September 30, 2019

We Come in Peace: Star Trek: Discovery Lands on Television in Asia for the First Time on Blue Ant Entertainment

Star Trek fans prepare to energize! Blue Ant Entertainment brings Star Trek: Discovery to television for the first time since its release. On 2 October 2019, Star Trek: Discovery Season 1 will premiere on Blue Ant Entertainment at 10:35PM. Blue Ant Entertainment is available on SKYcable channels 53(SD) and 196(HD), SKYdirect channel 35, Cablelink channel 37, and Cignal channel 120.

 Michelle Yeoh as Captain Philippa Georgiou of the U.S.S. Discovery


Michael Burnham finds a second chance as part of the Starfleet aboard the U.S.S. Discovery


Set about a decade before the events of the original Star Trek, the show will feature new missions and new enemies during the Federation-Klingon War.

STAR TREK: DISCOVERY follows the voyages of Starfleet on their missions to discover new worlds and new life forms, and one Starfleet officer who must learn that to truly understand all things alien, you must first understand yourself. The series will feature a new ship and new characters, while embracing the same ideology and hope for the future that inspired a generation of dreamers and doers.

Now as part of the U.S.S. Discovery crew, will Michael Burnham embrace her Vulcan upbringing and use logic to succeed on missions? Or will she embrace her human side and act on her emotions?

Star Trek: Discovery airs every Wednesday, 10:35PM (9:35PM JKT/BKK) on Blue Ant Entertainment. For more updates about Federation space and the U.S.S. Discovery, be sure to follow Blue Ant Entertainment at www.facebook.com/BlueAntEntertainment/ on Facebook, @BlueAntEntertainment on Instagram and @BlueAntEnt on Twitter.

Star Trek: Discovery stars Michelle Yeoh and Sonequa Martin-Green, and is produced by CBS Television Studios in association with Alex Kurtzman’s Secret Hideout, Bryan Fuller’s Living Dead Guy Productions and Roddenberry Entertainment. Alex Kurtzman, Bryan Fuller, Heather Kadin, Gretchen J. Berg & Aaron Harberts, Akiva Goldsman, Rod Roddenberry and Trevor Roth are executive producers for season 1. The series is distributed internationally by CBS Studios International.

September 29, 2019

Maxicare inks partnership with Manulife

Maxicare Healthcare Corporation, the country’s leading healthcare provider, recently formed a 2-year partnership with Manulife Philippines, the largest insurance company in the country, to help make lives of Filipinos better through easy access to financial and health products. The partnership allows for cross-training of over 3,000 Maxicare agents who can now sell Manulife products and of over 9,000 Manulife Philippines financial advisors who can now include Maxicare healthcare products in their portfolio. 



Photo shows (L-R) Maxicare chief consumer officer Rodelee Uy, Manulife Philippines SVP and chief distribution officer Stephen Ong, Maxicare president and CEO Christian Argos, Manulife Philippines president and CEO Ryan Charland, and Maxicare chief operating officer Nelissa Badal.

For more information, visit www.maxicare.com.ph.






Teleperformance Philippines recognized for its social media campaign at the 17th Philippine Quill Awar

Teleperformance Philippines won an Award of Excellence for their social media recruitment campaign “Each Interaction Matters” at the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) Philippines’ 17th Philippine Quill Awards. The winning entry was under the competition’s Communication Skills – Social Media
Programs category.

Being the global leader in outsourced omnichannel customer experience management, Teleperformance Philippines aimed to expand and attract more quality talent to join its ranks through the power of social media. 

The company created a year-long Facebook recruitment campaign that embodied the brand’s promise “Each Interaction Matters” with posts and ads that illustrated what the company had to offer applicants, from fun promos to exclusive benefits and exciting career opportunities. 

The campaign not only resulted in an increase in the company’s conversion rate and number of total hires for 2018 but also complemented its brand building efforts.

Teleperformance Philippines Senior Vice President of Human Capital Resource Management (HCRM) Jeffrey Johnson shared, “At Teleperformance, we recognize the value of maximizing different channels to reach a variety of audiences. Our wish is to let Filipinos know that TP offers meaningful and quality employment and that the industry has been a big contributor to the growth and progress of the nation.”

For two consecutive years, Teleperformance has also been certified as a Great Place to Work® by the Great Place to Work® Institute, becoming the first organization in the country to receive the stringent certification. “This achievement reflects the commitment of our people towards remaining passionate for excellence in everything they do,” shares Johnson.

Teleperformance Philippines also won in last year’s Quill Awards, receiving two Awards of Merit in the Communication Management Division – one for Internal Communications and another for Employee Engagement.

Teleperformance serves as a strategic partner to the world’s largest companies in a wide variety of industries. Its customer care, technical support, customer acquisition, consulting and analytics, digital integrated business service solutions, and other high-value specialized services ensure consistently positive customer interactions that are reliable, flexible and intelligent. 

To learn more about Teleperformance Philippines and their various programs, you may visit their website at www.teleperformance.ph/en-us or their Facebook page at /teleperformance.philippines.




ABOUT TELEPERFORMANCE
Teleperformance (TEP – ISIN: FR0000051807 – Reuters: ROCH.PA – Bloomberg: TEP FP), the global leader in outsourced omnichannel customer experience management, serves as a strategic partner to the world’s largest companies in a wide variety of industries. Its customer care, technical support, customer acquisition, consulting and analytics, digital integrated business service solutions, and other high-value specialized services ensure consistently positive customer interactions that are reliable, flexible and intelligent. The company has established the highest security and quality standards in the industry and uses proprietary deep learning technology to optimize flexibility on a global scale.

The Group’s 300,000 employees, spread across 80 countries, support billions of connections annually in 265 languages and enhance the customer experience with every interaction. In 2018, Teleperformance reported consolidated revenue of €4,441 million (US$5,256 million, based on €1 = $1.18). 

Teleperformance began operations in the Philippines in 1996 and has grown to become a preferred offshore contact center outsourcing option. The company employs around 44,000 people in the country and operates over 30,000 workstations in 21 business sites located across Metro Manila, Antipolo, Baguio, Bacolod, Cebu, Cagayan de Oro and Davao. 

From 2012 to 2018, Teleperformance received the Frost & Sullivan Asia Pacific Contact Center Outsourcing Service Provider of the Year Award for its significant performance in revenue management, market share, capabilities, and overall contribution to the contact center industry. In addition, Teleperformance Philippines was awarded in 2017 as Outstanding Employer and Outstanding Community Project of the Year by the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA), the Top Employer of the Year at the Asia CEO Awards, and the Outstanding Volunteer by the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA). 

In 2018 and 2019, Teleperformance Philippines was certified as a Great Place to Work® and is the first organization in the country to receive this certification from the Great Place to Work® Institute. This year, Teleperformance celebrates its 23nd year of continued excellence and leadership in the country. This milestone highlights the company’s commitment to steadily provide the best employment experience for Filipinos, proactively support the nation’s ICT-BPO sector, and uphold its socio-civic engagements to create a difference in the lives of the Philippine community. 

For further information, please visit the Teleperformance website at teleperformance.ph.


AXA empowers young athletes



AXA Philippines, one of the country’s leading insurance companies, is the insurance provider of the UAAP, providing coverage for the organization for the duration of Season 82 that is currently underway. AXA Philippinescontinues to empower Filipinos – and in this case young Filipino athletes and spectators – and instill a sense of self-belief in them through their passion for sports. Photo shows(L-R) AXA Philippines chief customer officer Amor Balagtas, AXA Philippines president and CEO Rahul Hora, UAAP Season 82 president Emmanuel Fernandez, and UAAP executive director Rene Andrei Saguisag Jr.


September 28, 2019

Converge ICT earmarks $250M investment to nationwide expansi

Converge ICT, the country’s premier pure end to end fiber internet service provider, received a multi-million-dollar investment from Warburg Pincus, a private equity firm based in the United States.

Converge ICT has been aggressively expanding its fiber infrastructure with the aim of providing Filipinos access to the more reliable fiber internet connection. The $250 million or P12.8 billion investment will be earmarked on rolling out more fiber connections nationwide.

(L-R) Converge ICT COO Jesus C. Romero, Converge ICT President; CEO Dennis H. Anthony Uy, Maria Grace Y. Uy, U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Y. Kim, DICT Secretary Gregorio Honasan, and Warburg Pincus LLC Managing Director Saurabh Agarwal


"Since going full throttle with our fiber network roll-out and package offerings, the change in overall Philippine performance has been noticeable," said Dennis Uy, founder and president, Converge ICT. "In 2018, the average connection has risen to 18Mbps. We don't take full credit but the company’s contributions have been undeniable."

This is the Warburg Pincus' first investment in the Philippines. One of the world's biggest equity firms has $20 billion invested in Asia and about $65 billion in assets under management.

"We are excited about the country’s young, digital-savvy population and its thriving services industries, which have created an outsized need for connectivity and will create explosive growth in the broadband space," said Saurabh Agarwal, managing director, Warburg Pincus. "Converge ICT is a remarkable business and growth story and I am confident that it will continue to achieve significant growth milestones and solve the ever-increasing connectivity needs of the country."

Converge ICT is looking at capturing 30% of the country's broadband market in the next few years. With this investment, Converge ICT will be able to fastrack the construction of its $1.8-billion nationwide internet backbone. The current rollout includes a $70-million domestic submarine cable with 20 landing stations across the Philippines. The Luzon backbone is expected to be completed by the first quarter of 2020.

"Converge ICT is the only pure end-to-end fiber internet provider in the country with all-in house capabilities," said Uy. "We have been investing heavily on innovations that would move the broadband market forward so we can be on par with our neighbors. We have rolled out 400Gbps per channel in the past."

At present, Converge ICT is looking at doubling its half-a-million subscribers by next year. Seventy percent of the company's customer base are first-time fixed broadband service users and Uy plans to increase that with more expansions in the coming months.



"We are 100% committed to the long-term success of our partners Converge ICT and, more importantly, the success of the Filipino customers whom we serve, and their connectivity needs we seek to provide," said Agarwal.

The choice of Warburg Pincus to stream fresh funds to Converge ICT is due to the former's deep understanding of the business and expertise. Uy reiterated that it is not always about the money but making the Philippines more competitive in the world market by providing more reliable broadband service.

"To bring about real-life change and progress," Uy said. "That is our commitment to the Filipinos. To serve the under-served and unserved. Together, we will use technology to be what it has been set out to be. To make information more readily available, services faster, communities safer and life, in general, better. Convenience on-demand."
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September 27, 2019

Small steps that go a long way The SM Store Share Shoes Program brings joy to kids in Isabela

Shoes are essential in one’s journey through life, especially forstudents. With a pair of good shoes, they will not only be able to fulfill their daily tasks with ease, but it can also inspire them to work hard and take little steps to achieve their dream. 



Students of Diasan Elementary School in Echague, Isabela celebrate after receiving their new pair of shoes.


For most students in the city, a school bus or a stroll down the sidewalk are their usual commute. But for students in the province, it is a different story. 

Samantha, a student from the Diasan Elementary School, shared the hardships she and her classmates face to reach school. 

“Malayo po ang nilalakad namin ng nakapaa. Madulas po ‘pag umuulan at mahirap, maputik ang daan. ‘Yung mga iba po na nakatira sa may bundok, naglalakad po sila ng malayo. (My classmates and I have to walk a long way to get to our school. When the rainy season comes, the slopes become slippery and dangerous which makes it harder for us. The others who live near the mountain walk even farther),” Samantha said. 

Diasan Elementary School is tucked in the middle of the Barangay Diasan, a remote farming community in Isabela with over 600 residents. Students like Samantha have to walk an hour or more on rough terrain to get to and from school and are sometimes forced to skip classes if the river is swollen due to heavy rains.

Despite the challenges, one would be surprised at the great lengths they are willing to go to for their education. The simple gift of a new pair of shoes will allow them to walk to and back to school in comfort and safety. 

These are the kinds of stories that inspired the SM Store’s Share Shoes program to reach to the community to continue its mission of bringing joy - through the gift of shoes that can help make the journey of the students easier and more comfortable. 

Sharing the gift of new shoes

Most students in Diasan have not set foot in a mall before, let alone a shop selling shoes, so as a treat for the kids, employee volunteers from The SM Store, Savemore and SM Foundationtransformed one of the classrooms into a shoe store. They assisted the kids in choosing and fitting their very own shoes from the display of clogs, sneakers, sandals, flats and slip-ons donated by The SM Store MLC Shoes and Bags, and SM’s retail affiliates Crocs and Simply Shoes.


A volunteer washes the feet of one of the kids to teach him the value of proper hygiene. 


Replicating the shopping experience, an employee volunteer from The SM Store Cauayan assists a kid in fitting her new footwear. 


The employee and community volunteers also set up a “Feet Washing Corner” before the shoe fitting to impart the importance of taking care of one’s feet. The kids could not hide their joy as they selected and tried on their new footwear. 

Apart from receiving new shoes, the kids were treated to fun games and groceries from Savemore. The kids even gamely participated in a Zumba dance number led by The SM Store Cauayan employee volunteers. Wearing their new pairs of shoes, the kids enjoyed the activities knowing their feet were comfortable and secure. 


Taking steps to a brighter future

Samantha said that having a pair of shoes is important to protect their feet from injuries.

“Masaya po ako nu’ng nakita ko ‘yung mga kaibigan ko na suot na nila ‘yung sapatos kasi ‘di na sila mahihirapan maglakad ng isang oras papunta ng iskul (I was so happy to see my friends wearing their shoes because now, they won’t have a hard time walking an hour to school),” Samantha said. 

An employee volunteer from The SM Store Cauayan assists a kid in choosing his new pair of shoes. 


Teacher in charge Domenador Mayuyo Jr. shared that for some of the kids, it was their first time to own a pair of shoes, with many of them walking to school wearing slippers or barefoot. 

“It’s the first time for some of our students to receive a pair of shoes. Having a new pair of shoes is like a dream come true for them. It is a blessing for them to receive new pair of shoes that they can use to go to school,” Mayuyo said. 

Through the gift of new shoes, The SM Store hopes to inspire these kids to take those important steps toward achieving their goals. 

A student of Diasan Elementary School walkshome with his new pair of shoes from The SM Store’s Share Shoes Movement. 


Promoting the culture of sharing and purposeful giving

The shoe donation was also accompanied by a medical mission through the partnership of The SM Store with the SM Foundation, Caritas Philippines and the Diocesan Social Action Center of Ilagan. Residents of the community were able to avail of medical and dental consultations, laboratory works, and had X-ray and ECG examinations, and medicines courtesy of the SM Foundation’s Mobile Clinic, all for free.

An employee volunteer and student beneficiaries bond after the program. 


The activity was a part of the SM Share Movement, a program promoting a culture of sharing and purposeful giving among SM shoppers all year long. Since 2015, the SM Share Movement has collected over 1.3 million donations composed of shoes, clothing, books, school kits, disaster kits and toys.

The SM Store’s Share Shoes program encourages its shoppers to donate brand new and pre-loved footwear not just to help kidswalk safely and reach their desired destinations, but to also inspire them to take important steps toward achieving their goals. 

“We would like to thank all the shoppers and our partners who donated and participated in The SM Store’s Share Shoes Movement. This wouldn’t be possible without you. Given the rough terrain and the challenges that these students of Diasan face just to get to their school, the new pair of shoes is a great help to them,” said Cielito Velasquez, Assistant Branch Manager of The SM Store Cauayan. 


One of the classrooms is transformed by SM employee volunteers into a shoe store to give the kids a shopping experience. 


Through the #SMShareMovement Project, the SM Store remains committed to its promise to give back to communities and to be a partner in their development. Through the simple but valuable gift of shoes, they can continue to be a part of Barangay Diasan’s journey as the children take steps toward a brighter future. 

Find out more about the #SMShareMovement’s quarterly donation drives and ways to contribute to upcoming projects, by liking The SM Store Facebook page and by following @TheSMStore on Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.

Go Tick Your Travel Goals with the #GetGoingToWhere Challenge Powered by TikTok and Cebu Pacific GetGo

TikTok, the world’s leading short video platform, has partnered with the rewards platform of Cebu Pacific, GetGo, to help Pinoy travelers #FlyForFree and achieve their travel bucket lists with their barkada through the #GetGoingToWhere interactive in-app challenge. 



The #GetGoingToWhere in-app challenge, which runs from September 16 - October 16, 2019, offers lucky TikTok users with the most creative travel videos a chance to win a free flight with their barkada to surf the waves of Siargao, or enjoy the rehabilitated pristine waters and white sands of Boracay, or earn GetGo points! 

The challenge also aims to promote local destinations and share the natural wonders of the Philippines to the global community that’s already featured on TikTok. 

Just download TikTok (available for iOS and Android), upload travel-centric creative videos, and share using the hashtag #GetGoingToWhere. Get creative with your travel videos with the help of TikTok’s easy-to-use tools, including stickers and filters to get you excited for your next trip!

Winners will be selected based on originality, creativity and relevance to the theme and stand to get the following prizes:
* 2nd week major prize - 1 winner of trip for 4 to Siargao inclusive of in-flight meal and luggage allowance  
* 2nd week consolation prize - 10 winners of 1,500 GetGo points  
* 4th week major prize - 1 winner of trip for 4 to Boracay inclusive of in-flight meal and luggage allowance  
* 4th week consolation prize - 10 winners of 1,500 GetGo points 

So, what are you waiting for? 

Get going with creating your wanderlust-worthy travel video with the #GetGoingToWhere TikTok challenge. Check out the mechanics here.





About TikTok
TikTok is the leading destination for short-form mobile video. Our mission is to inspire and enrich people’s lives by offering a home for creative expression and an experience that is genuine, joyful, and positive. TikTok has global offices including Los Angeles, New York, London, Paris, Berlin, Dubai, Mumbai, Singapore, Jakarta, Seoul, and Tokyo. www.tiktok.com.

Gen. Eleazar: Improved Police Security in NCR brings in more Tourists, Balikbayans

NCRPO Chief P/Maj. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar acknowledged the vital role that ‘peace and order’ plays in the success of the Philippines’ tourism industry.


NCRPO Chief P/Maj. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar

During a press briefing on the coming Investour Forum sponsored by the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) in Taguig City, Gen. Eleazar yesterday shared that tourism has been a major contributor to the gross income of the country and should thus be supported by the police force and has vowed to enhance the NCRPO’s drive against criminality and violence in the National Capital Region (NCR).

“As in all business investment endeavors, peace and order is a pre-requisite to the success of our tourism industry,” Eleazar stressed. “The support towards the tourism industry sectors provided by the police is therefore critical and essential,” he added.

The NCRPO chief noted that one of the most dreaded pronouncements that a country can get is a travel ban which is generated by two factors: the peace and order situation of the area and health concerns in epidemic proportions.

“From our end here in Metro Manila, we have classified special places and festivals as special tourism points, so that we may provide these places and events the necessary emphasis in terms of police service and support,” Eleazar declared.

According to the NCRPO chief, the classified places include places of historical significance such as the Rizal Park and Paco Park. Other areas included in the classification are five-star hotels and casinos, big shopping malls, business circuits and churches with historical significance.



“With a basic strategy of increasing police presence in these areas, we have had a successful and healthy circulation of foreign and domestic tourists, including balikbayans,” Eleazar revealed. “From January to August of this year, the Department of Tourism and our police districts have tallied 38,183,193 tourists here in Metro Manila alone,” he added.

The NCRPO chief attributed the perky tourism industry in Metro Manila to a robust peace and order situation. “Compared to the last three years of the previous administration, the Duterte administration has recorded a 58% decline in the volume of major crimes, such as murder, homicide, rape, theft, robbery, kidnapping, carnapping, motornapping, and serious physical injuries.”

He then proceeded to attribute the improved peace-and-order situation to eight factors:
- The government’s successful war on drugs 
- The increase in the police force that has boosted police presence
- The role of media in sending a clear message that the police force is doing its job 
- The serious internal cleansing instituted in the NCRPO 
- New communications technology and the advent of social media 
- The increase in the salaries of the police
- The president’s order to implement local ordinances against certain night-time activities
- The NCRPO’s Intensified Cleanliness Policy or ICP.

Gen. Eleazar ended his talk by emphasizing that the NCRPO cannot sit on their laurels. “The quest for the ideal peace and order situation is a never-ending grind for any nation, especially in a developing country like ours,” he stressed.






The press briefing, which was held at the Manila House in Bonifacio Global City, was about the coming “Investour Forum on TIEZA’s Flagship Tourism Enterprise Zones.”




The forum will be held at the Centennial Ballroom of the Manila Hotel, Manila on October 15. The Forum will focus on the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the fiscal and non-fiscal incentives as approved by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and clarify the difference between the 12 Tourism Enterprise Zones (TEZs), five Flagship Tourism Enterprise Zones (FTEZs), and thousands of Registered Tourism Enterprises (RTEs).

September 26, 2019

Last call: Samsung’s Blue Month Offer ends on September 30 - Get amazing bundle products for your Samsung purchase!

Blue Month Offer is in full swing as Samsung’s way of giving thanks to Filipinos for more than 20 years of love and support of the brand. To celebrate their anniversary, Samsung is offering free premium product bundles this season upon purchase of Samsung’s participating products.

“The past two decades would not have been possible without our Filipino customers whose growing demand for product quality continues to push us to create better products. We want to give back the gift of innovation to them by making our products more accessible,” said James Jung, president of Samsung Philippines.

Those looking to buy a new phone can also kickstart their wellness journey this month. With every purchase of the Galaxy A70, A80, S10, or S10e, it comes with a free Galaxy Fit or Galaxy Fit e—Samsung’s newest wearable devices that can track up to 90 workouts.



Meanwhile, families who are looking to upgrade their homes can buy the latest digital appliances including washing machines and refrigerators as these come with a product bundle of Galaxy Fit or Fit e or a Galaxy A20.

They can also upgrade their entertainment systems with the latest Samsung TV. Each purchase of a QLED, Premium UHD, or UHD television comes with a special gift such as the latest Galaxy tablet, a soundbar, a refrigerator, headphones, or its newest flagship device—the Galaxy Note 10.




Gamers also get to level up their gaming experience with a new Samsung monitor for a more immersive game time which will come with Sodexo gift certificates.

These Samsung purchases can also be availed of through 0% Citi Paylite up to 24 months in participating stores nationwide.

Hurry and get the best deals until September 30 only! Visit SamsungPH on Facebook and https://www.samsung.com/ph/offer/blue-month-offer/to know more about the Blue Month Sale.

September 25, 2019

SC Shuts Down Razon Takeover Bid of Iloilo Power Firm

The Supreme Court (SC) shut down the efforts of MORE Electric and Power Corp. (MORE), owned by businessman Ricky Razon, to expropriate the power distribution assets of Panay Electric Company (PECO) in Iloilo.

In a RESOLUTION (GR NO 248061) DATED 14 AUGUST 2019, the SC denied MORE’s prayer for an issuance of a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) and/or writ of preliminary injunction against a previous Mandaluyong Regional Trial Court resolution that declared that the Razon-owned MORE’s expropriation and takeover of rival PECO’s electric distribution assets unconstitutional.


Republic Act 11212 granted MORE the franchise to distribute power in Iloilo City. Under Sections 10 and 17 of RA 11212, MORE is authorized to exercise the power of eminent domain over all the distribution assets and properties of PECO in the franchise area.

The Mandaluyong RTC, however, declared Sections 10 and 17 of RA 11212 void and unconstitutional for infringing on PECO’s rights to due process and equal protection of the law. The RTC also declared, “Consequently, PECO has no obligation to sell and MORE has no right to expropriate PECO’s assets under Sections 10 and 17 of RA 11212; and, PECO’s rights to its properties are protected against arbitrary and confiscatory taking under the relevant portions of Sections 10 and 17 of RA 11212.” See Mandaluyong Judgment.

When MORE appealed the Mandaluyong judgment to the Supreme Court, it asked for a TRO to enable it to proceed with the expropriation. Razon’s power firm is running against a two-year deadline under its franchise to begin operating, otherwise its franchise will be deemed automatically revoked.



With the SC’s denial of the TRO, MORE is prevented from proceeding with the expropriation while it is deciding whether to affirm the declaration of unconstitutionality by the Mandaluyong court.

Meanwhile, the Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN) issued by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) last May 21 allows PECO to continue to operate the distribution system until the establishment or acquisition by the grantee MORE of its own distribution system and its complete transition toward full operations, which will not exceed two years from the grant of the legislative franchise.


PECO Administrative Manager Marcelo Cacho

“Any expropriation efforts by Razon’s MORE has been disallowed by the Supreme Court and if they’re truly serious to serve the people of Iloilo, they will do what it takes to invest and do what Pres. Duterte has called on all businesses: BUILD, BUILD, BUILD, and not TAKE, TAKE, TAKE. And quoting the president himself: Wag mag-agaw ng negosyo,” PECO Administrative Manager Marcelo Cacho said in a press briefing.

In a separate RESOLUTION (GR NO 248061) DATED 02 SEPTEMBER 2019, the Supreme Court declared MORE’s conduct of “vigorously pursuing the expropriation case while appealing at the same time the judgment of the Mandaluyong RTC” as constituting “an insidious form of forum-shopping, both direct and indirect contempt.” The SC then resolved to require MORE and Judge Yvette Go of the Iloilo City RTC to file comment regarding this.



“Panay Electric Company has been serving Iloilo for the last 95 years. We would like to believe that in that span of time, we have been a major part of Iloilo’s journey towards development and economic prosperity,” Cacho noted.

“We will ensure that as we do the right thing—and we enjoin Ricky Razon’s MORE to also do the right thing—we will strengthen our resolve to continue serving and finding the best energy solutions for the people of Iloilo while abiding by whatever decision the Supreme Court hands down,” Cacho stressed.

Pilipinas Shell’s “BiyaHero” brings together private and public for safer roads

Pilipinas Shell’s “BiyaHero” campaign has partnered with the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP), the Automotive Association of the Philippines (AAP), and the Philippine Global Road Safety Partnership (PGRSP) to advocate for more cooperation between the private and public sectors in making the nation’s roads safer for Filipinos.

BiyaHero, a campaign that promotes road safety as a shared responsibility between everyone on the road, participated in the ECCP’s Safer Mobility and Logistics Conference and Exhibition, held from September 24 to 25 in the Tent at Solaire, to highlight Shell’s initiatives in engaging both NGOs and local governments for road safety improvements. 


Short for “Be a Hero on the Road,” Biyahero is currently working with the AAP-PGRSP to introduce safer driving practices in Lipa, Batangas. Shell and the AAP-PGRSP have been partnered since 2008. 

Mandaluyong also serves as the campaign’s pilot city for all of Shell’s road safety efforts. The company plans to involve other cities in the multisectoral efforts to realize better nationwide road safety. 




“We at Shell believe the first step to achieving road safety is to be aware of responsible driving practices,” said Oliver Ortega, Shell Companies in the Philippines’ General Manager for Health, Safety, Security and Environment. “Road safety starts with all of us, and being aware, alert, and prepared can help save lives.”

The ECCP hopes that the conference sparks discussion among safety and logistics stakeholders about how they could contribute to mainstreaming safety by exchanging ideas, initiatives, technology, and best practices. 

Despite comprehensive laws like R.A. 4136, or the Land Transportation and Traffic Code, road accidents continue to be a significant problem. The Metro Manila Accident Reporting and Analysis (MMARAS) 2018 annual report recorded 116,906 total accidents, an increase of approximately 6000 incidents compared to the prior year.

"Some, if not most, of our kababayans have this mentality that 'if I can get away with it, I'll do it.' They violate traffic laws because they don’t see enforcers around," said Cynthia Reyes from AAP-PGRSP. BiyaHero is taking a more holistic approach to solving the problem by promoting a new kind of safety culture in the Philippines. Through this event, BiyaHero will bring all relevant communities together to envision safer roads throughout the country.



As part of the BiyaHero campaign, Shell has prepared several measures that involve numerous different organizations to help promote road safety.

Shell service centers at the retail gas stations have year-long special offers, such as a free 14-point safety check by expert mechanics to motorists who want to make sure that their vehicles are roadworthy. Free engine insurance and roadside assistance are also available for those who opt for the Shell Helix Ultra oil change package.

The initiatives in Lipa and Mandaluyong both include a Road Safety for Children program that hopes to instill the youth with the knowledge of how to be responsible on the road.

Partnerships between Shell and PNP, PNP-HPG, and LTO to disseminate informative materials such as copies of RA 4136 also help ensure the safety and security of drivers during their journeys.

In addition to training its own truck drivers on how to be safe and responsible on the road, Shell has also partnered with A1 Driving School to teach customers defensive driving.



BiyaHero features various safe driving tips that every driver can use daily to stay responsible, such as the different ways to properly maintain a vehicle as well as what a driver can do to minimize discomfort when in transit.

“Shell believes that through ‘BiyaHero,’ everyone can come together to share the responsibility of making every road in the Philippines safer,” said Ortega.


September 23, 2019

GCash powers biggest mobile app summit in PH

GCash, the leading mobile wallet in the Philippines, sponsors the biggest and most anticipated mobile app summit and expo in the country—the SIGN UP! SUMMIT 2019 on September 23 at the World Trade Center, Pasay City.

SIGN UP! SUMMIT 2019 aims to support aspiring online businessowners in establishing their own companies and enterprises. It targets to educate around 12,000 micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) about the essential elements in growing and expanding an e-business.



“By far, SIGN UP! is the biggest gathering of mobile platforms and mobile applications in the Philippines. We want to empower more Filipinos to go digital and help them improve their livelihood,” said Ney Villaseñor, chief corporate affairs officer of GCash.

As the biggest digital alliance in the country today, SIGN UP! attendees can expect to familiarize themselves with various mobile applications, platforms and solutions, as well as be inspired by success stories of other e-preneneurs who are going to be featured at the event.

“GCash is known by many for buying mobile load, paying bills, remitting money and the like, but GCash is more than just these financial services that it offers,” explained Villaseñor. “You can actually do more with your business by expanding it through the app. There’s so much opportunity for GCash when it comes to growing your online shop. Because with GCash, what can’t you do?”

The SIGN UP! SUMMIT is open to anyone, from students to stay-at-home parents. In addition, GCash has prepared a lot of surprises that the attendees can look forward to.

Interested participants can sign up for free and be part of the biggest mobile app summit and expo in the Philippines at www.signup.ph

POPCOM launches the biography of Mr. Rafael M. Salas, the first Executive Director of UNFPA from 1969



The Commission on Population and Development (POPCOM), in partnership with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), launches the biography of Mr. Rafael M. Salas. “Mr. Population” – as he was affectionately known - was one of the first Filipino advocates who made the crucial links between population and development and sexual and reproductive health and rights, globally and in the Philippines.

“Parents have a basic human right to determine freely and responsibly the number and the spacing of their children,” he said in 1968 - a truly novel statement for the time. Entitled “A Millennial Man for Others: The Life and Times of Rafael M. Salas”, the book chronicles his life from his childhood days, and his achievements until his untimely death in 1987. 

Had Mr. Salas been alive today, it would have warmed his heart to see that the fruits of his efforts have finally become more evident with the passage of the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act and the commitment of the present administration to reproductive health and family planning as evidenced by the revamped National Program on Population and Family Planning and the President’s Executive Order to end unmet need for family planning.

NEDA Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Dr. Ernesto M. Pernia welcomes guests to the Rafael M. Salas Book Launch.

Undersecretary and Executive Director of the Commission on Population and Development (POPCOM) said that “POPCOM has been constantly bringing into the consciousness of the Local Government Units (LGUs) and the Filipino people alike the seeds of development work that Mr. Salas planted when he drafted the Executive Order (EO) that would create POPCOM in 1969. In step with the new millennium, POPCOM will soon launch the “Kaunlarang Pantao” Award, using Paeng Salas’ inspiration of development for the people. “

Mr. Salas was also the first Executive Director of UNFPA. He oversaw the birth of the organization in 1969, nurtured it with care, and imbued it with his foresight and vision. Under his leadership, the agency grew from a relatively small body to the world’s largest provider of multilateral development assistance on population dynamics through the prism of sexual and reproductive health and rights and gender equality. As UNFPA Executive Director, Mr. Salas carried the rank of Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations, the highest UN officeaccorded to a Filipino even up to today.

“It is an honor for us to carry on Rafael Salas’ legacy at UNFPA in this historic 50th anniversary year of UNFPA and the 25th anniversary year of the landmark International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), where Mr. Salas’ vision became a global consensus when 179 governments including the Philippines agreed on a call for all people to have access to comprehensive reproductive health care, including voluntary family planning, and safe pregnancy and childbirth services,” said UNFPA Representative in the Philippines, Iori Kato. 

UNFPA Country Representative Iori Kato, Ambassador Carmelita Salas and POPCOM Undersecretary and Executive Director Dr. Juan Antonio A. Perez III after the launch of the biography of Mr. Rafael M. Salas.


Mr. Salas’ legacy continues to this day. Later this year in November, the Governments of Kenya, Denmark and UNFPA are convening a global summit in Nairobi to mark the 25th anniversary of the ICPD, for Member States to express their renewed political and financial commitments towards the promises that they had made in Cairo 25 years ago to support women empowerment through three transformative results: ending unmet need for family planning, ending preventable maternal deaths and ending gender-based violence. 

The book launch marks the 91st birth year anniversary of Mr. Salas and is a venue to continue his legacy as national influential figures in Philippine government, business and civil society gather and take the opportunity to articulate the country’s commitment to Nairobi.

The event will also feature a photo exhibit at the Department of Foreign Affairs, with Dr. Ernesto M. Pernia, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary, of the NEDA, giving the opening statement, followed by a panel discussion on the life of Mr. Salas with Dr. Mercedes Concepcion, and the authors of the book: Mr. Jose Dalisay and Ms. Menchu Sarmiento. Sec. Ernesto Pernia will turn over the book to Mrs. Carmelita Rodriguez Salas who will give a statement. 

September 22, 2019

Century Park Hotel is the Official Residence of Miss Earth 2019 Delegates - Century Park Hotel welcomes Miss Earth Philippines 2019 Women of the Earth during the MOA Signing

Manila, Philippines– Century Park Hotel (CPH), one of the country’s renowned hotels in Manila, recently signed a Memorandum of Agreement to house the Miss Earth 2019 delegates. This is the fourth year that the hotel is playing host to the pageant known for promoting environmental advocacy.

(Standing from L-R): Karen Piccio (Miss Philippines Earth Eco-Tourism 2019), Janelle Dazo Tee (Miss Earth Philippines 2019), Phuong Khanh Nguyen (Miss Earth 2018), Melanie Mader (Miss Earth-Air 2018), & Alexandra Dayrit (Miss Philippines Fire 2019)

(Seated from L-R): Nellwyn Chua (Director of Sales, CPH), Anthony Tan (General Manager, CPH), Lucio “Bong” Tan, Jr. (Director, CPH), Lorraine Schuck (Executive Vice President, Carousel Productions, Inc.), & Peachy Veneracion (VP & Project Director, Carousel Productions, Inc.) pose during the MOA signing.


Carousel Productions, Inc. is the official pageant organizer from the Philippines who founded Miss Earth in 2001. The organization’s mission is to channel the international beauties as an effective tool in promoting environmental preservation and tourist locations around the world.

“We are honored to partner with Miss Earth once again as they embark on a global advocacy towards a greener world through the pageant. It is our endeavor to provide them a home away from their own homes by ensuring a safe, secure and comfortable setting, empowering them to pursue their utmost ecological undertakings,” enthused CPH General Manager, Anthony Tan.


(Standing from L-R ): Alexandra Dayrit (Miss Philippines Fire 2019), Melanie Mader (Miss Earth-Air 2018), Phuong Khanh Nguyen (Miss Earth 2018), Janelle Dazo Tee (Miss Earth Philippines 2019), & Karen Piccio (Miss Philippines Earth Eco-Tourism 2019)

CPH will also be the official venue of the National Costume Competition on October 14, 2019.




Launched in 1976, the Century Park Hotel remains as one of the finest hotels in Manila. It is owned and operated by Maranaw Hotels and Resort Corporation and enjoys a mix of local and international patrons. The renowned establishment has over 500 rooms in varied types and facilities for a complete dining and leisure experience. To know more about Century Park Hotel, visit www.centurypark.com or contact information@centurypark.com.ph and telephone number: (632) 528-8888.

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