Today's Top Stories

  • President Duterte addresses the nation amid covid-19 pandemic  

    President Duterte addresses the nation amid covid-19 pandemic  

    THE WORKING PRESIDENT * Thanks frontliners as the new heroes and vowed to reward them * Vows to help small and medium businesses affected by the crisis * Vows to help Filipinos affected in the countryside     DAVAO CITY (National News) - President Rodrigo Duterte today addressed the nation and directly pointed out very important points appealing to the Filipinos to be strong and actively combat and resist the virus from spreading futher in communities. He said this is the best time for everyone to help the government in the fight against coronavirus disease, by simply following quarantine protocols and lockdown orders implemented by military and the police. THANKED FRONTLINERS In his short message today, the president especially mentioned the act of heroism done by many young and dynamic doctors, nurses and all medical workers and all alied forces, including the police, the army and other private sector.  Eleven of the doctors have already risked their lives and died in the frontlines of this battle against covid-19. "Those who are fighting on the frontlines - doctors, nurses, allied or professionals, police, soldiers, civil servants, and everyone performing essential services in the private sector, I assure you that your efforts will be rewarded. Your heroism will not be forgotten. Saludo kami sa inyo," President Duterte said. Duterte also thanked local government units (LGUs) for doing their best to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease. RECOVERY PACKAGE FOR AFFECTED SMEs He also said the government will provide a recovery package especially to micro, small and medium enterprises to have dealed with the economic effects of this pandemic.  "My economic team is already creating the guidelines as I speak," the president sid.  Thousands of SMEs have closed down in many parts of the country after being affected by the pandemic. Soon, it is expected that with the president's assurance, the small and medium businesses will be helped and continue to operate when economic situations will be back to normal again.     

    March 31, 2020

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  • Women have less access to social protection programs than men: Study

    Women have less access to social protection programs than men: Study

    A STUDY published by state think tank Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) found that women in the Philippines have less access to social protection programs than men, which may result in their vulnerability, instability, and poverty.   The study, “Towards Inclusive Social Protection Program Coverage in the Philippines: Examining Gender Disparities”, said that this could be attributed to women’s low labor force participation rate, noting that “women’s access to social protection is largely tied to their employment status.”   Furthermore, most social insurance programs in the country “cover only those who are formally employed” as required by law, making women less likely to be covered.   “Women are more likely to be part of the informal sector than men. There are also more unpaid family workers among women than men,” authors Aubrey Tabuga and Carlos Cabaero said, PIDS research fellow and research analyst, respectively. According to the study, social insurance in the informal sector is only optional because of low and unstable earnings.   In 2017, the study found that there were 15 million female workers who are formally employed, whereas 39 million were under informal employment. On the other hand, about 31 million male workers were formally employed, while only about 25 million were under informal employment.   The study also found more women not in the labor force from poorer households than richer ones (58% vs 34%).   Meanwhile, the study found that there are workers who still do not have access to social protection programs. Based on 2017 data, the study said that 69 percent or around 8.3 million women workers are not yet members of any social protection programs, such as the Social Security System (SSS), Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), and Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth).   “Among women, the highest proportion of those without social insurance are the private household workers at 98 percent, followed by unpaid family workers at 95 percent and then the self-employed at 92 percent,” the authors said.   In terms of sector, the study showed that the agricultural sector has the highest proportion of those unable to avail of the SSS, GSIS, and PhilHealth, at about 98 percent for female workers compared to 95 percent for male workers.   Given these findings, the study emphasized that interventions seeking to improve women’s access to social protection must prioritize those in the agricultural sector, the self-employed, unpaid family members, and household workers.   The study further stressed that social insurance scheme must not be tied with having a formal work or registered business, saying that “innovative schemes must be developed to care for the social protection needs of the working age population regardless of their labor force status.”   This is especially applicable to women, according to the authors. “So long as women are viewed as the persons responsible for looking after their family and household needs, the problem of low labor force participation rate will persist,” they explained, adding that “between formal work and family, many women would rather care for their family members.”   In the long-run, the study said the government should be able to come up with an integrative framework that will improve the skills and employability of people as well as ensure the development of agriculture, services, and industry sectors “so that people can obtain decent jobs”.   The study also suggested creating social insurance schemes that are affordable for the informal sector and home-based enterprises. It also called on the government to streamline its numerous requirements and lengthy processes in the access of social insurance.

    March 30, 2020

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Mindanao Daily News

A paradigm shift whose time has come: The 2020 Corolla Altis HEV self-charging automobile

March 30, 2020

Motoring

By: MIKE BAÑOS, CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY - In our not so distant past, the free falling prices of gasoline and diesel products brought by nil demand worldwide would have encouraged motorists to travel more. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has constrained all kinds of travel, including land transport. The sudden drop in demand has also brought to fore just how significant the effects of fossil fueled vehicles are in the air quality of the world’s leading metropolitan cities which are now enjoying clear blue skies and fresh air after so long a time. This brings us to the rising popularity of electric vehicles especially in urban areas. At zero emissions and negligible noise, they appear to be the personal vehicle of choice even in a post-COVID-19 world. But the present profile of the power industry in the Philippines precludes the efficient and economical operation of all electrical vehicles (EVs). This doesn’t have so much to do with the EVs per se but rather with the “generation mix” of how electricity in the country is now produced. When the full costs of a EVs operation in the Philippines are factored over its average economic life, it is still more expensive and inefficient compared the fossil-fueled internal combustion engines (ICE). Moreover, in the Philippines where the provision of charging points is next to non-existent, Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) chose to instead begin with Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEV) in the transition from gasoline and diesel powered ICEs to full EVs As Ritsmond A. Kalambacal, TMP Group Head for General Job Technical Training Group 1, CSO-Customer Service Training Dept., Marketing Division explained to us: “Because of the generation mix and availability of electricity in Luzon (where the bulk of the Philippine market is), TMP believes it is still not feasible to sell full EVs in the Philippines at this time,” he noted. Also, mainly perhaps because of Filipino motorists previous experience with the first generation Toyota Prius, many still confuse HEVs with EVs.  “We are constantly working to dispel misconceptions most motorists have about HEV: one, it is complicated to drive, and that it can be switched to full gas or full EV manually.” “However, the Corolla Altis HEV drives just like a conventional ICE powered vehicle and automatically charges the car’s batteries as needed. There’s no need to plug it in the grid to recharge it.” “The Toyota Corolla Altis HEV is fully independent and autonomous of the local power situation,” said Elvin G. Luciano, PR and Communications Section, Marketing Services Dept. “New owners have a zero learning curve since it’s no different from driving a conventional powered Altis.” That’s exactly how auto journalist Jacob Oliva of autodeal.com.ph relates it in his review after trying out the Corolla Altis Hybrid for a week. “ I learned one thing: it’s no different from a vehicle with an internal combustion engine – except when you start the car up, which is as silent as a teenager escaping in the middle of the night.”  Teacher Bogie Teves, who blogs at  Bogie's Wonderland and was lucky enough to test drive the 2020 Toyota Corolla Altis during the HEV Toyota Hybrid Electric Vehicle Campus Tour in Cagayan de Oro on February 21, remarked: “The car was very comfortable but what stands out the most is the super quiet engine.” Previous Prius In fact, the Prius, Toyota’s first fully EV was already introduced in the Philippines as early as 2009 but never took off even when the more affordable Prius C was later offered as a more affordable option. With taxes and other custom duties making them relatively expensive, Toyota loyalists opted for the more affordable gasoline powered models which in their minds returned more bang for the buck. Not the least, there were fears the new technology  wasn’t mature enough to guarantee the affordable life cycle costs that had long been the most decisive factor in making previous and new Toyota owners opt for the brand. However, topgear.com.ph's Drei Laurel  believes the 2020 Toyota Altis HEV’s P1,580,000  price point could be a “real game changer” relative to the Prius (P2,289,000) and Prius C (P1,907,000).   Keeping it simple To partly address these apprehensions and  simplify the workings of the Altis HEV, TMP distributed a pamphlet to students who attended its Feb. 21st  lecture at a local restaurant “HEV 101 Hybrid Electric Vehicle powered by Toyota.” The material describes the HEV as “Combining one gasoline engine with two electric motors, the Toyota Hybrid Synergy Drive makes the vehicle powerful, fuel efficient and environment friendly.” One System. Two Worlds. “Enjoy the performance that you’re used to getting from a gasoline engine, while experiencing more kilometers per liter and generating less pollutants.” Power and Performance. Fuel efficiency and lower emissions. “One motor keeps your vehicle moving at low and moderate constant speeds, and charges the battery when you brake. Need to go faster? The other motor starts the gasoline engine to add power, and also fills up the battery. The engine turns off automatically when you come to a full stop.” One gasoline engine. Two electric motors. “The Hybrid Synergy Drive works automatically to make your driving efficient and great for your wallet and the environment. All these while still giving you the great performance you love!” A simple illustration describes in a series of line drawings how the HEV “From a full stop or at a low or medium constant speed it uses one electric motor. Uses the gasoline engine and one motor when you need more power. Back to one motor when you need less power. And charges the battery when you brake.” For the techies reading this, the Altis HEV is powered by a 1.8-liter four-cylinder DOHC gasoline engine and an electric motor that together churns out 121hp at 5,200rpm and 142Nm of torque at 3,600rpm. First Dibs The effort seems to have paid off. As topgear.com.ph’s  Drei Laurel reported, “TMP tells us that it managed to sell 30 units of the Toyota Corolla Altis in October 2019. That figure accounts for a little over 12% of total Corolla Altis Sales. In contrast, that’s already five times the number of Prius units sold in all of 2018.” “At first glance, 12% doesn’t seem that impressive, but keep in mind that, at P1.58 million, the hybrid variant is by far the model’s most expensive option locally. The top-spec conventionally-powered Corolla Altis 1.6 V CVT, at P1.185 million, costs nearly P400,000 less. What’s more, TMP tells us it estimated the hybrid would only account for 7% of Corolla Altis monthly unit sales, so this is definitely a good start.”  The Lowdown Asked how much emissions are reduced in the HEV, Kalambacal replied: “Based on data from our regional office, the total emissions from our HEV is reduced by 34% compared to a similar ICE powered vehicle over the car’s life cycle.” He also dispelled apprehensions about the provincial “casas” capability to service the  HEV, explaining how local service centers are ready to maintain the “new” tech cars, with their mechanics being trained in Japan. Toyota also uses nickel-hydride batteries over the newer lithium ion batteries since the former are recyclable and have a mature technology compared to the latter. “If a HPEV is not used often, the battery deteriorates. However, if the car is used responsibly, its batteries will last the entire life of the vehicle without need of replacement,” Luciano stressed. For Toyota hybrid vehicles beginning with model year 2020, the hybrid (HV) battery is covered for 10 years from original date of first use or 150,000 miles, whichever comes first. Coverage is subject to the terms and conditions of your New Vehicle Limited Warranty. Mileage Since I was unable to test drive the car itself due to other pressing concerns, I turned to existing reviews online to find out more about its mileage. In an article posted last October, autoindustriya.com’s Vince Pornelos reported consuming only 3.28 liters on a trip from Manila to Tagaytay.  In a later article, the same author reported the Altis HEV used only 0.622 of a liter on his 17.8 kilometer route from his home to the office in fairly heavy to moderate traffic at an average speed of 18 km/h. “That's not even two thirds of one liter because of a very high 28.5 kilometers per liter fuel economy figure with the A/C set for comfortable levels, yet still it only used up about 30 pesos worth of gasoline.”  In his previously mentioned review, Oliva  reported 14.2 km/L. after an hour on northbound EDSA starting around 4PM, while a leisurely drive on a Sunday clocked in 26.2 km/L on an average speed of 60 km/h. “The best fuel economy number I got with the Corolla Hybrid was 29.7 km/L – that’s after an hour on the highway with the cruise control set at 90 km/h.” “Of note, these numbers are better than our initial Corolla Altis Hybrid fuel efficiency testing, which was done with five people on board.” Put all these in the context of the current pandemic with gasoline prices in the Philippines with year-to-date adjustments as of March 31st dropping by P12.75 per liter for gasoline and P12.89 for diesel, and it’s looking more and more like the right time to jump aboard the Toyota Corolla Altis HEV bandwagon.

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Brisk and Bold - The All-New Suzuki S-Presso

March 23, 2020

Motoring

By: , The S-PRESSO’s exterior design is a sight to behold. Its bold and athletic profile, combines with its tall and powerful stance ensuring it commands all the attention wherever it goes. The car’s strong character lines and prominent exterior features such as the muscular front grille, striking front and rear bumpers, distinct headlamp and rear lamp design add to its robust appearance. Make a bold statement as you zip around corners and on lanes. The S-Presso’s side body volume has been pushed upwards to give high visual center of gravity. The boxy wheel arches enhance its stance and sporty side while the strong character line adds the car’s bold persona.      The moment you step inside the S-Presso, your eyes instantly fall on the unique center console housing a trendy digital speedometer. Artistically crafted with bold and vibrant design elements, it’s from where all the energy originates, spreading into the interior of the car. The central position of the meter cluster also gives you a new, heightened driving experience. Get in and experience the invigorating ambience of the S-Presso. The exceptional experience of the S-Presso is a combination of its driving performance and convenience. With a peppy engine and other innovative features, you’re in for an exciting drive. So sit back, and gear up for an energetic drive that’s equally relaxing.       S-Presso’s compact 1-liter engine is the perfect foil for the go-getter in you. After all, it delivers a peppy performance to go along with your active lifestyle. Plus, it delivers enhanced fuel efficiency, allowing you to go that extra mile. With a 5-speed manual transmission, the S-Presso makes driving on any road a pleasant experience. Its transmission offers an optimal gear ratio, and reduces friction for the engine and drivetrain, enabling it to obtain the best possible fuel consumption and performance.      Muffler noise, road noise and floor vibration are minimized through optimizing body characteristics. Not only are the noises reduced by use of enhanced insulation materials on the car body through a series of intricate improvements to optimize airflow, the ideal balance of design and aerodynamic performance is realized.      The S-Presso lets nothing hinder you from reaching what you set out for. And it does this by keeping you protected on every road you take. With a host of exceptional safety features, the S-Presso takes care of you while you enjoy the drive. The S-Presso comes with front SRS airbags as standard for the safety of the driver and front-seat passenger in case of a frontal collision. The pre-tensioner is designed to tighten the seatbelts to restrain occupants quickly and to prevent them from being thrown forward in case of a moderate or severe frontal crash. Force limiter helps protect occupants from seatbelt inflicted injuries.       Innovation lies in the heart of the S-Presso. It is built with Suzuki’s new generation platform – HEARTECT. Light and highly rigid, it lowers fuel consumption and vastly improves the fundamental vehicle performance in terms of running, turning and stopping. Its frame is characterized by smooth and continuous curves, which efficiently disperses impact energy in case of collision. The body-design of S-Presso centers on Suzuki’s TECT concept, which helps protect the cabin in the event of a collision by efficiently absorbing and dispersing energy. It also widely employs high tensile steel to achieve both lightness and excellent safety performance. In emergency braking or on slippery surfaces, the anti-lock brake system (ABS) keeps tires from locking, and enhances the driver’s ability to avoid obstacles through steering.      The S-Presso comes fitted with ultrasonic sensors in the rear bumper. This means you can get rid of your parking woes, because it helps detect obstacles while you park the car. Warning sounds keep you aware of the distance to the obstacle, making parking a simple task. A minimum turning radius of 4.5m provide excellent maneuverability even on narrow roads.      The All New S-Presso is priced at a SRP of Php518,000.00 and is available in a new colorway, Sizzle Orange. You may also enjoy the S-Presso in Fire Red, Metallic Granite Gray, and Metallic Silky Silver.

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Grand Cars Inc. launches Geely brand in Cagayan de Oro

February 13, 2020

Motoring

By: PR, Geely is set to get the show on the road in Mindanao following Grand Cars Incorporated’s launching of Geely Cagayan de Oro on February 10, 2020. Grand Cars Inc. is one of the partner dealers of Sojitz G Auto Philippines (SGAP). Present in the brand launch were the SGAP and Grand Cars officials and Cagayan de Oro Mayor Oscar Moreno. During the event, 3 Coolray variants, which were eventually released to its new owners, were showcased – Sport, Premium, and Comfort.   “The formal launch of the Coolray is the preview of bigger things to come. And the step in the right direction in presenting our strong commitment in serving customers as well as strengthening our bonds with Sojitz.”, Grand Cars Inc. President Jan Andrew Po said.   SGAP President Mikihisa Takayama warmly welcomed Grand Cars to the Geely family and underscored the importance of their partnership. “Our alliance is a vital component as Geely drives its way to make it big in the Philippine automotive market. In this regard, I would like to thank you for trusting Sojitz G Auto Philippines Corporation to be your partner in this endeavor.”, Takayama said.   “Geely is poised to be one of the major automotive players in the Philippines following the future introduction of its global models which benefits from synergies from auto brands it acquired such as Volvo.  We are confident that these future Geely global vehicles are far better in terms of specification, equipment, technology, value for money — and not short changing the buyer.”, Takayama added.   Northern Mindanao, where Cagayan de Oro is situated, is one of the leading regions in Mindanao. According to Cagayan de Oro Mayor Oscar Moreno, “land travel is the name of the game in Mindanao especially now that the government is on a Build, Build, Build strategy. Opening up new highways, new doors, opportunities in Mindanao…this is a good investment decision. Your (Geely’s) entry here in Cagayan de Oro is quite strategic…thank you for your confidence in Mindanao.”   This 2020, Geely starts to expand its nationwide dealership network. 15 outlets are already slated to be built this year, to include Geely Cagayan de Oro. With the rise of Geely in Cagayan de Oro, SGAP expressed its confidence that with Grand Cars’ decades-long proven credibility as one of the top-performing dealership networks in the country, their partnership can build a strong brand reputation and a business that is here to stay.

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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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Globe acknowledges LGUs in efforts to build cell towers across the country

March 23, 2020

Corporate

By: , Ensuring connectivity for its customers during the COVID-19 quarantine period, Globe recognizes the local government units who supported its efforts to build more cell sites to meet resurging demand for telecom services.  The company’s efforts to invest in building more cell sites relies on the cooperation of local government units (LGUs), barangays, and other stakeholders, which grant permits to jumpstart the construction.      “LGUs play a vital role in building the necessary ICT infrastructure to improve the internet and mobile experience of our customers.  Now with the sudden changes in work arrangements, there is an urgent need to build more cellular towers to serve the current data traffic that continuously grows exponentially.  We need more cell sites to keep up with the demand but deployment is only the final step to a long permitting process,” Globe General Counsel Froilan M. Castelo said.      “This is the time for all of us to work together for the greater good.  Now, more than ever, we need sufficient mobile coverage to keep in touch with our family and friends, conduct business transactions, make emergency calls, to name a few.  And in this increasingly digital environment, we need the internet to get important real-time information about what’s happening around us, and for businesses to continue operating even with a reduced or skeletal workforce,” Castelo added.      In a recent interview, the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) has again raised the lack of infrastructure in the country.  “The Philippines has the lowest site density in the region. We really lack cell sites,” DICT Undersecretary Eliseo Rio said.      Globe expects demand for internet connectivity will continue to increase as companies require their employees to work from home and conduct meetings via online.  Some students were also required to participate in online classes during the quarantine period.      “We will be of help with what matters most in this period of pandemic – keeping people healthy and safe – by assisting the government to disseminate timely and accurate information, aiding companies to use video conferencing technologies, keeping families connected even if they are far from each other,” Castelo added.      With more people expected to remain indoors during the enhanced community quarantine, the Philippine Chamber of Telecommunications Operators has asked the public to use the internet more responsibly.  Measures like limiting use of movie streaming apps and games during peak hours, limiting download of large documents and transfers or sharing of large data are being recommended.      Globe has been aggressively modernizing and upgrading its network to provide its customers with seamless connectivity.  Globe hopes that its efforts to increase the number of cell sites in the country would be complemented by the cooperation of local government units and stakeholders. Globe estimates an average of eight months and over 25 permits are needed before it can build one cellular tower.

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Mactan-Cebu International Airport sales mission promotes new flights and services in Cagayan de Oro

February 8, 2020

Corporate

By: , GMR MEGAWIDE Cebu Airport Corporation (GMCAC) and partner airlines met with travel and tour operators in Cagayan de Oro today to promote new flights and services out of the Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) as part of its annual domestic sales mission. “The sales mission is already in its third year, and it is one of the ways GMCAC connects with travel and tourism stakeholders across the Philippines. Our focus is route development, particularly to key destinations in Visayas and Mindanao, as part of our goal to establish MCIA as the hub for flights in the southern Philippines,” said Aines Librodo, GMCAC Head of Airline Marketing and Tourism Development. Dubbed as the gateway to Northern Mindanao, Cagayan de Oro is one of the top regional destinations contributing to MCIA’s domestic passenger traffic. According to Librodo, MCIA recorded a 22% increase in passenger traffic from-to Cagayan de Oro in 2019 with more than 420,000 domestic passengers and a total of 53 flights per week. “The Cagayan de Oro market is strong, and we want to further develop this connection,” she said. GMCAC kicked off this year’s sales mission in Davao City last January 28. GMCAC will visit Bacolod, Iloilo, and Tacloban on February 11, 12, and 18, respectively. Partner airlines taking part in this year’s domestic sales mission are Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific, Philippines AirAsia, EVA Airways, Cathay Pacific, and China Eastern Airlines. With its central location in the Philippines, MCIA is the ideal transfer hub for passengers connecting from Visayas and Mindanao with most domestic destinations reachable in less than an hour’s flight time. MCIA is connected to 25 domestic destinations and 25 international destinations with 6 domestic partner airlines and 20 international partner airlines. ### About GMR MEGAWIDE Cebu Airport Corporation On November 2014, Filipino-led developer GMR MEGAWIDE Cebu Airport Corporation (GMCAC) took over development of all landside facilities of the MCIA under a 25-year Public-Private Partnership concession agreement with the Philippine Government. It opened the new international Terminal, Terminal 2, in July 2018 and completed the full renovation of Terminal 1 in December 2019. GMCAC is a joint venture company comprised of Filipino engineering and infrastructure company Megawide Construction Corporation and Indian infrastructure developer GMR.

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SM Prime Holdings grabs Best Environmental CSR in 8th Mindanao Business Leaders and Entrepreneurs Awards

December 27, 2019

Corporate

By: Mark Francisco, SM Prime Holdings – which has made the presence of two shopping malls in Cagayan de Oro City – bagged the Best Environmental CSR during the recently held 8th Mindanao Business Leaders and Entrepreneurs Awards in Cagayan de Oro City. The two shopping malls in Cagayan de Oro City under SM Prime Holdings are SM City Cagayan de Oro and SM CDO Downtown Premier. Opened in 2002, SM City Cagayan de Oro is the first SM Supermall in Northern Mindanao. Located in the uptown part of the city, the mall features major and minor anchors such as SM Store, SM Supermarket, Cyberzone, SM Appliance Center, ACE Hardware, Toy Kingdom and SM Cinemas. It has service centers, specialty stores and restaurants, indoor and outdoor parking spaces and its carpark building now houses apparel stores on the first level. Meanwhile, SM CDO Downtown Premier is being branded as a lifestyle mall and opened in 2017 along CM Recto Avenue in Cagayan de Oro City. The five-level mall features anchors such as SM Store, SM Supermarket, SM Bowling and SM Cinemas with seven theaters including two Director’s Club cinemas and a Megascreen cinema. It also has several specialty shops and homegrown restaurants. Accompanying the mall is the CDO Downtown Tower which is a 12-storey building and eight levels of office space for BPO companies with helipad on the roofdeck. SM Prime Holdings has been chosen by the jurors of the 8th Mindanao Business Leaders and Entrepreneurs Awards – which is organized by Mindanao Daily News and BusinessWeek Mindanao led by publisher Dante Sudaria and awards director Allan Mediante – largely due to its record of environmental sustainability through the decades that it has operated not only here in Mindanao but throughout the whole country. Considering its rapidly growing operations, SM Prime Holdings recognizes the impact it has on the environment. The company has taken measures to prioritize the efficient management of its resources. SM religiously tracks its use of energy and water as well as its waste and emissions. SM implements mitigation measures to ensure that these aspects are managed at optimal levels. Other projects include the Green Retail Agenda, greenhouse gas emissions management, energy efficiency, solid waste management, water treatment and recycling, air quality management and solar power investments. While the company continues to expand and conquer new markets, it stays steadfast to uphold their mission as environmental stewards of the natural resources of the country. In fact, it is noteworthy to mention that SM CDO Downtown Premier has its own rainwater catchment basin measuring 75x40 meters floor area and as high as six meters which can hold up to 13,540 cubic meters of water to reduce the risk of flooding. SM Prime Holdings has also introduced a recycling activity called the Trash to Cash program which promotes the reduce-reuse-recycle practice. The company has been inviting the community to implement proper waste disposal and management at the household level. Through the Trash to Cash program, SP Prime was able to inform its stakeholders of the available solutions in solving solid waste issues and concerns. SM Cares, a division of SM Foundation Inc., is the group that handles the corporate social responsibility programs of SM Prime Holdings. It organizes the sustainability efforts into a comprehensive program that tackles a wide range of initiatives: from giving a voice to the underrepresented sectors of our society to preserving the environment and to creating innovative but sustainable avenues of growth. SM Cares works with various organizations, shareholders and people from the community in coming up with innovative solutions that pave way to living more sustainable lives. As a responsible mall developer, SM ensures that its CSR programs serve as catalyst for positive change for the community it serves. The 8th Mindanao Business Leaders and Entrepeneurs Awards gives honor to various Mindanao business leaders and entrepreneurs, serving as catalyst for their continued and concerted effort to seek greater heights and strive for success in the noble mission of propelling Mindanao and its people towards full economic growth and sustainable development. The judges were chaired by Cagayan de Oro Press Club past president Ruffy Magbanua with the following as members: BusinessWeek Mindanao editor-in-chief Nelson Constantino, BusinessWeek Mindanao vice president for administration Joe Felicilda, Mindanao Daily editor-in-chief Allan Mediante, Mindanao Daily executive editor Cris Diaz, freelance journalist Tessi Baluyos and Mindanao Daily managing editor Ruel Pelone. Guests of honor who gave inspirational speeches during the event which was held December 13 at Limketkai Luxe Hotel were Communications Secretary Martin Andanar and Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) Undersecretary Orlando Ravanera. The 8th Mindanao Business Leaders and Entrepreneurs Awards is also being presented by Veterans Bank, Ayala, BPI BanKo, Cooperative Development Authority, provincial government of Misamis Oriental, CORDS 10 and PCOO, Limketkai Luxe Hotel, Pepsi, Washington, Angela Soriano Fashion Design Studio, SELRAHCO PR, Dessert Boss, Pie Square Photo Booth, AVPro and Marzel Digital Studio.

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Cebu Landmasters’ posts record high 9-month earnings, up by 77 percent to P1.6 billion

November 15, 2019

Corporate

By: , Cebu Landmasters (CLI) continues its leadership in the VisMin region, with consolidated net income rising by 59 percent from Php 1.2 billion to Php 1.9 billion year-on-year. Net income attributable to parent meanwhile grew significantly by 77 percent from Php 932.7 million to Php 1.65 million driven by substantial increase of revenue from CLI projects. The leading housing developer in the Visayas-Mindanao region declared revenues of Php 5.9 billion from the previous year’s record of Php 3.7 billion. CLI attributed the outstanding results to the strong performance of its mid-market residential segment, which accounted for 36 percent of the total revenue pie. Casa Mira, the company’s economic residential brand, and high-end segment contributed 32 percent and 29 percent, respectively. CLI Chief Executive Officer Jose Soberano III says: “Our fast-selling projects give us confidence that we will achieve our topline and net income growth targets for the end of the year. The numbers reflect our operational excellence and commitment to responsible development.” CLI launched nine major developments in 2019: Davao Global Township – Phase 1 (Davao); One Paragon Place (Davao), Citadines Paragon Davao (Davao); Citadines Bacolod City (Bacolod); MesaVirre Garden Residences C (Bacolod); Casa Mira Bacolod (Bacolod); Velmiro Plains Bacolod (Bacolod); Casa Mira Towers CDO (CDO); and Mivela Garden Residences (Cebu). CLI said the Mivela project set new records with 80 percent of the project sold in just three weeks from launch date. Projects in the company’s headquarters in Cebu made up 58 percent of the period’s revenue contributors, followed by developments in Bacolod and Cagayan de Oro with 13% and 12% earnings input, respectively. In Q3 2018, revenue contributors after Cebu (with 61% revenue contribution) were Cagayan de Oro with 19 percent and Davao with 14 percent. CLI’s leasing portfolio grew by 29 percent to Php 46.72 million from Php 36.20 million year-on-year. This is attributed to the increase in Gross Leasable Area (GLA) following the recent turnover of Base Line Retail and HQ and Casa Mira Towers Labangon. Aggregate GLA for the period now reached 13,806 square meters while occupancy rate rises to 84%. Management fees on the other hand, more than doubled from 11.2 million to 26.9 million due to the increase of the number of developments managed by CLIPM, the property management arm of CLI. The said firm now oversees 17 projects, eight of which are house and lot subdivisions while the rest are offices and residential condominiums. The third quarter also marked the operations of CLI’s first hotel representing a new revenue stream. As scheduled, Citadines Cebu City, a 180-room condotel opened in September. It is operated and managed by Ascott Limited, the world’s largest international serviced residence owner-operator. As an indicator of future revenue growth, the nine-month reservation sales take-up rose by 29% year on year to P9.24 billion. About 3,472 units were taken up at an average price of Php 2.7million. Meanwhile, CLI continues to expand its landbank to support its expansion program. To date, CLI holds a total of 1,245,276 sqm of land in 10 key VisMin cities. Part of its recent acquisitions is an existing resort in Mactan, Cebu with a land area of 18,000 sqm. The resort will be re-developed to also integrate a residential component.   CLI purchased a 9.4-hectare property in Ormoc and 28 hectares in Davao that will be developed into residential projects. The company also acquired 11,000 sqm of land in Bacolod City, adjacent to its existing three-tower condo project, the MesaVirre Garden Residences. During the year, CLI also signed a strategic partnership with AboitizLand, the real estate arm of Aboitiz Equity Ventures, to develop a mid- market, mixed-use, multi-tower condominium project in Mandaue City. During the 7th Annual Property Guru Philippines Property Awards last July, Cebu Landmasters was awarded as the Best Developer. Other honors were also given to the company’s projects—38 Park Avenue development, named Best High-End Condominium Development (Cebu); Casa Mira Towers Labangon as Highly Commended for Best Affordable Condominium Development (Cebu); and MesaTierra Garden Residences as Best Condominium Development (Davao)and special recognition for Corporate Social Responsibility.

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LANDBANK Advisory (March 27, 2020)

March 30, 2020

Money Matters

By: , March 27, 2020   To Our Valued Clients:    I hope you and your family are safe and well. In this difficult time, we in LANDBANK are committed more than ever to do our share in providing you unhampered service amid travel restrictions and other necessary constraints. We understand your need for financial access, and so we have taken the following steps:    Branches are open While complying with the Enhanced Community Quarantine and other safety measures, majority of LANDBANK Branches nationwide remain open for your financial transactions. Starting March 23, 2020, all open Branches operate from 8:30 AM to 12:00 noon, until further notice. Please visit our website www.landbank.com and social media accounts for the updated list of open Branches.   Branches and ATMs are safe We are implementing screening procedures in our Branches prior to entry. Likewise, we are strictly observing social distancing inside the branches by limiting the number of customers on seating capacity. In the same way, social distancing is observed while queuing for our ATMs.   Cash availability While we encourage cashless and online transactions, we also ensure cash availability in all our ATMs should you need to transact via ATMs.   Payment extension We are giving a 60-day extension for all Salary Loan and Credit Card payments with due dates of up to April 15, 2020.    Free interbank fund transfer  LANDBANK waived fees for fund transfers to other banks via InstaPay and PESONet starting 6:30 PM of March 18 until 11:00 PM of April 30, 2020. LBP CARES Program For commercial loan clients, we are giving longer tenor and grace periods as part of restructured loan amortizations. New loans can also be granted to clients affected by the crisis.   Business Continuity Management We have activated necessary protocols to maintain normal banking operations as much as possible. A skeletal workforce of LANDBANK employees are reporting for duty in our head office, branches, and field units, while the rest are working from home, to ensure continued service delivery. The LANDBANK Board and Management continue to regularly hold online meetings to make decisions regarding ongoing developments and minimize operational disruptions.     During this time, we hope you stay at home and use our digital and online platforms for your banking needs. Our LANDBANK Mobile Banking App, iAccess, WeAccess, Link.BizPortal, Electronic Tax Payment System and Phone Access are available for your necessary transactions.   While we face an unprecedented crisis, rest assured of our commitment to remain in the frontlines and provide you uninterrupted service.  We are banking on the Filipino spirit that we can rise above this adversity together.   Thank you for your continued trust and support.   Sincerely,   CECILIA C. BORROMEO President and CEO Land Bank of the Philippines

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BSP expects PH economic recovery in 2021

March 23, 2020

Money Matters

By: Joann Villanueva, PNA, MANILA – Monetary officials forecast a rebound of the Philippine economy from the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) by next year.       In an e-mailed reply to journalists’ queries, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said its policy-making Monetary Board (MB) continues to see the services sector like the tourism, trade, and remittance channels to be greatly affected by the global pandemic.       The BSP said the economic hit further deepens following the implementation of a Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine from March 17 to April 12, after the initial quarantine for Metro Manila alone since March 15.       “The latest assessment assumes a U-shaped recovery with the impact of Covid-19 lasting until H2 (second half) 2020 but with the economy expected to rebound by 2021,” it said.       Economic managers place the preliminary estimates of Covid-19’s economic impact on the domestic economy this year to be around 0.3-1.0 percentage point.       This year’s growth target is between a range of 6.5-7.5 percent.       On Thursday, the MB slashed the central bank’s key policy rates by 50 basis points, bringing the total rate cut to date to 75 basis points, to help ensure the sustained growth of the economy and after noting the leeway given by the projection that inflation rate will remain within the government’s 2-4 percent target until 2021.       To date, the BSP’s overnight reverse repurchase (RRP) facility rate is 3.75 percent, the lowest since the 3.50 percent in July 2014.       The central bank said its officials are “prepared to use the full range of its monetary instruments and to deploy monetary policy and regulatory relief measures as needed in fulfilment of its price and financial stability objectives.”       “In calibrating its monetary policy settings, the BSP will continue to be data-dependent, guided by our inflation outlook over the policy horizon and the risks surrounding such outlook as well as data on demand conditions,” it said.       The BSP said its MB considers the latest rate cut as appropriate to support the country’s growth momentum and uplift market confidence against stronger headwinds.       “The BSP has already cut the policy rate by 75 bps thus far in 2020. We will continue to monitor the situation to determine if further reductions are warranted,” it said.       The central bank said its officials are also looking into a range of other supplementary measures that may be required to support non-inflationary and sustainable growth over the medium term.       These measures are aimed at ensuring adequate domestic liquidity and credit in the financial system as well as lowering borrowing costs for affected firms and households.       “These include, but are not limited to, recalibrating the interest rate corridor settings; suspending the term deposit facility (TDF) auctions as market conditions warrant; and ensuring banks’ access to liquidity-enhancing facilities such as the rediscounting facility,” it said.       The BSP said a combination of targeted and well-coordinated health, fiscal, and financial market measures will be crucial in limiting the economic fallout from the pandemic due to the medical nature of the shock.       “In this regard, we believe the National Government has ample fiscal space for such measures, as reflected in its low debt-to-GDP ratio,” it added. (PNA)

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FDA orders retailers and sellers to stop sale of astringent brand

February 14, 2020

Money Matters

By: , THE Food and Drug Administration (FDA), has directed drug stores, department stores, supermarkets and other establishments to stop the sale of an astringent formula which  continues to be sold commercially in Davao, CDO, Cebu and other parts of the country. The FDA says merchants who ignore the warning and continue to sell the product shall face regulatory actions and sanctions.   In the latest FDA Advisory No. 2020-061, the said brand has been found to be positive for the presence of HYDROQUINONE and TRETINOIN, ingredients that are NOT allowed to be part of a cosmetic. As per Administrative Order No. 13 s. 1999, the FDA says Hydroquinone and/or Tretinoin (Retinoic Acid) shall be classified as home remedy, over-the-counter, or prescription drug depending on the amount present. The products in question that are contained in the advisory constitute Lot/Batch No. AOH01 with a manufacturing date of August 2019 and expiry date of August 2021; and Lot/Batch No. 1041905 with a manufacturing date of April 2019 and expiry date of April 2021. In the label, the products were alleged to be manufactured in Apas, Cebu City.   Accordingly, because it failed to comply with these standards, the FDA says they are classifying the said brand as an adulterated cosmetics product which poses potential hazards to the consuming public.  Using the product may result in adverse reactions including skin irritation, itchiness, anaphylactic shock and even, organ failure.     For more information, please click on the following FDA advisory: https://ww2.fda.gov.ph/attachments/article/647685/FDA%20Advisory%20No.%202020-061.pdf   This is the second time in less than a year that this particular brand  failed to comply with the regulations of the FDA. Last year, the FDA also issued an advisory against the use and sale of this particular astringent after it was found that they were using Hydroquinone and Tretinoin beyond the levels  allowed for a cosmetic product.                                                                                                        To report any sale or distribution of the said brand, the online reporting facility eReport can be accessed at www.fda.gov.ph/ereport.

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More than 400,000 Northern Mindanaoans travel via Mactan in 2019

February 4, 2020

Money Matters

By: Mark Francisco, AROUND 420,000 persons from Northern Mindanao traveled via Mactan-Cebu International Airport last year.   In a press conference here, GMR Megawide Cebu Airport Corporation promotions head Aines Librodo reported that the number constituted a 22 percent increase in passenger traffic from Cagayan de Oro City and nearby areas.   That translates to 53 flights a week.   GMR Megawide Cebu Airport Corporation operates Mactan-Cebu International Airport, the second largest airport in the country.   The company conducted a roadshow here in Cagayan de Oro City Tuesday (February 4) as a gesture of gratitude to its Northern Mindanao patrons.   Despite the current coronavirus scare hitting the airline industry bad, airlines such as Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific, AirAsia, EVA Airways, Cathay Pacific and China Eastern Airlines were still bullish in introducing their latest routes.   In particular, Librado is optimistic that once this crisis blows over, there will be a surge in air travel.   Librodo recalled that by the end of the SARS crisis in 2002, people were hurrying to go on holidays everywhere. She is hopeful that a similar scenario will occur in this era of the novel coronavirus.   Mactan-Cebu International Airport has a lot of stake in its hands - China (Ground Zero of the virus) is its second largest market for both incoming and outbound flights.   It indeed will be a long journey ahead. Meanwhile as of presstime, Mactan-Cebu International Airport is in a state of emergency and airlines have momentarily suspended its China-bound flights except for Cathay Pacific which caters mostly to connecting flights.

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PCSO Readies PhP420 Million for Transfer to PhilHealth for COVID-19 Response

March 30, 2020

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By: , Mandaluyong City. Royina M. Garma, General Manager (GM) of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO), said that the agency allotted PhP420 Million for the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) response as early as February of this year as its proactive measure to aid the government in its fight against this pandemic. GM Garma added that considering PCSO is the principal government agency for raising funds for health programs, medical assistance and services, and charities of national character, the agency will always be ready to help the government and the Filipino people in times of crisis. On March 25, the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF-MEID), in compliance with Executive Order No. 108 s. 2020 signed by President Duterte, directed PCSO to transfer the PhP420 million to PhilHealth to augment the fund requirements of government concerning COVID-19. "The agency anticipated the need for emergency response and readied the funds since COVID-19 became a serious threat globally early this year, and the first case in the country was reported," GM Garma expressed in a press statement.  Despite the suspension of operations in its main office and other offices in Luzon, PCSO assured the public that the agency will continue serving its clients. PCSO has set up a hotline that caters to people seeking medical assistance. The public can contact the following numbers:  Mobile Numbers: 09457746439, 09152962243, and 09177035866  Landline: 0284043956  Email: pcsomain.charity@pcso.gov.ph  PCSO official and verified social media page @Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office Individuals seeking medical assistance will be referred to hospitals with Malasakit Centers and other government hospitals.  The agency also increased daily funding until April 16, 2020 to the Lung Center of the Philippines at  PhP1 million, Philippine Children’s Medical Center at PhP400,000, Philippine Heart Center at PhP500,000, Philippine General Hospital at PhP1.5 million, Rizal Medical Center at PhP400,000, and Taguig Pateros District Hospital at PhP400,000 to further strengthen charity and social works amid the threat of the coronavirus. PCSO provided free bus rides in Area 7 of Metro Manila, utilizing its shuttle buses to transport those who were affected by the public transportation suspension. As a sign of support to police who are securing the National Capital Region (NCR) borders 24/7, the agency also distributed food packs to the NCR Police Office (NCRPO) and Eastern Police District (EPD).  GM Garma called on all Filipinos to follow the orders and guidelines issued by the IATF saying,  “Everyone can help stop the spread of COVID-19 virus by staying at home.”

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DA’s ALPAS COVID-19 eyes increased food prod’n; distributes vegetable seeds

March 30, 2020

Billboard

By: , Cagayan de Oro City, March 28 – The agriculture department (DA) encourages the Filipinos in the government’s bid of ensuring every household adequate, accessible and affordable food through the Ahon Lahat, Pagkaing Sapat Kontra sa COVID-19 (ALPAS COVID-19). Complementing the department’s existing regular programs, DA under the helm of Secretary William D. Dar has already sought an additional Php31 billion fund to fulfill its mandate of ensuring a food secure Philippines amid the current health crisis. The requested budget will be used to provide immediate assistance in scaling-up activities relative to food productivity and availability, food accessibility and mobility, and food price stability. “In doing so, it will avert food shortage, supply disruptions, and unstable prices as the COVID-19 pandemic challenges even more our farm and fishery production, including the movement of agricultural commodities and products from production to market areas,” said DA-RFO 10 OIC-Regional Executive Director Carlene C. Collado, reiterating the agriculture secretary’s statement. While the supplemental budget is underway, DA-Regional Field Office 10 (DA-RFO 10) through its High Value Crops Development Program intensified the distribution of vegetable seeds to the local governments in Region 10. On behalf of DA-RFO 10 exec Carlene C. Collado, Regional Technical Director Carlota S. Madriaga handed over four boxes of vegetable seeds to the City Agriculture’s Office of CdeO. Costing more than a hundred thousand, each box contains 150 packets of vegetable seeds in different variants (5-in-1 Pinakbet, 4-in-1 Chopsuey, 4-in-1 Salad Green and 5-in-1 Sinigang). “While most of us are staying in our homes, we could be a lot more productive by planting vegetables in our own backyards or gardens,” Madriaga said, on the provision of seeds to the city government, which is targeted to be given to its constituents. “Even more rewarding later on, is reaping the fruit of one’s labor, as they can consume their harvest, which are nutritiously good and safe, without going beyond the comforts of their home,” she added. This Monday, DA-NorMin will continue to distribute more vegetable seeds to the different local governments across the Region, with DA-10’s Provincial Operations Center of the respective provinces through the city/municipal agriculture office expected to facilitate the distribution to its residents amid the imposed community quarantine. On the other hand, the office has set up the ALPAS COVID-19 center to cater to the needs of walk-in clients interested to go into backyard gardening. The center is open from Mondays to Sundays, from 8:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. “We urge everyone to be one with us, to reinforce the government’s efforts during this difficult time, to ensure food is set at the tables of every Filipino household,” the director concluded.#

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THE BODY SHOP’S COASTAL CLEAN-UP WITH PLANET CORA

March 28, 2020

Billboard

By: , Conscious of the social and environmental problems the society of today exposes its inhabitants, The Body Shop has been one of the pioneers of sustainability. With that, it constantly seeks for new projects in order to help the world we live in.  In the Philippines, as well as the rest of the world, piles of our mismanaged wastes wind up on our shores.  Plastics and other non-biodegradable wastes may be low-cost and convenient but they stay long in our environment and may kill marine animals as they mistaken plastics for food. Single-used plastics such as plastic straws, plastic bottles and plastic bags are big contributors to pollution.  In line with this, The Body Shop Philippines partnered with Planet CORA a non-profit organization dedicated in protecting the planet in gathering almost 200 volunteers for a Coastal Cleanup in Las Piñas, Parañaque Critical Habitat Eco-Tourism Area (LPPCHEA). This cleanup helped in physically reducing wastes as well as creating awareness and inspiration for the volunteers to instill change in their lifestyles. A total of 2.29 tons of waste were collected in just a span of two hours wherein majority of the collected were plastic bottles.  The Ocean Cleanup with Planet CORA is just one of the many advocacies of The Body Shop Philippines.  ———— About The Body Shop​  The Body Shop was founded in 1976 by Dame Anita Roddick in Little Hampton, England. The beauty brand pioneered corporate activism and was built on a philosophy that business can be a force for good. With its brand expression, Beauty with Heart, the company continues to be focused on five core values: Against Animal Testing, Support Community Fair Trade, Activate Self Esteem, Defend Human Rights and Protect The Planet. All products are created using the finest ingredients sourced from the four corners of the globe, which are not tested on animals and are 100% vegetarian. The Body Shop has been in the Philippine market for eighteen years with over 55 strategically located stores nationwide.

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Keeping the network running for people to remain connected

March 28, 2020

Billboard

By: , “This is the biggest challenge for us so far.  With typhoons, we can see the damage, assess if restoration works are possible or not, and plan how to attack and solve the problem. Covid-19 keeps us blind, not knowing if it will hit us or not,” said said Reden Jobil, Globe Sr. Network Operations Engineer. Reden is part of the critical skeletal force composed of installers, repairmen, network engineers, and other personnel who relentlessly work to keep telecommunications facilities running and the country connected despite the virus threat. They are the nation's unsung heroes. “Facing the uncertainties of the pandemic, the possibility of getting us infected after long exposure outside, lining up to get through checkpoints, being shooed away while doing restoration works, trying to enter places with total lockdown -these are the challenges that we have to endure just to ensure that we deliver the best network experience to our customers,” he said. Now, more than ever, telecommunications plays a vital role in the lives of Filipinos who have to abide by the enhanced community quarantine.  Data connectivity is necessary for work-from-home employees, for students who need to continue with their lessons, for hospitals to communicate with doctors and patients, and even for national and local government to run. Thus, telecom companies like Globe continue to deploy its critical skeletal force so that those at home may remain productive, connected, and informed. Ernest Cu, Globe President and CEO, leads the company in extending its gratitude to these people who brave the risks of possible exposure to COVID-19 to repair telecom lines, install internet facilities, and man critical infrastructure, among other things. “We would like to thank our engineers, installers and other critical skeletal force for holding the fort so that we can  continue to provide services to the country with minimal disruption. We can’t thank you enough for the ultimate sacrifice and act of kindness,” he said. For its part, Globe provides its skeletal force with meals, accommodations, transportation, insurance, medical expense assistance, and personal protective equipment.  

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