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Isuzu Philippines brings ‘D-MAX 4x4 Toughness’ in Davao City

September 25, 2019

A week after its successful showcase of the new D-MAX LS-A pick-up in Cebu City, Isuzu Philippines Corporation (IPC) made its way down to the biggest city in the south, Davao City In a 3-day test drive and display event at SM Lanang, people in Davao were able to witness the roll-out of the most stylish iteration of one of Isuzu’s iconic diesel workhorses. From September 20-22, IPC made SM Lanang Open Grounds the playground for the new D-MAX LS-A for the “Tough Enough for Anything” 4x4 test drive event, specially conducted to showcase the off-road capabilities of the D-MAX. During the event, IPC created a special “4x4 Tough Test Course” that featured different obstacles that truly put to the test the off-road capabilities of the D-MAX LS-A. The test drive included courses like the lateral descent ditch crossing, cross axle articulation, elephant holes, 45-degree camber sides and the highlight 40-degree hill climb and descent course. These courses, however, appear to be an easy task to the D-MAX, which has proven its tough performance and durability over the years. With its reliable 4JJ1-TCX 3.0-liter 4-cylinder In-line Blue Power Diesel engine with VGS turbo intercooler, the D-MAX can produce up to 177PS maximum power and 380N-m maximum torque capable of traversing any terrain. Complementing its exceptional off-road performance, the new D-MAX LS-A features a very stylish exterior as it now comes with a new redesigned front bumper and dark gray radiator grille, side view mirror, fender lip, cargo extender, and roof rail that will surely turn heads on the road. Apart from the 4x4 Test Drive, IPC also made a special Mindanao launch and display event at the SM Lanang Atrium, for clients to check the units more closely after they have gone through the test drive or vice versa. “The new D-MAX LS-A has a true character of a pick-up. Through this test drive activity, we will be able to showcase to the public its exceptional off-road capabilities, strong under chassis and powerful engine. Bringing this event in Davao is strategic, as expect to make a comeback in the pick-up segment specially in this region,” said IPC President Hajime Koso. The new D-MAX LS-A comes in the following colors: Cosmic Black, Sapphire Blue, Titanium Silver, Red Spinel, Splash White, Silky Pearl White. With all the added features on the D-MAX LS-A, IPC announced that there will be a more competitive pricing for this variant. To know more about the Isuzu D-MAX LS-A, its new features and pricing, log on to www.isuzuphil.com or visit any of the Isuzu dealerships nationwide.  

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Innovation that aids locked-in syndrome patients nabs top prize in 30th BPI-DOST Science Awards

September 5, 2019

Jay Patrick Nieles, a BS Electronics Engineering student from the University of Santo Tomas (UST), won the covetedProject of the Year award at the 30th BPI-DOST Science Awards held last August 2, 2019, at the Alphaland City Club in Makati City. His research on helping locked-in syndrome (LIS) patients communicate through a brain-computer typing interface that uses visual imagination of shapes and sizes was among the thirty promising entries shortlisted for this year’s competition. Nieles also received the Best in Innovation Award for the same study with Christian Badua from the University of the Philippines (UP) Manila for his study on how probiotics can be used to treat colon cancer. The project, organized by the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) Foundation in partnership with the Department of Science and Technology (DoST), convened outstanding students from all over the country to contribute researches in line with the theme, “Moving the Nation toward Sustainable Development through Science and Innovation.” “Through these awards, we 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,” BPI Foundation Executive Director Maricris San Diego said. San Diego led the awarding ceremony with DOST-Science Education Institute Deputy Director Albert Mariño. Students who participated came from eleven universities, namely the Ateneo de Manila University (AdMU), Ateneo de Davao (AdDU), De La Salle University-Manila, Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology, St. Louis University-Baguio, UPDiliman, UP Manila, UP Los Baños, University of San Carlos, University of Santo Tomas (UST) and Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan. Each participant received P10,000 and a medal. The two entries chosen as Best in Innovation received an additional P20,000 and a trophy each, while the Project of Year Award came with an additional P25,000 and a trophy. Aside from Nieles and Badua, Alex Retona (AdMU), Chester Tantoco (UP Los Baños), Dewey Sia (AdDU), Ryan Suplito, (UP Los Baños), Jeremie Pearl Cruz, (UP Diliman), Jody AdrieneDong-E (St. Louis University-Baguio), Marc Anthony Reyes (Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan) and Marvin Serge (Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan) made it to the Top Ten and were awarded an additional P15,000 and certificate each. The annual research competition also featureda workshop from Asian Institute of Management (AIM)Professor Matthew Escobidoand inspiringtalks from Outstanding Science Alumni Awardees Dr. Leopold Ilag from Stockholm University, Dr. Luis Sison from DOST-UP Enterprise Center for Technopreneurship, and Engr. Maria Leah Flor De Castro from Ateneo de Davao University. The Outstanding Science Alumni Awards is a special category introduced this year as part of the 30thanniversary of the Science Awards. DOST-SEI Director Dr.JosetteBiyo congratulated the students and the BPI Foundation for another successful year of the Science Awards. “The works of our young scientists and engineers are truly worthy of recognition and we’re grateful that BPI is with us in urging and inspiring students to excel in science and technology. Three decades of Science Awards is a feat and a testament to BPI’s commitment to strengthen the role of scientific research in national development. Rest assured, DOST will always be supportive of this endeavor,”Dr. Biyo said. (30)  

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DOST, UP: Small satellite subjects put space within students’ reach

August 24, 2019

More scholarships on nanosatellite/cube satellite engineering under way QUEZON CITY, Philippines — The Space Science and Technology Proliferation through University Partnerships (STeP-UP) Project is gearing up for the second batch of students for the nanosatellite engineering track under the Master of Science (MS) and Master of Engineering (MEng) in Electrical Engineering (EE).  The current batch of STeP-UP scholars presenting results of the thermal and vibration simulations (Photo courtesy of Christy Raterta) The nanosatellite engineering subjects in the MS EE and MEng EE programs are being offered by the Electrical and Electronics Engineering Institute in the College of Engineering of UP Diliman (UPD-EEEI) through the initiative and support of the Department Of Science and Technology (DOST)-funded research program, “Space Technology and Applications Mastery, Innovation and Advancement” (STAMINA4Space), and the STeP-UP Project, which is one of its components.  A step closer to space through scholarships The STeP-UP Project aims to proliferate the knowledge gained from the Development of Scientific Earth Observation Microsatellite (PHL-Microsat) Program to local universities through the design and teaching of hands-on courses or subjects on small satellites and inter-university collaboration. Through the support of the DOST-Science Education Institute (DOST-SEI), the STeP-UP Project offers scholarships for masters students who are interested in applying to the MS EE or ME EE programs in UP Diliman to study nanosatellite technology, specifically the mission design, implementation, launch, and operation of 1U CubeSats. All these programs and their corresponding projects were made possible through the full support of DOST Secretary Fortunato de la Peña. In 2016, his first presentation to President Rodrigo Duterte and then Cabinet members included DOST’s Space Technology Development Program (2017 to 2026) to have a corresponding funding requirement of 10 billion Pesos over 10 years. The first batch started in January 2019, consisting of eight individuals from different backgrounds and sectors, ranging from industry, academe, to the armed forces, in line with the project’s principle of valuing diversity and working with people from multiple disciplines. These scholars are pioneering the local cube satellite development and are dubbed as “UP’s next satellite builders.” The current STeP-UP scholars at work in the University Laboratory for Small Satellites and Space Engineering Systems (ULYS3ES), located in UPD-EEEI. Major activities in the nanosatellite engineering track include the development of 1U CubeSats, space environment testing of the CubeSats (engineering model and flight model) at the Kyushu Institute of Technology (Kyutech) in Japan, launch of the CubeSats via the International Space Station (ISS), and CubeSat operations. The list of the courses under the program is available here. Bringing it back home The local development of the 1U CubeSats in UPD-EEEI is being undertaken in partnership with the Laboratory for Spacecraft Environment Interaction Engineering (La SEINE) of Kyushu Institute of Technology (Kyutech) and the Joint Global Multi-Nation Birds Satellite Project (BIRDS) Project. BIRDS is a cross-border interdisciplinary satellite initiative of Kyutech that trains students from non-space faring nations on the hands-on design, development and operation of 1U CubeSats. The Philippines participated in BIRDS-2 (2016-2018), which launched Maya-1, and in the ongoing BIRDS-4 (2018-2020). In BIRDS-2 and BIRDS-4, a Filipino scholar was selected to be the project manager (PM) to oversee the team of international students undertaking the design and development of the CubeSats. “Being tasked as a PM for a satellite project is a major responsibility and is a reflection of the hard work and competence of our Filipino scholars”, says Dr. Joel S. Marciano, Jr. STAMINA4Space Program Leader and Acting Director of the DOST-Advanced Science and Technology Institute (DOST-ASTI), also a Professor in the UPD-EEEI.   Recently, the BIRDS-3 CubeSats from Japan, Nepal and Sri Lanka were successfully deployed into orbit. “The STEP-UP project builds upon the technical experience gained from BIRDS-2, as well as updates from the BIRDS-3 iteration, to build and operate a 1U CubeSat   in the local academic setting and to proliferate the know-how to other Philippine institutions”, according to Engr. Paul Jason Co, Assistant Professor in UPD-EEEI and Project Leader of STEP-UP.  A team of eight (8) scholars in the MS/ME EE program in UPD-EEEI, supported by STEP-UP scholarships from the DOST-SEI, are now building two (2) CubeSats that are targeted for launch in 2020. This will be followed by another batch of eight (8) scholars who will further develop two (2) more CubeSats and launch them into orbit by 2022. The scholars receive guidance and mentoring from faculty members of the College of Engineering and College of Science in UPD, technical personnel from the STAMINA4Space program and researchers from the DOST-ASTI. Applications for the second batch of eight (8) STEP-UP scholars will open in November 2019 with classes starting on August 2020. Interested parties and applicants may contact the STEP-UP Project Secretariat at step-up@eee.upd.edu.ph. The application requirements and process can be viewed at  https://bit.ly/2OSPtbf.  

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JLL Reveals PH Philippine Property Market Will Remain Vigorous for the second half of 2019

August 5, 2019

JLL’s thorough research and expert analysis includes the 2ndQ 2019 Metro Manila and Davao property markets.  And based on JLL’s comprehensive study, the state of the Philippine real estate industry remains dynamic- and poised to attract more investments in the ensuing months.   METRO MANILA PROPERTY MARKET OVERVIEW (2Q19)   OFFICE PROPERTY MARKET  SUPPLY An estimate of 156,100 square meters of office space was added to the total stock owing to the completion of eight (8) buildings, bringing in the aggregate supply added for 2019 to 336,700 square meters of office space. Development completions in 2Q19 are spread in several locations across the districts of Metro Manila within the Cities of Makati, Muntinlupa, Paranaque, Pasay, Quezon and Taguig. The biggest of this development is MWM Terminal Inc.’s PITX Tower 4 in Paranaque City, which spans 19,200 square meter. This is followed by Double Dragon Center West with 17,600 square meters; 100 West Building in Filinvest Makati with 14,300 square meters and SM City Fairview Tower 1 with 12,600 square meters. As of 2Q19, total supply of office spaces from Grade B to A developments approximately totals to 8.1 million square meters of office space with the majority located in Taguig City followed by Makati City backed by the presence of established CBDs – Makati and Bonfiacio Global  City (BGC). The high demand and concentration of office developments has spilled to its fringe areas with the presence of Mckinley Hill and Mckinley West in Taguig City and office developments rising along Chino Roces Avenue and other townships. DEMAND               Metro Manila maintained a manageable vacancy level at 6% amid continuous additional office spaces from development completions. Taguig City holds majority of the office spaces untenanted as majority of the recent development completions are in BGC. Coming in second is Makati City, followed by Quezon City. Offshoring and Outsourcing (O&O) remain as the major demand driver, taking-up approximately 128,100 square meters of office space in 2Q19. For the whole of 1H19, around 181,000 square meters of office space was absorbed by O&O firms. However, there has been a slow q-o-q take-up of office spaces from O&O firms in Metro Manila as they have expanded more in the provinces, owing to the limited PEZA approvals for IT centers especially in Metro Manila. In 2Q19, only two buildings were granted PEZA accreditation with one located in Taguig City and the other in Iloilo City. Moreover, the government’s Administrative Order No. 18 for 2019 imposes prohibition of reviewing and granting PEZA applications for properties located in Metro Manila to allow the creation of more special economic zones in the provinces.  Online Gaming remains the second top office space occupier in the whole of 1H19 leasing a total of 160,000 square meters of office space in Metro Manila with around 119,200 square meters of office space transacted in 2Q19. For the said quarter, a POGO leased a whole building in Quezon City with a Gross Leasable Area (GLA) of 10,400 square meters and also leased significant amount of office spaces in two buildings within Paranaque City. As of June 2019, 56 POGOs have been registered with PAGCOR. Pharmaceutical companies came as a surprise as a major demand driver to leased office spaces in 1H19, taking up an estimate of 45,100 square meters mainly due to their expansions within Metro Manila. Fourth top office space occupier for 1H19 are flexible workspace operators leasing 14,400 square meters of office space in Metro Manila. Major foreign and local operators remain to be aggressive in their expansion plans and are seeking to increase footprint both in CBD areas and secondary business hubs. In 2Q19, WeWork opened its second facility in the country at RCBC Plaza in Makati CBD. RENTS            Makati City remains to have the highest quoted rent mainly due to the presence of Prime Office buildings within Makati CBD. Limited available office supply in Makati CBD, robust demand, and presence of prime office buildings pushed landlords to command higher rents. Next would be Taguig City due to robust space demand in BGC with up-to-date building facilities. On the other hand, buoyant occupancy from online gaming in the Bay Area pushed rental rates further.             Meanwhile, asking rents of developments to complete from 2H19-2022E are close to the range of rents of existing developments with Taguig City leading the higher end of the spectrum due to more construction of Grade A developments in BGC. Buildings that are registered with USA’s LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) or the Philippine Green Building Council’s BERDE certifications have been influencing the increase in value of rents due to quality technology and equipment used for buildings to be environmentally sustainable in the long run.   RESIDENTIAL CONDOMINIUM PROPERTY MARKET SUPPLY More than 2,000 units are completed in 2Q19, mostly coming from Makati City and Taguig City. The latter half of the year is expected to deliver around 35,500 units more, recording a peak, should there be no construction delays. Makati City and Quezon City house majority of both existing and future condominium supply. Growth is noticeable in Pasay City in the next three years due to the uptick of investments in Bay City. SM Prime Holdings, Inc. holds majority of both existing and future supply, on the back of being the lead contributor in various cities, particularly Pasay City where more than 90% of the pipeline belongs to the developer. DEMAND Average vacancy rate in Metro Manila is recorded at 2%, with Pasay City and Paranaque City pulling down the rate due to online gaming tenants, while employees and students drive the leasing activities for Makati City and Quezon City. A solid preselling market in Metro Manila is observed, evident from high sales take-up figures of future developments. Paranaque City is lagging behind other districts, primarily due to a large number of available units in a development located in the city’s outskirts. Another demand driver comes from the leasing market. The leasing market for upper-mid to luxury developments source demand from corporate housing needs of expatriate employees of O&O firms, MNCs, and embassies. Additionally, local and foreign high-net worth investors continue to drive the sales market for upper-mid to luxury developments – with the purpose of either renting out the units or flipping them upon capital appreciation. Meanwhile, individuals that make up starting families, young professionals, and upgraders make up the end-user demand profile of mostly mid-range developments.   RENTS AND SELLING PRICES The strong leasing market, driven by expatriate employees, stimulated rents in Makati City and Taguig City, becoming the highest across districts. On the other hand, rents in Pasay City and Parañaque City are influenced by healthy demand from online gaming employees. As far as selling prices go, Makati City commands the highest prices for both existing and future supply, while prices in Paranaque City have continuously gone up, evidenced by the prices of future supply, due to the large interest in Bay City.   RETAIL PROPERTY MARKET SUPPLY               Total existing stock as of 2Q19 stood at 6.5M square meters. Quezon City leads all markets with a share of 27%, followed by Manila City and Pasay City with 13% and 11%, respectively. Forecast supply to add 673,500 square meters (2019E-2022E) with Paranaque City cornering majority of the future stock at 29% (Ayala Malls Bay Area – 192,000 square meters). DEMAND Average vacancy registered at around 3.0%, with Taguig City market posting strong occupancy (at around 98%) and Pasig City having the highest vacancy (at around 8-9%) due to the expansion of The Podium. F&B brands continued to lead the retail demand. Some of the new foreign Food and Beverage (F&B) brands that entered in 2Q19 are Shake Shack in Central Square in BGC, Original Cake in SM San Lazaro, Famous Amos in S Maison, and Taiwan’s One Zo in Promenade Food Court Greenhills. F&B brands that expanded during the quarter include Tiger Sugar, Botejyu, J.Co, Soban, Pound by Todd English and Pho Hoa. Fast fashion brands in the like of clothing and apparel, shoes and bags also dominated the retail market in 2Q19. Known brands that had expansion include Parfois, Charles and Keith, Onesimus, Ever New, Terranova, Superga, and Daniel Wellington. Several skincare brands, especially Korean brands opened in 2Q19. Known brands include The Saem, the Face Shop, and Innisfree. As part of re-entering the Philippine market, Innisfree opened second branch in SM Megamall.   RETAIL RENTS Average rentals range PHP 1,100 to 2,700 per square meter per month.   HOSPITALITY PROPERTY MARKET SUPPLY                 One hotel opened in 2Q19, providing an additional 93 rooms to the total hotel stock, specifically in Manila.  1H19 additions are at 486 rooms, brought upon by Sheraton Manila City and Hotel Lucky Chinatown. 2H19 is expected to bring an additional 4,800 rooms to the market, pushing up stock to over 41,000 rooms. Key hotels are multiple Red Planet hotels, Aruga by Rockwell Phase 3, Dusit D2 the Fort, multiple Seda developments, Novotel Manila, Hotel Okura, and Park Inn North EDSA. Succeeding years look to taper off, with significant increase in stock in Paranaque, Makati, Quezon City, and Taguig. The bay area (Pasay + Paranaque) and Makati take up majority of hotel stock, with future supply still dominated by the three cities.   DEMAND AND ITS DRIVERS Paranaque commands highest occupancy, brought about by strong pull of casino gamers and supplemented by its location near NAIA, pushing occupancy to above 90%. Other areas are seen to have occupancy within the 70 to 80% range. Makati and BGC, meanwhile, remain a strong business/ corporate, as well as MICE destination. In Quezon City, demand is driven mostly by MICE events from local companies and government. ROOM RATES Based on Deluxe room category rates, Manila City and Muntinlupa City hold the largest price per room because of The Manila Hotel and Crimson Hotel. Taguig room rates start at 11,000 because of the more upscale nature of hotels in the city and the profile it commands, specifically in BGC.   DAVAO CITY PROPERTY MARKET OVERVIEW (1H19)   OFFICE PROPERTY MARKET SUPPLY Total supply is at 220,000 square meters. Full take-up is noted for all Grade A/PEZA accredited office spaces except for Davao Finance Center, which was only completed by the end of 2018. A total of 87,000 square meters coming from 7 office building projects is anticipated over the next two years.  Developer share is spread across developers with Plaza de Luisa Development Corporation leading the market with 15% of office stock.     DEMAND Main demand drivers are O&O firms. A slowdown in take up was noted in 2017 and early 2018 due to the declaration and extension of martial law. However, a firm from the O&O industry took up majority of available supply in 4Q 2018. PEZA accredited projects are already fully occupied. Flexible workspaces are noted, with Regus having two offices and Skynora locating in Davao City last 2018. Davao Finance Centre started out slow, but has since reached around 50% in 6 months of operations. Strong office market take-up is anticipated. O&O expansion is foreseen as the main driver moving forward, supported by the large, healthy labor pool of skilled workers in Davao City. There is very high demand for PEZA approved office buildings as current PEZA stock is at 0% vacancy. Upcoming supply is still low and is a good opportunity for developers to take advantage of.   RESIDENTIAL CONDOMINIUM PROPERTY MARKET SUPPLY Total supply at 6,900 units, but is expected to increase to 21,300 units by 2022, driven by continuous expansion of existing residential projects and large pipeline from new entrants in Davao City. Current market leaders are the Ayala group and Filinvest Land Inc. Leader for market share of future units are SMDC with their massive Lane Residences development bringing in a total of 3,700 units. Following them are Filinvest Land Inc. which already has multiple projects and Cebu Landmasters Inc. which is venturing into three township developments. DEMAND Main demand drivers are local HNWIs, with OF Workers purchasing as well. Developments are mostly multiple tower mid-rise condominiums, with high rise condos gravitating towards the stretch of JP Laurel and the Poblacion District. Large jump in residential supply (6,900 units to 21,000 units). Main drivers will still be HNWIs, OF workers as secondary market. Condos primarily for investment purposes, has potential adaptation of condos into condotels/BnBs with the strong hotel sector.     RETAIL PROPERTY MARKET SUPPLY Total stock is currently at 865,000 square meters GFA, dominated by SM Prime, with 31% share and DSG Sons, with 22% share. Cebu Landmasters Inc. is anticipated to bring in two retail malls as part of their announced townships in Matina. Vista Mall is looking to enter the market in Maa, far from the city proper, with 35,000 square meters of GFA. Developments are gearing away from the downtown and JP Laurel areas because of the already strong presence of SM, Ayala, and DSG Sons in the area. LTS Malls Inc. has an upcoming redevelopment project along JP Laurel aAvenue as well. DEMAND                 Main demand drivers are expansion from local brands and locators with existing operations in Davao City. Retail development branching outside of the city proper of Davao City. Developers are starting retail projects outside the stretch of JP Laurel and the downtown area (Poblacion), due to high saturation in the said areas. Investors looking to consider retail developments have potential in the surrounding areas of Bajada, Matina, Maa, and Buhangin are anticipated.   HOSPITALITY PROPERTY MARKET SUPPLY 250 additional hotel rooms from two hotel developments within 1H19. Of the total supply, only 1,097 rooms are 4-Star, the rest being 3-star and lower. Forecast supply to reach 6,000 up to 2022, coming from 3 and 4-star hotels. Major supply is expected in the next two years, with 747 more units set for completion in 2019, due to slippages in anticipated hotel completions within 2018, and 663 units in 2020, dominated by the anticipated completion of the 519-room Hotel 101. Cebu Landmasters Inc. and LTS Malls Inc. have announced plans to put up convention centers in their upcoming projects. DEMAND MICE and Business Travelers are the main market drivers, along with local tourist arrivals. Monitoring tourist arrivals in 2018, the only lean month was in January. There is a healthy hotel sector, providing investment potential from developers and hotel operators. LGU provides MICE incentives. Lower-tier hotels are able to achieve high occupancy because of spillover of demand from hotels with convention facilities. Low growth in 4-star hotel rooms and absence of 5-star hotels are seen as opportunities for developer. LGU is looking for convention centers that can accommodate large events, with SMX convention center as the only one that can accommodate over 5,000 pax. There is also potential in reaching and serving the needs and wants of the growing influx of business and leisure tourists from international direct flights to Davao City to supplement the hotel sector.   JLL continues to be optimistic and excited about the future of the Philippine real estate industry and expects the 2nd half of 2019 and beyond to provide many opportunities for real estate stakeholders, that will surely redound to the country’s economic good.

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SSS conducts second wave of simultaneous RACE Ops

July 2, 2019

The state-run Social Security System (SSS) continued its nationwide campaign against non-compliant employers with its second simultaneous Run After Contribution Evaders (RACE) Campaign in Binondo, Cabanatuan, Dumaguete, and Iligan on Thursday.   SSS President and Chief Executive Officer Aurora C. Ignacio said 53 establishments were visited by the RACE team and posted Show Cause Orders to remind them of their obligations under Republic Act 11199 or the Social Security Act of 2018.   “The non-compliance of these establishments to the Social Security Law jeopardizes the social security protection of more than 125 employees as their employers failed to pay their contributions. Social security coverage is one of the basic rights of every employee," Ignacio said.   Of the 53 non-compliant business establishments, 14 were from Binondo in Manila, 13 from Cabanatuan City in Nueva Ecija, 11 from Dumaguete City in Negros Oriental, and 15 from Iligan City. The participating SSS branches are expected to collect ‪P4.12 million worth of contribution delinquencies from these employers.   The RACE Team in Binondo visited 14 establishments for not registering their business to SSS while 13 establishments were also visited in Cabanatuan due to non-registration of business, non-production of records, and non-remittance of SSS contributions.   In Dumaguete, 11 establishments received Show Cause Orders from the RACE Team due to non-remittance of SSS contributions and under-reporting of employees. SSS Dumaguete is expected to collect contribution delinquencies amounting to P1.70 million.   In Iligan, similar notices were also issued to six establishments due to non-reporting of employees, one for non-registration of business to SSS, and eight for non-remittance of SSS contributions with total delinquency worth of P2.42 million.   “With the simultaneous nationwide conduct of the RACE Campaign, we hope to further raise employers’ compliance with the Social Security Law,” Ignacio said.   All employers subject to the RACE operations should show cause within a non-extendable period of fifteen days from notice or posting of the order why no legal action shall be taken against them.   “Our employers can avoid being subjected to RACE campaign by coordinating with the nearest SSS branch to comply with the law. Currently, we have a Contribution Penalty Condonation Program wherein employers can settle their unpaid premiums without paying any penalty," Ignacio said.   “We encourage delinquent employers to avail themselves of this program and settle their obligations to SSS. The program will only run ‪until September 1 this year. This is their opportunity to clean up their records to have a good standing with SSS and pay their obligations without paying penalties,” she added.   This is the second time the pension fund conducted a nationwide simultaneous RACE campaign. The first leg of the simultaneous RACE campaign was also held in Mandaluyong City, San Fernando City in Pampanga, Mandaue City in Cebu and Dipolog City in Zamboanga del Norte last June 14. 

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PH bolsters fight against child labor

June 28, 2019

The labor department has strengthened its commitment of achieving a child-labor free Philippines as it pushes for more inclusive and preventive interventions in combatting child labor and its worst forms.   Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said DOLE has so far profiled 85,582 child laborers in 16 regions of which 18,651 were referred to appropriate agencies for the provision of services and assistance needed by the children and their families.   “Profiling of the child laborers is our strategic way of withdrawing children from child labor. We must first assess their needs and refer these children and their families to appropriate agencies and organizations for the provision of necessary assistance to remove them from child labor,” Bello said.   Apart from the nationwide profiling, DOLE has also provided livelihood assistance in form of Negokart and starter kits to parents of child laborers to enable their families to start their livelihood as a preventive measure against child labor.     Also, DOLE has partnered with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority and Industrial Tripartite Councils for the provision of skills training to former child laborers to help them land decent employment.   “Eliminating child labor calls for intensified convergence efforts from various government agencies, non-government organizations, local government units, and the communities. We must work together in advocating for a child-labor free Philippines by understanding the problem that puts our children at harm,” Bello said.   DOLE, along with its social partners is all set to observe the World Day against Child Labor on June 29, 2019 at the GSIS Theater, Pasay City to draw public attention to the issue of child labor and encourage communities to be active partners of the government in ending child labor.   These initiatives of the labor department are aligned with the Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022, which targets to reduce the cases of child labor by 30 percent or 630,000 from the estimated 2.1 million child laborers nationwide

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