business

FDC Misamis intensifies its local IEC campaign

December 11, 2017

FDC Misamis Power Corporation (FDC Misamis), owner and operator of the 405-MW Circulating Fluidized Bed (CFB) coal thermal power plant located in Villanueva, Misamis Oriental, recently concluded the second leg of its Information, Education and Communication (IEC) Campaign. The IEC, tagged as “Pakighimamat sa Barangay,” was conducted from October to November 2017. The campaign targeted barangay council members in the towns of Villanueva and Tagoloan, as well as teachers from Tambobong-Balacanas Elementary School and National High School. The purpose of the IEC is to keep local stakeholders informed about the operations of the plant and its impact to the environment amidst positive economic changes. Likewise, it is intended to empower communities to make sound decisions, help promote responsive behaviors and contribute to positive changes in social conditions of the communities where the power plant operates. An indoor lecture was conducted discussing information about FDC Misamis critical to its host communities such as its Health, Safety and Security Measures, and Environmental Management. The National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) also partook in the campaign. Its representative, Mae Curiano, discussed to participants anti-pilferage and transmission line safety. Aside from the indoor lectures, a brief plant site tour was then conducted giving participants the chance to know the physical features of the coal-fired power plant. Juan Eugenio L. Roxas said strengthening FDC Misamis’ IEC campaign is vital in enabling its host communities to further understand the role of the plant in helping the province propel progress. “FDC Misamis, unlike other organizations, recognizes its responsibility in transforming its neighbors into sustainable communities. The conduct of an IEC campaign ensures our local stakeholders realize that FDC Misamis, apart from contributing to the stability of the Mindanao grid, intends to help its host communities prosper,” said Roxas.

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Suzuki opens dealership in Ozamiz

December 11, 2017

Suzuki Philippines (SPH) marks yet another milestone with the successful opening of a new dealership in Ozamiz, Misamis Occidental. The expansion down south is part of the company’s objective to increase its presence nationwide. “We, at Suzuki Philippines, are always looking for opportunities to better serve the Philippine market while also strengthening our stronghold in the country. By opening more dealerships, in particular outside Metro Manila, we are able to bring Suzuki vehicles to more Filipinos and provide best-value products. This also helps our trusted automobile dealers develop and expand their own businesses, which results in a perfect partnership yielding mutual growth,” shared Mr. Shuzo Hoshikura, General Manager of SPH Automotive Division. The city of Ozamiz is the center of commerce, health, transportation and education in northern Mindanao and is poised to experience continuous economic growth in the years ahead. SPH recognizes the city as an ideal place for developing businesses and communities, and wants to develop this potential for expansion. The new dealership owned by Des Strong Motors, Inc., one of the leading automobile dealers in the country, is under the direct management of CEO Dr. Silvestre Lumapas, Jr. It marks the 66th dealership outlet of Suzuki across the country and the 11th to open this year. Categorized as a 3S dealership, the new outlet will operate as a one-stop-shop offering sales, spare parts and services for drivers around the area. “The Ozamiz dealership outlet is our second 3S dealership with Suzuki, with the first one situated in Bohol. We opted to pursue and further our partnership with Suzuki because they are hands-on in guiding and helping us with our concerns. We are looking forward to a stronger partnership with Suzuki. Indeed, we expect to increase our reach in both Visayas and Mindanao with Suzuki,” said Dr. Lumapas. Catering to the different Filipino markets, the new outlet offers the wide range of Suzuki vehicles, namely the Ciaz, Celerio, Jimny, Ertiga, Alto and Swift. For business-oriented stakeholders, the cargo vehicle Super Carry UV perfect for commercial use is included in the set. The all-new Vitara launched earlier this month has also been added to the product lineup. The urban subcompact SUV is engineered with enhanced performance and equipment level to fit the modern lifestyle of young professionals in the city. “We are very excited to be given the opportunity to be part of this growth and witness the continuous development in southern Philippines. Let me extend our heartfelt thanks to Des Strong Motors for another successful opening. We look forward to working more closely with you. We hope our continued partnership will let us reach out to more cities across the country and let this be an inspiration to reach grander heights as we prepare for a new year ahead,” shares SPH President Mr. Hiroshi Suzuki. For more information on the Suzuki Super Carry, please visit http://suzuki.com.ph/auto/ and like it on www.facebook.com/SuzukiAutoPH, https://twitter.com/SuzukiAutoPH and follow on Instagram at @suzukiautoph.

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Back-to-back win for Suzuki at the first-ever MOTY-P

December 11, 2017

After 13 years of recognizing the best car and truck models on the Philippine automotive stage, Car Awards Group Inc. (CAGI) finally shares the spotlight to its two-wheel counterparts with the awarding of the first-ever Motorcycle of the Year Philippines (MOTY-P) this 2017. Named as the very first of the said prestigious accolade at C3 Place in Greenhills, San Juan City last November 27, 2017 were the following: The Suzuki Raider R150 FI: CAGI and Carmudi.com.ph Motorcycle of the Year-Philippines Commuter Class (299 cc & below) Suzuki GSX-R 1000 R: CAGI and Carmudi.com.ph Motorcycle of the Year-Philippines Leisure Class (300 cc & above) The Suzuki Raider R150 FI was the winner in the Commuter Class (299 cc & below) as it was downright slick and stylish not to mention being equipped with a fuel-injection system that can rival other larger bikes. On the other hand, the Suzuki GSX-R 1000 R indeed lived up to its title as “King of Superbikes”, as it did not only turn heads because of its suave sporty design or cringed every nerve in the body for its orgasmic and superior mechanical prowess but absolutely put competition to a halt as it was deemed the safest among all motorcycles tested. “Finally, after months of challenges just to stage the very first Motorcycle of the Year-Philippines, we’ve eventually come up with the results,” CAGI Ronald de los Reyes said in his speech.

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Revised rules on Alien Employment Permit out

December 8, 2017

Foreign nationals who are excluded from securing an Alien Employment Permit (AEP) shall obtain a Certificate of Exclusion from the DOLE Regional Office having jurisdiction over their intended place of work. This is among the provisions of Department Order No. 186, Series of 2017, or the revised rules for the issuance of employment permits to foreign nationals, which was signed by Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III on November 16 and takes effect on December 9. All foreign nationals who intend to engage in gainful employment in the Philippines shall apply for AEP, which is one of the requirements for the issuance of a work visa. However, foreign nationals who are excluded from securing an AEP are the members of the governing board with voting rights only and do not intervene in the management of the corporation or in the day to day operation of the enterprise; President and Treasurer, who are part-owners of the company; and those providing consultancy services who do not have employers in the Philippines. Also excluded from securing an AEP are: intra corporate transferee who is a manager, executive, or specialist; employee of Foreign Service supplier with at least one year continuous employment prior to deployment to a branch, subsidiary, affiliate or representative office in the Philippines; contractual service supplier who is a manager, executive, or specialist and an employee of a foreign service supplier which has no commercial presence in the Philippines; and representative of the Foreign Principal/Employer assigned in the Office of Licensed Manning Agency (OLMA) in accordance with the laws, rules, and regulations of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA). A foreign national requesting for the issuance of a certificate of exclusion shall submit a letter request addressed to the DOLE Regional Director having jurisdiction over the intended place of work; valid business/Mayor’s permit of the Philippine-based company or enterprise; and photocopy of passport with valid visa. Additional documents shall be required for specific categories of foreign nationals applying for a certificate of exclusion. For President, Treasurer, and Members of Governing Boards (excluding those listed in the Foreign Investment Negative List), they shall submit a certified true copy of the updated General Information Sheet showing the name and position of the foreign national; a certification that the requesting foreign national is a member of the governing board with voting rights only, will not in any manner intervene in the management and operation of an enterprise, and with no intention to obtain gainful employment; and Board Secretary’s Certificate of Election. For intra-corporate transferees, they shall submit a Contract of Employment from the originating company, including proof of salary, and Second Agreement. Meanwhile, contractual service suppliers shall submit a Contract of Employment from the origin company, including proof of salary, and service contract between the Philippine-based company and the foreign company. For consultants, a service contract between the Philippine-based company and the consultant or foreign consulting company must be submitted; while representatives of the Foreign Principal/Employer assigned in OLMA, shall submit a Letter of Acknowledgement from POEA. The certificate of exclusion shall be subject to a payment of P500 per application and shall be issued by the DOLE Regional Office within two working days after receipt of complete documentary requirements and fees.

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Turning used cooking oil into bio-fuel enhancer

December 5, 2017

Used cooking oil may be harmful to health but a little bit of science can turn it into an environment savior. This is exactly what Davao-based Emiliano Quitiol, an inventor, found out way back in 2003 when he started working on his own biofuel. Now he has perfected his product he dubbed EFQ Bioforce. “Fresh cooking oil, after several times of use, is considered a toxic substance and hazardous (to health),” Quitiol said. “Used cooking oil as raw material for the production of EFQ Fuel and Oil Additive will pave the way for solving the proper disposal of used cooking oil and will assure public health and safety,” added Quitiol when he pitched EFQ Bioforce to members of the Rotary Club of Davao recently. His idea stemmed from his resolve to help curb pollution. He said his invention will eventually help restore bodies of water affected with spillage and contaminants that may pollute and destroy the habitat of marine life. But how does his product work? According to Quitiol, adding 1 ml of his product to a liter of fuel will act on and rearrange the molecular structure of the conventional fuel into chain branching of hydrocarbon atoms. This allows more efficient fuel combustion and consequently reduce air pollution. Currently, Quitiol already has three kinds of products: EFQ Bio Force Diesel Additive, EFQ Bio Speed Gasoline Additive, and EFQ BioPower Engine Oil Additive. Quitiol won in the Department of Science and Technology (DOST)- National Invention Contest and Exhibit in 2014. Later, he availed himself of the Invention Based Enterprise Development Program of DOST- Technology Application and Promotions Institute. IBED is a program intended to encourage and transform innovations into a technology enterprise. It covers pilot production, field/market testing and formulation of systems and procedures in preparation for a larger production scale. The program also aims to build the capabilities of inventors to create businesses out of their inventions. (S&T News Service)

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Maramag coffee producers earn big, win big with DOST

December 4, 2017

Coffee producers in Bukidnon used to struggle reaching buyers. Now, the DOST-assisted enterprise Kape Maramag is their globally competitive ally for smooth-flowing income. Kape Maramag is all about big earnings and high scores these days. Not only is it making Php 40,000 to 60,000 a month, it also won in the internationally judged Kape Pilipino (KP) Green Coffee Quality Competition last March, scoring a whopping 83.75 out of a hundred. But before the numbers came rolling in, the coffee farmers in Maramag, Bukidnon were struggling for years in selling their produce. What sparked their inspiring progress was an initiative to organize, supported by agencies such as the Department of Science and Technology (DOST). Cream of the coffee crop A Robusta coffee with dark chocolate and floral notes – that’s how international judges described Kape Maramag during the coffee quality contest held in Cavite. With this richness, it’s hardly any wonder that the product topped the Robusta category in the national competition. The product’s score of 83.75 also raised Kape Maramag to Specialty Grade, pushing it to a high-demand global market. Following their national breakthrough, the Kape Maramag team, led by its president Imelda Paulican-Mendoza, joined the Philippine delegation to the Global Specialty Coffee Expo in Seattle, Washington just this April. It was a remarkable international debut for Philippine coffee, prompting enthusiasts to conclude that Bukidnon coffee is truly ready for the world. All the while, the Kape Maramag enterprise in Maramag, Bukidnon has been consistently grinding up some lavish results. “We used to have monthly sales of just Php 20,000,” recalls Mendoza. “These days, that goes up to Php 40,000 to Php 60,000 a month.” A win-win enterprise Kape Maramag may be a star in the Philippine coffee industry, but the true beauty of this enterprise is in its roots and its growth. The community-based enterprise is managed by the Maramag Rural Improvement Club Federation (RICFed), a non-government organization composed of about 1,050 members. And these members are women – mothers and homemakers who organized themselves with the assistance of the local government of Maramag and the Department of Agriculture. “Our organization believes that women should be functional economic partners and should play a vital role in community development,” Mendoza says. In April 2012, with the help of government and non-government partners, the Maramag RICFed started running Kape Maramag as its flagship livelihood initiative. The enterprise was meant to revive the local coffee industry by adding value to the coffee produce of the area. Thus, Kape Maramag’s operations were mostly roasting, grinding, and brewing to produce good-quality coffee. This created a unique opportunity for Maramag coffee farmers to finally have a steady buyer. The enterprise started out with just a hundred kilograms of coffee beans and an endless supply of persistence. They tapped the farmers in their town, offering to purchase their produce at a better price on a per-kilo basis, in contrast to the bulk purchasing of existing buyers such as Nestle. And the farmers favored Kape Maramag: they no longer have to worry about producing less during off-season farming months, because the Kape Maramag enterprise offers a premium price even for smaller volumes. Today, the enterprise continuously roasts 30 to 50 kilograms of coffee every week, and their fast-selling coffee products never stay long on their shelves. At the same time, Maramag farmers who are also members of the federation have found a reliable buyer for their produce – and consequently, a reliable source of income. Growing together with DOST-X The win-win collaboration between Kape Maramag and local coffee farmers is paired with support from various government and non-government partners. One important partner is DOST-Region X (DOST-X), through the Provincial Science and Technology Center (PSTC) of Bukidnon. In late 2014, Kape Maramag saw the need to enhance their production and their products. Fortunately, they discovered that they could seek the help of DOST’s Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (SETUP), a program that assists micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) through science and technology. The very next year, PSTC Bukidnon implemented a SETUP project for Kape Maramag, providing the science and technology interventions that the enterprise needed: a coffee bag packaging machine, a moisture tester for coffee beans, shelf life analysis, and packaging and labeling design development and initial execution. “Through SETUP, we were able to improve our packaging and even produce another coffee product which is instant coffee,” adds Mendoza. Previously, Kape Maramag only offered freshly roasted coffee on-site at their kiosk near the town’s bus station. But now, with a growing variety of products and better packaging, they have reached farther and wider markets, including Manila, Cavite, Cotabato, and Surigao. Mendoza asserts that the boost in their sales was because of DOST-SETUP. “SETUP really helped a lot in achieving our goals as entrepreneurs,” she enthuses. The growth of Kape Maramag has come to mean not only the popularity of a single enterprise, but more importantly, a better, more sustainable source income for the Maramag coffee farmers. It is proof that when citizens work proactively with each other and with appropriate partners, the resulting success will be rich and utterly satisfying. (Hyacinth J. Tagupa/DOST-X)

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