corporate

DTI assists PPE producer UNISOL to reinvent its business

May 6, 2020

As demand dries up and non-essential establishments temporarily close amidst the COVID pandemic, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), through its financing arm the Small Business Corporation (SB Corp.), opens a loan facility for micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) that decide to repurpose their production lines to cope up.     One business that availed of this DTI facility is Uniform Solutions (UNISOL), a start-up company for on demand uniforms based in Cebu.     With an initial loan of P3.0 million approved under DTI’s Small and Medium Enterprise - Personal Protective Equipment (SME-PPE) loan facility, UNISOL was able to retrofit its production operations to make washable face masks and reusable protective suits.     CEO Jonas Quilantang narrated how it took him five years to set-up operations and get ready for mass production, adopt technological innovations to improve existing products; have the machines, suppliers as well as the market ready.     “We wanted to make sure we can deliver the bulk  orders expected of us and sustain our niche market,”Quilantang explained.     UNISOL was about ready to hold a grand company launch in early 2020 when a dire health situation developed in China.     Quilantang closely followed the news on the outbreak, had a hunch that the situation could worsen and knew a surge in demand for facemasks would follow.     He immediately made a strategic decision that changed the direction of his company.     “Before Luzon implemented its enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), I got the commitment from one of our suppliers for them to provide the needed fabric for the washable facemasks,” he said.     “We started making washable facemasks mid-March and reusable protective suits in early April this year,” Quilantang added.     Currently, UNISOL manufactures around 50,000 pieces of washable facemasks per day and 60,000 pieces of reusable protective suits a month.     UNISOL has reached the 1 million mark for facemasks as of April 29 this year.     After a month of production, Quilantang said that the company now has a stable supply of the products and is looking to widen its market by forging partnerships.     UNISOL is one good example of a company that effectively turned a negative situation into a good business opportunity, DTI-Regional Operations Group Assistant Secretary Asteria Caberte said.     Despite the challenges, the company found a way to repurpose its production operation which was originally designed to manufacture T-shirts, polo shirts and jackets to produce personal protective equipment (PPE), and keep its workers employed, ASec. Caberte explained.     Like UNISOL, SMEs can also avail of the DTI loan facility by getting in touch with any of the DTI-Central Visayas provincial offices to signify their interest and to get an endorsement to the SB Corporation.     Micro enterprises with an asset size of not more than P3-million can borrow P10,000 to P200,000 while small enterprises with an asset size of not more than P10 million can borrow a higher loan amount but not exceeding P500,000, she said.     Caberte encourages MSME business owners to contact any of the DTI Central Visayas Provincial Offices to signify their interest and to get an endorsement to SB Corporation:     DTI Cebu Provincial Office:     Tel No.: (032) 255-6971     Email: r07.cebu@dti.gov.ph     FB: https://www.facebook.com/DTI.Cebu/     DTI Bohol Provincial Office:     Tel No.: (038) 501 8828     Email: r07.bohol@dti.gov.ph     FB: https://www.facebook.com/DTI.BoholProvince/     DTI Negros Oriental Provincial Office:     Tel.No. (035) 422 5509     Email: r07.negrosoriental@dti.gov.ph     FB: https://www.facebook.com/DTI7.NegrosOriental/     DTI Siquijor Provincial Office:     Tel No.: (035) 480-9065     Email: r07.siquijor@dti.gov.ph     FB: https://www.facebook.com/DTI7.Siquijor/     Borrowers may also contact SB Corporation’s Toll Free Hotline # 1-800-10-6513333     Email: p3@sbgfc.org.ph or sbcorporation@sbgfc.org.ph     FB: https://www.facebook.com/PondoSaPagbabagoAtPagasenso/

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LANDBANK continues cash aid distribution to rice farmers amid COVID-19

May 6, 2020

The Land Bank of the Philippines (LANDBANK) has paid out over P308 million to over 60,000 farmer-beneficiaries listed under the Department of Agriculture’s Financial Subsidy to Rice Farmers (FSRF) initiative.     LANDBANK said that as of April 22, a total of 61,564 rice farmers across 26 provinces have received financial assistance from this program. These farmers were largely affected by quarantine measures due to the COVID-19 pandemic.     Small rice farmers tilling farms with an area of one hectare or less received P5,000 each through the existing LANDBANK SURE Aid (Expanded Survival and Recovery Assistance Program for Rice Farmers) and RFFA (Rice Farmer Financial Assistance) Cash Cards.      LANDBANK is also preparing to release cash grants to more rice farmers covering 34 provinces nationwide pending the list of additional beneficiaries from DA. Farmer-beneficiaries will claim the cash subsidy over-the-counter from designated LANDBANK Branches.     “We are in close coordination with the DA to supplement the income of our small rice farmers and their families the soonest possible time. This forms part of LANDBANK’s intensified support to the agriculture sector, which belongs to the most vulnerable sectors during this COVID-19 crisis,” said LANDBANK President Cecilia C. Borromeo.      LANDBANK’s financial aid distribution is in support of the Social Amelioration Program (SAP) of the government for the implementation of Republic Act No. 11469 or the “Bayanihan to Heal as One Act.”     For more updates, please refer to the official LANDBANK social media accounts on Facebook and Instagram (@landbankofficial) and on Twitter (@LBP_Official) or via the LANDBANK website (www.landbank.com).

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SM builds seven emergency quarantine facilities in Metro Manila

May 6, 2020

SM, through SM Foundation, Inc. (SMFI), recently constructed seven (7) insulated emergency quarantine facilities (EQFs) in Pasay and Quezon City to house and treat patients affected by the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).     Built by the SM Engineering Design and Development (SM EDD) team, and WTA Architecture and Design Studio, these include four facilities in Camp Crame and two facilities at the AFP Health Service Command – V. Luna in Quezon City; as well as one at the Air Force General Hospital – Villamor Air Base in Pasay City.     Completed within a span of six to ten days, these feature a total of 156 beds, air conditioning units, ceiling fans, exhaust fans, restrooms, shower areas, and nurse lounges. The EQFs are set to accommodate COVID-19 patients who are asymptomatic or with mild symptoms.     In the Camp Crame EQFs, each bed has a built-in call system and patients will have an access to Wi-Fi connectivity. PNP chief Gen. Archie Gamboa thanked SM Engineering Design and Development President Hans ‘Chico’ Sy Jr. and WTA Architecture and Designs for their contributions to the facility.     Apart from contributing to the ongoing fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, this social initiative also served as a platform for volunteeriSM for SM employees, especially those from SM EDD.     Through the EQF project, SM EDD employees were able to volunteer their time and expertise in constructing the insulated EQFs, an initiative that has received encouragement and strong support from the President of SM EDD, Hans ‘Chico’ Sy Jr.     SMFI’s Leadership Team expressed gratitude to SM EDD volunteers for carrying out its purpose and commitment to provide EQFs to its partners in the uniformed service. “We have courageous employee volunteers from SM EDD, sharing their expertise and time amidst COVID-19. We’re proud to support their contribution during this time of incredible need,” the team added.     SM Foundation also thanked its partners, the Air Force General Hospital, AFP Health Service Command and the WTA Architecture and Design Studio, as “saving lives is critical during this pandemic.”     The building of insulated EQFs is one of SM’s initiatives in line with its commitment to be of service to the Filipino public, its hospitals, and government during the coronavirus pandemic. Earlier, SM, through SM Foundation donated over PHP170 million worth of personal protective equipment, testing kits, and intensive care unit (ICU-grade) ventilators to over 100 hospitals and medical institutions.

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Repatriated seafarers on 2GO quarantine facilities stay in touch via Smart

May 5, 2020

[28 April 2020] Repatriated Filipino seafarers can now stay in touch with their families as they complete their mandatory quarantine periods through the help of Smart Communications, Inc (Smart).  Smart has donated a thousand pre-loaded SIM cards to shipping and logistics company 2GO Group, Inc., which is working with the Department of Transportation (DOTr), Department of Health (DOH) and Overseas Workers Welfare Association (OWWA) to facilitate the 14-day quarantine of repatriated seafarers.  These SIMs  help returning Filipino seafarers on these 2GO sea vessels that have been temporarily turned into shelters, to connect with their families. Aside from this, Smart has also provided ten (10) mobile phones to the ships so that the seafarers can call their loved ones for free.  Meanwhile, PLDT will also provide free WIFI on board so that these returning OFWs and quarantine facility personnel can access the internet.  “This is part of our commitment to help our repatriated Filipino seafarers stay connected with their families during this pandemic. Through this, we hope that we can ease their worries or homesickness while undergoing quarantine,” said Jane J. Basas, SVP and head of Consumer Business Wireless at Smart.    2GO has converted two of its ships as quarantine facilities in response to the call of DOTr. These will be manned by the Philippine Coast Guard and social distancing will be strictly enforced. 2GO will also provide the technical crew and housekeeping staff to maintain the facilities.  For more information, please visit www.smart.com.ph.

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CEB intensifies sanitation protocols for flight restart Rolls out new Contactless Flights guidelines

May 5, 2020

Leading Philippine carrier Cebu Pacific (PSE: CEB) plans to implement new sanitation protocols and intensified preventive measures, as it prepares for the resumption of commercial passenger operations following quarantine restrictions caused by the Coronavirus Disease (COVID 19).   All pilots and cabin crew will undergo rapid antibody tests before they are assigned to operate flights. All operating crew will don Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) while on duty.    All ground staff are likewise required to don PPEs while on duty. Cleaning and disinfection procedures have been ramped-up for all CEB facilities and equipment such as self check-in kiosks, check-in and bag drop counters and shuttle buses. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers will be provided for all passengers and staff at the airport and inside the aircraft.  “We are implementing additional procedures to assure our passengers and give them the confidence to travel again. Rolling out ‘contactless flights’ will minimize face-to-face contact between our ground staff and our passengers and observe physical distancing,” said Candice Iyog, Vice President for Marketing and Customer Experience at Cebu Pacific.  CEB urges all passengers to check-in for flights online. They will also be required to hold their own boarding passes with the barcode facing the staff for scanning. Queues and boarding procedures will be managed according to physical distancing guidelines. All passengers will also be required to wear face masks upon entry at the airport terminal and for the duration of the flight.  All CEB aircraft will undergo extensive daily disinfection, which includes the misting of the cabin using a disinfectant approved for Airbus jets that is effective in eradicating viruses including the Novel Coronavirus. This process is aligned with International Air Transport Association guidelines, and ensures that all surfaces (such as passenger seats, overhead bins and cargo compartments) are covered and sanitized.  On top of thorough cleaning before and after operations for the day, all surfaces inside the lavatories--from the walls, sink, mirror, knobs, toilet bowl and floors will be cleaned and disinfected in between flights. All lavatories will also be sanitized every 30 minutes during a flight.    CEB’s fleet of Airbus jets are also equipped with High Efficiency Particulate Arrestor (HEPA) filters that are capable of filtering microscopic bacteria and virus clusters, including the Novel CoronaVirus with 99.99% efficiency, similar to what is used in hospital operating rooms.  “We hope for our passengers’ understanding as we implement new measures for our restart. Please rest assured that we will continue to review these processes and continue to deliver the warm, friendly service Cebu Pacific is known for,” Iyog added.  CEB is planning to restart commercial operations after almost two months of temporary suspension.  The carrier may initially restart with a limited number of domestic flights.  

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Globe extends free unlimited WiFi to more LGUs and hospitals nationwide

May 4, 2020

With the extension of the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) in Metro Manila and other high risk provinces to May 15, Globe is extending its free unlimited Internet via GoWiFi, in government designated quarantine areas, residence areas and more hospitals for the benefit of medical frontliners and patients. Free unlimited GoWiFi will be available in the following locations until further notice: DOH quarantine areas World Trade Center, Pasay City Philsports Arena/Ultra Quezon Memorial Circle Rizal Memorial Stadium Additional quarantine area Francisco Felix Memorial National High School Residence areas for frontliners Quarto Residences - Manila My Rainbow Place - Quezon City Victory Fort - BGC St. Mary's College Amoranto Sports Complex Immaculate Heart of Mary College Santa Isabel College Additional hospitals Metro Manila Fe Del Mundo Medical Center Jose N. Rodriguez Hospital Las Pinas Hospital Ospital ng Sampaloc  Philippine Tuberculosis Society Inc. - Quezon Institute San Lazaro Hospital  VRP Hospital World Citi Medical Center  “There is no greater time than today when Globe can share its mission of doing good for the public and express its solidarity in supporting the government’s call to ensure the health and safety of everyone. As endeavors to flatten the curve have escalated, connectivity in quarantine areas and more hospitals are more critical than ever. By offering free and unlimited connectivity, we hope to boost the unflagging service and commitment of our medical frontliners and government employees,” said Janis Racpan, Director for Digital Solutions Group at Globe. GoWiFi services have been available since March 13 in select medical institutions and supermarkets nationwide as support to healthcare frontliners and communities affected by the pandemic. Free unli WiFi can also be accessed at NAIA Terminals 1, 2 and 3 for the duration of the extended ECQ. Globe also recently deployed Cell Site on Wheels (COW) in two designated COVID-19 quarantine areas at Rizal Memorial Stadium (RMS) in Manila and at the Philippine International Commercial Complex (PICC) Forum in Pasay City. With this installation, medical staff and patients accommodated at the RMS and PICC Forum will have the capability to remain connected and be updated on the latest government efforts against the pandemic. To stay updated on the latest COVID-19 developments, Globe mobile and broadband customers are given free access to the official websites of the Department of Health (DOH) and National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC). For more information, visit https://www.globe.com.ph/gowifi.html.

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