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DOT, Globe partner to promote sustainable and digital tourism

October 7, 2019

Kick off partnership at Globe Siargao Sustainability Week   The Department of Tourism (DOT) and Globe have entered into a strategic partnership for the promotion and digital transformation of the Philippine Tourism industry while jointly advocating for the adoption of sustainable practices among all stakeholders concerned.      As the official telecommunications partner of DOT, Globe has created a new official tourism video (https://youtu.be/y-YYPuxQ59s) to be used for domestic and international promotions in order to encourage more travelers to visit the country and experience the warmth of the Filipinos.  The video celebrates the beauty and uniqueness of the Filipino people, manifested through culture and values, as reasons why “It’s Always More Fun in the Philippines.”      “It is the Department of Tourism’s thrust to promote and build the Philippine tourism industry and make it competitive globally and we warmly welcome Globe’s support for this undertaking.  Through Globe’s expertise in digital technology and its commitment to sustainability, we are confident that we can work towards our common goal of promoting sustainable tourism and jumpstarting the digital transformation of the industry,” said Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat.      “We are excited  to be working closely with DOT in promoting and transforming the tourism sector.  Through this partnership, we hope to realize our vision of becoming  an integral part of the best travel experience in the country.  We want to be at the forefront of connectivity, digitalization, and sustainability through enhanced communications infrastructure, affordable digital tools and solutions for businesses, and environmental protection and conservation efforts,” said Ernest Cu, Globe President and CEO.      To kick off the partnership, Globe held the Siargao Sustainability Week which showcased the beautiful island of Siargao, also known as the surfing mecca of the Philippines, as its first tourism project. This coincides with the celebration of the Philippine Tourism Week and World Tourism Day.  All activities focused on the four pillars of support that Globe committed to DOT -- inclusivity, excellence, digital innovation, and sustainability.        Globe started by firing up three cell sites in Pilar, General Luna, and Dapa to further enhance mobile coverage in Siargao and address connectivity requirements of tourists and businesses.  GoWiFi, Globe’s fast and secure public wifi service, also equipped Sayak Airport in Del Carmen, Siargao with free high-quality internet connection which travelers can easily access. GoWiFi continues its expansion plans nationwide and is accessible in over 2,500 sites as of the first half of the year.       Globe, likewise, provides free Traveler SIM cards at the Sayak Airport to foreign visitors which they can bundle with load and GoSurf promos to enhance their Siargao experience and has also committed to support the Siargao Cloud 9 Surfing Cup on October 4-9.      On the other hand, Globe myBusiness, the micro, small, and medium-size enterprise (MSME) arm of Globe,  empowers local businesses especially those in the tourism sector such as accommodations, food, transportation, travel agencies, entertainment/recreation, and retail with digital solutions to help them grow and become more competitive.   This is complemented by learning sessions from  Globe myBusiness Academy both on-ground and online to provide opportunities to MSMEs to learn relevant and updated business processes and digital tools, which they can use to reach more customers and provide hassle-free customer experience.      Meanwhile, GCash is now available in select establishments in Siargao such as Siargao Corner Cafe, Habhab Cafeteria, Louise Cakes and Pastries, Lunares Cafe, MA+D, Isla Mercato, Mercato Coffee, Isla Cabana, Isla Cusina, Beach Bar, Langyaw Souvenirs 1 & 2, Greenhouse, Kudosurf, Harana Surf (hotel, shop, restaurant, school), Mama’s Grill, Chef Justice, Lokal, Bayatakan Farm, Bulan, Butang Concept, Sizzy Diner, Raffys Grill, Karagatan Restaurant, and Siargao Bleu. Through GCash QR payments, GCash is able to help MSMEs transition into the digital arena while allowing customers a fast, easy, and secure way to pay for goods and services.      The Globe Siargao Sustainability Week highlights the turn over to the Siargao Tourism Operators Association (STOA) of several e-Waste bins where customers can place broken cellphones, laptops, tablets and other electronic wastes.  This is part of Globe’s Project E-R3 (Reduce, Recover, Recycle).        At the same time, Globe set up an Ecobooth that serves as a hub for environmental awareness conversation and sharing of best practices on how to protect and preserve the environment, particularly marine biodiversity. Anyone can visit the Ecobooth to exchange their plastic bags and plastic bottles with an eco-bag. They can also get exciting freebies like water tumbler and metal straw if they avail of GoSakto promos.  Those who will sign up as volunteers for the Oct 5 Siargao Beach Clean Up will also get a Globe Eco-Kit.      The company also provided Nature Kids of Siargao, a non-profit association that involves more than 1,700 kids and their families, with used tarpaulin for upcycling.  By turning plastic waste into treasure, the organization is able to provide employment and skill-building opportunities to the residents while contributing to proper and responsible waste management. Globe is also exerting efforts to fully transition to an eco-friendly and sustainable alternative for tarpaulins.      Moreover, Globe is working on a partnership with Lokal Siargao, Bathala Land Tours and Bayatakan Farm Experience. These three businesses value sustainable, responsible and inclusive tourism at the core of their business model.       Lokal is a platform that provides accessibility for farmers, fishermen and artisans to reach customers from the hospitality and tourism industries, and allows them to generate more funds to ensure sustainability within their respective communities. Bathala Land Tours holds guided tours in the northern part of the island and shares the importance of  preserving the Filipino heritage, while Bayatakan Farm Experience is an eco-tourism initiative in Siargao, that provides hands-on farming, culinary experience, and cultural immersion to tourists who are interested in sustainable living.      Earlier, the Globe Citizenship team together with Globe myBusiness also conducted workshops for various stakeholders in Siargao, specifically, businesses and local government units, on marine biodiversity conservation and best practices on sustainability.      Aside from Siargao, Globe is  committed to be present in all major tourism sites in the country.

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RDC-X oks creation of Regional Halal Committee

October 7, 2019

The Regional Development Council of Northern Mindanao (RDC-X) approved the creation of a Regional Halal Committee (RHC) as a Special Committee during its 119th Full Council Meeting held here, September 30.      The creation of the RHC is a recognition of the importance of Halal industry to the region’s development and the need for more focused coordination among responsible agencies and organizations in harmonizing the implementation of Republic Act 10817 or the Philippine Halal Export Development and Promotion Act of 2016.      With the creation of the RHC, policy measures can be instituted to ensure compliance of producers, manufacturers, and would-be providers of Halal products with national and international standards, making them competitive in the export market.      The Committee shall be chaired by the regional director of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and co-chaired by the regional director of the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF).       The members shall be composed of representatives of the following regional government agencies: Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Health (DOH), Department of Tourism (DOT), Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), Commission on Higher Education (CHED), Board of Investments (BOI), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA), Food Processors’ Association of Northern Mindanao, Cagayan de Oro Hotel and Restaurant Association, research institutions in the higher education institutions in the region, Cagayan de Oro Chamber of Commerce and Industry Foundation, Inc., and regional certifying bodies.       As a Committee under the RDC, the RHC shall plan the Halal Industry Development Agenda, set regional policies and direction on Halal development and innovation, and provide support in the implementation of Halal programs, among others. (APB/PIA10)

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Globe fires up three cell sites in Siargao to enhance connectivity

October 7, 2019

Globe enhances connectivity at the tourist paradise of Siargao in Surigao del Norte as it fires up three cell sites in the municipalities of General Luna, Pilar, and Dapa. The move paves the way for more tourists from different parts of the country and the world to learn about Siargao as well as promotes financial inclusion and business growth in the island.      Siargao, known for its unique island vibe, has drawn foreign and local tourists in the past years and has contributed to the boom of tourism-related establishments such as hotels, restaurants and travel operators, among others.      “We know that a lot of people in Siargao are looking for better connectivity.  The topography of Siargao is quite challenging -- a large area, quite hilly, and the population is spread out so its  very expensive to put up a cell site in Siargao.   However we also know its potential given the beauty of the place and its commitment to  sustainable tourism,” said Ernest Cu, Globe President and CEO.      He added:  “With these three new cell sites, we bring data services to the island so that tourists can share their Siargao experience to the rest of the world.  We are laying down fiber so that businesses can have better internet connection to aid them in the digitalization of their operations.  Since Siargao lacks banks, we enable financial transactions through the mobile phone using GCash.  This is just the start, there are more coming up,” said Ernest Cu, Globe President and CEO.      Globe spends about 45 percent of its annual income on telco infrastructure, with the belief that providing data services is the first step towards true progress.   Thus, Cu implored local government officials in Siargao to help expedite the release of permits for site acquisition and establishment of cell sites if Siargao is to become an important player in the Philippine tourism industry.      “The local government units are a major component of our efforts to bring connectivity to the communities.  Let us make Siargao an example so that all of these impediments to building infrastructure in this country will go away. We will bring our services to the people because we believe Globe can change people’s lives.  We are already doing that through connectivity and financial inclusion, among others,” he said.      Cu pointed out the perennial problem being encountered by Globe in the deployment of cell sites in the country.  From negotiations and documentation of prospective cell site location to securing structural permits and approvals, Globe estimates an average of eight months and over 25 permits before it can build one cellular tower.      Siargao is one of the major tourism areas in the country where Globe showcased its various products and services such as Globe myBusiness digital tools for MSMEs, Globe At Home Prepaid WiFi, GoWiFi, Globe Traveler SIM, and GCash.  This is part of the recent strategic partnership entered into by Globe and the Department of Tourism on the promotion and digitalization of Philippine tourism.

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Xavier Ateneo High School wins top-performing private school, overall 1st runner-up in DSPC ‘19

September 28, 2019

In its third year of joining schools press conferences, Xavier University High School hasn emerged as the top-performing private school and overall first runner-up in the Division Schools Press Conference held at Xavier University Grade School Macasandig and Pueblo campuses in Cagayan de Oro City on September 11-12.       Participated by more than 3,000 students from both private and public schools in the division, XUHS, through PAGASA, the official school publication of XUJHS, finished with 20 awards in the Individual Category and 4 awards in the Group Category.       Thirteen of the winners qualified for the regional level (RSPC) to be held in Gingoog City in October.       “Aside from the determination to win, it is equally important to remain focus to the goal by attending regularly to training and maintain a presence of mind during the actual contest,” said Zle Yee, DSPC champ for Photojournalism – English category.       DSPC seeks to prepare young journos to regional and national levels while honing student-journalists with relevant journalistic skills, engendering social awareness, national building, and responsible journalism.       “Campus journalism is cognizant to our mission to ignite the passion for truth and justice," said Juanito R Oliveria II, PAGASA moderator and coach for DSPC Individual Category. "Giving our students the platform to be the voice of the truth is crucial in their roles of becoming future leaders of the nation.”       The competition showcases the journalistic skills of the students in news writing, editorial writing, editorial cartooning, column writing, feature writing, science and technology writing, sports writing, photojournalism, copyediting and headlining; radio and TV broadcasting, collaborative desktop publishing, and online publishing.       “Despite the limited time of preparation and practice [only 2 formal days], our student-journalists still managed to conquer the limits by making it to the top spots of the competition,” said Maria Liesa L Millan, PAGASA co-moderator and coach.      This year, the journalism tilt was anchored on the theme "Fostering 21st Century Skills and Character-based Education Through Campus Journalism."      “It is not easy to prepare students in big competitions like this but seeing how these young journalists prepare and perform amidst limitations is just fulfilling and inspiring at the same time,” said Jade Alfie Sale, Xu Senior High School journalism coach.      The yearly conference is in pursuant to Republic Act (RA) 7079 or the Campus Journalism Act of 1991, and DepEd Memorandum No. 216, s. 2016.

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A 'Beautiful City' to rise in Uptown, Cagayan de Oro

September 27, 2019

Citta’ Bella at Primavera City, Italpinas Development Corporation (IDC) latest green building project is set to rise at the heart of Uptown Cagayan de Oro.       Citta’ Bella which means "Beautiful City" and will feature top line amenities found in first-class condominium such as 24 hours reception, multi-function room, gym center and a unique roof deck experience composed of a sky garden, sauna, jogging path, sky playground and an outdoor infinity swimming pool overlooking the majestic skyline of the city proper.       The Citta’ Bella is a  mixed-use project which will have 291 residential units and a commercial complex located from ground floor up to third floor.       The Primavera City development is composed of mid-rise towers and a high-rise tower and will be developed in 4 phases the first of which, Citta’ Verde is already currently under construction. Newly launched Citta’ Bella, which is the phase 2 of Primavera City project, will be followed by Citta’ Grande and its tallest tower, Citta’ Alta.       “Citta’ Bella is a key milestone for IDC in Cagayan de Oro as this reinforces our commitment to bring world class sustainable building design in the city” expressed Arch. Romolo V. Nati, CEO and Chairman of IDC.      Located in West Uptown Development Area, Citta’ Bella seats atop one of the most promising areas in the city. With the local government of  Cagayan de Oro City successfully completing its Comprehensive Land Use Plan which will serve as guide to future development of the city, the West Uptown Development Area has been identified as a dynamic growth zone with proposed development that will focus on strengthening its road network to complement the rapid growth of the area.  It is also the site for the planned city extension which will host a government center, residential district, residential and agro-industrial zones, and transport hub. In addition, the West Uptown Development Area is said to be the new relocation site to a major educational institution.       “The support showed by Kagay-anons is welcoming and the Local Government of Cagayan de Oro is supportive of its investors. The favorable response of the market is indicative of a rapidly expanding city with a drive for economic growth. We made the right decision in choosing Cagayan de Oro City as the site of our prime project”  added Jose (Jojo) D. Leviste III, President of IDC.       Citta’ Bella is designed to deliver sustainable features which are trademark of IDC developments. Its design utilizes passive cooling technology using shadow and sunlight control, wind cooling and shape performance which anchors on performance-based design that selects the optimal design out of the infinite number of possible combinations and permutations. In addition, Citta’ Bella will contain a renewable energy feature which will be produced from semi-transparent photovoltaic panels found on the roof and portions of external walls.       The Primavera City development is a winner of the Best Mixed-Use Development category at the prestigious International Property Awards Asia Pacific 2017-2018. The Asia Pacific Property Awards is a highly recognized international awards program participated by independent panels composed of 70 industry experts whose criteria include design, quality, service, innovation, originality and commitment to sustainability.      IDC is a design driven developer committed to environmental sustainability through elegant architectural solutions and trademark contemporary Italian aesthetic. IDC focuses on delivering projects on hyper-prospective emerging cities and other next-wave locations in the Philippines.

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Haven within a Township: Pueblo de Oro Urban Rainforest Protects CDO’s Biodiversity

September 16, 2019

TREES mater to all of us. Trees provide shade, mitigate floods, absorb carbon dioxide, filter air pollution, and provide habitats for birds, mammals and other plants. The rich biodiversity within a rainforest is also incredibly important to the well-being of humans and of the planet. In an effort to preserve the existing flora and fauna in its 400-hectare Township in Cagayan de Oro, Pueblo de Oro Development Corporation (PDO) signed in 2005 a memorandum of agreement for the first Urban Rainforest in the Philippines with the ICCP Group Foundation, Inc., the Bukidnon local government, and the Department of Natural Resources (DENR). Pueblo de Oro started by planting more endemic plant seedlings, or “wildlings”, sourced from the rainforests of Mt. Kitanglad and other nearby mountains in Bukidnon. By propagating them in areas such as the ridges and knoll of the Urban Rainforest, native animal species were encouraged to build their nests and thrive.      In the years since the project kicked off, PDO has sought and joined forces with other partners and agencies in its efforts to preserve the Urban Rainforest to welcome and nurture the species that settled in the Township.      The Pueblo de Oro Urban Rainforest is a 40-hectare rainforest in the heart of Cagayan de Oro’s growth area, abundant with different plants animals. “Having a township wherein trees are abundant is not just for aesthetic purposes, but also benefits the species living within the area,” said PDO President Prim Nolido.      “And for our residential projects, the trees also reduce the urban heat island effect through evaporative cooling and reduce the amount of sunlight that reaches parking lots, houses and other open areas,” he added. Preserving biodiversity      The grasslands and creeks in the forest are home to numerous species of animals – from small insects to beautiful flights of birds. There are at least 20 species of birds that can be found within the Township. They have been seen taking flight over the combination of grasslands and woodlands in the area, including different breeds of Kingfishers and the Grass Owls, which are decreasing in number because of their loss of home.      These are among the flora and fauna that the Pueblo de Oro Urban Rainforest has been protecting and preserving for more than 14 years. “It is a reality that our wildlife is affected by the loss of its natural habitats. PDO has made it its mission to protect these endemic species and eventually be able to multiply them,” explained Nolido.      The Brahminy Kite, for example, has been spotted in the Township, especially on the fairways of the golf course near the lakes. These brown and white raptors nest in tall trees on wooded slopes. They are also spotted taking thermals – or rising hot air – found in ridges in Hillsborough Pointe, Philamlife Village, and Golden Glow Village. This hot air gives the kites lift on their wings and allows them to glide for long periods. Community involvement The Company’s employees and the community play a part in the continuous effort to develop the rainforest through regular tree planting activities. Thousands of seedlings have been planted since the launch of the urban rainforest and it continues on until this day.      More recently, PDO employees were joined by the Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro, represented by members of the Laudato Si and Faith and Light communities, parishioners from the St. Francis Xavier Chaplaincy of Pueblo de Oro who have heeded Pope Francis’ call to “Care for Our Common Home”.      Cacao seedlings distributed by Cagayan de Oro’s Agricultural Office were planted during the activity, which also aims to establish an instructional and pilot nursery, products of which would be dispersed to constituent farmers.      To underscore the efforts of its employees and most especially of the communities in the Township, PDO’s Community Relations Unit assists in the preparation of their project proposals for their livelihood projects. This follows the principle that preservation and expansion can only be done if the communities have viable and sustainable livelihood. Watershed protection      Coupled with the efforts of PDO to preserve and nurture the urban rainforest, the protection of watersheds is also a part of their commitment to the care of the environment. Protecting the watersheds promotes sustainable agriculture, ecological security and water resource preservation.      Giant bamboo and mahogany seedlings were planted by employees along the Calaanan Creek to help protect the soil in the Iponan Watershed, of which it is a part, and prevent it from washing downstream. Maintaining a forest cover as well as following environmentallyenhancing practices leads to a sustainable watershed.      People often think of ‘land-based’ climate solutions or nature as being something that’s far removed from the urbanism that more than half of the population lives in. But forests can be the unseen heroes of natural climate solutions where green spaces provide health and community benefits as well as shelter us from the full effect and impacts of climate change.

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