Today's Top Stories

  • Another milestone achieved for thriving 'Mindanaoan' green developer

    Another milestone achieved for thriving 'Mindanaoan' green developer

    What had started as an operation with a naked desk in the offices of Pueblo de Oro Development Corporation in Uptown Cagayan de Oro has now finally reached its milestone of inaugurating its own offices in the newly built Primavera City tower in Phase 1, just beside SM City in Pueblo de Oro Business Park, Uptown CDO.      When I was first invited to visit Cagayan de Oro in 2011 I was welcomed in a small container office just next to the long completed Primavera Residences. There was just a desk, a cabinet, and a decorative plant next to a model unit manned by Ms. Gladys Echano, the most loyal and long-lasting of all employees and currently the Sales and Marketing Director of the company. Nobody would have imagined Italpinas to grow so fast and list at the PSE after only 6 years into their existence.      Architect Romolo Nati was convinced about Uptown CdO from the very beginning and had a vision that has been materializing step by step, project after project. The new offices feature a modern and spacious design. The most successful and regarded developer of Cagayan de Oro, many would say, because when there was still no condominium building in town, IDC launched their first project, amidst a mixture of enthusiasm and unmissable critics. As a fierce sustainability and green building advocate, Architect Nati brought his experience of Italian green architecture and design and applied it here in the Philippines. The office blessing was somehow adapted to the current circumstances where larger gatherings are still not allowed but it was nevertheless a festive occasion with an enthusiastic atmosphere.      Employees, key stakeholders, and some loyal investors gathered accompanied by the priest, who conveniently spoke Italian due to the 3 years he spent in Italy. The majestic building, which is apparently soon for turnover to the many buyers, had a greatly decorated and elegant lobby, including the unmissable Christmas tree, a Filipino classic for September. Compared to Primavera Residences, the developer's a finished project that lays just around the corner, this structure and its interior details seem a level above, lush and luxurious. Now I understand what Architect Nati means when he asserts at times that "we learned from the experience of our first project and always try to do better".      So, talking about the offices on the second floor, they seem to be a sort of call center with its many decks and large spaces. It reveals maybe the developer's plan and intention to expand their operations and probably add more projects. Just a guess, but probably not too far-fetched. Aside from the large space for the regular employees, I could see also various enclosed office spaces, most likely for the management. Maybe 6 or 7 with furnished office interiors, a pantry, a conference or board room, and 2 smaller meeting rooms.      All in all a top-of-the-notch office that could impress many in Northern Mindanao as well as in Makati. This is also evidence that the provinces are growing and more companies are settling out of Metro Manila and Metro Cebu. Now it’s time for Metro Cagayan de Oro to thrive and conquer the headlines. Italpinas has certainly chosen their location very well as Uptown Cdo is widely considered the BGC of Cagayan de Oro where in fact the price of the land has more than quintupled over the past 10 years. The sales office for Primavera City Phase 2 is located on the ground floor of the building, clearly visible from P. N. Roa Boulevard, amidst other retail spaces that will soon be populated by shops and restaurants.      A great location to attract more curious buyers to avail of the opportunity to enjoy the true condo lifestyle in this green, Edge certified building with an incredible infinity pool and a view from the top.

    September 27, 2021

    READ MORE
  • Cebu Pacific all set for domestic travel recovery in Q4

    Cebu Pacific all set for domestic travel recovery in Q4

    Supports Department of Tourism push for local tourism and responsible travel   Cebu Pacific (PSE: CEB) will increase its flights in October to tourism havens Siargao, Boracay, and Bohol as the country’s leading airline push for domestic travel recovery, following the easing of quarantine restrictions.       In October, the airline will expand its flights to Siargao from five times to six times weekly; raise its frequencies to Boracay from four to five times daily; and bump up flights to Bohol from nine to 10 times weekly.      “We believe reopening domestic travel and the promotion of responsible travel is critical to rebuilding the trust and travel confidence in the industry,” said Candice Iyog, Vice President for Marketing and Customer Experience at Cebu Pacific.      “We also know that the situation continues to be fluid, that is why we make it a priority to always make travel convenient for everyJuan, on top of providing the much-needed flexibility during this time,” added Iyog.       For international destinations, Cebu Pacific will also resume its daily flights to Dubai on September 30. For Japan, Cebu Pacific will fly twice weekly to Nagoya starting October 2, and Osaka on October 4; and resume Fukuoka on November 5. Cebu Pacific will restart its flights to Kuala Lumpur on October 4.      To encourage everyJuan to travel safely and affordably, CEB has an ongoing PHP 99 seat sale until September 26, to and from key cities like Cagayan de Oro, Cebu, Davao, Dipolog, Iloilo, and a lot more. Travel period began on September 17, and may be used to book flights up to June 30, 2022.       CEB continues to offer the most flexible options with unlimited rebooking available for everyJuan, following the permanent removal of change fees in March 2021.  Passengers are encouraged to travel responsibly and ensure their requirements are complete prior to proceeding to the Airport. Guests may refer to the list of travel requirements per destination via https://bit.ly/CEBTravel-Docs.      CEB has been rated 7/7 stars by airlineratings.com for its COVID-19 compliance as it continues to implement a multi-layered approach to safety, in accordance with global aviation standards. These include daily extensive cleaning and disinfection protocols for all aircraft and facilities, antigen testing before duty for all frontliners and crew members, and contactless flight procedures. These are all in accordance with global best practices and the highest safety standards.  The aircraft are equipped with hospital-grade HEPA air filters, keeping viruses at bay.      CEB operates the widest domestic network in the Philippines covering 32 destinations, on top of its eight (8) international destinations. Its 73-strong fleet, one of the youngest in the world, includes two (2) dedicated ATR freighters and one (1) A330 freighter.

    September 27, 2021

    READ MORE
  • Labor sector hailed for eco growth in NorMin

    Labor sector hailed for eco growth in NorMin

    THE Cagayan de Oro city government on Friday acknowledged the contribution of laborers working either locally or overseas in the growth of not only the local economy in Northern Mindanao but also in the country. City Mayor Oscar Moreno, in a speech during the event organized by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), said the labor sector is very important to national growth and prosperity.      "We cannot imagine as a country growing without the strong labor sector," he said.      DOLE Sec. Silvestre Bello III led the turnover of P6,540,000 worth of programs and assistance to 1,358 beneficiaries in this city. This was part of the two-day aid distribution conducted by the agency throughout the Northern Mindanao Region.      Moreno extended his gratitude to DOLE, through Bello, saying he was thankful for the latter's leadership in the agency as well as for his love not just for Northern Mindanao but the whole island of Mindanao.      In the said program, 15 individuals received bicycles for the BikeCINATION Project in this city, which is a special project under the DOLE Integrated Livelihood Program (DILP) to incentivize workers who have completed the doses of Covid-19 vaccines and cushion the impact of the pandemic to the workers in the informal economy.      Another 12 individuals from the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) sector received a home-based salon starter kit amounting to P250,000.      For the Kabuhayan Program, eight groups in the city received aid from DOLE Region 10 of about P250,000 per group. The groups handle food processing business, massage clinic, convenience store, dressmaking business, and fishing.      A total of 226 fire victims in the city also received cash assistance that amounted to P824,900.      For the assistance of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) helped two OFW associations through the Tulong Puso Program and two OFWs via Balik Pinay Balik Hanapbuhay where each OFW received P20,000 cash assistance.      Scholarships were also provided to two college-level dependents of active member OFWs whose employment were affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. Each received P10,000 cash assistance. Another three students earned P10,000 each for the OFW Dependent Scholarship Program.      Meanwhile, in one of the events on Thursday in Iligan City, Bello said the government has exerted efforts to provide livelihood and aid to informal workers affected by the pandemic, especially those beneficiaries under the Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged or Displaced Workers (Tupad) Program.      "We give jobs to all informal workers who have lost their businesses, lost their jobs due to the pandemic. That includes balut vendors, sidewalk vendors, tricycle drivers, laundress, and masseurs. We give them jobs and we will give them a salary," he said in his speech.      Under the Tupad program, beneficiaries are provided with temporary employment that runs between 10 and 30 days, and paid at the prevailing daily minimum wage in their respective areas.      One of the beneficiaries was Bilma Pagsidan, who hails from Barangay Mandulog, said the financial assistance will help her family buy medicines and food.      "I am thankful to DOLE as this will help me a lot especially now that we are in a pandemic. What we will receive, we can spend for our family so we can buy rice, medicines, and viands. I am very happy for this Tupad," she said. (PNA)

    September 27, 2021

    READ MORE
  • Asian countries urged to adopt tobacco harm reduction strategies

    Asian countries urged to adopt tobacco harm reduction strategies

    Policy experts urged Asian countries to follow the path of Japan, New Zealand and the UK in adopting tobacco harm reduction (THR) strategies to deal with the smoking epidemic, saying it is a very good example of how to cut smoking prevalence.       THR is a public health strategy to mitigate cigarette related harm by using less harmful alternatives like e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products (HTPs).      Among the HTPs is IQOS, which heats without burning tobacco-filled sticks wrapped in paper called HEETS to release a water-based aerosol. IQOS does not burn tobacco and produces no smoke and no ash unlike cigarettes. It was made available last year for adults 21 years old and above in the pilot area of Metro Manila. The online store IQOS.com now also covers delivery of the device and heat sticks to Davao City, General Santos City, Palomok, Cagayan de Oro City, Opol, El Salvador, Tagoloan and Villanueva in Misamis Oriental.      THR is regarded as an international best practice in public health strategy for Asian countries that aim to reduce smoking rate, said academicians and experts who scrutinized the merits of innovative approaches during the recent Property Rights Alliance policy webinar where the white paper, “International Best Practices for Tobacco and Nicotine Public Policy” was also presented.      The Property Rights Alliance is an international research and advocacy organization founded in 2005 to promote innovation, free-market intellectual property rights and free trade.      Prof. Adam Hoffer and Dr. Carmelo Ferlito, authors of the white paper tackled the tobacco nicotine policy in Asia, focusing on Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, South Korea and Japan to illustrate that adhering to international best practices will achieve tobacco harm reduction and smoking cessation.      The paper show that failure to adopt THR policies negatively affects public health and disproportionately targets those in low- to middle-income countries. Nearly 8 million people die from tobacco-related use each year, and 80 percent of the more than 1 billion tobacco smokers are from developing countries.      A keynote speaker, Dato’ Sri Idris Jala, a former Malaysian official and one of the leading experts in innovation processing in Asia, said THR offers Asian countries an opportunity to reduce smoking rate.      He said countries like Malaysia are not expected to meet their targets to reduce smoking rate with the current restrictions and taxation policies. On the other hand, the use of electronic nicotine delivery system or vapes and HTPs had promising results—with 60 percent to 70 percent of smokers trying them eventually quitting smoking.      "There is a lot of research that showed that if you combust a particular cigarette, about 10,000 harmful chemicals are emitted, but if you use a heated tobacco product, 90 percent of those harmful chemicals are eliminated. So, there is a lot of other research that show that you can look for alternatives that are less harmful. So therefore, we need to examine very closely, a less harmful strategy and approach going forward," he said.      He said while other countries continue to embrace the idealist or black-and-white approach, others have become more successful in reducing smoking rates through the pragmatist approach.  "These countries simply take the approach that if you don't smoke, don't start. If you smoke, stop. But if you can't stop, shift to a less harmful alternative product. This is called a pragmatist approach," he said.      "So you can see clearly, if you adopt a less harmful approach, a more pragmatist approach to it, you will see much greater success at doing it," said Jala.      "The harm reduction strategy is a very good example of how to reduce tobacco prevalence. Secondly, you need to have differentiated regulations for the less harmful alternatives to smoking, which is called non-combustible nicotine products.  So if we take this approach, I am convinced that we will follow the path of Japan, New Zealand, and also the UK," he said, referring to countries that support the use of less harmful alternatives to combustible cigarettes.      The white paper cites the international best practices for tobacco policy, including three principles: 1) change should be incentivized through rewards, not restrictions like tariffs and taxes; 2) policy should focus on decreasing usage of harmful, combustible products like cigars and cigarettes rather than less harmful products like heated tobacco and electronic cigarettes; and 3) efforts to decrease tobacco usage should nurture innovation to develop safer, better products than before and propel consumer choice.      It says that restrictive policies had disastrous consequences as seen in Indonesia, the second-largest global cigarette market. When the Ministry of Finance imposed a maximum excise tax rate of 57 percent on e-cigarettes, this resulted in increased use of cigarettes among the youth.      The paper concludes that tobacco-induced taxes disproportionally affect those of lower socioeconomic status and taxes increase activity in the black market.  In Malaysia, for example, black market sales of tobacco products increased from 24 percent in 2008 to 65 percent in 2019, making the country the world’s largest black market for tobacco in terms of prevalence.      “The illicit trade of cigarettes is dangerous given these products are likely to be of bad quality and can hurt or even kill consumers. Likewise, sales of illicit and counterfeit products benefit criminal syndicate groups,” it says.      Meanwhile, the Philippines has implemented differential excise taxes between tobacco products and e-cigarettes. Taxes on 20-pack cigarettes will increase by P5 each year until 2023, while the tax levy on heated tobacco will only increase by P2.50 a year. “This policy is in line with the harm-reduction framework,” the paper says.      The paper recognizes Japan as the leader for former smokers switching to tobacco alternatives, with 25 percent of the nation’s market doing so. This rate is attributed to differential excise taxes between cigarettes and heated tobacco products. In South Korea, e-cigarettes use is declining because the government treats electronic cigarettes like conventional cigarettes. E-cigarette usage fell from 4.7 percent in 2011 to 4 percent in 2015 as a result of the heavy taxation policies on quit aids.      “Other countries in East Asia and ASEAN have not adhered to the international best practices approach. E-cigarettes and heated tobacco products are either banned or not regulated,” the paper says.

    September 26, 2021

    READ MORE

Cebu Pacific all set for domestic travel recovery in Q4

September 27, 2021

Corporate

By: , Supports Department of Tourism push for local tourism and responsible travel   Cebu Pacific (PSE: CEB) will increase its flights in October to tourism havens Siargao, Boracay, and Bohol as the country’s leading airline push for domestic travel recovery, following the easing of quarantine restrictions.       In October, the airline will expand its flights to Siargao from five times to six times weekly; raise its frequencies to Boracay from four to five times daily; and bump up flights to Bohol from nine to 10 times weekly.      “We believe reopening domestic travel and the promotion of responsible travel is critical to rebuilding the trust and travel confidence in the industry,” said Candice Iyog, Vice President for Marketing and Customer Experience at Cebu Pacific.      “We also know that the situation continues to be fluid, that is why we make it a priority to always make travel convenient for everyJuan, on top of providing the much-needed flexibility during this time,” added Iyog.       For international destinations, Cebu Pacific will also resume its daily flights to Dubai on September 30. For Japan, Cebu Pacific will fly twice weekly to Nagoya starting October 2, and Osaka on October 4; and resume Fukuoka on November 5. Cebu Pacific will restart its flights to Kuala Lumpur on October 4.      To encourage everyJuan to travel safely and affordably, CEB has an ongoing PHP 99 seat sale until September 26, to and from key cities like Cagayan de Oro, Cebu, Davao, Dipolog, Iloilo, and a lot more. Travel period began on September 17, and may be used to book flights up to June 30, 2022.       CEB continues to offer the most flexible options with unlimited rebooking available for everyJuan, following the permanent removal of change fees in March 2021.  Passengers are encouraged to travel responsibly and ensure their requirements are complete prior to proceeding to the Airport. Guests may refer to the list of travel requirements per destination via https://bit.ly/CEBTravel-Docs.      CEB has been rated 7/7 stars by airlineratings.com for its COVID-19 compliance as it continues to implement a multi-layered approach to safety, in accordance with global aviation standards. These include daily extensive cleaning and disinfection protocols for all aircraft and facilities, antigen testing before duty for all frontliners and crew members, and contactless flight procedures. These are all in accordance with global best practices and the highest safety standards.  The aircraft are equipped with hospital-grade HEPA air filters, keeping viruses at bay.      CEB operates the widest domestic network in the Philippines covering 32 destinations, on top of its eight (8) international destinations. Its 73-strong fleet, one of the youngest in the world, includes two (2) dedicated ATR freighters and one (1) A330 freighter.

read more

9th Globe Media Excellence Awards launched to honor VisMin journalists, content creators

September 27, 2021

Corporate

By: , Globe continues to celebrate and promote press freedom through the 9th Globe Media Excellence Awards (GMEA). GMEA recognizes media practitioners and content creators from Visayas and Mindanao who excelled in their field of work amid the challenges posed by the global health crisis.      The theme for this year is Padayon Digital—a play on the Visayan word, padayon, which means to continue. It is a tribute to the media’s diligence in moving forward to digital spaces and a symbol of Globe's consistent support to the Visayas and Mindanao press. Support is crucial in the new normal and GMEA brings that message across by spotlighting stories that uplift lives and communities.        “We’re proud to host the Globe Media Excellence Awards, now in our ninth year, to recognize the outstanding work of the VisMin press. Amid the ongoing pandemic, the roles of media, bloggers and social media influencers have been most crucial in keeping the public credibly informed and have played a part in helping people see through the health crisis,” said Yoly Crisanto, Globe Chief Sustainability Officer and Senior VP for Corporate Communications.      There will be nine awards for digital and print, two for broadcast, and three special awards.  All entries must be anchored on at least one of four Globe sustainability pillars: Care for Environment, Positive Societal Impact, Care for People, and Digital Nation, in line with Globe's commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).      Categories for digital and print are Explanatory / Investigative Story of the Year, News Report of the Year, Column of the Year, Explanatory / Investigative Video Story of the Year for Digital, Photo of the Year for Digital, Breaking News of the Year for Digital, Social Media Advocacy of the Year for Digital, and Digital Storytelling (Best Blog Post and Best Social Media Video).      For broadcast, the categories are News Report of the Year for Radio and News Report of the Year for TV.  The special awards are Newsmaker of the Year, Editor of the Year, and #KwentoNgTagumpay: Uplifting Lives Through Digital Technology.  This last award recognizes inspiring stories of triumph amid adversities of communities and individuals.      Globe first launched its Media Excellence Awards in 2012 to encourage excellence among traditional media organizations and, later on, digital media practitioners to create positive societal changes.  GMEA 2021 covers Bacolod, Cebu, Tacloban, Bohol, Dumaguete, and Iloilo in Visayas and Cagayan de Oro, Davao, General Santos, Iligan, Bukidnon, and Zamboanga in Mindanao.      Cash prizes await winners of each category. Entries may be in English, Bisaya, Hiligaynon, or Chavacano.  The deadline for submission is December 31, 2021.      To know more about the Globe Media Excellence Awards, visit https://www.globe.com.ph/globe-media-excellence-awards

read more

Support companies that advocate recycling: DTI

September 27, 2021

Corporate

By: , THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is encouraging consumers to patronize businesses that are promoting sustainability like reduced use of plastic products for packaging.      In a webinar on Friday, Consumer Policy and Advocacy Bureau Director Melquiades Marcus Valdez II said consumers must take action and demand for more sustainable alternatives from businesses and government.      “The consumers can re-evaluate their consumption habits to minimize plastic use (and) refuse unnecessary plastic whenever possible,” Valdez said. “We must reduce plastic waste towards sustainability consumption and production.”      Private sector stakeholders have partnered with DTI in promoting sustainable products and businesses among consumers.      One wellness shop and drug store vowed to reduce the use of plastic in their packaging by 50,000 kilogram of plastic bottles or equivalent to 2.5 million bottles in a year.      The shop said it is the company’s vision to eliminate unnecessary packaging, minimize use of recycled plastic at 20 percent, and promote recyclable and reusable packaging. (PNA)

read more

Cebu Landmasters brings back virtual homefest with exclusive deals and promos for homebuyers

August 13, 2021

Corporate

By: , Exclusive promos and incentives await buyers who want to embrace their dream homes as leading developer in VisMin Cebu Landmasters, Inc. (CLI) is set to launch the second edition of its much-anticipated CLI Homefest from August 18 to October 18.      After a successful run early this year, the CLI Homefest returns for the second time around to help future homeowners avail of their dream homes by enjoying extraordinary perks and comfortable payment terms.      The CLI Homefest is a virtual sales event that showcases the listed company’s safe and secure residential developments that are up for grabs in all of its 15 key cities in Visayas and Mindanao. This includes projects currently available in CLI’s inventory, featuring three of its coveted residential segments, Casa Mira, Garden Series, and Premier Masters.      Participating residential brands across Vismin include Casa Mira, Velmiro Heights, One Paragon Place, Terranza Residences, Mandtra Residences, One Astra Place, Base Line Prestige, Citadines Paragon Davao and 38 Park Avenue.      CLI further elevates this buyer journey with an exclusive buyer-seller raffle promo that offers customers and partner sellers with an array of incentives for every reserved unit, such as hotel accommodations, appliances, gadgets, gift certificates and more.      Buyers who reserve a unit during the homefest are entitled to promo discounts on selected projects and a P50,000 worth of appliance gift certificate, which will be given upon turnover of the unit. Some projects also offer stretched equity payment of up to 48 months to ensure buyers enjoy comfortable payment terms amid the pandemic.      Qualified for the raffle and promo are closed reservations made from August 18 to October 18, 2021.      “Our sales performance has always been outstanding and this is clearly driven by a sustained housing demand in VisMin. Cebu Landmasters will continue to satisfy this need by making our developments conveniently accessible to our buyers and partner sellers,” says CLI Vice-president for Sales, Rose Yulo.      Cebu Landmasters recently achieved record high reservation sales of P8.5 billion in the first half of the year, a 14 percent increase from the previous year. In addition, the company remains on target to help fill the Vismin housing backlog in the Philippines, as reported by Leechiu Property Consultants.      The CLI homefest is one of the various initiatives of CLI, as it amplifies its digital presence to streamline growing buyer inquiries by digitizing end-to-end transactions through various channels.      “Through the CLI Homefest, it’s also high time we give back to our patrons, especially those who are looking for safe and secure homes in this time of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Yulo.      To know more about the CLI Homefest, visit the Cebu Landmasters Facebook page at www.facebook.com/cebulandmastersOFFICIAL

read more

SSS members get P2.6-B unemployment insurance benefits

September 27, 2021

Banking & Finance

By: , THE Social Security System (SSS) has so far provided about 196,000 members of its pension fund a total of PHP2.62 billion in unemployment insurance benefits, most of it released during the pandemic.      Finance Secretary and Social Security Commission (SSC) chairman Carlos Dominguez III said PHP2.35 billion or 90 percent of the cash grants under the SSS unemployment insurance benefit (UIB) program were released during the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic period from March 2020 to June 2021.       In his letter to the Senate, Dominguez said 173,791 out of the total of 196,021 SSS members who availed of the UIB received them during the pandemic period as of June this year.       “Implemented effective March 2019, the UIB program is among the key institutional responses of the SSS to the Covid-19 pandemic for its affected members since March 2020. From March 2020 until June 2021, the SSS has paid out P2,354.33 million in UIB, and this has benefitted 173,791 members,” Dominguez said in his letter addressed to Senate President Vicente Sotto III.       His letter was in response to the query of Senator Grace Poe Llamanzares, one of the vice chairpersons of the Senate finance committee, regarding the provision of financial assistance to unemployed workers during the Covid-19 pandemic.       The inquiry was made during the Sept. 9 briefing by the Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC) on the proposed National Expenditure Program (NEP) for 2022 to the Senate finance committee chaired by Sen. Sonny Angara.       Angara and Poe were furnished copies of Dominguez’s letter.       Under the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of Republic Act (RA) 11199 or the Social Security Act of 2018, Dominguez said the UIB shall be granted provided that the separation or involuntary unemployment of the members was a result of any of, but not limited to, authorized causes of termination of employee, including redundancy, retrenchment/downsizing, and closure/cessation of operation; just causes for ending employment relationship; economic downturn; natural or human-induced calamities/disasters; and other analogous cases.        Amid the pandemic, the SSS has made it easier and more convenient for members to apply for UIB claims by allowing applications online through the My.SSS member portal in the SSS website, Dominguez said.       The SSS also started using electronic payment systems in releasing the UIB and other benefit claims in line with Dominguez’s instructions for the pension fund to digitize its system to speed up the grant of loans and benefits to its members.       Under Section 14-B of RA 11199, a member who is not over 60 years of age and who has paid at least 36 months of contributions, of which 12 should be within the 18-month period immediately preceding the involuntary unemployment or separation, shall be paid benefits in the form of monthly cash payments equivalent to half of his or her average monthly salary credit for a maximum of two months.       As an example, Dominguez said that if a member’s average monthly salary credit (AMSC) is at P16,000, he or she may receive a two-month UIB cash benefit amounting to P16,000 (or P8,000 for each month), subject further to eligibility conditions and submission of supporting documents, including the certification from the Department of Labor and Employment on the employee’s involuntary separation.      Under the law, an employee who is involuntarily unemployed can only claim the UIB once every three years.        In case of the concurrence of two or more compensable contingencies, RA 11199 states that only the highest benefit shall be paid, subject to the rules and regulations that the SSC may prescribe. (PR)

read more

OFW remittances seen to rise as more economies reopen

September 27, 2021

Banking & Finance

By: , GAINS in the vaccination program of countries where overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) are, along with economic recovery around the world, are expected to further boost remittance growth in the Philippines.       The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) on Wednesday reported a 2.6-percent year-on-year growth of remittances last July to $3.167 billion, while year-to-date expansion stood at 6 percent to $19.783 billion.       In a report, ING Bank Manila senior economist Nicholas Mapa said last July’s remittances growth is surprising and “impressive given that this was the highest non-December level recorded with the funds sent home in July matching that which is usually sent home during the Christmas season.”       “Secondly, the higher dollar amount also surprised us as OFs (overseas Filipinos) had in the past opted to send home less remittances whenever the peso tends to weaken as exchange rate dynamics help beneficiaries cover peso needs with less dollars sent home,” he said.       The local currency closed at the 49-level on Wednesday, but it has weakened to the 50-level these past days on growth concerns due to the pandemic, among others.       “In the coming months, we can expect remittance flows to sustain their upward trajectory with OFs still finding a way to help support domestic consumption,” Mapa said.      He said with job losses remaining up and the economy still weak, OF remittances is expected to accelerate to pick up the slack and boost local spending.       “Sustained OF remittance flows coupled with the recovery in BPO (business process outsourcing) receipts will help offset the widening trade deficit and limit the impact on the country’s current account,” he added.       Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) chief economist Michael Ricafort believes that with some OFW-host countries reaching or at near community-level protection against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), demand for OFWs and remittances growth will increase further.      Ricafort said remittances being sent to the Philippines have been “somewhat defying the pandemic” as a lot of OFWs are economic and medical front-liners, which he described “a sign of resilience/bright spot/greenshoots.”      He said continued reopening of more economies, especially the hard-hit sectors like leisure, travel, and tourism, would require more workers, thus a plus for OFWs.      “Continued growth in OFW remittances would support recovery in consumer spending, which accounts for nearly 70 percent of the economy, as well as supporting recovery of the country's GDP (gross domestic product), as consistently seen in 2Q (second quarter) 2021,” he said.      The country’s balance of payment (BOP) position and gross international reserves (GIR) are also expected to benefit from the sustained resiliency of OFW remittances.       However, Ricafort said risks remain on account of more contagious Delta and Lambda Covid-19 variants, among others. (PNA)

read more

Credit 101: Tala shares smart ways to handle your loans

September 20, 2021

Banking & Finance

By: , Using loans for budgeting daily expenses, business and other investments can sound challenging, especially when not used to it. But credit, when handled smartly, can in fact be helpful when managing expenses or building up a growing credit score. The question is: How smart are you at handling your own loans and finances?      As a member of the FinTech Alliance committed to fair and ethical lending, Tala shares four habit-forming tips to help you get a grasp of your loans and finances:       •    Borrow only what you need. Plan for your loan and assess what you need the credit for. Make sure to separate wants and needs. The Tala app can lend you money, whether it is for tuition fees, a new device for work, or even the week’s groceries. Apply and get a decision in minutes to loans from PHP1000 to PHP 15,000 with reasonable interest rates at either 11.4% or 15.2% depending on the repayment period.       •    Assess how much you can pay. Check how much you can pay back in a timely manner by keeping track of your cash flow or how much funds are coming into and out of your finances. Sources of income such as work, business, and side hustles should be considered.      •    Use the right tools to track your finances. Applying for loans is made easy with the right tools. To make matters more simple, keeping a budget tracker can help you make sure that you not only get to set aside money for expenses like timely loan repayments, but that you avoid overspending too. When it comes to paying on time, simply check the Tala app to easily view loan deadlines.      •    Borrow money conveniently and grow with a trusted financial partner. With the Tala app, you only need an Android smartphone and one valid ID. First-time users of the app can quickly borrow anywhere from Php 1,000 to Php 2,000. By consistently making loan payments on time, you can then eventually borrow up to Php 15,000. These loans can be cashed out in as little as 24 hours through padala center locations nationwide including 7-Eleven, Cebuana, M Lhuillier, and even through one’s own bank account or through the Coins.ph.Tala also provides free financial education, offering access to robust libraries of tailored educational content and in-person & online communities to help Tala users connect and learn from each other.      Tala loans empower you with flexible financial access and the opportunity for growth. Whether you rely on Tala on a regular basis to supplement your income or you simply want to increase your access to credit to prepare for a rainy day, you can count on Tala to help you build financial security and agency.      “At Tala, we aim to help our fellow Filipinos manage their daily expenses and finances. Through the app, we hope they can get the loan they need securely in their time of need. We’re not a simple loan provider – we strive to be your financial partner and help guide you through the ups and downs of managing your finances” says Angelo Madrid, Managing Director of Tala PH.      Tala, a global financial technology company trusted by 6 million worldwide in enabling and accelerating financial health, expanded to the Philippines in 2017 and now has 1.6 million Filipino customers. To start your journey, visit the Google Play Store now to download the app and learn why it has over 1 million 5-star reviews globally by clicking https://app.adjust.com/amz13dt.

read more

Goal to have 70% of adult Filipinos with bank accounts doable

September 20, 2021

Banking & Finance

By: , DOING financial transactions amid the pandemic-related movement restrictions boosts opportunities for the central bank to hit its 70-percent target in the number of adult Filipinos with bank accounts by 2023.      In a virtual briefing on Thursday, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Benjamin Diokno said registration for the national identification (ID) or the Philippine Identification System (PhilSys), which requires registrants to have bank accounts, as well as the whole-of-government approach in addressing issues on financial inclusion, are pluses to the achievement of this goal.       “I’m optimistic that the 70 percent target for 2023 is doable for (these) three reasons,” he said.      Based on the BSP’s financial inclusion survey in 2019, only around 29 percent of Filipino adults had bank accounts.       Diokno attributed the big jump in the number of account ownership last year to the digitalization of financial transactions.       He said basic deposit accounts (BDA) last year rose by 65 percent, or from 4 million to 6.6 million, while electronic money (e-money) grew by 94 percent from 17.9 million to 34.7 million during the same period.       “We use BDA and e-money accounts as proxy indicators given that these types of accounts are typically opened by those who were previously unbanked,” he added.       The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) has teamed up with the state-owned Land Bank of the Philippines (Landbank) for account enrollment of those applying for national ID who do not have bank accounts.       Diokno said around 5.3 million Filipinos have opened bank accounts in line with the national ID registration.      He added the distribution of the government’s pandemic-related cash aid also helped increase the number of e-money accounts by around 4.5 million.       Signed into law by President Rodrigo Duterte in August 2018, Republic Act 11055, or the Philippine Identification System Act, aims to establish a single national ID for all Filipinos and resident aliens.       The national ID shall be a valid proof of identity that shall be a means of simplifying public and private transactions, enrolment in schools, and the opening of bank accounts.      It will also boost efficiency, especially in dealing with government services where people will only need to present the PhilID during transactions. (PNA)

read more

GSIS to insure over 6,000 PhilPost personnel

June 28, 2021

Economy

By: , Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) President and General Manager Rolando Ledesma Macasaet recently announced that the pension fund will provide insurance coverage to 6,600 Philippine Postal Corporation (PhilPost) personnel including permanent and contractual employees and postmen nationwide.      "Ang insurance policy na ibibigay ng GSIS sa Philpost personnel ay may kasamang accidental death o dismemberment, medical reimbursement, at burial assistance. Isang malaking kaginhawahan sa panig ng manggagawa ang pakikipagtulungan ng Philpost sa GSIS upang mabigyan sila ng insurance lalo na ngayong panahon ng pandemya. Mapapanatag ang kalooban nila dahil may tutulong na sa kanilang pamilya kung sakaling may mangyari sa kanila,”   Macasaet said.      "COVID-19 has put the world at a standstill, running for more than a year now. Ngunit Sa kabila ng mga pagsubok na dumarating, patuloy po ang aming paglilingkod at  paghahatid ng serbisyo nang may malasakit. Nandyan din po ang magigiting na kartero at kawani ng Post Office handang tumugon," PhilPost Postmaster General and Chief Executive Officer Norman Fulgencio said.      PhilPost has allotted a budget of Php616,000 for the insurance coverage. It is the second agency that partnered with GSIS to insure their personnel. Last June 14, the Manila City Government approved a Php7.5 million insurance coverage to around 45,000 barangay officials, including tanods and chairpersons of the Sangguniang Kabataan.      At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in April 2020, GSIS launched the Bayanihan Fund for Frontliners. Under the program, the family of  public frontliners who would succumb to COVID-19 are entitled to  an additional Php500,000 in insurance benefits over and above their life insurance benefits as GSIS members.

read more

SMC to buy 4 million kilos of surplus corn from DA, to utilize its Petron stations as outlets for farm produce

April 26, 2020

Economy

By: , San Miguel Corporation (SMC) is teaming up with the Department of Agriculture (DA) to mass purchase agricultural produce, starting with four million kilos of surplus corn, to provide a lifeline to farmers and help secure the country’s food supply in the midst of COVID-19.     The surplus corn is enough to produce feeds for over 7 million live broilers that can eventually feed 4 million families in one day.     SMC is also in talks with the DA to utilize strategic Petron stations nationwide as outlets for government’s “Kadiwa ni Ani at Kita” rolling store program, to make farm produce such as fruits and vegetables accessible to consumers. The program is the market system project of the DA that links local farmers to consumers to ensure the sale of agricultural produce at reasonable prices.     “Through this program with the Agricultural department, we will be able to keep our farmers afloat as we navigate these uncertain times. At the same time, we also help people stay safe, healthy and nourished by providing them a convenient way to buy fresh fruits and vegetables from our local farmers,” SMC president and COO Ramon S. Ang said.     Petron stations that will be initially tapped as venues for Kadiwa stores are Filinvest, Dasmarinas/Edsa and Katipunan/La Vista. The company said that more gas stations will be added in the coming days. Currently, SMC’s Petron stations also serve as sites for SMC’s Manukang Bayan refrigerated vans, which bring fresh chicken and other refrigerated and canned meats closer to consumers.     He thanked the DA for offering its network of corn and cassava farmers to supply its San Miguel Foods, Inc. with raw materials for continuous food production.     “We thank the DA for helping us identify possible sources of corn and cassava and farmers who are in need of help. By helping them, we will also ensure that we get the needed raw material supplies for our various food products,” he said     Among these are some 25,000 hectares of corn farms in Cagayan, where much of the surplus corn will come from. The company is also looking to the DA to link it with cooperative heads in Tuguegarao for sourcing of cassava.     SMC said it will buy the produce at pre-agreed prices and volume, as part of a long-term partnership.     The company has also reiterated its call to farmers nationwide to supply rice, corn, cassava, sweet potato, coconut oil and other farm products that will be bought at guaranteed prices for the farmers benefit.      Ang emphasized the need to sustain economic activity in the food value chain, which includes agricultural products suppliers, processing, and shipping to retailers.      SMC has assured a stable food supply for at least six months even beyond the ECQ with the 24/7 operation of its food facilities. SMC’s food facilities can produce a daily output of 1.96 million kilograms of fresh meats (poultry, beef, and pork); 524,000 kilograms of processed meats (canned meat, nuggets, and hotdogs); and 2.11 million kilograms of flour/baked goods (flour, biscuits, pandesal, and nutribuns).     It also continues to donate food products, rice, and flour to vulnerable communities in support of the government’s Covid-19 relief efforts.

read more

Food rationing starts in Davao City

March 25, 2020

Economy

By: Che Palicte, PNA, DAVAO CITY – The city government rolled out food rations to some 50,000 families beginning Monday (March 23), as part of the aid package for those affected by the restrictive measures adopted to prevent the spread of the 2019 coronavirus disease (Covid-19).      Mayor Sara Duterte said those who qualify to receive the food rations are the indigents and out-of-work head of a family, contractual workers whose no pay and out-of-work head of a family, self-employed and out-of-work head of a family, and low-income head of family with significant loss or reduction of income.      “To those who are not residents of this city, do not worry because we [mayors in Davao Region] agreed to give food rations in our respective constituents,” Duterte assured.      She added that in order to avail of the relief goods, ration cards are distributed through the City Social Services and Development Office (CSSDO) and the barangay leaders.      “During the distribution of the relief goods, we still have to observe social distancing,” she said, adding that a system will be in place to ensure the smooth distribution of the rations.      Mayor Sara said barangay chairpersons distributing the ration cards are monitored by team leaders consisting of the members of the City Council to ensure that the rationing is properly implemented, as well as to manage the issues in the barangays.      The mayor also called on members of the private sector that are providing relief goods to coordinate with Task Force Davao to avoid crowding or worse, chaos.      "We are prohibiting the private sector from giving relief goods directly to the people because this will cause chaos; this will be disorganized, and this will cause people to gather around," she said.      “Rest assured that your donations will reach the people. We do this to avoid mass gathering,” Duterte added. (PNA)

read more

Go hits irresponsible media accusations

March 25, 2020

Economy

By: , SENATOR BONG GO, in a message yesterday, lashed out at some print media outfits for coming out with a story that criticized his visit to Butuan City last March 14. The news report, he said, was very irresponsible.        “Sa aking pagbisita po sa Butuan City noong March 14, nais ko pong klaruhin muli ang mga pangyayari:       - Totoo na dumaan ako sa isang Evacuation Center para dalawin ang mga nasunugan, magbigay ng tulong, pakinggan ang kanilang mga hinaing, maghanap ng solusyon sa kanilang pang araw-araw na mga problema, at mag-iwan ng ngiti sa oras ng kanilang pagdadalamhati.       - WALANG MASS GATHERING NA SADYANG INORGANISA. Evacuation Center po ang pinuntahan ko. Doon na po sila pansamantalang nakatira bago pa ako dumating. Hindi ko sila sinadya na itipon sa lugar na iyon.       - Sa kooperasyon ng mga pulis at pati na rin ng mga evacuees, ipinaliwanag ko na kahit gusto ko man sila yakapin, kamayan, kamustahin, at lapitan, sinigurado ko na kaming galing Maynila ay NAKA-DISTANSYA sa mga taga Butuan City para rin po sa kaligtasan ng lahat kahit na wala naman kaming sakit. May barriers pa nga pong inilagay.       - Sinigurado ko po na ang tulong at serbisyong ibinigay namin ay sa pamamaraan na HINDI MAKAKASAMA sa kanilang kalusugan at mananatiling ligtas sila sa anumang karamdaman.       - Pinayuhan ko rin ang local officials at national agencies na MADALIIN ANG PAGBIGAY NG TULONG lalo na ng tirahan sa mga nawalan ng bahay dahil paano naman po sila susunod sa “Social Distancing measures” kung wala naman silang ibang matitirhan kundi doon sa evacuation center na kumpol-kumpol sila.       Para sa inyong kaalaman, March 9 nangyari ang sunog sa Butuan City. 444 na pamilya o 2,292 na indibidwal ang apektado at humingi ng tulong sa atin. March 12, nagpa-test kami ni Pangulong Duterte para malaman kung infected kami ng COVID-19. March 13 lumabas ang resulta at sinabing negatibo kami sa sakit at pwede kaming magserbisyo sa publiko. March 15 naman magiging epektibo ang “Community Quarantine” sa Metro Manila base sa inanunsyo ng Pangulo noong March 12 sa kanyang presscon.       Dahil dito, nagdesisyon ako na pumuntang Butuan City ng March 14 — isang araw matapos sinabing negatibo ako sa COVID-19, at isang araw bago ipagbawal ang paglipad mula Maynila — para magpadala ng sarili kong tulong sa mga nasunugan.       Hindi ko matiis na hindi tumulong sa kapwa. Ipinangako ko ito sa taumbayan na kahit saan man, basta kaya ng oras at katawan ko, pupuntahan ko kayo. Hindi ko po makakaya na ipagpaliban o ipagkait sa kanila ang tulong na kanilang hinihingi mula sa atin.       Nagpapasalamat po ako sa mga iba’t ibang ahensya ng gobyerno na sumaklolo sa hinaing ng mga biktima ng sunog at pati na rin sa mga LGUs na nagbigay rin ng tulong. Napaka-importante po ang pagtutulungan ng national government at mga LGUs sa panahon ng sakuna. Isa po ito sa aking prayoridad bilang isang Senador at public servant.       Nagpapasalamat rin ako sa mga artista na sumama sa akin at kusang nagsakripisyo para pasayahin ang ating mga kababayang nangangailangan. Sila Robin Padilla, Philip Salvador, at Victor Neri ay tumugon sa tawag dahil alam nila na sa kanilang sariling paraan ay nabigyan nila ng saya at pag-asa ang kanilang kapwa. Si Robin, tumakas pa ng bahay para iparamdam ang kanyang pagmamalasakit.       Sa mga bumabatikos, tumulong nalang sana kayo. Hindi po nakakain ang inyong batikos. Hindi rin iyan nakakatulong sa mga naghihirap. Dumadagdag rin lang kayo sa problema. Puro dada, wala namang nagawa.       Wala po kaming ibang interes kundi tumulong at alagaan ang kapakanan ng bawat Pilipino. Hindi po kami takot mamatay. As always, I will continue to serve and I will die serving the Filipino people.      Now more than ever, we, as elected officials should do everything we can to be of service to the Filipino people. The government as a whole should still do its job in a manner that will not put the health of others at risk. Hindi pwedeng ipagpaliban ang tulong sa kapwa Pilipino, tuloy-tuloy dapat ang serbisyo.

read more

Suzuki Introduces New Online Auto Loan Feature

May 18, 2020

Motoring

By: , Suzuki Philippines Inc. (SPH), the pioneer compact car distributor in the country, brings good news to its avid customers and to those looking into purchasing their own automobile with the new Auto Loan feature found on their official website. With this new addition to one of its many available services, getting a new car is now a few clicks away!      SPH just launched a new feature on their website allowing customers to be able to apply for auto loans online. In partnership with banks including Bank of Commerce, Bank of the Philippine Islands, Chinabank Savings, East West Bank, Maybank, PS Bank, RCBC, Robinsons Bank, UCPB, and Yulon Finance, the Auto Loan Feature directs customers to their preferred bank’s website page dedicated for auto loans. Once accomplished by interested patrons, their bank of choice will be able to review and grant them the loans if eligible as they are in operation.      This new online service presented by Suzuki Philippines is an effort to provide ways to serve its customers by being reachable amid the current situation in the country brought upon by the COVID-19 pandemic. The decision to launch the online Auto Loan service with the help of dependable financial institutions is rooted from the realization that during this time of uncertainty, consumers are longing for a sense of security and reliability, more than just the product itself. SPH believes that their vehicles across different segments may provide this longing by staying committed in championing the Suzuki Way of Life! to the Filipino people and relentlessly finding solutions especially when people are now more than ever, highly concerned about where to tunnel their investments that will prove to be beneficiary to them even after these challenging times.

read more

Kawasaki Joins the Fight Against Covid-19 by Producing Medical Face Shields for Donation

May 18, 2020

Motoring

By: , Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI) has begun manufacturing medical face shields and gowns at our Kobe and Harima factories, and has been donating them to medical facilities since the 20th of April.     Up to 500 medical face shields can be made per day using the transparent pattern film used for steel processing, and up to 1,400 medical gowns can be produced per day based on the guidelines by Osaka University Hospital. We have been donating the supplies to Kawasaki Hospital (Kobe City) since 20th April, and plan to supply to other prefectural hospitals as well through the Hyogo Prefecture Hospital Bureau.     KHI would like to express their appreciation for the medical staff who have been devoting themselves on the frontlines. By utilizing their design, production and quality control techniques to efficiently produce medical face shields and gowns for donation to medical institutions, they hope to contribute to the prevention of the spread of COVID-19.     KHI also reaches out to those who have lost loved ones to COVID-19. They sincerely hope that those currently suffering from the virus will recover quickly, and that the spread of COVID-19 will end as soon as possible.

read more

VP Robredo Receives Suzuki Motorcycle Service Units for Healthcare Workers

May 2, 2020

Motoring

By: , Suzuki Philippines, Inc. - one of the country's top motorcycle manufacturers shares help to those fighting the COVID19 battle at the front - the nurses and medical personnel by lending motorcycles as their transport service. This is in partnership with the Office of the Vice President's (OVP) Angat Buhay Program which is a flagship anti-poverty campaign relying on private partnerships in implementing its activities seeking to help people from the marginalized sector and recently to support our frontliners in the fight against COVID19. The units were turned over and received by Vice President Leni Robredo herself on April 23, 2020.  Suzuki lends 10 units of the Raider J Crossover to serve Angat Buhay's Free Dorm for Healthcare Workers hospitals' staff. Two of these - the Teacher's Village Dorm and Holy Family School in Maginhawa; will benefit from this initiative from Suzuki. Tenants of these dorms are working at East Avenue Medical Center, Philippine Children's Medical Center, Philippine Lung Center, National Kidney and Transplant Institute and Philippine Heart Center. The Raider J Crossover is Suzuki's latest bike launched in February and the brand believes that it is the fitting ride for the frontliners, it is efficient and economical. More than that, since social distancing is a top priority nowadays, a solo ride on a motorcycle now provides one of the best means of transportation. "We are one with the whole nation in this fight against COVID19. We hope that these motorcycles help our frontliners in their commute to their respective medical facilities efficiently and safely. We will heal and overcome this together as one team Suzuki," Mr. Akira Utsumi said in a statement. "Thank you so much Suzuki Philippines for lending these units to us. These motorcycles will go a long way in helping our medical dormers," said Vice President Leni Robredo.  

read more

The Ford Ranger: Built To Last During Tough Times

May 2, 2020

Motoring

By: , MANILA, Philippines, 28 April 2020 – In times of uncertainties during natural calamities and pandemic crises, Filipinos are known for their resilience, strength and unwavering toughness even in the most trying times, rising above all odds and challenges.     This is why pickup trucks such as the Ford Ranger have become a popular choice among Filipinos who look for a tough and reliable vehicle for their needs. Built purposeful, the Ford Ranger has a durable design, proven performance, and segment-leading technologies to help get the job done.      Time-tested utilitarian characteristics give the Ford Ranger the ultimate edge as your daily workhorse. Its generous cargo space tied with 1.3 tons maximum payload capacity and impressive 800mm water wading capability with 230mm high ground clearance enable you to carry numerous back-breaking loads while effortlessly carving through obstacles both on and off-road. It features a Tailgate Lift Assist that makes lifting and lowering the tailgate easier when loading and unloading cargo.      A truck bed full of supplies and equipment demands a tremendous amount of power to effectively reach its destination. The Ford Ranger is equipped with the 2.0L Bi-Turbo Diesel engine capable of generating 213PS and 500Nm of torque coupled with 10-speed automatic transmission, delivering more than enough power to move heavy loads while remaining exceptionally fuel-efficient.     The Ford Ranger is also packed with advanced features to ensure maximum safety and convenience for drivers and passengers on-board. With the Autonomous Emergency Braking with pedestrian detection, pedestrians and vehicles near you are detected and alerts you with an audible and visual warning. The Ford Ranger also features Active Park Assist and rearview camera and sensors to ease your worries away during parking.     Enhanced Ranger lineup      At the start of the year, Ford Philippines introduced a series of enhancements to its entire Ford Ranger lineup to give customers more value in their pickup truck without any price increase.     The Ford Ranger XLS and XLT variants now come with a new 8-inch LCD touchscreen radio with Apple Carplay and Android Auto Capability. Perfect for customers with workhorse and utility needs, the Ranger XLS and XLT variants are equipped with a selection of features that combine powerful performance with work-ready capability.     Meanwhile, Ranger Wildtrak 4x2 variants now have a new wheel design and LED headlamps. The Wildtrak 4x4 also has a new wheel design and LED headlamps with the addition of a high-mount USB feature to support various dashcam models. The Ranger Wildtrak combines iconic Ranger design qualities, powerful performance, and advanced technologies to suit work and play needs.      Finally, the Ranger Raptor now comes with a camera-based Autonomous Emergency Braking with pedestrian detection, lane keeping aid, high-mount USB, and LED headlamps, enhancing the Raptor’s driver-assist technologies that make it a high-performance but safe and reliable pickup truck.     The new Ford Ranger FX4 is the latest addition to the Ranger portfolio, boasting of a bold design inside out and features that help widen the appeal of the Ranger among customers seeking for a versatile and capable pickup truck.       To know more about the Ford Ranger, visit www.ford.com.ph/trucks/ranger.

read more

DILG-10 to LGUs: Protect privacy of COVID-19 patients

June 28, 2021

Local

By: , As the government calls on all coronavirus disease (COVID)-19 patients to truthfully and accurately disclose their personal data to proper authorities to contain the spread of the virus, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG)-10 reminds the local government units (LGUs) on their responsibility to protect such information.      "Kung kinsa’y naa'y mga COVID-19 cases, mga suspected, ang atong mga punong barangay dili na sila allowed nga magngalan ug positive sa publiko," DILG-10 Regional Director Arnel Agabe said during the Northern Mindanao COVID-19 Response Task Force press conference, June 25.      (Our punong barangays are not allowed to disclose the names of our COVID-19 confirmed or suspect cases to the public)      He added that the Department of Health (DOH) and the National Privacy Commission (NPC) implement the Republic Act No. 11332 or the Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Health Concern Act, and the Data Privacy Act of 2012 in processing COVID-19 patient data in pursuit of disease surveillance and response.      Based on the said joint memorandum circular, the DOH only discloses the obtained data to public health authorities and concerned health care providers for purposes of contact tracing and management of the disease.      It also states that the personally-identifiable data may also be disclosed to other government entities authorized based on DOH guidelines.      "Kung naa’y violation sa privacy or na’y data breach sa personal information of security incident, kini siya, kung kinsa’y responsable pwede na siya mahatagan ug pinalidad in accordance with RA 10173 or the Data Privacy Act of 2012," Agabe said.      (If there is a privacy violation or data breach on the personal information of security incident, those responsible will be dealt with in accordance with Republic Act 10173 or the Data Privacy Act of 2012)      Doing so can help lessen the fears of patients on COVID-19-related physical assaults, harassment, and discrimination, and encourage them to report their symptoms, take confirmatory tests, and submit themselves to treatments by proper authorities, the NPC stated.      As to complaints on imposing the health protocols, Agabe said they have not received any complaint regarding the barangay officials who have not imposed the minimum public health standards. If ever there are violations on such, the official is held liable with negligence of duty. (RTP/PIA-10)

read more

Be truthful in vax registration: DOH

June 21, 2021

Local

By: , DO not cheat during registration for the Covid-19 vaccination program.      The Department of Health in Region 10 (DOH-10) issued the appeal on Friday after confirming reports that data, like birthdates, were altered in order to be included in the vaccination schedule.      "There are many magicians among our brothers and sisters. There were some who have changed their birthdays in order for them to be covered in the vaccine," DOH-10 Assistant Director Dr. David Mendoza said in an online media conference.      DOH-10 (Northern Mindanao) is currently accommodating priority groups A1 (health care workers), A2 (senior citizens), and A3 (adults with comorbidities).      Mendoza acknowledged the eagerness of some individuals to be vaccinated against the coronavirus but reiterated they must wait for their schedules.      "Thank you, brothers and sisters, for your energy that you really wanted to get vaccinated but please wait for our turn. No jumping the line," he said.      DOH-10 is validating more erroneous data in coordination with the Philippine Statistics Authority.      "It will now be the action of the local government units on what will be done in order to eradicate and stop falsification of documents," he said. Right information      Mendoza likewise stressed the importance of knowing the right information in order not to be victimized by "infodemic".      He cited a fake information that vaccinees may proceed to the Centrio Ayala Mall Cagayan de Oro vaccination site even without registration as long as they have medical certificates.      On the day the misinformation spread, only national government agency employees were scheduled at the mall.      He also clarified that even the youth may qualify under A1 or A3, regardless of age.      "There are teenagers and other young people who have comorbidities. We also cater to third and fourth-year Medicine and Nursing students who are part of the A1 group because they help in hospitals," he said.      To date, Mendoza said around 100,000 were already vaccinated in Northern Mindanao. (PNA)

read more

DA-10, Ayala Mall collab for year-round farmers' fair

May 17, 2021

Local

By: , CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY--With the goal of promoting northern Mindanao's agri-fishery products at the same time providing fresh and healthy foods to the locals, the Department of Agriculture (DA)-10 facilitates the 'Alagang Ayala Farmers' Fair' (AAFF) at Centrio Mall, here.      Said exhibit features the agricultural produce and its by-products of nine farmers and fisher cooperatives and associations (FCAs) namely; RJ Agriproducts, Manzano Farm, Northern Mindanao Federation of Dairy Cooperatives, Farmgrown Association of Claveria, NM Foods, Mylin Products, CNQ Agriventures, Kape Mindanaw, and Homegrown Marketing.      DA-10 Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Division (AMAD) OIC-Chief Larry E. Paraluman said the trade fair will run for a year starting May 9, of which exhibitors can participate in the trade display free-of-charge for the rental space.      He detailed that said arrangement is Ayala Malls–CdeO Gateway, Corp.’s commitment, as part of their social responsibility to help small enterprises, on top of their regular exhibitors of herbal and ornamental plants.      Since its kickoff activity, Farmgrown shared that among their saleable products in their stall are turmeric powder, banana chips, sautéed shrimp, salted eggs and bottled fresh milk; while for Manzano's Farm are the lemon and mangoes.      AAFF is open every day from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. (DA10/PIA10)

read more

Normin hosts leveling session to deepen understanding on GAD

April 21, 2021

Local

By: , CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY--To heighten awareness and reinforce knowledge on gender and development, the Regional Gender and Development Committee (RGADC)-10, a special committee under the Regional Development Council (RDC)-10, held a leveling session, April 6-8, through video conferencing.      “This leveling session is part of the continuing effort of the RGADC-10, in partnership with the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW), to equip members with a deeper knowledge and understanding of gender and development, which is included in our work plan for the first semester 2021,” said Dr. Jesus Antonio G. Derijie, DVM, president of the Central Mindanao University and the newly-installed RGADC-10 Chairperson.      Derije furthered that through the active participation of members in virtual lectures, sharing, and workshops/case study analysis, the attendees are expected to gain worthwhile, meaningful, and useful experiences for cascading to their respective agencies/institutions with the goal of advancing the gender and development agenda.      The series of lectures include GAD and Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression (SOGIE) as a review of key concepts. It also underscored the history of efforts to alleviate the plight of women and the mainstreaming of GAD. Gender analysis and gender tools, such as the harmonized GAD guidelines on project implementation and management, and monitoring and evaluation Checklist were also incorporated through workshops and case study analysis sessions.      The lecture concluded with the topic GAD planning and budgeting, as well as, the preparation of GAD accomplishment reports of RLAs and LGUs based on the latest issuances of the PCW. Members of the PCW National Pool of GAD Resource Persons, together with PCW senior staff members, served as speakers/resource persons during the leveling session.      The Magna Carta of Women (RA 9710) mandates all government offices, including government-owned and controlled corporations and LGUs to adopt gender mainstreaming as a strategy for implementing the law and attaining its objectives of women empowerment and gender-fair society.       It also mandates planning, budgeting, monitoring, and evaluation for gender and development; the creation and/or strengthening of gender and development focal points; and the generation and maintenance of gender statistics and sex-disaggregated databases to aid in planning, programming, policy formulation, and monitoring and evaluation.       Members of the RGADC-10 from regional line agencies (RLAs), local government units (LGUs), academe, and private sector attended the said session. (NEDA10/PIA10)

read more

Subscribe Now!

Receive email updates from Business Week.