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Author: Press Release

New Nissan Cebu South dealership raises bar with global standards

Nissan Philippines opened its latest dealership Nissan Cebu South and patterns it after a global design standard to enhance the experience of Cebuano customers. The Nissan Cebu South on Highway…

Nissan Philippines opened its latest dealership Nissan Cebu South and patterns it after a global design standard to enhance the experience of Cebuano customers.

The Nissan Cebu South on Highway Linao,Talisay City is the 4th showroom in the Philippines that’s compliant with the Nissan Retail Environment Design Initiative (NREDI) 2.1. developed by Nissan Motor Co. for its global dealership network.

“In the past year, the Nissan brand has grown significantly in the region of Cebu,” said Ramesh Narasimhan, president and director of Nissan Philippines Inc.

“To continue to support this growth, we are very excited to be opening a new NREDI compliant dealership in the south, allowing us to enhance our Cebuano customers’ experience with the Nissan brand.”

NREDI 2.1, brought to Cebu with the opening of Nissan Cebu South through the Gateway Group, adds a number of stand-out features to the showroom. These include a spacious interior layout and trailblazing styling. An iconic Red Tablet showcases the exciting vehicles and technologies on display inside.

The new design was created with the customer experience in mind.

Nissan Cebu South

NISSAN DEALERSHIP OPENING. (From left) Niel Ballares – Regional Executive Officer After Sales, Nissan Philippines Inc. (NPI); Francis Ang – Manager, Dealer Development, NPI; Abner Berdos – General Manager, After Sales, NPI; Roland Navarro – General Manager, Sales, NPI; Ramesh Narasimhan- President, NPI; Martin Goho – Chairman, Gateway Group; Estrella Goho – Vice-Chairman, Gateway Group; Noelito Marcos – VP and Div Head, Corp Client Segment Group, BPI; Jovi Abad – VP & Head, Visayas- Mindanao, Eastwest Bank; Rafael Dimalanta – Senior Vice-President, Maybank during the opening of the dealership.

Grand showroom

A large digital display with Nissan’s featured vehicle greets guests when they enter the Nissan Drive area.

The interior lighting perfectly highlights each display car’s craftsmanship and design, even at night, and the expansive glass make it visible even from the outside. Customers and guests can roam freely throughout the spacious grand showroom and check out the 10 different Nissan vehicles on display

Premium customer lounge

The heart of the NREDI 2.1 is the premium customer lounge that provides a relaxing and enjoyable visit to both current and new Nissan customers.

It provides guests a variety of seating options when it comes to engaging with an advisor, from gallery benches, café tables, high bars and club chairs to sofas and semi-private worktables. The lounge is also carpeted, furnished with cozy seats and a dropped timber ceiling with lights. Refreshments are also available at the Refuel Bar, adding to the environment’s premium feel.

Consultation spaces

The consultation area, with its semi-private offices separated by glass walls, are specially designed for customer and advisor engagement. The space offers customers privacy but promotes brand transparency at the same time.

Customers can now have an open experience with dealership advisors, thanks to the roomy new interiors and comfortable seats and tables.

Nissan Cebu South

PARTNERSHIP. Nissan Cebu South is a partnership between Nissan Philippines and the Gateway Group. It is located on the highway in Linao, Talisay City.

Retail gallery

A new addition to the showroom is the parts and accessories boutique. It is equipped with moveable wall displays and gallery fixtures so that customers can decide on the appropriate features and accessories for their vehicle. Here, guests are encouraged to browse and shop while waiting for their vehicle at the service bay.

Service car reception

The service car reception area is equipped with service write-up pods to enable one-on-one interactions between customers and their advisors. The presence of digital screens in the area allows service customers to see the menu of available services and promotions, promoting even more transparency with customers.

Premier delivery

The premier delivery area creates a truly celebratory experience for customers. During the new vehicle delivery process, the car is unveiled with a red curtain and focal halo lighting to excite and delight the customer. The presence of mirrored glass doors enables customers to see themselves with their new cars.

After reviewing the vehicle’s specifications, the advisor and customer may opt to proceed to the high bar so that the other guests can share in the celebration. (Press Release)

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10 provincial schools get tech packages from Smart to boost education

Ten public schools in Lanao del Norte, La Union, Benguet, Capiz, and Leyte are getting digital technology packages that can help enhance the education of their kindergarten students. Smart Communications…

Ten public schools in Lanao del Norte, La Union, Benguet, Capiz, and Leyte are getting digital technology packages that can help enhance the education of their kindergarten students.

Smart Communications is donating units of the Smart TechnoCart, a 2×2 ft mobile laboratory that contains 20 tablets for students, as well as a laptop, projector, and mobile Wi-Fi for the teacher. Each tablet is preloaded with Batibot, the first mobile application in Filipino that is aligned with the kindergarten curriculum of the Department of Education.

Training

Teachers of the recipient-schools recently received training on tablet basics, as well as on child and curriculum development provided by the Community of Learners Foundation (COLF).

In the photo are (from left) Milwida Guevara of program partner Synergeia Foundation; Mayor Ignacio Rivera of Tuba, Benguet; Mayor Mildred Joy Que of Dulag, Leyte; Feny de los Angeles of COLF; and Smart community partnerships head Darwin Flores.

Since the program was launched in June 2015, Smart and sponsors have donated TechnoCarts to 40 public schools in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. These schools serve about 10,000 kindergarten students. Individuals and organizations wanting to help spread the benefits of digital learning to more public schools may email TechnoCart@smart.com.ph for more information. (Press release)

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Smart connects Filipinos worldwide through partnership with Orange

PLDT and its wireless subsidiary, Smart Communications, Inc. now make international calls more accessible to overseas Filipinos who want to get in touch with their families in the Philippines thanks…

PLDT and its wireless subsidiary, Smart Communications, Inc. now make international calls more accessible to overseas Filipinos who want to get in touch with their families in the Philippines thanks to a partnership entered with French telecommunications giant Orange.

Through Libon, an app developed by Orange, overseas Filipinos can use their smartphones to make high-quality phone calls to their loved ones on their Smart and Sun mobile numbers or through their PLDT landlines, at affordable rates.

This new service is expected to benefit more than 10 million Filipinos abroad, most of whom are in the US and in Middle Eastern countries.

“This partnership is a testament to our commitment of providing Filipinos overseas with more solutions to connect to the country’s largest subscriber base. With this, they can be assured of quality voice connections, which allow them to constantly communicate with their loved ones on Smart, Sun, TNT and PLDT with Libon packages starting at USD1.99,” said Kat Luna-Abelarde, Head of the International & Carrier Business.

From left: Julien Hodara (SVP – Strategy and International Business, Libon – Orange), Katrina L. Abelarde (FVP and Group Head – International and Carrier Business), Pierre-Louis De Guillebon (Managing Director – Orange International Carriers) and Evarcito Z. Ocampo (General Manager – PLDT US)

“We assure our customers that they will be able to call their families back here in the Philippines with the best quality at the best price,” said Julien Hodara, Project Director for Strategy and International Business at Orange.

Under the PLDT, Smart and Sun partnership with the Libon App, the users can choose from four special packages: the $1.99 package which gives 30 minutes of calls to PLDT, Smart and Sun; the $4.99 package with 120 minutes; the $9.99 package with 300 minutes; and the 14.99 package with 600 minutes.

“We continue to look for the best ways to serve our fixed and mobile subscribers, both here and abroad,” said Eric R. Alberto, PLDT Executive Vice President and Chief Revenue Officer.  “As the market evolves so does the PLDT Group, we are able to offer our subscribers the best of both worlds – the affordability of OTT voice services using smart devices, and the unrivaled voice quality and reach of our nationwidest fixed and wireless networks.” (Press release)

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Topman launches “All The Jeans” campaign

Firmly woven into the fabric of fashion, denim — more specifically jeans — has become an essential part of our wardrobe. Widely embraced and worn for their durability and ease,…

Firmly woven into the fabric of fashion, denim — more specifically jeans — has become an essential part of our wardrobe. Widely embraced and worn for their durability and ease, jeans have been adopted by all. From casual wear staple to catwalk favorite, jeans are synonymous with style and versatility.

Continuing to establish its position as the definitive denim destination, for Spring / Summer 17 Topman launched its new denim campaign “All the Jeans.” The campaign celebrates the breadth of jeans on offer at Topman. From recognizable Topman fits such as the “spray on skinny,” “stretch skinny,” “stretch slim” and “taper” to the introduction of innovative new treatments, washes and launch of hero styles – “All The Jeans” delivers the best in new and existing styles.

Taking inspiration from denim’s origin as a durable work wear staple, our new pair “The Original” is tomorrow’s new classic. Fashioned using authentic rigid denim and with a prominent twill, this jean is designed to achieve a vintage 90s look. Remaining faithful to this vintage aesthetic the “The Original” comes in a traditional light, mid and black wash.

Completing the denim offering, existing styles such as “The Standard” have been updated for Spring / Summer 17. Worn mid-rise and with a straight leg, “The Standard” now comes in an off-white wash and with a raw hem for a naturally worn look. “The Taper” jean has been refreshed and now appears in finishes inspired by natural wear and tear with fading and subtle abrasions found around the knees.

Stretch Skinny

 

Stretch Slim

 

Taper

 

The Original

 

The Standard.

Coinciding with the launch of “All The Jeans,” selected stores across the UK and globally are running “A pair and a spare” incentive – offering customers P800 off when they purchase two pairs of Topman jeans from the collection until May 31, 2017.

In the Philippines, Topman is owned and operated by Robinsons Specialty Stores Inc., a subsidiary of Robinsons Retails Holdings, Inc. Topman is located at 1/F Paseo Solana, Ayala Center Cebu. Get the latest style updates through Topman’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/topmanphilippines. Follow Topman on Twitter and Instagram @TopmanPH. (Press Release)

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Change the way you watch TV with new streaming devices for your home

Globe At Home’s portfolio of streaming devices now include the Google Chromecast, Apple TV and the latest AndroidTV. Exclusively available for Globe at Home customers, the new AndroidTV lets customers…

Globe At Home’s portfolio of streaming devices now include the Google Chromecast, Apple TV and the latest AndroidTV.

Exclusively available for Globe at Home customers, the new AndroidTV lets customers enjoy their favorite content on a bigger screen, right in the comfort of their homes. It can be bundled with Globe At Home plans 1299 and up, for only an additional P200 per month for 24 months. This comes with six months access to Netflix, HOOQ and NBA League Pass. The AndroidTV is also sold separately in Globe Stores.

Globe video streaming

Apart from watching movies and TV shows, customers can also play games, listen to music, and surf the web. The Android TV can also make recommendations to customers on what to enjoy based on their past activities.

For more information on Globe At Home, call the hotline at 730-1010, visit any Globe store or at https://shop.globe.com.ph/streaming-device. To check the availability of Globe At Home in your area just visit https://checkavailability.globe.com.ph/. (Press release)

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School’s about to start. Find a bag that fits your style

Summer is about to end, it’s time to pack your bags and say goodbye to summer. Whether you are a Herschel person or a Jansport guy or even a The…

Summer is about to end, it’s time to pack your bags and say goodbye to summer. Whether you are a Herschel person or a Jansport guy or even a The North Face type, your choice of bags speaks to your needs and style.

If you haven’t found the best bag for this school year, we’ve got here the best school bags of different types and brands. See which one perfectly works for you.

Remember, your bag isn’t just about carrying all your stuff to school, it is a fashion statement as well. Make sure you have one that will keep your things organized, is durable enough to last the entire school year and is, of course, a cool accessory.

1) Herschel

Herschel pack

(Photo from: Herschel Supply Co. Philippines Facebook)

This Herschel backpack is perfect for students with 15” laptops since it features padded laptop sleeve inside. This Vancouver-based brand is a hip and trendy accessory to complete your school OOTDs.

2) JanSport

JanSport Hatchet

JanSport Hatchet (Photo from JanSport Philippines Facebook)

JanSport Hatchet is the perfect student companion whether for school or for an adventure. It brings together outdoor influence with modern functionality. It features a 15” laptop sleeve, and organizer panel, a tablet pocket, and water bottle pockets.

3) MRKT

For students who want bold and stylish silhouettes, Mad Rabbit Kicking Tiger (MRKT) has it. It features clean, minimal, unique and functional designs. It promises not just stylish look but durability as well.

MRKT Kel Briefcase

MRKT Kel Briefcase (Photo from Mad Rabbit Kicking Tiger Philippines Facebook)

4) Sakroots (tote bag)

Sakroots prints are original creations of artists from around the world that share the same mission with the brand to make the world better. This Sakroots satchel is a perfect fashion statement for college students who want express hip and relaxed vibe.

Sakroots

Sakroots (Photo from Sakroots.com)

5) The North Face

Are you adventurous and on-the-go? You can stay organized with this The North Face backpack. It features a 15” laptop sleeve in the main compartment and a tablet sleeve in the front compartment. It is redesigned for all-day comfort whether you are in the campus or outdoors.

The North Face Recon

The North Face Recon (Photo from thenorthface.com)

6) Mi-Pac

Mi-Pac

Mi-Pac (Photos from Mi-Pac Philippines Facebook)

Express your style with Mi-Pac backpacks. Mi-Pac is a British brand that embodies creativity, and is designed to express individuality, freedom of expression, and personal style.

They say that your bag doesn’t just complete your outfit; it’s an expression of style and personality. Which one’s yours?

Brands above are available at Bratpack Ayala Center Cebu and Bratpack Robinsons Galleria Cebu. For more info you may call them at 415-8343 and 261-4254.

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Cafe Marco starts new dining lifestyle with Sunday Brunch+

Cafe Marco combines an exciting feast of delectable buffet favorites with fun activities to bring you the Sunday Brunch+ that’s more than the usual dining experience. Sample the roast beef…

Cafe Marco combines an exciting feast of delectable buffet favorites with fun activities to bring you the Sunday Brunch+ that’s more than the usual dining experience.

Sample the roast beef at the carving station, smoked meats like the barbecued brisket or pulled pork, and wood fire oven roasted chicken.

Add color to your plate with dishes from the Asian station featuring different kinds of stir fry, dimsum, and Mongolian barbecue bowls.

Smoked meat with baked potatoes and mac n' cheese.

Smoked meat with baked potatoes and mac n’ cheese.

Specialty items

There’s seafood on ice, king prawns, mussels, and ala minute Oysters Rockefeller. You can also go Mexican with tacos, quesadillas, and fajitas.

But always leave room for Marco Polo Plaza Cebu’s specialty items that will be passed around at certain times during the buffet. It could be our latest frappes, pizza fresh from the oven, pastries, signature drinks – the possibilities are endless!

Mongolian barbecue station.

Mongolian barbecue station.

Happening simultaneously with the buffet are the different activities designed to make sure that there’s something fun for everyone. For the kids, we have face painting, balloon twisting, and perhaps even a surprise cooking class.

For the adults, there’s live music entertainment from different local acts every Sunday and a complimentary 5-minute massage from our licensed Wellness Zone therapists.

Wines, beers, cocktails

Of course, it isn’t brunch without the bubbles. Whether it’s sparkling, red or white wine, beer-below-zero, mimosas or cocktails, Cafe Marco has it. Give in and indulge with an option to avail of free flow drinks – it’s okay, it’s a Sunday.

Avail of Brunch n’ Bubbles with free flow drinks for P1,800 nett, while Brunch Only is at P1,450 nett. Kids 4 to 10 years old can avail of the 50% discount, while kids 3 years old and below can eat for free at the kids buffet.

Cold cuts and cheese.

Cold cuts and cheese.

Sunday Brunch+ is from 11:30 a.m.to 2:30 p.m. Those who want to continue the merriment can transition to El Viento Restaurant & Pool Bar for an afternoon of lazing around and perhaps even a dip at the pool.

Sunday Brunch+ — it’s more than just brunch, it’s a Sunday lifestyle!

Kids' corner.

Kids’ corner.

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Smart deploys digital tech to improve delivery of public health services

Smart Communications is harnessing technology to help improve the productivity and efficiency of healthcare providers assigned in rural health units (RHUs). Smart has been actively deploying its electronic medical record…

Smart Communications is harnessing technology to help improve the productivity and efficiency of healthcare providers assigned in rural health units (RHUs).

Smart has been actively deploying its electronic medical record platform named SHINE OS+ or the Secured Health Innovation Network Exchange (Open Source) in RHUs mostly in the Visayas where many Filipinos don’t have access to quality healthcare.

Raise productivity, efficiency

The digitization of patient records using SHINE has helped raise the productivity and efficiency of 35 local health facilities since RHU personnel spend less time looking for the records of patients coming in for a consult. This also makes it easier for the RHU to refer patients seeking more intensive treatment to tertiary hospitals elsewhere in the province.

Since 2015, Smart’s SHINE OS+ has been able to digitize close to 177,700 patient records from 25 RHUs covering 23 municipalities in Cebu; four RHUs from Iloilo; three from Rizal in Metro Manila; and one each for Bohol, Kalibo, and Masbate.

SHINE OS+ Samboan

SHINE TRAINING. Members of the Samboan rural health units undergo a training on how to use the electronic medical record platform SHINE OS+.

With the validation of SHINE OS+ by the Philippine Health Information Exchange, patient records in the 35 RHUs will now be automatically transmitted to the eRecords of the Philippine Health Corp. or PhilHealth. This allows for faster processing of incentives for RHU personnel in exchange for services rendered as provided for by the Primary Care Benefit Package of Philhealth. Once claims are released, the municipal health officer can utilize the funds for RHU enhancement, while the remaining amount will be shared among the health workers as extra payment for services rendered.

Prompt, efficient delivery of healthcare

“We have here a situation where everyone is happy because of SHINE OS+–the patients for prompt and efficient delivery of healthcare services; the government for the improved delivery of healthcare; PhilHealth for the digitization of patient records; and local health personnel for additional income earned from rendering services to the patients,” said Atty. Maria C. Jane Paredes, head of Public Affairs, VisMin, at Smart.

“Smart enables the provision of quality healthcare to more Filipinos, particularly those in underserved areas. We have been working with like-minded institutions like Ateneo to make technology work for development, in this case, making a responsive and quality healthcare a reality for more Filipinos,” said Ramon R. Isberto, head of Public Affairs at Smart.

The Ateneo Java Wireless Competency Center, which developed the SHINE OS+ also developed SHINE OS+ Mobile to make the platform and its functionalities accessible to health professionals anytime, anywhere; and MySHINE, which was designed as a companion app for patients whose healthcare records are stored in the network.

SHINE OS+ runs on an open source platform, allowing developers to design modules and plugins to customize it according to the needs of beneficiary communities. (Press release)

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Want to study in Australia, Canada, New Zealand? Know how in free event by IDP Education

Get to know Australia, Canada and New Zealand as study destinations. IDP Education will hold “Discover Australia, Canada and New Zealand,” a free admission study-abroad session at A Space, Crossroads…

Get to know Australia, Canada and New Zealand as study destinations. IDP Education will hold “Discover Australia, Canada and New Zealand,” a free admission study-abroad session at A Space, Crossroads on Gov. M. Cuenco Ave., Banilad, Cebu City from 1 pm to 5 pm on Saturday, May 27.

Discover Australia, Canada and New Zealand brings a fresh new perspective to the prospect of studying abroad.

The Discover series includes virtual tours of the country destinations and talks by students who have completed their programs. Through the experience-sharing sessions, students are offered in-depth information on the lifestyle on- and off-campus.

Admissions, visa application process

Participants will also benefit from the other elements of the event, namely, talks by IDP Education’s Qualified Education Agent Counsellors (QEACs) on the admissions and visa application processes and IDP’s student services.

There will also be games and free-flowing discussions.

Students may avail themselves of one-on-one counselling services from the QEACs. The QEACs are capable of guiding students through the process of choosing the best country and city destination, school, program and provide information on living arrangements. Through the IDP Student Services, the QEACs dispense expert advice and assistance in student placement free of charge.

Free assessments

Students may bring their transcripts of records, passports and IELTS results, if available, for free assessments.

IDP Education is an ASX listed company that is 50% owned by 38 Australian universities. It has a network of 89 offices in 30 countries offering student placement and English language testing services. Established by Australian universities in 1969, IDP now counts over 45 years of experience in international education. Through its subsidiary IELTS Australia Pty Ltd, IDP is a partner in IELTS, the world’s leading English language proficiency test, delivered at over 450 test locations in 121 countries.

IDP Philippines has been part of IDP Education since 1985. Aside from administering the IELTS, IDP offers free student placement services though partnering with universities and colleges across Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America.

Students may call IDP Education Cebu Office at 236 2758 for reservations and more information on Discover Australia, Canada and New Zealand. One may also visit www.idp.com/philippines/studyabroad or check out IELTS IDP Education on Facebook for more information. (Press release)

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Oakridge Business Park’s Mother’s Day celebration gathers moms of children with special needs

In celebration of this year’s Mother’s Day, Oakridge Business Park held a SUPER MOMMIES Movie Day Out last May 14, at the Oakridge Pavilion, an event that gave mothers and…

In celebration of this year’s Mother’s Day, Oakridge Business Park held a SUPER MOMMIES Movie Day Out last May 14, at the Oakridge Pavilion, an event that gave mothers and kids and opportunity to bond over movie.

The afternoon activity, which gathered close to 90 moms and their kids, was a tribute for mothers of children with special needs including kids with cancer, autism, and wheelchair-dependent, among other physical disabilities. The activity aims to celebrate the strength, tenacity and resourcefulness of the mothers for having raised these children.

Oakridge with its partner organizations — Kythe Foundation; Philippine Accessible Disability Services, Inc. (PADS), particularly the disabled-people’s organization Kapunongan Alang sa May Kabilinggan sa Cordova; and Saint Martin de Porres Special School — treated these “super moms” and their kids to free popcorn, ice cream, hotdogs, and refreshments, all while watching the animated film, Brave.

Oakridge Mother's Day

MOVIE TREAT. Oakridge and its partners treated mothers of children with special needs to free popcorn, ice cream, hotdogs, and refreshments, all while watching the animated film, Brave.

Uplifting message

The movie has an uplifting message about improving communication between mothers and daughters.

Fely Tano, lead SPED teacher at Saint Martin de Porres Special School, expressed her gratitude saying the event was a great time for mothers to “enjoy and have fun” with their children.

“This will be a Mother’s Day that the moms here will never forget. Because their time is mostly consumed with taking care of their child’s needs, they often forget to relax so this event is a welcome treat for them,” Tano said.

Family-oriented activities

Oakridge is gearing up for more family-centered activities this quarter. As an inclusive community, the business park is not only family-friendly, it is also PWD- accessible.

Oakridge Business Park is a distinct business address along A.S. Fortuna Street, Mandaue City.

Oakridge Business Park is a masterfully planned dynamic park fusing business and pleasure in thoughtfully planned spaces and structures from a mix of office, event and lifestyle spaces.

Oakridge Mother's Day

HAVING FUN. Fely Tano, lead SPED teacher at Saint Martin de Porres Special School, said the event at Oakridge was a great time for mothers to “enjoy and have fun” with their children.

Balanced work-play environment

It currently houses Oakridge IT Center 1; Block Eighty Eight; the Oakridge Pavilion, an air-conditioned tent event venue; and Oakridge Horizons, a 400-seater grand ballroom for formal functions.

Oakridge Business Park adds to its growing commercial property inventory with the construction of a new 12-storey PEZA-registered building – Oakridge I.T. Center 2.

Once completed, the Oakridge expansion aims to reinforce the company’s commitment to create a well-balanced work-play environment for its BPO and office clients, while preparing to bring in more retail brands, dining choices, and entertainment and wellness facilities. (Press Release)

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Huge discounts, great promos in SM City Consolacion’s 3-Day Sale

Shop and win one of two Suzuki Raider R150 at SM City Consolacion’s 3-Day Sale on May 19, 20 and 21, and enjoy shopping discounts of up to 70% off…

Shop and win one of two Suzuki Raider R150 at SM City Consolacion’s 3-Day Sale on May 19, 20 and 21, and enjoy shopping discounts of up to 70% off on great finds.

Every P1000 single or accumulated purchase within the promo period from any mall establishments entitles a shopper to 1 raffle coupon. A customer automatically gets double raffle coupon for Saturday and Sunday. You can also present your SM mobile app coupon and get 2 raffle coupons.

Raffle draw is on May 21, 10:00PM at the Event Center and deadline of submission of raffle stubs is at 9:45PM on May 21.

Extra discounts for SM cardholders

An exclusive and special treat awaits loyal SM cardholders when they shop at SM affiliate stores during the first two days of the sale. On Friday, SM Prestige and BDO Rewards cardholders enjoy an extra 10% off. On Saturday, SM Advantage, SM Prestige and BDO Rewards cardholders get extra 10% off on existing discounts at selected SM Retail partners from 9AM to 12NN.

SM City Consolacion has exciting promos that will get shoppers enticed. During the three days of sale, by simply presenting a P5,000 single-receipt purchase at the redemption area, one lucky shopper can take home all the prizes inside the box if they can unlock it at their Luck Unlocked promo.

Look for the Red Chair

Another fun promo to watch out for during entire sale period is The Red Chair. Win exciting prizes if you participate in a race against time by being the first to guess the red chair’s location at the mall during the 3 days of Sale.

Try your hand at arranging at their Switcharoo promo. Arrange the boxes in its correct order and you might bring home P5,000 worth of Gift Certificates this May 19, 4PM at the Event Center.

If puzzles are your thing, then you might be lucky at their Picture Perfect promo on May 20 at the Cinema Lobby. Complete the puzzle within a given time for a chance to win instant Gift Certificates and double the prize if you can identify the hidden words. Present your P1000 single-receipt purchase to join.

Team effort can also get you lucky. Bring a partner at the Foodcourt on May 21, 1pm and challenge other pairs to win instant prizes at their Pair Up promo.

Free burger, donut, pizza or mammon

The first 100 customers within the 3-Day Sale period may claim free burger, donut, a slice of pizza, mamon and so much more at the Event Center.

Packed with promos and discounts, SM City Consolacion mallwide sale will bring the best for its shoppers!

The mall will be open from 10AM to 10PM on May 19 and 21, Friday and Sunday, and 9AM-10PM on May 20, Saturday. For event details and more updates, please call 2600132, or check out SM City Consolacion (Official) on Facebook. (Press Release)

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MPTC appoints Allan Alfon CCLEC president and general manager

Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation (MPTC) has announced the appointment of Allan G. Alfon as president and general manager of the Cebu Cordova Link Expressway Corp. (CCLEC) effective May 2. CCLEC…

Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation (MPTC) has announced the appointment of Allan G. Alfon as president and general manager of the Cebu Cordova Link Expressway Corp. (CCLEC) effective May 2.

CCLEC is MPTC’s subsidiary that will be responsible for overseeing the construction, operation and maintenance of the P27.9 billion Cebu Cordova Link Expressway (CCLEX).

Alfon is a Cebuano with more than 25 years of experience in construction and engineering management, business development, commercial leasing and property management, and network development/franchise management across major Philippine companies involved in real estate and property development, food franchising and oil and engineering.

Visayas, Mindanao infra projects

“It is with great pleasure that I welcome Allan G. Alfon to the Tollways group. Allan shall take the lead in pushing the completion and growing the pipeline of our infrastructure projects in the Visayas and Mindanao Regions. He shall also be a member of our senior Management Committee,” said MPTC President and CEO Rodrigo E. Franco.

Cebu Cordova Link Expressway

Groundbreaking of the Cebu Cordova Link Expressway.

Alfon is a licensed civil engineer from the University of San Carlos and has completed the management development program at the Asian Institute of Management.

“I am excited to lead the implementation of the CCLEX project and help realize the vision of the Metro Pacific tollways group. Together with my Cebu-based team, I look forward to working hand in hand with our partners, the Cebu City and Cordova LGUs in ensuring the safe and quality construction, operation, and maintenance ofthe CCLEX. As a Cebuano, I am personally committed to the success of this project knowing the economic and social benefits that it will generate for the people of Cebu and the Visayas region,” Alfon said.

Cebu team

Joining Alfon’s core team at CCLEC are experienced Cebu-based professionals including project manager Engr. Herbert Laboy, Atty. Rosemarie Versoza, Jasmin Suma-oy and Engr. Roman Ranises.

President Rodrigo Duterte led the CCLEX Groundbreaking Ceremonies last March 2. Joining the President were Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña, Cordova Mayor Therese Sitoy-Cho, cabinet officials and MPTC Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan.

Spanning about 8.5 kilometers, the CCLEX is a combined causeway and bridge toll facility between Mactan island and Cebu City initiated by MPTC together with the local government of Cebu City and Cordova. Upon its completion, the project is envisioned to ease traffic congestion in metropolitan Cebu and eventually spark economic growth and productivity not only in Cebu Province but also in the Central Visayas Region. (Press Release)

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Parkmall brings back country’s biggest gathering of pets

Cebu’s best pet-friendly mall continues to promote responsible and intelligent pet ownership through its animal-friendly facilities and pet-centered events, the biggest of which is the Pet Festival Philippines. The grand…

Cebu’s best pet-friendly mall continues to promote responsible and intelligent pet ownership through its animal-friendly facilities and pet-centered events, the biggest of which is the Pet Festival Philippines.

The grand event also celebrates the special relationship that exists between pets and their owners. “Parkmall is a family-oriented mall. Most people treat their pets like family, so it follows that Parkmall welcomes pets like family,” said Engr. Neal Carlson Co, President of Golden Great Value Properties, Inc., the company that owns and operates Parkmall.

Now on its second year, the Pet Festival Philippines on May 11-14 will gather different kinds of pets for 4 days of pet-centered exhibits and competitions to be participated by all the pet clubs, leading pet shops and animal welfare organizations, making it the biggest and most diverse assembly of its kind not just in Cebu, but in the country as well.

Parkmall

PET-FRIENDLY. Parkmall is a pet-friendly mall that promotes responsible and intelligent pet ownership. This photo taken from Parkmall’s Facebook page shows one of the activities in last year’s Pet Festival.

Animal welfare

Marking the official start of the festival on May 12 at 2PM will be a panel discussion on animal welfare and responsible pet ownership with representatives from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Department of Agriculture, Island Rescue Organization (IRO), and Animal Wellness Veterinary Clinic.

Parkmall’s Pawshionista, Cebu’s first and most fabulous fashion competition for pets, returns with two categories: one for dogs and another for cats. This year’s theme is Summer in Bloom where participating pets will strut the runway in their floral summer wear on May 13.

This year, Parkmall is co-organizing the 1st Cebu Dog Road Run together with the K9 CARE (Cebu Agility Run Enthusiast) Dog Sport, and the 1st Royal Canin Dog Sport Challenge, three days of competitions for dogs which include the 6th Cebu Dog Sport National Competition and the 2nd Dog Agility Championship.

Race challenge

Another event highlight is Cebu’s first race challenge for dogs and their humans, the Great Pet Adventure Race in which teams of three dog and human pairs compete to accomplish the tasks in different stations around the mall in the shortest time possible.

Pet Festival Philippines will also be marked by a host of other fun activities and competitions such as the Phone Photography Contest, Creative Dry-Grooming Competition, Pet Parade, All-Breed Fun Match, United Hamster Aficionados’ Hamster Relay Race, and the Philippine Serama Competition.

The event will be for the benefit of the Island Rescue Organization (IRO), a non-profit group that rescues and rehabilitates aspins and puspins before putting them up for adoption every 2nd and 4th Saturday of the month as part of Parkmall’s regular Dog Walk. IRO has been the mall’s partner in all of its pet-centered events.

In 2016, Parkmall was accredited by the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) as an animal control facility, which means that the entire Parkmall property is safe and conducive for pets. Parkmall is the only mall in Cebu to be accredited as such by BAI. This prompted Parkmall to make the move to go beyond just being pet-friendly and to recognize itself as Cebu’s only pet-loving mall as it continues to understand and cater to the needs of the pets and the pet-loving community. (Press Release)

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BAP expresses full support for new BSP Governor Nestor Espenilla Jr.

The following is an official statement released by the Bankers Association of the Philippines: The Bankers Association of the Philippines (BAP) congratulates Deputy Governor Nestor Espenilla Jr. for his appointment…

The following is an official statement released by the Bankers Association of the Philippines:

The Bankers Association of the Philippines (BAP) congratulates Deputy Governor Nestor Espenilla Jr. for his appointment as the new Governor of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP). We are confident that his 35 years of experience will sustain the implementation of sound macroeconomic policies supporting economic growth.

The association welcomes this new chapter of the BSP and Deputy Governor Espenilla has the full support of the BAP. We will remain a partner of the BSP to ensure implementation of his policy.

We are looking forward to the rest of 2017 and the following years to come with our new BSP governor. The universal and commercial banks are confident that the Philippines will continue to remain as one of the fastest-growing economies in Asia.

We would also like to thank Governor Tetangco for his stewardship and many years of strong leadership which help in bringing confidence to the financial system and reliability to the Philippine economy.

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Security Bank, MUFG launch Interbank Fund Management Service

Security Bank Corporation (SBC) and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG) of Japan jointly announced the launch of the Interbank Fund Management Service (IBFM). A Memorandum of Agreement was signed between…

Security Bank Corporation (SBC) and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG) of Japan jointly announced the launch of the Interbank Fund Management Service (IBFM). A Memorandum of Agreement was signed between SBC and MUFG’s banking entity, The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd.

IBFM is a special correspondent banking arrangement where customers from the two banks can enjoy respective services without having to worry about the remittance costs and numerous transfer instructions. The automated IBFM service enables customers to do online collection and disbursement arrangements and instructions directly with SBC.

MUFG will take care of funding and moving excess and deficit funds for those collections and disbursements, free of remittance costs. Customers will know their end-of-day balances by 5:30 PM.

Security Bank Corporation Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group

AGREEMENT. Present during the Memorandum of Agreement signing ceremony were the working teams from both banks headed by Security Bank officers: President & CEO Alfonso Salcedo, Jr. (seated, third from left) and EVP & Wholesale Banking Segment Head Eduardo Olbes (seated, fourth from left) along with Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ officers: Manila Branch’s General Manager Tatsuto Ishida (seated, second from left) and Deputy General Manager Nobuyuki Hokimoto (seated, first from left).

Tremendous flexibility

The service is backed by the concept of target balance sweeping, done automatically between the two banks without additional remittance fees to the customer. It eliminates the burden of numerous funds checking intraday.

This facility gives tremendous flexibility to MUFG customers to avail of the premium Cash Management Systems (CMS) services of SBC like 24×7 PAS 5 (Real time Customs Duties Payments) and Online Collection facility called BIPPS (Billing Invoice Presentment and Payment System), while maintaining their global core funds with MUFG.

The launch of IBFM comes soon after the first anniversary of the strategic partnership between MUFG and SBC, in which Japan’s largest bank invested 20% in one of Philippines largest domestic banks and a leader in digital CMS. The two have since collaborated on a series of initiatives, such as a successful business matching session in Manila, where both banks introduced their corporate clients to each other. (Press Release)

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Smart holds festival, rekindles love for local stories

Centuries ago, a girl named Maria lived in what is now known as Conalum, a mountainous area in the town of Argao which is about two hours away from Cebu…

Centuries ago, a girl named Maria lived in what is now known as Conalum, a mountainous area in the town of Argao which is about two hours away from Cebu City. People called her Maria Cacao, as she owned a cacao plantation from which they sourced the beans they used to create tablea. To this day, residents of Argao produce these chocolate tablets.

Town Mayor Stanley Caminero shared this legend with a rapt audience of children and adults at the culmination of the three-day “Istorya Mo, Nagpaabot Ako: Kwentuhang Batibot Caravan and Story Festival.” Organized by Smart Communications in cooperation with the local government, the caravan sought to rekindle people’s love for storytelling, especially the sharing of local tales.

Preservation of local heritage, culture

Caminero said the story of Maria Cacao could not be found in any book; it is a story that has been orally passed by Argao locals from generation to generation.

“If you think about it, the oldest heritage is stories,” he said, adding that storytelling is important not just for the preservation of local heritage and culture, but for the education of children as well.

Argao Storytelling

Argao Mayor Stanley Caminero shares the Legend of Maria Cacao with school children.

Aside from Caminero, the festival’s featured storytellers included Rey Bufi of The Storytelling Project, Argao college students and elementary pupils, a parent, a teacher, and Sun.Star Superbalita editors and writers.

The festival also included trainings on storytelling and story writing for Education students of the Cebu Technological University (CTU)-Argao campus.

Make lessons fun

CTU student Chariss Ampoon said that from the trainings given by Bufi and children’s book writer Michael Jude Tumamac, she picked up tips on how to manage a classroom and give life to tales.

Maria Elena Bajo, who teaches second grade in Argao’s Binlod Elementary School, said stories make lessons fun, and can be integrated in a lot of subjects, even Math.

Aside from holding storytelling festivals, Smart also promotes the Batibot app as a way to encourage love for stories among children. Created by Smart in partnership with the Community of Learners Foundation and developer OrangeFix, the app has a feature called “Kuwentong Batibot.”

The Batibot app is the first educational app in the Filipino language that is aligned with the kindergarten curriculum of the Department of Education. It can be downloaded for free on Android devices.

The Batibot app promotes love for storytelling among kids through its Kuwentong Batibot feature.

Modern tools

Through games in the app, such as the Batibot classic “Alin ang Naiba?”, children in their formative years can also learn basic concepts like matching, sorting, and grouping. They are shown how to identify shapes, colors, numbers, the alphabet, and letter sounds. The children can also practice tracing letters with the proper strokes.

Teacher Mira Vissa L. Padron of Argao Central Elementary School said the use of 21st century tools to promote the culture of storytelling would be a big help to them in the classroom. (Press Release)

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PLDT taps Uber to transport employees

PLDT is going digital in its fleet management by tapping ridesharing company Uber to transport employees. Under Uber for Business, sales personnel of PLDT and its subsidiaries Smart Communications and…

PLDT is going digital in its fleet management by tapping ridesharing company Uber to transport employees.

Under Uber for Business, sales personnel of PLDT and its subsidiaries Smart Communications and Voyager Innovations Inc. are given an Uber for Business account that is linked to a central payment account where fares are automatically charged. This means the employees do not need to shell out personal money and ask for reimbursement later on, the company said.

“Through this, the PLDT group takes its digital pivot further by becoming the country’s first and biggest conglomerate to use digital solutions to augment its fleet management,” said Eric R. Alberto, PLDT Executive Vice President and Chief Revenue Officer.

Paperless transactions, analytics

“Through progressive and digital fleet management, we enable our employees to really focus only on delivering awesome customer experiences when they go about their day-to-day duties, without worrying about transportation and parking issues, this via paperless transactions and analytics,” he added.

In this partnership, the PLDT group can also access a dashboard which indicates commonly used delivery routes, thereby supplying data that can help in maximizing these trips.

“Apart from efficiency, this can also translate to savings for the company, because instead of buying additional vehicles and spending for their fuel, maintenance, insurance and parking fees, we are simply outsourcing transportation services whenever the need arises,” Alberto said.

Save costs

“Uber is excited to offer solutions to companies like the PLDT group and allow us to work together not only to solve traffic, but also to save on costs of buying brand new cars. By using technologies like Uber for Business, companies are able to unlock new ways to meet employee transportation needs whenever they want, at the push of a button. We are helping shape the future of travel and simplify processes,” said Uber Philippines General Manager Laurence Cua.

Uber for Business is currently on a pilot test-run among PLDT, Smart and Voyager employees, and will later be rolled out to a larger base in the future.

In addition to cost savings, the partnership also aims to reduce the company’s carbon footprint and ease traffic congestion by facilitating carpooling among employees.

Earlier this year, uberHOP rides for employees during morning and afternoon rush hours were launched, with designated convergence points in Quezon City and Parañaque, which had been pre-identified through a survey. Each uberHOP ride can accommodate up to 6 passengers.  (Press Release)

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Rustan’s Supermarket in Ayala to hold paper flower art workshop

Make summer productive and creative by letting your kid join Rustan’s Supermarket’s paper flower art workshop on May 6 at 2 p.m. in Ayala Center Cebu. The workshop will be…

Make summer productive and creative by letting your kid join Rustan’s Supermarket’s paper flower art workshop on May 6 at 2 p.m. in Ayala Center Cebu. The workshop will be conducted by papercraft artist Stephanie Tudtud.

To join, present your Fresh Card at the customer service counter and register for P299 for two slots inclusive of workshop materials.

papercraft workshop Rustan’s Stephanie Tudtud

Exclusive workshops

Rustan’s Supermarket’s Everyday Creativity workshops are exclusive to Fresh Cardholders, their loyalty program. The workshops are geared towards creating a community of shoppers and an avenue for the family and like-minded individuals to bond.

In Cebu, Rustan’s Supermarket is located in Oakridge Business Park, 880 A.S Fortuna Street, Banilad, Mandaue City; Paseo Arcenas Estate in Banawa; and Basement 1 of the Ayala Center Cebu expansion wing.

It is open daily from 8am-9pm, 8am-9pm and 9am-9pm respectively. For inquiries, contact (032) 262 0680 (Ayala), (032) 412 4146 (Oakridge). For updates, follow @RustansFresh on Twitter, Instagram and Rustan’s Supermarket on Facebook or visit www.rustansfresh.com. (Press Release)

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Smart LTE is fastest in the Philippines: J.P.Morgan study

Smart Communications is delivering the fastest LTE service in the country, with average download speeds steadily improving through the months, a J.P.Morgan study showed. In an April 2017 report based…

Smart Communications is delivering the fastest LTE service in the country, with average download speeds steadily improving through the months, a J.P.Morgan study showed.

In an April 2017 report based on the actual mobile experience of OpenSignal app users, J.P.Morgan said Smart “leads in overall LTE download speeds and at regional levels.” The OpenSignal app enables mobile data users to run their own speed tests.

At the country level, Smart recorded an average LTE download speed of 10.91 Mbps from December 2016 to February 2017. It averaged 11.76 Mbps in Metro Manila, 8.56 Mbps in South Luzon, and 10.42 Mbps in the Visayas in the same period.

Smart LTE

BETTER COVERAGE. Smart is re-equipping its cell sites to use low-frequency bands such as 700 MHz and 850 MHz to provide better indoor coverage. It is also deploying high-frequency bands like 1800 MHz and 2100 MHz to increase the cell sites’ capacity to handle mobile data traffic.

Average LTE speeds improved

Aside from beating competition in the LTE arena, Smart has also improved its average LTE speeds in all areas covered by the study. Its latest figures are its highest in the last eight testing periods of OpenSignal.

Moreover, Smart led in terms of average 3G download speeds at the country level (2.22 Mbps) and in Metro Manila (3.25 Mbps). These 3G figures are also Smart’s highest in the last eight testing periods.

“We are happy to know that our subscribers are increasingly enjoying our newest and fastest LTE network. We have made intensive capital outlay to accelerate the deployment of LTE sites because LTE significantly boosts the speed, quality, and reliability of our mobile data service,” said PLDT-Smart chief technology and information advisor Joachim Horn.

Better indoor coverage

Smart is re-equipping its cell sites to use low-frequency bands such as 700 MHz and 850 MHz to provide better indoor coverage. It is also deploying high-frequency bands like 1800 MHz and 2100 MHz to increase the cell sites’ capacity to handle mobile data traffic.

PLDT and Smart have committed to make LTE progressively available to 95% of the country’s cities and municipalities by the end of 2018.

“While the J.P.Morgan study did not include Mindanao, our subscribers are already experiencing improved LTE service there, particularly in Metro Davao where we have completed our network overhaul program,” Horn said.

Superior digital experience

“Soon, more Filipinos from all over the country will enjoy a digital experience like never before,” said PLDT-Smart chief revenue officer Eric Alberto. “Our network dominance and reliability will enable us to deliver a superior digital experience to Filipinos, whose appetite for relevant digital content is constantly growing.”

Horn said that through its LTE rollout, Smart was also laying the foundation for further service improvements, such as LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) which can provide even faster speeds and greater capacity to subscribers.

He added that while Smart was boosting its LTE services, it continued to fortify its 3G network to better serve the majority of its smartphone-owning subscribers, who are using 3G handsets. (Press Release)

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Smart makes 1st Voice over LTE (VoLTE) call in the Philippines

Smart Communications, together with its technology partner Ericsson, recently made the Philippines’ first successful mobile call using Voice over Long-Term Evolution (LTE), or VoLTE. “We are excited to be the…

Smart Communications, together with its technology partner Ericsson, recently made the Philippines’ first successful mobile call using Voice over Long-Term Evolution (LTE), or VoLTE.

“We are excited to be the first network in the country to successfully use VoLTE, because this technology holds so much promise in terms of improving the quality of mobile service available to our customers. Voice will always be an important mobile application, and VoLTE is the platform of the future which will provide the best customer experience when it comes to voice communications,” said Joachim Horn, chief technology and information advisor at PLDT and Smart.

Sean Gowran, Head of Ericsson Philippines and Pacific Islands, said, “This partnership with Smart in making the first live VoLTE capability available in the Philippines helps reinforce Smart’s technology leadership in mobile communications and its commitment to bring the best customer experience to its subscribers in the country. With the introduction of VoLTE, Smart will ensure and further enhance voice quality, while also enabling a broader range of communication capabilities.”

VoLTE uses LTE, also known as 4G, to transmit voice calls, unlike the current practice where calls go through 2G or 3G mobile networks. As such, VoLTE requires strong and ubiquitous LTE coverage.

“We have completed a number of key improvement projects in the last few months, and these have turned our network into a strong platform for offering advanced, purely digital services, such as VoLTE,” said Horn.

Built for the future

Since LTE — a technology built primarily for data — is very efficient in carrying data traffic, a voice call transmitted over LTE is of crystal clear quality, with almost no background noise. Devices with built-in VoLTE capability will natively support it, and will not require a separate, over-the-top (OTT) application.

It also guarantees direct, global reach similar to the phone services of today, unlike OTTs that require both caller and receiver to be on the same app. Call set-up time, or the amount of time it takes for one mobile phone to connect to another through a voice call, is also drastically reduced with VoLTE.

Once deployed by Smart in its network, VoLTE will allow users with VoLTE-capable devices to stay on the 4G/LTE network even when making or receiving a call. This is unlike how, at present, LTE devices automatically shift to 3G or 2G when these make a voice call. This means that a user can simultaneously be in a voice call, while actively using high-speed data for other applications.

Currently offered by only a handful of leading operators in the world, VoLTE will also allow Smart subscribers to make video calls without tapping a third-party, OTT app. In the same trials, Smart and Ericsson successfully tested video over LTE, using the built-in calling functionality of a smartphone.

IMPROVING COVERAGE. Smart is in the middle of a three-year program to provide LTE coverage in 95% of the country’s cities and municipalities.

Rapid LTE deployment

“It will take a little time for VoLTE to be fully deployed, largely because capable handsets are either still too expensive, or manufacturers have yet to activate this feature in their existing advanced models. But the excellent results of these tests provide another reason for us to pursue our aggressive LTE roll-out across the Philippines, since ubiquitous LTE coverage is a clear pre-requisite to VoLTE adoption,” added Horn.

Smart is in the middle of a three-year program to provide LTE coverage in 95% of the country’s cities and municipalities. This rapid deployment will make Smart’s LTE service available to 97% of the country’s population, or to users in 1,551 cities and municipalities across the country by end-2018.

According to Horn, LTE is the best technology to help bring fast, affordable, and reliable internet services to as many customers as possible, as more LTE devices becomes available in the market. LTE also provides the platform that will easily allow Smart users to step up to even more advanced technologies like LTE Advanced (LTE-A).

Smart was also the first operator to offer LTE-A in the Philippines last year, when it demonstrated the capability of high-speed mobile internet through Carrier Aggregation in Boracay. Now available in urban areas like Metro Davao, Metro Cebu, and in greater Metro Manila, Smart’s LTE-A delivers peak speeds of over 100 Mbps to users with LTE-A capable devices.

“We are constantly looking ahead to anticipate the ever increasing demands of our customers, and to deliver our services in the best possible quality. Our initiatives in LTE-A, in VoLTE, and eventually in 5G, will allow us to do just that,” said Horn. (Press Release)

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