USAID provides laptops and learning materials to support education for out-of-school youth

October 12, 2020

MANILA, October 11 --The U.S. government, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), turned over 150 laptop computers, printers, projectors, and 80 sets of learning materials to the Department of Education (DepEd) on Tuesday, October 6, as part of the United States’ ongoing commitment to support the Philippine government’s Basic Education Learning Continuity Plan amid the COVID-19 pandemic.   USAID Mission Director Lawrence Hardy II led the handover ceremony with Assistant Secretary for Alternative Learning Systems (ALS) G.H. Ambat, who accepted the donations on behalf of DepEd.  USAID’s assistance augments DepEd’s efforts to help ensure continuity of education, especially for vulnerable out-of-school youth. In the coming weeks, USAID will provide more than 400 laptops, computers, printers, projectors, and other related materials worth Php34 million ($700,000) to DepEd’s ALS Task Force.   This assistance is part of USAID’s Opportunity 2.0, a five-year, Php1.9-billion ($37.5 million) project that works with DepEd, the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), and local governments to support their ongoing programs to provide relevant education, employability skills, and work experience to out-of-school youth.   In addition, DepEd’s five “e-Skwela Centers” will receive computers and other related equipment to increase access to technology and learning in these communities.  Opportunity 2.0 is also training teachers on blended learning approaches and will develop interactive audio instruction materials that can be used by those isolated by distance or lack of infrastructure.   Opportunity 2.0 is implemented by U.S.-based Education Development Center (EDC) with DepEd, TESDA, Accenture, Philippine Business for Education, Catholic Relief Services, Voluntary Services Overseas, and SEAMEO INNOTECH.  USAID’s assistance will benefit 180,000 youth in more than 12 cities across the Philippines. (US Embassy in the Philippines)  

INNOTECH’s teacher motivation research supports DepEd’s initiative on career progression

October 8, 2020

QUEZON CITY  – In line with the celebration of the National Teachers' Month, the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization Regional Center for Educational Innovation and Technology (SEAMEO INNOTECH) presented a research study on teachers' motivation, which supported the Department of Education's initiative the career progression of teachers. "I believe that we should honor, even as we are honoring now, our former teachers, those who continue to teach, [and those] who teach vocationally…. We may be asking ourselves, 'Why do people teach at this time?' [This] study shows that, possibly, [despite] the voice of a small minority, teachers go into formal teaching for the very same reason which our grandparents, mothers, and other relatives to go into teaching," Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones said during her keynote address. Senior Specialist and INNOTECH Educational Research Unit Head Dr. Sherlyne Almonte Acosta presented the findings of the study, which showed that one of the motivations for educators in choosing to teach was economic considerations, which led to the push for revisiting the teachers’ career progression. "Nag-apply po sila [teachers] for promotion. In fact, I mentioned that 81% of them succeeded in the applications for promotion. So, nangangahulugan lang na mayroon talagang willingness na umangat ang bawat guro," Dr. Acosta said. Undersecretary for Planning and Bureau of Human Resource and Organizational Development Jesus Mateo emphasized that the Department has lodged a policy concerning the career progression of teachers. "I am happy to report that we are now almost have completed the policy on career progression, which will be jointly issued by DBM and [DepEd]. Based on the competency standards, one can now progress to the next higher position," Undersecretary for Planning and Bureau of Human Resource and Organizational Development Jesus Mateo said. Under the proposed policy, the Department will be creating teaching positions namely Teacher III, IV, V, VI, VII, and Master Teacher V, and will institutionalize merit-based promotion anchored on Philippine Professional Standards for Teachers (PPST) Undersecretary for Legislative Affairs Tonisito M.C. Umali, Esq. lauded the efforts of SEAMEO INNOTECH in coming up with a comprehensive study on teacher motivation, which could be supplemental for other policies focusing on teacher welfare. "[On policy recommendations], ang isa nga po doon ay career progression at halos lahat ng binanggit niyo po doon ay mayroon nang ginagawa ang Kagawaran. Kami po ay very interested na makita ang pag-aaral ninyo para lalo pa po naming mapaghusay ang ginagawa ng Kagawaran, kung mayroon pa pong pwedeng gawin," Undersecretary for Legislative Affairs Tonisito M.C. Umali, Esq. noted. With the theme "TEACHER MOTIVATION: iTEACH FOR A BETTER FUTURE", the National Teachers' Month Forum was also joined by UP College of Education Dean Dr. Jerome Buenviaje, Philippine Normal University Former President Dr. Esther B. Ogena, and DepEd Division of Iloilo City Master Teacher II Dr. Alma Janagap. The annual Teachers Forum was organized by INNOTECH as part of its contributions to the National Teachers Month Coordinating Council (NTMCC). INNOTECH or the Regional Center for Educational Innovation and Technology, headed by Center Director and former Undersecretary of the Department of Education Dr. Ramon C. Bacani, is part of a regional intergovernmental organization dedicated to developing solutions to address education development concerns in Southeast Asia. INNOTECH has been hosted by the Philippines since 1976 and serves the region through its service areas of research and innovation, training, and knowledge management.  (DepEd)  

DOST rolls out 20 R&D outputs, services for 2020

February 25, 2020

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) has unveiled 20 research and development (R&D) outputs and scientific services that would provide innovative solutions to address some of the country’s existing challenges and limitations in different sectors.  In a media conference held 20 February 2020 at the Hotel Jen in Pasay City, DOST Secretary Fortunato T. de la Peña introduced 20 programs, services, technologies, and innovations developed by DOST agencies and regional offices, together with various industry partners.    "The DOST would like to kick-off the year 2020 by featuring 20 of our programs and technologies that we believe can make a big impact in the lives of our countrymen and push our country to attain socioeconomic growth and development," said DOST Sec. de la Pena.   Called "Big 20 in 2020", the DOST is set to spearhead a series of technology launches and events for the entire year. These technology launches will highlight the practical benefits of various R&D outputs and scientific services, particularly in the areas of agriculture, enterprise technology, space science, genomics, mass transportation, development of smart cities, health and nutrition, disaster preparedness, nuclear technology, among others.   The Secretary emphasized that while technology remains the driving force of any developed economy, it is a must for the Philippines to develop more technologies that can help improve people's lives.    Among the 20 R&D outputs unveiled by the DOST is the possible launch this year of two locally-built nanosatellites, an anti-dengue drug and biomedical devices, a 12-horsepower single cylinder diesel engine, and an automated guideway transit for Bataan.   Also presented was a program called Understanding Lightning and Thunderstorms for Extreme Weather and Monitoring and Information Sharing or ULAT, a comprehensive program on nutrition, and a partnership between the DOST and the Department of National Defense.  There will also be a nationwide tissue-cultured coconut planting day, the maiden voyage of a hybrid trimaran, launching of a “Science for the People” book series, a concert using bamboo musical instruments, the launch of several DOST-enabled smart cities, and an exposition on innovations in disaster risk reduction and response.   Several DOST facilities are lined up to start offering services this year including the country’s first fully automated gamma irradiation facility, a Regional Yarn Production and Innovation Center in Miagao, Iloilo, a tissue-cultured laboratory for ornamental plants in Bulacan, opening of various science discovery centers, the Philippine Genome Center in Visayas, and several laboratories including metrology laboratories in chemistry and biology, simulation packaging testing and green packaging laboratories, and a modular multi-industry innovation facility.    For more information on the DOST’s 20 programs and technologies, visit and view or download the "Big 20 in 2020" technology catalogue.           

Indie-Siyensya extends deadline to Feb 25 

February 12, 2020

Indie-Siyensya extends deadline to Feb 25    Indie-Siyensya judges (L-R) Dr. Ruby Cristobal, Prof. Seymour Sanchez, and Dr. Aimee Lynn Dupo with DOST-SEI Director Josette Biyo and PSHS Western Visayas Campus DirectorDr. Shena Faith Ganela led the program launch of the 4th Indie-Siyensya Filmmaking Competition at the Regional Science and Technology Week Celebration last October 19, 2020 in Iloilo City.  MANILA, Philippines – Science filmmaking competition, Indie-Siyensya, is extending the deadline for submission of film entries to 25 February 2020.  The contest, organized by the Department of Science and Technology-Science Education Institute (DOST-SEI), is open to all Filipinos who may join as individuals or in groups.  There are two categories: the “Youth Category” for high school, tertiary school and out-of-school youth aged 13-20, and the “Open category” for college students, teachers, and S&T professionals.  Entries must be short documentaries which should have a running time of under ten (10) minutes. The films must be relevant to the theme “Communities Beyond the Naked Eye” and should focus on the life and impact of insects, microorganisms, and other tiny living and non-living things.  Indie-Siyensya continues to promote science culture to the youth and the general public using film as a medium. According to DOST-SEI Director Dr. Josette Biyo, it is the agency’s response to the growing demand for excellent science communicators in the country.  “This competition aims to use filmmaking in communicating to the public scientific concepts as well as in highlighting the critical role of S&T in national development to the public and to entice the youth to become part of the growing S&T workforce of the country,” Dr. Biyo said.  Entries will be judged based on the following criteria: Scientific Content, Execution of Idea and Film Techniques. Winners for each category will receive trophies and cash prizes worth 100,000 pesos for the Best Film, 50,000 pesos for the second prize, and 30,000 pesos for the third prize.  One entry will also win the Viewers’ Choice award, which will be given to the entry with the highest number of votes during the film screening period at various DOST events, amounting to 20,000 pesos.   For contest mechanics and other information, interested participants may or (30)    DOST Secretary Fortunato de la Peña graced theprogram launch of the 4th Indie-Siyensya Filmmaking Competition.         Participants of the program launch of the 4th Indie-Siyensya Filmmaking Competition.

PayMaya firms up most rewarding wallet with Balikbayad campaign

February 6, 2020

New ‘BalikBayad’ campaign highlights perks and rewards going cashless Teen Royalties Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla push more rewarding payment experience to Filipinos nationwide   [05 FEBRUARY 2020] Digital financial services leader PayMaya intensifies its campaign to encourage more Filipinos to embrace the cashless lifestyle through the PayMaya app, firming up its leadership as the country’s most rewarding mobile wallet today.   Following the success of its Don’t Pay Cash. PayMaya! campaign in 2019, PayMaya has launched its BalikBayad campaign follow-up initiative featuring top young actors Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla, which highlights the many cashback that users can get whenever they pay with PayMaya.   “The response to our Don’t Pay Cash. PayMaya! campaign last year has been overwhelming, and we’re glad that more Filipinos are discovering how easy, convenient, and ‘joyful’ it is to pay using PayMaya. As we work to bring even more features and services to PayMaya we’re excited to introduce the most rewarding mobile wallet in the Philippines today to even more users nationwide with the BalikBayad (a creative transliteration of “cashback”)  campaign,” said Mark Jason Dee, Head of Growth and Marketing of PayMaya.   In February alone, PayMaya users can get as much as P6,000 in cashback when they participate in the mobile wallet’s various promos for bills payment, buying load, paying for goods and services via QR, online shopping, and sending money, among many others.   PayMaya has also expanded the list of merchants and establishments under its PayMaya Preferred program, which gives additional cashback to users who scan to pay with PayMaya QR on top of the regular cashback that they usually receive.  Among these new partners are Landers Superstore, Mercury Drug, KFC, Robinson’s Department Store, Total Alabang and Valenzuela, and Toys ‘R Us.   These cashback help more Filipinos easily learn and experience the cashless lifestyle with PayMaya, which can help the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) attain its goal of increasing the share of digital transactions in the country up to 30% by the end of 2020.   Bringing back time and convenience   But aside from getting monetary rewards in the form of cashback , users are also able to make more time and experience greater convenience when they use PayMaya.   With PayMaya’s virtual card, for example, users can instantly gain access to a payment card which they can easily use for online shopping and other digital payments for a faster, more efficient payment experience.   PayMaya also recently introduced the ability to transfer money from users’ PayMaya account to other bank accounts, eliminating the need to physically wait in line at banks.   “PayMaya users can definitely look forward to even more features and services that will give them more convenient ways to pay as well as awesome rewards in the months to come,” Dee added.   Instant Rewards   Revel in a more rewarding cashless lifestyle by downloading the PayMaya app for FREE on Google Play or App Store and use the code PAYMAYAKATHNIEL to get a welcome reward. Sign up for an account today so you can take advantage of PayMaya’s great deals, promos and offers. To know more about the BalikBayad campaign and how you can get all of these exciting perks from PayMaya, visit or follow @PayMayaOfficial on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.   PayMaya is the only financial technology company in the country that offers end-to-end payment solutions with the widest on-ground branch network. It is the first to give millions of Filipinos an e-wallet that allows them to pay cashless transactions at any time of the day, anywhere in the world, and from any device. [END]       PAYMAYA SOLIDIFIES ITS POSITION AS THE MOST REWARDING MOBILE WALLET IN THE PHILIPPINES TODAY. Through the launch of its new “BalikBayad” campaign, PayMaya is encouraging more Filipinos to experience the convenience, safety, and rewards of going cashless through the help of iconic young actors Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla. Joining them at the official launch of the campaign were PayMaya Founder and CEO Orlando B. Vea (2nd from left), President Shailesh Baidwan (2nd from right), Head of Marketing and Growth Mark Jason Dee (rightmost) and Head of Brand and Marketing Services Heidi Garayblas (leftmost).     AN ACTION-PACKED “BALIKBAYAD” ADVENTURE WITH FRIENDS AND FOES. Local movie and TV celebrities Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla were officially unveiled as the newest brand ambassadors for PayMaya’s “BalikBayad” campaign through an action-packed video where they battle a common foe—cash. Present during the launch were the actors who played the “villains” in real life, led by veteran actor Rez Cortez (5th from right) along with his motley band of “goons” (seated). Supporting “KathNiel” during the launch, meanwhile, were they real-life friends Dominic Roque (leftmost), Ria Atayde (2nd from right), Juan Miguel Severo (2nd from right), and Joe Vargas (rightmost). Also in the photo are PayMaya executives led by Founder and CEO Orlando Vea (4th from left), President Shailesh Baidwan (4th from right), Head of Marketing and Growth Mark Jason Dee (3rd from right), and Heidi Garayblas (3rd from left).

SEC Revokes Togachat Academy's Registration

February 6, 2020

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has canceled the corporate registration of Togachat Academy Philippines, Inc. for running an unauthorized investment program resembling a Ponzi scheme.   The SEC Enforcement and Investor Protection Department (EIPD) issued the order of revocation on January 23, after finding Togachat to have engaged in investment-solicitation activities by selling or offering securities to the public without the necessary license from the Commission.   In doing so, Togachat committed an ultra vires act prohibited under Section 45 of Batas Pambansa Blg. 68 (The Corporation Code of the Philippines) now Section 44 of Republic Act No. 11232 (The Revised Corporation Code of the Philippines), the EIPD ruled.   The company’s activities also constituted serious misrepresentation as to what it can do to the great prejudice or damage to the general public, a ground for the revocation of a corporation’s certificate of registration under Presidential Decree No. 902-A, according to the EIPD.   The SEC initially issued on July 17, 2019 an advisory warning the public against investing in Togachat. It then issued on December 17, 2019 a cease and desist order against the company, its officers, directors, representatives, salespersons, agents and any and all persons claiming and acting for and in their behalf.   Under its investment program, Togachat entices the public to avail of a package of Toga Credits, which investors may purportedly use to buy shares in Toga Limited upon its supposed listing on Nasdaq.   The company offers seven packages worth $100 to $100,000 in exchange for 200 to 500,000 Toga Credits. Investors may pay for a package in US dollars or the peso equivalent.   Togachat encourages a member to recruit another investor by giving him/her Toga Credits equivalent to 50% of what the new investor would avail of. Members may earn additional Toga Credits from pairing bonuses.   The company’s agents also claim that Toga stocks are traded on Toga Exchange, an internal platform of Toga Limited where the buying and selling of stocks occur.     The scheme falls within the definition of securities, particularly investment contracts, as defined under Republic Act No. 8799, or the Securities Regulation Code (SRC), according to the EIPD.   Section 3.1 of the SRC defines securities as “shares, participation or interest in a corporation or in a commercial enterprise or profit-making venture and evidenced by a certificate, contract, instrument, whether written or electronic in character.”   A security may take the form of an investment contract, defined under Rule 26.3.5 of the 2015 Implementing Rules and Regulations of the SRC as “a contract, transaction or scheme whereby a person invests his money in a common enterprise and is led to expect profits primarily from the efforts of others.”   “Said investment contract, being in the nature of securities, is required under Section 8 of the SRC to be registered before being offered or sold to the general public,” the EIPD noted.   However, records of the SEC show that no application for the registration of securities has been filed by Togachat with the Commission.   “More so, the act of respondent Togachat in allowing its members to discuss, orient and make the public familiar with its schemes and inviting them to join the company through its Facebook account posts constitutes public offering,” the EIPD noted.   In addition, the investment scheme of Togachat resembled a Ponzi scheme, an investment program that offers impossibly high returns and pays these returns to early investors out of the capital contributed by later investors, according to the EIPD.   “WHEREFORE, for violation of Section 45 of the Corporation Code of the Philippines [now, Section 44 of the Revised Corporation Code (R.A. No. 11232)] in relation to Sections 8.1 and 28.1 of the Securities Regulation Code and Section 6(i)(2) of P.D. 902-A, the corporate registration or Certificate of Incorporation/Registration of TOGACHAT ACADEMY PHILIPPINES, Inc. is hereby revoked,” the EIPD ordered. 


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