Business Tech

PayMaya 1st e-wallet to adopt national QR Ph standard

Digital financial services leader PayMaya is the first e-wallet in the Philippines to officially adopt QR Ph, the national QR code standard launched by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).

PayMaya users can now receive money transfers from other institutions such as UnionBank, LANDBANK, Chinabank, AUB, and RCBC via the QR Ph code generated within the PayMaya app, represented by the QRPh logo in the middle of the code bearing the national colors of the Philippines.

Business Travel

Lite Ferries set to launch brand-new ship for Oslob-Dipolog route

Lite Shipping Corporation will launch on Monday its latest vessel M/V Lite Ferry Five, which was completed just this year, built in China and classed in Italy.

M/V Lite Ferry Five will service the Oslob, Cebu to Dipolog City, Zamboanga del Norte route. It will complete the trip in four hours, linking Northern Mindanao closer to Southern Cebu.

Business Events

New holiday rewards for Smart and SM customers

After its successful run last year, PLDT wireless arm Smart Communications, Inc (Smart) has partnered with The SM Store once again to give loyal customers some holiday rewards through the Scratch and Win promo.

Shoppers can conveniently top up their Smart, TNT, and Sun prepaid phones at The SM Store, SM Hypermarket, and other SM affiliates, to get a digital scratch card and get instant freebies. They can also join the raffle for a chance to win one of 800 top-of-the-line Bose speakers.


Pinoycare celebrates 20th year with immigration seminar

To celebrate its 20th anniversary, Pinoycare Visa Center, Inc. will hold a free orientation on immigrant visa processing for Canada, Australia, and New Zealand from 1-5 p.m. this November 23 at SM City Cebu.

Prisca Niña Mabatid, Pinoycare founder, invites Cebuanos to come and listen to experts discuss the different pathways to becoming permanent residents in any of the three countries.

She said school representatives from Canada, Australia, and New Zealand will also be around to entertain questions of those who wish to use the student visa as their mode of entry. Mabatid is also a Cebu City councilor.

Business Feature Properties Travel

Savoy Hotel Mactan Newtown opens

With its 547 guest rooms, Savoy Hotel Mactan Newtown is the biggest hotel in terms of number of rooms in Mactan Island and the 2nd biggest in the entire Cebu.

The 18-storey hotel officially opened today. The hotel targets mostly business travelers and family vacationers because of its proximity to the beach and resorts around Mactan, as well as the new Mactan-Cebu International Airport.

“Savoy Hotel Mactan Newtown is just 15 minutes away from the airport, which makes it a perfect choice for business travelers. Its location also allows one to experience the beach and the township at the same time, where restaurants, cafes, supermarket, spa, and other retail shops are just within easy reach,” said Megaworld Hotel Managing Director Raymundo Melendres.

Business Community

Vivant Energy subsidiary bags contract to supply power to Bantayan

A subsidiary of Vivant Energy Corporation has been chosen to supply 15 megawatts (MW) of net dependable capacity to Bantayan Island, a major tourist destination in northern Cebu.

Following a competitive selection process, the Bantayan Electric Cooperative (BANELCO) awarded a 15-year power supply contract to the consortium of Vivant Integrated Diesel Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Vivant Energy, and Gigawatt Power Inc. To ensure availability of dependable power, the installation and operation of a 23-MW power plant in the island will be undertaken by the consortium.

The supply contract expands Vivant Energy’s capacity in off-grid small power utilities group (SPUG) sector.


Lack of transparency, bribery in government transactions hamper Cebu competitiveness

Lack of transparency in some government agencies and the practice of informal payments to move business transactions forward pose the biggest threats to Cebu’s competitiveness.

A good number of Cebu enterprises that were the respondents of a survey conducted by Isla Lipana & Co. in collaboration with the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) admitted they were asked for gifts and tokens in the course of their dealings with government officials and agencies.

At least 20 percent of those surveyed said they made informal payments within the last 12 months, according to CCCI Trustee Aldie Garcia who revealed the survey results in a press conference shortly before the CCCI General Membership Meeting yesterday, October 29, 2019.


Ayala Malls Central Bloc holds jobs fair

With Ayala Malls Central Bloc set to open in the next few weeks, the mall and its tenants held a jobs fair in Ayala Center Cebu to sign up employees.

The jobs fair opened yesterday at the Activity Center of Ayala Center Cebu. Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella, who opened the fair, said it would provide much-needed work opportunities for Cebuanos. He asked the mall and its locators to prioritize Cebu City residents as a way to help uplift their lives.

The fair will end tomorrow, October 8.

CAREER FAIR OPENING. Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella leads the opening of the jobs fair to sign up workers for the Ayala Malls Central Bloc. With Labella are (from left) Ayala Malls VisMin Head Clavel Tongco, Ayala Center Cebu General Manager Bong Dy, and Ayala Malls Central Bloc Operations Manager Mabel Peñas. The career fair will be held from October 7 to 8 at the Activity Center of Ayala Center Cebu.

CAREER FAIR OPENING. Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella leads the opening of the jobs fair to sign up workers for the Ayala Malls Central Bloc. With Labella are (from left) Ayala Malls VisMin Head Clavel Tongco, Ayala Center Cebu General Manager Bong Dy, and Ayala Malls Central Bloc Operations Manager Mabel Peñas. The career fair will be held from October 7 to 8 at the Activity Center of Ayala Center Cebu.

In opening the event, Labella said that Cebu City is booming and he hopes the opportunities can be spread among its residents.

The jobs fair makes available hundreds of openings for stores that will open in Ayala Malls Central Bloc at the IT Park. Job openings range from cashiers, engineers, plumbers, technicians, service crew, office workers, admin staff, among many others.

The jobs fair is conducted in collaboration with the Department of Labor and Employment, Public Employment Service Office, and the Department of Manpower Development and Placement of the Cebu City Government.

Ayala Malls Central Bloc jobs fair
Business Properties

Megaworld to build P1.5B beach mall in Mactan Newtown

New mall on a shoreline cliff to be highlighted by a man-made lagoon, boutique hotel, garden chapel, beach walk, and rows of retail shops & restaurants including four cinemas

Property giant Megaworld is building a two-level mall along the beachside cliff of its 30-hectare The Mactan Newtown development in Lapu-Lapu City.

With a total gross floor area of 30,000 square meters, the Mactan Newtown Beach Walk will be highlighted by a 1.4-hectare man-made lagoon at the center.

The lagoon will have floating boardwalks and a bridge that will connect both sides of the mall. With a maximum depth of around 1.5-meters, it can also serve as venue for future water sports activities such as jet ski, wakeboarding, stand-up paddling, and boating. It will also have its own man-made shoreline at its perimeter.

Mactan Newtown Beach Walk

The Mactan Newtown Beach Walk, which is designed and to be operated under the Megaworld Lifestyle Malls brand, will also have its own chapel that will be surrounded by a garden by the Cliffside, overlooking the sea.

Panoramic view

It will also have four state-of-the-art cinemas, a Food Hall, al fresco areas, Traveler’s Lounge, and a view deck, allowing visitors and mallgoers to have a panoramic view of the sea and nearby islands.

“Megaworld Lifestyle Malls is bringing a fresh, new concept of mall development in Cebu that recreates and innovates the beach lifestyle experience. We take inspiration from some iconic coastline commercial developments in South California, where visitors can enjoy coffee, meet friends over lunch or dinner, watch a movie, or simply shop around in this laid-back beach atmosphere,” explains Kevin L. Tan, chief strategy officer, Megaworld.

The mall complex will also have its three-storey boutique hotel, offering 48 spacious guestrooms with retail shops at its ground level. This will be operated under the Megaworld Hotels brand.

True to its commitment to sustainability, Megaworld will use solar roof panels for this new mall, and will utilize an open layout scheme for passive cooling and natural lighting in most of the development’s common areas.

Green, open spaces

Around 40% of the entire development will be dedicated to green and open spaces.

“We will even have some untouched areas for bike trails, airsoft shooting, and tree-top activities. This part of the Mactan Newtown is abundantly surrounded with trees, and we want to keep them,” adds Tan.

Megaworld will spend P1.5-billion to build the Mactan Newtown Beach Walk, which is expected for completion in 2021.

Business Tech

Avigilon holds technology awareness seminar

Aiming to make Cebu a safer and secure place to live in, Avigilon gathered attendees from the community, business leaders, and government agencies for an AI powered video surveillance Technology Awareness Seminar by Hello Marketing in partnership with Motorola Solutions Company.

With the theme: “Embracing Artificial Intelligence for Public Safety & Security: A Unified Approach”, the event was held on September 4, 2019 from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Golden Prince Hotel & Suites.

Avigilon Hello Marketing Cebu seminar

“Seeing an increase in the demand on secure communications and AI/video analytics surveillance system particularly for peace and order, public safety, and disaster preparedness, we are committed to providing public an integrated solution for video security, access control, and critical communications,” said Engr. Francis Dy, General Manager for Hello Marketing.

Avigilon, a Motorola Solutions Company, designs, develops and manufactures from North America solutions in video analytics, cloud, security cameras, video management software, hardware and access control.

Avigilon Hello Marketing Cebu seminar

Key technologies that were discussed in the seminar included:

  • Appearance Search – Locate and track people & vehicles across a site without
  • the need for conventional fast forward / rewind technology
  • Unusual Motion Detection – Deep learning capability to detect abnormal motion
  • Focus of Attention Interface – A completely new UI for monitoring live video
  • High Definition Stream Management – High resolution with minimal bandwidth
  • Ultra-High Resolution – Cover more area with fewer cameras
  • Self Learning Video Analytics – The next generation in object classifications
Avigilon Hello Marketing Cebu seminar

Within the information flowing between citizens, responders, and agencies is the intelligence that builds a safer city. It will help you collect more of it, make it actionable and securely distribute it across mission-critical devices and easy-to-manage networks. It’s the technology and expertise that turns noise into information, information into intelligence, and intelligence into safety. And it’s how to do the absolute most with less — build safer cities, counties and states, and communities that thrive.

To learn more about Avigilon and its products and services, visit its official website at or contact Hello Marketing at (+63 32) 253 3493 / 412 2211.

Business Properties

KMC Solutions expands office space portfolio in Cebu

Seeing a rising demand for flexible office spaces, KMC Solutions embarks on an ambitious expansion throughout the country with Cebu leading the growth in 2019.

The company has scheduled in September the grand opening of a new site at a premium grade building in Cebu IT Park that will add 970 seats to its current office space portfolio in Cebu.

KMC meets the complete range of office needs, including co-working facilities, private offices, training rooms, breakout areas, and large open event spaces designed for corporate functions.


PLDT, Smart retailers win big at Ka-Partner Rewards 2019

Five brand-new millionaires, and more than 100 winners of motorcycles, mobile gadgets, load wallets, grocery items, and other premium items—these are the exciting highlights of this year’s Ka-Partner Rewards program of PLDT and wireless unit Smart Communications.

The program’s latest winners of P1 million in cash and livelihood packages are two housewives and sari-sari store owners from Leyte and Davao. The two winners join three other new Ka-Partner millionaires, bringing the total number of this year’s retailer-millionaires to five. The Ka-Partner program, which started in 2015, now has a total of 19 retailer-millionaires.

The winner from Leyte has a son who just graduated from college, and a husband who works as a taxi driver in Manila. “I sell load to add to my husband’s income and help pay for my son’s schooling,” she said. The couple hope that their son will soon find a decent job and get married.

Actor Jameson Blake serenades the retailers during the Amazing Ka-Partner convention held at SMX Davao.

Actor Jameson Blake serenades the retailers during the Amazing Ka-Partner convention held at SMX Davao.

Load as necessity

The retailer from Davao, meanwhile, highlighted the importance of having mobile load at all times. “I think load has become one of life’s necessities, like rice, sugar, cooking oil. It’s important because it allows us to communicate with others, especially during emergencies,” she said.

They encouraged fellow load retailers to sell more to improve their chances of winning the grand prize at next year’s Ka-Partner assembly. Load sales are automatically converted as entries to the raffle during the succeeding retailers convention.

PLDT-Smart Ka-Partner retailers are usually found at our neighborhood sari-sari or grocery stores. They can also be a friend or a relative from whom we can buy airtime credits or load, wherever they may be.

Close to 20,000 load retailers from all over the Philippines gathered for a day of entertainment, fun games, and exciting prizes at the PLDT-Smart Amazing Ka-Partner convention, which was held between May and August in 20 various locations nationwide.

The winner from Leyte (fourth from right) receives the grand prize during the Amazing Ka-Partner convention at Leyte Academic Center in Palo.

The winner from Leyte (fourth from right) receives the grand prize during the Amazing Ka-Partner convention at Leyte Academic Center in Palo.

Incentives to retailers

The activity is part of PLDT-Smart’s Ka-Partner Rewards program, which gives incentives to the companies’ more than 1 million load retailers to help them grow their businesses and enhance their livelihood, while enabling communities to stay connected.

This year’s convention theme is #PLDTSmartAmazingSaBenta as load retailers are assured of bigger income and better business opportunities given the improved mobile and internet experience of PLDT and Smart customers. The improved connectivity can be attributed to PLDT-Smart’s network upgrades, with the expansion of fiber network and accelerated deployment of Long-Term Evolution (LTE) service nationwide.

A lucky Ka-Partner retailer wins a raffle prize during the convention in Leyte.

A lucky Ka-Partner retailer wins a raffle prize during the convention in Leyte.

The convention is PLDT-Smart’s way of giving back to load retailers or Ka-Partners, whose sales account for a significant share of the company’s revenues.

The gathering featured topnotch entertainment from today’s hottest stars, and raffle draws where as much as P1 million was given away. The venues also hosted a trade fair, where Ka-Partners availed of products, services, and various opportunities to help them grow their business further.

Load retailers also received assistance in using the Ka-Partner app, which could help them keep track of their sales with its digital sales ledger and inventory management features. (Press Release)

Business Tech

Ayala Corp. to go cashless with GCash

Ayala Corporation (Ayala), one of the oldest and largest conglomerates in the Philippines, has adopted GCash’s Powerpay+ disbursement platform to release incentives to its employees at the parent company.

Powerpay+ is a bundled funds disbursement facility that allows companies to pay out salaries, commissions and allowances more conveniently and securely to people by crediting funds directly to employees’ GCash accounts. It provides the flexibility to disburse scheduled or recurring payouts and is easily accessible via mobile phone. GCash is operated by Mynt, a partnership among Globe Telecom, Ayala Corporation and Ant Financial.

Logical next step

“Digital payments within the group was a natural move for us at Ayala. As a 185-year-old company, we are taking advantage of a new digital format that gives our employees ease, convenience, and security. We used to give gift cheques, which later became electronic gift cheques, so the move to e-wallets was a logical next step for us following the increasingly digitally savvy lifestyle of our employees and GCash’s recent exponential growth as the country’s leading mobile wallet,” said John Phillip Orbeta, Ayala’s Chief Human Resources Officer and Corporate Resources Group Head.

Mynt CEO Anthony Thomas also emphasized the added security and convenience that are innate to e-wallets. He says that with a digital format, “you have a trail, you have the ability to send out money for any purpose. Payroll is one, but incentives, reimbursements, agent commissions—all these needs are taken care of through an enterprise interface which allows you to pay instantly, and even small amounts, making it very efficient.”

Daily tasks

Like the rest of GCash’s 20 million users, Ayala employees have been using the platform to accomplish daily tasks like buying prepaid load, paying bills online, booking movie tickets, sending money to other GCash accounts and traditional bank accounts, and transacting with over 50,000 QR-enabled merchant partners nationwide. GCash also offers GSave, which gives the highest savings rate in the country and requires no minimum balance, and GCredit, which uses alternative credit scoring models to provide microloans.

GOING CASHLESS. Anthony Thomas (left), President and CEO of GCash, and John Philip S. Orbeta, Ayala Chief Human Resource Officer & Group Head of Corporate Resources.

Orbeta says that using the Powerpay+ platform will simply take their Ayala employees’ GCash use to another level.

At Ayala’s 2019 Annual Stockholders’ Meeting last April, Ayala Chairman and CEO Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala said the company is undergoing a massive transformation to ramp up the digitalization of its companies, as this was key to propelling the company into the future.

Zobel emphasized that the corporation, with business interests in real estate, banking, telecommunications, water, power, infrastructure, industrial technologies, health care, and education, has started “to participate in digital businesses that we believe are disruptive. These

Digital transformation journey

investments are designed to complement our group’s traditional brick-and-mortar operations, future-proof our existing portfolio, and broaden the digital experience of Filipinos.”

“We spend significant time studying other markets that are in the advanced stages of digital maturity and we have teams constantly looking at emerging trends and technologies,” Zobel added. “Absorbing and learning from these experiences, we have become more deliberate in our own digital transformation journey and have elevated it into a group-wide strategic agenda.”

Aside from enjoying the benefits of going digital, Thomas said GCash users also contribute to Philippine environmental sustainability efforts through GCash Forest, a feature within the app that computes how transactions done via GCash help the environment. The app computes one’s carbon credits, which upon hitting a predetermined target will require GCash to plant a tree at the Ipo Watershed, the biggest source of water for Metro Manila. (Press Release)

Business Properties

Megaworld’s 1st half 2019 earnings up 18% to P8.9B

Residential, rental, and hotel businesses register double-digit growth

Megaworld, the country’s pioneer in and largest developer of townships, grew its net income by 18% to P8.9-billion in the first half of 2019 from P7.5-billion during the same period last year. Excluding a non-recurring gain of about P189-million in the first six months of 2019, the company saw a 15% increase in earnings compared to the same figure last year.

Net income attributable to parent company, on the other hand, rose 16% to P8.3-billion from P7.2-billion during the same period the previous year.

Double-digit growth

Megaworld’s earnings was fueled by a collective growth of 16% in its core businesses related to residential sales, leasing of Megaworld Premier Offices and Megaworld Lifestyle Malls, as well as operations of the brands under Megaworld Hotels. Each of the company’s core businesses exhibited double-digit growth from January to June this year.

Likewise, consolidated revenues of the company went up 18% to P31.7-billion during the first half of 2019 from P27-billion during the same period last year. Broken down, Megaworld’s residential business, rental, and hotel operations, accounted for 63%, 26%, and 4% of total revenues, respectively. The balance of 7% came from its non-core revenues.

Megaworld Hotels: The company’s hotel business was the fastest-growing segment for the first half of the year, growing 80% compared to the same period last year.

MEGAWORLD HOTELS. The company’s hotel business was the fastest-growing segment for the first half of the year, growing 80% compared to the same period last year.

“The current economic landscape is quite favorable so we continue to be optimistic on the remaining five months of 2019. Interest rates are on a downtrend, which is a very positive news for our residential business. Vacancies in both office and commercial segments are on an all-time low, and we don’t see this changing in the near future due to the robust sign-ups we are seeing from big companies and business owners. Tourism growth, likewise, remains strong, and this should continue to fuel our blossoming hotel operations especially that we are opening more hotels henceforth,” said Kevin L. Tan, chief strategy officer, Megaworld.

New inventory

Residential sales improved to P20.2-billion during the first six months of 2019 from P18.1-billion during the same period in 2018, registering a growth of about 11% year-on-year.

The company launched a total of P39-billion in new inventory during the first half of the year while sales reservations reached P80-billion by the end of the period.

On the rental front, Megaworld’s leasing revenues soared to P8.1-billion during the first six months of the year from P6.8-billion in the same period in 2018, a remarkable 20% growth year-on-year.

By yearend, the company is expected to complete more than 230,000 square meters of leasable space from its two rental brands of Megaworld Premier Offices and Megaworld Lifestyle Malls all over the country.

MCKINLEY HILL. The 50-hectare McKinley Hill in Fort Bonifacio celebrates its 15th anniversary this year and serves as a home to 90,000 office workers.

MCKINLEY HILL. The 50-hectare McKinley Hill in Fort Bonifacio celebrates its 15th anniversary this year and serves as a home to 90,000 office workers.

Megaworld Lifestyle Malls

Just a few weeks ago, the company announced that it plans to expand its Megaworld Lifestyle Malls footprint outside of Metro Manila with the opening of 8 new malls and commercial centers in key regional centers in the next three years. The plans will cover as much as 200,000 square meters of fresh retail inventory until 2022.

The company’s hotel operations under the Megaworld Hotels brand became the fastest growing segment during the first half of 2019, soaring 80% to P1.3-billion from P715-million last year.

Megaworld Hotels is expected to add another 1,000 room keys this year with the scheduled openings of Belmont Hotel Boracay and Savoy Hotel Mactan Newtown before year-end.

Megaworld Hotels now has 8 homegrown hotels across the country: Richmonde Hotel Ortigas, Eastwood Richmonde Hotel, Richmonde Hotel Iloilo, Savoy Hotel Manila, Savoy Hotel Boracay, Belmont Hotel Manila, Hotel Lucky Chinatown, and Twin Lakes Hotel.

Masterplanned townships, lifestyle communities

Celebrating its 30th year in the real estate industry, Megaworld already has 24 masterplanned townships and integrated lifestyle communities across the country, namely: Eastwood City in Libis, Quezon City, (18.5 hectares); Newport City in Pasay City (25 hectares); McKinley Hill (50 hectares), McKinley West (34.5 hectares), Uptown Bonifacio (15.4 hectares) and Forbes Town (5 hectares), all in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City; The Mactan Newtown in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu (30 hectares); Iloilo Business Park in Mandurriao, Iloilo City (72 hectares); Sta. Barbara Heights in Sta. Barbara, Iloilo (173 hectares); Boracay Newcoast in Boracay Island (150 hectares); Twin Lakes in Alfonso, Batangas near Tagaytay (1,200 hectares); ArcoVia City in Pasig City (12.3 hectares); Southwoods City in the boundaries of Cavite and Laguna (561 hectares); Davao Park District in Lanang, Davao City (11 hectares); Alabang West in Las Piñas City (62 hectares); Eastland Heights in Antipolo, Rizal (640 hectares); Suntrust Ecotown in Tanza, Cavite (350 hectares); Maple Grove in General Trias, Cavite (140 hectares); The Hamptons Caliraya in Lumban-Cavinti, Laguna (300 hectares); The Upper East (34 hectares) and Northill Gateway (50 hectares) both in Negros Occidental; Capital Town Pampanga beside the Pampanga Provincial Capitol in the City of San Fernando (35.6-hectares); Westside City in the Entertainment City in Paranaque City (31 hectares); and Highland City in Cainta, Rizal (24 hectares). (Press Release)


Pag-IBIG Fund taps PayMaya to offer convenient digital payments to members

In line with the directive of President Rodrigo Duterte to make public services more convenient for Filipinos, Pag-IBIG Fund has made it more convenient for its members to pay for their savings and loan repayments anytime and anywhere.

This convenient way to pay is now possible as the agency partnered with leading digital financial services firm PayMaya to bring digital and card payments to its online and branch channels.

Through the partnership, Pag-IBIG Fund members can now remit their savings and pay for their loan amortizations using any Visa, Mastercard, or JCB credit, debit, and prepaid card. PayMaya account holders can also pay using their mobile number linked to their e-wallet via Pag-IBIG Fund’s online portal.

One by Paymaya

PayMaya will also soon equip Pag-IBIG Fund branches nationwide with One by PayMaya point-of-sale (POS) devices, which will enable the agency to accept PayMaya QR payments and any Visa, Mastercard, or JCB credit, debit, and prepaid card. One by PayMaya is the only POS device that can accept multiple modes of cashless payments via swipe, tap, and dip for cards, and pay-to-scan via QR.

Aside from bringing convenience to customers, offering alternative cashless payment methods will also lessen cash handling in paying Pag-IBIG Fund dues for better security and efficiencies.

CONVENIENT PAYMENT OPTIONS FOR PAG-IBIG MEMBERS ANYTIME, ANYWHERE. The Home Development Mutual Fund (Pag-IBIG Fund) and PayMaya formally signed its partnership agreement to offer digital payment options for Pag-IBIG Fund members online and through the agency's branch channels, delivering greater convenience and accessibility to its members nationwide. Present during the signing ceremony at the Pag-IBIG Fund Head Office in Makati City were Pag-IBIG Fund CEO Acmad Rizaldy P. Moti (2nd from left), PayMaya Founder and CEO Orlando B. Vea (2nd from right), Pag-IBIG Fund OIC - Support Services Cluster and Chief Legal Counsel Atty. Robert John S. Cosico (leftmost), and PayMaya COO and Managing Director Paolo Azzola (rightmost).

CONVENIENT PAYMENT OPTIONS FOR PAG-IBIG MEMBERS ANYTIME, ANYWHERE. The Home Development Mutual Fund (Pag-IBIG Fund) and PayMaya formally signed its partnership agreement to offer digital payment options for Pag-IBIG Fund members online and through the agency’s branch channels, delivering greater convenience and accessibility to its members nationwide. Present during the signing ceremony at the Pag-IBIG Fund Head Office in Makati City were (from left) ), Pag-IBIG Fund OIC – Support Services Cluster and Chief Legal Counsel Atty. Robert John S. Cosico, Pag-IBIG Fund CEO Acmad Rizaldy P. Moti, PayMaya Founder and CEO Orlando B. Vea (2nd from right (leftmost), and PayMaya COO and Managing Director Paolo Azzola (rightmost).

All these channels complement the existing bills payment section in the PayMaya mobile app that already allows for in-app payments of Pag-IBIG Fund transactions for millions of PayMaya and Smart Padala by PayMaya customers.

PayMaya is the only digital financial services company with an integrated suite of solutions for consumers and merchants complemented by the widest remittance partner agent network. It is the financial technology arm of Voyager Innovations, the leading technology company in the country backed by PLDT, KKR, Tencent, World Bank’s IFC, and the IFC Emerging Asia Fund.

Its “one payment platform” enables the country’s top eCommerce sites, major retail and quick-service restaurants, government institutions, as well as MSMEs, allowing them to accept multiple kinds of cashless payments.

Making Pag-IBIG services more convenient

“With this partnership, our members now have an even wider range of options whenever they need to transact with Pag-IBIG Fund. For those who don’t want to leave their homes or offices, they can pay conveniently online. Overseas Filipino Workers would also be able to have easier access to payment options through our website powered by PayMaya. This is our way of bringing our services one convenient step closer to Pag-IBIG Fund members, wherever they may be,” said Acmad Rizaldy P. Moti, Chief Executive Officer of Pag-IBIG Fund.

Customer convenience and government efficiencies

“We are glad that government agencies like Pag-IBIG Fund are embracing digital payment technologies to help bring convenience to all Filipinos. We at PayMaya are proud to be the partner of Pag-IBIG in delivering more accessible public services, which is in line with our goal of digital and financial inclusion for the Philippines,” said Orlando B. Vea, Founder and CEO of PayMaya Philippines.

By equipping government agencies with digital payment options, PayMaya is also helping the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas achieve its goal of transforming 20% of all transactions in the country to digital by the year 2020.

To know more about the digital payment products and services offered by PayMaya to businesses and enterprises, visit (Press Release)


Bid July goodbye with up to P2,650 in cashback, more amazing perks from PayMaya

The rainy season is here and with it comes a deluge of discounts, cashback, and other perks as the leading digital financial wallet and app PayMaya brings more amazing surprises to all account holders every time they pay using their PayMaya account.

From today until July 31, you can get up to a total of P2,650 in cashback when you pay your purchases with your PayMaya account!

“With all of these perks and rewards, it’s time to leave your wallet at home because paying using your PayMaya account today brings you even more value than cash or your credit card! PayMaya is not just convenient, it also offers you the best cashback deals and discounts for all the things you have to pay every day–whether it’s shopping online, buying load, or paying at the supermarket,” said Raymund Villanueva, Head of Growth and Marketing at PayMaya.

Until July 31, PayMaya account holders can enjoy the following perks and discounts for every transaction:

  • Get up to 100% cashback every time you buy load (max. P200) in the PayMaya Shop so you can keep calling and texting your friends and family
  • Buy discounted Mobile Legends: Bang Bang gaming pins and get up to 100% cashback on all gaming pins (max. P200) for all-day power-ups for your games
  • Get P300 cashback when you shop online with your PayMaya card (min. P3,000 single transaction) so you can snag the latest deals on your favorite e-Commerce sites
  • Get P150 cashback when you send money of at least P3,000 to another PayMaya user so you can easily send money to friends and family
  • Get up to P1000 cashback whenever they pay using PayMaya QR at any partner merchants (for upgraded accounts) for more value each time you shop

And from July 29 to 31, PayMaya is multiplying the fun as users can get double the cashback on QR purchases (maximum P500), which means double the savings on every purchase so you can splurge on that gadget accessory or cute dress you’ve seen in the mall.

What’s more, qualified users who pay their bills with PayMaya can also have the chance to earn as much as P200 cashback for two bills paid from July 29 to 31.

Not yet a PayMaya account holder? Signing up for one is easy. Simply download the PayMaya app on the Play Store and the App Store and sign up using your mobile number.

Get started on transacting by instantly adding money to your account through more than 30 bank partners via Instapay, or through the more than 40,000 PayMaya Add Money channels nationwide that include Smart Padala by PayMaya centers, Smart stores, Bayad Center, SM Business Center, Robinsons Business Center, Gaisano Capital Business Center, 7-Eleven, ExpressPay, Palawan Pawnshop, Cebuana Lhuillier, RD Pawnshop, Shopwise, Wellcome, UnionBank ATMs, BDO, Metrobank, RCBC, iBayad, ECPay, VMobile and Touchpay, eTAP & Pay&Go Kiosks, among many others.

PayMaya, the digital financial services arm of Voyager Innovations, is the only FinTech company in the Philippines offering integrated consumer and merchant payment solutions with the widest on-ground branch network. It is the first to give millions of Filipinos an e-wallet that allows them to pay cashless transactions at any time of the day, anywhere in the world, and from any device.

To know more how you can maximize your PayMaya account, visit or follow @PayMayaOfficial on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. (Press Release)

Business Feature Properties

Priland launches 2-tower Vertex Coast in Mactan’s resort neighborhood

Homegrown real estate developer Priland Development Corporation brings the resort concept to home and office with the launch of Vertex Coast in Punta Engaño.

The two-tower residential development will rise alongside Cebu’s most premier beach resorts and prime real estate in Mactan.

With a combined 738 units for residential and small office-home office (SOHO) use, Vertex Coast incorporates the 360 living concept that capitalizes on the spectacular views of the Mactan Channel, said Priland Sales Manager Irvin Paul Pastoriza.

Priland President Ramon Carlo Yap said they plan to break ground for the project by first quarter of 2021 and complete it three years after or in 2024.

Home office units

The mid-range development will offer customizable studio, one-bedroom, two-bedroom, and penthouse units, making them the ideal investment for home, retirement, or source of rental income.

According to Pastoriza, three floors or 54 units in each tower will be set aside for small office-home office or SOHO use. SOHO units measure around 26 square meters for studio and 50 square meters for one-bedroom.

VERTEX COAST PRESS CONFERENCE. Priland President Ramon Carlo Yap (center) talks to reporters about Vertex Coast in Punta Engaño in Mactan. With him are Priland Sales Manager Irvin Paul Pastoriza (left) and Priland Chief Operating Officer Marcelino Relampagos.

VERTEX COAST PRESS CONFERENCE. Priland President Ramon Carlo Yap (center) talks to reporters about Vertex Coast in Punta Engaño in Mactan. With him are Priland Sales Manager Irvin Paul Pastoriza (left) and Priland Chief Operating Officer Marcelino Relampagos.

Yap added that the company decided to set aside a considerable number of SOHO units in its Punta Engaño development after observing a growing demand for office space, especially among small businesses.

Another Priland development, Paseo Grove Mactan, has been modified to incorporate two towers solely made up of spaces that can double as small offices.

Exceptional amenities

Purely residential units in Vertex Coast measure around 24-26 square meters for studio, 39-45 square meters for one-bedroom, and 53-67 for two-bedroom. Unit cost ranges from P3.1 to P15 million.

Encompassing a total area of 2,700 square meters, Priland’s mid-range development will feature exceptional amenities, according to company executives.

An amenity deck with a spacious lobby will allow residents to move between two towers with ease. Shared amenities include an infinity pool, kiddie pool, garden deck, gym, and game room. There will be multi-purpose rooms in both towers for functions.

Vertex Coast will also have commercial spaces open to establishments that will provide modern conveniences to homeowners.

Prestigious location

The Vertex Coast launch follows another successful Priland development administered under a similar group, Vertex Central in Cebu City. Pastoriza said Vertex Central is already 80 percent sold, with only the bigger and penthouse units still available.

In line with its goal to support a modern lifestyle, the company brings the Priland Advantage to every development.

Provisions for air-conditioning unit, telephone line, cable line, induction stove, and range hood are standard in all Priland Residences project, including Vertex Coast.

Located in Mactan’s prestigious barangay of Punta Engaño, the Vertex Coast neighborhood includes such top resorts as Mövenpick Hotel, Seagrove, Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort & Spa, Mactan Newtown, Emerald Bay, Sheraton, Dusit Thani Mactan Cebu Resort, Arterra Discovery Bay, The Reef, and Crimson Resort & Spa Mactan.

About Priland

Part of a well-established and diversified group of companies that has excelled for over 20 years, Priland Development Corporation channels decades of business expertise into providing families and investors with quality real estate properties.

Business Tech

GCash innovations foster growth of Philippines’ gig economy

With its 20 million users composed mostly of young, working Filipinos, GCash has tailored its mobile financial platform to fuel the growth of the country’s gig economy.

Anthony Thomas, president and chief executive officer of Mynt (Globe Innovations, Inc.), which operates GCash, said the company sees a huge opportunity in the gig economy and continually innovates to address the needs of freelancers and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

“Most of our businesses are micro-businesses, and the gig economy is alive and well. A lot of opportunity comes from freelancers or businesses that employ just a few people. GCash could be a very convenient disbursement platform for them,” Thomas said at the IN_PACT Asia 2019 forum held on May 28 at the ADB headquarters in Manila.

GCash solutions

The Philippines’ leading mobile wallet and a pioneer in fintech services, GCash provides an efficient end-to-end payroll to payout solution for Filipinos operating outside the usual employment schemes, Thomas said. It also allows payment acceptance through QR transactions, and InstaPay transfers, which lets users send money to any banks in the Philippines for free.

“We make it very easy to accept payments offline through QR codes, or online with minimum to no cost so entrepreneurs, small businesses and freelancers can really focus on what they need to do rather than worrying about administrative problems in their lives and businesses,” he said.

The Mynt CEO was one of the speakers representing the fintech sector at the IN_PACT Asia forum, which this year centered on “Convening for Collective Impact.” The event gathered more than 300 social designers and innovators, and over 30 thought leaders and experts on social innovation and impact.

Anthony Thomas speaking at the ADB In_Pact Asia 2019 - Convening for Collective Impact

Anthony Thomas speaks at the ADB In_Pact Asia 2019 – Convening for Collective Impact.

Financial inclusion

The Philippines, which has one of the youngest workforces in Asia, is an emerging hub for social entrepreneurs, numbering nearly 165,000, and online freelancers, estimated to be around 1.5 million. Self-employed Filipinos make up 26.9% of the country’s 41.2 million labor force, the second biggest category of employed workers, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority.

Still, financial inclusion remains a challenge as 2 out of 3 Filipinos do not have access to bank accounts, and 9 out of 10 do not have access to loan credit.

“But the smartphone penetration is good, and the Philippines is an increasingly social media savvy country… What we’re doing is incentivizing people to go online,” Thomas said, presenting GCash’s financial services, which include GScore, GCredit, GSave and GInvest.

Financial services platform

“We’re not stopping at just creating payment convenience in your day-to-day lives. We are ultimately a financial services platform where we collaborate with lenders, asset managers, banks, and insurance companies. And we’ve already launched a way where we’re giving people a digital identity,” he said.

UNDP resident representative Titon Mitra, who was also a guest speaker at the forum, recognized that the most impressive social innovations were coming from emerging economies, citing fintech companies like GCash.

“In a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous world, innovations are imperative,” Mitra said. “It’s not just about fostering social innovations but fostering social innovations with a coherent purpose. If we’re going to drive social innovations the right way, we have to make it everyone’s responsibility.” (Press Release)

Business Feature Tech

Tap social media, digital tools to grow your business, Facebook tells Cebu companies

Businesses that embrace technology and social media grow at incredible rates, according to an official of Facebook Philippines.

With platforms like Facebook, there has never been a better time to have a business idea or solution and connect that idea with someone who will need it, Facebook Philippines Client Partner Chay Mondejar-Saputil said in a media briefing last Friday in Cebu City.

Facebook Philippines held last Friday an Accelerator Workshop to train Cebu businesses on online marketing, branding, and digital tools provided by the platform. Saputil said the business tools offered by the social media giant “level the playing field” for small and medium-sized businesses (SMB).

Reach potential customers

“Whereas before only big businesses were able to reach out to a large number of people, now even small businesses can reach hundreds of thousands” of potential customers using Facebook and its tools, she said.

More than 50 million Filipinos are connected to an SMB page on Facebook, the company said in a press statement. About 130 million people outside the country are connected to a Philippine-based SMB on the platform, it added.

The biggest shift right now is how we are so connected to our mobile phones

Chay Mondejar-Saputil, Client Partner, Facebook Philippines

Saputil said a survey of small businesses showed that by using technology and social platforms, 86% were able to sell their products outside their geographic boundaries and to customers in other provinces and even abroad. The same survey also found that 91% of businesses saw these tools as having helped them attract customers and 73% said they were able to hire more people. She said 82% of businesses reported increased sales because of the Facebook platform. She also said that 60% of these companies built their businesses on Facebook.

Saputil also shared what she said were the four Cs that are important to do well online: community, curation, conversation, and commerce.

Facebook Accelerator Workshop Cebu

Empower SMBs with training

Facebook Philippines said the digital skills training they conducted for SMBs started in 2017 and have trained over 5,000 small businesses in 23 cities all over the Philippines.

“We are glad to be working with Facebook in helping create inclusive, innovation-led growth for Philippine SMBs. Ninety-nine percent of businesses in the country are SMBs and they are the backbone of the Philippine economy. Together with Facebook, we will continue to empower SMBs as their success ultimately translates into more jobs and economic opportunities for Filipinos,” said Department of Trade and Industry Central Visayas OIC Assistant Regional Director Ma. Elena Arbon.

Jackie Morales of Digital Printing PH said platforms like Facebook allowed their company to operate fully online. Digital Printing PH started with two physical locations in Manila. Morales said that with the shops, they were limited by their location and their customers were mainly students. By going online, they were able to attract corporate customers from all over the country and even abroad.

Fully online, relocate to Cebu

She and her husband eventually decided to go fully online and relocate to Cebu, having been attracted to the province after spending their vacation here. Morales said her biggest consideration in going online is her being a mother. With the physical stores, she barely had time with the responsibilities of running their operations while raising a child. By going fully online, she now has more time for the family and for herself. She said she was able to travel more since she could run the business from anywhere.

EMPOWERING ENTREPRENEURS. (From left) Jackie Morales of Digital Printing PH; Gina Romero, CEO and co-founder of Connected Women; Facebook Philippines Client Partner Chay Mondejar-Saputil; and Facebook Philippines Communications Manager Michelle Fojas brief reporters and bloggers about Friday’s Accelerator Workshop for Cebu businesses.

EMPOWERING ENTREPRENEURS. (From left) Jackie Morales of Digital Printing PH; Gina Romero, CEO and co-founder of Connected Women; Facebook Philippines Client Partner Chay Mondejar-Saputil; and Facebook Philippines Communications Manager Michelle Fojas brief reporters and bloggers about Friday’s Accelerator Workshop for Cebu businesses.

Gina Romero, CEO and co-founder of Connected Women, said technology is empowering to women and allows them to connect with other female entrepreneurs and share tips and experiences. Romero used to be a flight attendant while selling used laptops on eBay. With technology, she was able to run the business wherever her assignment was. She later on started organizing sessions for women entrepreneurs. She has brought that online by tapping Facebook and her community now has 35,000 members.

Saputil said tools like Messenger foster interaction with the community and potential customers. She said this “conversational commerce” drives business and will be increasingly contributing to transactions in the coming months.

Mobile is biggest shift

Romero said they had to hire a dedicated employee to handle chats and would be adding another person soon. She said people prefer to use Messenger chat than other avenues like email and contact forms. Morales said she often has a deluge of chat messages that she has to use the “away” option because she is unable to deal with all messages.

Saputil said tools like chatbots will enable entrepreneurs like Morales to deal with the volume of customer inquiries.

Romero said platforms allow her members to interact with each other. She shared how a post or question by a member would often generate hundreds of answers by others in the community by the time she reads it when she wakes up in the morning.

Saputil also emphasized the importance of thinking mobile in doing business in today’s digital and connected world.

“The biggest shift right now is how we are so connected to our mobile phones,” Saputil said, citing a study by We Are Social that indicated Filipinos spent up to 10 hours a day online, mostly via phones.

“Most of our users are on the phone. Think of what your photo will look like on the phone, if you can’t read what’s on the photo on the phone then I would say 90% of our users won’t be able to read it as well. If it’s on the phone, the rule is the bigger the better,” she said.

Saputil also said that based on feedback and their experience in attending and holding events in Cebu, “I feel and I see that digital transformation is happening here.”

Business Tech

Miss Universe Catriona Gray is the face of the new Smart Signature Plans

Catriona Gray’s journey to the Miss Universe crown is an inspiring story of a woman who has reimagined herself to win the most coveted beauty pageant title, bringing pride and honor to our country.

Make no mistake about it, Catriona could have simply rested on her laurels with her Top 5 finish in Miss World 2016, plus a flourishing career as a commercial model. But, fueled by the support of family and friends, the now 25-year old beauty queen decided to embark on a much bigger dream that revealed the goal slayer in her – someone who is confident with her vision, and put every ounce of her energy to realize it. The rest, as they say, is history.

Fast-paced digital lifestyle

“Catriona’s inspiring story and her disposition as the ultimate goal slayer makes her the perfect ambassador for Smart Signature, a new mobile experience that prioritizes customers,” said Oscar A. Reyes, Jr., PLDT-Smart SVP and Consumer Business Market Development Head.

“Designed to cater to a new generation of goal slayers like Catriona, Smart Signature keeps up with the fast-paced digital lifestyle of our customers and empowers them as they tick off more milestones in their career or life,” he added.

“I’m very goal-oriented, and once I’ve set my mind on something, I put my heart and soul to it, and make sure I have all the tools to make it happen,” said Catriona, whose dedication showed in her hands-on approach to preparing for an international title: from putting together her own team or designers, trainers and creatives to displaying her proud Filipino heritage in her captivating national costume and now iconic gowns.

“This is why I am thrilled to represent Smart Signature, which empowers everyone with the digital experience they need to achieve more and realize a much better version of themselves. With Smart Signature, we have one less thing to worry about while pursuing our goals and making a difference.”

Tech-savvy beauty queen

Catriona uses digital platforms not only to connect with family, friends, and fans, but as an effective way to get her voice out there as an advocate for educating the youth and raising HIV/AIDS awareness.

But what else does the most beautiful woman in the world do when she’s online? For starters, she listens to music. “I never like it when it’s quiet. So, I stream music all the time,” she shared. She also enjoys watching videos, especially during her downtime. Here’s a fun fact: She likes watching beauty and make-up videos online, and even trained to do her own make-up as part of her preparation for the MISS UNIVERSE competition.

As an only child who lives away from her parents, and with a hectic travel schedule, she also heavily relies on mobile apps to constantly keep in touch with family and friends.

Always a go-getter, Catriona is ready to embark on her new role as endorser for Smart Signature. It’s going to be a hectic reign, but it’s a journey that she has prepared for all her life, and one that she hopes will inspire more Filipinos.

“I would love to share to people that my story is not an overnight success, and there were years that I really struggled. But I never gave up,” she revealed. “I always play to my own strengths. You need to find a circle of people that believe in what your goals are. And in this digital age, you need a mobile partner that will always prioritize your needs.”

Postpaid reimagined

Smart Signature prioritizes subscribers on the Smart LTE network, the country’s undisputed fastest mobile network as awarded by world-renowned firms including Ookla, OpenSignal, Tutela, and P3. This prioritized network experience makes sure that you can enjoy consistent data to connect to their favorite apps, sent messages in real time, and make uninterrupted calls – even during peak hours.

Smart Signature comes in four plans – Plan S, Plan M, Plan L and Plan XL – with generous data allocation; worry-free unlimited calls to Smart, Sun, and TNT; worry-free AnyNet call minutes to PLDT landline and other networks; and unlimited texts to all networks – so you never have to worry about connecting with family, friends, and colleagues on any network.

Experience a reimagined postpaid and achieve more with Smart Signature Plans now! Sign up as a new subscriber, or upgrade your current Smart Postpaid Plan for free, at select Smart Stores nationwide.

Learn more about the Smart Signature Plan perfect for your lifestyle at (Press Release)