Visayan Electric sends team to help restore power in Albay

In the past week, linemen from the Visayan Electric Co. have been working tirelessly to help restore power in the province of Albay, which bore the brunt of the strongest typhoon to hit the country this year.

The Cebu-based electric distribution utility sent two teams comprising 11 linemen who arrived in the province on Tuesday, Nov. 10. They were deployed to the town of Tiwi, about 44 kilometers south of the province’s capital Legazpi, where its sister company AP Renewables Inc.’s (APRI) geothermal power plant is located.

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PLDT-Smart donates 10K SIMs to DepEd Cebu City

PLDT-Smart turned over 10,000 LTE SIM cards to the Department of Education Cebu City, the biggest ever donation to the academe in the region, as their way of supporting teachers and students in over 50 Junior and Senior High Schools under DepEd Cebu City in the “New Normal.”

The unprecedented crisis caused by the pandemic has pushed the academe to adapt to the new normal in education and conduct classes via online or modular delivery. The Smart SIM cards will allow students and teachers to go online and connect to the internet via Smart LTE.

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CIB.O committees help chart industry growth in new normal times

From coming up with programs to ensure there are enough quality graduates from universities to promoting Cebu as a global IT-BPM hub, the different CIB.O committees presented strategies and other innovations to further develop the industry under new normal conditions.

Called the Strat 8 Super Committees of the Cebu IT-BPM Organization (CIB.O), the groups were formed to manage challenges and take advantage of opportunities brought to light by COVID-19, said Chairman Francis Monera in his opening remarks during the first ever virtual town hall event “Gearing Up for New Normal and Beyond” held on October 29, 2020.

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PLDT and Smart help boost livelihood programs by Archdiocese of Cebu’s Caritas

The Archdiocese of Cebu’s Commission on Service- Cebu Caritas Inc. has partnered with the country’s largest and only integrated telco PLDT and its wireless unit Smart Communications, for their livelihood programs dubbed Balik-Uma and Demo Training Farm.

Balik-Uma and Demo Training Farm, pilot programs under Caritas’s Cebu Archdiocesan Integrated Farming Program, aim to promote organic farming for sustainable livelihood and food security to basic ecclesial communities, farmworkers, and residents amid and post-COVID-19 pandemic.

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PLDT-Smart Foundation, PDEA distribute Happy Packs to children

PLDT-Smart Foundation, in cooperation with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Regional Office VII, recently distributed “Happy Packs” to children of persons under the Balay Silangan Reformation Program in Cebu.

“Bringing happiness to children has always been a source of joy for us in PSF. Especially during these times of the pandemic, even simple pleasures already mean a lot to children. We are happy to participate in our own small way,” said PSF President Esther O. Santos.

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PLDT Group, PLDT-Smart Foundation respond to call for help of Cebu’s frontliners

In support of Cebu’s fight against COVID-19, PLDT Inc., PLDT-Smart Foundation and Tulong Kapatid, in coordination with ZTE Corp. and Leads Agricultural Corp., donated Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), face masks, disinfecting kits, and carboys of ethyl alcohol. Tulong Kapatid is the social responsibility consortium of the companies led by Manuel V. Pangilinan.

The group and its partners prioritized Cebu as it is one of the COVID-19 hot spots in the country due to the previous rise in its cases.

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Smart webinar presents digital tools to help LGUs adapt to new normal

Local governments and communities in 32 provinces of Luzon participated in a webinar that showcased various digital solutions to help them respond to challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Billed as #WeHealAsOne, the virtual forum organized by leading mobile operator Smart Communications discussed digital innovations in education, livelihood, and agriculture to help communities adapt to the new normal. More than 430 participants took part in the event where they learned from success stories of existing programs supported by Smart.

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DOT, Grassroots Travel, Smart join hands to mount Kulinarya sa North Cebu Webinar

Smarter tourism in the new normal

In the Philippines, Culinary Tourism and Farm or Agritourism have been identified by the Department of Tourism (DOT) as two of the niche markets it would like to tap and promote.

It is for this reason that the DOT, Grassroots Travel, and PLDT-Smart recently organized a two-day webinar entitled “Community-based Kulinarya sa Norte” to develop culinary and farm tourism at the municipal level. The webinar also aimed to enhance skills and knowledge of local stakeholders in culinary tourism, and to create economic opportunities for the communities they serve.

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Google Philippines launches site for COVID-19 terminologies in Filipino, Cebuano

True to its mission to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful, Google Philippines is marking Buwan ng Wika with the launch of Isang Gabay sa mga Salitang Kaugnay ng COVID-19.

The initiative recognizes the significant role of local languages in creating an understanding among Filipinos regarding the most commonly used COVID-19-related words and in disseminating helpful information.

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Basilan school shows the way in distance learning

Once a thriving trading center in Mindanao, Basilan has had a troubled history in the last half-century, marked by clashes between the military and Moro secessionists and attacks by terrorist groups. But while communities are constantly displaced, residents brave hardship and strive to survive.

Now faced with yet another challenge, the COVID-19 pandemic, Basilan reaffirms its resilience, particularly in education.

As schools and teachers nationwide prepare for the shift to blended and distance learning, the Concepcion National High School (CNHS) in Basilan is simply building on lessons drawn from years of teaching in times of crisis.

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Bike-friendly parking at SM Supermalls

With more and more people turning to biking as a mode of transportation during the Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ), SM Supermalls has created bike parking facilities across its malls.

With organized and secure parking zones designated solely for bicycles, SM hopes to make the riding experience safe and convenient for the growing number of bike commuters, especially in communities where SM malls are located. And the good news is that these spaces are currently free of charge.

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Technology enables disaster resilience in communities

The new normal posed by COVID-19 has fast-tracked the adoption by local government units and organizations of technology-based programs to keep people informed and help students resume their studies despite the pandemic.

Nagiel Banacia, Officer-in-Charge of the Lapu-Lapu City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office, has been at the front and center of the ongoing health crisis. He says that while traditional forms of communication like tarpaulins, leaflets and recorridas still work, tech-powered communications channels are more effective in reaching quickly and safely communities under lockdown.

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Smart-backed Dynamic Learning Program to benefit DepEd ALS Butuan’s ‘second-chance’ learners

Riding a motorcycle to different learning centers in hinterlands, sustaining the attention of distracted learners, and handling a multi-grade classroom are just some of the challenges that Alternative Learning System (ALS) mobile teachers face every day. The COVID-19 health crisis has made it even tougher for them, as they had to look for ways to continue teaching their learners remotely.

To help the Department of Education (DepEd) – ALS of Butuan City continue teaching in the new normal, Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) conducted an online workshop on the implementation of the Dynamic Learning Program (DLP). 49 mobile teachers and education program specialists joined the first run of the virtual training, dubbed as DLP In Action.

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Shangri-La partners with local communities to produce reusable masks

Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort & Spa has donated enough linen to make up to 10,000 reusable face masks for Cebu

The Shangri-La Group has partnered with Diversey, a leading global hygiene and cleaning company, and the Municipality of Cordova to provide vulnerable Cebu residents with reusable face masks, an item now mandatory when one is out in public in The Philippines.

Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort & Spa joined Shangri-La hotels in Manila, Colombo, Hambantota, Johor Bahru, Kota Kinabalu, Penang, Surabaya, Jakarta, Singapore, Bangkok and Yangon to collectively donate 12,500 kg of used, clean bedsheets, duvet covers and pillowcases to local communities and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) to be repurposed into half-a-million reusable fabric face masks.

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Cebu City’s NOAH Complex receives tech support, connectivity from PLDT

Cebu City’s new COVID-19 treatment and isolation center has been equipped with high-speed WiFi for the use of patients and frontliners.

The New Normal Oasis for Adaptation and a Home (NOAH) Complex at the city’s South Road Properties now has enterprise-grade Internet and WiFi using Cisco Meraki Access Points provided by leading telecoms and digital services provider PLDT.

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Businessman donates P4 million for COVID-19 response in cities of Cebu, Lapu-Lapu

The fight against the Covid-19 pandemic in the cities of Cebu and Lapu-Lapu received a much-needed boost from businessman Michael Gleissner.

Gleissner donated P2 million each to Cebu and Lapu-Lapu to help in the Covid-19 response of both cities, taking note of the active measures being undertaken by both local government units to control the disease and ease the burden on their constituents.

LAPU-LAPU CITY Mayor Junard “Ahong” Chan (right) receives a check for P2 million from businessman Michael Gleissner, represented by Joe Mercado (left), to aid in the city’s efforts to contain the Covid-19 virus.
LAPU-LAPU CITY Mayor Junard “Ahong” Chan (right) receives a check for P2 million from businessman Michael Gleissner, represented by Joe Mercado (left), to aid in the city’s efforts to contain the Covid-19 virus.

Joe Mercado, Gleissner’s representative in Cebu, turned over the donation of P2 million to Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella on May 6, 2020.

Mayor Junard “Ahong” Chan received the P2 million for Lapu-Lapu City from Mercado in a separate turnover activity on May 7.

Assistance to Covid-19 response

In the case of Cebu City, Gleissner also gave his approval for the use of the Bigfoot property in the South Road Properties (SRP) as a quarantine facility.

The Cebu City Health Department reported a total of 1,660 Covid-19 cases as of May 12, with Barangay Mambaling having the highest number of residents suffering from the illness.

CEBU CITY officials led by Mayor Edgardo Labella (3rd from left) accept businessman Michael Gleissner’s P2 million donation from his representative in Cebu, Joe Mercado. The amount will be used in the city’s Covid-19 response, particularly in helping ease the burden on residents affected by strict quarantine measures. Also in the photo are (from left) Atty. Mary Rose S. Lubino, Labella’s chief of staff; Atty. Jerome Castillo of the City Treasurer’s Office and City Treasurer Juanita Monina Paires.
CEBU CITY officials led by Mayor Edgardo Labella (3rd from left) accept businessman Michael Gleissner’s P2 million donation from his representative in Cebu, Joe Mercado. The amount will be used in the city’s Covid-19 response, particularly in helping ease the burden on residents affected by strict quarantine measures. Also in the photo are (from left) Atty. Mary Rose S. Lubino, Labella’s chief of staff; Atty. Jerome Castillo of the City Treasurer’s Office and City Treasurer Juanita Monina Paires.

Lapu-Lapu City reported 42 Covid-19 positive cases as of May 11, with 15 recoveries and one death from the disease.

Gleissner’s companies are located in the cities of Cebu and Lapu-Lapu.

Accenture, Intel, Sulubaaï Environmental Foundation use AI to save coral reefs

Accenture, Intel and the Philippines-based Sulubaaï Environmental Foundation have developed a new solution powered by artificial intelligence (AI) to monitor, characterize, and analyze coral reef resiliency.

The solution is Project: CORaiL, an initiative the three organizations created in 2019. It has been deployed in a reef in the Philippines since last year.

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Technology aids Cebu group feeding COVID-19 frontliners

In Cebu City, professional chefs have joined hands with private individuals and businesses to combat the COVID-19 crisis in their own way: Through nourishing frontliners with good, clean and fairly priced food.

However, with the Enhanced Community Quarantine in place, they have been unable to meet physically. But this has not stopped the Cebuano group from continuing their advocacy. Instead, they have harnessed the Internet and wireless connectivity to gather more partners for their campaign.

With the support of Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart), Cocina Collective’s campaign #FoodForFrontliners has been able to nourish Cebu’s COVID-19 frontliners with nutritious and delicious meals prepared by volunteer chefs.

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Visayan Electric energizes essential facilities for COVID-19 response

Visayan Electric has boosted the power capacity and energized vital facilities in Cebu that are intended for COVID-19 response.

Visayan Electric President and Chief Operating Officer Raul Lucero said the utility company is always ready to respond to the needs of the community that it serves.

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Keeping the faith in digital spaces during Covid-19 crisis

The Covid-19 pandemic may have changed how the Filipino faithful are observing their Holy Week traditions this year, but it has not dampened their faith.

With the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) implemented nationwide, regular church activities such as public celebration of masses have been temporarily suspended. Thus, churches have turned to digital means to sustain the faith of their communities.

This includes broadcast of Holy Masses on TV and radio, as well as digital apps for those who would like to embark on their traditional Visita Iglesia, but are unable to do so given the current situation.

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