business

Ayala Land's Laguindingan Technopark breaks ground

April 26, 2019

Misamis Oriental Governor Yevgeny Vincente Emano and officials from Ayala Land led the groundbreaking Wednesday (April 25, 2019) of the P172-billion Laguindingan Technopark in Laguindingan, Misamis Oriental.     Present alongside the governor during the momentous occasion were Philippine Economic Zones Authority (PEZA) director-general Charito Plaza, Laguindingan Mayor Diosdado Obsioma, AyalaLand Logistics Holdings Corp. president Rowena Tomeldan, AyalaLand Logistics Holdings Corp. director Nathanael Co, Ayala Land, Inc. COO for Vismin Jun Bisnar, Ayala Land, Inc. AVP for Vismin Rico Manuel and AyalaLand Logistics Holdings Corp. head Patrick John Avila. Laguindingan Technopark is a 1-million square-meter property spanning the two barangays of Moog and Tubajon being marked for mixed-use development with focus on IT-related industries under the supervision of PEZA.  In her speech, Plaza said the thrust of PEZA is to ensure that Laguindingan Technopark will not just cater to industries but will also set aside space for commercial and residential use as well. For his part, Emano said the Misamis Oriental will always be in gratitude to AyalaLand, Inc. for putting the province in the national spotlight.   At full development, Laguindingan Technopark is expected to generate approximately 5,000 jobs to primarily benefit the local residents. Catering to light to medium industries, it is envisioned to be the new logistics hub in the Philippines due to its strategic location as the gateway between Mindanao and Luzon-Visayas.   This development aims to take advantage of the projected positive momentum of the Philippine economy and the local business property market, according to Tomeldan. Plaza welcomed Tomeldan’s statement, saying it is now the thrust of PEZA to decongest Metro Manila and make industries boom in the countryside such as here in Misamis Orinetal. “Laguindingan Technopark will be a catalyst in the economic development not just of the municipality but will trickle down to neighboring towns, drawing in local businesses leading to more job opportunities,” Emano added in. “Aside from direct employment, people around the area will also benefit as they put up business that will cater to the needs of the locator-companies.”

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Davao Region posts economic slowdown

April 26, 2019

DAVAO City -- Davao Region’s economy posted an 8.6-percent growth in 2018, a deceleration from the double-digit growth of 10.7 percent in 2017, Philippine Statistics Authority director Ruben D. Abaro, Jr. said on Thursday.     During a news conference on the Gross Regional Domestic Product at the Pinnacle Hotel & Suites, Abaro said despite the slowdown, the region’s economic performance had remained robust, emerging as the second strongest regional economy among the country’s 17 regions and the strongest in Mindanao.     Bicol Region’s output of 8.9  percent is the highest while Caraga’s was the lowest at 3.2 percent.     The region also surpassed the gross domestic product of the country of 6.2% in 2018, Abaro said.     National Economic Development Authority 11 director Maria Lourdes Lim said that although the region’s economic performance missed the target growth of 9.2 percent for 2018, it remains “highly commendable” because “sustaining a high growth rate despite a number of challenges encountered by the region in 2018, such as high inflation is admirable.”     “We are still delighted to report that the Region maintained its rank as the second fastest growing regional economy among the country’s 17 regions, despite commodity supply shortages and severe inflationary pressures, amid soaring global oil prices,” she said.     She said the Davao Region maintained its position as the largest regional economy with a total output of P400.8 billion. Of the three major sectors, she said services contributed 49.3 percent, industry 40.1 percent and agriculture 10.6 percent.     Lim added Davao Region was the biggest contributor among Mindanao’s five regions, channeling 4.4% to the total economic output of the Philippines.     The four other regions in the island are Zamboanga Peninsula, Northern Mindanao, Davao Region, Soccsksargen, Caraga and Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.     “These results show the Region’s strong standing among its peers, validate its role as the prime economic, financial and commercial hub in Mindanao, and amplify its vast potentials as the primary growth center in the southern Philippines,” she said.     Abaro said the services sector grew from 6.9 percent in 2017 to 8.1 percent in 2018.     Under this sector, the trade and repair of motor vehicles, motorcycles, personal and household goods sub-sector grew by 7.4 percent, slowing down from 8.7 percent in 2017; real estate, renting and business activities from 6.7 percent to 6.4 percent; transport, storage, and communication rose to 8.1 percent in 2018 from 7.2 percent in 2017; financial intermediation increased to 10.4 percent in 2018 from 6.2 percent in 2017; public administration and defense/ compulsory social security nearly doubled from 6.5 percent in 2017 to 12.9 percent in 2018, and other services rose to 8.3 percent from 3.8 percent in 2017.     Lim said among the reasons for the expansion of the services sector was “buoyed by the strong export performance of the region” and “government expenditures on public services, including social protection and security and defense were higher in 2018 due to the current administration’s priority on peace, public order and security programs, social welfare and protection programs.”     The overall regional performance of agriculture, hunting, forestry and fishing sector last year registered a positive growth of 2.9 percent from 1.7 percent in 2017, owing to the 3.5-percent growth in the agriculture and fishery sub-sector.     However, the output of the sub-sector would have been bigger if it had not been pulled down by the decline in the output of the fishery sector to -7 percent in 2018 from -3.5 percent in 2017.     The industry sector also decelerated to 10.9 percent last year from 19 percent in 2017. Among its four sub-sectors, only the growth registered in electricity, gas, and water supply of 18.1 percent had surpassed the 2017 growth of 3.8 percent. Construction’s growth decelerated from 37.9 percent in 2017 to 18.1 percent in 2018; mining and quarrying from 18.2 percent to 8.3 percent; and manufacturing from 11.4 percent to 6.4 percent.

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No MM water quota reduction yet

March 29, 2019

MANILA -- Metro Manila may still receive its full share of water heading into April and May – the warmest months in this area -- amid the drought-driving El Niño phenomenon's continuing onslaught.    National Water Resources Board (NWRB) executive director, Dr. Sevillo David Jr., said they will retain the prevailing above-normal allocation of Angat Dam water for Metro Manila until the rainy season's expected onset this June.     "I think that dam can continue providing (the same) water (allocation)," David said.    Retaining Angat's March 2019 water allocation of 48 cubic meters per second (cms) will help meet Metro Manila's water needs, he said.    He noted that Angat's prevailing allocation is higher than the 46 cms NWRB normally allocates for Metro Manila this time of the year.    Data from the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) show that Angat Dam's reserve is dipping further as it continues to supply water to Metro Manila, as well as for irrigation.    Angat's 6 a.m. water level reached 196.70 meters on Friday, according to PAGASA hydrologist Richard Orendain.     "That dam can still very well provide Metro Manila with water up to June at 48 cms," he said on the sidelines of a forum in Quezon City.     Orendain said Angat Dam will supply less water for irrigation as harvest time in April nears.     Angat will not release irrigation water until May when land preparation activities begin for the next cropping season, he continued.     "Water saved while Angat is not irrigating can be used for Metro Manila," he noted.      Despite the El Niño, he said some rainfall can already be expected by May.      That means there's opportunity for Angat Dam's reserve to increase again so it can continue supplying Metro Manila after June, he said.    PAGASA is urging Angat Dam water users to practice water conservation so its water would be available for a longer period.     Ensuring longer availability is important as PAGASA said there may be a slight delay in the onset of this year's rainy season due to the El Niño.     The rainy season normally commences either late May or early June, noted PAGASA. (PNA)

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Globe Telecom guides schools on how to thrive in a digital environment at EduTech 2019

March 29, 2019

With the goal of helping Filipinos build a better life through learning opportunities, Globe Telecom joined the biggest education conference of the year where company experts shared knowledge on how schools can thrive and remain safe in a digital environment.    In her talk about 21st Century Learning at Edutech 2019, Grace Anduiza, Globe myBusiness head for Business Development and Service Delivery, underscored the need for institutions, teachers, and students to embrace digitalization in order to be future ready.   “Schools need to harmonize the learning environment with the digital world and create a more interactive experience for the current generation of students who prefer to do everything on mobile devices. At the same time, Information and Communications Technology (ICT) is not only a powerful tool which helps students develop a global mindset and make them globally competitive but it also allows school administrators to manage resources more efficiently as well as streamline operations to reduce cost,” she said.   For instance, through centralized information that are kept securely online, administrators may access the school’s data whenever they need to, create reports and forms on the go, and speed up manual and time-consuming processes.    To promote digital learning and encourage collaboration among tech-savvy students, schools may also provide fast and reliable Internet connection campus-wide, affordable devices, and productivity tools that will allow students to create, share and edit files in real time.    Teachers, on the other hand, may innovate learning methods to improve student’s learning experience, customize their own teaching content by branding their courses and personalizing interface and lessons, and even allow students to submit homework and projects online.     Meanwhile, Miguel Bermundo, Head for Globe Citizenship, said that the company continues to promote 21st century learning through the Global Filipino Schools (GFS) Program which empowers public schools with ICT-trained teachers, new gadgets, and critical infrastructure to uplift the state of the country’s education and brighten the future of Filipino students.    As of end 2018, the program has expanded to all 17 Philippine regions, reaching 218 public schools and benefitting 331,241  students and 11,666 teachers.       Bermundo also imparted lessons on responsible digital citizenship which is necessary to ensure the online safety of students.       “With digitalization, Globe also sees the importance to educate the Filipino youth on the responsible use of technology, be it through gadgets, website browsing and interacting with social media platforms,” he said.    Through its Digital Thumbprint Program, Globe, offers four workshop modules for students in private and public high schools nationwide, namely: Digital Insight - provides activities for students to help discern proper online behavior; Digital Impact - tackles issues on technology’s impact on students’ social activities; Digital Discernment - teaches students to become critical thinkers when using the internet; and Digital Ambition - equips students with skills on how to use technology to help them achieve life goals.       Also at the EduTech event, Globe set up booths for participants to experience how various Globe myBusiness products and solutions can address the different needs of the schools.   To learn more about digital solutions for education, please visit:  https://mybusiness.globe.com.ph/education/

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USTP Innovation Summit hosts Power & Energy Forum

March 29, 2019

The University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines (USTP) will host a forum on power and energy today, March 29, 2019 at Cinema 2, SM Downtown Premier as part of USTP Innovation Summit.    “To all who have joined us in the power sector advocacies in the past two decades: “ How to improve the Power Industry in Mindanao--to attain a Clean, Affordable and Renewable Energy”, you are cordially invited to attend the forum at SM Downtown Premier Cinema tomorrow Friday at 9:00AM CDO City,” said Clint Django Pacana, USTP Presidential Assistant for Mindanao Affairs (PAMA). “Speakers from MORESCO1, MCPC, IPSEc, CEED, USTP Power Institute, SeoulTech-South Korea, and others will be there..”     Among the topics to be presented during the forum dubbed “Parallel Session 1: Energy, Industry and Emerging Technology Sector” are “Technology Innovation in Sustaining the Campaign for Energy Sufficiency” by Atty Avril de Torres, Center for Energy, Environment and Development; “Power Sector Innovation in Techno-Park Development” with Prof. Yong Ko, Adjunct Professor, Seoul Tech; and “Solar Pump” with Engr. David A. Tauli, President, Mindanao Coalition of Power Consumers.     The presentations will be followed by a round table discussion with Engr. Juvel Ubay-Ubay, General Manager of  MORESCO 1;  Engr. Casimero Borbon, ULRIC Solar Power Enterprises Corp.; and Atty Dionel O. Albina, as moderator.     The previous day’s session was highlighted by a Fireside Chat on “Creating an Innovation Mindset and Ecosystem” with Engr. Diosdado P. Banatao, Jr., venture capitalist from Silicon Valley and President, Philippine Development Foundation.     Banatao  is a Filipino-American entrepreneur and engineer working in the high-tech industry,credited with having developed the first 10-Mbit Ethernet CMOS with silicon coupler data-link control and trans receiver chip, the first system logic chip set for the PC-XT and the PC-AT,  and the local bus concept and the first Windows Graphics accelerator chip for personal computers.  A three-time start-up veteran, he co-founded Mostron, Chips and Technologies,  and S3 Graphics.     The USTP Innovation Summit with the theme “#USTPinnovation: The Game Changer for Sustainable Northern Mindanao”, aims to gain insights from key players in the innovation ecosystem and enable participants to widen their perspectives of the regional development plan, opportunities for innovation ecosystem, roadmap of technology business incubation in the Philippines, establishment of regional inclusive innovation center, technology of solar thermal in agri-food application, investment priorities in Northern Mindanao, and creating an innovative mindset and ecosystem,     The Summit will gather researching academics and students from various institutions, entrepreneurs, investors, industry senior executives, business development and other technical service providers all over Northern Mindanao in which some of them will speak on real insights into exploring current opportunities and challenges of leading technologies.    The Summit also allows faculty, students, and startup talents particularly from the USTP-CDO Digital Incubation Hub to showcase their research and extension service outputs as well as products and services.    Three parallel sessions will be held to accommodate three sectors: Power and Energy, Information and Communication Technology, and Food Innovation.     During the pitching completion, some local startup talents will pitch their technological and innovative ideas through research innovations, software development, multimedia creations and computer graphics during the parallel sessions.     Another highlight of the event is the signing of Memorandum of Agreement between USTP and potential industry partners. (with a report from Ismael N. Talili, USTP)

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