Re/Discovering Cebu, one story at a time

Globe Telecom signs P5B and $45M term loan with Metrobank

Globe Telecom, Inc. signed a 10-year P5 billion and 7-year $45 million term loan with Metrobank. The loans will be used to finance Globe’s capital expenditures.

Globe Telecom, Inc. signed a 10-year P5 billion and 7-year $45 million term loan with Metrobank. The loans will be used to finance Globe’s capital expenditures.

“This new loan facility from Metrobank will help us address the demands of our customers in their continuing shift to a digital lifestyle. Globe is committed to invest in additional network capacities to handle the robust growth in data traffic from our customers,” said Globe chief financial officer Alberto de Larrazabal.

Globe invested about P11.4 Billion in capital expenditures in the first half of 2015. Bulk of the investment was allocated to data-related projects, including investments for the company’s broadband network, capacities for wireless data, LTE, and domestic and international transmission facilities.

Record revenues

Globe Telecom, Inc. closed the first half of 2015 with record-level consolidated service revenues of P53.8 billion, 13% higher than the P47.7 billion reported a year ago, on the strength of robust revenue gains on mobile data and broadband, as more customers adopt a digital lifestyle. On a sequential basis, Globe posted its highest ever consolidated service revenues of P27.6 Billion for the second quarter of the year, outpacing both the record-level revenues in the seasonally strong fourth quarter of 2014 of P26.3 billion and last quarter’s P26.2 billion by 5%.

Aside from the growing number of smartphone users in the Globe network, sustained emergence of various products and services that include OTT applications, music, video streaming, gaming and social media also provided support for the company’s mobile data business. Various partnerships with global digital giants such as Facebook, Viber, Spotify, NBA and HOOQ enabled the company to build a portfolio of products and services that provide relevant content to fit its customers’ digital lifestyle. This allowed the company to continue capitalizing on these partnerships to further seed data adoption among its customers.

Mobile data

Globe strengthened its leadership in mobile data business after it registered in the January-June period P9.5 billion in mobile browsing and other data revenues, a 53% growth from previous year’s level of P6.2 billion in the first six months of the year.

This achievement brought the contribution of mobile data revenues to 23% of total mobile revenues as of 1st half of 2015, coming from 16% the previous year. With mobile data business growing at a rapid pace, data users from overall Globe mobile customer base grew to 37% during the same period, a substantial increase from previous year’s 17%. Wireless data traffic in the Globe network also increased by 82% year-on-year with the growing number of smartphone users and applications that leverage the internet.

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Primary Homes unveils residential project Solare within Mactan tourism hub

Right within the tourism mecca of Maribago in Mactan with its beach resorts that serve as the hub for such water activities as snorkeling, diving, parasailing and jet skiing, top property developer Primary Homes, Inc. unveiled recently another master-planned residential community called Solare.

Right within the tourism mecca of Maribago in Mactan with its beach resorts that serve as the hub for such water activities as snorkeling, diving, parasailing and jet skiing, top property developer Primary Homes, Inc. unveiled recently another master-planned residential community called Solare.

The development, which caters to the middle market bracket, is made up of a total of 139 single detached houses in four different designs, said Primary Homes vice president for sales and marketing Ramero Espina.

Solare is open and expansive as it sits on a 3.5-hectare property along Buyong Road in Barangay Maribago, Lapu-Lapu City. Nearby landmarks include the Tambuli Beach Resort, Bluewater Maribago Beach Resort, and Cebu White Sands Resort and Spa. The residential community is a few minutes away from the Mactan Newtown and several other commercial areas.

Solare Mactan

Palacios Grande is an 87-square meter 4-bedroom house with a lot area of 120 square meters.

Built with family in mind

“Breathing life to our tagline ‘Live the Bright Life,’ we’ve built Solare with the family in mind. We have incorporated into the development many amenities that promote the celebration of life’s special moments,” Espina added.

The residential community has easy access to major facilities and establishments, from the airport to hospitals to malls, in Mactan, he pointed out.

Espina said owning a unit at Solare does not have to cost a fortune, as it offers a wide range of housing choices with prices ranging from P2.5 million to P4.5 million and flexible payment schemes.

At this stage in the development, around 10 percent of Solare units are covered by letters of intent (LOI) from prospective customers.

Housing demand to continue

With Cebu’s economic development growing more than the national average, buoyed by rapid growths in the tourism, business process outsourcing (BPO), and manufacturing sectors, Espina said the housing demand would continue to rise.

“In Cebu, there is a big influx of workers and the same is true for Mactan. Many of them are middle-income earners. They will need homes here,” Espina added.

A Primary Homes statement said Solare is the ideal home for professionals working in manufacturing and BPO companies at the Mactan Ecozones, overseas Filipino workers, retirees, investors, and foreigners with Filipino spouses. Units are scheduled for turnover to buyers by the fourth quarter of 2017.

Solare Mactan

Hermoso is an 81-square meter 3-bedroom house with lot area of 180 square meters.

 

Solare units

Available Solare units include Hidalgo Royale, a 45-square meter 2-bedroom house with lot area of 120 square meters; Hermoso, an 81-square meter 3-bedroom house with lot area of 180 square meters; Turriano, a 56-square meter 3-bedroom house with lot area of 120 square meters; and Palacios Grande, an 87-square meter 4-bedroom house with lot area of 120 square meters.

Solare homes are Mediterranean-inspired with Spanish-tiled canopies and arched window molding. Finished units already have tiled floors, bedroom closets, kitchen counter with sink, bathroom fixtures, built-in cabinets and come with landscaped front garden and carport.

Subdivision amenities include a multipurpose hall, basketball court, selected landscaped sites, and play area.

Solare Mactan

Primary Homes “built Solare with the family in mind,” said vice president for sales and marketing Ramero Espina.

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Smart gives free rides, in-car WiFi in partnership with Uber

Smart subscribers in Metro Manila can now gear up for a sleeker and more convenient ride through the city as the country’s undisputed mobile services provider is giving away free rides on Uber, the world’s leading ride-sharing tech company.

Smart subscribers in Metro Manila can now gear up for a sleeker and more convenient ride through the city as the country’s undisputed mobile services provider is giving away free rides on Uber, the world’s leading ride-sharing tech company.

As an exclusive treat, Smart is giving away two free Uber rides – worth P300 each – to Metro Manila-based subscribers who are also first time-users of the Uber app. The rides can be used anywhere within Metro Manila from now until Sept. 30.

To avail yourself of Smart’s free Uber rides, simply visit www.smart.com.ph/uber and register your Smart number. Upon successful registration, you shall receive a Promo Code which you can input on the Uber app before requesting a ride.

Free in-car Smart WiFi on Uber rides

This exciting promo comes with Smart and Uber’s groundbreaking partnership that will allow Uber passengers to enjoy free in-car Smart WiFi – a first in Southeast Asia.

With free in-car Smart WiFi on Uber rides, more Filipinos can now experience the Smart Life even while stuck in traffic or breezing through the metro. This means you can now update your social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and stay productive by accessing your work and personal email on the way to work or school.

The snarling rush hour traffic on the way home can also be a bit more bearable now that you can stream your road trip music on Spinnr and catch your favorite sport and Fox shows on Viewstream, or even binge-watch trending series and shows on iFlix and YouTube – all in the comfort of your Smart WiFi-powered Uber car.

“Uber and Smart share the same vision – a world where transportation is smarter and more convenient to passengers. By powering Uber cars with free Smart WiFi, we are able to bring the Smart Life experience to more Filipinos who can now stay productive and entertained while rushing to work or school, heading to the mall or on the way back home after a long day,” said Ariel P. Fermin, executive vice president and head for consumer business for both PLDT and Smart.

More exclusive Uber perks for Smart subscribers

Uber’s free in-car Smart WiFi will be available initially in select Uber Black vehicles and will be rolled out in other Uber vehicles over the next few months. Smart is also set to introduce exclusive voice and data packages, bundles and add-ons for Uber partner drivers, as well as offer special promotions, discounts and on-demand experiences for subscribers.

Experience the Smart Life on the road now by downloading the Uber app on Google Play Store, App Store and Microsoft Store for free. Also follow Smart’s official accounts on Facebook and Twitter @SMARTCares for the latest promos and services. (Press Release)

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PLDT boosts data connections for APEC meetings in Cebu

Leading telecoms and digital services provider PLDT has stepped up its efforts to provide internet services for the meetings being held by Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) delegates in Cebu City….

Leading telecoms and digital services provider PLDT has stepped up its efforts to provide internet services for the meetings being held by Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) delegates in Cebu City.

PLDT has strengthened its network coverage by deploying up to 100-mbps connectivity at Cebu’s premier hotels where the key APEC committee conferences are being held. These include the Waterfront Hotel, Marriott Hotel, Radisson Blu Hotel, and Movenpick Hotel.

Free Smart WiFi

PLDT’s wireless subsidiary Smart Communications is also providing free Smart WiFi connectivity at the Cebu international and domestic airports to accommodate the influx of diplomats and officials arriving for the APEC meetings.

“With the Philippines hosting this year’s APEC meetings, we at PLDT have taken steps to ensure that these events have the internet connectivity the delegates need to do their work,” said PLDT President and CEO Napoleon L. Nazareno.

Showcase PH capabilities

“We want to help showcase the Philippines’ capabilities to host the APEC Summit,” he added.

Spread out over three weeks, the APEC consultations in Cebu will culminate with the Senior Officials and Finance Ministerial Meetings on September 9 to 11. The discussions cover trade and investment liberalization, business facilitation, and economic cooperation within the Asia-Pacific region.

On September 5-6, the Senior Official’s Meeting was held. The SOM is traditionally is the most heavily-attended meeting because it brings together various APEC Working Groups, Sub-fora and Committees where Vice Ministers and Directors General will endorse initiatives that aim to make the region more dynamic, resilient, and inclusive.

Key issues

Specific issues tackled included illegal logging, mining, health, counter-terrorism, food safety, intellectual property rights, standards and conformance, sustainability of cities, disaster risk management, among others.

The SOM will be followed by two ministerial-level meetings: the Structural Reform Ministerial Meeting (SRMM) on 7-8 September 2015 and the Finance Ministerial Meeting (FMM) on 9-11 September 2015.

These meetings continue to focus on this year’s four priorities of APEC under the overarching theme of “Building Economies, Building a Better World,” through enhancing regional economic integration; fostering MSMEs’ participation in regional and global markets. (Press Release)

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Security Bank BetterBanking campaign wins Best Brand Program at Bank Marketing Awards

Security Bank Corporation (SBC) bagged the award for Best Brand Program in the first-ever Bank Marketing Awards (BMA) organized by the Bank Marketing Association of the Philippines (BMAP). The event, which was attended by senior executive officers and leaders of BMAP member-banks, was held on August 28 at the Jonathan Y. Dy Hall of SBC’s head office in Ayala Avenue.

Security Bank Corporation (SBC) bagged the award for Best Brand Program in the first-ever Bank Marketing Awards (BMA) organized by the Bank Marketing Association of the Philippines (BMAP). The event, which was attended by senior executive officers and leaders of BMAP member-banks, was held on August 28 at the Jonathan Y. Dy Hall of SBC’s head office in Ayala Avenue.

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Amando M. Tetangco, Jr. was keynote speaker during the event.

Rebranding initiative

SBC won the coveted Best Brand Program award for its rebranding initiative in 2014 with an integrated marketing and multi-media advertising campaign that introduced a revitalized brand identity and the new service promise of BetterBanking.

The campaign is in line with the bank’s move to strengthen its retail banking business, which entailed process improvements and product and service innovations that created a customer-centric banking experience for its clients.

SBC President and CEO Alfonso Salcedo, Jr. cited collaboration and focus as key factors that determined the campaign’s success.

Collaboration

“This award is the fruit of the collaborative efforts of the different groups in our organization,” he said. “The success of the campaign is the product of our collective ability to translate strategy and creative ideas into results through proper execution, focusing on our commitment to deliver a superior customer experience.”

Nominees also vied for awards in the following categories: Best Product Program, Best Electronic Delivery Channel, Best Program in Social Media, Best Financial Inclusion Program, and Best Kiddie Savings Program. For each of the six categories, entries were meticulously screened and scored based on a criterion of strategy, execution, creativity, and results.

Other awards

Judges were composed of independent marketing experts which included renowned professionals in their respective fields; namely, Cultural Center of the Philippines Chairperson Emily Abrera, BSP Director for Corporate Affairs Fe dela Cruz, past BMAP President and current BSP consultant Max Edralin, Asian Banker Associate Director Christian Kapfer, and marketing guru Dr. Ned Roberto.

SBC’s rebranding campaign also made distinctions recently in the Asian Banking & Finance (ABF) Awards 2015 when it took home the award for ‘Philippines Advertising Campaign of the Year’ (Retail Banking Awards). ABF also recognized SBC as ‘Philippines Domestic Foreign Exchange Bank of the Year’ (Wholesale Banking Awards). The bank is pursuing long-term plans to expand its retail banking business while continually upholding its brand promise of BetterBanking. (Press Release)

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The Courtyards at Brookridge combines best of modern, rustic living

Landscaped gardens, walk-up flats, and modern comforts, The Courtyards at Brookridge redefines condominium living in Cebu. This condominium community in Happy Valley, a premium residential location in Cebu City, will have a total of 10 building clusters, each with 20 to 25 units.

Landscaped gardens, walk-up flats, and modern comforts, The Courtyards at Brookridge redefines condominium living in Cebu.

This condominium community in Happy Valley, a premium residential location in Cebu City, will have a total of 10 building clusters, each with 20 to 25 units.

It is the second low density condominium project of Primary Homes, Inc. after The Courtyards at Banawa, a P300-million development that introduced Cebu’s first “walk-up” units.

The units are targeted for people who feel confined in medium-rise to high-rise buildings, said Primary Homes vice president for sales and marketing Ramero Espina.

It is also for those who want to cash in on the booming property rental business by investing in a unit or units at The Courtyards in Brookridge, he added, citing that there are a lot of students not from Cebu but studying here who need a place to stay.

The Courtyards at Brookridge clusters

Clusters A, B, and C will have three floors while Clusters D to J of The Courtyards at Brookridge will have four floors.

Potential buyers can choose from studio to two-bedroom units that range in size from 14 to 59 square meters. Finished condo units already have painted walls, partitions and ceiling, tiled floors, tiled toilet and bath with bathroom fixtures, provision for a water heater in the shower, kitchen sink and countertop as well as cabinets.

Except for the studios, all other units have service areas for a washing machine and dryer. Some one-bedroom and two-bedroom units come with their own balconies, from where one can best enjoy the greenery.

 

The Courtyards at Brookridge. Potential buyers can choose from studio to two-bedroom units that range in size from 14 to 59 square meters.

The Courtyards at Brookridge. Potential buyers can choose from studio to two-bedroom units that range in size from 14 to 59 square meters.

 

Each building cluster gets its own open courtyard with manicured gardens, mini-playground, and strolling lane. It also comes with its own fire detection and alarm system and a back-up power generator so condo owners need not suffer from outages.

Additional amenities for the whole condominium community include a swimming pool and clubhouse, pedestrian bridge, shooting hoops, and wastewater treatment facility.

Modern comforts

Located at the heart of urban Cebu City, the community has close access to medical centers such as Chong Hua Hospital and Cebu Doctors’ Hospital, malls and convenience stores like Paseo Arcenas, One Pavilion, 7-eleven and Mini-Stop, churches, as well as big colleges and universities.

SALES PROMO. The Courtyards at Brookridge is offering a great BER deal promo with payments start at P7,000 per month.

SALES PROMO. The Courtyards at Brookridge is offering a great BER deal promo with payments start at P7,000 per month.

 

The Courtyards is not just a name, it is a way of life that’s open and free. It comes with all the modern comforts of a home right in the middle of the urban action but still with the breathing spaces of a rustic retreat.

Live in a home that’s less than 30 minutes from the business, shopping, and academic centers without missing on the goodness of fresh air and lush greens that only nature can provide.

You can have the best of both rustic and modern worlds from your home in The Courtyards at Brookridge.

PROMO ALERT:

The Courtyards at Brookridge is offering a great BER deal promo. Payments start at P7,000 per month. To know more about the low monthly payments call the company at +6332 254 7188

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BPI opens auto, housing, and lifestyle event at Ayala Center Cebu

BPI makes it easy for Cebuanos to avail themselves of bank products and services during its ongoing Auto, Housing, and Lifestyle Madness event at Ayala Center Cebu. The bank brings the whole range of its financial services – from account opening and deposits to personal and business loans – in one place from September 3-6, 2015 for the convenience of Cebu residents, said BPI-Cebu Capitol Cluster relationship manager Maximo Rey S. Eleccion.

BPI makes it easy for Cebuanos to avail themselves of bank products and services during its ongoing Auto, Housing, and Lifestyle Madness event at Ayala Center Cebu.

The bank brings the whole range of its financial services – from account opening and deposits to personal and business loans – in one place from September 3-6, 2015 for the convenience of Cebu residents, said BPI-Cebu Capitol Cluster relationship manager Maximo Rey S. Eleccion.

For 2015, he added, BPI has set aside a total of P11 billion for consumer loans, including credit card, auto, personal, and housing loans, for the Cebu Business Center, which covers Cebu and the cities of Tagbilaran, Tacloban, and Ormoc.

“BPI has had a long and lively relationship with Cebu, and since Cebu City is at the heart of the Visayas and is accessible to everyone in the region, the Lifestyle Madness will always be here,” said Cebu and Eastern Visayas area business director Joseph Sidney Quimbo in a press statement.

BPI consumer loans

The bank has partnered with the country’s top automotive, real estate, franchising, and electronic brands to give Cebu and the rest of the Visayas the convenience of a one-stop-shop “for a new car or house, new business, new investment opportunities, or simply a lifestyle upgrade.”

Eleccion explained that anyone planning to buy a new car can pick from a variety of brands and even get lower rates or freebies when they take out an auto loan during the Lifestyle Madness event.

In terms of interest rates and appraisal, BPI’s housing loan is one of the most competitive in the industry, he cited, adding this is made possible by their partnership with several of the top property development companies.

At the same time, BPI is waiving the annual membership fee for life of credit cards applied for at the Auto, Housing, and Lifestyle Madness fair, Eleccion added. Other products the bank is offering during the event: BPI Family Ka-Negosyo franchising loans, asset management, zero percent installment plans or buy now, pay later options for gadgets and appliances.

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PLDT, Smart boost open Wifi access in Cebu airport, key hotels for Asian Carriers Conference 2015

LEADING telecoms and multimedia service provider PLDT, through its wireless subsidiary Smart Communications, is boosting its Smart Wifi connectivity services covering Mactan international and domestic airports in Cebu and the city’s premiere hotels to accommodate the influx of international and local delegates attending the Asian Carriers Conference (ACC) this year from September 1 to 4.

LEADING telecoms and multimedia service provider PLDT, through its wireless subsidiary Smart Communications, is boosting its Smart Wifi connectivity services covering Mactan international and domestic airports in Cebu and the city’s premiere hotels to accommodate the influx of international and local delegates attending the Asian Carriers Conference (ACC) this year from September 1 to 4.

Delegates can access free Wifi connectivity through Smart-powered access points in the primary areas of the International and Domestic airport including the airport’s entrance, waiting lounges, pre-departure and check-in areas, and Mabuhay lounge.

Guests will also be able to access free Smart Wifi at the Shangri-La in Mactan and Marco Polo Plaza in Cebu City, while LTE and 3G Smart signals have also been enhanced to complement the wireless connectivity in these areas for Smart subscribers.

International gathering

“ACC has become an international avenue for hundreds of global industry leaders from the wholesale fixed and mobile carriers to discuss and share the latest technologies, breakthroughs, and trends in the telecoms field,” said PLDT and Smart President and CEO Napoleon Nazareno. “Through this initiative, we are supporting Cebu’s efforts to build its position as a vital business hub with enhanced connectivity services.

ACC 2015 is anticipated to exceed the number of participants last year which drew in almost 1,500 guests flying in from 45 countries and local carriers and service providers who are constantly utilizing the local connectivity to communicate to their headquarters.

Supporting events

PLDT and Smart have long been supporting local celebrations and international events in Cebu providing the region the resilient and robust communications systems for its residents, business establishments, and tourists flying in to the city including the Sinulog Festival which draws millions of tourists every year.

This year’s ACC also closely coincides with the Senior Officials Meeting and scheduled Ministerial meetings of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) where more than 2,000 officials from the participating countries will gather in Cebu. (Press Release)

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People ‘aren’t talking anymore’ and telcos are worried

People have made the shift to data connectivity and it is time for carriers to change the way they perceive their roles and move beyond connectivity, Hot Telecoms president Isabelle Paradis said in Tuesday’s opening of the 11th Asian Carriers Conference (ACC) in Shangri-La Mactan Resort and Spa in Lapu-Lapu City.

People have made the shift to data connectivity and it is time for carriers to change the way they perceive their roles and move beyond connectivity, Hot Telecoms president Isabelle Paradis said in Tuesday’s opening of the 11th Asian Carriers Conference (ACC) in Shangri-La Mactan Resort and Spa in Lapu-Lapu City.

Voice, however, is the foundation of the whole industry and the shift away from the traditional and lucrative “voice calling services” is a threat that must be addressed, said Disruptive Views editor Tony Poulos.

In her presentation “Above and beyond connectivity,” Paradis said the world “is going into a new era and carriers have to evolve with it in order to survive.”

Voice is not dead …. yet

“Until up to recently, carriers were busy connecting specific services,” she said, “now it’s all about connecting individuals and meeting their specific requirements.”

While she said that voice is not dead, she added and stressed “yet.” She said the introduction of the Internet into the handset has created new technology, new services, new competitors and new requirements. It also created a new type of user: the “me, me, me generation.”

“Now everything is about me, what I want and I have the power to get it,” she said.

Everything wireless, IP and data

Paradis said service providers have ceded control to users, who want “everything wireless, everything IP and everything data.” The challenge is that users “want everything for free” and they want them anywhere and at any time.

She said people have already made the shift away from voice. Now, data has become the basis of communication and voice is just one part of it. We can do all that we want with data and if people feel they want to talk to someone, they can call them using data.

Paradis cited a survey that said 64% of 4G users prefer to have access to data instead of voice in times of emergencies.

She said that from being just communication tools, mobile devices have evolve into entertainment devices and will soon be a digital lifestyle device.

Asian Carriers Conference Isabelle Paradis

SHIFT TO DATA. Hot Telecoms president Isabelle Paradis says consumers have made the shift from voice services to data and telcos have to evolve in order to survive.

Voice is a ‘wonderful thing’

Poulos, on the other hand, said telcos had it good with voice services.

“Voice has been the same but we managed to present it differently, we billed it differently. How did it work out that the longer the call distance was, the more we could charge for it? It is a wonderful thing,” he said.

“If you were a hundred miles from the power station or a thousand miles from the power station you still pay the same electricity, it’s the same with gas but in the telephone industry, we managed to charge people more because they were a longer distance away. We were very clever,” he said.

But then things change when smartphones arrived and so-called over-the-top services and products rose.

Threat or opportunity?

While companies like PLDT and Smart Communications, Inc. work with and see OTT players as a business opportunity, some view them as threats.

“Many in the industry are terrified of these people and don’t actually want to talk to them, they want to keep away from them and for some reason they’re not here at our ACC event. It makes you wonder why they are not here. Because if we were so relevant for them running their business, then perhaps they should come along and have a chat with us.”

Poulos said issues on security and privacy on mobile can be a potential new area of business for telcos.

But, he asked, with “people talking less and applications taking over,” are telcos losing control of their networks?

“I’d like to know why we can’t make money like the utilities do. When you buy water from the utility, you pay for the amount of water you use, when you get electricity you pay for the amount of electricity you use. What do we do? We give it away, we created this monster. We allowed people to access data for a set price per year,” he said.

They need our networks

Telcos, he said, should be making money out of data and from OTT players.

“They need our networks. We can provide the thing that they need. None of the OTTs can survive without our networks. We have seamless delivery, we can do quality of service, we can bill for the stuff and they need that,” he said.

He proposed to differentiate connectivity into various service standards. “We can sell gold quality standard to companies that need high bandwidth such as those for videos,” he said.

Internet of Things challenge

“Don’t think videos will be about people watching movies, the problem of the Internet of things is that every monitor or surveillance camera in the world is now connected to the internet and that’s the video that’s gonna clog our networks,” Poulos said.

But net neutrality legislation will stop telcos from doing this, he said.

“Maybe we should change emphasis from constantly improving our networks to improving or even controlling the technology that uses and abuses those networks. Maybe that’s what we should be spending our money on or doing our innovation,” he said.

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Telcos need to transform into platforms for digital services: PLDT president

Although networks remain a core business for carriers, these are no longer enough for them to thrive in the digital age, PLDT president and chief executive officer Napoleon L. Nazareno said during the opening of the 11th Asian Carriers Conference at the Shangri-la Mactan Resort and Spa in Lapu-Lapu City. “We need to go beyond that to survive and thrive,” Nazareno said.

Although networks remain a core business for carriers, these are no longer enough for them to thrive in the digital age, PLDT president and chief executive officer Napoleon L. Nazareno said during the opening of the 11th Asian Carriers Conference at the Shangri-la Mactan Resort and Spa in Lapu-Lapu City.

“We need to go beyond that to survive and thrive,” Nazareno said.

He said today’s telcos, as with every major industry in the world, have to operate in an environment reshaped and disrupted by digital technologies. He said there is a profound change in the lives and livelihood of people brought about by the widespread move to mobile.

The increasing availability of powerful and yet affordable smartphones “has made it possible to put the magic of the Internet in the hands of more and more people,” Nazareno said.

Mobile, Nazareno quoted the GSMA Mobile Economy Report 2015, “is at the heart of the new digital ecosystem.”

“Indeed, mobile penetration has soared from just about 20% of the population 10 years ago to 50% by 2014. This is expected to further increase to nearly 60% in 2020,” he said.

Massive network investment

That shift, however, requires telecommunications companies to build and run extensive, ubiquitous, and robust data networks.

He said carriers globally are “stepping up to this task.” Mobile broadband or 3G and 4G account for 40% of total connections in 2014 and will increase to 70% by 2020. Mobile operators, Nazareno quoted a 2015 GSM Association report, “will invest US$1.4 trillion in networks until 2020 to support a data-driven future.”

That, he said, is the traditional role of carriers.

He said Internet companies like Google, Facebook, and Apple, “have balance sheets that dwarf those of telecom companies.”

Today, there is an opportunity for carriers “to transform themselves into platforms for delivering new digital services – both their own and those of other players in the digital ecosystem,” Nazareno said.

Compelling content and solutions

“The name of the game is compelling digital content and powerful digital solutions,” he said, adding that these are the ones that drive customer engagement and generate revenues.

Nazareno said PLDT is undergoing “digital diversification by partnering with global digital content and solutions companies” and investing in them or setting up joint ventures “in ancillary businesses that add value to our core network business.”

“We are putting not only money, but also our own innovations into these joint ventures,” Nazareno said.

ACC Napoleon Nazareno Smart TechnoCart

TECH IN EDUCATION. PLDT president and chief executive officer Napoleon L. Nazareno (center) with Smart officials and teachers from Lapu-Lapu City schools that are recipients of the latest batch of Smart TechnoCart units, an education package that contains a laptop, projector, portable WiFi and tablets for use in classrooms. (See separate story.)

 

Partnership, investments

He said that it was this approach that spurred them to invest in global e-commerce group Rocket Internet. “Alongside that investment, we are setting up with Rocket Internet a joint venture e-payments company that will use our award-winning Smart Money platform. This e-payments service will help power the growth of Rocket Internet’s e-commerce businesses in the Philippines and emerging markets all over the world where the majority of consumers are uncarded and unbanked,” he said.

Nazareno said PLDT has also partnered with companies like Fox and Disney and invested in iFlix as part of its digital diversification.

Enrich connections

The company has also undertaken projects that provide government digital solutions for development work, such as one with the Department Of Agriculture that involved distributing tablets with an app that “enabled municipal agriculture officers to quickly and efficiently calculate and report the fishing capacity of the boats of small fishermen all over the country.”

“As telecom companies, we are here not just to provide connectivity in the digital economy but more importantly, to enrich connections that improve the quality of life of our people,” Nazareno said.

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Launch of Philippine Startup Roadmap just the start: GOAB organizer

The Philippine Startup Roadmap, launched at the just-concluded third Geeks on a Beach (GOAB) in Boracay, looks forward to spawning 500 startups with an estimated cumulative valuation of $2 billion by 2020.

The Philippine Startup Roadmap, launched at the just-concluded third Geeks on a Beach (GOAB) in Boracay, looks forward to spawning 500 startups with an estimated cumulative valuation of $2 billion by 2020.

Deputy Executive Director Mon Ibrahim of the Department of Science ande Technology-Information Communication Technology Office (DOST-ICTO) led the launch of the roadmap, which he described as a list of what the Philippine startup community needs to do. The roadmap declares that its “main goal is to produce the next billion dollar tech startup from the Philippines.”

“The launch of the roadmap is just the beginning,” said Tina Amper of TechTalks.ph, the community that organized the annual Geeks on a Beach conference.

Next steps are critical

“The next steps of implementing, funding and constant collaborating are critical to positive impact to the Philippine economy,” she said. Amper said GOAB 2015 generated inquiries to take GOAB to other parts of the country.

“We are open to partnering with like-minded companies who can bring this happiness business to other parts of the world,” Amper said.

According to Amper, “Year 3 produced lots of positive feedback from participants about connections made, lessons learned, dreams re-discovered, and passions stirred.”

Partners

“We are so honored to work with some of the best in the country and the world during GOAB3. With the solid support of our co-organizer DOST-ICTO and the groundbreaking launch of the Philippine Startup Roadmap, TechTalks.ph feels a sense of accomplishment in participating in this collaborative effort to uplift our startup founders and aspiring entrepreneurs, she said.

Amper also expressed thanks for the support of the co-presenters: IdeaSpace.ph, Smart Communications, Smart DevNet, SmartBro and PLDT Innolab. With their anchor sponsorship, they provide GOAB3 with seed money to start organizing the event long before the audience hears about it.

Strategic partners include Sym.ph, Happy Garaje, PRWorks and Third Team Media with AirAsia, Amazon Web Services, 1337 Ventures, A-Space, Ipanema, Monk’s Hill Ventures, Plug and Play Tech Center, Mingle, One Pouch, Microsoft, Islands, Salarium, Pascual Pharma Corp., Frontier Ventures, RTI International and USAID-STRIDE, Metro Drug Inc., GT Cosmetics Manufacturing, Synacy, Kickstart, STAC-Silicon Valley, Istorya.net, Department of Tourism Region VI, Chef on Demand, RC Victory World Trading Inc., Medifi, Partyphile, and The Tide as main sponsors.

Other partners include Syntactics as official event app partner, Globaltronics as official out of home advertising partners, Agos Boracay as accommodation partner. Media partners are Everything Cebu, Auza.net, Innovation is Everywhere, Geeks in Cambodia, InnoPub Media, OurAwesomePlanet.com, Tech in Asia, Vigattin Radio, Asian Journal Publications, Balikbayan Magazine, Amplify.ph, Speed Magazine, InewMedia.org, Hubnob.tv, and MyTechIsland.com.

Impact

Organizational partners are Philippine Software Industry Association, National ICT Confederation of the Philippines, Brain Gain Network, Cebu Educational Development Foundation for Information Technology, Game Developers Association of the Philippines, Digital Commerce Association of the Philippines, Developers Connect, Young Entrepreneur Society, Mavericks Web Marketing Solutions. Supporters include Tekworx, E-science, Impact Hub, SkyEye Inc., and ventureLab Growth Partners.

“Do we want to do it again? Yes, we want to continue to impact people’s lives. As a startup ourselves, we have to continue to evolve and move with the times to make sure there is a product-market fit. So, we welcome the public’s feedback and support on how we can make this more worthwhile and sustainable,” she said.

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RAFI Micro-finance opens 5 more branches to serve more mothers

To serve more client nanays, The Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI) Micro-finance has opened five more branches in Bohol, Cebu, and Leyte, bringing the total number of branches to 23.

To serve more client nanays, The Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI) Micro-finance has opened five more branches in Bohol, Cebu, and Leyte, bringing the total number of branches to 23.

Last June 25, it inaugurated its Tagbilaran City, Bohol branch, which is located at Door 2, Seaview Apartment, CPG East, Bool District; followed by the opening of its Square One Commercial Complex, Tipolo, Mandaue City, Cebu branch on June 29; the Travelers Inn, Valladolid, Carcar City, Cebu branch on July 2; the Proper Damolog, Sogod, Cebu branch on August 4; and the Taft Street, Central 1, Poblacion, Palompon, Leyte branch on August 20.

Elevating lives

“True to RAFI’s promise of elevating lives, RAFI Micro-finance has committed to provide responsive and value-based micro-finance services to the communities, especially to poor entrepreneurs,” said Jonar Dorado, head of the RAFI Micro-finance Business Development Unit, on the opening of the Tagbilaran branch.

“We are currently serving over 46,000 families in the provinces of Cebu, Bohol, and Leyte, and determined to reach out to 120,000 families in the next three years, by expanding our operations through the opening of branches within and beyond the areas we currently cover,” he said.

RAFI Micro-finance aims to provide capital to nanay business entrepreneurs and to those wanting to establish their own small economic ventures as a way to empower them as co-pillars of their respective families. Aside from loans, it also provide micro-insurance seminars, business trainings, consultancy, medical missions, and other services.

Micro-finance program

Hazel Guille, one of those who attended the Carcar branch opening, was ecstatic that RAFI Micro-finance already has a branch near her.

“Nalipay kaayo ko ug nagpasalamat nga aduna nay branch nga duol diri sa Carcar kay sa una muadto pa ko sa Argao branch,” she said.

RAFI Micro-finance is a program under the Micro-finance & Entrepreneurship focus area of RAFI. It provides financial resources and know-how to women micro-entrepreneurs to nurture financial independence and entrepreneurship. Other focus areas of RAFI are Integrated Development, Culture & Heritage, Leadership & Citizenship, and Education. (Press Release)

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Lenovo launches VIBE Shot in Cebu

With a 16-megapixel camera, a dedicated shutter button and a toggle to activate auto and a pro mode with manual controls, the Lenovo VIBE Shot “gives consumers the best of both worlds.”

“It is a stylish and powerful smartphone that consumers want and an advanced camera that budding and seasoned photographers will love to use,” said Dino Romano, Country Manager, Lenovo Smartphones Philippines.

With a 16-megapixel camera, a dedicated shutter button and a toggle to activate auto and a pro mode with manual controls, the Lenovo VIBE Shot “gives consumers the best of both worlds.”

“It is a stylish and powerful smartphone that consumers want and an advanced camera that budding and seasoned photographers will love to use,” said Dino Romano, Country Manager, Lenovo Smartphones Philippines.

Vincent dela Cruz, marketing manager of Lenovo Smartphones Philippines, said the Lenovo VIBE Shot is a great camera phone that is exceptional in low-light photography. It also has optical image stabilization (OIS) technology to reduce blurring and shakes.

Lenovo VIBE Shot Cebu launch

Lenovo Smartphone Philippines marketing manager Vincent dela Cruz, National Geographic photographer Hannah Reyes, and Lenovo Smartphone Philippines country manager Dino Romano show journalists some photos Reyes took using the Lenovo VIBE Shot.

 

First with tri-color LED flash

Dela Cruz said the Lenovo VIBE Shot is the first smartphone to have a tri-color LED flash “that offers the most natural-looking photos.” The phone also has an on-board infrared auto-focusing (AF) system that is “twice as fast as conventional autofocus.”

Dela Cruz also said that the Lenovo VIBE Shot has a dedicated camera shutter button that wakes the phone into camera mode in just a second. It also has a hardware toggle that turns on either a smart auto mode or a pro option that has manual controls. The auto mode has point and shoot composition guides for portrait, food and scenery shots. In this mode, the viewfinder will tell you whether the shot is good or whether the subject is too close, among other tips.

Manual controls

In pro mode, users have controls on various aspects of the camera from aperture, shutter speed, white balance and ISO setting. Controlling the settings is via a slider interface that’s intuitive, dela Cruz said.

The phone also has a panoramic selfie capability that lets users take 3 selfies to include more people and combine these into 1 image.

Using the Lenovo VIBE Shot is like “having a full camera but the only difference is that I’m touching the screen and not the buttons,” said National Geographic documentary and travel photographer Hannah Reyes.

Lenovo VIBE Shot launch in Cebu

MANUAL CONTROLS. Multi-awarded photographer Tonee Despojo, Cebu Daily News photography chief, tries out the Lenovo VIBE Shot in taking a culinary photo.

 

Designed for users

Reyes said during the launch in Cebu last August 14 that the VIBE Shot “feels good in my hands.” She said she liked that it had a dedicated shutter button and you didn’t have to press screen controls to take a photo. She said she felt that the phone was “designed for the user.”

Reyes, who has been using the phone to take photographs, including in Cebu, for an exhibit, said she “liked that there is a lot of manual controls.” She also said that the Lenovo VIBE Shot’s “range of focus is really good, even up close.”

VIBE Shot hardware specifications

The VIBE Shot has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 processor with an octa-core chip “engineered for multitasking, but is extremely power efficient at the same time,” the company said. It has 3GB of RAM and 32GB of built-in storage, expandable up to 128GB through a microSD card. The VIBE Shot has 4G / LTE connectivity.

Dela Cruz said the VIBE Shot uses Corning Gorilla Glass front and back with an aluminum outer frame.

The Lenovo VIBE Shot is sold at P17,999 and comes with a free screen protector worth P299 and free back cover worth P599.

Lenovo VIBE Shot launch in Cebu

AUTO, MANUAL MODES. The Lenovo VIBE Shot has a toggle that turns on either a smart auto mode or a pro mode that offers manual control of the aperture, shutter speed, white balance and ISO setting.

 

VIBE ON campaign

Romano said the phone is part of the VIBE ON campaign for Lenovo smartphones targeted at millennials.

“The VIBE ON brand promise aims to empower individuals to go their own way, by providing smartphones with the latest technology and features that they care about, at a price they wouldn’t expect. VIBE ON is not only a rally cry for millennials to accomplish what matters to them, but also expresses Lenovo’s commitment to making cutting-edge innovation and premium technology accessible to help them achieve that,” the company said.

Vibe Shot photos

The following photos were taken by documentary photographer Hannah Reyes using the Lenovo Vibe Shot. They have been scaled down to reduce file sizes.

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Sen. Cayetano: small enterprises like sari-sari stores important to economy

Micro and small enterprises like sari-sari stores are important and companies like Prince Hypermart should be commended for connecting with them, said Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano. Cayetano spoke before the “TENdahang Karnabal: 10th Annual Sari-Sari Store Festival 2015” on August 15. The festival is an annual event organized by Prince Hypermart and held this year in the Amnezia Superclub on Ouano Ave., Mandaue City.

Micro and small enterprises like sari-sari stores are important and companies like Prince Hypermart should be commended for connecting with them, said Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano. Cayetano spoke before the “TENdahang Karnabal: 10th Annual Sari-Sari Store Festival 2015” on August 15. The festival is an annual event organized by Prince Hypermart and held this year in the Amnezia Superclub on Ouano Ave., Mandaue City.

The company said the event is meant to give back to their Prince Royalty Members and “thank them for the years of continued loyalty and support.”

“It’s our way of giving back and also a celebration for our loyal and happy members,” said Rina Janine Go, supply chain director of Prince Retail Group of Companies.

Whole day event

The whole-day event had games, helpful discussions, talks, surprises and giveaways of prizes.

Cayetano, the Senate majority leader, said government should consider allocating part of the Pantawid Pampamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) or conditional cash transfers to lend to micro and small businesses. He said the government can set aside P1 billion per region for this.

TENdahang Karnabal: 10th Annual Sari-Sari Store Festival 2015

Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano, Senate majority leader, speaks before the “TENdahang Karnabal: 10th Annual Sari-Sari Store Festival 2015” gathering organized by Prince Hypermart.

 

Cayetano also discussed how small and medium enterprises can plan and allocate their budgets. He also gave additional capital to the top 10 customers for each Prince Hypermart branch.

Department of Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas was invited to the event but he could not come and was represented by Rep. Luigi Quisumbing and Atty. Carlo Fortuna who delivered his message.

Other guests

Chinkee Tan, popular wealth management author, speaker and TV personality, presented a lively talk on having the right business mindset and how stores can specialize according to market needs. He cited as example selling school supplies if the store is within a school’s vicinity. Pinoy Big Brother Housemate Paul Jake Castillo entertained the crowd with games and gave away a tricycle from International Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

The Sari-Sari Store Festival is a yearly gathering exclusive to members of the Royalty Program, Prince Hypermart’s membership rewards and points program. A total of 1,223 of these members, based in Cebu province, attended this year’s event. The membership base is growing with 75,457 members in Cebu Province and a total of 245,166 members all over the Visayas and Mindanao— mostly sari-sari store owners.

TENdahang Karnabal: 10th Annual Sari-Sari Store Festival 2015

EXHIBITORS’ BOOTH. Prince Retail Group of Companies President and CEO Robert Go lead guests to a tour of the booths during the event.

 

Prince loyalty program

Go says that what distinguishes Prince’s loyalty program are rebates to earn direct discounts on purchases, exclusive monthly deals to get higher resell profits. Its Royalty Gold Program offers exclusive deals and access to life and health insurance.

Royalty Gold Member Fe Ramos of Danao, gave a heartfelt and moving testimonial on how the Royalty Program’s insurance helped her pay the hospital bills. She was crying as she thanked the Go family for the benefits she received.

Prince Hypermart is one of the leading retail and wholesale chains in the Visayas and Mindanao region, with 24 stores to date. Since its founding in April 1990, the retail chain currently has seven branches in Cebu at the North Reclamation Area, Old MCWD building in M.C. Briones, Danao City, Minglanilla, Dalaguete, Argao, and Daanbantayan.

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Eagles’ Nest perfect for Ateneo de Cebu students, property investors

Top developer PrimaryHomes, Inc. opened on August 11 its showroom for the loft units of Eagles’ Nest Condominium in Canduman in Mandaue City. The mid-rise residential condominium was developed primarily to address the need for quality yet affordable living for families with students enrolled at the Sacred Heart School Ateneo de Cebu.

Top developer PrimaryHomes, Inc. opened on August 11 its showroom for the loft units of Eagles’ Nest Condominium in Canduman in Mandaue City.

This mid-rise residential condominium was developed primarily to address the need for quality yet affordable living for families with students enrolled at the Sacred Heart School Ateneo de Cebu. The development, according to Cebu’s most reliable developer, carries the catchword PLEASE, offering accessibility and convenience with its Perfect Location, having Enriching Amenities, and being School-Endorsed.

Perfect location

With its Perfect Location, Eagles’ Nest helps parents and students avoid wasting time on the road and reduces transportation costs by more than P20,000 a month in savings on transportation expenses like car amortization, driver’s salaries and gas. It is located right beside the school.

Eagles’ Nest is also School-Endorsed, fully supported by the Ateneo de Cebu as an alternative living arrangement for students. This will allow students more time for both studies and extracurricular activities, aiding them to become well-rounded individuals. Eagles’ Nest also boasts of Enriching Amenities such as a study hall, science observatory deck, themed lounge per floor, commercial area for laundry, convenience shop, food court, and tutorial services. Tutoring Club Cebu already opened at Eagles’ Nest last month.

Eagles' Nest

ENRICHING AMENITIES. Eagles’ Nest boasts of amenities such as a study hall, science observatory deck, themed lounge per floor, commercial area for laundry, convenience shop, food court, and tutorial services.

Top-of-the-line safety features

Top-of-the-line fire alarm and sprinkler system with fire exits, back-up power generation, and Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) system are also installed at Eagles’ Nest to ensure the safety of residents.

Eagles’ Nest is the seventh condominium project of PrimaryHomes, which was launched last August 2012. It is now 70 percent sold and all remaining units are ready for move-in. Eagles’ Nest has a total floor area of 15,025 square meters designed with two unit types – the studio and loft. The 22 square-meter studio units are at P1.6 million; while the 34 square-meter loft units are at P2.8 million.

With all the conveniences the development offers, Eagles’ Nest is perfect for investors. Even with a captured market, the developer has shared the great opportunity for investors to earn rental income from Eagles’ Nest – the only condominium of its kind in Cebu.

Eagles' Nest Sacreat Heart School Ateneo de Cebu

SCHOOL-ENDORSED. Eagles’ Nest is fully supported by the Ateneo de Cebu as an alternative living arrangement for students. This will allow students more time for both studies and extracurricular activities.


QUICK FACTS

Number of Floors: 16 Floors
Number of Units: 348 Units
Breakdown of Units
Studio: 319 Units
Loft: 29 Units

Return on Investment
Rental Yield: (after 5 years) 40% to 50 %
Resale ROI: (after 5 years) 40% to 50 %
Capital Outlay: P360 million


Studio units can be rented out at P13,000 to P15,000 per month yielding 8% to 10% per year – higher than the average annual rental yield for Philippine property investments. According to globalpropertyguide.com, Philippines is one of the best places to invest in Asia, with 7.5% rental yield, ranking 2nd to Indonesia with 8.9%; while next to the Philippines is Cambodia with a much lower yield of 5.3%.

The Eagles’ Nest showrooms for studio and its newly opened loft units are available for viewing Monday to Sunday, from 9 AM to 5 PM.

For questions and to schedule a site visit, please call +6332 254 7188 (tap on number to call on your phone) or visit the company website at www.primaryhomes.com and its official Facebook page at facebook.com/PrimaryHomesOfficial.

eagles-nest-poster

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Cebu outsourcing industry faces competition from emerging sites

Although Cebu is currently among the top outsourcing destinations in the world, it stands to lose to other emerging sites like Iloilo and Davao if it becomes complacent, a top economist warned business leaders.

Although Cebu is currently among the top outsourcing destinations in the world, it stands to lose to other emerging sites like Iloilo and Davao if it becomes complacent.

“If you don’t improve your infrastructure, if your traffic situation becomes as bad as Manila, there are other places that will appeal to the business process outsourcing (BPO) and knowledge process outsourcing (KPO) sectors,” said economist Bernardo Villegas in last Friday’s Mandaue Business Summit at the Oakridge Pavillion in Mandaue City.

Aside from Iloilo and Davao, the cities of Dumaguete and Cagayan de Oro show potential for the IT-BPO industry, he said. Cebu placed eighth in the 2015 Tholons International Top 100 Outsourcing Destinations Report, keeping its rank for the third straight year. The only other Philippine outsourcing site in the top 10 was the National Capital Region (NCR).

Villegas, who talked about the positive prospects for the Philippine economy in the next 20 years during the Mandaue Business Summit 2015, said IT-BPO was one of the country’s main engines of growth.

Outsourcing edge

He added that when it comes to this industry, the country’s edge is its young, educated, English-speaking population.

“Not only that, they speak the correct English with the correct accent and the right mood,” he pointed out, citing that Indians by contrast are argumentative.

Although voice services still hold the biggest share of the pie in the outsourcing industry, it registers the lowest growth compared to knowledge processing or health management, Villegas said.

“More and more, it’s going to KPO. You know why? Millennials don’t depend on voice for info,” he added, telling members of the Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) who are into outsourcing that they should start providing accounting, architectural design, and legal documentation services to the rest of the world.

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Whatever the outcome of 2016 elections, PH economy will still grow: economist

An economist has bright prospects for the Philippines no matter the results of the 2016 elections. Dr. Bernardo Villegas said the Philippine economy will grow 6% to 7% regardless of who gets elected in next year’s presidential elections.

An economist has bright prospects for the Philippines no matter the results of the 2016 elections. Dr. Bernardo Villegas said the Philippine economy will grow 6% to 7% regardless of who gets elected in next year’s presidential elections.

“Whatever happens in May 2016, even if we elect Vice Ganda, the economy will continue to grow at a high rate for the next 20 years,” he added during the Mandaue Business Summit held last Friday as part of Mandaue Business Month activities.

The main engines driving the country’s growth include remittances from overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), business process outsourcing (BPO) and knowledge process outsourcing (KPO) revenues, and the 40 or so million Filipino tourists who travel around the country.

“Last year, the country received US$28 billion in remittances from the more than 10 million overseas Filipino workers (OFWs). This grows 3-5 percent every year come hell or high water,” he further said.

Outsourcing industries

According to Villegas, the BPO and KPO industries already generate US$18 billion in revenues every year and employ 1.1 million “very well-paid, highly-educated” workers.

He also noted the growing number of Filipinos visiting and talking about new and popular local destinations that has spurred the high growth of domestic tourism in the country.

Another positive development is the decision of around a hundred Japanese companies that plan to transfer their manufacturing facilities out of China.

Although the Japanese multinationals are looking at other Southeast Asian countries, one thing going for the Philippine is the industrial peace it has attained, he said, citing that there hasn’t been a labor strike in the last three to five years that ended in violence.

“These are things that do not depend on political developments. They will continue to happen whatever may occur in May 2016,” he pointed out.

New economic era

On the other hand, if the Filipinos manage to elect the right leader next year, especially one who is good at executing the hundreds of billions of infrastructure projects that didn’t happen under the present administration, Villegas believes the country will grow 8-10 percent from 2016 onwards.

“We are definitely in a new era in the Philippines. It is not an exaggeration to call the Philippines the new tiger of Asia,” Villegas said.

According to him, the country has reached its tipping point and is at a new level of growth from changes that happened over a quarter of a century.

He cited economic forecasts from such international credit rating agencies as HSBC, Goldman-Sachs, and Asian Development Bank (ADB), which are the ones singing the praises of the Philippines.

He listed a stable democracy, improving governance, strong macroeconomic fundamentals, labor peace, educated young population, high rate of savings due to OFW remittances, and a strategic location in the middle of East Asia as among the positive trends going for the Philippines.

On the other hand, he added, some of the challenges facing the country involved its high rate of poverty, low level of direct investments, corruption at the lower levels of government, and a Constitution that’s restrictive to foreign business.

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Globe named 2015 Telecom and Mobile Service Provider of the Year

GLOBE Telecom was named the Telecom Service Provider of the Year and Mobile Service Provider of the Year for 2015 by Frost and Sullivan Philippines following a remarkable company performance brought about by efforts and initiatives in the past year.

GLOBE Telecom was named the Telecom Service Provider of the Year and Mobile Service Provider of the Year for 2015 by Frost and Sullivan Philippines following a remarkable company performance brought about by efforts and initiatives in the past year.

Globe Telecom, coming from its extensive transformation posted outstanding results by end 2014. It figured prominently in revenue growth, market share growth, product introduction and innovation, consumer acquisition, growth in subscriber base and business/market strategy. These resulted to Globe catapulting to leadership in the Philippine telecommunications industry.

“We have established ourselves as the preferred telco brand in the country as manifested by impressive business gains across all business segments and expansion of both mobile and broadband. We were successful in creating business opportunities riding on the strong mobile data adoption, as well as increasing smartphone penetration. We thank Frost and Sullivan for this recognition given to us,” said Globe Chief Finance Officer (CFO) Alberto De Larrazabal who received the award on behalf of Globe.

Achievement

The annual Frost and Sullivan Best Practices Awards recognize companies in a variety of regional and global markets for demonstrating outstanding achievement and superior performance in areas such as leadership, technological innovation, customer service, and strategic product development.

De Larrazabal also served as keynote speaker for the Customer Experience Philippines Summit 2015 organized by Frost and Sullivan Philippines with the topic “Visionary Innovator and Thought Leader: The Future of Telecom” which discussed the transformation journey of Globe.

De Larrazabal shared how Globe embraced innovation and the need to transform in order to remain relevant in the market. “We have made leaps in our transformation journey which led to where Globe is now today. Our initiatives which translate to being quicker and more efficient in serving our customers plus our strong culture of innovation have allowed us to achieve leadership in the mobile industry in the country.”

Keeping up with chane

The Globe CFO said, “ With the fast paced landscape of telecom and technology, one must be aware of what the future will look like. Now that we have a view of what it can become, we must be able to adjust and invest in the foundation of the company. We must deliver the best possible network, an innovative brand, and a customer-centric organization that keep up with the changing trends. We are trying to build Globe to last. “

Frost & Sullivan’s inaugural Customer Experience Philippines 2015 summit focused on the needs of changing business models, new technology evolution, support for cloud services, the effects of regulation, and real-time customer insight analysis in order to provide superior customer experience and drive better business outcomes.

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Security Bank scores double win in Asian Banking & Finance Awards 2015

Security Bank was recognized twice during the Asian Banking & Finance (ABF) Wholesale and Retail Banking Awards 2015 at the Shangri-La Hotel Singapore. Around 200 bankers from over 30 countries flocked to the event, dubbed as the “World Cup of banking and finance,” to reaffirm their position in the regional financial sector.

Security Bank was recognized twice during the Asian Banking & Finance (ABF) Wholesale and Retail Banking Awards 2015 at the Shangri-La Hotel Singapore. Around 200 bankers from over 30 countries flocked to the event, dubbed as the “World Cup of banking and finance,” to reaffirm their position in the regional financial sector.

For the third year in a row, Security Bank was recognized as ‘Philippines Domestic Foreign Exchange Bank of the Year’ in the Wholesale Banking Awards. This distinction once again validates Security Bank as an industry leader and highlights its outstanding foreign exchange services and financial expertise. This is the third regional citation given to the bank’s Treasury Sales Team, recognizing the team’s world-class capabilities in servicing clients’ foreign exchange and interest rate hedging requirements.

Beyond banking, Security Bank was also hailed for its outstanding multimedia rebranding campaign and was given the ‘Philippines Advertising Campaign of the Year’ distinction in the Retail Banking Awards. In 2014, the bank underwent an extensive rebranding initiative that revitalized its brand identity and introduced the brand promise of BetterBanking.

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Global Star Motors opens Mercedes-Benz, Chrysler dealerships in Cebu

Not only is it easier to acquire luxury vehicles under the Mercedes-Benz, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, and Ram brands in Cebu, maintenance and other services are also now readily available with the recent opening by Global Star Motors Corp. of full facility dealerships along Nivel Hills in Cebu City.

Not only is it easier to acquire luxury vehicles under the Mercedes-Benz, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, and Ram brands in Cebu, maintenance and other services are also now readily available with the recent opening by Global Star Motors Corp. of full facility dealerships along Nivel Hills in Cebu City.

Global Star Motors president Edward Onglatco said they pulled out all the stops to bring the brands to Cebu.

“Beginning today, Cebuanos need not settle. They won’t have to travel to Manila just to bring their dream cars home,” he added during the launch of the company’s dealerships for Mercedez-Benz and Fiat Chrysler last July 25.

Jeep Cherokee Cebu

A Jeep Cherokee. The Chrysler dealership distributes vehicles under four brands: Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, and Ram.

Global Star Motors was appointed by Auto Nation Group (ANG), exclusive distributor of the classic American and German marques in the Philippines, to bring the brands to the Visayas market, beginning with a flagship hub in Cebu.

Top automobile brands

Atty. Augusto Go, Global Star director, said the development shows that Cebu is not only a world-class tourist destination but also a “location of choice” for the top global automobile brands.

He thanked former Ambassador Francisco L. Benedicto, Gothong Manufacturing Corp. president and CEO Barbara Gothong-Tan, and the “passionate youngbloods” in the team – Onglatco and Benedicto Group of Companies board of director Kenneth O. Huan – for joining forces with him to put up Global Star Motors.

Its partnership with ANG symbolizes Global Star’s commitment to bring the best and most luxurious automobiles to the Cebuanos and serves as testament to the company’s unwavering support to the local economy, as it further fuels Cebu’s growth and progress, said Ambassador Benedicto.

“This is a new opportunity for us to contribute to the economic gains that our country has achieved in the last few years, which has allowed us to be identified as an emerging Asian economy,” he pointed out.

Although the current agreement with ANG covers the Visayas area, Onglatco said he hopes that they will also become the partner of choice for Mindanao in the near future.

Chrysler 300C

A Chrysler 300-C.

Mercedes-Benz, Chrysler cars

There are 33 Mercedez-Benz models worldwide and 15 are available in the Cebu, said Hans Lienaw, Global Star Motors general sales manager for the Daimler vehicles.

“The opening of a brand dealership in Cebu means the company has a lot of confidence in the economy and the market being ready for the luxury automobiles, he added.

The Chrysler dealership distributes vehicles under four brands: Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, and Ram, according to Global Star Motors dealer sales and marketing manager Ritchell Selma.

In terms of sales target achievement, Selma said Cebu posted the highest percentage since they started in December. Prices for automobiles under the Chrysler dealership start at P2.5 million.

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