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GCash, partners raise over P18.14M in donations to fight COVID-19

April 6, 2020

GCash, the leading mobile wallet in the Philippines, has facilitated over P18.14 million in donations for the collective fight against COVID-19, helping support Filipino frontline workforce and provide assistance to those who were gravely affected by the pandemic. The amount, which was tallied as of March 31, is composed of donations made directly to partner organizations and through the GCash-led digital donation drive called #FightCOVID19. These funds were used to purchase medical gears to protect frontline health workers from contracting the virus, as well as relief goods for the families that were hit the most by the effects of the enhanced community lockdown.  “We are overwhelmed by the generosity of the Filipino GCash users. We know very well that everyone is affected by the pandemic, and we at GCash are happy to see that our platform is being maximized during these trying times,” GCash Chief Technology and Operations Officer Pebbles Sy-Manalang said. GCash users forwarded their donations via GCash through its various services.  Based on the current tally, almost P12 million were collected via the Scan to Pay service of GCash. They were sent directly to Caritas Manila, ABS-CBN Foundation, Globe BridgeComm, Generation Hope, Hapag Asa Foundation, Philippine Red Cross, World Vision, and UNICEF.  GCash users also donated over P16,500 to the ABS-CBN Foundation through the Send Money service of GCash. ABS-CBN Foundation, UNICEF, and the Philippine Red Cross also received support via the Pay Bills service on the mobile money platform.  #FightCOVID19, the GCash-led digital donation drive, on the other hand, facilitated over P5.58 million in donations from various GCash users nationwide. The digital fundraising is part of GCash for Good, the corporate social responsibility program of GCash.  The funds raised via #FightCOVID19 is equally divided among seven partner organizations namely: the Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation (PDRF), the Philippine Red Cross, World Vision, UP Medical Foundation, PGH Foundation, Inc., ABS-CBN Foundation, and Ayala Foundation. As advised, GCash will include Lung Center of the Philippines Physicians Association starting April 1 to replace the UP Medical Foundation as beneficiary.  GCash users may continue to send their support via #FightCOVID19. To support, GCash users simply have to click on the “Pay Bills” icon on their GCash apps, choose the “Others” tab, and click on “FightCOVID19.” GCash users then have to enter their name and the amount that they are donating to confirm their donation. “Seeing that humanitarian groups and non-government organizations use the GCash app as a channel of good is very rewarding to the hardworking men and women of GCash. It validates that the work we do at GCash directly makes an impact on the lives of many people,” Sy-Manalang said. Aside from these, individuals are using GCash to conduct their own fundraising activities to help mitigate the effects of the pandemic on the lives of Filipinos, especially those who were displaced. Through the funds that they gather via GCash, good-hearted individuals are supporting families in different parts of the Philippines by providing them care packages, and health workers by securing personal protective equipment (PPEs) for them.  “The willingness of the Filipino people to band together — all while maintaining social distancing — is what keeps us going despite working with limited capacities due to health protocols. We hope that as we go through these challenges together, we would see more people willingly supporting those who are deeply in need,” Sy-Manalang said.

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Globe acknowledges LGUs in efforts to build cell towers across the country

March 23, 2020

Ensuring connectivity for its customers during the COVID-19 quarantine period, Globe recognizes the local government units who supported its efforts to build more cell sites to meet resurging demand for telecom services.  The company’s efforts to invest in building more cell sites relies on the cooperation of local government units (LGUs), barangays, and other stakeholders, which grant permits to jumpstart the construction.      “LGUs play a vital role in building the necessary ICT infrastructure to improve the internet and mobile experience of our customers.  Now with the sudden changes in work arrangements, there is an urgent need to build more cellular towers to serve the current data traffic that continuously grows exponentially.  We need more cell sites to keep up with the demand but deployment is only the final step to a long permitting process,” Globe General Counsel Froilan M. Castelo said.      “This is the time for all of us to work together for the greater good.  Now, more than ever, we need sufficient mobile coverage to keep in touch with our family and friends, conduct business transactions, make emergency calls, to name a few.  And in this increasingly digital environment, we need the internet to get important real-time information about what’s happening around us, and for businesses to continue operating even with a reduced or skeletal workforce,” Castelo added.      In a recent interview, the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) has again raised the lack of infrastructure in the country.  “The Philippines has the lowest site density in the region. We really lack cell sites,” DICT Undersecretary Eliseo Rio said.      Globe expects demand for internet connectivity will continue to increase as companies require their employees to work from home and conduct meetings via online.  Some students were also required to participate in online classes during the quarantine period.      “We will be of help with what matters most in this period of pandemic – keeping people healthy and safe – by assisting the government to disseminate timely and accurate information, aiding companies to use video conferencing technologies, keeping families connected even if they are far from each other,” Castelo added.      With more people expected to remain indoors during the enhanced community quarantine, the Philippine Chamber of Telecommunications Operators has asked the public to use the internet more responsibly.  Measures like limiting use of movie streaming apps and games during peak hours, limiting download of large documents and transfers or sharing of large data are being recommended.      Globe has been aggressively modernizing and upgrading its network to provide its customers with seamless connectivity.  Globe hopes that its efforts to increase the number of cell sites in the country would be complemented by the cooperation of local government units and stakeholders. Globe estimates an average of eight months and over 25 permits are needed before it can build one cellular tower.

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Mactan-Cebu International Airport sales mission promotes new flights and services in Cagayan de Oro

February 8, 2020

GMR MEGAWIDE Cebu Airport Corporation (GMCAC) and partner airlines met with travel and tour operators in Cagayan de Oro today to promote new flights and services out of the Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) as part of its annual domestic sales mission. “The sales mission is already in its third year, and it is one of the ways GMCAC connects with travel and tourism stakeholders across the Philippines. Our focus is route development, particularly to key destinations in Visayas and Mindanao, as part of our goal to establish MCIA as the hub for flights in the southern Philippines,” said Aines Librodo, GMCAC Head of Airline Marketing and Tourism Development. Dubbed as the gateway to Northern Mindanao, Cagayan de Oro is one of the top regional destinations contributing to MCIA’s domestic passenger traffic. According to Librodo, MCIA recorded a 22% increase in passenger traffic from-to Cagayan de Oro in 2019 with more than 420,000 domestic passengers and a total of 53 flights per week. “The Cagayan de Oro market is strong, and we want to further develop this connection,” she said. GMCAC kicked off this year’s sales mission in Davao City last January 28. GMCAC will visit Bacolod, Iloilo, and Tacloban on February 11, 12, and 18, respectively. Partner airlines taking part in this year’s domestic sales mission are Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific, Philippines AirAsia, EVA Airways, Cathay Pacific, and China Eastern Airlines. With its central location in the Philippines, MCIA is the ideal transfer hub for passengers connecting from Visayas and Mindanao with most domestic destinations reachable in less than an hour’s flight time. MCIA is connected to 25 domestic destinations and 25 international destinations with 6 domestic partner airlines and 20 international partner airlines. ### About GMR MEGAWIDE Cebu Airport Corporation On November 2014, Filipino-led developer GMR MEGAWIDE Cebu Airport Corporation (GMCAC) took over development of all landside facilities of the MCIA under a 25-year Public-Private Partnership concession agreement with the Philippine Government. It opened the new international Terminal, Terminal 2, in July 2018 and completed the full renovation of Terminal 1 in December 2019. GMCAC is a joint venture company comprised of Filipino engineering and infrastructure company Megawide Construction Corporation and Indian infrastructure developer GMR.

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SM Prime Holdings grabs Best Environmental CSR in 8th Mindanao Business Leaders and Entrepreneurs Awards

December 27, 2019

SM Prime Holdings – which has made the presence of two shopping malls in Cagayan de Oro City – bagged the Best Environmental CSR during the recently held 8th Mindanao Business Leaders and Entrepreneurs Awards in Cagayan de Oro City. The two shopping malls in Cagayan de Oro City under SM Prime Holdings are SM City Cagayan de Oro and SM CDO Downtown Premier. Opened in 2002, SM City Cagayan de Oro is the first SM Supermall in Northern Mindanao. Located in the uptown part of the city, the mall features major and minor anchors such as SM Store, SM Supermarket, Cyberzone, SM Appliance Center, ACE Hardware, Toy Kingdom and SM Cinemas. It has service centers, specialty stores and restaurants, indoor and outdoor parking spaces and its carpark building now houses apparel stores on the first level. Meanwhile, SM CDO Downtown Premier is being branded as a lifestyle mall and opened in 2017 along CM Recto Avenue in Cagayan de Oro City. The five-level mall features anchors such as SM Store, SM Supermarket, SM Bowling and SM Cinemas with seven theaters including two Director’s Club cinemas and a Megascreen cinema. It also has several specialty shops and homegrown restaurants. Accompanying the mall is the CDO Downtown Tower which is a 12-storey building and eight levels of office space for BPO companies with helipad on the roofdeck. SM Prime Holdings has been chosen by the jurors of the 8th Mindanao Business Leaders and Entrepreneurs Awards – which is organized by Mindanao Daily News and BusinessWeek Mindanao led by publisher Dante Sudaria and awards director Allan Mediante – largely due to its record of environmental sustainability through the decades that it has operated not only here in Mindanao but throughout the whole country. Considering its rapidly growing operations, SM Prime Holdings recognizes the impact it has on the environment. The company has taken measures to prioritize the efficient management of its resources. SM religiously tracks its use of energy and water as well as its waste and emissions. SM implements mitigation measures to ensure that these aspects are managed at optimal levels. Other projects include the Green Retail Agenda, greenhouse gas emissions management, energy efficiency, solid waste management, water treatment and recycling, air quality management and solar power investments. While the company continues to expand and conquer new markets, it stays steadfast to uphold their mission as environmental stewards of the natural resources of the country. In fact, it is noteworthy to mention that SM CDO Downtown Premier has its own rainwater catchment basin measuring 75x40 meters floor area and as high as six meters which can hold up to 13,540 cubic meters of water to reduce the risk of flooding. SM Prime Holdings has also introduced a recycling activity called the Trash to Cash program which promotes the reduce-reuse-recycle practice. The company has been inviting the community to implement proper waste disposal and management at the household level. Through the Trash to Cash program, SP Prime was able to inform its stakeholders of the available solutions in solving solid waste issues and concerns. SM Cares, a division of SM Foundation Inc., is the group that handles the corporate social responsibility programs of SM Prime Holdings. It organizes the sustainability efforts into a comprehensive program that tackles a wide range of initiatives: from giving a voice to the underrepresented sectors of our society to preserving the environment and to creating innovative but sustainable avenues of growth. SM Cares works with various organizations, shareholders and people from the community in coming up with innovative solutions that pave way to living more sustainable lives. As a responsible mall developer, SM ensures that its CSR programs serve as catalyst for positive change for the community it serves. The 8th Mindanao Business Leaders and Entrepeneurs Awards gives honor to various Mindanao business leaders and entrepreneurs, serving as catalyst for their continued and concerted effort to seek greater heights and strive for success in the noble mission of propelling Mindanao and its people towards full economic growth and sustainable development. The judges were chaired by Cagayan de Oro Press Club past president Ruffy Magbanua with the following as members: BusinessWeek Mindanao editor-in-chief Nelson Constantino, BusinessWeek Mindanao vice president for administration Joe Felicilda, Mindanao Daily editor-in-chief Allan Mediante, Mindanao Daily executive editor Cris Diaz, freelance journalist Tessi Baluyos and Mindanao Daily managing editor Ruel Pelone. Guests of honor who gave inspirational speeches during the event which was held December 13 at Limketkai Luxe Hotel were Communications Secretary Martin Andanar and Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) Undersecretary Orlando Ravanera. The 8th Mindanao Business Leaders and Entrepreneurs Awards is also being presented by Veterans Bank, Ayala, BPI BanKo, Cooperative Development Authority, provincial government of Misamis Oriental, CORDS 10 and PCOO, Limketkai Luxe Hotel, Pepsi, Washington, Angela Soriano Fashion Design Studio, SELRAHCO PR, Dessert Boss, Pie Square Photo Booth, AVPro and Marzel Digital Studio.

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Cebu Landmasters’ posts record high 9-month earnings, up by 77 percent to P1.6 billion

November 15, 2019

Cebu Landmasters (CLI) continues its leadership in the VisMin region, with consolidated net income rising by 59 percent from Php 1.2 billion to Php 1.9 billion year-on-year. Net income attributable to parent meanwhile grew significantly by 77 percent from Php 932.7 million to Php 1.65 million driven by substantial increase of revenue from CLI projects. The leading housing developer in the Visayas-Mindanao region declared revenues of Php 5.9 billion from the previous year’s record of Php 3.7 billion. CLI attributed the outstanding results to the strong performance of its mid-market residential segment, which accounted for 36 percent of the total revenue pie. Casa Mira, the company’s economic residential brand, and high-end segment contributed 32 percent and 29 percent, respectively. CLI Chief Executive Officer Jose Soberano III says: “Our fast-selling projects give us confidence that we will achieve our topline and net income growth targets for the end of the year. The numbers reflect our operational excellence and commitment to responsible development.” CLI launched nine major developments in 2019: Davao Global Township – Phase 1 (Davao); One Paragon Place (Davao), Citadines Paragon Davao (Davao); Citadines Bacolod City (Bacolod); MesaVirre Garden Residences C (Bacolod); Casa Mira Bacolod (Bacolod); Velmiro Plains Bacolod (Bacolod); Casa Mira Towers CDO (CDO); and Mivela Garden Residences (Cebu). CLI said the Mivela project set new records with 80 percent of the project sold in just three weeks from launch date. Projects in the company’s headquarters in Cebu made up 58 percent of the period’s revenue contributors, followed by developments in Bacolod and Cagayan de Oro with 13% and 12% earnings input, respectively. In Q3 2018, revenue contributors after Cebu (with 61% revenue contribution) were Cagayan de Oro with 19 percent and Davao with 14 percent. CLI’s leasing portfolio grew by 29 percent to Php 46.72 million from Php 36.20 million year-on-year. This is attributed to the increase in Gross Leasable Area (GLA) following the recent turnover of Base Line Retail and HQ and Casa Mira Towers Labangon. Aggregate GLA for the period now reached 13,806 square meters while occupancy rate rises to 84%. Management fees on the other hand, more than doubled from 11.2 million to 26.9 million due to the increase of the number of developments managed by CLIPM, the property management arm of CLI. The said firm now oversees 17 projects, eight of which are house and lot subdivisions while the rest are offices and residential condominiums. The third quarter also marked the operations of CLI’s first hotel representing a new revenue stream. As scheduled, Citadines Cebu City, a 180-room condotel opened in September. It is operated and managed by Ascott Limited, the world’s largest international serviced residence owner-operator. As an indicator of future revenue growth, the nine-month reservation sales take-up rose by 29% year on year to P9.24 billion. About 3,472 units were taken up at an average price of Php 2.7million. Meanwhile, CLI continues to expand its landbank to support its expansion program. To date, CLI holds a total of 1,245,276 sqm of land in 10 key VisMin cities. Part of its recent acquisitions is an existing resort in Mactan, Cebu with a land area of 18,000 sqm. The resort will be re-developed to also integrate a residential component.   CLI purchased a 9.4-hectare property in Ormoc and 28 hectares in Davao that will be developed into residential projects. The company also acquired 11,000 sqm of land in Bacolod City, adjacent to its existing three-tower condo project, the MesaVirre Garden Residences. During the year, CLI also signed a strategic partnership with AboitizLand, the real estate arm of Aboitiz Equity Ventures, to develop a mid- market, mixed-use, multi-tower condominium project in Mandaue City. During the 7th Annual Property Guru Philippines Property Awards last July, Cebu Landmasters was awarded as the Best Developer. Other honors were also given to the company’s projects—38 Park Avenue development, named Best High-End Condominium Development (Cebu); Casa Mira Towers Labangon as Highly Commended for Best Affordable Condominium Development (Cebu); and MesaTierra Garden Residences as Best Condominium Development (Davao)and special recognition for Corporate Social Responsibility.

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Magic Cracker surprises CDO with Magic Moments

November 8, 2019

Jack ‘n Jill Magic Crackers continues to surprise and give joy to the snack-loving Filipinos.   This time, through a retro arcade-themed Magic Moments event in Limketkai Mall, Cagayan de Oro last October 12, 2019.   Magic Moments brought people back in time with its retro-themed photo booth and fun arcade activities.  Mall-goers enjoyed the Magic Hoops: a basketball free-throw game, Onion Chives Surprise: an old school arcade attraction, and Apat Dapat booth: a slot machine-inspired game.    The best part was how participants were able to take home their favorite Magic Flakes products as prizes. Participants were also treated to a surprising Magic Moment when all four lightning icons of the Apat Dapat booth matched.    First, loads of Magic Flakes products came out of the Apat Dapat booth as prize. Then, an energetic dance flash mob by the Magic Squad surprised and entertained the audience.    Three lucky participants experienced this Magic Moment and won special prizes. Those who were present during the Magic Moment also went home with big smiles as they also received Magic Crackers giveaways after the flash mob dance.   Check out Magic Crackers’ Facebook account (@MagicCracker) to see how the Kagayanons experienced this Magic Moment. Watch out for more surprises from Jack ’n Jill Magic Crackers. You never know… the next Magic Moments might just come to your neighborhood!  Universal Robina Corporation’s (URC) Jack ‘n Jill Magic Crackers has been delighting Filipinos with its different cracker formats - Magic Flakes in plain, cheese and onion chive flavors; Magic Creams in butter, chocolate, peanut butter and condensada flavors; Magic Juniors in plain, chocolate, butter & berry and condensada flavors; and Magic Chips in cheese and barbecue small and big packs, as well as sour cream ‘n onion in small packs.

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