Re/Discovering Cebu, one story at a time

Smart gets special award for free Wi-Fi in Cebu City library

PLDT wireless subsidiary Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) has been cited by the Cebu City local government as an “outstanding institution” for providing free Smart WiFi services at the Cebu City…

PLDT wireless subsidiary Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) has been cited by the Cebu City local government as an “outstanding institution” for providing free Smart WiFi services at the Cebu City Public Library (CCPL), the country’s first 24/7 public library.

Smart received the Mayor’s Special Award for Outstanding Institution from Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña alongside 14 other individual and institution awardees honored during Cebu City’s 82nd Charter Day Anniversary celebrations.

Last year, PLDT and Smart signed a Memorandum of Agreement to make carrier-grade Smart WiFi available to students, researchers and other visitors of the Cebu City Public Library and Information Center, which at the time had just started its 24/7 operations.

Smart WiF award

AWARD. Representatives from PLDT-Smart, led by Visayas-Mindanao Public Affairs head Atty Maria Jane Paredes, receive the award from Mayor Tomas Osmeña.

 

Access to online materials

“This award is in appreciation of Smart’s invaluable support to Cebu City by providing free Wi-Fi services in the Cebu City Public Library, the country’s first 24/7 public library that gives its clients access to online course materials and allows them to download research subjects and academic journals,” the citation read.

“This is a night of recognition, it’s not about me, it’s about Cebu, and all the people who make this possible,” Mayor Osmeña said, addressing the honorees.

“By providing quality connectivity for Filipinos across the country, PLDT and Smart continue to lead the country’s digital transformation in an ever-evolving digital world,” said Juan Victor Hernandez, Senior Vice President and Head of Enterprise for PLDT and Smart.

“With the help of our partners and government, we continue to invest in ICT infrastructure to empower individuals, businesses and enterprises, and improve the quality of life of Filipinos all over country,” Hernandez added.

Best digital experience

“PLDT and Smart are proud to join forces with government partners like Mayor Osmeña and the Cebu City government, in helping build a nation of well-informed citizens across the country and making the wealth of knowledge available on the Internet accessible to more Filipinos,” said Ramon R. Isberto, PLDT-Smart Public Affairs head.

A backhaul capacity of up to 200 megabits per second allows users to have the best digital experience when participating in online classes and interactive learning sessions, as well as when discovering relevant digital content online.

Connected Cebu

Aside from the CCPL, Smart WiFi is also available for students at Cebu Institute of Technology, Cebu Technological University, Sacred Heart Ateneo de Cebu, University of Cebu Banilad, Don Bosco Cebu, Holy Name University, University of Cebu, University of Southern Philippines Foundation, Velez College and UP Cebu, to name a few.

In 2015, Cebu City Hall was the first establishment in Cebu that offered public Smart WiFi. Other areas with Smart Wifi are the Cebu Provincial Capitol, Larsian Food Center, Cebu North and South Bus Terminals, and Cebu Port Terminals 1 and 3.

The nationwide rollout of Smart WiFi complements Smart’s ongoing network expansion and modernization program across the country. Early this year, Smart also fired up LTE sites in the mountain barangays of Bonbon and Guba, Cebu City, where residents, their businesses and livelihoods, and vital facilities like schools and hospitals now can tap mobile data services to improve their lives.

Parent company PLDT has committed historic levels of resources to support network transformation. For 2018, PLDT capex was expected to reach P58 billion, including allocations for the aggressive roll-out of its fiber broadband service, which also supports the stepped-up deployment of the mobile network by providing high-capacity links for cellular base stations.

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Regal Oliva elected new IBP Cebu City President

Lawyer Regal Oliva was elected today as the new Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) Cebu City Chapter President. Oliva, who previously served as vice president, expressed appreciation to the…

Lawyer Regal Oliva was elected today as the new Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) Cebu City Chapter President.

Oliva, who previously served as vice president, expressed appreciation to the chapter for the election and said “the fact that I am unopposed speaks so much of the trust of the Chapter on the previous Board.”

Elected together with Oliva to compose the 24th Board of Officers are lawyers Michelle Mendez-Palmares as Vice President; Bernardino Amago IV as Secretary, Mark Anthony Gaviola as Treasurer, Dan delos Angeles as Auditor, and Elmer Mansanadez as PRO. Also elected as Chapter Directors are lawyers Mark Gregory Avila, Maricris Bathan-Lasco, Hazel Espina, Georgia Herrera and Christine Naranjo.

Regal Oliva IBP Cebu City Chapter President

NEW PRESIDENT. Regal Oliva is the new IBP Cebu City Chapter President.

 

“The new Board will continue uplifting the law profession and will innovate more services that will not only cater to the members of the chapter, but to the whole community as well.” Oliva said, “I am also very pleased that the IBP National Board has started to elevate Gender and Development (GAD) as a continuing advocacy, and I will make sure that the Board I will lead will conform to a more inclusive IBP and hopefully, a GAD–focused Supreme Court.”

Incoming Vice President Palmares said, “we are at a time where lawyers are placed in volatile situations and we need to make sure, as a Chapter, that the rule of law will always be upheld and preserved.”

IBP Cebu City Officers

NEW IBP CEBU CITY OFFICERS. (From left) Directors Hazel Espina and Maricris Bathan-Lasco, Vice President Michelle Mendez-Palmares, President Regal Oliva, Directors Christine Naranjo and Georgia Herrera, Auditor Dan delos Angeles and PRO Elmer Mansanadez.

 

The IBP is the official organization of all Philippine lawyers, whose names appear in the Roll of Attorneys of the Supreme Court. The IBP came into being when the Supreme Court created, on October 5, 1970, the Commission on Bar Integration which was tasked “not only to ascertain the advisability of integration of the Bar, but even more, to serve as a common vehicle of the Court and the Bar in fashioning a blueprint for integration and putting the same into actual operation.

The new board will begin their term on April 1, 2019. It will end on March 30, 2021.

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Columbia, Primer Group of Companies bring potable water to Sibugay school

Each day at school, Sibugay Integrated School Grade 6 student Riza Mae Ardiente spends P2 of her P20 allowance to buy water from a decrepit dispenser near the faculty office….

Each day at school, Sibugay Integrated School Grade 6 student Riza Mae Ardiente spends P2 of her P20 allowance to buy water from a decrepit dispenser near the faculty office.

For P1, she gets about a glass of water in a plastic bag that she twirls on top to seal and then bites off on one side to suck in the liquid. She gets one in the morning and another after lunch. She counts herself lucky. Others in school only have P5 as allowance and those who do not have money often ask teachers like Ryan Steve Panerio, “sir, naa kay piso? (do you have a peso?)”

Starting this school week, Ardiente can save the P2. Her school now has potable water, filtered to World Health Organization standards by an Aqua Tower put up on Valentine’s Day by volunteers from Columbia Sportswear Company and Primer Group of Companies working with the Planet Water Foundation.

Columbia, The Primer Group Aqua Tower in Sibugay

WATER DISPENSER. Grade 6 student Riza Mae Ardiente gets P1 worth of water from this machine near the faculty office of Sibugay Integrated School.

 

Water supply not safe

The Aqua Tower can serve 1,000 people daily, more than enough for the school’s 765 students from Kindergarten to Senior High School and 25 teachers and administration employees, said Jinn Brunk, Columbia Sportswear Community Program Manager.

Brunk, who is based in the company’s headquarters in Portland, Oregon, was in Cebu to help the group put up the water tower and turn it over to the school community.

Before the tower was put up, the school only had spring water and deep well supply that were found not safe for drinking by a team from the Cebu City Health Department, said school principal Madeline Tinapay. There were cases of people getting sick because of the water, she said.

Tinapay said her school is “very lucky and thankful” to receive the donation.

The Primer Group, Columbia Aqua Tower

AQUA TOWER. Volunteers from Columbia Sportswear and The Primer Group prepare to erect the Aqua Tower that will provide potable water to students and faculty of the Sibugay Integrated School in a mountain barangay in Cebu City.

 

Aqua Tower filtration system

The Aqua Tower stores water and then makes it potable through a two-stage filtration process that uses ultrafiltration technology. The system uses activated carbon to enhance drinking water quality, according to the Planet Water Foundation.

Last Thursday, February 14, the team from Columbia Sportswear and The Primer Group of Companies went to Sibugay to assemble the tower, hold lectures on hygiene for students, and turn over the system to the school.

The group arrived mid-morning and then put together the different parts of the water tower. By lunch, it was up and ready for commissioning.

The community served a sumptuous traditional celebratory feast of lechon or roast pig, pansit, and native chicken soup. Tinapay explained It was a contribution of the parents, many of whom were unable to attend the momentous event for the community. Most families in the area grow and sell flowers and Valentine’s Day was one of their biggest business days.

Columbia Sportswear, The Primer Group Aqua Tower

VALENTINE CARD. Students gave a Valentine’s Day card to express their gratitude to Jinn Brunk, Columbia Sportswear Community Program Manager. Brunk was with the team that built the tower and turned it over to the Sibugay Integrated School last Valentine’s Day.

 

Environmental conservation

The tower is the 9th installation by Columbia. The company started the project in 2016 and has worked with their factories to build 7 in Vietnam and 1 in India. This is the first time they worked with a distributor, Brunk said.

“Columbia is very committed with environmental conservation. We are an outdoor apparel company. We make products for going outside and if the environment is not clean, is not preserved, people don’t want to go out. It’s that easy, ” Brunk told MyCebu.ph in an interview.

She said the company has been “actively working with NGOs in protecting the environment and we’ve noticed that water is such an important issue, especially in emerging markets.”

Brunk said this is the first time they are working with a distributor. She said they always work with local partners because “they know which communities need clean drinking water.”

Columbia The Primer Group Aqua Tower

FILTRATION SYSTEM. The heart of the Aqua Tower is this filtration system that purifies water to World Health Organization standards. Working on the system are The Primer Group Director Johnny Thai and wife Evelyn (standing left and center) and Regional Manager Dino de Leon (seated).

 

The Primer Group CSR programs

Primer Group Corporate Social Responsibility Program Manager Kristine Villaflor said they worked with the Department of Education (DepEd) Cebu City to identify the beneficiary of the project. DepEd shortlisted 5 schools that the Primer Group visited to evaluate in October. They eventually chose Sibugay based on their criteria.

Villaflor said The Primer Group has different CSR programs on such areas as eco-tourism, environment, institutional partnerships, and donations.

Brunk said that to make sure the program is sustainable, Planet Water will send someone to regularly inspect the Aqua Tower and check its water quality.

Columba Sports Wear, The Primer Group Aqua Tower

FIRST GLASSES. Students drink their first glasses of the water made potable by the Aqua Tower put up by Columbia Sportswear and The Primer Group.

 

Planet Water Foundation Program Manager Dario Operario said the filtration system will last 5 to 7 years before needing replacement.

Teachers and students thanked Columbia, The Primer Group, Planet Water, and the volunteers during the turnover in the afternoon. The commissioning ended with students playfully trying out the water tower in the rain that had been pouring since early morning. The students were washing their hands with soap according to the training they had earlier that day and drinking their first glasses of water filtered by the Aqua Tower.

 

 

More photos of the building of the Aqua Tower and its turnover to Sibugay Integrated School

 

Columbia The Primer Group Aqua Tower

BRIEFING. Planet Water Foundation Program Manager Dario Operario briefs volunteers from Columbia Sportswear and The Primer Group before the assembling of the Aqua Tower.

 

Columbia The Primer Group Aqua Tower

WATER FILTER. Jinn Brunk, Columbia Sportswear Community Program Manager, talks about the filtration system at the heart of the Aqua Tower.

 

Columbia, The Primer Group Aqua Tower

TURNOVER. Jinn Brunk, Columbia Sportswear Community Program Manager, Sibugay Integrated School Principal Madeline Tinapay and DepEd Cebu City Division Superintendent Dr. Bianito Dagatan lead the ribbon cutting ceremony that marked the turnover of the water facility.

 

Columbia Sportswear Primer Group of Companies

VOLUNTEERS from Columbia Sportswear Company and Primer Group of Companies with School Principal Madeline Tinapay after the turnover of the project.

 

Columbia Sportswear, Primer Group of Companies

Volunteers get ready to put up the water tower.

 

Columbia Sportswear Primer Group of Companies Aqua Tower

VOLUNTEERS put up the water tower.

 

Columbia Sportswear Primer Group of Companies

HYGIENE LESSONS. Evelyn Thai discusses tips on hygiene and sanitation and how students should make sure their water containers are clean.

 

Columbia Sportswear Primer Group of Companies Aqua Tower turnover

MEMBERS of the school’s drum and bugle corps perform during the turnover ceremonies.

 

Columbia Sportswear Primer Group of Companies Aqua Tower

COMMUNITY DANCE. The highlight of the event was when students led volunteers, teachers, parents, and fellow students dance “I Love Cebu.”

 

Columbia Sportswear Primer Group of Companies

CLEAN, SAFE DRINKING WATER. The Aqua Tower put up by Columbia Sportswear Company and the Primer Group of Companies will serve clean and potable water to up to 1,000 people daily.

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Stronger signal improves life in mountain barangays of Cebu City

From being able to quickly call for emergency vehicles to bring patients to bigger hospitals to being able to receive orders for flowers, residents of Barangay Guba and Bonbon in…

From being able to quickly call for emergency vehicles to bring patients to bigger hospitals to being able to receive orders for flowers, residents of Barangay Guba and Bonbon in Cebu City say their lives have improved with the stronger cellphone signal in their area.

The two mountain barangays that are an hour’s drive from the central Cebu City business district now have better connectivity after Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) turned on 2 4G LTE cell sites in the area.

With the improved signal coverage, residents can now tap mobile services to improve their lives and boost their livelihood and businesses. Vital facilities like schools and hospitals also benefitted from the improved connection.

Smart LTE Cebu City

IMPROVED SPEEDS. The connectivity in Barangay Bonbon, a mountain barangay in Cebu City.

 

Emergency communications

Fr. Peter Necesario, parish priest of St. Niño Parish in Guba, said that with stronger signal, they no longer feel isolated, especially during emergencies.

“In times of emergencies such as storms, it is easier for us to communicate and be updated about the weather through the internet,” Fr. Necesario said.

He added that Guba is a strategically located barangay with a community hospital and church, so communications is very important.

Resident Gemma Sandigan, 40, said that the better mobile phone service helps them address the needs of the community, especially on health care. Her father was the former head of Guba Community Hospital. Since the community hospital is small, it can’t cater to complex medical procedures and has to refer patients to bigger hospitals. However, there are times when no vehicles are available to transport the patients.

LTE Cebu City

LTE CONNECTION. The improved connectivity allows residents of Barangays Guba and Bonbon to tap online services like live streaming of community events.

 

Contact family members

“With better signal, we can call for vehicles and ask for help in transferring patients to bigger hospitals faster,” Gemma said.

The activation of 2 new cell sites is part of a larger rollout plan covering several more mountain barangays of Cebu City at the request of Mayor Tomas Osmeña. The city government plans to deploy new services for these communities that require improved mobile phone coverage and data services.

For Gemma’s mother, 62-year-old Emerlisa Veloso, the benefits are personal. She is thankful for the stronger signal because she can now contact her children who work away from home.

“Before, we really have to get out of the house just to get signal. Now, we can just stay indoors to contact my children. This is a huge help,” Veloso said.

In terms of education, better signal also means improved learning.

Research, school work

For 14-year-old Grade 8 student Faith Mae P. Tabal, communication with teachers and classmates for school-related activities has become easier, now that she can use LTE for research and other school work.

In Barangay Bonbon, meanwhile, farmers are reaping the benefits of good signal and data connection.

Flower farmer Donyo Tapia, 71, said that the better Smart signal has helped him a lot with his flower deliveries.

“Stronger signal is a huge help. They (customers) can just call us when they order flowers. Even if we don’t have the flowers, we can still look for them,” he said.

Tapia also said they have the phone numbers to the local market and the customers can now call them for orders anytime and anywhere.

LTE in Guba, Bonbon, Cebu City

STRONGER CONNECTION. The new LTE connectivity allows students in Barangays Guba and Bonbon to use the internet to research and to link up with family, friends, and classmates.

 

Strong signal anywhere

“We can make sure to deliver flowers immediately, especially rush orders, now that the signal is stronger. Unlike before when we still have to go to higher places just to look for signal. It was hard. Now the signal is very strong anywhere,” he added.

Another thankful resident of Barangay Bonbon is 50-year-old micro-entrepreneur Marites Cabos. Upon experiencing stronger signal for calls and LTE for mobile data, she now sells Smart SIM cards in her store.

“Before we didn’t have network signal from Smart, now we finally have it. We are very thankful because this is a huge help for us here in Bonbon, especially because our children live far away. Now I am also a retailer here because the signal is faster. The LTE data (signal) is now very fast here in Bonbon,” she said.

Over 80% of cell sites across Cebu now have LTE.

This continuous expansion of LTE services across Cebu is part of efforts to provide the best mobile data experience across the country.

LTE is the best technology to help bring fast, affordable and reliable mobile internet services to as many customers as possible. It is also quickly upgradable to LTE-Advanced (LTE-A), which can provide even greater capacity and speeds to users with capable smartphones.

In Cebu, major cities like Cebu City, Lapu-Lapu City, and Mandaue City already have LTE-A sites.

LTE in Guba and Bonbon

IMPROVED LIVES. The stronger Smart signal in Barangays Guba and Bonbon have improved the lives of people in the community.

 

Award-winning network

Smart has also already fulfilled its commitment to the National Telecommunications Commission to cover at least 90 percent of cities and municipalities to address the growing demand for broadband infrastructure and internet access within three years from the grant of the use of frequencies by the NTC in 2016.

Smart has increased its total LTE base station count across the country by 65% in the first three quarters of 2018. PLDT’s fiber optic transmission and distribution network, the country’s most extensive fiber network at 221,000 kilometers, meanwhile, provides high-capacity fiber connections for these LTE base stations.

For these continuous network upgrade efforts, both PLDT and Smart have been cited by third party firms for being the country’s fastest networks. Earlier this year, PLDT and Smart were cited for being the country’s fastest fixed and mobile networks for Q1-Q2 2018, respectively, by Ookla, the global leader in internet testing and analysis. Mobile analytics firm OpenSignal has also consistently cited Smart for having the country’s fastest LTE network for its past four study rounds.

Parent company PLDT has committed historic levels of resources for network transformation. For 2018, PLDT capex was expected to reach P58 billion.

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Santo Niño art exhibit opens in Bamboo Bay

Contempo Property Holdings Inc and Bamboo Bay Community gathered 24 Cebuano artists to mount an art exhibit called “Halad Kaniño” at the condo development on Hernan Cortez St., Mandaue City. The…

Contempo Property Holdings Inc and Bamboo Bay Community gathered 24 Cebuano artists to mount an art exhibit called “Halad Kaniño” at the condo development on Hernan Cortez St., Mandaue City.

The exhibit centers on the Santo Niño and is timed with the celebration of the Sinulog festival, which honors the Holy Child. The exhibit opened yesterday and will run until February 12.

Halad Kaniño exhibit Bamboo Bay

EXHIBIT OPENING. Contempo founder and CEO Beverly Dayanan (2nd from left) and exhibit organizer and painter Celso Pepito (4th from left) lead the ribbon cutting to mark the opening of the Halad Kaniño art exhibit at the Bamboo Bay Community in Mandaue City.

 

Contempo Property Holdings Inc. founder and CEO Beverly Dayanan and painter Celso Pepito, who organized the show, led the ribbon cutting to mark the opening of the exhibit yesterday.

The art show is a tribute exhibition of paintings, sculptures, and drawings of the Santo Niño.

It features the works of renowned artists Jonathan Abellana, Lida Aguilar, Ryan Roy Barral, Arnel Belda, Irvin Benlot, Cesar Castillo, Methuzael Carredo, Mary Evangeline Caya, Rhodesa Cruzet, Jess Dinglasa, John Dinglasa, Reynan Dingal, Ramo de Dios, Efren Enolva, Eunice Florendo, Jet Florendo, Jun Impas, Ann Lubanga, Guido Lubanga, Clint Normandia, Joseph Ong, Celso Pepito, Fe Pepito, Jose Mari Picornell, Garry Watin, Antonio Vidal, Marlone Ylanan, and Sonia Yrastorza.

Bamboo Bay Sinulog exhibit

A painting by Jun Impas.

 

Bamboo Bay is the flagship project of Contempo. It is a 1-hectare Asia contemporary development located on Hernan Cortez St., Mandaue City.

The company said in a statement that it is committed to support Cebuano artists by holding exhibitions to showcase their works. In April 2018, the condo development had a successful run of its Flower Power Art Exhibit, a collection of art pieces that captured the blooms and colors of summer. It was also held at Bamboo Bay.

To learn more about the the Halad Kaniño Art Exhibit, you can call +6332 231 0001 or +6332 231 0002.

 

More photos of the Halad Kaniño exhibit opening

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Disaster preparedness, response in communities boosted via tech, partnerships

Communication services, technological innovations and partnerships with various organizations—these factors have helped communities all over the Philippines bolster disaster preparedness and response efforts. As the Philippines faced typhoons, volcanic eruptions…

Communication services, technological innovations and partnerships with various organizations—these factors have helped communities all over the Philippines bolster disaster preparedness and response efforts.

As the Philippines faced typhoons, volcanic eruptions and other hazards in 2018, several communities weathered the storm with the help of solutions initiated by PLDT wireless unit Smart Communications.

As part of its #SafePH advocacy, Smart ensured the availability and quick restoration of its services in areas hit by calamities. These areas include Albay, which was affected by the eruption of the Mayon Volcano; Benguet and other provinces in the Northern Luzon, which bore the brunt of Typhoon “Ompong” (Mangkhut) and “Rosita” (Yutu); and other areas all over the country that experienced heavy rains, strong winds and floods.

Smart disaster response Ompong

A resident from Benguet (left) uses the free charging station put up by Smart and Vodafone Foundation at the Typhoon Ompong command center in Itogon.

 

Free calls, charging, Wi-Fi

In areas where communication services were limited because of damage to infrastructure and power lines, Smart offered libreng tawag (free calls), charging and Wi-Fi services to both affected residents and responders.

Smart also forged cooperation with international organizations to further enhance its emergency communications services and enable these solutions to serve more communities.

When Ompong hit Northern Luzon and triggered a deadly landslide in Benguet, Vodafone Foundation teamed up with Smart to provide emergency solutions for those affected by the typhoon. Smart and Vodafone set up free charging and Wi-Fi stations at the command center and the retrieval site in Itogon for the use of both responders, evacuees and family members of landslide victims and others in need of assistance.

Nokia drone disaster response

Representatives of Smart, Nokia and PRC during the drone and network solutions presentation. They are (from left) Thomas Eder (Nokia), Leonardo Ebajo (PRC), Ramon Isberto (Smart), Nicolas Bouverot (Nokia), Christina Cabrera (Nokia), Elizabeth Zavalla (PRC), Colin Von Hardenberg (Nokia), Ana Mariquina (PRC), Dullip Tillekeratne (GSMA) and Alvin Ilano (Smart).

 

Nokia drones

Nokia also tapped Smart to be its connectivity partner for a program that employs drones and network solutions for disaster response. The Nokia Saving Lives program seeks to provide communications technology and technical assistance to emergency response teams. In the Philippines, Smart will provide high-speed connectivity to the drone system to help boost the disaster response efforts of the Philippine Red Cross.

For its pioneering and collaborative system, the Nokia Saving Lives project received funding from GSMA, the organization representing mobile operators globally. Early this year, GSMA selected Nokia Saving Lives as a recipient of its Humanitarian Innovation Grant.

On the local front, Smart joined forces with the academe and local government units to help bring disaster preparedness closer to the youth. Through its TNT brand, Smart brought its Tropang Ready disaster preparedness caravans to more state colleges and universities all over the country. TNT Tropang Ready aims to train the youth and their friends (tropa) on disaster preparedness. With their agility and technological know-how, the youth are best suited to mobilize their communities in times of calamities.

The Tropang Ready program recently won in the Community Engagement category at the prestigious Golden World Awards, which recognizes public relations practices that meet international standards of excellence.

Smart Vodafone response Itogon

Vodafone volunteers (in red) get help from Itogon residents as they set up the free charging and Wi-Fi stations for responders and affected residents near the area hit by landslide in Barangay Ucab.

 

TNT Tropang Ready

Since 2016, the TNT Tropang Ready program has covered more than 10,000 students and school personnel in more than 10 state colleges and universities nationwide. Joining the roster of Tropang Ready schools this year are the following universities: Holy Name University in Tagbilaran, Bohol; University of Southeastern Philippines in Davao City; Mariano Marcos State University in Ilocos Norte, and Mindanao State University in Marawi City. The students were trained to cascade their learnings to their extension communities, bringing the lessons to more residents and amplifying its benefits.

Smart Naga landslide free calls

A resident of Naga, Cebu, uses Smart’s free calls service to contact a relative following the landslide that hit their community.

 

Smart also extended support during nationwide earthquake drills by providing various emergency communications facilities, allowing residents and responders to experience first-hand the solutions that are available to them as the need arises. The drills were held in San Mateo, Rizal; Davao City; and in various locations all over Metro Manila.

As Filipinos gear up for 2019, Smart also recognizes the importance of being prepared for the year ahead. Smart continues to ensure the reliability of its services and, in times of distress, offer communications as relief, as part of its commitment to a #SafePH. (Press Release)

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Accenture expands coding tutorial to 15 languages for Hour of Code 2018

For the fourth consecutive year, Accenture is teaming up with Code.org to support Hour of Code, a global educational movement that reaches over 100 million students through a one-hour introduction…

For the fourth consecutive year, Accenture is teaming up with Code.org to support Hour of Code, a global educational movement that reaches over 100 million students through a one-hour introduction to computer science. This year, in conjunction with Computer Science Education Week (December 3-9), Accenture is expanding its coding tutorial across 15 languages – English, Chinese, Dutch, Filipino, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Slovak, Spanish, Swedish and Vietnamese – to bring coding to more students around the world through lessons in their native languages.

Nearly 2,500 Accenture employees have committed to teach an hour of code at local events in their communities, helping to inspire more than 100,000 students around the world to learn coding and computer science skills.

Accenture Hour of Code

Accenture Philippines Country Managing Director Lito Tayag joins other company leaders in teaching students code as part of the global Hour of Code event.

 

“As disruptive technologies advance and have a growing impact on society, a significant skills gap is also growing – so much so that already millions of jobs requiring STEM skills are unfilled worldwide,” said Paul Daugherty, Accenture’s chief technology and innovation officer and “chief coder.”

“It is critical that we equip today’s students – tomorrow’s workforce – with not just these skills, but also an understanding of how they can harness creativity and innovation to improve the way the world works and lives,” Daugherty said.

Accenture is building on the success of last year’s launch of the Accenture Intelligent Space Exploration, a coding tutorial in which students discover how artificial intelligence (AI) techniques can be applied to teach a robot to explore a new planet – recognizing animals and plants, understanding a new language, and conversing with inhabitants. Approximately 110,000 individuals have participated in the tutorial since its debut.

“By learning to code, kids will grow up understanding how humans and technology work together—an important first lesson in preparing for the future,” said Jill Huntley, global managing director for corporate citizenship at Accenture. “Hour of Code is a fantastic opportunity for Accenture volunteers to help to build New Skills Now all over the world.”

Accenture’s global commitment to provide more opportunities for students to learn to code supports the company’s Skills to Succeed corporate citizenship initiative, which addresses urgent workforce needs around the world—including preparing the next generation with the skills to work in the digital economy.

 

As part of this year’s Hour of Code collaboration, Accenture employees are developing and leading engaging activities around the world aimed at inspiring students in new ways. Among these activities include:

  • Marty Rodgers, senior managing director and local office managing director for Accenture in Metro Washington, D.C., is joining Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh, Maryland Lt. Gov. Boyd Kevin Rutherford, and 60 community organizations to launch #thecitythatcodes – a year dedicated to STEM education in Baltimore. The program kicks off with an hour of code taught to adults, by elementary school students.
  • In Texas, Accenture is hosting 200 students at NASA’s Space Center Houston, taking students out of the classroom and showing them first-hand what a future in computer science can look like.
  • In the Philippines, Accenture is organizing Hour of Code sessions for over 450 grade school students from public and private schools across its sites in Metro Manila, Cebu, and Ilocos. As part of its corporate citizenship commitment, Accenture in the Philippines is rallying its more than 50,000 employees to participate and volunteer in company-wide Hour of Code sessions set on December 5 as well as create their own coding events.

“We are excited to support Hour of Code once again as part of our corporate citizenship commitment to drive digital upskilling and equip our next generation of Filipino talent with coding skills. Through Hour of Code, we can help our students build a strong foundation for success in the digital age in a fun and creative way,” said Lito Tayag, country managing director, Accenture in the Philippines.

“Every student should have the opportunity to learn computer science – it provides a critical foundation for success in any 21st-century career path – not just in ‘traditional’ IT, but also creative vocations – everything from graphic design to theater production,” said Hadi Partovi, co-founder and CEO of Code.org. “To-date, over 100 million students around the world have participated in Hour of Code. This is because organizations such as Accenture go above-and-beyond to advance our shared vision of equipping the youth of today with skills they’ll need in the future.”

To learn more or participate in Hour of Code visit www.accenture.com/HoC2018 or code.org. (Press Release)

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USC Museum head meets Hiroshima University counterparts

Dr. J. Eleazar R. Bersales, head curator of USC Museum (USCM), met with the director and assistant curators of Hiroshima University Museum (HUM) on Saturday, Nov. 17, to explore possible…

Dr. J. Eleazar R. Bersales, head curator of USC Museum (USCM), met with the director and assistant curators of Hiroshima University Museum (HUM) on Saturday, Nov. 17, to explore possible linkage between the two museums.

Dr. Toshihisa Asano, HUM director and HU professor of human geography, welcomed Dr. Bersales to the museum after which a tour was carried out led by Dr. Norio Shimizu, museum curator, assisted by Dr. Nao Ishikawa of the HU School of Letters, who acted as interpreter. Like USCM, HUM does not have its own building but occupies spaces at the HU College of Education with satellite museums spread in different college buildings on campus.

Dr. Bersales (third from right) outside the Hiroshima University Museum entrance with (L-R): Dr. Fujino, Dr. Shimizu, Dr. Liao, Mr. Sato, and HUM director Dr. Asano. (Photo by Dr. Nao Ishikawa)

 

One of these buildings is the Cultural Assets Center, a two-storey edifice adjacent to the museum that, according to HU archaeologist Dr. Tsugifumi Fujino, houses artifacts excavated in 32 sites within the university campus dating from the Paleolithic (about 30,000 years ago) to the post-war period. Dr. Fujino showed Dr. Bersales some of these artifacts at a mini-exhibition inside the Center.

After the tour, a meeting was held at the HUM curatorial office to determine possible areas of future cooperation between the two museums, with Dr. Bersales extending an invitation to the HUM director and curators to visit USCM soon.

Dr. Bersales’ visit is timed with the 4th Philippine Studies in Japan Conference, also being held at HU, where he will be presenting a paper. The meeting was arranged earlier by USC alumnus Dr. Lawrence Liao, professor of biology and environmental science at HU. Funding for this trip was made possible by a collaborative grant from The Japanese Foundation-Manila.

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Basadours brings colorful tales, artful activities to Naga children

Basadours Inc. rolled out a series of storytelling sessions last October to the children of the City of Naga who were displaced from their homes due to a landslide. The…

Basadours Inc. rolled out a series of storytelling sessions last October to the children of the City of Naga who were displaced from their homes due to a landslide.

The month-long outreach project started on October 4 at the CEPOC Central Elementary School. The children listened in rapt attention as the Basadours animatedly read “Just Add Dirt” and “Bakawan” stories that teach the important values of cleanliness and environmental consciousness.

In the weeks that followed, Basadours visited other evacuation centers in Naga, including Central Elementary School on October 11, Naga National High School on October 13, and Enan Chiong Activity Center on October 20. Volunteer storytellers shared stories of hope and positive change in each stopover.

Basadours in Naga, Cebu

The month-long activity culminated on October 27 at the Naga Central School, where Basadours teamed up with three other organizations: Summerville (an annual summer workshop for children ages two to 13 years old), Kalinangan Youth Foundation (KALFI Lead), and Choose Tuesday. They brought the magic of storytelling as well as other engaging activities for children such as a play station, a coloring station, and an origami station.

Jo Belle Marabiles, executive director of Basadours, Inc., expressed her gratitude toward her companions and emphasized the power of storytelling among children.

“I thank my fellow Basadours for volunteering their time and effort for this endeavor in the true spirit of service and charity — giving their time, energy and pooling their resources for the children of Naga,” she said.

“Storytelling gives them something to think about. We aim to inspire them to hope for the better by reading and delivering children’s stories that will hopefully stay with them. We also hope that they live out the values from these stories or that they will love to read books as well,” added Marabiles.

Basadours in Naga, Cebu

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Cebu City student council heads undergo workshop to improve leadership skills

Presidents and representatives of Cebu City’s Supreme Student Councils (SSC) underwent workshops and dialogues over timely social issues during the annual SSC Training and Election of Officers in Wellcome Hotel…

Presidents and representatives of Cebu City’s Supreme Student Councils (SSC) underwent workshops and dialogues over timely social issues during the annual SSC Training and Election of Officers in Wellcome Hotel last October 29 to 30.

Working with SSC officers is one of the flagship programs of the Cebu City Local Youth Development Office (CCLYDO) and the Sangguniang Kabataan Federation of Cebu City.

The two-day summit embraced the theme, “Sugbuanon Student Leaders Gearing Towards a Better Tomorrow.”

The summit convened officers of student body organizations to solidify their roles as Cebuano youth leaders. It sought to make efficient the dissemination of training materials and good practices to organization members and make a lasting community impact.

Cebu City SSC Federation

Voice of the youth

Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmena initiated conversations with the SSC officers through “Talk to Tommy,” where Osmeña emphasized leadership as an important factor in amplifying the voice of the youth in bringing about positive social change.

Other speakers of the event include Cris Evert Lato-Ruffolo, Alein Navares, Marco Romas and Magdalina Robinsons.

“Student leaders play crucial roles in our society because they will become inspirational and influential adult leaders. Their training, exposure and interaction as youth leaders will significantly contribution their brand of leadership in whatever field they choose to be involved in after school,” said Ruffolo, who delivered a talk on “Servant Leadership for Student Leaders.”

An important module covered during the summit was the Magna Carta for Students or more popularly known as the Student’s Rights and Welfare (STRAW) Bill. The STRAW Bill was discussed by Hendy Abendan.

Other modules covered during the two-day summit include policies on relevant issues such as the Anti-Discrimination Ordinance, youth and media, project management and servant leadership.

SSC Federation officials

Jowel Sollano of Cebu Institute of Technology-University (CIT-U) was elected president of the SSC Federation.

Niño Jan Miole of University of Cebu-Banilad (UC Banilad) and Andre Pepito of St. Theresa’s College (STC) were elected vice president and secretary respectively. Kylle Pulmones of University of San Jose-Recoletos (USJ-R), Adrian Aninon and Noel Mirambel of UC Main were chosen treasurer and focal persons.

“The coalition of these great young minds leads to the pursuit of change and the drive to contribute for the betterment of Cebu. This can only be realized if we function together with one heartbeat,” said Vice President-elect Niño Miole.

After the election, the SSC Federation discussed goals and potential projects by identifying relevant issues which are needed to be addressed.

In line with the Philippine Youth Development Plan, CCLYDO integrates proactive community involvement of the youth through the summit.

The summit aims to bridge gaps in knowledge and linkages. It also provides opportunities for training and immersion to promote unified action, especially among youth-serving organizations.

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Nanay group, Basadours host “Mother and Child Day” in Calawisan

It was a day of stories and art for 120 day care students in Barangay Calawisan in Lapu-Lapu City last August 11. Cebu Nanays for Nanays and Basadours Inc. hosted…

It was a day of stories and art for 120 day care students in Barangay Calawisan in Lapu-Lapu City last August 11.

Cebu Nanays for Nanays and Basadours Inc. hosted the “Mother and Child Day” event in the barangay on that day. The event was sponsored by Jollibee and Avon.

Basadours storytellers read stories and facilitated arts activity for the day care pupils.

Baadours Calawisan

Jollibee provided snacks for 200 people and donated school signs to Calawisan Centro Day Care Center. Day care teacher Charisse Tanudra received the donations.

Avon, on the other hand, conducted a make-up workshop and livelihood talk with women and gave out raffle prizes and special tokens for the best attire and best dancers in the zumba dance session in the afternoon.

Basadours Calawisan

“It is our goal to bring the joy of reading to children and likewise share knowledge and expertise to the women of the barangays,” said Cris Evert Lato-Ruffolo, chairperson of Basadours Inc.

Ruffolo, who is also the creative director and founder of Cebu Nanays for Nanays, said the September session will be held at the Cebu City Public Library to commemorate the declaration of Martial Law.

Basadours Calawisan

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Vivant Foundation lights up Hilotongan School with off-grid solar power installation

WHEN students of Hilotongan Integrated School (HIS) were ushered into the computer lab after a turnover ceremony on Friday morning, Grade 9-Prudence pupil Barbi Villadolid headed to computer unit 7,…

WHEN students of Hilotongan Integrated School (HIS) were ushered into the computer lab after a turnover ceremony on Friday morning, Grade 9-Prudence pupil Barbi Villadolid headed to computer unit 7, opened Microsoft Word, and typed 2 words: Thank you.

Villadolid expressed on her computer monitor the gratitude the school and the wider island community felt for being the recipient of an off-grid solar power installation by the Vivant Foundation.

The foundation, the corporate social responsibility arm of Cebu-based energy company Vivant Corporation, installed solar panels, batteries, and the system that finally allowed the school to use computers that have been idle for lack of power.

Vivant Foundation Hilotongan

TURNOVER. Vivant Foundation Executive Director Shem Garcia (center) turns over a solar panel to Hilotongan Integrated School Principal Nelita Cervantes to mark the turnover of the solar power system that now powers the school. The turnover was held at the school last Friday. With them on stage are Vivant Corporation Assistant Vice President Grant Clark (4th from right), DepEd 7 Assistant Regional Director Salustiano Jimenez (4th from left) and other officials from DepEd and the local government unit.

 

LED lights, electric fans

The solar power system also allows the school to finally have LED lights and electric fans in its classrooms.

Before the system was installed, students took turns using a laptop charged by a generator, said Vivant Foundation Executive Director Shem Garcia.

HIS Principal Nelita Cervantes said that to use computers, students used to take a 30 to 45-minute boat ride to Bantayan Island that costs P20 roundtrip and rent computers at an internet cafe by the minute. That is a fortune for students lucky to have P10 as daily allowance, Cervantes said.

Hilotongan Vivant Foundation

COMPUTER LAB. Grade 9 student Barbi Villadolid (left) works on her unit during a tour of the computer lab after the turnover ceremony. The solar power installation donated by Vivant Foundation powers this computer lab as well as the lighting and ventilation in all of the school’s classrooms.

 

Now, Villadolid said in an interview, they are able to listen to lectures comfortably in their airconditioned computer lab and use the computers to work on their assignments and projects. From presentations on manila paper, she said, they have started to submit digital reports.

“Our school rooms are now well-lighted and well-ventilated because of solar power. Our students can now use computers,” Cervantes said during the turnover ceremony at the school.

Hilotongan is an island barangay off Bantayan Island. It is accessible by boat only during high tide.

Improve students’ performance

The donation is seen to help the school improve its performance in educational measures, said Department of Education (DepEd) Central Visayas Assistant Regional Director Salustiano Jimenez. He said the facility and the comfort of studying with the electric fans in classrooms and air conditioning in the computer lab will increase the interest and eagerness of students to attend classes.

Garcia said the foundation chose HIS because it has the biggest student population, at 734 pupils, among un-energized islet schools in Cebu Province.

Juvimar Montolo of DepEd Cebu Province said she is sure academic performance will improve at the school. She said the area performed poorly in science and she sees the donation as helping the school do better on the subject.

The solar rooftop panels power the 2 computer processing units and 46 monitors connected to it in the high school computer lab. It also powers the 6 computers in the grade school computer room and the air conditioning for both rooms.

The installation also powers the school’s sound system as well as the perimeter lights that secure the campus at night. Vivant also upgraded the school’s electrical wiring.

Hilotongan Island Vivant Foundation

ROOFTOP INSTALLATION. This rooftop installation powers the schools computer lab and the lighting and ventilation in all classrooms. Vivant Foundation made sure the system will function even under cloud cover.

 

More than enough

“The solar power system includes inverters and batteries that ensure that lighting and appliances continue to function even when there’s cloud cover and that perimeter lights remain on at night,” the company said in a statement.

The solar rooftop system is more than enough for the school’s future load, the foundation said.

Garcia said the foundation spent over P4 million for the Hilotongan project. The installation, however, is just one component of the Liadlaw Off-Grid Solar Electrification Project. The project is named after Liadlaw, the pre-Christian Visayan god of the sun.

The other component, which is unique in the country, is the equipment donation and training of senior high students of Bantayan National High School on solar power installation and maintenance as part of the Electronic Installation and Maintenance (EIM) national certificate.

Training of students

The Bantayan students who will be trained on solar power will then maintain the off-grid installation in Hilotongan. This exchange allows the EIM students to get actual experience on solar power and HIS to have its systems checked regularly and maintained.

The donation and new EIM curriculum that incorporates solar power has sparked interest among students in Bantayan National High School. For the first year of EIM, 32 students enrolled in the course. This dropped to 15 the next year when students realized there were no equipment to work with. After Vivant’s donation, enrolment this year shot up to 90.

When these students graduate, they will have 2 certifications: for EIM and solar power.

Hilotongan Vivant Foundation

BIGGEST POPULATION. Hilotongan Integrated School was chosen as pilot beneficiary because it has the biggest student population among un-energized islet schools in Cebu Province.

 

A step ahead

Apart from maintaining the Hilotongan system, these Bantayan students will be able to work on other solar projects in the area, Garcia said.

He said he talked to people who have businesses in Bantayan Island and they told him their hesitation with using solar power is the lack of workers to maintain it. Garcia said the foundation hopes that when the students graduate from the course, they can serve as local workers to maintain installations and encourage businesses to adopt solar power.

Garcia said the students will be “a step ahead of other electricians” when solar power use at home and business go up exponentially as it did in China and other developed countries.

He said the foundation hopes to work on more schools in the future.

 

Hilotongan Vivant Foundation

HILOTONGAN Island is 30 to 45 minutes by boat from the mainland Bantayan Island.

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5 Cebu teams make it to national finals of Accenture Program The Future 2018

Technology solutions to monitor Cebu City’s free medicines program, facilitate and track donations for calamity-hit communities, teach speech to kids with cleft palate, support cancer patients deal with their disease,…

Technology solutions to monitor Cebu City’s free medicines program, facilitate and track donations for calamity-hit communities, teach speech to kids with cleft palate, support cancer patients deal with their disease, and help the blind read via conversion of text into Braille feedback topped Saturday’s Accenture Program The Future 2018 in Cebu.

The five student teams chosen from the 11 that joined the semifinals in Cebu will head to Manila on August 18 to compete in the national finals.

“Your solutions and apps prove that you can accomplish extraordinary things by combining talent, collaboration, technology, and compassion for others,” said Accenture Advanced Technology Centers in the Philippines Managing Director Arvin Yason during the awarding of winners.

“Help future-proof talent”

Program The Future: The Accenture Technology Campus Challenge, Yason explained in a press conference after the event, was started five years ago to reach out to the academe.

“Through Program the Future, Accenture is actively collaborating with the academe to help future- proof talent, equipping them with the necessary skills to succeed and lead in the digital age,” the company said in a briefing paper.

“The intent really is through the months-long program, we want to help students rediscover their power to shape the future through technology,” Yason said. “We’re also helping them see that it’s not just about technology it’s also about creativity, imagination, teamwork–because we’re a very team-oriented organization–and the power of technology to make the world a better place.”

Arvin Yason Accenture

EXTRAORDINARY ACCOMPLISHMENTS. Accenture Advanced Technology Centers in the Philippines Managing Director Arvin Yason: “Your solutions and apps prove that you can accomplish extraordinary things by combining talent, collaboration, technology, and compassion for others.”

 

New technologies to solve social problems

This year, the competition’s theme is “Tech4Good.”

Accenture said the competition provides students the opportunity to learn about new technologies such as blockchain, cloud, Internet of things or IoT, extended reality, data analytics, and artificial intelligence.

The students underwent training and mentoring sessions by Accenture employees on design thinking and the new technologies that they should tap in building their solutions, Yason said.

He said the program received 132 submissions from 21 schools all over the country.

In Cebu, the following teams won and will compete in the national finals:

 

Team: A1 of Cebu Institute of Technology University
Project: Aeon

Cebu Institute of Technology University

Team A1

Aeon is an app and platform that will help Cebu City Hall’s Long Life Program, a project that delivers maintenance medicines to residents with with hypertension, diabetes, and other chronic diseases. The app aims to solve problems on the program such as manual recording by digitizing records. It uses GPS to verify and track deliveries. It also has a predictive stock ordering capability to make sure there is enough stocks for beneficiaries. The platform can also be used to gather health data of beneficiaries to evaluate potential health risks.

 

Team: Aid 2.0 of University of San Carlos
Project: Tactus: Tactile text to Braille glove for the blind

University of San Carlos

Team Aid 2.0

Tactus taps AI and IoT to transform text into Braille feedback on the fingertips of a glove. The team says it offers a “portable, wearable, and affordable” solution for the blind and visually-impaired to read.

 

Team: Amigos of University of San Jose Recoletos
Project: JUANation

University of San Jose Recoletos

Team Amigos

The project taps IBM Watson AI to analyze data from verified news sources about calamities and then generate assessments, based on location and population, on needs of the community for donations. It also taps the blockchain for monitoring of the donations.

 

Team: Repository Blues of University of the Philippines – Cebu
Project: Cancervive

University of the Philippines – Cebu

Team Repository Blues

The project is a support platform for people with cancer deal with their ailment. It has a profile of the patient, a private diary to track the treatment, reminders and tracking of medications, and a community portal for interaction with other cancer patients and medical personnel.

 

Team Coop of Cebu Institute of Technology University
Project: Tingog

Cebu Institute of Technology University

Team Coop

Tingog is an app that aims to teach speech to children with cleft palate. It is meant as a complement to professional speech therapy. During the presentation, team leader Fritz Hoyle said the team will be working with Smile Train Philippines to deploy the app, whatever the outcome of the contest.

Yason said the teams in this year’s edition of the event “pleasantly surprised us in terms of the readiness of their prototypes.”

Unlike in the previous staging of the events when they focused on specific technologies, Yason said this year is more open-ended in terms of solutions.

Integrate multiple technologies

“That actually mimics real life. In real life, we rarely deliver solutions just on one technology. When we build solutions for our clients, we integrate multiple technologies,” Yason said.

“The evolution this year is tech for good. We wanted these students to actually look at society’s problems and ask themselves how can we start solving these problems with new and emerging technologies,” he said.

The 10 finalists that made it to the national competition will get P20,000 cash each team. The team that deploys solutions closely aligned with Accenture’s Tech Vision will receive P50,000 cash. The grand champion will win P300,000 cash and the school will receive P50,000. The Accenture mentor of the winning team will get a gadget.

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OCEAN18 conference in Cebu to focus on how to protect, expand homegrown innovation

A conference that started after the World Economic Forum was held in the Philippines in 2014 will focus this year on homegrown innovation and “how to protect, grow, expand, and…

A conference that started after the World Economic Forum was held in the Philippines in 2014 will focus this year on homegrown innovation and “how to protect, grow, expand, and make sustainable our own industries.”

“We’re beginning to worry about our industries, like we consume a lot more shoes from outside the Philippines than shoes made here. We’re beginning to lose our furniture industry, we’re beginning to import more and more rice, we’re beginning to depend so much on imports and our exports are also declining so we wanna try to make sure that we can focus on that,” said Winston Damarillo, co-chair of OCEAN18 and founder and CEO of Amihan Global Strategies.

Multi-sectoral strategy for growth

The Open Collaboration with East Asian Networks or OCEAN18 will be held in Cebu this November.

Organizers said that the conference seeks to “shape the future of the Philippines by bringing together indiepreneurs, sector industry champions, and policy makers to create a multi-sectoral strategy for economic growth.”

Damarillo said indiepreneurs or independent entrepreneurs are early-stage ventures “have the potential to scale up tremendously and shake up their sectors.”

Damarillo is a venture capitalist and founder of several successful startups.

Unlike in the previous two stagings in 2014 and 2016, however, this year’s OCEAN conference will have a series of masterclasses throughout the country starting in this Friday, July 27, at the Crimson Resort and Spa in Mactan, Cebu.

OCEAN18 Cebu

HOMEGROWN INNOVATION. Cecilia Martinez-Miranda and Winston Damarillo discuss the theme of the OCEAN18 conference in Cebu and masterclass roadshow.

 

6 high-impact sectors

This will then be followed by masterclasses in Iloilo, Davao, and Manila.

The masterclasses will focus on 6 high-impact sectors identified by the team: Creative Economy, Education, Food, Global Filipino Engagement, Healthcare, and Tourism, said organizer Cecilia Martinez-Miranda.

This Friday, Damarillo said indiepreneurs will learn about business basics that are “foundational” to enterprises.

This Friday’s masterclass in Cebu will have Damarillo, who is also a WEF Young Global Leader, discuss key business fundamentals. Niña Terol of Kick Fire Kitchen will handle a session on design thinking techniques, and Richard Dacalos of Upstart the Game will talk about effective pitching.

At the end of the day, participants will close the master class with a round of benchmark pitches.

Global Filipino

In coming up with the 6 high-impact sectors, Damarillo stressed the importance of engaging the “Global Filipino.”

“We call them OFWs. That is so 1980s because we tend to forget that 10 million Filipinos are no longer in the Philippines and some of them go out to work overseas but a good part of them are Filipinos who have emigrated from the Philippines who still care a lot about the Philippines. And they remit a lot of money,” he said.

“The idea of this particular discussion is how do we look at those Filipinos who are still very connected to the Philippines as an expansion of our market. The Filipinos who are not in the Philippines, they have a lot of buying capability. They would be the most likely to patronize our exports. And they miss the Philippines, they miss our content. they miss our products and I think it’s a huge opportunity for us to address them as a buyer of our services and not just remitter of money,” Damarillo said.

The masterclass workshops are free and organizers will choose 6 teams to represent each high-impact sector and attend the OCEAN18 in November. They will also get mentorship and assistance in getting access to markets.

Filipino way

Damarillo said that in encouraging entrepreneurship, the country should look to build “Filipino startups the Filipino way, not the Silicon Valley way, not the Singapore way.”

“I think the model that would work in the Philippines is more like the examples of Injap Sia of Mang Inasal, from small to big and growing it. An example more like Penshoppe of Bernie Liu, right from tshirt to an empire. More like Jay Aldeguer from tshirts to Island Souvenir,” Damarillo said during the press conference to announce OCEAN18.

Damarillo said that what differentiates OCEAN18 and the masterclasses from other events is that “we’re going grassroots.”

“We wanted to make sure that as many people are touched. Dili lang siya novelty, it impacts our overall economy not just the tech economy,” he added.

OCEAN18 is a collaboration among the Global Shapers Communities of the Philippines, independent initiatives of the World Economic Forum; DevCon Philippines, a nonprofit aimed at promoting IT Pinoy Talent, and Kaya Collaborative, a nonprofit dedicated to inspiring, educating, and mobilizing diaspora youth as partners to long-term, locally led social change in the Philippines.

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Cebuano kids, parents urged to download Kaalam learning app

Third grader Christine Sosas of Argao Central Elementary School recently discovered a fun mobile application that enables her to learn important lessons in her native Cebuano. Sosas enjoyed exploring the…

Third grader Christine Sosas of Argao Central Elementary School recently discovered a fun mobile application that enables her to learn important lessons in her native Cebuano.

Sosas enjoyed exploring the Kaalam app, launched recently by PLDT wireless unit Smart Communications and its local partners in Cebu. The app, which can be downloaded for free from Google Play, features Cebuano culture and folklore. It also teaches kids to count, read, and write in Cebuano.

Sosas said her favorite feature is Magbasa na ta (Let us Read) which contains local stories. “Siyempre ang story, kay nindot gyud kaayo unya makakat on pud ka sa story (The stories are my favorite because they are very nice and you can learn lessons from them).”

Kaalam app launch

KAALAM LAUNCH. (From left) Smart Public Affairs Senior Manager Stephanie Orlino, CTU-Argao Campus Director Dr. Juanita Pinote, Smart Public Affairs Center Head Atty. Jane Paredes, Argao Mayor Stanley Caminero, and DepEd Regional Director for Region 7 Dr. Juliet Jeruta during the launch of Kaalam in Argao.

 

Moma Ortega, dean of the College of Computer Studies at University of Cebu-Banilad campus (UC Banilad), encouraged parents like her to download the app for their children. “The output is very good and it can help the kids. It is also timely for the K-12 program wherein we have the mother tongue-based lessons.”

UC Banilad is one of Smart’s partners for the Kaalam app. Other partners are the local government of Argao in Cebu, Department of Education (DepEd) in Cebu Province and Cebu City, and Cebu Technological University-Argao (CTU-Argao).

The Argao local government and CTU-Argao provided content for the app, which includes local folktale. This content was then digitized by UC Banilad students. Smart took care of app development.

Argao Mayor Stanley Caminero said the Kaalam app facilitates learning for kids using technology with which they are very familiar. “The app is a very effective way of trying to marry culture, heritage and infuse these in the learning environment of the children.”

During the recent launch of the app, Smart also turned over 10 tablets preloaded with Kaalam to the local government of Argao.

Smart Public Affairs Senior Manager Stephanie Orlino said the Kaalam app is part of Smart’s larger efforts to help develop literacy apps in different local languages. She said studies show that children learn better when they are taught using their mother tongue.

Smart and its partners have worked on apps in Arabic, Ilokano, and indigenous languages. For more information on Smart’s efforts to use technology for development, please visit the Smart Communities page on Facebook. (Press Release)

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Smart, Ateneo to boost Central Visayas health programs with SHINE OS+

The Department of Health Region VII is integrating the SHINE OS+ electronic medical record system of Smart Communications and Ateneo Java Wireless Competency Center with its existing reporting tool to…

The Department of Health Region VII is integrating the SHINE OS+ electronic medical record system of Smart Communications and Ateneo Java Wireless Competency Center with its existing reporting tool to enhance the region’s health programs.

SHINE OS+ or the Secured Health Information Network Exchange open-source system enables health units to submit aggregated medical data directly to the region’s Health Console for faster retrieval of information.

An efficient electronic medical record system redounds to better health care by ensuring that patient information is complete, accurate, and up-to-date. The system also guards against loss of or damage to patient files.

Smart, Ateneo DOH Central Visayas

Signing the memorandum of agreement are (in photo, from left) Smart Visayas-Mindanao public affairs head Attorney Maria Jane Paredes, Regional Health Director Dr. Jaime Bernadas, and AJWCC executive director Ma. Regina Estuar. (Press Release)

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Smart employees, families donate digital learning packages to far-flung communities

English teacher Dexter Masiado has a problem with student absenteeism. Not even half of his 75 pupils at Trangka Elementary School in Maasin, Iloilo attend his classes at any given…

English teacher Dexter Masiado has a problem with student absenteeism. Not even half of his 75 pupils at Trangka Elementary School in Maasin, Iloilo attend his classes at any given day.

He doesn’t blame his students, who are composed mostly of indigenous people. To get to school, they need to walk three hours on a mountain path – and that’s on a good day. On rainy days, they need to trudge muddy trails wearing nothing on their feet but plastic. They would arrive at school drenched and shaking.

“A lot of them also forgo classes to help their parents earn a living. Instead of attending classes, they would plough the field, harvest rice, or weave sawali,” Masiado said.

The teacher was thus very happy when he learned that their school would receive a School-in-a-Bag from Smart Communications. This is a big backpack containing a laptop, tablets, TV, a solar panel with batteries, pocket Wi-Fi, and educational content. The package also includes teacher training and yearlong monitoring.

“The students will definitely be more interested to go to school now. They have not yet been introduced to 21st century tools like tablets, laptop, and the internet,” Masiado said.

Smart School-in-a-bag

Smart meets three of its latest School-in-a-Bag recipients. In the photo are Smart employees led by Chief People and Culture Officer Liza Sichon (center) and People Group AVP Cheryll Agsaoay (standing fourth from left), and representatives of Trangka Elementary School in Maasin, Iloilo; Jubilee Shelter Program in Plaridel, Bulacan; and an Alternative Learning System center in Tanay, Rizal.

Previous recipients of the Smart School-in-a-Bag have reported enhanced literacy and heightened interest in learning among their students. One teacher in Albay noted that some of her students would even go to school despite class suspensions so they could learn from the tablets.

The School-in-a-Bag is donated by Smart and its partner individuals and organizations to remote communities, including those without electricity, to help enhance the learning of students through technology and non-tech solutions.

The package that Trangka Elementary School will receive is a donation from Smart employees and their families, who sponsored the P100,000 kit by participating in a program called Smart Saturdays.

For three Saturdays last year, employees were invited to watch blockbuster movies with their loved ones and buy special event shirts for a certain amount. The collected amount was enough to put together seven School-in-a-Bag kits for underserved schools.

“I am really pleased that thousands of our employees participated in the program, not just to enjoy the movies with their families, but also to help other people,” said Smart People Group AVP for Communication and Engagement Cheryll Agsaoay. “I’m proud to say that our employees have taken to heart Smart’s mission of improving the lives of Filipinos through technology. The devices, connectivity, and educational content included in the School-in-a-Bag will help students in remote areas learn more about the world beyond their hometowns.”

Agsaoay added that Smart would continue its Smart Saturdays program to reach more far-flung schools.

So far, Smart and its partner donors have delivered 38 School-in-a-Bag units to 65 learning communities all over the country. Those interested to help can email [email protected] for more details.

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UBS Phils, PSF turn over School-in-a-Bag for Mindanao learners

Students of remote schools in Talayan, Maguindanao and Patikul, Sulu will soon benefit from digital learning made possible by Smart Communications’ School-in-a-Bag. Containing a laptop, five tablets, TV, a solar…

Students of remote schools in Talayan, Maguindanao and Patikul, Sulu will soon benefit from digital learning made possible by Smart Communications’ School-in-a-Bag. Containing a laptop, five tablets, TV, a solar panel with batteries, and educational content, the learning package is donated to far-flung communities, especially those without electricity.

UBS Investments Philippines and the PLDT-Smart Foundation (PSF) recently turned over two School-in-a-Bag packages to the Department of Education (DepEd). These are part of the P1 million donation UBS made to the PSF last year.

School in a bag UBS

DONATION. Photo shows (from left) Smart Public Affairs Senior Manager Stephanie Orlino, DepEd Undersecretary Alain Pascua, and PSF President Esther Santos.

Smart created the School-in-a-Bag to improve the quality of education in remote schools. Since launching the program in 2016, Smart and partner donors have delivered 38 School-in-a-Bag units to 65 learning communities all over the country. Each bag, inclusive of training for teachers, costs P100,000.

Because there are about 6,000 public schools that still do not have access to electricity, organizations and even individuals are encouraged to donate School-in-a-Bag units. Interested parties may send an email to [email protected]. (Press Release)

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Cebu City library gets free wifi in partnership with Smart

Shortly after expanding to 24-hour daily operations, the Cebu City Public Library and Information Center rolled out a carrier-grade wifi service for users in partnership with Smart Communications, Inc. Students,…

Shortly after expanding to 24-hour daily operations, the Cebu City Public Library and Information Center rolled out a carrier-grade wifi service for users in partnership with Smart Communications, Inc.

Students, researchers, and other library patrons get their first 30 minutes of Smart Wifi access for free. They can extend access by buying credits via cellphone load.

A wifi connection is particularly useful for studying and research and would be a big help to library goers, said Ramon Isberto, concurrent Public Affairs Head of leading telecoms and digital services provider PLDT and wireless subsidiary Smart.

Cebu City Library Smart Wifi

SMART WIFI. (From left) Smart Public Affairs AVP and Center Head Maria Jane C. Paredes, Mitch Roldan, PLDT and Smart Public Affairs Head Ramon Isberto, Cebu City Hall Assistant City Administrator Annabeth Cuizon, Cebu City Councilor Margot Osmeña, Cebu City Librarian Rosario Chua, and PLDT SME Nation AVP Jimmy Chua during the launching of the Smart Wi-Fi in the Cebu City Public Library.

“When you turn a library into a community hub, you make it more powerful and influential,” he added, citing that users get access not only to books housed there but to a global library through the Internet.

High-speed Internet

Jimmy Chua, AVP and Head CRM of PLDT SME Nation, said high-speed Internet is essential for going digital and that the provision of Smart Wifi at the library was only the beginning of the company’s collaboration with Cebu City.

Isberto and Chua attended the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to formalize the provision of up to 30 minutes of free wifi at the city library last April 5, 2018.

Cebu City library Smart wifi

AGREEMENT. (From left) PLDT SME Nation AVP Jimmy Chua, PLDT and Smart Public Affairs Head Ramon Isberto, Cebu City Councilor Margot Osmeña, and Cebu City Librarian Rosario Chua after the signing of the agreement.

Councilor Margot Osmeña said the City Government was more than willing to transform the Cebu City Public Library and Information Center into a daily 24-hour operation when student Mitch Roldan requested it.

“Whatever the City can do, we will do for you,” Osmeña, who represented the City Government at the signing, added.

Cebu City study centers

Cebu City plans to put up 24-hour study centers in selected barangays so students don’t need to go far to study. Osmeña said she hopes to get the support of PLDT and Smart for the other areas as well.

Cebu City public library Smart wifi

BIG HELP. A wifi connection is particularly useful for studying and research and would be a big help to library goers, said Ramon Isberto, concurrent Public Affairs Head of PLDT and Smart.

Aside from the city library, Smart Wifi is also available for students at Cebu Institute of Technology, Cebu Technological University, University of Cebu Banilad in Cebu City, and in more school across Cebu Province.

Cebu City Hall was the first establishment in Cebu that offered public Smart Wifi. Other areas with Smart Wifi are the Cebu Provincial Capitol, Larsian Food Center, Cebu North and South Bus Terminals, Cebu Port Terminals 1 and 3, Cebu Port Terminals 1 and 3, and the Mactan-Cebu International Airport.

Facebook Live broadcast of launch

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Cebuano energy firm, partners launch hybrid power plant and micro-grid

Vivant Corporation, a publicly listed energy company established and based in Cebu, broke ground Tuesday to launch Palawan’s first hybrid power plant with a micro-grid to electrify the growing needs…

Vivant Corporation, a publicly listed energy company established and based in Cebu, broke ground Tuesday to launch Palawan’s first hybrid power plant with a micro-grid to electrify the growing needs of the area that hosts the Puerto Princesa Underground River, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Vivant partnered with WEnergy Global and Gigawatt Power Inc. to form the Sabang Renewable Energy Corporation (SREC), a Department of Energy-registered renewable energy (RE) developer that aims to provide households and businesses in Barangay Cabayugan, Puerto Princesa with 24/7 electricity.

The project is expected to be operational in 2019 and will be run by SREC under an Energy Regulatory Commission-approved Qualified Third Party (QTP) Agreement with the Palawan Electric Cooperative (PALECO). As QTP, SREC is authorized to generate and distribute electricity in Barangay Cabayugan, which has been waived from PALECO’s franchise area.

ENERGY. Vivant and its partners will provide households and businesses in Barangay Cabayugan, Puerto Princesa with 24/7 electricity. (Creative Commons Photo by Ryan Kaldari)

Renewable, reliable energy

“We are proud to become part of a project that supports the economic development of Barangay Cabayugan by providing renewable and reliable energy,” said Emil M. Garcia, SREC chairman and VP-Operations of Vivant Corporation.

The hybrid power plant will consist of 1.4 MWp solar PV with a 2.3 MWh battery storage system and 1.2 MW diesel generators to power its 14-circuit kilometer distribution facility. Due to its solar component, SREC will provide an average of 50% of renewable energy and will be less vulnerable to the volatility of imported fuel prices.

Every year, thousands of tourists visit Cabayugan—located about 80 kilometers north of Puerto Princesa city proper—but only a few households and tourism-related establishments in the area have electricity, with supply lasting for about three to six hours from small diesel generators. The SREC project will electrify more than 650 residential, public and commercial establishments that will enjoy uninterrupted power supply.

Hybrid power generation technology

“We will continue to invest in projects that empower communities and improve everyday living, particularly in off-grid areas,” Vivant Corporation COO Arlo G. Sarmiento said.

SREC’s hybrid power generation technology will avoid about 25,700 metric-tons of CO2-equivalent emissions over a 20-year lifetime. (Press Release)

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