Today's Top Stories

  • 6.1 Magnitude Earthquake Claims 10 Lives in Philippines

    6.1 Magnitude Earthquake Claims 10 Lives in Philippines

    The death toll of an earthquake that registered 6.1 magnitude in the richter scale and hit Philippines Monday, has already reached to 10 according to the latest count by authorities. According to Phivolcs, the epicenter of the quake was somewhere in Zambales. The quake also hit 60km north from the capital Metro Manila which had caused structures to collapse and cut the power off. In Pampanga, which was considered worst hit, eight people were reported killed based on the account made by provincial governor Lilia Pineda. Gov Pineda has recommended that her province be declared under state of calamity. A roman catholic church in Pampanga was also damaged including a four-floor building that reportedly went down with some people reportedly trapped inside the building. The ground floor which was a supermarket also crashed according to reports obtained by MDN Digital. Clark airport was ordered temporarily closed due to the damage in its check in counters, parts of the departure area, as well as some ceilings, according to airport official Jaime Melo.   Philvocs recorded 406 aftershocks Tuesday morning and said they are still monitoring more aftershocks to keep people updated, as other folks feared the "The Big One" might be coming. The Philippines was among 13 other countries included in the so-called Pacific Ring of Fire. In the past, a magnitude of 7.8 quake also hit the country killing more than 2,400 people in Northern island of Luzon.  

    April 23, 2019

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  • Sri Lankan Suicide Bomber Spotted on CCTV

    Sri Lankan Suicide Bomber Spotted on CCTV

    Video credit to TV9 One of the six suicide bombers that killed over 300 people in Sri Lanka was spotted on one of the country's installed CCTV cameras. The reported bomber was carrying a bag pack where he allegedly placed the bomb an entered inside the church while churchgoers are having Easter Sunday services. At presstime, no one has yet claimed responsibility of the deadly attack but police authorities have already arrested over a dozen suspects and massive manhunt and investigations are still ongoing. The Sri Lankan government suspected the bombings were carried out by the local homegrown terrorists. They have received reports terrorosts sent out seven suicide bombers and all are allegedly Sri Lankan nationals. Meanwhile, it was learned that weeks before the Sri Lanka's coordinated bombings, the police have received reports that churches in Sri Lanka will be bombed but allegedly did not implement appropriate actions to verify the veracity of the reports. As a result of the failure of top officials to act on said intel report, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremsinghe was sucked from his post by the Sri Lankan president. 

    April 23, 2019

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  • Therma Visayas power plant now online

    Therma Visayas power plant now online

    AboitizPower subsidiary Therma Visayas Inc. has started delivering energy from the first of two 170-MW (150 MW net) baseload units in Toledo City, Cebu.   The second 170-MW unit (150 MW net) is expected to come online by May 2019. “We are happy to have brought Therma Visayas online just in time to support the government’s call for more reliable energy supply as we head towards the midterm elections,” Danel C. Aboitiz, President and COO of AboitizPower’s Coal Business Unit, said. “By having a reliable baseload plant on the island of Cebu, the residents and investors on the island will enjoy a number of economic and strategic benefits that include increased energy security, more competitive prices, and local employment.” The plant will deliver power to Visayan Electric Co., Inc. (Veco) and electric cooperatives, as well as to open access customers in Luzon and the Visayas. Customers with energy supply contracts enjoy stable prices in the long term and are essentially protected from the volatility of the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM). The Toledo baseload power plant uses the latest circulating fluidized bed technology (CFB) and best available control technology (BACT) to minimize emissions to world-class levels. It is the second plant in the Philippines to build a “coal dome” to safely store its coal fuel and prevent fugitive dust outside the facility. The plant started construction in 2015 and at its peak employed around 5,800 people, most of whom came from the host locality. The facility is a joint venture between Aboitiz Power Corp. and Vivant Corp. Apart from TVI, the first unit of GNPower Dinginin baseload power plant with 668 MW gross capacity is also expected to go online later this year, while the second unit, which also has a gross capacity of 668 MW, is currently targeted for commercial operations in 2020. Once operational, these facilities will boost AboitizPower’s capacity and help address the country’s rapidly increasing demand for reliable and cost-efficient power. *** About AboitizPower AboitizPower is the holding company for the Aboitiz Group’s investments in power generation, distribution, and retail electricity services. It advances business and communities by providing reliable and ample power supply at a reasonable and competitive price, and with the least adverse effects on the environment and host communities. The company is one of the largest power producers in the Philippines with a balanced portfolio of assets located across the country. It is a major producer of Cleanergy, its brand for clean and renewable energy with several hydroelectric, geothermal and solar power generation facilities. It also has thermal power plants in its generation portfolio to support the baseload and peak energy demands of the country. The company also owns distribution utilities that operate in high-growth areas in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao, including the second and third largest private utilities in the country.

    April 22, 2019

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  • Bong Go pushes for advancement of cooperatives and MSMEs in the country

    Bong Go pushes for advancement of cooperatives and MSMEs in the country

    FORMER Special Assistant to the President and 2019 senatorial candidate Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go on Sunday committed to support the advancement of the cooperatives in the country as well as the development of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). “Susuportahan ko po ang pagsulong ng Philippine Cooperative Development Plan (PCDP) at MSME Development Plan,” said Go in his message during the 13th General Assembly and 14th Founding Anniversary of Southern Global Services Multi-Purpose Cooperative at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay City.      Among others, the PCDP seeks to implement measures, such as documentation of cooperative best practices; modelling of cooperative good governance and ethical practices; cooperative education program, and promotion of the cooperative movement in general.       On the other hand, the MSME Development Program is a P50-B assistance and development program until 2022 to alleviate the plight of MSME. Among its components include the micro-financing program called “Pondo sa Pagbabago at Pag-asenso (P3), construction of more shared service facilities (SSF) across the country, and international trade promotion to open global markets for MSMEs.      “Paigtingin (ko po) ang mga programa tulad ng Pondo sa Pagbabago at Pag-asenso para magbigay ng loan sa mababang interest at isusulong ko po ang mga dagdag negosyo centers para mas maraming makapaghanap-buhay sa mga miyembro ng kooperatiba,” Go said.       Started in 2014, the Negosyo Centers help stimulate entrepreneurship development in the countrysides.      Likewise, Go assured the officials and members of the cooperative that they can always rely on him to bring to the attention of President Rodrigo Duterte any concerns or request for assistance.       “Anyway nandidiyan naman po si Pangulong Duterte, may three years pa po siya. Kung papano po kami makakatulong po sa inyo--- asahan nyo po na ako po ang patuloy ninyong magiging tulay kay Pangulong Duterte,” Go said.       With the consent of the cooperative officials and members, Go also took the opportunity to explain to them his plans for the Senate.       “Ipagpapatuloy ko po ang mga pagbabagong inumpisahan ni Pangulong Duterte,” said Go, referring in particular to the campaign against illegal drugs, criminality and corruption.      “Itong kampanya sa corruption, tuloy-tuloy po ito. Kahit yung mga tumulong sa kanya sa kampanya at nagpapapawis, sabi ni Pangulong Duterte, pag pumasok sa corruption maghiwa-hiwalay tayo dahil interest ng bayan ang una bago interest ng sarili at kaibigan—ganyan po si Pangulong Duterte,” he added.      Go likewise said that among his top priorities include efforts to improve the delivery of health services in the country, not only through improved facilities for public health institutions but also with the establishment of Malasakit Center.      A program of the Duterte administration based on Go’s idea, the Malasakit Center makes it easier and faster for poor patients to avail of medical and financial assistance from the government by bringing together in one room all concerned agencies such as the DOH, DSWD, PCSO and Philhealth.       “Gusto ko pong maisabatas ito pagdating ng panahon para tuloy-tuloy ang programa kahit hindi na Pangulo si Pangulong Duterte. Basta po Pilipino qualified dito at may express lane pa para sa disabled at senior citizens,” said Go. He also wants to establish Malasakit Centers in more provinces and key urban centers of the country.      Other priority concerns under Go’s legislative agenda include agriculture, housing for the poor, education, long-term sports development, fire protection and prevention, localized peace talks, barangay welfare, creation of a Department of OFW, and improved benefits for senior citizens.       “Alam nyo, serbisyo lang kami (ni Pangulong Duterte). Ang serbisyo sa tao, serbisyo sa Diyos,” Go said.       “Wala kaming ibang hangarin ni Pangulong Duterte kundi kabutihan ng bawat Pilipino dahil mahal namin kayo,” he added.

    April 22, 2019

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mu-X Owners of the Philippines Embarks on an Epic 3-day Northern Luzon Loop

April 10, 2019

Motoring

By: , Proving that the Isuzu mu-X SUV provides the power, comfort, and fuel efficiency needed for its drivers and passengers to enjoy epic, long drives, the country's first Isuzu mu-X club, the mu-X Owners of the Philippines (mu-X OP), successfully concluded a 3-day caravan, 1,300-km loop of central and northern Luzon last March 29 to 31.      More than 100 mu-X OP members and their families joining the long caravan of mu-X SUVs, the itinerary included some of the most picturesque destinations in central and northern Luzon: Poro Point in San Fernando, La Union; Vigan, Ilocos Sur; Paoay Church in Ilocos Norte; the Burgos and Bangui Windmills; the Patapat Viaduct, the rolling hills of Kalinga province, and; Magat Dam in Nueva Ecija.      Isuzu Philippines Corporation (IPC) officers and members of the motoring media joined the fun summer ride on board two 3.0-liter mu-X units and witnessed once more the joy and camaraderie mu-X OP members shared among themselves as they hopped from one breathtaking destination to another.      Mu-X OP has been actively engaged in numerous family tours and outreach programs, keeping the fun, friendly, family-centered and neighborly spirit of the club alive and thriving through their use and shared enjoyment of their Isuzu mu-X SUVs. These caravans are also meant to entice other mu-X owners join the Club.      Mu-X OP's Board of Trustee, Mr. Jomar Lianko described this latest ride of the Club:      "Like all our other trips in the past, this latest caravan has been very successful. Our Metro Manila members were joined along the way by other club members based in central and northern Luzon. And as you can see, every member of the family enjoyed the tour, despite the length of the trip and the fact that we're constantly on the road. It just proves that the Isuzu mu-X is very comfortable and safe that we hear no complaints from the passengers. Plus, the perfect blend of fuel efficiency and power of Isuzu mu-X provides our Club members a worry-free drive and lets them focus more on enjoying the trip."       He added: “With mu-X OP already counting more than 3,000 members nationwide, we envision all mu-X owners in the Philippines to join us. And one way of enticing new members is to show them how active we are in our organized fun tours and various community-building activities.”      Mr. Dennis Magbitang also expressed his gratitude to IPC for consistently supporting the Club in its endeavors. "IPC's support means a lot for the members, and it gives practical meaning to the company's motto of being 'Responsible Partners'."      For their part, IPC officers also expressed their thanks to mu-X OP members, stating that the Club's various fun and community-building activities exemplify how Isuzu mu-X can be an integral and dependable part of the Filipino motorist's lifestyle, enticing future mu-X owners to explore the many possible ways they can enjoy their Isuzu vehicle.

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Taking the Suzuki Swift on a Scenic Drive to Bataan

April 8, 2019

Motoring

By: , Combining a trial run and quick getaway in one occasion, Suzuki Philippines (SPH) offered members of the motoring media a chance to get behind the wheel of the all-new Suzuki Swift and experience first-hand its outstanding performance and quality craftsmanship. The two-day test drive last March 28 and 29 took the media to the scenic Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar in Bataan from Suzuki Auto Caloocan and then back.       The well-loved Suzuki hatchback’s stylishly youthful vibe and sporty look made even modish with accessory kit provided a refreshing contrast to the restored Spanish-Filipino houses of Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar.      During the 3-hour drive to Bataan, the Swift was able to prove its fuel efficiency, powerful performance and advanced safety features as the motoring media navigated the straight lines of NLEX and bumpy roads of Bataan. Swift’s GL grade features contributes to solid footwork, making it easy to traverse rough roads of Bagac, Bataan.        Suzuki Philippines Director and General Manager for Automobile Keiichi Suzuki kicked off the media test drive with his welcome remarks at Suzuki Caloocan. “Since its launch in 2018, the all-new Suzuki Swift has been receiving good response, and this media test drive is another proof of the Swift’s reliable performance on the road. It is also a testament to our ability to keep up with the changing needs of Filipino drivers, especially the millennial market. The Swift continues to evolve to offer our young Filipino drivers a richer driving experience. This is another way we reach out to more Filipinos and share with them the Suzuki Way of Life,” Suzuki shares.

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Suzuki Philippines Showcases Full Line Up at 15th Manila International Auto Show

April 8, 2019

Motoring

By: , 16th Manila International Auto Show Pioneer compact distributor Suzuki Philippines joins the 16th Manila International Auto Show held this weekend at the World Trade Center, Pasay City. The most-anticipated event for auto enthusiasts and industry professionals throughout the country, this year‘s MIAS had an estimate of more than 130,000 visitors.       During the four-day event, Suzuki Philippines highlighted how its vehicles deliver combined fun, functionality and comfort to give Filipinos an optimal driving experience. The brand’s most-valued vehicles-the multifunction 7-seater Ertlga, multi-awarded subcompact sedan Ciaz, bold and relentless 4x4 all-new Jimny, welI-loved hatchback Swift, exquisite sedan Dzire and stylish SUV Vitara were available for preview so visitors to the SPH booth got the chance to examine these Suzuki best-sellers.       In line with SPH‘s nationwide advocacy of raising awareness about road safety, the Suzuki Safety Scouts were present during the trade show to encourage guests to join the campaign. Visitors could register kids 4 to 14 years old for free to become an official Suzuki Safety Scout.       In addition to a Safety Scout uniform. members will be given road safety activity books. They will also undergo safety training. Families were able to enjoy fun-filled activities located at Suzuki Philippines‘ booth and had chances to win attractive prizes.       SPH Director and Automobile Division General Manager Keiichi Suzuki noted how joining the MIAS helps Suzuki Philippines further its mission in the country. “We continue to pursue our goal of providing Filipinos with the right and fun-to-drive vehicles. For the 16th Manila International Auto Show, we are featuring our exciting lineup of vehicles that offers the right mix of reliable performance, functionality and fun. With these Suzuki vehicles, more Filipinos can enjoy the Suzuki Way of Life, be it in overcoming urban traffic, taking the family to a quick weekend escape or going on an off-road adventure with friends.” said Keiichi.

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IPC Entices Loyal Isuzu owners to ‘Upgrade their Drive’ in New Promo

April 4, 2019

Motoring

By: , Starting March 15 until September 30, 2019, Isuzu Philippines Corporation offers its “Upgrade Your Drive” promo to private individual (non-fleet) owners of Isuzu vehicles to make it even easier for them to own any of the brand-new variants of the Isuzu D-MAX pickup or Isuzu mu-X SUV.      Here are the two easy steps to upgrading your drive:      1) If you own any of the following Isuzu vehicles, regardless of year model or variant: Gemini, Hi-Lander, Fuego, Trooper, Alterra, Crosswind, D-MAX and mu-X- head on over to your nearest Isuzu dealership.      2) Present to your sales executive a copy of the following documents:      Accomplished Isuzu Upgrade your Drive application form;       Valid LTO Official Receipt (OR) and Certificate of Registration (CR) that reflects your name as original owner of the vehicle, and two valid IDs.      If you bought your Isuzu vehicle from a previous original owner, then bring a valid OR/CR of the vehicle that already reflects your name, or a notarized deed of sale/transfer if the vehicle’s OR and CR is still under the original owner’s name.      3) Upon verification of your documents, the Isuzu dealership can then qualify you for a P10,000 cash discount on your next purchase of any brand-new variants of the Isuzu mu-X and /or Isuzu D-MAX (except Cab & Chassis). This cash discount is on top of any other existing promo or discount schemes your dealership may give you during the promo period.      With the Isuzu “Upgrade Your Drive” promo, it’s now even easier to enjoy so many more years of that world-class Isuzu motoring experience.

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Cebu Pacific commences direct Cebu-Shanghai flights

April 22, 2019

Corporate

By: , The Philippines’ leading carrier, Cebu Pacific (PSE: CEB) begins commercial operation of its direct service between Cebu and Shanghai, China. Shanghai, the biggest city in China and a global financial hub, is CEB's sixth international route with direct access to its Cebu hub. The improved air connectivity is expected to boost inbound and outbound travelers for both route’s dynamic leisure and business opportunities. Shanghai’s unique oriental charm is perfect for Filipinos who want to experience a mix of Eastern and Western cultures. Often dubbed as The Oriental Paris, Shanghai boasts of beautiful modern skyscrapers and landmarks rich in culture and history. The Cebu-Shanghai flight departs from the Mactan-Cebu International Airport at 6:50pm. The flight’s evening departure allows neighboring cities such as Davao, Cagayan de Oro, Dumaguete and Iloilo to connect seamlessly and fly to the biggest city in China via Cebu City. The return flight from Shanghai, on the other hand, will depart at 11:55pm. The inaugural flight was graced by Blessie Cruz, Cebu Pacific’s director for marketing “The Cebu-Shanghai route will link two premier Asian destinations—reinforcing Cebu as a key hub for both domestic and international travel—enabling easier and more efficient access within the Philippines and neighboring countries for millions of residents in the Visayas and Mindanao.” Also in attendance were DOT 7’s supervising tourism officer Judilyn Quiachon and Andrew Acquaah-Harrison, GMR-Megawide’s Chief Executive Adviser; in full support of the inaugural flight. The new Cebu-Shanghai route is in line with the carrier’s plans to expand capacity in Cebu to meet increasing demand. The carrier had earlier stated it would ramp-up capacity in its Cebu hub by as much as 20% in 2019. Aside from Shanghai, Cebu Pacific flies direct between Cebu, Hong Kong and Macau in China; as well as Narita, Japan; Incheon, Korea and Singapore. CEB also has direct flights from Cebu to 22 other domestic destinations.

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DOST Misamis Occidental brings Enhanced Packaging to Awezamiz Complementary Food

April 16, 2019

Corporate

By: , Words of gratitude and glee filled the City Mayor’s Office of Ozamiz City as the Supervising Administrative Officer of the Local Government Unit, Ms. Maria Lucy R. Cabalit together with the Ozamiz City Complementary Food Production Facility (CFPF) Head, Ms. Lelita G. Navarez received the 60,000 pieces of Rice Mongo Sesame (RMS) Baby Food Blend packaging material last 08 April 2019. In 2016, LGU Ozamiz City was one of the beneficiaries of the DOST-Food Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI) project on the roll-out of complementary food production facility to address malnutrition of young children ages 6 to 59 months old. Ozamiz City CFPF is capable of producing RMS baby food blend for 6 to 24 months old toddlers and Rice Mongo (RM) Crunchies for 25 to 59 months old children. To continually improve and hasten production of these complementary food products, DOST Region 10 through the Provincial Science and Technology Center of Misamis Occidental headed by Ms. Eufresnie Ann D. Simbajon extended additional support to the facility amounting to more than P300,000.00. Mechanical bean roaster and electric double deep fryer were turned over last 11 February 2019. To compete with the existing commercial brands of baby food products in the market, DOST also provided assistance on the packaging and labelling design and initial execution of the RMS baby food blend. “Naa na gyud maka compete sa commercial brand (RMS baby food blend can now compete with the commercial brands)” Ms. Cabalit said. To support waste management, Ms. Navarez eagerly said that discounts will be given to the next purchase of the customers who will return the used packaging materials. These will then be utilized to produce eco bags, wallets and other novelty materials. The Local Government Unit of Ozamiz City was grateful to DOST’s assistance. “DOST are the people behind the scene”, Ms. Cabalit added with sincere gratitude. (Joanne Katherine R. Banaag, DOST-X) About the picture (IMG_0956-2.jpg) Turnover of 60,000 pieces RMS Baby Food Blend packaging to LGU Ozamiz City with Ms. Maria Lucy Cabalit representing the City Mayor, Ms. Lelitha G. Navarez head of the Ozamiz City Complementary Food Production Facility, and PSTD Eufresnie Ann D. Simbajon and the PSTC staffs The Department of Science and Technology – Region X (DOST-X) envisions to be an effective and competent catalyst of inclusive development by providing world class and innovative Science & Technology services in Region X.

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The Night Stalker: Botoy’s forays into resto business with Big Tummy’s

April 16, 2019

Corporate

By: The Night Stalker, The Johnny-come-lately-that-could from Bulua is stepping up its game with a foray into the restaurant business.      Botoy’s Litson Manok, BBQ and Liempo will be opening up its first ever restaurant in Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental in about a month’s time.      During a briefing held for CDO Bloggers officers 2nd Quarterly Meeting held at their flagship store in Bulua, Joan M. Delatado, D.M., CEO of McAlba Foods Corporation said the new resto dubbed Big Tummy’s (The Foodies Den) will be a casual dining, self service establishment similar to big fast food chains that would serve as a template for future franchising opportunities.      “McAlba Foods is our company for our Botoy’s kiosks while Big Tummy’s will be under Paragon Foods & Catering Corporation which will handle all our company owned restaurants,” Delatado said. “Franchising for both will be handled by Botoy's Lechon Franchising Corp.”      The new resto is under construction at the site of the existing Botoy’s outlet in Tagoloan, which she said is a very promising location that’s near big industries facing the public plaza, near the church and municipal hall, and schools where there are currently no fast food chains or restaurants, and no other function rooms except for Paula’s hotel, so those wishing to have business or social functions often have no other choice than go to Cagayan de Oro city, a good hour’s commute away.      From the artist’s renderings of Big Tummy’s shown to us by Ms. Joan, a Botoy’s To Go counter will be standard for all future restos.  Big Tummy’s Tagoloan will be complemented by another in Gingoog City. Parking is available and so will the ubiquitous free Wifi.      “We also plan to expand this flagship store in Bulua to another Big Tummy’s,” she added, though a timeline for the expansion as yet to be set.      The all Filipino menu will have a fixed set menu for the ground floor restaurant serving the usual Botoy’s grilled staples BBQ, lechon manok, liempo, as well as grilled  seafood like panga, tuna belly, shrimps, kinilaw, calamares, boneless marine bangus from Balingasag.  Take note to look for the sintra board for specials. Affordable combo meals will also be available as well as family boodles fights for Sunday.      Beverages served include Coca Cola drinks, frappes and fruit shakes.      Its target demographic range from kids to adults and it will be open as early as 5AM to serve breakfast and close at 9PM.  Deliveries of call-in orders will be shared between the Tagoloan store and the Bulua store, whichever can serve the orders fastest. Catering for outside events will also be entertained.      Besides the restaurant on the ground floor, both restos will also have 2nd floor function room which can accommodate up to 100 persons.  It will also have a coffee shop serving pastries, coffee and the like when no function is scheduled as well as a kiddie’s corner, becoming a chill place to unwind on weekends with live acoustic music.      Besides the CDO Bloggers officers, we were also entertained by Romnick B. Morcina, who now supervises Botoy’s Divisoria and Tagoloan.      Ms. Joan has invited us to cover the opening of Big Tummy’s (The Foodies Den) in Tagoloan either this month or early May. We can’t wait!

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DAR to begin parcelization of collective CLOAs

April 15, 2019

Corporate

By: , The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) recently issued guidelines and procedures on the parcelization of landholdings with Collective Certificates of Land Ownership Award (CCLOA) through Administrative Order No. 02, Series of 2019 to stabilize ownership, tenureship and control of the lands awarded to agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARB). Secretary John R. Castriciones said pursuant to Section 25 of the Republic Act (R.A.) No. 5567, as amended by Section 10 of R.A. No. 9700, the DAR is mandated to immediately undertake the parcelization of CCLOAs over lands that are not collectively farmed or operated in an integrated manner. Castriciones added that in the past decades, many landholdings were awarded to ARBs under a collective and non-subdivided form of ownership wherein qualified beneficiaries may opt for collective ownership, through farmers’ cooperatives, associations or some other form of organizations for the issuance of CCLOAs. “There are reports from the field implementers and civil society organization regarding disputes or controversies among ARBs with existing CCLOAs due to boundary conflicts, inclusions and exclusions of ARBs, and other conflicts resulting to the splitting of groups into sub-groups and co-owners opting for individual ownership,” the DAR chief said. He added that there are landholdings covered with CCLOAs, which have been acquired and distributed under financing from the Land Bank of the Philippines, where the government has not been able to collect land amortization, while the ARBs have not been able to fully pay the lands  for them to become full owners, due to the difficulty in generating the Land Distribution and Information Schedule. Castriciones said that through parcelization, the DAR will subdivide and determine the exact meters and bounds of the areas, allocate lots for each ARB in a CCLOA, determine common use areas and portions with common service facilities, and establish areas capable of being alienated and disposed of by the government. CCLOAs refer to existing and registered certificates of land ownership award issued by the DAR to farmers’ cooperatives, associations, other organized groups, or group of ARBs who are not yet formally organized.

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Personal Remittances Reach US$5.3 Billion for the First Two Months of 2019

April 15, 2019

Money Matters

By: , Personal remittances from overseas Filipinos (OFs) amounted to US$2.56 billion in February 2019, higher by 1.2 percent from US$2.53 billion in February 2018. This brought the cumulative remittances for the first two months of the year to US$5.30 billion, representing a 2.3 percent year-on-year growth, BSP Governor Benjamin E. Diokno announced today.1Personal remittances from sea-based and land-based workers with work contracts of less than one year rose by 8.5 percent to US$0.57 billion in February 2019 from US$0.53 billion in February 2018. This compensated for the 0.43 percent decline in the personal remittances from land-based workers with work contracts of one year or more, to US$1.93 billion from US$1.94 billion. Meanwhile, cash remittances from OFs coursed through banks posted a 1.5 percent growth to US$2.30 billion in February 2019 from US$2.27 billion last year. For the first tw o months of 2019, cash remittances amounted to US$4.78 billion, an increase of 3.0 percent compared to the US$4.65 billion level in the same period last year. This growth was supported by the increase in remittances from both land-based (US$3.73 billion) and sea-based (US$1.06 billion) workers, which rose by 1.0 percent and 10.5 percent, respectively. By country source, the United States registered the highest share of overall remittances for the period at 35.5 percent. It was followed by Saudi Arabia, Singapore, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, Japan, Canada, Qatar, Hong Kong, and Germany.2 The combined remittances from these countries accounted for 77.3 percent of total cash remittances for January to February 2019.

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Boost personal savings for retirement, Pinoys told

April 8, 2019

Money Matters

By: , Filipinos are encouraged to start saving and investing now to prepare for their retirement plans. Melissa Henson, senior vice president and chief marketing officer at Manulife Philippines, said they should set up a retirement financial plan “sooner”. “How much money I am making? How much I am spending? How much I am saving? Of the amount that I am saving, where I am putting it and how quickly it is growing? Will it grow fast enough to give me enough for the years that I expect to live beyond my retirement or do I need to either save more or maybe diversify my investment plans so that I can put some money longer term and some instruments that will give me higher returns?,” she said in an interview on Friday. Henson gave this advice following release of a survey indicating that Filipinos have the lowest personal income saved for retirement across key Asian markets, and majority of them are looking into continuing working after leaving their employment. The 2018 Manulife Investor Sentiment Index (MISI) revealed that Filipino investors only have personal income equivalent to 3.6 months set aside for their retirement, lower than the average 2.9 years for other Asian investors. Investors in Taiwan have the highest retirement savings, with personal income set aside good for 4.5 years. They are followed by investors in China and Indonesia who both have retirement savings that can last for 4.1 years. The survey underscored the huge gap between Filipino investors’ current and ideal retirement savings. They also believe that savings equivalent to 2.1 years’ worth of personal income is enough, remarkably low compared with the regional average of 12 years. Henson said MISI results indicate that neighbor countries are “more active and more aware in terms of preparing for their retirement.” “What we found in the surveys that we done over the years is that Filipinos are really more optimistic in terms of their attitude towards investment and finances,” she said. “We are always happier about the results of our investments or the returns, we are always more optimistic even we are falling behind our savings goals, (thinking that) we can catch up. That optimism actually I think makes us maybe a little bit too confident that we can achieve the same goals within less time,” she explained. The MISI further revealed that as much as 84 percent of Filipino investors are looking into continuing working after retirement, either on a full-time or part-time basis. Top reasons for active retirement across age groups include keeping busy and occupied (66 percent), physical and mental health (65 percent), pursuing interests and enjoying life (63 percent), as well as financial considerations such as maintaining or improving living standards (59 percent), and saving additional money for the future (56 percent). According to MISI, there is strong interest among those 50 years old and above to pursue digital work, either on a full-time or part-time basis. More Filipinos participate in digital jobs compared to most parts of Asia, it added. Freelance work and e-commerce top the list of prevalent digital jobs in the country, accounting for 71 percent and 55 percent, respectively, of full-time digital jobs. MISI is a proprietary survey measuring and tracking investors’ views across eight markets in the region on their attitudes towards key asset classes and issues related to personal financial planning. It is based on 4,011 online interviews in Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines, and Indonesia. Respondents are middle class to affluent investors aged 25 years and above who are the primary decision maker of financial matters in the household, and currently have investment products. (PNA)

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Security Bank Foundation trains Math, Science teachers nationwide

April 3, 2019

Money Matters

By: , SECURITY BANK  Foundation, in partnership with the Ateneo Center for Educational Development (ACED), conducted a three-day teachers’ training focused on strategies and tools in teaching Mathematics and Science subjects in Quezon City, Cebu City and Davao City. The annual teachers’ training programwas a major component of Security Bank Foundation’s “Build a School, Build a Nation: The Classrooms Project”. The training was attended by 301 Elementary, Junior High School and Senior High School teachers from the Foundation’s beneficiary schools nationwide. The training introduced different teaching strategies that will help the teachers engage the learners and encourage their active participation in class. Mentors from ACED shared various teaching approaches like drawing on past experiences and existing knowledge to discover new things and asking questions to enrich inquisitiveness.      The training emphasized the need to make learning collaborative, fun and interactive. Mentors introduced digital learning applications that teachers can customize to test students on their understanding of the lessons through gameplay.  They also provided online resources where teachers can download videos and other visual materials for presentation in class.  Teachers were asked to do Science experiments to highlight the importance of hands-on activities in sparking students’ interest, curiosity and critical thinking. Visualization was introduced as a tool in teaching Mathematics where students see first the concept before solving mathematical abstracts. The training was filled with simulations of different kinds of group activities that encourage creativity, collaboration and communication among students.      The teachers also attended a financial wellness learning session conducted byElsa De Gracia,Security Bank Wellness Coach, where they learned about managing their finances and growing their fundsthrough investments.       Since 2014, Security Bank Foundation has trained 1,003 teachers in Araling Panlipunan, English, Mathematics and Science teaching strategies.      Here are testimonials from some of the teachers who participated in the training:      “The training gave me ideas on how to enhance my teaching with the use of technology – applications that can make learning exciting and interesting.”      - Jovy Jane Casiple, Junior High School Science Teacher of Emiliano Lizares National High School (Bacolod City, Negros Occidental)      “The training challenged me as a teacher to do the best that I can for my students to like and love mathematics.”      - Marilyn Bucog, Junior High School Mathematics Teacher of Jagobiao National High School (Mandaue City, Cebu)      “The training made us realize that there are a lot of techniques on how the teaching and learning process can be made enjoyable and motivating for students to ensure productive learning. Now is the right time to start re-exploring.”      - Angelina Besa, Junior High School Science Teacher of Leyte National High School (Tacloban City, Leyte)      “Learners must have experiential learning from the very beginning of the class. That way, they will enjoy learning.”      - Brian Baluca, Elementary Science Teacher of Tagbilaran City Central Elementary School (Tagbilaran City, Bohol)      “The training opened my mind that Science should not only be taught because of the content itself. It should be taught for the learners to discover things. Teachers should deal more on how the learners will uphold the lesson and use it in the future.”      - Wilson Panes, Jr. Elementary Science Teacher of Inzo Arnaldo Village Integrated School (Roxas City, Capiz)      “To be honest, if the strategies I have learned from this seminar were already introduced during my elementary days, I know that I would have been very participative, excited and enthusiastic. As a teacher, I will let my pupils experience what I had experienced from this seminar.”      - Rolando Fuego, Elementary Science Teacher of Cugman Elementary School (Cagayan De Oro City, Misamis Oriental)      “The teachers’ training made us realize the importance of engaging learners in learning subjects such as physics, chemistry and research. These subjects sure are tough but one can make them exciting and interactive for our learners throughvaried learning activities.”      - Rowell Tuquib, Senior High School Science Teacher of Banisil National High School (General Santos City, South Cotabato)

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Security Bank Wins Big at The Asset Benchmark Research Awards

December 21, 2017

Money Matters

By: , Since 2014, Security Bank Corporation has been consistent in winning this distinction, recognizingits potential for investors in the region. Security Bank Corporation (PSE: SECB) recently bagged three accolades from the prestigious Asset Benchmark Research Awards at the Conrad Centennial Hotel in Singapore. Lauded by local and regional financial institutions, Security Bank was recognized as “Top Bank for Government Bonds”, “Top Bank for Corporate Bonds” and “Top Investment House in the Philippines by the said body. The Asset uses the Asian Local Currency Bond Benchmark Review in determining the winners of the said award. The review is conducted annually with respondents from various investors in Asia using different methods to give subscribers detailed, actionable results. “We are deeply humbled by the awards we have received from The Asset. These achievements further inspire us to continue providing the best in market banking services that we offer to our loyal investors and banking clients,” says Security Bank Corporation President & CEO Alfonso Salcedo, Jr. “Fulfilling our BetterBanking promise, these awards prove that Security Bank is one of Asia’s most competitive banks in the region,” he concludes. Security Bank officers were also recognized on the same awards night: Ramon M. Arriola, Jr., Dino Aquino and Nicolo Cruz were recognized as Most Astute Investors; Carlyn Dulay and Angeline Sia-Uy were lauded for being Best Individuals in Sales while Rossanna Refuerzo was awarded as the Best Individual in Trading. More than 300 industrial fixed income investors across 11 Asian markets were surveyed to rate the best banks or securities companies using a strict criteria. Security Bank was deemed as one of the best banks and financial service institutions by investors. The Asset Benchmark Research Awards has produced peer-generated rankings of best individuals and most astute investors in Asian local currency and Asian G3 bonds for more than a decade. The Asset only awards the best financial institutions that vetted premium financial services to its investors.

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Cebu Pacific keeps travelers connected with CEB WiFi Kit

April 22, 2019

Billboard

By: , No more #FOMO for Cebu Pacific passengers as the Philippines’ leading airline launches the CEB WiFi Kit, a rentable, portable hotspot, for those who need roaming and web access services throughout their trip. In partnership with Big Sky Nation, the CEB WiFi Kit allows travelers to enjoy unlimited data roaming with up to 4G/LTE speeds in over 100 countries. It can connect to up to five devices and can also function as a power bank.  “Staying connected is now a must-have in every traveler’s journey. With this in mind, we have looked into how we may delight our passengers further and make more moments happen on their travels,” said Candice Iyog, Cebu Pacific Vice President for Marketing and Distribution. “The CEB WiFi Kit is a cost-efficient and convenient alternative to buying temporary SIM cards or renting WiFi kits at foreign destinations.” In its pilot phase, the CEB WiFi Kit is available for flights departing at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3. A kit may be reserved on the website, as a travel add-on, while booking or managing a booking, up to four hours before the flight is scheduled to depart. Passengers may pick-up their rented devices at the CEB WiFi Kit booth located before the boarding gates at the NAIA Terminal 3. On-the-spot rentals are also accommodated at the booth, subject to device availability, up to one hour before the scheduled time of departure. The CEB WiFi Kit comes with a hard-shell case, a USB cable, an embedded battery pack, and a user manual. Daily rental depends on the destination and how long the device will be needed, plus a refundable security deposit of PHP4,000. Zone 1, which covers all the Cebu Pacific destinations in Asia, except Brunei and the United Arab Emirates, costs P450.00 a day; while Zone 2, covering CEB destinations in Australia and Guam, is available for only P550.00. Upon returning to Manila, CEB WiFi kit renters can return the device and claim their deposit at the Arrival Hall of the NAIA Terminal 3. For more information about the CEB WiFi Kit, visit www.cebupacificair.com.

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PLDT is PH’s Undisputed Leader in Home Broadband

April 22, 2019

Billboard

By: , Telco giant earmarked historic-high capex at P78.4 Billion for improved customer services   Telecom and digital services leader PLDT, Inc. boosted revenues of its Home Business Group by 10% to its highest-ever level of P36.4 billion in 2018, powered by rising customer demand for its fiber-powered broadband services. In the past year, PLDT signed up 245,000 new Home customers for its fiber-powered internet services which increased its broadband subscriber base to over 1.9 million.   This raised PLDT Home’s data service revenues by 33% to P27.5 billion, which now accounts for 75% of total Home revenues. “2018 has been a stellar year for PLDT Home,” PLDT-Smart SVP and Consumer Business Market Development Head Oscar A. Reyes, Jr. said. “With our aggressive network expansion, we were able to provide Filipinos everywhere in the country with the most powerful network, world-class products and diverse content that allow them to fully embrace and enjoy their digital lifestyles.” Reyes said demand for high-speed broadband services at Home has been driven by the growing appetite of Filipinos for online video entertainment services such as Netflix, iflix, Cignal and the NBA. “Several recent studies have shown that Filipinos are among the most enthusiastic users of online video in the world.  We are now watching more video online than through broadcast TV,” he explained. To serve this growing demand, PLDT expanded its fixed and mobile broadband networks through a record-high capital expenditures (capex) program that reach P58.5 billion in 2018.  As a result, PLDT’s increased the coverage of its fiber-powered fixed network by 57% to 6.3 million homes passed, exceeding by end-2018 its 2020 target.  Along with greater coverage, PLDT increased the available capacity of its fixed broadband network to 2.6 million ports, 2.6 times more versus the previous year. To support this rapid expansion, PLDT also added nearly 70,000 kilometers of fiber cables, expanding its total fiber network to over 244,000 kilometers by 2018, a 39% increase from end-2017. PLDT’s aggressive nationwide fiber expansion, through its Fibr City program, continued in 2018. With the cooperation of Local Government Units (LGUs), PLDT has fiber-powered numerous areas, including favorite tourist destination El Nido in Palawan, as well as the country’s bustling shoe capital Marikina City in Metro Manila. Earlier, It transformed key urban areas into PLDT Fibr Cities starting with Toledo City in Cebu, General Santos in Mindanao, Naga City in the Bicol region, as well as South Metro Manila, East Metro Manila, and central business districts like Rockwell Makati and Bonifacio Global City, while Cavite became the first “Smart Province.” For 2019, PLDT and its wireless subsidiary Smart Communications are further raising the bar by allocating a new historic-high capex program of P78.4 billion, P20 billion higher than 2018.  This includes a substantial allocation for “Customer Capex” which covers the cost of last-mile and customer premises equipment like modems and acquisition of vehicles, equipment and office space for the new corps of technicians that will fast-track and improve the quality of installation and repair of fixed broadband connections. “This increased allocation for customer capex will enable us to quickly connect more homes and businesses with fiber-powered, high-speed fixed broadband,” Reyes explained. PLDT’s continuing network expansion and improvement efforts have raised the level of internet services to its growing customer base.  This has been confirmed by leading international internet testing companies. For example, global internet testing and analysis leader Ookla cited PLDT as the Philippines’ fastest fixed network in 2018.  In the third and fourth quarters of last year, PLDT posted a Speed Score™ of 18.57, with top download speeds of 52.28 Mbps and top upload speeds of 55.95 Mbps. Late last year, PLDT beefed up its service portfolio with the launch of Google Wifi and Prepaid Home WiFi. The telco giant ushers a new era of home broadband by introducing the new PLDT Home Google Wifi plans that enable customers to enjoy unlimited high-speed Fibr in every room of the house through strategically placed Google Wifi ‘points.’ These ‘points’ form part of a mesh networking technology that eliminate WiFi dead spots to make the most out of PLDT Home’s fastest unlimited Fibr connection for the family. The Prepaid Home WiFi is PLDT’s first ever prepaid broadband service that is powered by Smart’s LTE network, the Philippines’s fastest mobile Internet service according to the latest Speedtest® of both of Ookla and UK-based mobile analytics firm OpenSignal. An affordable wireless Internet service for the household, Prepaid Home Wifi allows families to connect up to five (5) WiFi-ready devices such as a smartphone, tablet, or laptop, to Smart’s high-speed Internet service. Also in 2018, PLDT reaffirmed its commitment to empowering the country’s burgeoning esports community as one of the six founding corporations of The Nationals—the country’s first franchise-based esports league. More recently, PLDT and Smart also unveiled the PLDT-Smart Omega, its very own professional gaming team for The Nationals.  “As we look to 2019, we will continue to blaze the trail for data and digital services in the Philippines and raise the bar in delivering unparalleled customer experiences,” Reyes said.

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Ripple Awards 2019 Shortlists Movers in the HIV Advocacy

April 22, 2019

Billboard

By: , The Ripple Awards 2019 will again recognize the movers in HIV advocacy as it shortlists a total of 20 nominees, called Ripplers, from a hundred of qualified entries in three categories (Individual, Organization and Project of the Year). From the list of 20 Ripplers, five (5) individuals, three (3) organizations and a project will be conferred the highest honors at the Love Gala 2019 (www.lovegala.org) to be held on 11 May 2019 at the ABS-CBN Vertis Tent, Vertis North, Quezon City.  Just like the first recipients in 2017, the 2019 Ripple Awardees should demonstrate the genuine ability to mobilize their community towards uplifting the lives of the people affected by the HIV-AIDS epidemic in the Philippines. The Ripplers in their respective categories:  Individual Category 1.       Gat-Joriz Alatiit has been pivotal in the creation of the HIV/AIDS Core Team (HACT) and the HIV treatment services at the Ospital ng Biñan. Alatiit also played a major role in drafting the Biñan HIV/AIDS City Ordinance that led to the formation of the City’s local AIDS Council, which has an approved budget of PHP6 million for its HIV program implementation. 2.       Mikhail Zion Taggueg built the "Cagayan Valley Support System" together with Victor Silba of GIV Group of Brazil. The organization focuses on the promotion of HIV/AIDS prevention, education, and providing care to people living with HIV (PLHIVs) in Isabela province. Taggueg became the HIV focal person in the Cagayan Valley region. 3.       Daryl Simon Pecson is a working student who co-founded the Juan Posi+ive Movement (JPM), a community-based organization that spreads awareness and proper education about HIV/AIDS to the public as well as promote proper treatment and care to clients living in the remote areas of Pampanga. Pecson's leadership was instrumental in the success of JPM.  4.       Ronchie Santos, putting his passion into action,established on his own the Luntiang Silong, an HIV treatment hub located at the Bulacan Medical Center that provides medical assistance to PLHIVs. Santos is also part of the Usbong ng Bulacan Support group that assists pregnant mothers living with HIV to safely deliver their babies in a hospital. 5.       Joseph Michael Manlutac, the current HIV/AIDS and Viral Hepatitis Program Coordinator in Central Luzon, has helped establish 11 HIV treatment hubs and 11 primary HIV care clinics by encouraging local chief executives and heads of hospitals in a bid to boost testing and link-to-care for PLHIVs across the region. Manlutac also facilitated the creation of 12 advocacy/support groups in the region and harmonize them through the Regional PLHIV Support Network. 6.      Marc Lester F. Quintana, a nurse, uses his extensive medical knowledge to raise HIV/AIDS awareness in Laguna and Batangas. Quintana pioneered the Innovative HIV Education (innoHIVe), an HIV/AIDS awareness program of the Laguna University for their different local colleges and universities. 7.      Oscar Obenza Jr. serves as the Chairperson of the Olympus Society of Davao, Inc., an organization leading the way towards an inclusive, empowered, and engaged community in Davao. As a trailblazer in the HIV and AIDS advocacy, Obenza is also committed to uphold human rights and promote a gender-fair society. 8.      Dr. Regina Berba is the Director of the I-REACT Clinic (I Am Responsible thru Early Assessment, Consultation, and Treatment) at The Medical City (TMC), a DOH-accredited HIV treatment hub. Under her leadership, I-REACT’s primary mission is to provide medical, psychosocial, occupational, and emotional care to people living with HIV. 9.  Renato "Nato" Roque immerses himself in the community to aid PLHIVs struggling to meet their medical, psychosocial, and financial needs. Nato strongly advocates for the proper implementation of the Philippine HIV and AIDS Policy Act of 2018 that would impact on the lives of PLHIVs and transform the HIV landscape of the country. 10.    Darwin Tenoria is one of the founders and now the president of Positively Empowered People of Antipolo (PEPA), a group dedicated to intensively promote HIV awareness in Rizal province, particularly in Antipolo City. As the first PLHIV to come out publicly in the city, Darwin has been instrumental in innovating and developing their community’s response to the epidemic. Organization Category 1.       Positive Action Foundation Philippines, Inc. (PAFPI),a community-based organization (CBO) founded in 1998, seeks to empower PLHIVs and their families to live a normal, happy, and productive life. PAFPI contributes to the national response in HIV prevention, treatment, care, and support for PLHIVs by complementing the efforts of other non-government organizations and advocates to provide accessible services for PLHIVs. 2.       Olympus Society of Davao Inc.(OSDI), a recognized CBO of the DOH in Region 11, was established in March 2015. OSDI is the first group to successfully organize an LGBT coalition in Davao City that coordinates with other CBOs and LGBT groups to expand the reach of their free health services and other sexual health programs. To date, OSDI has 40 LGBT groups under its umbrella.  3.       Kagay-an PLUS (Preserving Life, Uniting Society) Inc.is a non-government organization recognized by the DOH in Region 10, a partner of the Cagayan de Oro (CDO) City Health Office, and an active member of the CDO Local AIDS Council. The organization advocates for human rights and HIV/AIDS awareness and testing not only in CDO, but in Northern Mindanao. The group also links PLHIVs to treatment hubs. 4.       DIOSSA (Decent Image of South Signal Association)is a CBO composed of compassionate member-volunteers, mostly from the LGBTQI+ community, who actively work together to educate, inspire, and support PLHIVs through various activities, including conducting counselling and testing caravans. DIOSSA enables and empowers PLHIVs by helping them regain their self-worth and their drive to cope with their situation. 5.       Family Planning Organization of the Philippines - Iloilo City Chapter (FPOP), founded four decades ago,has not given up on its mission to help improve the quality of life of Filipinos. FPOP has emerged to become the leading reproductive health care service provider, and sexual and reproductive health rights advocate, not only in Iloilo City but in the entire Philippines. Project of the Year Category  1.       HIV Gaming, Engaging, Testing (HIV GET): Battle in the Blood (#BitB), the country’s first anti-HIV gaming application, allows the player to “fight” HIV in the bloodstream, while practically battling ignorance and stigma surrounding the virus. #BitB is an engaging platform for users to learn more about HIV, understand what it does to the body, and recognize the importance of regular testing and prompt and consistent treatment. 2.       Community-Based HIV Screening(CBS) is a project initiated by the HIV & AIDS Support House (HASH) to address the concern regarding the inadequate proximity and presence of HIV testing centers throughout the country. It simply takes the HIV testing closer to the people. Supported by several NGOs, social hygiene clinics, and private organizations, CBS was able to reach areas and key populations with limited access to HIV services. 3.       It’s Cool to Be Safe (#ItsCoolToBeSafe) campaign is an HIV awareness campaign launched by the Olympus Society of Davao, Inc. The campaign aims to engage and involve members of the LGBT community, and encourage HIV advocates and PLHIVs to further support the groups’ HIV/AIDS initiatives.  4.      Mister and Miss Kagay-An Plus 2018 is an HIV advocacy beauty contest to help inspire advocates and increase HIV awareness. Already on its third season, the pageant aims for a unified campaign to send a stronger message about the cause. The crown serves as a symbol of both triumph and task for the titleholders to be the true champions of HIV awareness and LGBT rights in their communities. 5.      PLHIV Response Center (PRC)links PLHIVs to existing service delivery networks. PRC primarily acts as a communication and coordinating platform (e.g., Facebook, e-mail, Twitter, Wordpress, telephone and mobile lines as well as SMS) for PLHIV seeking treatment, people searching for information about HIV, and individuals asking assistance for testing. This year’s Ripple Awardees will be deliberated by a roster of judges from the World Health Organization, UNAIDS, and other reputable institutions. In addition, the public can also vote through social media, and that will form part of the score in the final judging. Support the Ripplers by visiting Love Gala’s Facebook page (@lovegala.org) and like, love, or share the Rippler’s profile to gain 1 point, 2 points, or 3 points for each action respectively.  Deadline of online voting is on April 30, Friday, 11:59 PM PST. Love Gala 2019 is hosted by The LoveYourself, Inc. and UNAIDS. LoveYourself is the leading community-led HIV advocacy group in the country, and UNAIDS leads the global effort to end AIDS as a public health threat by 2030. Love Gala is supported by AIDS Healthcare Foundation, World Health Organization (WHO), Department of Health (Philippines), PhilHealth, Save the Children Philippines, Philippine National AIDS Council, Pilipinas Shell Foundation, Inc. and Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations (AFAO); co-presented by Durex, Camber Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Hairdressers Against AIDS by L'Oreal, Cape Lupe; and sponsored by Gilead Sciences, TELUS International, Victoria Court, SIP, Inspi Philippines, Absolut Vodka & Olmeca Tequila, Okamoto Philippines, Maquillage Professionnel, Business Mirror, Digital Out of Home with contributions from Mont Albo, Shopee, Cognizant, Rotary International D3780, MASS TV, F1 Hotel Manila.

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Irresistible Staycation Deals this Holy Week

April 16, 2019

Billboard

By: , The Holy Week is a special time for Filipinos. For devout Catholics, it’s a longstanding tradition to take part in different rites and rituals that commemorate one’s faith. While for others, the extended break is always a good opportunity to slow down from the hustle and bustle of daily life, reflect, and relax with loved ones. Either way people choose to spend their vacation, it’s good to know that there are awesome places – within or just a few hours away from metro – where one can go to for some quick (or lengthy!) respite. For those who want an easy but equally memorable escape this Holy Week, here’s a round-up of the best accommodations that won’t require a plane ticket nor a long drive. Apo View Hotel Davaoeños need not go far just to enjoy the long break. Situated in the heart of the city, the Apo View Hotel offers guests with modern accommodations and luxurious service that has since been the hallmark of the heritage hotel. Dubbed as the second oldest hotel in the country, Apo View Hotel has maintained its grandeur and continues to be a primer choice for the most discerning staycationers. This summer, Apo View Hotel offers promos that make it much more irresistible to overlook. These include a 50% off promo on all its Superior and Deluxe rooms with breakfast buffet which runs until May 30, 2019. Meanwhile, its Weekend Getaway promo offers Superior and Deluxe Rooms with breakfast buffet at 50% year-round.   Las Casas Filipinas De Acuzar For those who don’t mind a couple of hours’ worth of driving, a gem of a resort lies 125km northwest of Manila in Bagac, Bataan. More than just a Filipino heritage site to behold, Las Casas Fipinas De Acuzar is a world-class resort that pays homage to the grandeur of Spanish-Filipino architecture amidst the backdrop of a sprawling beach and a grandiose natural landscape. Las Casas takes pride in being the only Philippine hotel to have received several international acclaims which include being recognized as part of the Historic Hotels Worldwide, being awarded as Asia’s Most Excellent Destination in 2017, and being included in Conde Nast Johansens Luxury Global Collection and Peninsula Hotels Pencities Luxe Guide. Go ahead and indulge this Easter break by booking a stay in any of its Deluxe Rooms that come with various inclusions such as breakfast as well as free heritage and workshop tours. During weekends, Deluxe Rooms for two are available for P5,000 and comes with a heritage and workshop tour while the rate of P5,500 includes breakfast as well as a heritage and workshop tour. On Weekdays, Deluxe Rooms are available at P4,600 and comes with breakfast as well as a heritage and workshop tour.   Golden Phoenix Hotel Manila The idea of enjoying the peace and serenity of the city during the Holy Week is also very inviting. Without having to go so far, one can easily unwind and relax in any of the city’s best hotels. One of which is the Golden Phoenix Hotel. Located less than a mile away from SM Mall of Asia in Pasay City, the hotel offers contemporary and elegant accommodations, a great view of the cityscape, and an array of premium features such as free WiFi access throughout the property, en suite bathroom with shower, hairdryer, bathrobes, and free toiletries, as well as an iPod dock, a personal safe, electric kettle, minibar, and a flat-screen TV with cable and satellite channels. This summer, the hotel is offering a special rate of P6,800 nett until June 30 for an accommodation for two which comes with free buffet breakfast, Phoenix Wellness Lounge credits, unlimited hot and cold chocolate at Ground Up coffee, and food and beverage credits worth P1,000 or choice of house wine. Interested to book a stay in any of these hotels and resort even after the Holy Week? These hotels will also be offering exclusive discounts and promos at the upcoming Travel and Leisure Expo Davao 2019. Organized by Worldbex Services International, TLEX Davao 2019 will be held simultaneously with PHILBEX Davao 2019 on May 9 to 12 at the SMX Convention Center Davao in SM Lanang Premier. For more information, call (02) 656-92-39, email inquire@worldbexevents.com, visit www.tlex.ph, or follow @tlex.ph on Facebook and Instagram.

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