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SHELL’S 2ND VIRTUAL ART INTERACT SPOTLIGHTS MINDANAO | Creating stories of hope in isolation

October 20, 2020

Mindanao is hailed for its abundant natural resources and breathtaking landscapes. But beyond its pristine beaches and lush mountains is a burgeoning community of creatives who are injecting their unique Mindanaoan identity into art and using it as a force for good. As the country continues to grapple with COVID-19, Mindanaoan artists are stepping up to create stories of hope while in isolation. Following the theme of “HOPE IN OUR ART,” Pilipinas Shell’s 53rd National Students Art Competition (NSAC) held the second leg of Virtual Art Interact last October 17, in collaboration with creative collective Fringe Manila. Virtual Art Interact is also a platform where creatives can share their insights about their profession for the next generation. While the pilot event focused on the Luzon art scene, this recent forum put the spotlight on the growing community of creators in Mindanao. Since NSAC’s inception, Shell has acknowledged the vital role of visual artists, illustrators, sculptors, and other imaginative talents in shaping the youth and country’s future—especially now. “Through NSAC, we pledge our support to keep artists and art institutions alive. We want to amplify the youth’s voices, and continue the conversation on art’s importance,” said Sankie Simbulan, Country Social Performance and Investment Manager of Pilipinas Shell.  Simbulan continued, “The ethnic and cultural diversity of Mindanao and its rich history have given birth to a young generation of artists whose voices need to spread and be heard throughout the Philippines.”  Andrei Pamintuan, Creative Director of Fringe Manila and host of Virtual Art Interact, added, “This is a great opportunity to share stories from Mindanao. It’s important to be inclusive, especially for platforms like this, so that we can showcase the diversity of what’s happening in the Philippines.” Having survived many conflicts and calamities, Mindanao has proven itself to be a region of resilience—with artists at the helm of inspiring hope that propels the community forward.  Through his projects with Mindanao local governments, Zabala has been championing a fresh perspective of the region that does not let its past define its future. “At work, our goal is to recreate Mindanao’s image using art. For example, we created a campaign called ‘Zoom in Zamboanga City’ that is inspired by our rich history, nature, tourist spots, native patterns, and more,” Zabala explained. Being no strangers to crises, Zabala and fellow Mindaoan artists immediately heeded the call to once again inspire hope and courage as COVID struck the country. He shared, “The pandemic is a challenge for everyone. People have lost jobs, families have gone hungry, and mental health is affected. As public servants and artists, our work should never stop. We have since created several campaigns that promote generosity and kindness in the community.” Zabala, who did a live demonstration of digital illustration during the event, also discussed the many themes present in today’s art. “There are so many stories now about struggles and difficulties, both personal and in our country [Ang daming stories ngayon tungkol sa struggle]. As creatives, we use art to express our emotions and what we are going through.”  Zabala also pointed out one essential, if often overlooked, role that artists perform during crisis: “We also act as historians who visually piece together this moment in time—including all the contemplation and uncertainty it holds. When we look back on this period someday, art will help us make sense of it.” Isko Andrade, a former contestant and three-time winner of the NSAC, shared how he overcame the more discouraging moments during the pandemic. “COVID-19 has affected my career as an artist because of cancelled shows and exhibits, but I choose not to dwell on the negative side [Maraming nag-iba since nagka-COVID. Na-affect yung career ko as an artist kasi madaming cancelled shows at exhibits, pero di lang ako tumitingin sa mga negative].  “‘The pandemic has given me time to focus on myself, my craft, and taught me to appreciate and find inspiration in everything—whether they’re big or small [Pero ngayong pandemic, nakafocus ako sa sarili ko at sa art ko. Na-appreciate ko din ang bawat bagay, maliit man o malaki].” The Bulacan-based Andrade looked back on how opportunities presented themselves to him in the middle of adversity. One such door was his win during the NSAC competition in 2014. His winning oil on canvas piece, entitled ‘Ipinagkakait na Kalayaan,’ was in itself an example of triumph over adversity:  this life-changing canvas depicts paintbrushes ready to be buried, and was inspired by the death of his mother and the pains that come from being part of a broken family.  He said, “As a young student artist from the province, I had simple dreams of finishing college and getting a normal job. I didn’t think I could ever win NSAC, but it was such a big help for me and my family. I was able to pursue my art, and I learned to dream bigger. [Dati, pangarap ko lang sa probinsya ay makatapos ng pag-aaral at kumuha ng trabaho. Nakakatuwa dahil di ko akalain na mananalo ako sa NSAC. Sobrang laking tulong ng NSAC. Nakatapos ako ng pag-aaral at natuto akong mangarap ng higit sa pangarap ko.]” Zabala concurred that creative platforms such as NSAC are bringers of hope that can keep communities alive during the most difficult times. He said, “Art is a great tool for healing. It’s cathartic. We can use it to give people something to hold on to as they live through the pandemic.” Simbulan reminded the audience to remember and explore its rich heritage to mine stories for encouragement. She said, “As Filipinos, we have a wealth of culture and creativity that can act as reservoirs of hope and fuel for economic recovery. We can all learn a thing or two from artists—how to create more with less, how to discover new perspectives in the mundane, and how to find the silver lining amid this isolation..” The next and final leg of Shell Virtual Art Interact is set to happen on November 7 and will focus on the Visayas region. Meanwhile, the awarding of the NSAC, which currently has 1,300 entries, will take place on November 27. For more information, keep posted on Shell Philippines’ website and social media accounts.  Website: www.shell.com.ph Facebook: Shell

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So Many Sale Mindanao

October 19, 2020

Get extra 10% OFF* at #TheSMStore from October 19 to 25 (10AM** to 2PM) Participating branches: Cagayan de Oro, CDO Downtown Premier, Davao, Lanang Premier, General Santos. *With a minimum P3,000 single-receipt purchase **Davao and Lanang Premier starting 9AM Per DTI Fair Trade Permit No. RXII 019, Series of 2020

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Holcim reiterates readiness to support Mindanao recovery amid Covid-19

October 12, 2020

Leading cement manufacturer Holcim Philippines, Inc. recently shared the company’s commitment to support the development of Mindanao amid the Covid-19 pandemic highlighting its strengths in health and safety and commercial innovation as key contributions to recovery. In a virtual media briefing with the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) on September 02, Holcim Philippines Senior Vice President and Chief Finance Officer Jena Rojas provided an overview of the company’ Health, Cash, and Cost framework in responding to the challenges of Covid-19. She was joined by MinDA Assistant Secretary Romeo Montenegro as well as representatives from the Department of Public Works and Highways Region XI and XII offices. "Our company responded quickly and effectively to the challenging situation and we remain confident in bouncing back and sustaining our commitment to support our partners. Our response is focused on three areas: Health, Cash and Cost. The first priority is keeping our people healthy and safe, second is making sure that we preserve our cash so we can support our company needs and third is being mindful about costs so we only spend for the most essential aspects of the business," she said. Rojas also introduced the company’s new leaders for its facilities in Misamis Oriental and Davao Plant Managers, Arnold Pepino and Sam Manlosa, who respectively talked about Holcim Philippines’ efforts to be more prudent on costs and make operations safer from Covid-19. Rojas noted noted that its Mindanao plants are both headed by Mindanawons, the first time in the company's history.  Meanwhile, Holcim Philippines Senior Vice President for Sales William Sumalinog discussed the company’s readiness to support Mindanao's manufacturing industry in becoming a stronger contributor to development during the Mindanao Business Conference on September 10. He was joined in the virtual panel by Senator Imee Marcos, Board of Investments Governor Napoleon Concepcion and Oro Chamber President Robertino Pizarro. Sumalinog noted that the Department of Trade and Industry had identified poor infrastructures as among those holding back manufacturing in the Philippines in a policy paper on raising the industry's competitiveness. He added that Holcim is well equipped to support partners build these structures in Mindanao as seen by its recent Davao plant upgrade, roll out of new building solutions such as road infrastructure cement Solido and pavement repair solution SuperFastCrete, and other digital innovations. "As you can see we are not slowing down especially at this time when the government has deemed it essential to continue upgrading infrastructures in the country. Doing so does not only raise the level of competitiveness of the manufacturing industry, but also shield the economy from the blows of the pandemic. We remain confident that we are well equipped to deliver great value and support to builders working to improve the competitiveness of Mindanao’s manufacturing sector and all our stakeholders in the region who are united in their dreams of a better Mindanao," he said.  **********  Holcim Philippines, Inc. (Philippine Stock Exchange: HLCM) is one of the leading building solution companies in the country. The Company has a deep portfolio of innovative solutions fostered by a full range of products from structuring to finishing applications that can help local builders execute with high performance and efficiency a wide range of projects from massive infrastructure to simple home repairs.   With cement manufacturing facilities in La Union, Bulacan, Batangas, Misamis Oriental and Davao, as well as aggregates and dry mix business and technical support facilities for building solutions, Holcim Philippines is a reliable partner of builders in the country.   Holcim Philippines is also committed to the highest standards of sustainable operations and manufacturing excellence with its plants certified under ISO 14001:2004 (Environmental Management System), ISO 9001:2008 (Quality Management System) and OHSAS 18001:2007 (Occupational Health and Safety Management System).  Holcim Philippines is a member of the LafargeHolcim Group, the world leader in the building materials industry present in 80 countries with over 75,000 employees.

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29th Mindanao Business Conference 2020 | Capacity Building Measures for business survival & continuity pushed

September 7, 2020

The affiliate chambers of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Mindanao will present the national government during the 29th Mindanao Business Conference on September 10-11, 2020 a package of capacity building measures aimed at ensuring business survival and continuity in the region. The first ever virtual conduct of Mindanao’s biggest business conference of the PCCI will be hosted by the Davao Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (DCCCII) through online live streaming via ZOOM with a record audience expected to participate in the online event despite restrictions on travel and gatherings brought by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. “With theme, Mindanao: Journeying to the New Normal, we recognize the urgent need to boost confidence to overcome emerging challenges and opportunities,” said Ma. Teresa A. Alegrio, PCCI Area Vice President for Mindanao. “This stems from a deep understanding of what the new normal presents so that responses to meet them are carefully crafted.” MinBizCon is an annual event organized by the PCCI that aims to create a venue for businessmen, key industry players, government executives, and other private sector leaders to discuss economic concerns and opportunities in Mindanao resulting to policy actions for the development of the region. Through PCCI Mindanao Resolution no. 2020-004 (A Resolution Endorsing To The IATF-EID Proposed Intervention Measures For Business Survival And Continuity of Mindanao MSMEs and Other Industries) the 42 local Chambers of Mindanao will be requesting the National Government’s immediate and urgent intervention to prioritize a package of proposed recommendations aimed at ensuring  the business survival and continuity of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), in the manufacturing and industry, and agricultural sector. MSME’s constitute over 90 percent of the number of business establishments nationwide and in Mindanao. The resolution covers Health Care Capacity, Infrastructure, Economic Stimulus, Structural Reforms, Capacity Building, and Domestic Tourism. Capacity Building Among the Capacity Building measures being championed by PCCI Mindanao for urgent government action in prioritizing the following proposed recommendations for the business survival and continuity of MSMEs in the manufacturing, industry, and agricultural sector:   ·        For DTI to extend technical assistance and financial support to Local Chambers of Commerce & Industry (LCCI) and other trade or sectoral associations in the preparation of Business Continuity Plans to enable their dissemination to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) who may wish to apply for commercial loans under facilities of the Small Business Corporation in the LCCIs respective localities; ·        For DTI, DOST and DOLE to immediately implement Retooling and Re-Training Programs for MSME companies and workers of sectors belonging to non-essential goods and services; ·        For DOH to include as an urgent priority in its policy measures to make available RT-PCR testing kits at an affordable price through pooled purchasing for large scale agro-industrial and industries employing more than 200 workers and ancillary service providers, to enable them to continue unhampered operations, minimize lay-offs and most importantly, disruptions in key supply chains such as food, food processing and health related products and services; ·        For DOST to extend funding and technical support for Research and Development to City and State Colleges, Universities and Technical schools related to health care efforts that may directly impact the area’s COVID-19 response; and,   ·        For NEDA to create an Investment Promotions Committee in the Regional Development Councils in order to monitor the implementation of localized incentives to be implemented. The foregoing proposals were extensively discussed across all the 42 Local Chambers of Commerce in Mindanao during several Regional Consultations with PCCI President Ambassador Benedicto Yujuico, PCCI Mindanao Area Vice President Maria Teresa R. Alegrio, and PCCI Regional Governors Arturo Milan (South Eastern Mindanao), Roderico R. Bioco (Northern Mindanao), Paul Gudmalin (Western Mindanao), Pete Marquez (Central Mindanao), Aldrin Ibbo (BARMM), Julie Senense (Eastern (CARAGA) Mindanao) and Loreta Sy (South Western Mindanao) with Promote NorMin Foundation President Elpidio M. Paras. (PCCI Mindanao) 

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29th Mindanao Business Conference | PCCI Mindanao champions Infrastructure Initiatives for business survival & continuity

September 7, 2020

The affiliate chambers of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Mindanao is championing a package of infrastructure intervention measures aimed at ensuring business survival and continuity during the 29th Mindanao Business Conference on September 10-11, 2020. The first ever virtual hosting of Mindanao’s biggest business conference of the PCCI will be hosted by the Davao Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (DCCCII) through online live streaming via ZOOM with a record audience expected to participate in the virtual event despite restrictions on travel and gatherings brought by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. “With theme, Mindanao: Journeying to the New Normal, we recognize the urgent need to boost confidence to overcome emerging challenges and opportunities,” said Ma. Teresa A. Alegrio, PCCI Area Vice President for Mindanao. “This stems from a deep understanding of what the new normal presents so that responses to meet them are carefully crafted.” MinBizCon is an annual event organized by the PCCI that aims to create a venue for businessmen, key industry players, government executives, and other private sector leaders to discuss economic concerns and opportunities in Mindanao resulting to policy actions for the development of the region. Through PCCI Mindanao Resolution no. 2020-004 (A Resolution Endorsing To The IATF-EID Proposed Intervention Measures For Business Survival And Continuity of Mindanao MSMEs and Other Industries) the 42 local Chambers of Mindanao will be requesting the National Government’s immediate and urgent intervention to prioritize a package of proposed recommendations aimed at ensuring  the business survival and continuity of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), in the manufacturing and industry, and agricultural sector. MSME’s constitute over 90 percent of the number of business establishments nationwide and in Mindanao. The resolution covers Health Care Capacity, Infrastructure, Economic Stimulus, Structural Reforms, Capacity Building, and Domestic Tourism. Infrastructure Initiatives Among the infrastructure intervention measure being championed by PCCI Mindanao are the following: ·        For DOE, DPWH & DOTr to re-start the implementation of the following strategic infrastructure projects which are included in the Build-Build-Build program and the approved RDC Infrastructure projects of the national government: Shelter Projects under the Marawi Rehabilitation project; Mindanao-Visayas Interconnection Project; Rehabilitation of the Agus and Pulangi Hydropower Complexes; Mindanao Railway; Expansion of the Laguindingan Airport; Panguil Bay Bridge, and Improvement of Night Landing and Runway facilities of Secondary Airports all over Mindanao. ·        For the Department of Finance (DOF) to prioritize funding allocation and procurement of services for all pending DPWH-DTI ROLL-IT projects to expedite and efficiently transport raw materials from agricultural areas to main processing or manufacturing centers; ·        For the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) to provide access for local/Private Telecommunications Companies, Cable TV, Internet and Value Added Service Providers to their existing tower facilities and infrastructure including unused internet bandwidth, to fast track deployment of broadband internet services to underserved areas in compliance with its mandate of bringing information and communications technology to all Filipinos; ·        For DICT to enjoin the National Electrification Agency (NEA) to suspend its recent rate increase in Pole Rental Fees for rural electric cooperatives to reduce the costs for Telcos, Cable TV and Internet Service Providers to consequently stop these being passed on to consumers, and ultimately enable more people especially in remote areas, gain access to affordable communications that provide urgent, essential and timely information during this time of the pandemic; ·        For DILG to order the LGUs and other government agencies, to reduce the number of permits now being required in the building and erection of Telco cell site tower and radio facilities and in the roll out and installation of fiber optic and coaxial cables underground and aboveground, in order to fast track the deployment of much needed Broadband Internet infrastructure nationwide which is crucial to the success of DepEd’s online education program. The foregoing proposals were extensively discussed across all the 42 Local Chambers of Commerce in Mindanao during several Regional Consultations with PCCI President Ambassador Benedicto Yujuico, PCCI Mindanao Area Vice President Maria Teresa R. Alegrio, and PCCI Regional Governors Arturo Milan (South Eastern Mindanao), Roderico R. Bioco (Northern Mindanao), Paul Gudmalin (Western Mindanao), Pete Marquez (Central Mindanao), Aldrin Ibbo (BARMM), Julie Senense (Eastern (CARAGA) Mindanao) and Loreta Sy (South Western Mindanao) with Promote NorMin Foundation President Elpidio M. Paras. (PCCI Mindanao) 

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29th Mindanao Business Conference 2020 | PCCI Mindanao endorses ‘Bubble Markets’ to revive domestic tourism

September 7, 2020

The affiliate chambers of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Mindanao will endorse to the national government measures aimed at capturing “Bubble Markets’ for the revival of domestic tourism in the region during the 29th Mindanao Business Conference on September 10-11, 2020. The first ever virtual conduct of Mindanao’s biggest business conference of the PCCI will be hosted by the Davao Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (DCCCII) through online live streaming via ZOOM with a record audience expected to participate in the online event despite restrictions on travel and gatherings brought by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. “With theme, Mindanao: Journeying to the New Normal, we recognize the urgent need to boost confidence to overcome emerging challenges and capitalize on opportunities,” said Ma. Teresa A. Alegrio, PCCI Area Vice President for Mindanao. “This stems from a deep understanding of what the new normal presents so that responses to meet them are carefully crafted.” MinBizCon is an annual event organized by the PCCI that aims to create a venue for businessmen, key industry players, government executives, and other private sector leaders to discuss economic concerns and opportunities in Mindanao resulting to policy actions for the development of the region. Through PCCI Mindanao Resolution no. 2020-004 (A Resolution Endorsing To The IATF-EID Proposed Intervention Measures For Business Survival And Continuity of Mindanao MSMEs and Other Industries) the 42 local Chambers of Mindanao will be requesting the National Government’s immediate and urgent intervention to prioritize a package of proposed recommendations aimed at ensuring  the business survival and continuity of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), in the manufacturing and industry, and agricultural sector. MSME’s constitute over 90 percent of the number of business establishments nationwide and in Mindanao. The resolution covers Health Care Capacity, Infrastructure, Economic Stimulus, Structural Reforms, Capacity Building, and Domestic Tourism. Domestic Tourism Among the measures to be presented by PCCI Mindanao to revive Domestic Tourism during the MinBizCon are the following: ·        For DOT to consider "Bubble" connectivity: Select safe markets from where tourists can travel to similar “Bubble” destinations. DOT to coordinate the guidelines for  identifying “Bubble” markets with the national, regional and local IATFs; ·        For Regional DOT offices to promote weekend staycations from nearby cities in each region, making up the safe "bubble" market, no foreign or other tourists from abroad allowed. DOT accredited and sanctioned hotels with strict safety protocols to be utilized in this recovery program; ·        For LGUs to start campaign to capture the Mindanao "bubble" market. Focus on road travelers with pre-arranged hotel accommodations. Pre-arranged tours would also be encouraged; everything online. ·        For DOT and LGUs to coordinate and endorse with IATF-EID the relaxation of travel restrictions for minors below 21 years old and senior citizens above 60 years old in areas where MGCQ is implemented, provided that accredited tourism destinations which are primarily for outdoor activities, strictly enforce all health and safety protocols subject to regular inspections and evaluation. The foregoing proposals were extensively discussed across all the 42 Local Chambers of Commerce in Mindanao during several Regional Consultations with PCCI President Ambassador Benedicto Yujuico, PCCI Mindanao Area Vice President Maria Teresa R. Alegrio, and PCCI Regional Governors Arturo Milan (South Eastern Mindanao), Roderico R. Bioco (Northern Mindanao), Paul Gudmalin (Western Mindanao), Pete Marquez (Central Mindanao), Aldrin Ibbo (BARMM), Julie Senense (Eastern (CARAGA) Mindanao) and Loreta Sy (South Western Mindanao) with Promote NorMin Foundation President Elpidio M. Paras. (PCCI Mindanao) 

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