Smart 5G goes live

5G handsets available, 5G coverage in key CBDs

Starting July 30th, the 5G mobile phone network of Smart Communications is going live as a commercial service.

In this initial phase of its commercial deployment, Smart Signature, Infinity and other Smart postpaid subscribers will be able to enjoy the super-fast data service of Smart 5G in key business districts of Metro Manila using Smart-certified handsets with 5G-activated SIMs.

These areas include the Makati Central Business District (CBD), Bonifacio Global City CBD, Araneta City, SM Megamall and Mall of Asia Bay Area. Smart 5G is also being rolled out in key high-traffic areas such North Avenue in Quezon City and Taft Avenue in Manila, as well as in Ortigas CBD, and Clark Green City in Pampanga.

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SSS members can now receive claims, benefits via PayMaya

Social Security System (SSS) members can now safely and conveniently claim proceeds from their SSS benefits without leaving their homes by enrolling their PayMaya accounts as their default disbursement option in their My.SSS online portal.

SSS members only need to enroll their PayMaya accounts through the My.SSS member portal (http://member.sss.gov.ph) by entering their PayMaya-registered mobile number under the “Account Number” field at the Bank Enrollment portion of the portal.

Proceeds from the SSS funeral and unemployment benefits, among others, may be coursed through the member’s PayMaya account. Soon, members may also receive their calamity, salary, and other loan proceeds via PayMaya.

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Cebu business leaders ask government: revert Cebu City to GCQ

Business leader in Cebu released today a manifesto supporting the call by Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella for the city to revert to General Community Quarantine (GCQ).

The leaders of various business groups said the decision to place Cebu City under Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) was based on flawed data. It was also done “without factoring in the economic aspect.”

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CCCI asks BIR to further extend tax filing deadline

The Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) is appealing to the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to provide more leeway to businesses and taxpayers in the cities of Cebu and Mandaue. The appeal comes in light of BIR regulations extending the deadlines for tax filings and payments during the extended Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) in the cities.

BIR extended the deadline in filing of tax returns to June 9, 14, 19, 24, and 29.

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Cebu business leaders ask for more funds, equitable distribution to help workers

The leaders of the different business chambers in Cebu today asked government to add funds to its assistance program for workers and make its distribution equitable.

“Our productive sector deserves better treatment from the very government to whom they have regularly remitted their taxes,” said a joint statement signed by the business leaders.

The signatories of the statement released today are Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) President Felix Taguiam, Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) President Steven Alain Yu, Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce President Francisco Benedicto, Mactan Export Processing Zone Chamber of Exporters and Manufacturers (MEPZCEM) President Santhana Krishnan Vaidiswaran, and Philippine Retailers Association (PRA) Cebu Chapter President Chester Lim.

CASH ASSITANCE. An overseas worker shows the cash assistance she received from the Philippine government. (Photo from the Department of Labor and Employment Facebook page.)
CASH ASSITANCE. An overseas worker shows the cash assistance she received from the Philippine government. (Photo from the Department of Labor and Employment Facebook page.)

To help workers furloughed by the community quarantine imposed to contain the spread of the coronavirus, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) released funds under the COVID-19 Adjustment Measures Program (CAMP).

Qualified beneficiaries of the program were each given P5,000.

But the CAMP only benefitted “17%, a pittance,” the business leaders said.

The statement quoted a DOLE press release that stated Central Visayas as having a budget of P150 million for CAMP for 31,618 workers from 1,403 companies in the region.

“The program fund allocation should have been set based on actual data or statistics available at DOLE so that it will be fair to everyone,” the leader said.

They said the decision to stop the program “would create confusion and emotional stress” among workers who are banking on the subsidy.

“Closing the program arbitrarily will be perceived as selective and run counter to its original objective of helping the marginalized workers,” they said.

CPMPC launches additional modern jeepneys

The Cebu People’s Multi-Purpose Cooperative (CPMPC) launched 55 modern jeepneys or PeoplesJeep units last March 16 at the Blessed Sacrament Subdivision on Kagudoy Road in Barangay Basak Lapu-Lapu City.

The PeoplesJeep units are air-conditioned and equipped with GPS, speed limiter, front and rear cameras, CCTV for security, and TV for passenger entertainment. The units will ply various routes in Metro Cebu.

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PayMongo, GCash partner to empower MSMEs with mobile payments

GCash, the Philippines’ leading mobile wallet, has partnered with PayMongo, a Silicon Valley-backed payments facilitator, to provide an expanded mobile payments platform for micro-, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the country.

GCash is now live on the PayMongo site as a payment method for thousands of online sellers. PayMongo has 3,500 merchant accounts on its platform.

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DFA eases requirements for APEC business travel card, goes on roadshow to spread awareness

To encourage more entrepreneurs to secure an APEC Business Travel Card (ABTC), the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) announced it is easing the requirements for the privilege.

The ABTC is valid for 5 years and serves as visa waiver for business owners and executives to all 21 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) member economies except for the US and Canada, said Office of the Undersecretary for International Economic Relations Acting Director Oliver Delfin.

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Safe refillable LPG canisters launched in Cebu

A company has introduced in Cebu a refillable aluminum LPG canister that is government-certified as safe to use. The Gaz Lite Mate, a 230-gram version of the refillable LPG canisters of Pascal Resources Energy, Inc. (PREI), can be used with existing portable gas stoves and grillers in the market, company officials said in a press event.

The refillable canisters emerged from a corporate social responsibility initiative of PR Gaz, a pioneer in the Philippine LPG industry founded by Nelson Par. It is being produced and distributed by PREI, a social enterprise that continued the program after PR Gaz was acquired by another LPG company. Par serves as CEO and Chairman of PR Gaz.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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.

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 www.avigilon.com or contact Hello Marketing at (+63 32) 253 3493 / 412 2211.

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.

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