Smart partners with Nokia for 5G deployment in schools

March 14, 2019

MANILA -- PLDT wireless unit Smart Communications has partnered with Nokia for the deployment of fifth generation (5G) technology and services in schools across the country.      Both companies have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for the development of 5G standalone (5G SA) solutions such as artificial intelligence, drones and Internet of Things applications for use in colleges and universities.      “We are happy to partner with Nokia to help develop intelligent solutions and technologies for the benefit of the Philippine education sector,” PLDT-Smart Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Manuel V. Pangilinan said during its signing held in Makati City on Tuesday night.      The MOU covers the rollout of 5G SA technologies and innovative products such as 5G handsets and applications.      The technology solely depends on the 5G network for data transmission and enables the schools, businesses and other organizations to utilize the full benefit of its capabilities. On the other hand, 5G non-standalone (NSA) combines the use of 5G and existing 4G/LTE resources to transmit data.      “5G SA enables introduction of services like real-time remote control of robotics and autonomous driving of transport vehicles in the areas of Industrial Revolution 4.0 with new technologies like Network Slicing and Ultra Reliable and Low Latency Communications,” according to Nokia head for Asia Pacific and Japan Jae Won.      The company intends to spend a significant portion of its capital expenditures (capex) this year for the rollout of its 5G network.      “5G offers great opportunities for telcos to generate new forms of revenues,” Pangilinan said.      “We have announced a historic high capex this year that may be utilized as expenditures for 5G. There will be a continuous rollout of cell sites and base stations with 5G within the next few years” he added.      PLDT has allocated a capex of PHP78.4 billion this year for the rollout of its fiber broadband service in line with the expansion of its mobile network by providing high-capacity links for cellular base stations.      The firm will likewise continue to establish partnerships with technology providers that have the capacity to build a 5G network and the resources to offer a wide range of services to various industries in the country      Its wireless unit Smart has activated its first 5G cell sites last November at its headquarters in Makati City with technology partner Huawei Technologies and in Clark with Ericsson. (PNA)

Win P300k shopping spree, P1M journey when you deposit in Maybank

February 27, 2019

Would you like to go on a trip to the US worth P1million or any other destination in the world? Or how about spending P300,000 in a shopping spree in any place or shop of your preference? “Maybank clients can experience these adventures of a lifetime with the iSave. iShop. iFly Promo. By simply turning deposits into a chance to win wonderful adventures, saving becomes delightful,” said Donna Michelle Barroga, Head of Marketing of Maybank Philippines. In addition, she said, winners of the iSave.iShop.iFly promo can customize how they want to enjoy their prize, giving them the flexibility to create their own travel or shopping package. All these are made possible simply by opening an iSave account. All Maybank iSave Accounts will earn one raffle entry for every Php 10,000 month-to-date average daily balance maintained in their accounts from February 1 to July 31, 2019. They will be automatically registered for the draw and will be informed through SMS. All iSave Accounts will continue to earn raffle entries until the end of the promo, Barroga said. There will be three preliminary draws with three winners each of a shopping spree worth Php 300,000, Php 200,000, and Php 100,000, and there will be one (1) grand draw winner who will win a trip to the U.S.A. or any preferred destination worth Php 1,000,000, TAX FREE.  iSave depositors can join in all raffle draws, but can only win once per draw.   Vincent Dexter Go, Head of Virtual Banking of Maybank, explained “Opening an iSave savings account in the Maybank2U PH app makes it easier for every Filipino to get a bank account.”  iSave as an online only savings account that can be applied through the Maybank2U PH App. The Maybank account is convenient and hassle-free because one can open it without going to a branch.   Moreover, the account is affordable. Go explained that there is no initial deposit and zero maintaining balance. The client earns interest of 0.25% per annum at PHP 20,000 balance. He or she can withdraw from any BancNet ATM in the Philippines for free.  The account is accessible via any Maybank ATM in Malaysia, Singapore, and Cambodia with no charge and can enjoy better conversion rates. It comes with an EMV Enabled ATM, thus very secure. The client enjoys banking transactions online via the Maybank2U PH App. So iSave now and get to create delightful memories with Maybank.  

PAL to undergo system upgrade in March

February 25, 2019

MANILA -- Flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) announced Friday it will undergo a system upgrade by March, in a bid to achieve its goal of being a five-star carrier.  In its official social media account, PAL announced that it would upgrade its system to Amadeus Altea to provide passengers faster and more convenient transactions.  In March 2018, PAL signed a partnership with Altea Suite, a passenger service system that streamlines air travel processes, such as reservation, flight management, departure control, among others.  Having this airline IT system, according to PAL, would enhance the online check-in processes, make booking experience easier, and make other transactions faster and seamless. PAL earlier said it needs the necessary technology to help the carrier achieve its five-star goal.  In 2018, PAL received a four-star rating from Skytrax, an international air transport rating organization. The rating was based on the carrier’s in-flight and on-ground services. (PNA)

GCash chief marketing officer bags 14th Mansmith YMMA Award

February 15, 2019

THE annual Mansmith Young Marketing Masters Award (YMMA) was held on February 12, 2019 at the Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium, RCBC Plaza. The Mansmith YMMA is a prestigious awarding body which has started over a decade to give recognition to young branding professionals who continuously excel in their craft.  At the heart of  the award is the commitment to inspire marketing professionals even at their young age in aspiring to build their brands through innovation. The award targets practitioners in the field of sales, marketing, entrepreneurship and the like who have shown their expertise and creativity in delivering worthy messages and products to the public at the early years of their career.  YMMA recipients are deemed to have conceived revolutionary strategies in their fields which has created impact to the business environment of their industries. Being a recipient of this award tags the professional and the brand he carries a believer of innovation as an integral part in doing business.  Among the recipients of the YMMA is GCash’s  very own Chris Manguera, Chief Marketing Officer and Head of Growth. In effect of his function he was able to ponder on the challenges of creating brand identity for a newly emerging product, GCash, the country’s leading mobile payment App. The campaigns and marketing strategies GCash has launched were deemed to be effective, refreshing, and innovative to the industry where he belongs. Bearing in mind that fintech is a newly emerging business venture, GCash has maximized the arena of the digitized era. Among the remarkable campaigns  launched were the Shake Shake campaign where he put an interactive twist in using the GCash App during the holiday season in 2018. GCash launched the technology enabling subscribers to use the App through the Messenger App, an inclusive way of reaching most of the Filipinos given that almost half of the FIlipino population are on the Facebook network.  Under his CMO-ship GCash was able to craft marketing strategies which have been effectively translated into models and campaigns that has put forward the cause of GCash’s existence, inclusivity through fast, secure, and convenient cashless transaction.  The achievement of GCash’s CMO is also a breakthrough in the fintech industry. Being the only recipient of the award from fintech, this recognition has opened the gates for the industry to strive and deliver products and services to the public in a more creative, innovative, and relevant manner. A competitive set of standard in communicating to every Filipino what the industry can offer to them as their partner in their daily financial needs and how fintech can advocate for financial inclusion to the nation.

DOST-funded technology to help keep Siargao water safe

November 30, 2017

GENERAL Luna, Siargao Island—Safe water may be the next attraction in Siargao as the island puts on board the Eco-friendly Septic Tank System or Eco-sep. This technology consists of a septic water management system that addresses the problem of untreated waste water in resorts, public establishments, and households. Launched in Siargao last September, the Eco-sep technology is installed in three pilot sites, namely General Luna Market, General Luna High School, and Traveler’s Beach Resort. “Samples collected from these sites will serve as a baseline for DOST to encourage resort owners, LGUs, and households to adopt the technology in our campaign [as part of the project],” says Engr. Noel Ajoc, project coordinator. Dr. Merlinda Palencia, developer of the Eco-sep technology, explained that the Eco-sep system deployed in the pilot sites contains Vigormin, an organomineral that hastens the decomposition of harmful bacteria that lodge in septic tanks. Vigormin prevents bacteria from escaping from the tank, thus avoiding contamination of waste water in sewage systems. Dr. Palencia noted that the Eco-sep system will be very efficient in Siargao. Most septic tanks in the island have a bottomless design which allows wastewater to quickly seep through the ground. This poses higher risk of contamination in freshwater and seawater. “Eco-sep will make an impact to Siargao since the main attraction of its eco-tourism are the pristine, fresh and very clean water along its beaches,” said Palencia. “We don’t want Siargao to follow the footsteps of other tourist areas where fecal bacteria are already in sea waters.” DOST Caraga Regional Director Dominga D. Mallonga also assured that DOST will always continue its support in sustaining eco-tourism in the island. “With the development comes challenges from the increasing influx of tourists in Siargao. DOST will always be along the way so that we will be able to plan out carefully and avoid problems in solid waste management and food safety,” guaranteed Director Mallonga. The Eco-sep technology is funded by the Department of Science and Technology – Philippine Council for Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (DOST-PCIEERD). Its launch in the island was participated in by scientists, local government units (LGUs), government agencies, educators, volunteer groups, and students. During the launch of the technology, DOST also introduced other projects for Siargao such as food-based livelihood for the elderly, IT-enabled livelihood, and DOST’s digital S&T library called STARBOOKS. (S&T News Service)

Lending conduit receive checks for PLEA program

November 8, 2017

Department of Agriculture-Regional Field Office 10 (DA-RFO 10) in collaboration with the Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC) has turned over Php 54.43M worth of checks to the lending conduits in the pilot province of Bukidnon on October this year.. The turn-over ceremony was done at the Northern Mindanao Agriculture Crops and Livestock Research Complex (NMACLRC), Dalwangan, Malaybalay City. Led by OIC Regional Director Carlene C. Collado and ACPC Director Cristina G. Lopez, Team Leader for Bukidnon, the checks were given to three lending conduits: Sta. Monica of Pangantucan Multi-Purpose Cooperative of Pangantucan, Bukidnon (Php9.95M), Mindanao Consolidated Cooperative Bank (MCCB) with Cagayan de Oro and Misamis Oriental as their service areas (Php40M), and Lumintao Farmers Multi-Purpose Cooperative (LUFAMCO) of Quezon, Bukidnon (Php4.48M). The amount of money entrusted to conduits were intended for the Production Loan Easy Access (PLEA) program of DA which aims to empower farmers and fisherfolks by providing them easy access to credit that intends to finance production of crops, livestock, poultry and fishing activities with minimum requirement. The said PLEA program has a very minimal interest rate compared to other lending institutions. Its loan limit is up to Php50,000 at 6% per annum or 0.5% per month based on the project requirement and repayment capacity of the borrower, as evaluated by the lending conduit. The loan is payable in a span of 2 to 10 years depending on the commodity or project of which the 6% interest payment will go directly to their cooperative. With the implementation of the program, the government anticipated the abundance and economical food for Filipino people. In his message, Director Collado pointed out that the PLEA program is a DA initiative conceptualized by the DA Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol, himself. In addition, he encouraged the farmers to manage their funds properly. “Don’t waste this privilege given to you as this is just one program of the government that will help improve your livelihood,” he mentioned. “We would like to thank the DA and ACPC for entrusting us this loan. This is really a big help to us small farmers and we hope that with the minimal interest, we would be able to pay our loans on time,” said Thelma Aguilar, Manager of LUFAMCO. Furthermore, the event was attended by Provincial Agriculturist Engr. Alson Quimba, Deputy Provincial Agriculturist Jacqueline Lagamon, officers and members of the above-mentioned cooperatives and coop banks and DA-ACPC staff.


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