Today's Top Stories

  • 9 die, 20 hurt in road mishap

    9 die, 20 hurt in road mishap

    CEBU CITY (Visayas News digital, July 19) - Nine kids died while 20 other passengers were injured Friday (July 19) morning, when a mini dump truck they were riding fell on a roadside cliff in Boljoon town, southern part of Cebu, the police authorities reported.                                       Photo by Clark Matthew Roma The police initial investigation disclosed that those who died were all children between 10 to 12 years old. The children were from Nangka Elementary School and San Antonio Elementary School, and they were supposed to attend an event reportedly organized by the Department of Education. (DepEd) Ruben Niere, Boljoon public information officer has confirmed that there were fatalities and injured persons to this tragic incident. The victims were from the far-flung barangays of Boljoon. They were invited to attend a parade spearheaded by DepEd to culiminate the celebration of 'Health Week" when road the accident happened. Niere said the truck fell off a cliff around 7:00 in the morning but the rescue efforts lasted for more than two hours. The police reported that the mini dump truck was owned by the municipal government of Boljoon. It was not clear, however, if the truck was properly inspected by the driver, Daniel Niere, as the truck's brakes malfunctioned while traveling.  Mayor Merlou Derama said the teachers requested for transport and since the mini dump truck was the only available vehicle, he approved their request. ###

    July 20, 2019

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  • Xavier Ateneo seeking Jesuit approval for campus of the future

    Xavier Ateneo seeking Jesuit approval for campus of the future

    Xavier University – Ateneo de Cagayan (XU) is seeking approval from the Jesuit central leadership in Rome to develop a new campus for XU Higher Education Colleges on 21 of its 63-hectare Manresa property in uptown Cagayan de Oro (CDO). As part of the process of seeking approval, Xavier Ateneo is conducting stakeholder consultations with parents, students, faculty & staff, alumni of XU; and CDO civic & government leaders. The objectives of the consultations are to present the proposed project, raise concerns, address issues, and generate possible solutions. The consultations will ensure a forward-looking and comprehensive masterplan. For the past decade, XU has been considering moving most of its operations out from its 6-hectare main campus in downtown CDO to provide a better learning environment for its college students. The current campus in Divisoria has been found to be too congested; too noisy from outside traffic and from activities in the covered courts and football field; and at risk of flooding. For almost three years now, the XU Board of Trustees has been developing a masterplan for a campus of the future. After considering several national real-estate players, the Board chose property developer Cebu Landmasters Inc. (CLI) as its partner in developing the proposals for this new campus project. CLI was recently recognized as the Best Developer in the Philippines by Property Guru Philippines Property Awards. The planned campus of the future will feature well-designed school buildings and administration facilities that will cater to several academic and technical courses such as Agriculture, Arts & Sciences, Business & Management, Computer Studies, Education, Engineering, and Nursing. The campus will also be adaptable to future developments in academic disciplines and technological innovations. Main masterplan elements will include an abundance of open spaces and greeneries – a main plaza, interconnected courtyards, sports facilities, an amphitheater, and a University Forum which will incorporate a museum, theatre, and a gallery. The state-of-the-art Manresa campus will provide innovative spaces for learning, pioneering research, artistic expression, whole-person formation and experiencing excellence. The new main campus will retain the 25-hectare forest reserve in Manresa. It will be near XU’s 12-hectare basic education campus at Pueblo de Oro, allowing integration of campuses for greater efficiency and modernization. The College of Agriculture facilities (e.g. demonstration farms, workshops, field laboratories) presently located in Manresa is envisioned to be transferred to XU’s 104-hectare property in Bugo known as El Gaucho. The Aggie facilities will be reconstructed and upgraded there. To finance the construction of the new campus, XU is proposing to sell around 14 of the 63-hectare Manresa property to CLI. CLI plans to develop a township project which will integrate complementary commercial, residential, office, and leisure uses to the Manresa campus town. XU is also proposing to sell around 4 of its 6-hectare property in Divisoria. CLI plans to convert this portion of the Divisoria campus into downtown CDO’s Central Business District, with XU’s Church of the Immaculate Conception at its heart. In the project proposals, Xavier Ateneo will continue to be present in downtown Divisoria with the University Church and a redesigned campus for the XU School of Medicine, College of Law and most of its graduate programs. XU will retain 2 of the 6 hectares of the Divisoria campus. If the new campus project is approved by the Jesuit authorities, it is expected to be developed over an 8- to 10- year period. The new campus is proposed to be named the Masterson Campus honoring the visionary Jesuit Fr. William Masterson SJ who foresaw the potential of Manresa in the 1960’s. This proposed masterplan for a campus of the future is in line with the Jesuit university’s strategic plan to be the best university in Mindanao and among the best in the Philippines especially as Xavier Ateneo moves forward to celebrating its centennial in 2033, Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam. ###

    July 20, 2019

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  • Pilgrim dies in Makkah while on Hajj

    Pilgrim dies in Makkah while on Hajj

    ILIGAN CITY -- A 57-year old female Pilgrim died around 11:00 am on Friday, July 19, while on Hajj in Makkah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Jun Alonto Datu Ramos, Head of Public Relations and Information Division of the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF), identified the pilgrim as Sarapia Abalimbona Taha, who is coming from Lumbayanague town in Lanao del Sur.  Citing information from NCMF’s Philippine Medical Team head Dr. Abdulnasser Masorong, Jr., Ramos said Taha collapsed while entering the Masjidil Haraam, just before the Jumaah, a congregational Friday prayer.  “The cause of death is most likely myocardial infarction (heart attack). The remains is now in the morgue of Al Noor Hospital, awaiting the processing of papers. Her relatives have been informed of her demised,” Ramos said.  It can be recalled that there were eight deaths recorded in last year’s Hajj with most of them are senior citizens according to Ramos. 

    July 20, 2019

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  • Suspicious box with domestic garbage causes alarm 

    Suspicious box with domestic garbage causes alarm 

    ILIGAN CITY -- A cigarette box, full of domestic garbage, caused panic to residents and vendors, when it was discovered abandoned this morning at Mercado Street corner Quezon Avenue Extension, Barangay Poblacion, here.  Police Major Allan Abalde, chief of Iligan City Police Station 5, said the discovery of the box along a busy street, where several business establishments are located, prompted authorities to call the Explosive and Ordnance Division (EOD) of the Philippine National Police to check on the box, for fear it has explosives inside.  It was supposed to be disrupted but when the EOD personnel did not see wirings, that indicate it has improvised explosive device in it, it was manually opened instead.  The area is about 200 meters away from a grocery mall, 300 meters from the gate for vehicles and about 600 meters away from the passengers gate of the Philippine Ports Authority.  Police saw from the footage of the CCTV cameras of business establishments in the area that a Vios car left the box in the area, in front of an electronic store, around 5:00 o’clock in the morning Thursday, July 18.  Concerned citizens reported it to the police at around 7 am.  “The Vios stopped for a while and left the box. We got the plate number of the car but it will not be divulge for we are having an investigation on the motive of leaving that garbage,” Abalde said.

    July 20, 2019

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Donsals debuts 35 new business class units to ply Initao-CDO route

July 15, 2019

Motoring

By: Mark Francisco, MAVERICK PUV operator Donald Rey Ellarina, also known as Donsals, unveiled on Monday (July 15, 2019) 35 new business class units as part of his contribution to the government's PUV modernization program. It is another landmark to the homegrown public transport firm which started its roots in the western part of Misamis Oriental plying state-of-the-art jeepneys in the 1990s. When the PUV trend in the Philippines transitioned to airconditioned vans in the 2000s, Donsals led the bandwagon, ditched its old open-air jeepney fleet and pioneered public van transport in Northern Mindanao, still plying the western Misamis Oriental route from Initao municipality to Cagayan de Oro City. Today marks another breakthrough for the company. The all-new Toyota Coaster six wheelers have a 29-seat capacity each and are all Euro 5 compliant. Each unit has its own WiFi connectivity on board and a 22" flat screen TV. It also has a back compartment with styro boxes provided for passengers who have wet goods. For safety purposes, all units are equipped with close-circuit security cameras. All drivers are likewise instructed to keep the maximum speed of 80 kilometers per hour. With GPS connectivity, a warning will automatically blink at Donsals headquarters in Laguindingan should any driver breaches the speed limit. Ellarina said drivers who violate this policy will face one-week suspension. These and other features are indeed proof that the PUV modernization program of the government can be a success.

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Suzuki Auto Fest 2019 Goes to Iloilo at the End of the Month

July 15, 2019

Motoring

By: , Suzuki Philippines, Inc., the country’s pioneer subcompact car distributor, takes this years’ Suzuki Auto Festival nationwide. The series of exhibits will be held in various SM Supermalls nationwide bringing the Suzuki award-winning cars and the Suzuki Way of Life even closer to more Filipinos.      Join in on the fun and experience Suzuki vehicles up close and personal in the following venues and dates:      SM City Iloilo, July 27-28      SM City BF Parañaque, August 17-18      SM City General Santos, September 21-22      SM City Davao, October 26-27      This year’s Suzuki Auto Festival will showcase the most-valued Suzuki units such as the Suzuki Ciaz, Swift, Dzire, Vitara, all-new Ertiga and the all-new Jimny alongside Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle. Games and fun activities await car enthusiasts and families to help them bond during the weekend festivities. The Suzuki Safety Scouts Corner will also be there and will be a sure hit with the kids.      Suzuki Philippines Director and Automobile Division General Manager Keiichi Suzuki shared, “We have made it our consistent goal to provide Filipinos with innovations and design that will fit their various lifestyles. Suzuki Philippines is experiencing a business momentum right now due to the consistent support from our valued customers. The Suzuki Auto Festival is a series of celebrations we hold every year as our way of giving back and reminding the Filipinos of our commitment to innovate. We are looking forward to seeing our fans in the exhibits and for them to experience the Suzuki Way of Life!”      For more information about Suzuki Philippines and their automobiles, please visit http://suzuki.com.ph/auto/ and like them on www.facebook.com/SuzukiAutoPH, https://twitter.com/SuzukiAutoPH and follow on Instagram at @suzukiautoph.

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Suzuki Ciaz ensures fuel-efficient, safe, comfortable ride share

July 15, 2019

Motoring

By: , Suzuki Philippines (SPH), the country’s pioneer compact car distributor, reinforces its presence in the transport network vehicle service (TNVS) ecosystem to help address the need of Filipino commuters and drivers with the Suzuki Ciaz.       Suzuki Philippines (SPH), the country’s pioneer compact car distributor, reinforces its presence in the transport network vehicle service (TNVS) ecosystem to help address the need of Filipino commuters and drivers with the Suzuki Ciaz.       Ride sharing continues to be seen as one solution to the traffic situation in the metro. With its combined fuel efficiency, space and comfort, Suzuki’s popular subcompact sedan is sure to bring Filipinos to their destination safely and conveniently, definitely the Suzuki Way of Life!      Designed for great driving performance, Suzuki Ciaz is the reliable partner on the road, be it for personal use or for ride-sharing. Running on a refined K14B engine, the Ciaz has a lightweight and aerodynamic body for enhanced efficiency. Adding to it is its roomy and ergonomically designed interior that ensures a comfortable ride for both driver and passenger.      Sleek multimedia unit and wireless connectivity make for superior entertainment while on the road. Preloaded applications such as Waze help in navigating unfamiliar routes or tracking new areas, providing accurate directions to reach the target destination much faster.      Picking up and driving for passengers with luggage and boxes is not a challenge. Suzuki Ciaz has a roomy cabin luggage capacity of 495 liters, enough to fit bags and boxes for travel or simply transporting from the mall or grocery.      Danny Dimaranan, a TNVS driver for years now, can attest to these benefits as he shared, “I got high ratings because of the comfort that the Suzuki Ciaz gives.” Adding to it, “Economy wise, for this kind of job, this is really far from the fuel consumption from the other cars that I have owned before.”      SPH makes it even easier to join the robust ride-sharing ecosystem in the Philippines and drive a brand new TNVS vehicle with Suzuki Ciaz.      Drive a Suzuki Ciaz and earn while experiencing the Suzuki Way of Life! For more information on the Suzuki Ciaz, visit http://suzuki.com.ph/auto/, like it on https://twitter.com/SuzukiAutoPH and follow on Instagram at @suzukiautoph.Ride sharing continues to be seen as one solution to the traffic situation in the metro. With its combined fuel efficiency, space and comfort, Suzuki’s popular subcompact sedan is sure to bring Filipinos to their destination safely and conveniently, definitely the Suzuki Way of Life!

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Nissan Philippines Gives Customers Dependable Insurance Coverage with Nissan Assured Program

July 1, 2019

Motoring

By: , Nissan, the Philippines’ third largest automaker in sales, has partnered with Mercantile Insurance to offer a new vehicle insurance program for their customers.      The Nissan Assured Program provides customers quality insurance coverage and reliable service response at competitive rates, under the automaker’s brand. “By giving customers the Nissan guarantee to quickly respond to insurance claims with our award-winning services, we are affirming our commitment in sustaining and enhancing the overall customer ownership experience,” said Atsushi Najima, Nissan Philippines President and Managing Director.

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Cebu Landmasters expands presence in Northern Mindanao with two new residential projects

July 17, 2019

Corporate

By: PR, LEADING VisMin property developer Cebu Landmasters Inc. boosts its presence in underserved Northern Mindanao with the recent launch of two residential projects valued at Php1.26 billion that innovatively meet the needs of mid and economic-income housing clients. Casa Mira Towers CDO is a Php824 million, two-tower condominium development offering 986 units ranging from 20 sqm studios to 36 sqm one-bedroom units in a strategic Barangay Kauswagan location and generous amenities. Projected completion date will be in the fourth quarter of 2022.   The Php437 million Velmiro Uptown CDO offers 396 house-and-lots in a 14-hectare gated subdivision in the rapidly developing Upper Canitoan area of Uptown Cagayan de Oro with 80% open spaces. Velmiro is set for turnover to clients by the fourth quarter of 2021.   CLI chairman and CEO Jose Soberano III disclosed that “we focus our projects in VisMin and serve the diverse needs of the region’s property markets. Cagayan de Oro is the second largest economic driver of Mindanao and Cebu Landmasters is rapidly expanding to serve the evolving real estate market needs in the area.”   CLI’s popular housing brand Casa Mira, for example, has sold close to 6,000 units in four Cebu province locations and another location in Dumaguete City by “offering more to the Filipino family,” according to Soberano. The economic housing project gives clients amenities such as pool, gym, clubhouse and play area, all of which are more closely associated with higher-end residential products. PR   Velmiro likewise exceeds client expectations with its strategic and rapidly developing location in CDO near schools, hospitals and malls and upscale amenities. It offers units designed to maximize space, optimize views, and use natural lighting and ventilation.   Cebu Landmasters has mastery of its VisMin markets and was recently named best developer in the country by PropertyGuru Philippines Property Awards. It now has 58 projects in different stages of development covering residential, office, retail, hotels and a 22-hectare township in Davao City. “We expect to roll out 29 more before the year ends,” declared Soberano who remain bullish about prospects of the VisMin markets. 

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Phoenix Petroleum opens first airside facility in Davao

July 16, 2019

Corporate

By: , Fastest-growing and leading independent oil company in the country Phoenix Petroleum has opened its first airside facility at the Francisco Bangoy International Airport in Davao City, further streamlining its operations and services for its aviation partners. In a launching ceremony on July 10, 2019, Phoenix Petroleum Chief Operating Officer Henry Albert Fadullon highlighted the company’s continuous improvement to serve the needs of its clientele and contribute to the development of the community. “In line with our campaign for operational excellence, our newly built depot will help us serve better and more efficiently our commercial aviation clients. This project is also our way of reinforcing the booming air transportation and tourism industries, enabling us to better contribute to the overall customer experience of passengers, while fulfilling our corporate goal of becoming an indispensable partner in the journey of everyone whose life we touch,” he said. The new airside facility has a storage tank than can store up to 160,000 liters of Jet A1 fuel, a laboratory testing room for supply quality control, a staging area for trucks and aviation refuellers, and an office space for the employees. At present, the facility is expected to cater to the fuel requirements of Cebu Pacific—the company’s longest and biggest commercial aviation client in Davao airport. Also present during the inauguration were Phoenix Petroleum’s Chairman Domingo Uy, General Manager for Aviation Business Lester Khan, Cebu Pacific’s Vice President Joey Macagga, Fuel Operations Director Edwin Sarte, and Manager Ryan Mendoza, and Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines’ Davao Manager Engr. Rex Obcena.

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Città Bella at Primavera City redefines standards in living with condominiums

July 16, 2019

Corporate

By: , Awarded by the prestigious International Property Awards as Mixed-use Development Asia Pacific 2017, Città Bella at Primavera City, the second phase of the Primavera City development, is a blend of world-class commercial spaces and prime condominium suite living. From healthy living, scenic views, and world class amenities, this new property in Uptown, Cagayan de Oro is redefining condo living standards in more ways than one.  Living in a Green Building is Healthy. Based on a research recently published by the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) and the National University of Singapore, people who work and live in a green building are less likely to suffer from “sick building syndrome”, a common illness experienced by people who stay in a conventional building for a long period of time. Green buildings, such as Città Bella have passive green features which creates a well-ventilated atmosphere allowing fresh air to enter and circulate within the building. World class amenities. Hotel – standard amenities, such as infinity pool, gym, saunas are located at the roof deck which provides a scenic backdrop of vibrant Cagayan de Oro’s cityscape. Amenities found in first-class condominium, such as 24 hours reception, multi-function room, gym center, sky garden, sauna, jogging path, sky playground and an outdoor infinity swimming pool are among the amenities of  Città Bella. Majestic view. Built on a  plateau overlooking the stunning Macajalar bay and Cagayan de Oro’s mountain scapes,  Città Bella at Primavera City’s 360 view provides a breathtaking scenic peek of Cagayan de Oro’s rich scenic landscape covering Camiguin Island, Macajalar Bay, Cagayan de Oro River, Malasag mountain view and the city’s impressive sunsets. Sustainable Building. Sustainable features such as passive cooling technology using shadow and sunlight control, wind cooling and shape performance are some green features trademark of IDC developments which anchors on performance-based design. In addition, Città Bella at Primavera City will contain a renewable energy feature which will be produced from semi-transparent photovoltaic panels found on the roof and portions of external walls.   Opportunities for Passive Income. Italpinas Development Corporation (IDC) has partnered with Damiani Property Management Services Inc, to provide professional property management services to serve unit owners who are intends to earn passive income.  Damiani Property Management Services Inc, is also the leasing partner of IDC, managing its commercial spaces.

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Grand Buyers Day with Città Bella at Primavera City

July 9, 2019

Corporate

By: , Uptown, Cagayan de Oro. Think of a location that is just a stone’s throw away from vital facilities and amenities, flood-free and pollution-free. A location should have a potential to be the next business hub of a city—this is where Città Bella at Primavera City is. Primavera City the new premier project of the multi-awarded listed green developer Italpinas Development Corporation (IDC) hosted a Grand Buyers Day held at Mallberry Suites, Cagayan de Oro last June 29, 2019 after the release of its License to Sell for the second phase of its development Città Bella last June 28, 2019 The gathering was well attended by IDC partners such as banks, sellers, and guests.  “After the success of Primavera City Phase 1, where we sold 95% of its inventory, the release of the License to Sell for Citta Bella, Primavera City Phase 2 is very timely.  We are confident that our new phase, Citta Bell, will receive the same support from the buying public and our valued partners, our Salesforce.  Today, we are official accepting reservations for Citta Bella.” said Gladys Ivy Echano, IDC Sales Director.  The event ended with great success.  “We were astounded of the outcome of this event.  Our reservations totaled to 200M+ just for today.  This is unprecedented so far.”  added Ms. Echano.  Città Bella at Primavera City serves as IDC’s legacy in delivering high quality, smart, safe, and sustainable buildings imbibing an Italian aesthetic design, all while considering a reduced environmental impact through lower energy consumption. With the first few floors of the projects allocated for commercial space leasing. IDC purposely designed its developments to be mixed-use which can cater to the residential tenants’ immediate needs. Location-wise, the developments are just a walking distance from major establishments in the area, such as the SM Department Store, Xavier University, Manresa Farm, St. Francis Xavier Chaplaincy, and Pueblo de Oro Golf Course, to name a few. Moreover, uptown developments hold great promises as the first phase of the Planned City Expansion Program (PCEP), under the three-year Comprehensive Development Plan (2017-2019), plans to decongest the city urban center by focusing future developments in the uptown. The development of Primavera City has been quite in high demand, more so with its current rate of property appreciation.  IDC property is averaging an appreciation rate of 10% annually. Currently, Primavera City’s first phase is down to the last 5% of the residential units.

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More events in 3Q to boost CDO economic activity – Oro Chamber

June 22, 2019

Money Matters

By: Mark Francisco, THE largest lobby of micro, small and medium scale enterprises (MSMEs) in Northern Mindanao has outlined its activities for the next three months to help boost the continuing economic growth in the region. During their quarterly meeting last Friday, Cagayan de Oro Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Irene Floro announced the following activities to be held here from July to October – an innovation talk, package of technologies with economic studies and business plans, financing forum, technopreneurship training, three-in-one trade show, Orobest Expo, Cagayan de Oro Business Conference, pitching sessions, business forum and scientific meetings, industry and academe technology matching, patent talk and green financing forum, among others. Floro said these events are meant to educate not just the Oro Chamber members but also to boost investment opportunities in Northern Mindanao and strengthen the local economy here. In her quarterly valedictory report, Floro said the ideation workshop in April brought together the industry, academe and government to discuss technology interventions for five identified establishments. During that month, the Search for Homegrown Heroes and a forum on the role of women were also held. Oro Chamber likewise participated in a mentorship program with micro and small homegrown processors in cooperation with the Food Processors Association of Northern Mindanao (FOPANORMIN). In May, Oro Chamber was also able to successfully hold the Entrepreneurial Talk Series I with focus on innovation and corporate entrepreneurship as well as an introduction to the Master in Entrepreneurship Program at the Asian Institute of Management (AIM). In the same month, the Mentor Me on Wheels was held in cooperation with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Philippine Center for Entrepeneurship. The activity spurred a money and market encounter with financial institutions, malls, supermarkets and online stores as participants. An official from the World Bank also visited the Oro Chamber to discuss poverty reduction interventions in education. Early this month, Oro Chamber inked an agreement for the Search for the Best PESO in Northern Mindanao. PESO stands for Public Employment Service Office and is a department in most local government units (LGUs) regionwide. Floro reiterated that the priority areas of Oro Chamber are chamber governance, policy advocacy and formulation, partnership building/strengthening, membership development and relations, chamber relations, financial management and internal controls and organizational sustainability.

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Short on cash?

June 13, 2019

Money Matters

By: PR/Ruel, IT is time to bid your money woes goodbye. Farewell to the scenario where you have to face the reality of an empty wallet on your next shopping trip, or to the sinking feeling of not having enough cash to pay your bills until the next paycheck. Short on cash? In dire need of funds in an instant? Within a click’s reach is your saving grace -- the GCash app. Emergencies are stressful no more with the GCash’s “request money” feature. Aside from saving people the problem of lugging around money in a bulky purse or wallet, GCash eases the transfer from one mobile wallet to another. At the drop of a hat, friends can easily request money from each other in times of distress and ask for money. Requesting for more moolah in your mobile wallet has never been this easy. The request money feature is readily visible in the app’s dashboard once you open it. Just enter your friend’s name or mobile number, the amount you need, and the problem already solves itself. If you’re in the mood to explain your situation or deliver an advanced message of gratitude, the GCash allows you to do just that.  Responding to a friend’s financial SOS is a breeze, too. Simply check your app’s notifications and sending help is as mindless as clicking a button on your smartphone. Plus, there is also a special tab to track your history of requests for reference. The cherry on top? It doesn't matter if you’re a Smart, Sun, or TNT subscriber. Now, all it takes is a SIM card and smartphone, and you can take advantage of whole array of GCash services through your mobile phone. It’s as easy as grabbing the free app on Google Play Store or iOS App Store and registering for an account.  In the eyes of GCash, operated by Globe Fintech Innovations Inc. (Mynt), no network should be left behind. Even though it is a company led by Globe Telecom Inc., Ayala Corp., and Ant Financial, this new financial technology wonder is out to pave the way towards a cashless society by adopting a policy of inclusivity.  Long gone were the days where GCash was exclusive to one network. Now, anyone can participate in the cashless revolution and have access to greater convenience through the GCash app.  “We believe in the power of inclusivity. As we lead the push for financial inclusion across the different sectors of the society, we believe that providing a telco agnostic platform will help more Filipinos participate in the digital economy,” Mynt Vice President for Money Transfer Fred Levy said.  GCash is the new must-have in an age where technology reigns supreme. It is a mobile money service, regulated by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, where you can buy load, purchase items, send and receive money, pay bills, and more using Globe, TM, Smart, Sun, or TNT -- or the future telco player that everybody is raving about.  GCash, the leading and revolutionary mobile wallet in the Philippines, is designed to help users navigate through the modern, agile world of finance. So the next time that you find yourself knee deep in money troubles, just remember that your fellow GCash users are literally one tap away.

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Economic managers announce growth catch up plan

May 28, 2019

Money Matters

By: , MANILA – Economic managers have agreed to further strengthen coordination with other agencies, especially on acquiring permits and other requirements, to fast-track implementation of infrastructure and socioeconomic programs to meet 2019 growth targets amid the impact of budget delay.      Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, in a statement after the meeting of the Economic Development Cluster at the Department of Finance (DOF) Friday, said officials of both the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and the Department of Transportation (DOTr) are optimistic of meeting their disbursement program for this year.      "To enable them to attain their targets, it would require close cooperation and support of other government agencies by expediting the approval of permits and other requirements,” he said, as he expressed hope that “no major weather disturbance will disrupt the implementation of the projects.”      The social protection programs that were agreed to be implemented faster include the national ID System, 4Ps, social pension, unconditional cash transfers, and fuel marking program.      Dominguez said that aside from these programs, the government will also “double its efforts in the agriculture sector, which should expand by at least 2 percent per year.”      He explained that if the 2018 national budget was approved on time, growth in the first quarter of the year would have risen between 6.6 to 7.2 percent instead of the four-year low of 5.6 percent.      President Rodrigo R. Duterte signed this year’s budget only last April after the impasse in Congress.      Dominguez said that since the government worked on a re-enacted budget in the first quarter, there was about PHP1 billion underspending per day.      He, thus, stressed the need to put in a “carefully crafted and bold expenditure catch-up plan to enable us to hit a GDP growth rate of above 6 percent this year.”      He said spending from January to March this year reached PHP778 billion, little moved from year-ago’s PHP772 billion.      The programmed spending for this year amounts to PHP3.774 trillion, or about 19.6 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) while total infrastructure disbursement was set at PHP1 trillion or about 5.2 percent of domestic output.      Dominguez also noted the need for the participation of the private sector to help boost economic growth, thus, the enactment of the Ease of Doing Business in May 28, 2018 to entice more businesses.      He also said that “the Executive and the Legislative branches of government also need to work together in passing legislation that allows for a business-friendly environment, such as the Public Service Act, Foreign Investments Act, and the Retail Trade Act.”      The continued deceleration of domestic inflation rate, which declined to 3 percent last April after peaking at 6.7 percent in September to October last year, is also positive for the economy, he said.      "We will intensify our efforts to restore last year’s upward momentum in our growth rate,” he added.      Relatively, Socio-economic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia, during a press briefing after the EDC meeting, said economic managers are still studying whether to adjust this year’s economic targets.      "We still have to do some number crunching to have more realistic numbers regarding growth rate and related numbers so it is better that we wait until we are more confident with what we can tell you,” he said.      Among others, GDP target this year has been lowered to between six to seven percent while deficit target is at 3.2 percent of domestic output.      Meanwhile, Department of Budget and Management (DBM) acting chief Janet Abuel said that because of the delay in the approval of this year’s budget, it will be hard to fully implement the cash-based budgeting system, which requires all state agencies to pay within the year all the contracts they need to accomplish.      She said deadline for the infrastructure projects and payments for these contracts has been moved to December 31, 2020 while those for Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses (MOOE) will be on June 30, 2020.      "We hope that will lessen the worries of the agencies in paying their contractors,” she added. (PNA)

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Peso seen to remain firm vs. USD amid correction

May 28, 2019

Money Matters

By: By Joann Villanueva, PNA, MANILA – The Philippine peso is projected to trade between 52.00 to 52.10 against the US dollar this week after its recent correction following a two-week rally, Michael Ricafort, Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) Economics and Industry Research Division head, said.      The peso depreciated by PHP0.47 or 0.9 percent week-on-week against the greenback last week and closed at a two-week low of 52.16.      He explained that amid the peso’s slight weakness, several factors are seen to continue lifting it up, including the report of the government’s record-high budget surplus last April amounting to PHP86.9 billion.      He said this particular factor is positive for the country’s credit rating, which received a notch upgrade to BBB+ with Stable outlook from S&P Global Ratings last April 30, after the credit rater noted the country’s "healthy external payments position, contained fiscal deficits and stable public indebtedness”.      Another plus factor for the peso is the drop to two-month low of crude oil prices in the international market because of concerns on the US-China trade issues, which, in turn, also resulted in lower US government bond yields.      The recent cut in the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas‘ (BSP) key policy rates and on domestic banks’ reserve requirement rate (RRR), the seasonal increase of remittance inflows from Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) in line with the school enrollment period, and the tail-end of vacation spending will further boost the local currency’s strength, Ricafort said.      Recent issuances by the Philippine government of foreign currency-denominated bonds in Europe and in China are also positive for the peso, he said, adding that in recent years the local unit started appreciating against the US dollar since 2016. (PNA)

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Have A Rainy Day Staycation with Savoy Hotel’s Rainy Day Promo

July 19, 2019

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By: , The BER months are nearing and Savoy Hotel is welcoming the drizzling season with a rainy day promo perfect for families and individuals who plan to go on a staycation in Newport City. From July 15 to September 30, guests who book at Savoy Hotel can enjoy rates as low as Php5,500 per night at an essential room with a complimentary breakfast for two.       Guests will also get a complimentary cup of hot chocolate and cookie at Savoy’s premier coworking space, The Squares, to remedy the cold season. The Squares is located in several guest floors of the hotel and is a convenient coworking space for guests who want to do business transactions and productive collaborations regardless of the lazy weather.      The rainy season is also the perfect time to appreciate and enjoy indoor activities in Newport City such as shows and performances from a roster of talented artists. As a special treat, guests availing this promo are entitled to a 20% discount on selected Resorts World Manila entertainment.       Savoy Hotel’s proximity to the airport makes it an ideal respite for tourists and business travellers alike. Enjoy world class amenities of Resorts World Manila all while conveniently being a stone’s throw away from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3.

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Nutrition and Physical Activity: A Holistic Approach Towards Better Health Outcomes

July 17, 2019

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By: , THE country is celebrating its 45th Nutrition Month Campaign this July. Presidential Decree 491 in 1974 declared that Nutrition Month shall be celebrated every July to create greater awareness on the importance of nutrition among Filipinos. The law mandates NNC to coordinate and lead the nationwide campaign.      Themed “Kumain nang wasto at maging aktibo… push natin ‘to!”, this year’s campaign encourages everyone to advocate and realize the consumption of healthy diets, increased physical activity and reduced sedentary behavior. Pushing the advocacy means that each and every one can contribute to better nutrition and physical activity for better health. The Nutrition Month logo for the theme shows the balance that needs to be achieved through healthy diet as symbolized by the leaf of a vegetable and physical activity by moving figures of people.      The campaign aims to catalyze actions to promote the consumption of healthy diets, increased physical activity and reduced sedentary behavior through activities of daily living among individual sand families, encourage the food industry including farmers, manufacturers, distributors and food establishments to produce and make available healthier food options and advocate for the enactment of national and local legislation and policies at the workplace, school and other venues that are supportive of an enabling environment for healthy diets and physical activity.      Here are some ways to celebrate Nutrition Month: conduct seminars and other fora to discuss the Nutrition Month theme, conduct physical activities appropriate for audience intended and conduct other activities that will highlight and promote healthy diet and physical activity.      A healthy diet is one that is able to maintain energy balance to carry out everyday tasks and ensure proper functioning of the body. Further, it provides all the nutrients in the right amount needed by the body. Healthy diet emphasizes vegetables, fruits, legumes and nuts. At least 400 grams of fruits and vegetables is recommended per day by the World Health Organization. Further, healthy diet refers to less intake of free sugars, fats and salt.      Physical activity is defined as any bodily movement produced by skeletal muscles that requires energy expenditure. This includes walking, exercise, sports, active forms of recreation (Zumba, yoga, etc.) and tasks in the house (cleaning, carrying, etc.).      People who engage in regular physical activity may experience the following benefits: prevention and delay of non-communicable disease, weight management, muscle and bone strength, mental health, better sleep, sports and promotion of overall well-being.      The Department of Health formulated the Philippine National Guidelines on Physical Activity (PNGPA) to spell out physical activity recommendations for various age groups. Children 5-12 years old and adolescents 13-20 years old are encouraged to engage physical activity for 60 minutes daily, while adults are to accumulate 30-60 minutes of daily physical activity. Elderly persons are encouraged to be physically active for at least 30 minutes a day.       As a family, members of the household are encouraged to eat a variety of foods every day, grow their own produce in their home garden and choose healthy foods even when eating away from home. Special care must be appropriated to pregnant women, and infants must be exclusively breastfed up to six months. As a community, neighbors can agree to plant and maintain fruits and vegetable gardens in vacant lots and advocate for healthy food options in carinderias and restaurants in the neighborhood. Schools must also strictly implement DepEd Order No. 13 s. 2017 which is about the guidelines on healthy food and beverage choices in schools. Constituents can unite in urging their local government to formulate policies to support the consumption of healthy diets and promotion of good nutrition. Workplace must also advocate the serving of nutritious snacks in their respective cafeterias and in during meetings, seminars and similar activities. Non-government organizations are urged to form networks and groups to promote availability of healthy foods. They can lobby for the food industry to make low sodium and low fat foods, reformulate recipes and menu to produce healthier products and introduce new products with better nutritional value.      The National Nutrition Council (NNC) Northern Mindanao spearheads the annual celebration of the Nutrition Month in the region. Among their major activities this month are Short Filmmaking Contest (open to junior and senior high school students, mechanics can be accessed at www.facebook.com/NNCRegion10), Talakayan sa PIA on July 15 and the Nutrition Month Culminating Activity on July 30.      While Nutrition Month is observed during July, holistic actions are expected to be sustained to achieve the desired outcome which is overall improvement and maintenance of one’s health.

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Ayala interns pitch innovations to help improve Filipino lives

July 17, 2019

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By: , Four interns were proclaimed the Grand Champions at the first ever Ayala Group Interns’ Innovation League (AGI2LE), the culminating event at the 11th Ayala Group Summer Internship Program (AGSIP).       The awarding ceremony, which took place at the Globe Auditorium, Maybank Performing Arts Theater in Bonifacio Global City, was attended by 120 Ayala interns and Ayala executives.       The winning team named “Osena” was comprised of Maria Betina Ramos (ADMU), Alexander Go Tian (UP), Joe Diether Cabelin (UP), and Jose Karlo Pascual (UA&P). They pitched “Paglago”, a B2B platform that aims to deliver fresh produce efficiently and sustainably from Luzon farmers to Manila kitchens. Team Osena won P50,000, an immersion trip to the headquarters of an Ayala technology partner company, and job offers from the Ayala group.      In his opening address to the interns, Ayala’s Chief Human Resource Officer and Group Head of Corporate Resources John Philip S. Orbeta said, “We at the Ayala group promised to give you an internship experience unlike any other—immersive, engaging, and challenging. After all, this is the Ayala way. For 185 years, our company has aspired to be a partner in nation building. Today, we continue to align our business objectives towards these aspirations. I believe this is what makes our internship program unique. We had no doubt that as the best in your class, you would not only be able to handle the difficulties of performing real work during your internship, but that you would also be able to explore innovative ideas that could make a difference to society. We are certainly proud that all of you have stepped up and delivered.”      Over the course of their six-week AGSIP engagement, the interns, representing the top 15% of the academic achievers in some of the country’s best universities, developed and pitched ideas to answer the brief of providing a sustainable solution that would improve the quality of life of an underserved market. Six out of 27 teams moved on to the final judging by a panel of Ayala executives, namely Toti Bengzon (Ayala Land Chief Financial Officer), Gabby Blaza (AC Industrials Strategy and Business Development Group Head), Jose Rene D. Almendras (Ayala Group Head of Public Affairs and AC Infrastructure President & CEO), Rodell Garcia (Manila Water Chief Technology Adviser), Vince Tobias (Ayala Head of Innovation), and the aforementioned John Philip S. Orbeta.      “The Ayala of today is very different from the one that existed a decade or two ago,” said Ayala Chairman and CEO Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala, who dropped by to congratulate the interns. “We need to reinvent ourselves to stay relevant among our customers and the communities we serve. And who better to look for reinvention than from people your age?”

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GO ANYWHERE WITH JANSPORT

June 29, 2019

Billboard

By: , Going through the daily grind from home to school and everywhere else in-between usually brings forth a heady mix of surprises — some of which aren’t always pleasant. Whether it’s the train breaking down, sudden rainfall, a mountain of schoolwork, or a soccer ball flying your way, tackling unexpected adventures is a cinch with a positive mindset and reliable essentials that’ll have your back constantly. Luckily, this newest selection of timeless, adventure-ready bags from the Fall 2019 Collection came just in time to help you overcome all kinds of everyday adventures with JanSport.  From Campus to Hangout       Wherever the day takes you, the Hatchet’s clever combination of outdoor sensibilities and modern functionality guarantees to keep you covered. Keep your supplies in check with its multiple organizational features — a sleeve designed to fit a 15-inch laptop, a deluxe organizer panel, a tricot-lined tablet pocket, and water bottle pockets — with room to spare for a jacket or an extra shirt in case you want to hit a nice cafe after class. For added comfort in carrying all your daily niceties, the Hatchet also has an adjustable sternum strap and fully-padded shoulder straps.  All Right and Ready       You can count on the Right Pack to stay as strong as you, even after the longest of days. With its Premium Cordura fabric and signature suede leather bottom in the classic JanSport silhouette, you’ll never have to worry if your bag can keep up. It also features a 15-inch laptop sleeve and front organizer pockets so you can easily access all your supplies through the course of your day.  Go Big or Go Home       The Big Campus is large enough to hold your biggest plans. Put your ambitions in one large compartment and your sense of adventure in the other. The front utility pocket and zippered front mesh stash pocket keep the details organized. The ergonomic S-curve shoulder straps, fully padded back panel and side water bottle pocket help you carry it all in comfort and style.       Whether you’re in search of a pack you can take from campus to the coolest urban spots, or perhaps on the prowl for a bag that can keep up with the rigors of your jam-packed week, conquer any adventure while staying cool and confident throughout every day.       Check out the all-new Fall 2019 Collection from Bratpack located at 2nd level in Ayala       Centrio or follow @JanSportPhilippines on Instagram and Facebook for the latest updates.

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