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SSS launches contribution payments through the SSS Mobile App with PayMaya

December 29, 2019

State-run Social Security System (SSS) has tapped digital financial services leader PayMaya to allow members to conveniently pay their contributions through the SSS mobile app.   With this partnership, individual members of the pension fund such as Self-employed, Voluntary, and Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) can now pay their contributions using their PayMaya account or any Visa, Mastercard, or JCB credit, debit, or prepaid card. In the next phase, PayMaya will accept employer's contributions (regular and household) and salary loan payments.   SSS President and Chief Executive Officer Aurora C. Ignacio and PayMaya Philippines, Inc. Chief Executive Officer Orlando Vea formally signed the agreement, making PayMaya as one of the 85 accredited collecting and paying partners of SSS, 35 of which are already Real-Time Processing of Contributions (RTPC) system compliant.   “We are very glad that we were able to add another accredited collection partner that will ensure fast, convenient and secure way of remitting the hard-earned money of our members for their future contingencies and retirement options to the pension fund,” Ignacio said.   “The public has been very much aware that we have been exerting all efforts to make SSS transactions hassle-free through our gradual shift to the digital platforms. This is one of our options to eliminate long queues in automated teller services in branches and other accredited partner agencies. In just one tap on your mobile phones, your contribution payments are remitted to the SSS,” Ignacio said.   For his part, PayMaya Chief Executive Officer and Founder Orlando Vea said: "Using digital technology in delivering social services to all Filipinos is a big leap for SSS and we are proud that they have tapped us in this initiative. Making public service more accessible to all Filipinos through digital financial services is in line with our thrust at PayMaya to push for digital and financial inclusion."   PayMaya is providing its universal payments platform to SSS to allow it to accept PayMaya as well as all card and mobile wallet payments through its mobile app and soon in its other online channels and branches.   For those without a card, they can simply sign up for a PayMaya account by downloading the PayMaya app on their iOS or Android devices and use the mobile number associated with their account when they pay via the SSS mobile app.   The Social Security Commission (SSC), the policy-making body of the SSS, approved the accreditation of PayMaya, the digital financial services arm of Voyager Innovations, after it had submitted and passed the standards and requirements of the RTPC system.   Members of the SSS who will use their PayMaya accounts or their debit and credit cards for paying their contributions should first download the SSS Mobile App in Google Play Store, Apple App Store or Huawei App Gallery. They can log-In using their existing My.SSS account’s user ID and password and generate their Payment Reference Number or Statement of Account in the SSS Mobile App by clicking the “Generate PRN/SOA” icon.   After the member has created his PRN, he needs to click the Pay button to display the two options: “Pay with PayMaya Account” or “Credit/Debit Card”.   If the member opted to pay using his PayMaya account, the screen will display the Payment Reference Number, amount, and convenience fee. The member is required to input his email address and password. PayMaya will send a One-Time Password (OTP) to proceed with the payment.   On the other hand, if the member opted to pay using his credit/debit card, the screen will display the monthly contribution, convenience charge and total amount. To complete the payment, the member is required to input the following: First Name, Last Name, Card Number and Expiry Date of the card.   For confirmation of successful payment, a pop-up message will display the PRN, amount, convenience fee and payment reference number. For credit/debit payment, the member has the option to indicate the member’s email address or mobile number to receive an email notification or Short Message Service (SMS) as confirmation of successful payment.   A convenience fee of 1.75 percent of the total amount to be paid will be charged to the member if he opted to pay using his debit/credit card while a P10 transaction fee will be charged for those who opt to use the e-wallet.   “This is only the beginning of our continuous effort to provide quality and convenient services to our members. Hopefully, we can soon use PayMaya for loan repayments and payments from employers not only in the SSS Mobile App but also even on the SSS website,” Ignacio said.   Based on the latest data, the SSS Mobile App has been downloaded 2.93 million times in Google Play Store, Apple App Store and Huawei App Gallery as of November 2019.   Aside from PayMaya, SSS members may pay their contributions conveniently thru online transactions offered by partner-banks and other collection partners. For the official list of online payment channels, members may visit the SSS website.

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Singapore's Science Observatory captures livestream on Annular Eclipse

December 26, 2019

PEOPLE witnessed the Annular Eclipse which is a rear phenomenon on Singapore Science Centre Observatory captured on a livestream. It is a type of phenomenon, wherein the moon was very far from the Earth. As such, the moon becomes smaller and it did not block the sun's entire view, thus forming what it seems to be a "ring of fire" effect.     This rare phenomenon was also seen in some areas in Guam, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Malaysia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Philippines and Northern Mariana Islands. Some parts of the Philippines also witnessed this rare phenomenon like in Davao Oriental, and in Balut and Batubalaki in Sarangani, Southern Philippines.   TRIVIA: Do you know that the Philippines last witnessed an annular eclipse on July 20, 1944 that traversed Puerto Princesa City, Palawan to Southern Mindanao? The next similar astronomical event in the country will be on February 28, 2063 or 44 years from now.  

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2020 NAST AND DOST AWARDS: Call For Nominations

November 29, 2019

The National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST), Philippines, the highest recognition body on science and technology in the country is searching for nominees for the various NAST and DOST awards for 2020, namely;   I.      NAST PHL Awards 1.       Outstanding Young Scientists 2.       NAST Environmental Science Award 3.       NAST Talent Search for Young Scientists 4.       NAST Award for Outstanding Research in Tropical Medicine 5.       Geminiano T. De Ocampo Visionary Award for Medical Research 6.       Outstanding Book/Monograph Award 7.       Outstanding Scientific Paper Award   II.    DOST Awards 1.       NSTW Outstanding Science Administrator Award - Dioscoro L. Umali Medal 2.       NSTW Outstanding Technology Commercialization Award - Gregorio Y. Zara Medal 3.       NSTW Outstanding Research and Development Award a.       For Basic Research – Eduardo A. Quisumbing Medal b.       For Applied Research – Julian A. Banzon Medal 4.       Magsaysay Future Engineers/Technologists Award (MFET)     Please take note that the deadline for the submission of nominations for all awards is on the last working day of November 2019 except for MFET award which is due on the last working day of July 2020.   NAST PHL is also accepting abstracts for the Call for Papers for the Scientific Poster Session with the deadline of January 15, 2020. Attached are the announcements on the awards for your information.   The nomination forms can be downloaded at http://nast.ph/index.php/about-nast/functions/recognition.          

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Hedcor turns waste to funds through Balik Baterya Program

November 20, 2019

A COMMON GROUND. Hedcor, OMMC, and PBSP sign a Memorandum of Understanding to strengthen their partnership geared towards advancing communities and the environment. Some wastes, like batteries, can be toxic to human health and the environment if mishandled when they are disposed. Because Hedcor continues to look for ways to improve the state of the community and the environment, it has forged a partnership with Oriental and Motolite Marketing Corporation and Philippine Business for Social Progress, Inc. for the Balik Baterya program. In this program, Hedcor gets to trade its Used Lead Acid Batteries (ULABs) to OMMC for proper disposal under accredited recyclers. Each ULAB disposed holds a trade-in value which will then be forwarded to PBSP to fund projects identified by Hedcor. Among various health and socio-economic projects, PBSP actively endorses projects on education such as the Learning Enhancement Assistance Package, known also as Project LEAP. This goal aligns with Hedcor’s desire of advancing communities through education. “This program doesn’t only help fulfill a company’s responsible business practices but also helps in terms of funding projects for the community,” said PBSP Regional Manager Garibalde Alvin Enriques. "The Balik Baterya program has been around for more than 10 years already, with over 260 partner companies." OMMC Representative Mark Lopez also expressed his gratitude over the interest in their program. “We really welcome companies who actively take part in the Balik Baterya program because it helps address community and environmental issues. I hope our partnership will be more harmonious in the long run,” said Lopez. In his message, Hedcor’s Assistant Vice President for Operations Leo Lungay also shared how program participants share goals. “Our operations depend on the status of mother nature, thus we are very active and dedicated in initiatives that ensure that sustainability is met,” Lungay noted. “Involvement in this program is one of those. And seeing the goals of your organization and this project, it appears that we all have the same objective--we are all for the betterment of the environment and the communities,” he added. Hedcor is a run-of-river hydropower arm of AboitizPower. It currently operates 22 hydropower facilities in North Luzon and Mindanao and holds a total gross capacity of 277.36MW of clean and renewable energy.

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APC PR: Beyond Steelmaking

November 18, 2019

COMMUNITY PARTNER. Since establishment in 2008, Melters Steel Corporation (MSC) has sustained its efforts to better the quality of life of its host community in Brgy. San Isidro, San Simon, Pampanga. The current administration’s Build! Build! Build! program has fueled the significant growth of the Philippines’ infrastructure sector and along with it, the demand for quality and cost-effective steel. This presents a great opportunity for the steel industry. But for Melters Steel Corporation (MSC), one of the major steel manufacturers in the country, growth is not just about being able to leverage the booming demand and capturing a significant market share, but most importantly, it is about helping the community. On November 15, MSC, together with AboitizPower and Aboitiz Foundation, Inc., embarked on a medical mission for its host community in Pampanga. Around 85 residents of Brgy. San Isidro, San Simon, Pampanga underwent free medical and dental consultations, as well as received medicines with a total worth of Php 200,000. "We are very thankful to Melters that as their host barangay, we are able to reach out to them to address our needs, and they have always been willing to help," Randie Flores, San Isidro Brgy. Chairman, said. Apart from the medical mission, other corporate social responsibility initiatives of MSC include disaster relief efforts, computer donation, and cement donation for the rehabilitation of the community church. "We try to help as much as we can. Anything with regard to the community, we're always here to help," Lance Lim, MSC Assistant Vice President for Human Resources, said. MSC also recognized the value of its long-standing partnership with AboitizPower to community and nation-building. "It's a win-win situation. We can always do it on our own but it's a lot better with the support of Aboitiz. We're very happy with our partnership and when the time comes, we want to expand our business with Aboitiz and grow together with Aboitiz," Lim added. AboitizPower supplies reliable, cost-efficient, and sustainable electricity to MSC’s smelting plant in Brgy. San Isidro, San Simon, Pampanga. "AboitizPower is very professional and we want to deal with people like that. They know what they're doing. They know what they want, and they know the direction that they're going to. We're thankful that we did not make a mistake in choosing them," Nena Lim, MSC President and Chief Executive Officer, said. The partnership between MSC and AboitizPower is built on their shared values and common goal of advancing business and communities. About AboitizPower AboitizPower is the holding company for the Aboitiz Group’s investments in power generation, distribution, and retail electricity services. It advances business and communities by providing reliable and ample power supply at a reasonable and competitive price, and with the least adverse effects on the environment and host communities. The company is one of the largest power producers in the Philippines with a balanced portfolio of assets located across the country. It is a major producer of Cleanergy, its brand for clean and renewable energy with several hydroelectric, geothermal and solar power generation facilities. It also has thermal power plants in its generation portfolio to support the baseload and peak energy demands of the country. The company also owns distribution utilities that operate in high-growth areas in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao, including the second and third largest private utilities in the country. For further queries on this Press Release, please contact

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NGCP restores earthquake-damaged Kidapawan Substation

November 13, 2019

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

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