January 24, 2020

LG Gives Back and Shares the Good Life

Due to Taal Volcano’s recent phreatic eruption and the current alert level, more than 26,000 people were forced to seek shelter in temporary evacuation centers, most of them losing their homes and livelihoods. LG Philippines, in keeping with its mission of always giving back to the community, immediately did their part to help alleviate the living conditions of the Batangas evacuees. 

For four days starting January 21st, LG visited the main evacuation centers in the Taal area and staged its popular Laundry Love program, beginning with Alfonso Central School for the first two days, then Kaylaway National Highschool and DOH Rehab Center the following days. 

LG brought with them ten of their heavy duty washing machines, hoping to give the evacuees access to clean and volcanic ash-free clothing, both from their own belongings and from the donations received as well. 

Aside from the Laundry Love campaign, LG also conducted medical missions in the area to give physical and optical checkups for the evacuees.

For the children in the evacuation centers, LG treated them with fun games and entertainment, including a Netflix viewing station fitted with two LG UHD TVs, book coloring activities, and giving out popcorn and cotton candies for everyone to enjoy.

LG PH Managing Director Inkwun Heo spearheaded the initiative immediately upon learning of the plight of those affected by Taal’s eruption. 

“Our heart is with the Filipino people. Corporate Social Responsibility is the backbone of what we do at LG. We sincerely hope that the worst is over for the Taal community, but rest assured that LG will always be there to help in any way we can.”

Joshua Garcia shows off brave lunch moves in new JolliSavers ad

Jollibee’s affordable and delicious options give you more confidence to eat out

It's a new decade, and there’s no better time like the present to bring more courage and confidence in whatever you do. Being brave can be as simple as having lunch out with your friends despite having a tight budget—especially when there are delicious, convenient, and affordable options found in Jollibee’s JolliSavers!

To showcase these ‘brave lunch moves’, Jollibee introduces a new officemate in the newest JolliSavers commercial: television actor Joshua Garcia. The star comes to save the day for the work mates of Happy Calendar House, the fictional publishing company in which Jollibee’s comedic, relatable web series “14/29 Petsa de Peligro JolliSerye” is centered.

With delicious options such as the langhap-sarap Yumburger for only PHP 35.00; the meatiest, cheesiest, sweet-sarap Jolly Spaghetti for only PHP 50.00; the beefy-saucy linamnam-ulam Burger Steak for only PHP 50.00; and todo toppings, todo sarap Jolly Hotdog for only PHP 50.00, Garcia shows that anyone can sport brave lunch moves like him, too!

“Dining out continues to be something many Filipinos avoid. Jollibee is proud to have a range of delicious, convenient, and affordable meal options with JolliSavers. And we’re equally excited to have Joshua Garcia onboard to showcase brave lunch moves through JolliSavers,” said Joseph Aruta, Jollibee Senior Marketing Manager for Value Platforms Category.

Show off your #BraveLunchMoves and eat out for lunch at Jollibee! Take your pick of your favorite JolliSavers, available through dine-in, take-out, delivery, and drive-thru in all Jollibee stores nationwide. Like Jollibee Philippines on Facebook, subscribe to Jollibee Studios on YouTube, and follow @jollibee on Twitter and Instagram.

Angkas is back on the road! Royeca thanks Senate, Congress and DOTr

Angkas is back on the road as the House Transportation Committee announced Wednesday that an agreement has been reached between the DOTr, TWG, and the motorcycle taxi companies participating in the pilot run to continue the test run until March this year.

Aside from getting the green light to proceed with the test run, the riders cap was increased from 30,000 to 45,000 for Metro Manila. 

At the agreement was the inclusion of Cagayan de Oro as one of the areas covered by the pilot run which was originally limited to Metro Manila and Metro Cebu. Metro Cebu and CDO will have a riders cap of 9,000 each.

The announcement was made after the Transport Committee headed by Rep. Edgar Mary Sarmiento, held an executive session with the committee members, the government regulators, and the three motorcycle taxi companies. The blueprint for the agreement, however, was discussed during a meeting between the DOTr, TWG, LTFRB, and the motorcycle taxi players the previous day.

“Sinigurado naming ang resulta talaga ay para sa kabutihan ng mamamayan, mananakay, at doon po sa tatlong kumpanya na kasama sa pilot testing,” Sarmiento stressed. “By that, siguro nagawa na namin ang aming trabaho, at binigyan natin ng lunas ang mananakay. Wala na po ang paghinto, tuloy na po tayo. Sana’y aanyayahain ko na pumunta tayo sa harap, magkamayan po tayo, kasama ang miyembro ng Kamara to move this country forward,” he added. 

"We are very grateful to Sec. Tugade and Rep. Sarmiento for mediating for the impasse settlement. I am happy that everyone is now involved in the test run and will be working together towards the same goal," Angkas Chief Transport Advocate George Royeca said. 
"The agreement to continue the test run that Angkas and the two other players struck with the DOTr, the LTFRB, and the TWG is an important win for the Philippines, particularly for the commuters and the bikers of all three motorcycle taxi companies,” he added.
“I am thankful to everyone who have been with us in this continued journey — the government agencies and their respective heads, the senators and the congressmen who understood the situation and helped us arrive at a consensus, the civil society representatives who passionately stood their ground, the bikers who were behind us all the way, and the commuters and passengers who prayed with us for a peaceful resolution to all this,” Royeca noted.  
“I would like to particularly thank the Senate Committee on Public Services, led by Committee Chair Sen. Grace Poe, with the support of Sen. Ralph Recto, Sen. Win Gatchalian, Sen. Imee Marcos, Sen. Joel Villanueva and the other senators who have been monitoring this issue from the beginning, for their acknowledgment of the importance of motorcycle taxis in mitigating our commuters’ daily struggles. And, of course, Sen. Bong Go for bringing the matter to the President and recommending the continuation of the pilot,” Royeca declared. 
"This is democracy at work. Everybody stepped in, courts were involved, the secretary, the executive branch, General Gardiola, and the other players in the private sector. So now, everybody's working hand in hand. I think this is a testament to the success of the democratic process. We're very happy with the result," Royeca declared. “Our focus right now is to continue working with the government to make the pilot a success,” he added.

TWG Chair Antonio Gardiola Jr. shared that there is also a new redistribution provision in relation to the riders cap.
“Kung hindi kaya ng isang player to come up with the maximum number of riders, ibibgay sa ibang company na kaya,” he said.
"We are considering all sentiments that's why we came up with this. Even the blacklisting of Angkas is already a closed book," Gardiola stressed.

January 23, 2020

Kickstart Year 2020 with value friendly, mouth-watering dishes from Teriyaki Boy and Sizzlin’ Steak

A great start as Teriyaki Boy and Sizzlin’ Steak kickoff 2020 with better and exciting Japanese and Steak options at reasonable prices.

This new year 2020 to try new things and what better way to start it right than having a tasty feast somewhere that is familiar, but now made even better, with Teriyaki Boy and Sizzlin’ Steak! 

To kickstart 2020, the popular Japanese and Steak house introduced its new and improved menu, bolstered to satisfy all your cravings.

For years, Teriyaki Boy has set the bar high for its quick service and high-end dishes that appeal to fans of Japanese cuisine.

Teriyaki Boy Chicken (PHP349)

And this new year proves no different with its roll-out of time-tested dishes starting with the original crowd favorite, Teriyaki Boy Chicken (PHP349) – meticulously marinated from the inside out to add more flavor to the meat, then sautéed with its classic Teriyaki Boy sauce, and served with a drizzle of sesame dressing over a fresh bed of cabbage salad.

Beef Teriyaki (PHP399) 

If you’re craving for some well-seasoned beef, you can never go wrong with Beef Teriyaki (PHP399) – now more tender, flavorful, and affordable than ever before. Generously smothered with the signature Teriyaki Boy sauce, you can taste the flavor with every bite.

Teriyaki Boy’s Tonkatsu (PHP289)

If you fancy some deep-fried dishes, check out Teriyaki Boy’s Tonkatsu (PHP289) – made from imported US pork battered with a Japanese style breadcrumb, deep-fried until golden brown, and served with cabbage salad and a drizzle of sesame dressing. Juicy on the inside and crispy on the outside, the new Tonkatsu will give you an exceptional tingle.

Teriyaki Boy has exciting dishes for seafood lovers as well, such as Ebi Tempura (PHP269) – one order gives you 3 pieces of succulent, fresh prawns that are significantly bigger and crunchier than ever. 

Ebi Tempura (PHP269) 

Each is fully coated with authentic Japanese tempura batter, fried until lightly crisp, and then served with special tempura sauce. Additionally, diners can avail of this crunchy dish at PHP199 only (PHP70 less from its regular price) from January 15 to 31, in celebration of Tempura month.

Sizzlin’ Steak has also put forth a variety of mouth-watering and premium beef dishes that are modern, hot, fast, and definitely worth the money!

Sizzlin' Beef Belly Rice (PHP269) 

Start-off with its best-seller that will keep you coming back for more, the Sizzlin' Beef Belly Rice (PHP269) – thin, tender slices of beef served with your choice of sauce (Teriyaki Sauce, Steak Sauce, Gravy, Teri-Mayo, Garlic Basil Sauce, or Cheese Sauce), to give a delightful mix of sweet and salty flavors, best paired with plain rice.

Want it done your way? Now you can with the Create Your Own Sizzlin’ Meal – choose and surprise your taste buds with a delightful range of high-quality meats to pair with rice, your choice of side dish, and sauce.

The sky is the limit to create a scrumptious Sizzlin’ Steak meal!

“Looking forward to 2020, Teriyaki Boy and Sizzlin’ Steak promises to continue offering customers a delicious and valuable dining experience unlike any other. With the start of a new decade, we are excited for our customers to come back and try all their favorite Japanese and Steak dishes, now made with even better ingredients,” said Teriyaki Boy and Sizzlin Steak Senior Marketing Manager, Cherry Hernandez.

For more information, please visit facebook.com/SizzlinSteak and facebook.com/TeriyakiBoyPh.

For orders and inquiries, visit www.sizzlinsteak.com and www.teriyakiboy.com.ph.

Competitive Bidding is the key for DOH Vaccine Procurement to strenghten prevention on vaccine scare

A  discussion on lessons on vaccine scare and how the Philippines is taking a second look at vaccination  with  Dr. Lulu Bravo, Executive Director of the Philippine Foundation for Vaccination; and lawyer Tom Syquia, former Executive Director of PS-PhilGEPS, was held at the Samahang Plaridel, Kapihan sa Manila Hotel on January 22.

During the public health forum, the experts said that a stronger push towards more competitive bidding is key to regaining public confidence in vaccines from both the public and private sector.

Tom Syquija, former Executive Director of Procurement Service- Philippine Government Electronic Procurement System (PS-PhilGEPS), said that It's always best to have a public bidding, because competition will give the best price. 

"It is transparent. You get the same quality but at the lowest price. It's always best for the public if you have competition,” he added.

The budget for pneumonia vaccines alone is P4.9 billion, allotted for Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccines (PCVs), which aim to guard against Invasive Pneumococcal Diseases (IPDs), the largest cause of death for Filipino children under five. 

There are two vaccines currently available for the government to procure during the next budget allocation, PCV 10 and PCV 13, two vaccines that global health experts claim are comparable in performance.

The World Health Organization (WHO) reaffirmed an earlier position saying that the two available PCVs are equally effective in preventing overall pneumococcal diseases in children. In February 2019, the position paper also states that there is at present insufficient evidence of a difference in the net impact of the two available PCVs on overall disease burden.

Dr. Lulu Bravo, Executive Director of the Philippine Foundation for Vaccination, when discussing the efficacy of the two PCVs. “Many developing countries have already procured PCV 10.”

Similarly, the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO) in its own study said that available evidence to date indicates significant impact of both PCV10 and PCV13 in the outcomes studied, with no evidence of the superiority of one vaccine over the other on pneumonia, Invasive Pneumococcal Diseases (IPD), or meningitis hospitalization reduction in children under 5 years old.

The International Vaccine Access Center (IVAC), in their 2017 PCV product assessment which was based on a comprehensive review of published data, also declared that current evidence does not indicate an added benefit with one vaccine over the other.

Syquija highlighted that the competitive bidding process should be accompanied by the scrutiny and recommendation of legitimate health experts, which would help allay concerns over whether the procured vaccine has carefully been studied or not.

“The first thing to ask is, what is appropriate for the Philippines? How many manufacturers make PCV13? How many PCV10?” said Syquija.  
“You need a decision on an expert level. What product do we need? Then it will dictate the modality of the procurement.”

Even when the procurement process is transparent, there is a danger in the way it is implemented, claimed Syquija. The bid posted by the government is required to list specifications regarding the item to be procured. It is possible to “tailor-fit” the bid by listing specifications that unnecessarily cut other options out, making it difficult to protect the sanctity of the contract.

“Do we need a PCV10? If that is sufficient, and has multiple suppliers, why would you go for 13 if there is only one (supplier)?” he said.

There is also a concern among health experts that the resurgence of diseases and the potential exacerbation of currently prominent sicknesses, like pneumonia and meningitis, will become a larger problem should the public's fear towards vaccines continues to persist.

Experts believe that vaccine confidence is a critical issue, especially since pneumonia is a very common disease in children here and abroad. Of the hundreds of countries in the world, the Philippines is included in the top 15 countries in terms of pneumonia deaths, and those 15 countries are responsible for 75% of all deaths from pneumonia.

“In the last year or so we had so many outbreaks. Since 2018, nawala ang vaccine confidence ng Pilipinas. Isa tayong country na naging number one anti-vaccine country in the world,” said Dr. Bravo.

“The vaccine confidence of 93% in 2015 plunged to 30 percent in 2018.”
“Patients, people, and the community, would drive away the healthcare workers. They were being stoned, they were being driven away, and were even called child-killers,” she added.
In an earlier statement, the DOH pointed to vaccine hesitancy, or the refusal of vaccines despite availability, as one of the reasons for the recent measles outbreak in some regions of the country.


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