Re/Discovering Cebu, one story at a time

Fujitsu PH expands array of cloud solutions, services in VisMin

Fujitsu Philippines, Inc., a leading Information Technology (IT) systems integrator and solutions provider, is strengthening its array of cloud offerings in Visayas and Mindanao amid the growing market demands in…

Fujitsu Philippines, Inc., a leading Information Technology (IT) systems integrator and solutions provider, is strengthening its array of cloud offerings in Visayas and Mindanao amid the growing market demands in the region.

According to Raul “Cricket” Santiago III, president and CEO of Fujitsu Philippines, the VisMin markets sustained a stellar development, especially that their “next wave cities” like Cebu, Bacolod, Iloilo, and Davao offer the necessary infrastructure, security, labor pool, and government policies, that attract investors to grow their businesses in the region.

Cloud solutions

“As these markets continue to thrive, organizations of all sizes across all industry sectors are realizing the importance of moving to new cloud models,” added Santiago. To support the goals of these organizations, this year, Fujitsu Philippines sets to offer a more comprehensive range of trusted cloud solutions not just for its growing number of customers, but also for potential clients in the area.

Fujitsu cloud

CLOUD SOLUTIONS. Fujitsu Philippines Sales Director for Visayas-Mindanao Terry Ybanez, Managed Services and Cloud Mark Pandy, Marketing Director Marje Balbuena and Marketing Associate Erika Garcia.

“Our goal is really to bring our global cloud expertise closer to organizations in Visayas and Mindanao, which need a wide array of solutions and services for their IT requirements,” said Santiago. “We want to work with them, together with our systems integration partners, in ensuring the deployment of solutions that tackle their IT challenges and maximize their business potential.”

At present, Fujitsu Philippines has two cloud infrastructures present in the country, one in Metro Manila and the other in Metro Cebu, making it more reliable and compliant with industry standards.

Satellite offices

Aside from these data centers, the company also has a satellite office in Davao, which was opened last year, and in Sta. Rosa in Laguna.

Fujitsu Philippines offers public, private, and hybrid cloud offerings, geared towards helping companies achieve the success of their cloud adoption more rapidly, at lower costs, and with greater agility. It also extends standardized IT services, which can be used within a short lead time without having to deal with complex hardware and software.

For enterprises that need to implement their own cloud infrastructure, Fujitsu Philippines also offers pre-integrated and tested infrastructures for faster implementation and earlier savings with minimum cost outlay.

“With over 40 years of relevant experience in the local market, Fujitsu has already established positive results for our cloud customers nationwide. We want to continue shaping a better future in these emerging and markets by driving business agility, greatest cost-efficiencies, and rapid innovation for organizations, wherever they may be in their cloud adoption journey,” said Santiago.

Aside from cloud solutions and services, Fujitsu Philippines also provides businesses with cutting-edge IT solutions and services nationwide. It has also made Japanese IT design and technology available through its server, storage, and scanning hardware and solutions.

To know more about Fujitsu Philippines, Inc., visit the website at http://www.fujitsu.com/ph.

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Megaworld’s 2017 net income jumps 13.4%, sets P60B capex this year

Megaworld, the country’s largest developer of integrated urban townships, grew its net income by 13.4% to P13.3-billion (including non-recurring gains of P113-million) in 2017 from P11.7-billion (including non-recurring gain of…

Megaworld, the country’s largest developer of integrated urban townships, grew its net income by 13.4% to P13.3-billion (including non-recurring gains of P113-million) in 2017 from P11.7-billion (including non-recurring gain of P82-million) the previous year.

Net income attributable to parent company ended at P12.8-billion by end-December 2017, a 12.7% jump from P11.3-billion during the same period last year. The healthy growth was underpinned by the strong performances of its key businesses in residential and hotel developments, office as well as commercial space leasing in malls and shopping centers.

Consolidated revenues including non-recurring gains grew 7.7% to P50.4-billion in 2017 from the previous year’s P46.8-billion.

Rental business

Megaworld’s rental business, which covers both office and commercial space leasing grew the fastest among the segments. Rental income soared 18.2% to P11.8-billion in 2017 from last year’s P10-billion.
Comprising around 70% of its consolidated revenues, the company’s residential business was up 4.5% in 2017, growing to P34.6-billion from P33.1-billion the previous year.

“We are still way beyond our targets and we see this momentum to continue until we reach our P20-billion target in annual rental income by 2020, or even beyond that. There is still so much opportunities to tap in the property market and we are ready for that,” said Francis Canuto, senior vice president and treasurer, Megaworld.

Megaworld is allocating P60-billion in capital spending this year, with 80% covering development projects, mostly residential, office and commercial developments in various townships across the country. The remaining 20% will be set aside for land acquisition and other investment properties.

Integrated lifestyle community

“The Megaworld Group is now present in more than 30 cities around the country. We will continue to be aggressive in developing more townships and integrated lifestyle communities across the country, most especially in the provinces.”

Last year, Megaworld’s subsidiary Global-Estate Resorts, Inc. (GERI) introduced its second “integrated lifestyle community,” the 300-hectare Hamptons Caliraya, in Cavinti, Laguna, which is surrounded by the famous Lake Caliraya.

About the same time last year, Megaworld announced that it is developing a Makati-inspired Business District in General Trias Cavite, the 35-hectare Maple Grove Commercial District. In just over a month, it has sold around 80% of the 360 prime commercial lots worth P9-billion, the fastest take-up of titled commercial lots in the company’s history.

Megaworld developments

During the last 28 years, Megaworld has built over 660 residential developments, 54 office towers and 15 lifestyle malls in 23 masterplanned townships and integrated lifestyle communities across the Philippines. These also include: 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 (1,300 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); and Westside City in the Entertainment City in Paranaque City (31 hectares.) (Press Release)

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Mactan Doc starts expansion, breaks ground for Medical Arts building

To better cater to the growing local and tourist population, Mactan Doctors Hospital will undergo a three-phase expansion starting with the construction of a Medical Arts Building. Dr. Potenciano “Yong”…

To better cater to the growing local and tourist population, Mactan Doctors Hospital will undergo a three-phase expansion starting with the construction of a Medical Arts Building.

Dr. Potenciano “Yong” Larrazabal III, chairman and president of the CebuDoc Group of Hospitals, said it has been a longtime dream of the company to make Mactan Doctors in Lapu-Lapu City a major player in the health industry.

“One of the marching orders I’ve given down the line is don’t let the patients cross the bridge. For this to happen, the expansion must ensure that Mactan Doctors Hospital carry the complete facilities and offer affordable rates,” he added.

Mactan Doctors Hospital expansion

TIME CAPSULE. Dr. Potenciano “Yong” Larrazabal III, chairman and president of the CebuDoc Group of Hospitals, lead company officials and partners in laying down the time capsule to mark the groundbreaking of the Medical Arts Building at Mactan Doctors Hospital.

3-phase expansion

After the construction of a new Medical Arts building, the second phase of the expansion will be to transform the space currently occupied by the clinics into a two-storey structure that will house the emergency room with a 24-hour concierge.

Increasing hospital capacity from 160 to 300 beds will be the third phase of the expansion, added Larrazabal. He led the groundbreaking of the Medical Arts building last March 10. Once completed, the structure will have at least 50 shared clinics.

Mactan Doctors, which is part of a network of facilities under the CebuDoc Group of Hospitals, will spend from P150 to P175 million for the whole development. According to Larrazabal, each phase of the expansion will take about six months.

Healthcare demand

This will be the fourth expansion by Mactan Doctors since its opening in 1993, said Medical Director Dr. Joselito Montesclaros. He added that the move is necessary because the demand for healthcare in Mactan has risen exponentially with the increase in the number of residents and tourists.

Mactan Doc expansion

CEREMONY. Mactan Doctors, which is part of a network of facilities under the CebuDoc Group of Hospitals, will spend from P150 to P175 million for the whole development.

Mactan Doctors will also be introducing medical procedures previously offered only in Cebu City hospitals, such as a dialysis treatment, laparoscopic surgery, hyperbaric medicine, and positron-emission tomography (PET) scan. It will soon offer residency training programs as well.

Other members of the CebuDoc Group of Hospitals are also scheduled for upgrades and expansion. These initiatives will include a trauma center in South General Hospital and Mother and Child Center in North Gen.

Mactan Doc expansion

SIGNING. Officials led by Dr. Potenciano “Yong” Larrazabal III, chairman and president of the CebuDoc Group of Hospitals, sign building plans and documents to mark the groundbreaking.

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BPI Family Auto Madness offers great deals, affordable packages

BPI Family Savings Bank (BFSB) brings back to Cebu the country’s top automotive brands with great deals and more affordable auto loans through BPI Family Auto Madness. Cebu City is…

BPI Family Savings Bank (BFSB) brings back to Cebu the country’s top automotive brands with great deals and more affordable auto loans through BPI Family Auto Madness. Cebu City is one of the key growth areas of BPI Family Savings Bank, as manifested by the growing number of clients.

“The market in Cebu for cars is rapidly growing. We see this in the expansion of car dealerships and display centers outside Cebu City. The growing population of Cebu and even urban migration also contribute to the high demand for cars. Some change cars every five years or less to avoid high maintenance costs of older cars,” said Rey Eleccion, Area Business Director for BFSB Visayas.

BPI Family Auto Madness

Twenty-three car brands showcase their best models in the four-day BPI Family Auto Madness Event in Ayala Center Cebu.

Extensive auto loan packages

Eleccion added that through extensive auto loan packages, clients are able to afford their dream cars, may it be for personal or business use.

“We have continuously become a trusted partner of many Cebuano families. We help them manage their finances and ultimately achieve their goals for a better life,” said Eleccion.

According to Dennis Fronda, Division Head for BPI Family Auto Loan, loan packages remain to be affordable despite the implementation of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law.

“While prices of some cars have gone up, the take-home pay of an employee has gone up as well,” explained Fronda. “With affordable auto loan packages, the client still has more than enough to cover the monthly amortization and other car expenses.”

BPI Family Auto Madness

BPI FAMILY AUTO MADNESS LAUNCH IN CEBU. (From left) Leading the launch of the event are Sidney Quimbo, VP and Area Business Director Cebu City Central; Mari Joy Ramos, AVP and Area Business Director Cebu City South and Bohol; Dennis Fronda, VP and Division Head BPI Family Auto Loans; William Teo, AVP and Area Business Director Cebu North and Leyte; Rey Eleccion, AVP and Area Business Director BPI Family Savings Bank Visayas; and Wilbert Yu, AVP and Auto Loans Sales Channel Head Visayas.

Participating car brands

The BPI Family Auto Madness event is open to all mallgoers and clients from March 15 to 18, 2018, at the Activity Center of Ayala Center Cebu. It brings together 23 of the best car brands in one roof. Some of the major participating car brands include BMW, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Ford, Foton, Honda, Hyundai, Isuzu, Jeep, JMC, Kia, Mazda, Mercedez Benz, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Peugeot, Ssangyong, Subaru, Suzuki, Tata, Toyota, and Volkswagen.

Clients who apply for a BPI Family Auto Loan during the event can enjoy lower interest rates, free insurance, and a free gas card of up to P3,000. Those who cannot go to the event may still avail of the auto loans via any the 40 BPI and BPI Family Savings Bank branches in Cebu. (Press Release)

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Megaworld set to open La Salle-supervised school in Mactan Newtown

A student-centered learning institution under the supervision of the De La Salle Brothers will open this June for school year 20018-2019 within the Mactan development of property giant Megaworld and…

A student-centered learning institution under the supervision of the De La Salle Brothers will open this June for school year 20018-2019 within the Mactan development of property giant Megaworld and has been officially named “Newtown School of Excellence.”

Megaworld Cebu Properties, Inc. president Noli D. Hernandez said the school will initially offer classes for the nursery and kindergarten levels.

The Newtown School of Excellence is a partnership between Megaworld and the Lasallian Schools Supervision Services Association, Inc. (LASSSAI).

Newtown School of Excellence

Megaworld Cebu Properties, Inc. president Noli D. Hernandez (left) and Brother Narciso Erguiza Jr. shortly after the announcement of the opening of Newtown School of Excellence in the property giant’s township in Lapu-Lapu City.

It occupies around a hectare of space near the entrance of Mactan Newtown along the Mactan Circumferential Road. Megaworld has spent P240 million since it started building the school in 2014, according to Hernandez.

La Salle-supervised school

Brother Narciso Erguiza Jr., LASSSAI president, said a La Salle-supervised school is one that they don’t directly own but run for certain companies or groups under the same educational standards.

A De La Salle school operates with the learners as the central concept. Two other criteria they require for a school they run or supervise are that it must be a Catholic and there must be a good percentage of students from poor families, he added.

Newtown School of Excellence

Newtown School of Excellence. The school will initially offer classes for the nursery and kindergarten levels.

Erguiza cited they ensure that at least 20 percent of the student population are on full scholarships in all their schools. He added he would want to raise this to 30 percent in the Newtown School of Excellence.

“This school will primarily cater to the children of township homeowners, particularly those who live in our condominium developments. We will also cater to the children of the expat community and residents of Lapu-Lapu City and nearby towns and cities as well as the children of those working in nearby businesses and business process outsourcing companies,” said Hernandez.

Newtown School of Excellence

PRESS CONFERENCE. Harold Geronimo (right), Megaworld Senior Assistant Vice President and Head for Public Relations and Media Affairs, answers a question during the press conference to announce the opening of Newtown School of Excellence. 

Technology-based learning

The target is to add grade levels by school year until the Newtown School of Excellence will be running on full capacity up to Grade 12.

Erguiza said the school can accommodate around 1,000 students when it is fully operational.

Newtown School of Excellence

The Newtown School of Excellence, as with any De La Salle school, operates with the learners as the central concept.

The Newtown School of Excellence will have two main buildings when completed. The single-storey Kindergarten Building is composed of three classrooms, a library, playground, and multipurpose hall. On the other hand, the five-story Elementary Building will feature 21 classrooms, audio-visual rooms, computer rooms, music room, home economics room, prayer room, library and learning resource center, auditorium, covered court, physical education instruction room, science laboratories, clinic, and its own canteen.

According to Hernandez, the curricula in the different programs offered at the school will be technology-based and geared towards academic excellence and proficiency.

The Newtown School of Excellence will have two main buildings when completed. Megaworld has spent P240 million since it started building the school in 2014.

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Oakridge breaks ground for third IT building

Three months after the opening of its second Information Technology (IT) building, Cebuano property developer Oakridge Realty Development Corp., held last March 2, the groundbreaking of the Oakridge IT Center…

Three months after the opening of its second Information Technology (IT) building, Cebuano property developer Oakridge Realty Development Corp., held last March 2, the groundbreaking of the Oakridge IT Center 3 (OITC 3), located within the Oakridge Business Park.

Once completed, the OITC 3, which is the second phase of the company’s three-year development plan, will add another 14,000 square meters of leasable space to its current 24,000 sq m.

OITC 3’s ground floor area will cater to food and retail establishments, while the 5th to the
12th floors will have more office spaces.

Oakridge IT Center 3

Oakridge IT Center 3. Once completed, the building will add another 14,000 square meters of leasable space to its current 24,000 sq m.

Redefine Oakridge Business Park

Its design is differentiated by expansive common use areas, three-level podium parking, 24-hour generator set with 100% back up power, drop off points for PWD, and Telco cabinets per floor, among others.

Like its “twin-building,” the Oakridge IT Center 2, OITC 3 is envisioned to redefine the business and leisure landscape of Oakridge Business Park.

The OITC 3 is set for completion by the second quarter of 2019.

The next phase of the company’s developmental plan will include the construction of an atrium connecting both buildings that will showcase an entertainment facility and more dining options.

Small to medium cut spaces

Oakridge’s vision for both 12-story buildings is to continually support companies requiring small to medium cut spaces offering an array of spaces beginning from the smallest 47 square meters up to a full floor plate area of 1,700 sq m. All these options while keeping the rates competitive.

The building expansions are set to reinforce ORDC’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.

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

It features landscaped open areas demonstrating how business and leisure can come together in a balanced space, while complementing its refreshing modern architecture.

Oakridge IT Center 3 groundbreaking

GROUNDBREAKING. Oakridge Realty Development Corp. CEO Edmun Liu (center) leads the groundbreaking ceremony of the Oakridge IT Center 3 building. With him are (from left) Atty. Karen Climaco, ORDC Finance and Legal Director; Mary Lood, ORDC Human Resources Director; Ericson Ong, Mandaue ECO Glass Inc. Owner; Arturo Robles, Quest Air Tech. President; Mike Torres, ArchiGlobal Inc. President; Anne Liu, ORDC Creative Director; Maria Teresa Esquivel, ASEC President; Corazon Ballard, RLB President; Nilo Arribas, ORDC Operations Director; and Estee Plunket, ORDC Sales and Marketing Director.

Distinctly Oakridge

The four-hectare Oakridge Business Park includes the Oakridge IT Centers 1, 2 and 3; office and commercial spaces at Block 88; and food and retail establishments at Oak Tree Drive 1 and 2 catering to the discerning clientele.

The park also caters to two large-scale event venues: the Oakridge Pavilion, a 1,200- square meter premier event location featuring ivory-hued draping, carpeting and glass-enclosed foyer; and the 400-seater Oakridge Horizons that features floor-to-ceiling glass windows offering a panoramic view of the city.

Oakridge Business Park is envisioned to be a sanctuary within the city with refreshing open spaces, diverse dining and lifestyle destinations, personalized opportunities for business and possibilities of every kind of celebration, making it Distinctly Oakridge. (Press Release)

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Consul Antonio Chiu elected new CCCI president

The Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) elected a new set of trustees and officials last February 23 at the Summit Galleria Hotel in Cebu City. Antonio Chiu of…

The Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) elected a new set of trustees and officials last February 23 at the Summit Galleria Hotel in Cebu City.

Antonio Chiu of Nutrivalue Technologies, Inc., the honorary consul of the Slovak Republic, was elected president for the term March 2018 to February 2019. Chiu thanked the trustees for electing him and pledged to continue making the CCCI relevant to the well-being of Cebu’s business community and the province’s economic growth and development.

Melanie Ng, the immediate past president, said she welcomed the election of Chiu, whom she sees leading the CCCI with the new board to greater achievements.

The new board of trustees was sworn into office by Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry vice president for the Visayas Samuel Chioson during the joint BOT meeting last February 28 at the Cebu Chamber Center.

CCCI ELECTION.

The following are the 2018-2019 officials of CCCI.

Board of Trustees for 2018 – 2019

(* newly elected trustees)

INDUSTRY:

  • Charles Kenneth C. Co*, Cebu Steel Corporation
  • Carolyne Lamakang Go*, Magic Melt Foods, Inc.
  • Ronald S. Po*, Fiesta Beverage Corporation
  • Enrison T. Benedicto, Mabuhay Filcement, Inc.
  • Antonio N. Chiu, Nutrivalue Technologies, Inc.

TRADE:

  • Dr. Jose Enrico R. Gandionco*, Cebu Primera Food Industries, Inc.
  • Edward Vincent Onglatco*, Hyundai Cebu, Inc.
  • Melanie C. Ng, Ng Khai Development Corporation
  • Christian T. Paro-an, RC Goldline Sale Shop
  • Robinson Uy, La Nueva Drugstore Chain Inc.

SERVICE:

  • Virgilio “Nonoy” Espeleta*, Famcor Franchise Management & Executive Development
  • Wendell D. Gahinhin*, Punongbayan & Araullo
  • Aldie P. Garcia*, Isla Lipana & Co., a PWC member firm
  • Bunny D. Pages*, Pages Holdings, Inc.
  • Fr. Dionisio M. Miranda, SVD, University of San Carlos
  • Benny Y. Que, Golden Prince Hotel and Suites
  • Atty. Thomas A. Riveral, CPA, Oriental Port & Allied Services Corporation

SECTORAL:

  • Rey Maximo Eleccion, Cebu Bankers Club
  • Robert L. Go*, Philippine Retailers Association-Cebu Chapter, Inc.

ICT:

  • Michael Cubos*, Performance 360 Global Services

 

Newly Elected Officers 2018-2019

Antonio N. Chiu – President

Ronald S. Po – Vice President for Finance and Administration Services

Charles Kenneth Co – Vice President for External Affairs & Relations

Virgilio Espeleta – Vice President for Business Development & Management Services

Edward Vincent Onglatco – Vice President for Membership Development

Rey Maximo Eleccion – Treasurer

Atty. Thomas A. Riveral – Board Secretary

Wendell D. Ganhinhin – Assistant Treasure (appointed)

Carolyne Lamakang Go – Assistant Board Secretary (appointed)

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Samsung Galaxy S9, S9+ ‘built for the way we communicate today’

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. has introduced the Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+, the smartphones that reimagine the way we communicate, share and experience the world. Made for the way we…

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. has introduced the Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+, the smartphones that reimagine the way we communicate, share and experience the world. Made for the way we increasingly communicate and express ourselves more with images, videos and emojis, the Galaxy S9 and S9+ drive innovation with Samsung’s most advanced camera ever.

Redesigned with a new dual aperture lens that powers an innovative low light camera, Super Slow-mo video capabilities and personalized AR Emoji, the Galaxy S9 and S9+ ensure you never miss a moment and make your everyday epic.

Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+

PREMIUM SOUND EXPERIENCE. The Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+ have stereo speakers tuned by AKG. Whether users are watching their favorite movie or streaming their favorite artist’s latest album, sounds are clear, crisp and rich in quality. The Galaxy S9 and S9+ also support Dolby Atmos, giving the effect of 360-degree sound.

The Galaxy S9 and S9+ deliver an enhanced entertainment experience with powerful stereo speakers tuned by AKG, surround sound supported by Dolby Atmos and a refined edge-to-edge Infinity Display – a key staple in Samsung’s design heritage. In addition, the Galaxy S9 and S9+ will come with the new SmartThings app, which unites Samsung’s existing IoT services into one single, smart experience.

“The way we use our smartphones has changed as communication and self-expression has evolved,” said DJ Koh, president and Head of IT & Mobile Communications Division, Samsung Electronics. “With the Galaxy S9 and S9+, we have reimagined the smartphone camera. Not only does the Galaxy S9 and S9+ enable consumers to shoot the best photos and videos anywhere, it’s a smartphone that’s designed to help them connect to others and express themselves in a way that’s unique and personal to them.”

Camera Reimagined

Today’s cameras are for more than taking pictures – they’re for connecting and communicating. Consumers want a smartphone camera with state-of-the-art technology so they can express themselves with high-quality images and tools to tell their own, unique story. The Galaxy S9 and S9+’s cameras are built with these consumers in mind, with a Super Speed Dual Pixel sensor with dedicated processing power and memory that can combine up to 12 frames into one amazing shot for the highest photo quality possible. The Galaxy S9 and S9+’s camera features include:

Super Slow-mo: Make every day moments epic with dynamic, slow-motion video that captures 960 frames per second. The Galaxy S9 and S9+ also offers automatic Motion Detection, an intelligent feature that detects movement in the frame and automatically begins to record – all users have to do is set up the shot. After capturing the Super Slow-mo video, users can select background music from 35 different options or add a tune from their favorite playlist. Users can also easily create, edit and share GIF files with a simple tap in three playful styles of looping to watch the action over and over.

Low Light Camera: Good lighting is the secret to any great photo. But often, photos are taken in less-than-ideal lighting conditions and most smartphone cameras have a fixed aperture that can’t adjust to low or bright lighting environments resulting in grainy or washed out pictures. Similar to the way the iris of a human eye expands and contracts, Samsung’s Dual Aperture (F1.5 – F2.4) automatically lets in more light when it’s dark and less light when it’s too bright, taking photos that are crisp and clear anytime, anywhere.

AR Emoji: Samsung lets users create an emoji that looks, sounds and acts just like them. AR Emoji uses a data-based machine learning algorithm, which analyzes a 2D image of the user and maps out more than 100 facial features to create a 3D model that reflects and imitates expressions, like winks and nods, for true personalization. AR Emoji shares your real-life feelings not only in video but also with a range of stickers in uses a standard AGIF file format so users can share their emojis across most third-party messaging platforms.

Bixby: Samsung’s intelligence platform, integrated into the camera, uses augmented reality and deep learning technologies to provide helpful information about a user’s surroundings. With real-time object detection and recognition, Bixby instantly generates information directly on top of the image that the camera is pointing at. Users can translate foreign languages and currency in real time with Live Translation, learn about their surroundings.

Entertainment Reimagined

Smartphones are often our go-to choice for entertainment, which is why Samsung created a device that offers premium sound experiences with stereo speakers tuned by AKG. Whether users are watching their favorite movie or streaming their favorite artist’s latest album, sounds are clear, crisp and rich in quality. The Galaxy S9 and S9+ also support Dolby Atmos, giving the effect of 360-degree sound.

The Galaxy S9 and S9+ audio experience is complemented by Samsung’s revolutionary Infinity Display. First introduced on the Galaxy S8, the bold, bright Super AMOLED Infinity Display blends right into the phone with virtually no distracting bezels. With adaptive contrast enhancement, users can use their device even in direct sunlight.

Infinity display.

Connected Lifestyle

As the first smartphone to support the new SmartThings app, the Galaxy S9 and S9+ are the central hub to manage every facet of the connected lifestyle at home, at the office or on the go. The SmartThings app will be introduced with S9 and S9+, and will connect to other Samsung and non-Samsung devices.

For those constantly on the move, the next-generation Samsung DeX empowers a mobile lifestyle by bringing a large, full-screen experience to the mobile handset. With DeX Pad, a new docking system, users can easily connect the Galaxy S9 and S9+ to a larger monitor, keyboard and mouse to expand the mobile experience with enhanced document editing or even full-screen gaming. Users can also transform the Galaxy S9 and S9+ into a Touch Keyboard and Touch Pad with the DeX Pad.

Galaxy Foundation

Samsung sets the gold standard for smartphones including IP68 water and dust resistance, and fast wireless charging. The Galaxy S9 and S9+ go a step beyond. The devices now support expandable memory of up to 400GB and are equipped with the latest premium application processors offering powerful performance and sophisticated image processing.

In addition, the Galaxy S9 and S9+ give users the peace of mind knowing that their phone is protected by Knox 3.1, Samsung’s latest defense-grade security platform. The Galaxy S9 and S9+ support three different biometric authentication options – iris, fingerprint, and facial recognition – so users can choose the best way to protect their device and applications. The devices support Intelligent Scan, a new verification that intelligently uses the collective strength of iris scanning and facial recognition technology to quickly and conveniently unlock a user’s phone in any environment. The Galaxy S9 and S9+ also introduce Dedicated Fingerprint, giving users the option to use a different fingerprint to access Secure Folder than the one used to unlock the phone.

The Galaxy S9 and S9+ takes health to the next level with an improved optical sensor built directly into the device, providing richer, more accurate information on user’s health status. This sensor allows the Galaxy S9 and S9+ to keep track of users’ Heart Load Factor, a new measurement of the real-time demand placed on your heart.

The Galaxy S9 and S9+ will be available starting in March 16, 2018 and will be offered in Midnight Black, Coral Blue, and a new hue, Lilac Purple.

Pre-order the Galaxy S9 and S9+ from February 27 to March 6, 2018 and get one exclusive gift of your choice along with complimentary bundles and discount on Samsung wearables. Visit your nearest Samsung experience store or select Abenson’s or SM Appliance stores nationwide. To know more about the newest Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+, visit samsung.com.ph or visit our Facebook page, facebook.com/SamsungPH. (Press Release)

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Motorola expands retail footprint in Visayas, Mindanao

Since its launch in 2016, Motorola Philippines has gone full throttle in making the Motorola experience more accessible to Filipinos nationwide. To support this vision, Motorola is further strengthening its…

Since its launch in 2016, Motorola Philippines has gone full throttle in making the Motorola experience more accessible to Filipinos nationwide. To support this vision, Motorola is further strengthening its presence in Visayas and Mindanao with new retail kiosks in Cebu and Davao.

Strategically located in the Cyberzone area of SM City Cebu and in Gaisano Mall Davao, the newly-opened Motorola experience kiosks bring the Motorola innovative technology closer to consumers. The new retail stores also kick-start Motorola’s expansion plans for 2018 aimed at showcasing its smartphone offerings catering to the different Filipino markets and the trademark lineup of modular accessories better known as the Moto Mods.

Motorola SM City Cebu

Motorola kiosk in SM City Cebu.

“We want to continually address the smartphone needs of Filipino consumers. Our expansion initiatives for 2018 focus on reaching more Filipinos, especially in the Visayas and Mindanao areas. Apart from our 10 Motorola experience stores, we are keen on amplifying our efforts to make the Motorola experience available to everyone as we become more visible in the market,” said Vincent dela Cruz, Marketing Manager of Lenovo Mobile Business Group Philippines.

Motorola will be opening six more stores in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao within the first quarter of 2018. The target locations are Alabang in Metro Manila, Luzon; Iloilo in Visayas; General Santos City, South Cotabato City, Cagayan De Oro City and Zamboanga City in Mindanao. The opening dates of the stores will be announced soon.

Motorola Gaisano Mall Davao.

Motorola in Gaisano Mall Davao.

Motorola experience stores are located in the Cyberzone areas of SM North EDSA, SM Megamall, SM Mall of Asia, SM Batangas, Glorietta, SM Sta. Rosa, SM Dasmarinas, SM Calamba, SM Cebu and Gaisano Davao. All Motorola concept stores carry the Motorola smartphone lineup: the flagship line of the Moto Z, Moto Z Play, Moto Z2 Play and the Moto Mods; its premium midrange offerings, which include the Moto M and the latest additions to the Moto G family, the Moto g5S and Moto g5S Plus, and the entry-level lineup of the Moto C, Moto C Plus and Moto E4 Plus. (Press Release)

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Get chance to win all-expense paid trip to Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, Maldives with PayMaya

Paying with PayMaya will take you places as the country’s pioneer and leader in digital payments once again rewards customers with a chance to experience global travel destinations in the…

Paying with PayMaya will take you places as the country’s pioneer and leader in digital payments once again rewards customers with a chance to experience global travel destinations in the PayMaya Travel Blowout, running from February 1 to May 31, 2018.

For each month from February to May, one lucky PayMaya account holder will win a 5-day trip for 2 to each of the featured destinations: Taiwan in February, South Korea in March, Japan in April, and Maldives in May.

The prize includes roundtrip airfare and accommodation for two, and P50,000 in PayMaya credits to shop, dine, and explore with the convenience of going cashless. Each trip is also complete with tours and a well-curated itinerary so winners can just pack their bags and enjoy the best of what the country has to offer.

PayMaya Travel Blowout Japan

How to join promo

There are many ways to join the promo. Account holders can do any of the following to earn one raffle entry: register a PayMaya account, purchase and activate a PayMaya physical card, have a PayMaya account upgraded, pay bills in full (minimum P300), or pay using PayMaya (minimum P1,000 single-receipt). Raffle items are cumulative until the end of the promo period.

“Gone are the days when overseas travel is only for the carded few. With PayMaya, millennials can seize travel opportunities online, expand their worldview, and dive into exciting adventures even without a credit card. Every Filipino deserves to reach their must-visit travel destination and PayMaya is here to help them take the first step,” said Paolo Azzola, PayMaya Philippines COO and Managing Director.

PayMaya Travel Blowout Maldives

Ticket to best deals

“The Travel Blowout promo is our way of thanking our PayMaya customers, the #NowNation, and helping them pursue their love of travel. PayMaya is by far the fastest way to book a flight, even during a seat sale, for those who don’t have a credit card. It’s their ticket to enjoying the best deals and making the most of their lives, right here, right now.” said Raymund Villanueva, Head of PayMaya Issuing Business

PayMaya is a free and secure prepaid e-wallet that allows account holders to send and receive money, pay their bills, and shop anywhere online that accepts Visa or Mastercard payments. Account holders simply have to download the PayMaya app or activate an account via PayMaya in Messenger (@PayMayaOfficial), register, and load up in over 15,000 touch points nationwide including 7-Eleven branches, SM Business Centers, Robinsons Business Centers inside Department Stores, Touchpay Kiosks, UnionBank ATMs, Shopwise, Wellcome, 2Go, ExpressPay, Cebuana Lhuillier, and Palawan Pawnshop branches, Smart Padala centers, and Metrobank Online.

PayMaya Travel Blowout South Korea

PayMaya physical card

PayMaya enables customers to book flights via seat sales, take advantage of travel promos online, book affordable accommodations via Airbnb and other providers, purchase travel essentials via Lazada and ZALORA, travel cashless via transportation apps like Uber and Grab, and tap-to-pay at toll gates in NLEX and CAVITEX.

Account holders may also opt to have a PayMaya physical card, which can be linked to their mobile wallet, so they can pay in groceries, malls, or any store that accepts card payments. Moreover, customers can instantly convert their PayMaya funds to foreign currency by withdrawing cash in ATM machines abroad. Physical cards can be ordered online at www.paymaya.com/shop.

PayMaya Travel Blowout Taiwan

PayMaya Philippines is the digital financial services arm of PLDT’s Voyager Innovations. To know more about PayMaya’s products and services for consumers and businesses, visit www.paymaya.com. Be the first to know PayMaya’s latest promos and announcements by following @PayMayaOfficial on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. (Press Release)

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AI to boost revenues, create more jobs: Accenture report

Rather than displace human workers, artificial intelligence or AI will create more jobs and boost company revenues, according to a report by Accenture. If businesses invest in AI and human-machine…

Rather than displace human workers, artificial intelligence or AI will create more jobs and boost company revenues, according to a report by Accenture.

If businesses invest in AI and human-machine collaboration, they could increase revenues by 38% by 2020 and raise employment levels by 10%, the report said. Globally, that increase could amount to $4.8 trillion.

Investing on new technology like AI and the training of employees for the new IT is already “urgent,” said Lito Tayag, Country Managing Director of Accenture in the Philippines.

Accenture

Augment workers

He said the survey, done on 14,078 workers and 1,201 business leaders across the world, showed that both business leaders and employees see the value of working with AI.

Tayag said in a tele-press conference with Manila and Cebu media yesterday that 74% of business leaders say they will “automate tasks and processes to a large/very large extent in the next 3 years.”

Of the number, 97% say “they will use it to augment worker capabilities,” the report pointed out.

“Often people only think of AI boosting growth by substituting humans. But actually, huge value is going to come from the new goods, services and innovations AI will enable,” the Accenture report quoted MIT Economics Professor David Autor as saying.

Lito Tayag Accenture

APPLIED INTELLIGENCE. Lito Tayag, Country Managing Director of Accenture in the Philippines, discusses the key findings and recommendations of the Future Workforce: Reworking the Revolution report in a press conference with Manila and Cebu journalists.

Urgency to invest in training, new IT

Tayag said the report found that workers “are impatient to work with AI,” with 67% saying it is important to develop skills to work with intelligent machines, 62% saying these technologies will have a positive impact on their work, and 45% believing AI will help them do their jobs more efficiently. He cited examples of how employees become more efficient by working with intelligent machines and AI. The openness to develop new skills to work with AI is supported not only by millennials, at 75%, but also baby boomers, at 56%, the report said.

When asked about the PwC Cebu 2017 CEO Survey that showed only 35 percent of Cebu business leaders look at how technology can help in the company’s overall strategic plan, Tayag said the gap “points more to the urgency.”

He said the CeO survey vis-a-vis the Accenture report “highlights the need to actually accelerate even just the basic acceptance of the reality” of what he described as the new IT like AI and machine learning.

“On one hand we are already looking at the implementation, in Cebu they are still looking at the acceptance that this is something important for them to do,” he said.

Tayag said AI and human-machine collaboration are business differentiators that can bolster companies in a disruptive business environment.

“Do you want to risk the disruption that will be brought about by others who are going to do this reworking of processes?” he said.

Accenture Reworking the Revolution

Key recommendations

Tayag said the study found business leaders “underinvesting in skills development” with only 3% of executives planning “to significantly increase investment in skills development in the next 3 years.” He said, however, this could also be the case of businesses already investing heavily in training and no longer planning to “significantly increase” efforts.

“To achieve higher rates of growth in the age of AI, companies need to invest more in equipping their people to work with machines in new ways,” said Mark Knickrehm, group chief executive, Accenture Strategy. “Increasingly, businesses will be judged on their commitment to what we call Applied Intelligence – the ability to rapidly implement intelligent technology and human ingenuity across all parts of their core business to secure this growth.”

Tayag said the report made 3 key recommendations on how leaders can “shape the future workforce in the age of AI.”

1. Reimagine Work by reconfiguring work from the bottom up. Assess tasks, not jobs; then allocate tasks to machines and people, balancing the need to automate work and to elevate people’s capabilities. Nearly half (46 percent) of business leaders agree that job descriptions are already obsolete; 29 percent say they have redesigned jobs extensively.

2. Pivot the Workforce to areas that unlock new forms of value. Go beyond process efficiencies and prepare the workforce to create new customer experiences. Fuel new growth models by reinvesting the savings derived from automation into the future workforce. Foster a new leadership DNA that underpins the mindset, acumen and agility required to seize longer-term, transformational opportunities.

3. Scale up “New Skilling.” Measure the workforce’s level of skills and willingness to learn to work with AI. Using digital platforms, target programs at these different segments of the workforce and personalize them to improve new skills adoption.

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Grab, Samsung to drive digital inclusion in Southeast Asia

Grab, the leading on-demand transportation and mobile payments platform in Southeast Asia, and Samsung Electronics, one of the world’s largest electronics companies, announced that they have signed a multi-year MOU…

Grab, the leading on-demand transportation and mobile payments platform in Southeast Asia, and Samsung Electronics, one of the world’s largest electronics companies, announced that they have signed a multi-year MOU to drive digital inclusion in Southeast Asia.

Grab and Samsung will work together on a wide range of initiatives to bring the benefits of technology, such as enhanced customer experiences and improved income opportunities, to millions of consumers and Grab driver-partners across Southeast Asia.

Grab is the market leader in ride-hailing in Southeast Asia, an industry that is one of the fastest growing Internet services sectors and expected to be a $25 billion market by 2022 in this region. As part of the wide-ranging strategic collaboration, Grab and Samsung will develop customized solutions for the ride-hailing industry, including micro-financing schemes for Grab’s over 2.3 million driver-partners, improved customer booking and in-car experiences, and new mobility solutions.

Grab, Samsung agreement

AGREEMENT. Lee-Sangchul, president and CEO of Samsung-Electronics SEA-Oceania, and Anthony-Tan, Group CEO and co-founder of Grab, shake hands after signing the agreement.

Mobile payments ecosystem

The two companies will also work together to expand into Southeast Asia’s fragmented mobile payments ecosystem and provide a mobile payments solution that will serve the needs of consumers in Southeast Asia.

Anthony Tan, Group CEO and Co-founder, Grab, said, “Southeast Asia is home to the world’s fastest growing emerging markets, yet many in the smaller towns and cities do not have easy access to the growing digital economy. Mobile technology can bridge the infrastructural divide and make economic growth more inclusive. Samsung is one of the world’s most innovative technology companies, and we’re thrilled to partner with them to empower more people in Southeast Asia to improve their livelihoods and provide more digital services for everyone on the Grab platform.”

Sangchul Lee, President and CEO, Samsung Electronics, Southeast Asia & Oceania, said, “Here at Samsung, developing meaningful innovations for the betterment of our consumers’ lives is always at the heart of what we do. We believe in the Internet of Things; the various benefits a more digitally connected world brings, and we are excited to be partnering Grab to provide consumers within the region an enhanced array of digital solutions for their everyday needs. Through this collaboration, we hope to explore how we can work together to tap into the massive growth opportunity of Southeast Asia’s digital economy.”

The strategic collaboration will be rolled out in phases across all countries in Southeast Asia that Grab operates in. In phase 1, Grab and Samsung are offering:

Micro-financing of mobile devices for drivers

More than 2.3 million Grab driver-partners across Southeast Asia will have access to a micro-financing program focused on giving them access to robust mobile technology, which will reduce the cost of purchasing a smartphone and also lower ongoing maintenance costs with superior software and security features. This is part of Grab’s Better 365 program that provides more benefits and cost savings to drivers.

This initiative was piloted in Myanmar in Q4 2017, where only 30% of adults have access to formal financial services, and will soon be rolled out across the region. Currently, drivers in Myanmar who sign up with Grab can purchase and own high-quality Samsung devices and get a micro-loan from CB Bank, one of Myanmar’s largest banks and Grab’s local banking partner, to finance the device. In less than three months of the pilot, more than 1,400 drivers in Myanmar have benefited from this program.

Grab, Samsung financial inclusion

PROGRAM FOR DRIVERS. More than 2.3 million Grab driver-partners across Southeast Asia will have access to a micro-financing program focused on giving them access to robust mobile technology, which will reduce the cost of purchasing a smartphone and also lower ongoing maintenance costs with superior software and security features.

Enhanced customer experience at GrabKiosks and GrabBooths

To make Grab’s services more accessible to commuters and customers in Southeast Asia, Grab will introduce more GrabKiosks and GrabBooths in busy consumer hubs such as shopping malls, hotels and airports. These feature Samsung devices with the Grab enterprise app pre-installed, allowing individuals and concierge services to book a Grab ride for themselves or others, even when they do not have data connectivity.

The Samsung devices are designed for robust everyday use in public spaces. The devices at GrabKiosks and GrabBooths in Indonesia and Myanmar have been installed with Samsung’s Knox enterprise mobile security software, ensuring the information security of Grab’s devices, reducing downtime and maintenance costs, enabling Grab to better serve its customers. This will be rolled out in Vietnam and Singapore in Q1, and other countries in Southeast Asia later in the year.

Infotainment services in selected cars

Grab and its content partners will pilot in-car multimedia services in Singapore, installing Samsung tablets inside cars for customers to view infotainment content, if they choose to, during their ride. This will be piloted throughout Southeast Asia this year.

Grab operates the largest transportation network in Southeast Asia and is one of the most frequently used mobile platforms in the region with over 3.5 million daily rides. The Grab app has been downloaded onto over 77 million mobile devices, giving passengers access to the region’s largest land transportation fleet comprising over 2.3 million drivers. Grab offers private car, motorbike, taxi, and carpooling services across 8 countries and 168 cities in Southeast Asia. (Press Release)

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New Mactan Cebu airport terminal set to open by middle of 2018

Terminal 2 of the Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA) is on track to open as scheduled by July 1 this year, but GMR-Megawide Cebu Airport Corporation (GMCAC) is working to…

Terminal 2 of the Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA) is on track to open as scheduled by July 1 this year, but GMR-Megawide Cebu Airport Corporation (GMCAC) is working to have it ready to operate by the first of June.

In the lead-up to opening day, GMR-Megawide will invite stakeholders to check out and test the facility through a series of activities that will be held from April to June, said chief executive advisor Andrew Acquaah Harrison.

To be invited are representatives from the academe especially engineering students, media, and tourism industry such as those in the hotel, travel, and transport sectors.

There will also be open days when GMCAC, the consortium managing the terminal operations and other related areas of MCIA, will invite members of the general public to register for a tour of the facility, according to branding head JR Torres.

MCIA Terminal 2

CONSTRUCTION UPDATE. Mactan Cebu International Airport Terminal 2 is on track to open as scheduled by July 1 this year.

Terminal 2 features

Harrison added that the new terminal will have three levels with total space of 65,000 square meters and increase the Cebu airport’s passenger capacity to 12.5 million.

It pays tribute to Cebu as a resort island and Cebuano heritage of furniture making in the terminal roof that uses glulam, first ever use of the material in an airport, and mimics ocean waves. Glulam, also called glued laminated timber, is made up of layers of wood bonded together with structural adhesives.

The new terminal will have a spacious and airy atmosphere, featuring ceilings that are 26 meters high and full glass walls. The polished concrete floor will have mother of pearls mixed in so it would sparkle like sand in the sunlight.

Mactan airport Terminal 2

SPARKLING FLOOR. The polished concrete floor will have mother of pearls mixed in so it would sparkle like sand in the sunlight.

Located on a separate floor from the arrival area, the departure level will only have two check-in islands but with several counters.

Increasing passenger traffic

MCIA eyes passenger traffic of 11.2 million in 2018, an increase of 12 percent from last year, with the opening of Terminal 2 and the launch of new flights out of Cebu.

The airport welcomed six additional airlines in 2017, including Air Juan, Juneyao Air, OK Air, Lucky Air, Sichuan Airlines, and Pan Pacific Airlines.

GMCAC credits the positive growth in MCIA’s passenger traffic to its destination marketing initiatives and its positioning of Cebu as gateway to the rest of the Philippines and major transfer hub to international destinations. Harrison said they will continue with their efforts in this direction.

Once the new terminal is operational, Torres said they will start a major renovation of Terminal 1. GMCAC had started initial rehabilitation of the old terminal when it took over management of MCIA and put up a rooftop solar power system that resulted in monthly savings of P1.2 million in electric consumption.

Mactan airport Terminal 2

INCREASED CAPACITY. GMR-Megawide chief executive advisor Andrew Acquaah Harrison says the new terminal will have three levels with total space of 65,000 square meters and increase the Cebu airport’s passenger capacity to 12.5 million.

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Megaworld elevates township standards with tech, design, connectivity

Property giant Megaworld is embarking on a company-wide program to future-proof its developments around the country through the creation of “iTownships.” The company said its 28-year leadership in pioneering the…

Property giant Megaworld is embarking on a company-wide program to future-proof its developments around the country through the creation of “iTownships.”

The company said its 28-year leadership in pioneering the Live-Work-Play concept of property development in the Philippines gave birth to “Townships.” It is elevating the standards by incorporating digital technology, design innovations, and connectivity into its townships.

“We have assigned teams to study how we can seamlessly integrate smart technology and innovations into our townships. In this fast-changing digital world, we see the importance of aligning our developments to quickly adapt to the disruptions, which we perceive as opportunities,” said Kevin L. Tan, Megaworld senior vice president.

Megaworld AG Tower

Megaworld’s AG Tower.

iTownships projects

Among the projects to be implemented under the program include the digitization of customer service and payment processes, integration of smart home technology in residential units, utilization of digital technology and energy-efficient materials in structural designs, creation of Township Operation Centers across all developments which maximizes 24/7 security and safety monitoring and emergency response in every township, urban art installations and creative pedestrian crosswalks, smart parking system including provision for electric vehicle charging in mall developments, among others.

Green and sustainable features will also be at the core of the program. Some of the initiatives that will be implemented include the conversion of old streetlights to LED and solar-powered lights, green roofing for office buildings, provision of vertical green spaces across developments.

Townships of the future

“iTownships will become our new brand in creating the townships of the future. It is about innovation, integration, internet and interconnectivity. Having these features in our townships does not only make our developments ‘future-ready’, but it also allows us to take greater steps towards sustainability and environmental responsibility,” said Tan.

During the last 28 years, the Megaworld Group built over 660 residential developments, 54 office towers and 15 lifestyle malls in 22 townships and integrated lifestyle communities across the Philippines. (Press Release)

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Reward yourself, loved ones with an investment

This year, UTrade gives you another option to reward yourself from working hard – a gift that will be cherished and felt not only during the holidays are but even…

This year, UTrade gives you another option to reward yourself from working hard – a gift that will be cherished and felt not only during the holidays are but even for years to come.

UTrade encourages you to consider giving your loved ones a gift that they can invest and a gift that will grow and contribute to their long-term financial success. How? By giving them the gift of investment – one that will enable and encourage them to invest in the Philippine stock market.

Everyone is invited to join and learn how to begin investing in the stock market with UTrade! Open a UTrade account and start investing in the stock market for only P2,500 instead of the standard P10,000 when you attend seminars during the holiday season in UTrade Cebu office at the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) Cebu office, 2nd floor, Insular Life Building, Cebu Business Centre, Cebu City.

As the online stock trading platform of Unicapital Securities, Inc., UTrade offers the convenience of investing in the Philippine stock market via online trading platform that provides free and easy access to market information that can be accessed from any device using the internet.

This is a chance to learn the basics of stock market investing geared towards making Cebuano young professionals and entrepreneurs appreciate and understand the stock market. These seminars are free. To reserve a slot, message the company on Facebook/UTrade by Unicapital Inc. or send an email to [email protected]. Visit www.utradeph.com to know more about UTrade. You can also contact the Cebu office at (032) 266-6241 or (+63908) 879-9754 or visit us at the 2nd floor, PSE Cebu Office, 2/F Insular Life Building, Cebu Business Center.

UTrade by Unicapital Securities, Inc. is licensed by the SEC and a member of the Philippine Stock Exchange. UTrade is not just a brokerage, it is part of Unicapital Inc. – a full-service investment house that provides a wide array of finance and investment banking-related product lines including underwriting of initial public offerings or IPOs. (Press Release)

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Globe, SM team up for seamless GoWiFi digital experience in Supermalls

Get seamless digital connection while shopping and dining in SM malls nationwide through GoWiFi Auto. The service has been deployed in 34 select SM malls nationwide through the partnership and…

Get seamless digital connection while shopping and dining in SM malls nationwide through GoWiFi Auto. The service has been deployed in 34 select SM malls nationwide through the partnership and collaboration between Globe Telecom and SM Supermalls.

Ernest Cu, president and chief executive officer of Globe Telecom; Hans Sy, chairman of the executive committee of SM Prime; and Willy Ocier, president of Philippine Global Communications, Inc., signed a memorandum of agreement last November 23, 2017 to roll out GoWiFi Auto in SM malls.

“The new GoWiFi access in SM Supermalls is in line with our company’s mission to create wonderful experiences for customers that include premium connectivity even while they are out with their family and friends,” Cu said in a statement.

GoWifiAuto SM

CONNECTIVITY AGREEMENT. (From left) SM Supermalls President Annie Garcia, SM Prime Holdings President Jeffrey Lim, SM Prime Holdings Chairman of the Executive Committee Hans T. Sy, Globe Telecom President and CEO Ernest Cu, and Philippine Global Communications, Inc. President Willy Ocier during the signing of the agreement to deploy GoWiFi Auto in SM malls.

Internet while shopping, dining

He said having GoWiFi access in all 34 SM malls gives customers a swift and dependable option when they connect to the internet while shopping and dining.

Globe GoWiFi Auto is a seamless way to connect to WiFi automatically while in a GoWiFi coverage area. Customers who avail themselves of GoWiFi Auto will be able to connect automatically to the Internet and enjoy uninterrupted browsing without ads, and without having to enter user names and passwords.

GoWiFi Auto also allows customers to connect automatically when moving to other locations within the mall and extends browsing time beyond the free daily time allotted to users.

Free GoWiFi Auto trial

A one-time free trial allows new users to access GoWiFi Auto for three days from the moment of successful activation on the GoWiFi portal. The free 3-day trial promo runs until December 31, 2017.

GoWiFi internet access can be used by Globe and TM customers as well as customers from other networks.

Both prepaid and postpaid users can use the paid premium GoWiFi service where charges can be deducted through their load and postpaid bill.

The partnership signing was witnessed by Globe Telecom executives, including Don Rae, head of the WiFi Business Group; Christopher Cheng, vice president of the WiFi Business Group; Adrian Te, director of the WiFi Business Group, and Dominador Perez, head of rollout and deployment, WiFi Business Group.

Globe GoWiFi Auto

PAID PREMIUM SERVICE. Both prepaid and postpaid users can use the paid premium GoWiFi service and charges can be deducted through their load and postpaid bill.

SM branches with GoWifi Auto

SM top executives who joined Sy included Jeffrey Lim, president of SM Prime, and Annie Garcia, President of SM Supermalls.

The 34 SM malls branches with GoWiFi Auto include: SM Southmall, SM Seaside City Cebu, SM City Cebu, SM City Consolacion, SM City Sucat, SM Center Angono, SM City Novaliches, SM Center Sangandaan, SM City Baguio, SM City Olongapo, SM City Baliwag, SM City Iloilo, SM City San Jose del Monte, SM City Bacolod, SM City Molino, SM Center Pasig, SM Megamall Fashion Hall, SM Aura Premier, SM City San Mateo, SM City Santa Mesa, SM City Cauayan, SM City Masinag, SM City Santa Rosa, SM City San Pablo, SM City Rosales, SM City Tarlac, SM Center Valenzuela, SM City Trece Martires, SM CDO Downtown Premier, SM City Cagayan de Oro, SM City Cabanatuan, SM City Calamba, SM City Puerto Princessa, and SM City San Fernando Downtown. (Press Release)

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AirAsia wins 2 awards at 2017 World Travel Awards

AirAsia has been named the World’s Leading Low-Cost Airline for the 5th year in a row at the 2017 World Travel Awards (WTA) Grand Final in Phu Quoc, Vietnam. AirAsia…

AirAsia has been named the World’s Leading Low-Cost Airline for the 5th year in a row at the 2017 World Travel Awards (WTA) Grand Final in Phu Quoc, Vietnam.

AirAsia topped the category, having received the highest votes from travel professionals and industry players from around the world, beating Southwest Airlines, JetBlue, Ryanair, easyJet, Jetstar Airways, Norwegian Air, West Air, flydubai, Air Arabia, flynas, kulula, Mango and fastjet.

Asia’s largest low-cost carrier by passengers also won the inaugural World’s Leading Low-Cost Airline Cabin Crew award, ahead of the same 13 budget airlines.

The win builds on AirAsia’s success earlier this year when it secured WTA’s first-ever Asia’s Leading Low-Cost Airline Cabin Crew award and in 2015, when it became the first ever low-cost carrier to win Asia’s Leading Cabin Crew, ahead of full-service carriers like Singapore Airlines, Korean Air and Cathay Pacific.

Digitalization journey

AirAsia Group Chief Commercial Officer Siegtraund Teh and AirAsia senior cabin crew Rosita Sulaiman accepted the awards at a gala ceremony held at the JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay in Vietnam.

Also present were AirAsia Berhad Executive Chairman Datuk Kamarudin Meranun, AirAsia Group CEO Tan Sri Tony Fernandes, AirAsia Berhad independent non-executive director Dato’ Fam Lee Ee and AirAsia’s Vietnam joint venture partner Tran Trong Kien.

AirAsia World Travel Awards

AIRASIA AWARDS. AirAsia Group CEO Tan Sri Tony Fernandes (center, left) and AirAsia Berhad Executive Chairman Datuk Kamarudin Meranun with the company’s awards.

“I am very proud to stand here today to receive our fifth WTA World’s Leading Low-Cost Airline award in as many years. I’ve always said we are the world’s true low-cost champion, and I’m thrilled to see I’m not the only one and the industry agrees with me. And we will only get better as we continue on our digitalization journey to better understand what our guests want and to make flying a richer, more enjoyable experience, as we continue to strive to provide world-class service at the lowest fares,” Fernandes said.

Best experience

“An airline is only as good as its people, and we have some of the best. Two years ago, we were named Asia’s Leading Cabin Crew by WTA, beating a field of full-service carriers. Since then, we’ve gone from strength to strength, winning the World’s Leading Inflight Service award in 2016, Asia’s Leading Low-Cost Airline Cabin Crew earlier this year and now, the first ever World’s Leading Low-Cost Airline Cabin Crew award by WTA. This shows our unwavering commitment to excellence and, as the world’s best low-cost carrier, we promise to continue delivering to our guests on board the best experience money can’t buy,” said AirAsia Group Cabin Crew Head Suhaila Hassan said.

The World Travel Awards is one of the most prestigious, comprehensive and sought-after awards program in the global and tourism industry.

Established in 1993 to acknowledge, reward and celebrate excellence across key sectors of travel, tourism and hospitality industries, the World Travel Awards brand is now recognized globally as the ultimate hallmark of industry excellence. (Press Release)

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HMR launches special Visa credit card in partnership with Union Bank

HMR Philippines, Inc. has tied up with Union Bank to launch a co-brand Visa credit card that offers exclusive promos, exciting rewards, and cashback deals to shoppers. What’s even sweeter?…

HMR Philippines, Inc. has tied up with Union Bank to launch a co-brand Visa credit card that offers exclusive promos, exciting rewards, and cashback deals to shoppers.

What’s even sweeter? Union Bank waives annual fees for life for approved applications submitted by January 15, 2018.

Union Bank First Vice President Ana Aboitiz Delgado said during the special Visa card launch last December 1 that HMR is a recent addition to the over 60 companies that have co-brand arrangements with the bank.

HMR Unionbank Visa card

Union Bank First Vice President Ana Aboitiz Delgado (6th from left) leads the launching of the special co-brand Visa card for HMR.

Customer loyalty

The special HMR card will allow shoppers to enjoy 0.5 percent cashback on all retail spend anywhere as well as exclusive deals and promotions at HMR Trading Haus outlets.

Delgado added that the co-brand card is aimed at helping HMR enhance customer loyalty. It is accepted anywhere in the world where Visa is honored, and every P200 retail spend is equivalent to one reward point.

HMR credit card perks

The partnership with Union Bank will allow HMR to offer more to shoppers, according to HMR Philippines, Inc. chief executive officer (CEO) Sam Powell.

Customers with the special HMR Visa card will get 5 percent off on selected HMR items.

Special perks for Union Bank credit card holders during the launch include 50 percent off on gazebo tents, coolers, and director’s chairs. In addition, a 24-piece Wilmington dinner plate set was given free to customers with purchases worth P15,000. HMR also gave away an Aptus 32” tv as raffle prize for credit card applicants last December 1.

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Cebu Link Joint Venture issued Notice of Award for Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway

The Cebu Link Joint Venture (CLJV) has been issued the Notice of Award for the “Design and Build” contract of the 8.5-kilometer Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway (CCLEX), the much-anticipated bridge project…

The Cebu Link Joint Venture (CLJV) has been issued the Notice of Award for the “Design and Build” contract of the 8.5-kilometer Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway (CCLEX), the much-anticipated bridge project that will connect Cebu City to the Municipality of Cordova in the island of Mactan.

CLJV is a joint venture of Spain-based Acciona Construccion S. A., and Philippine-based First Balfour Inc. and D. M. Consunji Inc., all of which have proven track records in major infrastructure projects.

Cebu Cordova Link Expressway Corporation (CCLEC) issued the Notice of Award to CLJV on November 23, 2017 at an agreed contract amount of P22.6 billion.

CCLEX will have two lanes in each direction and will feature the main navigation span bridge, along with viaduct approach bridges, a causeway, roadway and toll facilities.

CCLEC is a subsidiary of Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. (MPTC), the toll road arm of Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (MPIC), a publicly-listed infrastructure holding company. MPTC is the largest toll road concessionaire and operator in the Philippines that has now expanded its business in other Asean countries namely, Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia. The CCLEX is the first of MPTC’s envisioned toll road expansion projects in Visayas and Mindanao.

Acciona’s Ruben Camba, representing the CLJV, said: “We are delighted to be part of this landmark project. We have put together a very experienced team, and are looking forward to working closely together with the customer to deliver a new toll bridge that will benefit both local communities and the Philippines.”

“We are very confident that we can deliver a quality state-of-the-art bridge that will provide not just travel efficiency but also drive economic growth and productivity in the entire Visayas region, and improve the overall welfare of the Cebuanos,” said CCLEC President and General Manager Allan Alfon.

“We are happy to be given this opportunity to bring to Cebu and share with the Cebuanos and the people in the Visayas in general, our company’s expertise in building and operating world-class highways and bridges to create more opportunities and spur economic growth,” MPTC President Rodrigo Franco said.

The CCLEX will give Cordova direct access to Cebu City and is envisioned to decongest the traffic in the two existing bridges between Mactan and Cebu.

CCLEC will build, operate and maintain the toll bridge through a joint venture agreement with the local governments of Cebu City and Cordova Municipality.

CCLEX will have two lanes in each direction and will feature the main navigation span bridge, along with viaduct approach bridges, a causeway, roadway and toll facilities. The span of the bridge allows for shipping traffic and the link is expected to serve at least 40,000 vehicles daily. It will give Cordova direct access to Cebu City and is envisioned to decongest the traffic in the two existing bridges between Mactan and Cebu.

President Rodrigo Duterte led the groundbreaking for the project in Cordova, Cebu last March 2, 2017. (Press Release)

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GCash launches Scan to Pay QR code payments in Ayala Center Cebu

You can now pay 50 stores in Ayala Center Cebu just by scanning a code via your phone using the GCash mobile app. The digital and cashless Scan To Code…

You can now pay 50 stores in Ayala Center Cebu just by scanning a code via your phone using the GCash mobile app.

The digital and cashless Scan To Code payment system was launched yesterday afternoon by Globe president and CEO Ernest Cu, who bought coffee and pastries in Abaca Baking Company by scanning a QR or quick response code near the cash register area.

Among the 50 stores that can accept payments via QR code scanning are Bo’s Coffee, Chika-an, Casa Verde, and Rose Pharmacy. By the end of the year, more than 100 stores will be able to use this payment option, the company said.

GCash scan to pay

SCAN TO PAY. Globe president and CEO Ernest Cu scans a QR code with his GCash app to pay for the coffee and pastries he bought from the Abaca Baking Company in Ayala Center Cebu.

Easy to set up

Officials said it is easy for vendors to integrate the payment system since all they need is the QR code.

“The people who have used it are amazed at the speed, amazed at the convenience of it,” Cu said in an interview during the launch. He flew into Cebu from Davao, where they also launched the system by partnering with the NCCC supermarket chain.

To pay using the system in partner stores, customers just need to open the GCash app then tap Pay QR, then choose Scan QR and then point the camera at the QR Code near the cash register then tap Pay.

“It is high time that our customers at Ayala Center Cebu experience the convenience of cashless transactions and offer scan to pay with GCash. This way, more people will have hassle-free options in making their transactions as they shop or dine at the mall,” said Ayala Center Cebu general manager Bong Dy.

Before the launch, Globe gave journalists and bloggers a preview on how to set up GCash and use the app to buy cellphone load. GCash allows its users to shop online, pay bills, and send money through the app.

GCash Scan to Pay

LAUNCHING. Globe president and CEO Ernest Cu answer questions of Cebu reporters during the launch of GCash Scan To Pay in Ayala Center Cebu.

Digital payments convenience

Cu highlighted the convenience of digital payments, saying cash “is a real burden for both the merchant and the buyer.”

“I heard a chain of 70 stores in the food business saying they accumulate 2 million pesos worth of coins before Christmas because they are afraid to run out. That’s a problem we need to solve,” he said.

Cu said he is “very confident” people will eventually adopt digital payments “because it solves a problem.”

“I personally have been using GCash for 4 years now. We started in the Globe tower. There was resistance in the beginning but then people used it and there was 99 percent satisfaction rating among employees,” he said.

Analytics for vendors

For merchants, satisfaction is even higher, said Cu.

“When merchants start the day, they just open up. There’s no need to prepare the cash register. And they get analytics, when is your heaviest transaction time? We can finetune the way we curate the vendors or the partners inside our food hall. Alam namin kung sinong malakas kung sinong mahina. Alam namin kung sinong malakas at the certain time of the day. We can do those analytics for them,” he said. “Which guy buys the most from you? Who are your repeat customers? You wanna do a campaign for them? Pwede rin. So many things we can do.”

He said digital payments create opportunities, especially for small business. “When I say small, I mean really small, kasi remember the GCash payment can be enabled for even your balut vendor, your cigarette vendor, your mais vendor. Kasi it requires no POS, just that particular QR code. That’s all you need,” Cu said.

He said the important challenge is to solve problems on cashing in. He said a key funder of GCash accounts are the more than 300,000 employees who receive their pay via the system.

GCash Scan to Pay QR Code

GCASH APP. You can Scan To Pay via the GCash mobile app.

Financial inclusion

Another key challenge is to raise awareness, he said.

“But we will hit the inflection point and it becomes the de facto standard of payment. I mean it happened in China, there was acceleration. It happened in India. Smartphones are coming with lower prices. A P3,000 gets you a decent Android now, which can make this happen,” Cu said.

He said the system is also a way to increase financial inclusion.

“As we gain records of your financial transactions, we are now able to give you a credit score. Together with your telco transactions, we can loan money in micro amounts, automatically. And say because of your transaction record you’re eligible for a loan of X pesos. You can also pay back through GCash. That way you don’t even have to enter a bank,” Cu said.

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