the third of CLI’s garden series residential projects in Cebu and its sixth in the Vismin area. Jose Soberano III, CLI president and CEO, explains: “Mivela Garden Residences is 80 percent sold out in 3-weeks and this is a very strong indicator that our products are right-sized and right-priced.” Mivela Garden Residences is envisioned as a modern garden residential community that will level up city living. Greenery and open spaces will be complemented by amenities focused on a multilevel clubhouse with a swimming pool. Function rooms, gym, lobby lounge, Zen gardens, and outdoor lounge areas will complete Mivela’s offerings. The development features a total of 1,536 units, catering to mostly individuals and starter families with its mix of studio and one-bedroom units. The project sits on a 1.26-hectare area in the prominent Banilad area in Cebu City where most of the hotels and large shopping malls are located.  “Even as Cebu Landmasters expands in VisMin, we will continue to keep our strong presence in Cebu which sets the trends for this region,” says Soberano. CLI’s Garden Series residential projects for the mid-market category serves as the primary driver for the company’s first-semester consolidated revenues this year, accounting for a 35 percent contribution to the total. Developments for the premier and economic markets turned in 33 percent and 29 percent of total earnings, respectively, for the first half.   Cebu Landmasters emphasizes it is on track to hit its 2019 year-end guidance of P2.6 billion in consolidated net income and P2 billion in parent net income. CLI projects in Cebu represent 61 percent of the company’s total revenues as of the first half of 2019. Cebu Landmasters, listed in 2017 boasts of a portfolio of 58 projects in various stages of development in 10 key cities in VisMin. The listed company has 28 fully completed projects with an aggregate amount of P17 billion.   Cebu Landmasters was recently awarded as the Best Developer in the Philippines by PropertyGuru Philippines Property Awards and will represent the country in the Asia Property Awards in November in Bangkok, Thailand. Cebu Landmasters’ Php2-billion Mivela Garden Residences condominium project in Metro Cebu has generated overwhelming buyer interest. After 3-weeks of selling, it is 80 percent sold out. Mivela Garden Residences is a modern garden residential community aimed to redefine garden living. Greenery and open spaces will be complemented by amenities and a multilevel clubhouse.

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CDO leads the way for Minda industrialization with summit

October 21, 2019

Money Matters

By: PR, MINDANAO is about to be transformed into the country's largest industrial hub and the city will be right at the heart of it.   Local and foreign industry leaders will be gathering here in Cagayan de Oro City for the Philippine Industrial Summit in Mindanao next month.   Leaders from various government bodies and foreign embassies are also invited to take part in the summit.   "Mindanao is on the roll. It's only proper to host the summit in the island," said PIEMO Industries Association president Augustus Adis.   Together with Phividec Industrial Authority administrator Franklin Quijano, they decided to launch the first ever Philippine Industrial Summit in Mindanao.   Their goal is to help fasttrack the country's industrialization in general and Mindanao in particular, gathering local and foreign industries and government institutions.   According to Adis, the island can provide dependable power for continuous processing and production.   Furthermore, it has an abundance of fuel and infrastructure which can help ensure that products are transported within the island, nationally and internationally.   So far, the Philippine Industrial Summit in Mindanao has gotten support from the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP), the Japanese and Chinese consulates of Davao City, Philippine News Agency (PNA), Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA), Department of Tourism (DOT) and Philippine Institute of Certified Public Accountants (PICPA).   Cagayan de Oro - being one of the largest regional contributors to national GDP - make it the perfect location for the summit.   The Philippine Industrial Summit in Mindanao will be held November 26 to 27 at Limketkai Luxe Hotel. There will also be an exhibit and job fair at Limketkai Event Center.   To register for the event, visit industrialsummitph.com. For inquiries, contact 08279848513 or 09394360280 or industrialsummit.ph2019@gmail.com.

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CDO gov't to invest in T-bills

October 2, 2019

Money Matters

By: Mark Francisco, THE city government of Cagayan de Oro will be investing in Treasury bills.   During its weekly session last Monday, the City Council approved an ordinance authorizing Mayor Oscar Moreno to invest in Treasury bills in the amount of P20 million.   According to Councilor Edna Dahino who authored the ordinance, the investment will come from unused funds deposited to the city government at Philippine Veterans Bank and Amanah Bank.   Dahino explained that Treasury bills are sound investments because they gain higher interest than bank deposits.   The councilor also cited Department of Finance Order No. 071-2018 authorizing local government units to invest their unused funds in government securities. Treasury bills are short-term fixed income securities issued by the Bureau of Treasury. Investing in Treasury bills is practically risk-free since there is a low probability that the Philippine government will default on its own local currency debt.   Dahino's ordinance is backed by Councilors George Goking and Ian Mark Nacaya.

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Construction, tourism jobs up for grabs in Tesda’s Oro, Iligan events

August 9, 2019

Money Matters

By: Mark Francisco, HUNDREDS of domestic jobs in the construction and tourism industry in Northern Mindanao are up for grabs in two simultaneous job fairs to be spearheaded by the Technical Education Skills and Development Authority (Tesda) on August 25. According to Tesda 10 director Tarhata Mapandi, the twin job fairs dubbed as World Café of Opportunities will be held at Limketkai Event Center (Cagayan de Oro City) and Robinsons Place Iligan. Mapandi said the job fairs are exclusively for alumni of vocational courses only. She said that August 25 was chosen as the date for this year’s event since it is also celebrated as Tech Voc Day. The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) will participate in the simultaneous events to provide livelihood opportunities while the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) will conduct free entrepreneurship trainings. Representatives from the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) and Land Bank of the Philippines will also be on hand to provide financial schemes. The World Café of Opportunities was conceptualized in 2018 as Tesda’s strategy to link vocational graduates to employment opportunities both in wage and self-employment in a one-stop shop. On the other hand, Tech Voc Day was timed every August 25 in celebration of Tesda’s annual anniversary. This year, the agency will celebrate its 25th.

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Security Bank Q2-2019 profit up 32% Year-on-Year to Php2.57 billion

August 7, 2019

Money Matters

By: , THE Security Bank Corporation (PSE: SECB) posted Php2.57 billion in net income in the second quarter of 2019, up by 32% versus year-ago level. Total revenues grew 32% year-on-year to Php 7.9 billion. Net interest income from customer loans and deposits sustained its strong trajectory growing by 44% to Php 5.4 billion. This was driven by the continued expansion of retail loans and low-cost deposits. Retail loan growth accelerated to 54% year-on-year while low-cost deposits increased 11%. Retail loans now account for 25% of total loans versus 18% a year ago. Total loans grew 11% year-on-year to Php 427 billion. Total deposits stood at Php 449 billion. On June 28, 2019, the Bank issued Php 18 billion worth of fixed-rate peso corporate bonds with a tenor of 2 years as a cost-efficient funding source alternative to short-term high-cost deposits. Total deposits and peso corporate bonds combined grew 5% year-on-year. Net interest spread on loans and deposits increased to 5.36% in Q2-2019, up 38 basis points quarter-on-quarter and 108 basis points year-on-year. Total net interest income grew by 22% to Php 6.1 billion. Interest income from financial investments grew 7%. Overall, net interest margin increased to 3.59% in Q2-2019, up 18 basis points quarter-on-quarter and 42 basis points year-on-year. Service charges, fees and commissions increased 70% to Php 1 billion. This was driven by loan fees, credit cards, deposit charges and bancassurance. Securities trading gains in Q2-2019 amounted to Php 376 million. Total non-interest income increased by 81% year-on-year to Php 1.7 billion. For the January 1 to June 30, 2019 period, net income was Php 4.95 billion, up 15% from year-ago level. Net interest income from customer loans and deposits increased by 37% or Php 2.7 billion to Php 10.1 billion. Interest income from financial investments was higher by 9% or Php 439 million. Total net interest income grew by 18% to Php 11.8 billion. Service charges, fees and commissions for the six-month period increased by 46% to Php 1.86 billion. Securities trading gains totaled Php 1 billion. Cost-to-income ratio was 53.7% despite a year-on-year operating expense growth (excluding provisions for credit and impairment losses) of 23%. Asset quality remained healthy, with gross non-performing loan (NPL) ratio at 1.1% versus 0.75% a quarter-ago, and lower than industry’s 1.7% as of May 2019. The Bank set aside Php 639 million for provision for credit losses in 1H-2019. NPL reserve cover was 127%. Security Bank continues to be among the country’s best capitalized private domestic universal banks. Common Equity Tier 1 Ratio further increased to 16.8% from 16.5% a quarter-ago. Total Capital Adequacy Ratio likewise strengthened to 19.2% from 19.0%. Return on shareholders’ equity increased to 8.8% from 8.1% in 2018. Shareholders’ capital improved to Php 115 billion, up 7% year-on-year. Total assets increased 8% to Php 777 billion.

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Taxation Bowing Down to Social Justice | A Tribute to a Cooperative Champion: FELICIDAD L. RUIZ

October 31, 2019

Billboard

By: USEC Orlando Ravanera, Chairman, CDA, Indeed, there are two things in life which all of us cannot escape from: death and taxes. Death is our marriage to eternity where a humble but firm cooperative leader is now – Felicidad L. Ruiz, a cooperative champion par excellence, who had leaped to the Great Beyond on October 30, 2019. Taxation is a fundamental power of the State that all must follow as tax is the lifeblood of the nation – yet, the cooperatives are tax exempt and such highest privilege had been well pronounced in a landmark Supreme Court Decision because of the firm stand of Madam Fely, the General Manager of DCCCO (Dumaguete Cathedral Credit Cooperative),      It that case of DCCCO vs. the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) which was then so persistent in taxing DCCCO and even winning in the lower courts, the Supreme Court had categorically pronounced that DCCCO should not be taxed, stating that, “while the power to tax is very strong fundamental power of the State but such power must bow down to the principle of social justice.”      DCCCO under the leadership of  Madam Fely has been compliant in all undertakings and requirements of the Cooperative Development Authority especially in the use of surplus (not profits). One hundred percent (100%) or the maximum utilization/remittance of Community Development Fund (CDF) and Cooperative Educational Training Fund (CETF) for sustainable programs/projects in consonance with actualizing the 6th and 7th Cooperative Principles and Value of “Cooperation Among Cooperatives” and “Concern for the Community” – had shown that there is no need for cooperatives to be taxed as these allocation of surplus to improve the quality of life of the poor communities, i.e,, feeding the malnourished children, providing medical services to the indigent patients, providing scholarships to poor students, etc. – are by themselves more than taxation.      Indeed, cooperatives are tax exempt but they are tax-makers. A great portion of the surplus goes back to the poor members in the form of patronage refund or interest on capital.  As the members are earning, they are not exempted from paying their individual income taxes. Too, because of the cooperatives, they are able to borrow funds to put up their individual livelihood projects, i.e., “karenderya” to those women who know how to cook or jeepneys or “motorelas” for men who know how to drive.        These are indirectly creating employment providing livelihood opportunities to the jobless which when consolidated will be about  two (2) million jobs, based on the data bank of CDA. Directly employed by the more than 18,000 cooperatives nationwide is about 500,000 officers, staff and personnel.  In a country where 6,000 Filipinos are leaving every day to work in other countries leaving their respective families behind, the employment contribution of the cooperatives is just amazing.      Indeed, the blooming of the flowers may be very beautiful but such pales in comparison to the blooming of the cooperatives.  This truism has been reinforced by a recent study conducted by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).  No less than the head of the USAID’s Overseas Cooperative  Development Council (OCDC) Dr. Judith Hermanson, Ph.D. together with key staff, has met me recently to present a Report on the 3-month Study showing in their conclusions that “where there are cooperatives, the quality of life in the communities is better” and that the “Philippines is the Cooperative Leader in Asia and the Pacific.” Indeed, based on that Study, Transformative Cooperatives are the ones to rectify the dysfunctions of the present economic model which has benefited only one per cent (1%) of the world’s total population as the DNA of the cooperativism is PROSPERITY FOR ALL as it is members-owned, value-based and principles driven  and sustainable.       In a land where 73% of the economy is controlled by the Oligarchs and Cartels manifesting gross inequalities and the decline in social justice, indeed that historic Tax Exemption case championed by Madam Fely, that was a battle pursued as a test case for and in behalf of the entire cooperative movement and no doubt, the cooperatives won as per Supreme Court decision dated January 22, 2010 – when the more than 10 million cooperative members nationwide rejoiced! That historic decision had put to fruition the 10-year struggle and advocacy of Madam Fely and getting the much sought justice from no less than the highest court. Now that you had left us our beloved champion, we can only bow down our heads to express our utmost gratitude. We now must understand the truism that a cooperative without advocacy is like a night without stars.  Now that the cooperatives are again being taxed as big business are now apparently threatened as the cooperatives are harnessing their collective potential to rectify social wrongs as the Filipino people are now being awakened by our beloved President, let notice be served to one and all, that the cooperativism  in this country has proven to be the countervailing force against poverty, social inequity, social injustice, ecological turbulence due to climate change and against violent extremism. Totoo po talaga, “Kooperatibismo laban sa terorismo,” yan po ngayon ang panawagan sa isang bayan na meron ng mga Filipino Suicidal bombers.      For those who have dreamt, struggled, advocated and even died for it, social change has been so elusive all these years despite 14 years of martial law and two-people power revolutions.  The systems and structures breeding poverty are still as formidable as ever. But NOT ANYMORE under the present dispensation and people empowerment through cooperativism is now the path under the leadership of our beloved President.      Don’t you know that we have now some 53 cooperatives whose members were former combatants of the Moro National Liberation Fronts? Many were organized during the heights of the “Marawi Seige” and are now implementing livelihood projects. Don’t you know that some former commanders of the New People’s Army had already surrendered like Datu Subang in Surigao del Sur who is the chieftain of the 10,000-member Manobo Tribe? Together with TESDA and CDA, both offices have signed Memo of Agreement (MOA) to capacitate the surrenderees, to start a new life based on social justice through  cooperativism. Please refrain from taxing them “baka bumalik sila sa dati.” Even the people with disabilities are now organized into cooperatives and are serving in the “blind massage” parlors in big malls.  Tax mo kooperatiba nila? Wag! From liabilities of society before, they are now assets.      Indeed, when economic dictatorship of the oligarchs is grafted in the democratic government, the outcome is the toxic growth of poverty, ecological turbulence due to climate change and violent extremism.  Our ecological resources had been plundered no end as GAIA (mother Earth) has no more “lungs” (Where have all our 17 million of dipterocarp forest gone?); No more “veins” as 15 or the 25 major rivers in the country are dead while 10 of the 13 major bays are now biologically dead, to the detriment of our ecological people.        The only countervailing force is the harnessing of the collective power of the people through cooperativism whose spirit has been gallantly advanced by Madam Fely.      As the remains of our beloved cooperative champion will soon be buried, what comes to my mind is the 12th stanza of the 17th century poem written by Thomas Grey in a Country Churchyard, to quote: “Perhaps in this neglected spot is laid, some heart once pregnant with celestial fire, hands that the rod of empire might have sway’d, or walked to ecstasy the living lyre.”      To our beloved Madam Felicidad Ruiz, you had lived with us with that “celestial fire” as a cooperative leader par excellence for 43 years, creating a big breakthrough when DCCCO won over miraculously in the attempt to diminish the spirit of cooperativism which has now come of age as a transformative leading edge for a transformative future for people, planet, prosperity and peace, where ever you are, now with us, then with the stars and in the loving embrace of the Supreme Being, you must “walk to ecstasy the living lyre,” – with our firm salute, warm embrace and deepest love – DAGHANG SALAMAT for your amazing life in the Cooperative Movement!  Don’t worry, we will continue your fight and advocacy – all for the greater Glory of God.

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“Quality and Honest Pricing” catapults Xiaomi Corp. to world prominence

October 26, 2019

Billboard

By: , BEIJING, CHINA - In a press conference here at Xiaomi (MI) Corp main office, the China-Asean Media tour delegation learned how the world-renowned smart phone manufacturer and internet company rose to prominence in international business and modern technology. Dr. Baoqiu Cui, Xiaomi Vice President  and chairman of Technical Committee commented that the secret of their company’s success and meteoric rise to prominence  is “Quality and Honest Pricing.”       Also at hand to give presentations of their product lines and technology were the officers of Xiaomi, Christine Wong, VP for Internation Affairs; Yong He, VP for Public Affairs; and Yuou Chen, Public Affairs Manager for Southeast Asia.Xiaomi Corporation ).      It was only a year ago when Xiaomi  launched operations in 80 countries and regions. Now it is a front-runner in mobile phone markets, smart hardware and ICT platforms in more than 30 countries and regions, (they have 4 stores in the Philippines, including one at the SM Mall in Cagayan de Oro City) is a Chinese electronics company founded by Lei Jun in 2010 and headquartered in Beijing. Xiaomi makes and invests in smartphones, mobile apps, laptops, bags, trimmers, earphones, MI Television, Shoes, fitness bands, and many other products.[ Ranked 468th, Xiaomi is the youngest company on Fortune Global 500 List for 2019.       The company was co-founded by Lei Jun and six partners:  Lin Bin, vice president of the Google China Institute of Engineering;  Dr Zhou Guangping, senior director of the Motorola Beijing R&D center; Liu De, department head of industrial design at the Beijing Institute of Technology; Li Wanqiang, general manager of Kingsoft Dictionary; Wong Kong-Kat, principal development manager;  Hong Feng, senior product manager for Google China, on April 6, 2010.      Xiaomi released its first smartphone in August 2011 and rapidly gained market share in China to become the country's largest smartphone company in 2014.  At the start of second quarter of 2018, Xiaomi was the world's fourth-largest smartphone manufacturer,  leading in both the largest market, China, and the second-largest market, India.[9] Xiaomi later developed a wider range of consumer electronics, including a smart home (IoT) device ecosystem.       Xiaomi has 15,000 employees in China, India, Malaysia, Singapore and is expanding to other countries including Indonesia, the Philippines, and South Africa.  According to Forbes magazine, Lei Jun, the founder and CEO, has an estimated net worth of US$12.5 billion.  He is China's 11th richest person and 118th in the world.  Xiaomi is the world's 4th most valuable technology start-up after receiving US$1.1 billion funding from investors, making Xiaomi's valuation more than US$46 billion.      In the first round of funding, institutional investors included Temasek Holdings, IDG Capital, Qiming Venture Partners and Qualcomm.       On 16 August 2010, Xiaomi officially launched its first Android-based firmware MIUI.       Xiaomi produces many products. Notably, it produces smartphones which run on their own version of Android MIUI firmware. Observers suggest that part of Xiaomi's rapid success rests on its ability to differentiate itself within the Android universe. The company has increased its range of products; its smartphones include: Mi Series, Mi Note Series(discontinued), Mi Max Series(discontinued), Mi Mix Series, Pocophone, Blackshark and the Redmi Series. As well as mobile phones, Xiaomi has started selling wearables, mobile accessories, and appliances such as television and speakers. In 2018 it was selling tablets, laptops, and smart-home devices.      Xiaomi operates on a vertically-integrated model that enables the company to sell hardware at cost or below in order to attract users and earn money by selling content.  Hugo Barra, a former Google executive who served Xiaomi's vice president from 2014 to 2017, characterized the organization as "an Internet and a software company much more than a hardware company".      Xiaomi also keeps its prices low or close to "bill-of-material" by keeping most of its products in the market longer, eighteen months rather than the six-month norm followed by many smartphone companies. This strategy allows Xiaomi to take advantage of price reductions in the prices of key components of its products. It enables the company to sell hardware with specifications comparable to high-end devices at a fraction of the cost.       The company's version of the Android operating system, the MIUI skin, with its design, app marketplace, and functionalities, has established a community of users  who form a crucial part of Xiaomi's customer base and contribute to the company's drive for market awareness. This ecosystem is a massive source of revenue as indicated in 2015, when sales from the platform reached $750 million.       The company focuses on India, the world's second-largest smartphone market.  Xiaomi announced on May 2, 2018, the launch of Mi Music and Mi Video to offer "value-added internet services" in India.  On March 22, 2017, Xiaomi announced that it planned to set up a second manufacturing unit in India in partnership with contract manufacturer Foxconn.  On August 7, 2018, Xiaomi announced on its blog that Holitech Technology Co. Ltd., Xiaomi's top supplier, would invest up to $200 million over the next three years to set up a major new plant in India.       Recently Xiaomi started to sell more simple goods such as sunglasses, caps, pillows, glass lunchboxes, cups, filters, bags, backpacks, luggage, screwdrivers, and umbrellas.       In 2019, the company announced launching more than 10 5G phones in 2020.

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Celebrating Meaningful Banking and Merrier Bonding

October 14, 2019

Billboard

By: , Metrobank holds the 6th Annual Metrobank Golf Tournament for Cebu clients   Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co. (Metrobank), in celebration of its strong partnership with Japanese corporate clients, recently held its Annual Golf Tournament at the Cebu Country Club.      In a continuous effort to promote recreational gatherings for the bank’s esteemed partners in the Queen City of the South, Metrobank held the sixth edition of its highly-anticipated and well-attended golf series. The event was made more special as the bank recently launched its latest branding campaign, Meaningful Banking, to reiterate its commitment of delivering not just meaningful service but also delightful experiences.       Staying true to this, Metrobank awarded the grand champion of Class A with luxurious Anantara Hotel and Resorts, Phuket Thailand vacation package.      As one of the leading universal banks in the country, Metrobank has a meaningful partnership with Japanese businesses and key industry players. Particularly in Cebu City, Metrobank strives to fortify and grow its partnerships via its regional Japan Desk, supported by a team of Japanese consultants. The Cebu-based facility, strongly backed by the head office in Manila, further helps their clients to conduct their local operations and expansions with ease. The bank likewise has wide branch and ATM networks in the city.      Cebu is one of the major destinations of direct foreign investors specifically for manufacturing and service oriented companies. Domestic economic activities are expected to grow as it is likely to receive a huge portion of the projected USD1.24 billion investment pledges which could potentially generate 16,000 jobs.       “Anchored on our promise to foster and provide Meaningful Banking, we aim to move, change, and grow together with our Japanese clients here in Cebu. We will support them in every step of the way, as they scale up their businesses. This golf tournament is just one way we demonstrate this commitment outside the usual banking solutions” said Metrobank Corporate Banking Group Head Anthony Ocampo Jr.      Since 1996, Metrobank has been developing alliances with businesses from Japan, including the Japan Bank for International Cooperation, Japan Finance Corporation, and 65 other major Japanese financial institutions. In the same year, Metrobank became the first local bank to be granted a license to operate in Tokyo and Osaka by the Ministry of Finance.      This service commitment to customers reflects the bank’s recent citations from The Asian Banker, a prestigious award-giving body for the Asia Pacific region. They lauded the financial company as the Best Managed Bank in the Philippines. Metrobank’s products and services on cash management, trade finance, and foreign exchange were likewise recognized by the same award-giving institution.

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Get ready for a boosted experience with the new SAMSUNG Galaxy A50s

October 12, 2019

Billboard

By: PR, THIS 2019, SAMSUNG ushered in the Era of Live with the A-Series encouraging Gen Z’s love of producing content and sharing it with their friends and followers online.  Now, the tech giant is giving digital natives the chance to boost further their experiences with the arrival of the new Samsung Galaxy A50s.  To provide a more boosted smartphone experience to its users, the Galaxy A50s is equipped with Exynos 9611 that has a clock speed of up to 2.3GHz that allows users to have seamless browsing, streaming, and gaming.  It is also packed with an AI based Game Booster that provides a powerful gaming experience by analyzing the type of game being processed while optimizing the device’s performance.  The Galaxy A50s also employs the Frame Booster that adds virtual images in-between frames to compensate for the dropped images caused by AP performance for a better viewing experience.  Furthermore, it is equipped with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, which means they can download as many games as they want and not worry about lags.  The Galaxy A50s is also furnished with an Advanced Multi-camera to beautifully capture live moments, any time of the day.  The 8MP ultra-wide camera with a 123-degree field of vision resembles the human eye and it is also equipped with the Super Steady feature1 that will let content creators shoot smooth, flawless videos, even for action-packed adventures.  The smartphone’s 48MP main lens can record bright and clear photos, even at night.  Lastly, the 1 Only available when shooting with Ultra Wide Camera in Full HD 5MP depth camera adds an artistic touch with its background blur.  Moreover, it is packed with a 32MP front camera with Selfie Focus and Smart Beauty features perfect in enhancing your photos.  Gen Zs can stay online and share their lives all day with the device’s 4,000mAh battery supported by a Fast Charging mechanism capable up to 15W via USB Type-C port.  The Galaxy A50s also highlights a Power Optimization feature so they can record, share, and stream content without having to worry about battery life.  Samsung is also introducing the new Samsung Galaxy A30s which features a triple rear camera, paired with 4,000mAh battery life.  The Samsung Galaxy A50s is priced at Php 18,990, available in Prism Crush Black, Prism Crush White, and Prism Crush Green variants.  Also just launched is the Galaxy A30s priced at Php 12,990.  To complete the A-series line up for Gen. Z this year, Samsung will soon launch additional members that will further drive their passions online at an affordable price with the Galaxy A20s and Galaxy A10s, priced at only P9,990 and P6,990 respectively.  To know more about the Galaxy A50s, visit samsung.com/ph.    

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