business

Cebu Pacific all set for domestic travel recovery in Q4

September 27, 2021

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.

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

September 27, 2021

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

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Support companies that advocate recycling: DTI

September 27, 2021

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)

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SSS members get P2.6-B unemployment insurance benefits

September 27, 2021

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)

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OFW remittances seen to rise as more economies reopen

September 27, 2021

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)

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Credit 101: Tala shares smart ways to handle your loans

September 20, 2021

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.

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