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Ayala Coop kicks off “Be Juan Para Sa Kalusugan” program for zero hunger in Pampanga and Bataan

October 28, 2019

As part of its initiatives to promote health and wellness, the Ayala Multi-Purpose Cooperative (Ayala Coop) is launching “Be Juan Para sa Kalusugan,” which seeks to provide nutritious fortified rice meals for hundreds of children in Pampanga and Bataan. Ruel T. Maranan, President of Ayala Foundation and Vice Chairman of Ayala Multi-Purpose Cooperative The Ayala Coop, in partnership with Ayala Foundation, kicked off the project as a volunteerism activity for its members, who came together to pack fortified rice for distribution to children from seven barangays in San Fernando, Pampanga. The event was held on October 25 at the Laus Events Place in San Fernando, Pampanga. The fortified rice will help feed 490 Grades 3-6 children from seven barangays in the City of San Fernando, Pampanga and some 300 school children from Bagac Elementary School, in the province of Bataan over a period of six months. The health status of the beneficiaries will be monitored with the help of Rise Against Hunger Philippines, which will supervise the feeding together with school partners and monitor the health status of the children. Said Ruel Maranan, vice chair of the Ayala Coop and president of Ayala Foundation: “Ayala has long been committed to contributing to national development. Through our business and social development initiatives, we continue to address existing and emerging needs of Filipinos, while also helping improve the lives of people and communities. Be Juan Para sa Kalusugan signifies our recognition of an important concern in the country—health and nutrition. Investing in nutrition is one way of investing in our people and their future.” Also actively supporting are Ayala Employee Relations Network (Ayala ERNet) and the Ayala Business Club of Central Luzon.   About the Ayala Multi-Purpose Cooperative The Ayala Multi-Purpose Cooperative is one of the country’s top institution-based cooperatives, with total assets and members’ equity of more than PhP3 billion. It has a membership of over 37,000 nationwide, coming from over 121 Ayala companies.   About Ayala Foundation As the social development arm of the Ayala group of companies, Ayala Foundation envisions communities where people are creative, productive, self-reliant, and proud to be Filipino. Ayala Foundation's main program areas are Education, Community Leadership, Suitable and Sustainable Livelihood, and Arts and Culture. For more information, visit www.ayalafoundation.org.

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Three Xavier Ateneo Graduates Top Chemical Technician Exam

October 28, 2019

Known for its decades-long of academic excellence, Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan has produced three topnotchers in the October 2019 Chemical Technician Licensure Exam (CTLE). Xavier Ateneo secured three spots in the top 10, with Dave N. Pangilinan at 5th place, Mathew B. Talipan at 7th, and Kimnard Joseph M. Duat at 10th. According to the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC), Xavier Ateneo holds a passing rate of 85.71% for having 36 board passers out of 42 test takers. The PRC reported that 2,298 out of 2,834 takers (81.09%) passed the CTBE, which was administered last October 10. For the Chemist Licensure Exam (CLE), four out of eight Xavier Ateneo test takers passed the exam, namely, Ivy Jane Caranzo, Caryl Mae Dorothy Dablio, Dave N. Pangilinan, and Angelika Uy. Across the country, there were 1,085 takers of the CLE, but only 457 passed the exam. The PRC conducted the Chemist Licensure Exam in Manila, Cagayan de Oro, and Cebu on October 8 and 9. Xavier Ateneo President Fr. Roberto C. Yap SJ congratulated the new chemists and chemical technicians and wished them success in their future endeavors. He also recognized the hard work and perseverance of all Xavier Ateneans who took the CLE and CTLE. Yap extended his gratitude to the faculty members of the XU Department of Chemistry for their guidance and support to examinees. “We thank Arts and Sciences Dean Dr. Judy P. Sendaydiego, Chemistry Department Chairwoman Dr. Analyn C. Asok, the faculty and staff of the Department of Chemistry for the guidance and support they have given to our students,” Yap said. Xavier Ateneo is home to the country's academic achievers and next-generation leaders. Every year, the university is hailed as one of the top-performing schools in board exams. In 2019 alone, Xavier Ateneo has produced topnotchers and board passers in the fields of Nursing, Medicine, Accountancy, and Civil Engineering, among others. Xavier Ateneo commits to uplifting the lives of Kagay-anons by providing them with quality education that would enable them to contribute to Cagayan de Oro’s socioeconomic growth.

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Xavier Ateneo Students Win BPI-DOST Science Awards

October 28, 2019

Three students from Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan have been recognized in the 2019 BPI-DOST Science Awards for their scientific researches and innovations supporting the attainment of global sustainable development goals. Among the top 10 awardees with the most promising researches were Marc Anthony B. Reyes and Marvin Serge G. Fuentes, both BS Computer Science students from Xavier Ateneo. Now on its 30th years, the prestigious awards program honors young Filipino undergraduate students who excel in basic and applied science. It is a joint project of the Department of Science and Technology and BPI Foundation with the goal of empowering students who venture into innovative research. During the annual research competition, Reyes presented his study titled “A Mobile Application Using Convolutional Neural Networks for Detecting Rice Plant Diseases and Pests.” Reyes developed a mobile app called PalayLab, which uses deep learning to help farmers detect pests and diseases in rice plants. Fuentes, on the other hand, focused on “Developing a Rule-Based Chatbot to Classify the Severity of Depression Using Decision Trees.” Fuentes’s Atom chatbot uses a natural language processing engine to detect the level of depression of a person. Another entry from XavierAteneo that made it to the top 30 was the study conducted by BS Biology student Lloyd Alvin P. Caumban. His research, titled “Bioremediation Potential and Biomass Production of Indigenous Microalgae Consortia Cultured in Urban Wastewater,” centered on the use of microalgae in sequestering wastewater nutrients. Reyes and Fuentes each received P25, 000, a medal, and a certificate at the awards ceremony held at the Alphaland City Club in Makati City last August 2. Caumban took home P10, 000 and a medal. In her speech during the awarding, DOST-Science Education Institute Director Dr. Josette Biyo commended all participants, saying: “The works of our young scientists and engineers are truly worthy of recognition.” She also thanked BPI Foundation for “urging and inspiring students to excel in science and technology.” BPI Foundation Executive Director Maricris San Diego said that through the BPI-DOST Science Awards, they hope to “inspire more Filipino students to pursue scientific researches and innovations that contribute to building a stronger and more sustainable future for all of us.”

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CDO Handmade Paper wins Sustainability Award for Pinyapel

October 26, 2019

Compiled by Mike Baños Cagayan de Oro-based specialty paper innovator and producer CDO Handmade Paper has been awarded by the D and AD Future Impact Awards for its Pinyapel in the Environment and Sustainability Category last October 25 in  New York City. According to F & B Report. PH,  Pinyapel (a portmanteau of pinya for pineapple, and papel  meaning paper) is a locally-processed and manufactured specialty paper from locally-sourced waste pineapple leaves from plantations in Bukidnon. “When the Design Center of the Philippines  (DCP) approached me for possible project collaboration, I immediately said yes because we have the same goal, that is the protection of our environment,” said Lolita Cabanlet, general manager of CDO Handmade Paper. DCP is an attached agency to the Department of Trade and Industry committed to strengthening the Philippines’ design ecosystem, “DCP’s Materials Research and Development Division prepared the technical study and we produced the paper according to the DCP formula,” Cabanlet said. “Nature’s Fresh provided the pineapple leaves for experimentation and Ideatechs Packaging Corporation the technology to utilize Pinyapel for consumer and packaging products,” . With the growing demand for sustainability locally and globally, the pinyapel development is aimed at encouraging a circular economy that increases livelihood in farming communities and generates commercialization opportunities while giving new value to agricultural wastes. “We drew inspiration from promoting a plastic- free lifestyle, “ said. “With Pinyapel, we aimed to create a paper that dissolves into the waterways, leaves no trace and should be a product from recycled farm wastes.” According to Windowseat.PH , pineapples are huge local commodities, with plantations found all over the country. Region X (Northern Mindanao) is the Philippines No. 1 producer of Pineapples. Over 706,046 metric tons of pineapples were produced in the fourth quarter of 2018, and with those millions of pineapples comes millions of disposed pineapple leaves. Rather than leaving them to rot, local innovators have found another purpose for them: paper. The best part is that the material can be used for packaging, particularly in the foodservice industry. Besides reducing the amount of agricultural waste produced, the project has also become a means of income for farmers. “For every cycle of drying, collecting, and bagging of five tons of pineapple leaves, approximately P1, 753 is added to the weekly income of every seven pineapple laborers,” says Aleli Mae Uy, chief operating officer of Nature’s Fresh Pineapples, pinyapel’s supplier of pineapple leaves. Cabanlet notes how timely pinyapel’s development is given the growing discussion on ecological consciousness and sustainability. “Aside from the local market, there is a huge demand for a food-safe pineapple paper itself from other countries, thus, export opportunity for it is bountiful,” she added. Moving forward, Del Monte Philippines has expressed their support and willingness to supply the needed requirement for pineapple leaves as Ideatech converts Pinyapel into consumer and packaging products. Cabanlet foresees Pinyapel scaling up production to a commercial volume to attain favorable price points even as it replaces non-biodegrable plastics what has become a worldwide threat to the environment. D&AD Impact exists to recognize creative ideas that are driving positive change. It does so by elevating purposeful products, initiatives and campaigns; by accelerating projects with the potential for impact through a 12-month Future Impact programme; and by educating brands and entrepreneurs on incorporating purpose into their business strategy. The program’s website  explains: “Through our Future Impact Programme, we aim to support great ideas that have the potential to change the world.”  “Up to 10 winners will have access to a shared prize fund worth $150,000 and delivered over 12-months. The fund combines consultancy, mentoring, master classes and development grants, as well as access to a creative, peer-driven network.”  “Our mission? To enable our first cohort of Future Impacters to deliver tangible impact in their category area within 12 months.” The Future Impact Programme is supported by McCann Worldgroup, Makerversity, BLOOM.SPACE, Year Here and Social Impact 360. This award-giving body, which will formally honor Pinyapel in an awarding ceremony on November 6, recognizes “creative ideas that are driving positive change” by “elevating purposeful products, initiatives, and campaigns,” as well as “educating brands and entrepreneurs on incorporating purpose into their business strategy.” For a better understanding of Pinyapel, follow to the following link to this video: https://0a50c329b9b127b28d3b-a1f681a23fc0991ea54609f0f6eaf670.ssl.cf3.rackcdn.com/0dbbb0e6-df7a-11e9-b7cc-bc764e08535e/1280x720.mp4  

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AboitizPower solar and geo units earn, keep ISO certifications

October 24, 2019

The PHP3.7-billion facility in San Carlos City is AboitizPower’s first solar power project and its first venture on Negros Island. Today, the solar farm helps prevent the emission of more than 44,000 tons of carbon dioxide over 20 years, which is equivalent to taking around 10,000 cars off the road. AboitizPower subsidiary San Carlos Sun Power, Inc. (SacaSun) has earned certifications for its compliance to international standards in quality management, environmental management, as well as occupational health and safety management systems. This development came three years after SacaSun, the operator of the 59-MWp utility-scale solar photovoltaic power plant located in San Carlos City, Negros Occidental began supplying clean and renewable energy to the grid. SacaSun passed the external integrated management system (IMS) surveillance audit conducted by TUV Rheinland Philippines, Inc. on October 14 to 16, 2019. “The organization was able to materialize and continuously provide projects to the community as part of community service relations such as Brigada Eskwela, Community-based DRRM Training and Equipment Donation, and Back-to-School Support for Elementary Schools Project 2019,” Lionell Aala, auditor for SacaSun, said. Since 2016, SacaSun has been fulfilling its commitment to co-creating safe, empowered, and sustainable communities through its various corporate social responsibility programs, community sponsorships, and ER 1-94 projects. Meanwhile, AboitizPower’s geothermal unit AP Renewables, Inc. (APRI) maintained the validity of its certificates for ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management System (QMS) for its corporate center in Taguig City and its power facilities in MakBan, Laguna and Tiwi, Albay. The two power facilities also maintained their ISO 14001:2015 Environmental Management System (EMS) certificate and upgraded their Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) certificate to the latest version, which is ISO 45001:2018. All three sites registered zero non-conformity in the last four years. AP Renewables, Inc. (APRI), one of the leading geothermal energy producers in the country, delivers clean and renewable baseload power with the two facilities that it operates in Tiwi, Albay; Bay and Calauan, Laguna; and Sto. Tomas, Batangas. “By implementing IMS in our internal process, we are able to achieve operational and service excellence while providing consistent employee development, reducing occupational health and safety risks, and creating a conducive working environment for our people and partners,” said Alexander B. Coo, president and chief operating officer of AboitizPower’s geothermal and solar business units. TUV Rheinland Philippines lead auditor Eufronio Alonzo cited the internal IMS audit process of APRI as one of the best practices in the AboitizPower group. “Quarterly 5S audits also resulted in an excellent state of housekeeping at different sites,” he added. 5S is a system for organizing spaces so work can be performed efficiently, effectively, and safely.  TUV external auditors noted a total of 23 positive findings for both APRI and SacaSun, reinforcing the companies’ commitment to 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.    

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Zero Hunger is bound to fail, says int’l coalition

October 17, 2019

On “World Food Day” today, an international movement of grassroots groups of small food producers and food sovereignty advocates challenged the member states of the United Nations to change the policy framework on food and agriculture to truly eradicate hunger and malnutrition worldwide. According to the People’s Coalition on Food Sovereignty (PCFS), the worsening global hunger and undernourishment are tell-tale signs of the “counterproductive neoliberal framework” of Sustainable Development Goal 2 (SDG 2), which aims to end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture” by 2030. One in every nine people in the world are suffering from hunger in 2018 and one in every four of them do not have regular access to safe, nutritious and sufficient food, according to the State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2019. “Zero Hunger is not just off track. It is bound to fail,” said Sylvia Mallari, global co-chairperson of PCFS. She said SDG 2 will never meet its target progress as long as the real causes of global hunger and undernourishment are not addressed. The PCFS official asserted that resources and energies should be channeled in ending landlessness and global land grabbing, man-made starvation in proxy wars and occupation, and the corporate control of food and agriculture. “The realignment of public investments and private capital to the infrastructure and high-tech solutions especially of small-scale food producers fall short and shallow in realizing Zero Hunger by 2030,” Mallari added. “Global inequality and corporate monopoly should be factored in as threats and not just as mere trends that affect the global hunger situation.” “Healthy diets for everyone are far from happening as long as the decisive actors of our food and agriculture systems maintain their foothold in adherence to neoliberal globalization,” she said, referring to the Food and Agriculture Organization’s theme for this year’s World Food Day, which was established to commemorate its founding. “There is hunger amid plenty. Unless food sovereignty takes center stage in our food and agriculture policies, we are far from achieving Zero Hunger in ten or twenty or even fifty years from now,” said the PCFS official. “They are fooling themselves in believing that neoliberal globalization will take us to a hunger-free world.” Meanwhile, PCFS global co-chairperson Razan Zuayter challenged the governments to scrutinize the role of the corporate private sector in their food and agriculture policies. She said the policy changes they demand only enable their continued investment and secure their immunity from violations. Zuayter cited, for example, Brazil’s inaction to the Amazon fires which were instigated and aggravated by the expansion of industrial cattle farms to increase their beef production and export. Meanwhile, trade liberalization in Asia has resulted in a rice crisis. Rice-producing countries such as the Philippines have relied on imports instead of local producers to supply their staple food, killing the local rice industry.  “Transnational corporations continue to monopolize the seed and pesticide industry and should not be treated as our partners for development. Their insatiable interest for profit has always undermined the rights and welfare of the marginalized,” Zuayter said. The PCFS official also called for the accountability of governments that use starvation as a weapon of modern warfare in conflict-stricken countries.

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