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First OTOP Hub in Region 8 sheds light to MSMEs disrupted by the pandemic

Eastern Visayas’ first One Town One Product (OTOP) Hub has opened at the midst of the pandemic bringing light to local producers of the region as their products will be marketed through the hub......»»

Category: newsSource: samarnews samarnewsNov 23rd, 2020

Coke PH expands Balik Pinas program for repatriated OFWs

Coca-Cola Beverages Philippines, Inc. (CCBPI)—the bottling arm of Coca-Cola in the country—has expanded its Balik Pinas program to national scale to reach more repatriated overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and help them start their own business at home. Gareth McGeown, CCBPI President and CEO. “Coca-Cola’s commitment to Filipinos has only grown stronger, in weathering this crisis together,” said Gareth McGeown, CCBPI President and CEO. “We will help and support where we can. Through Balik Pinas, our goal is to help repatriated OFWs who have lost their livelihood abroad to start anew, via owning and operating their own business and be successful here, at home, with their families.” With the help of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), CCBPI aims to reach more OFWs who are interested to start their own business through Balik Pinas. Data from the Department of Foreign Affairs show that as of September 2020, over 190,000 overseas Filipino workers have been repatriated. Balik Pinas gives opportunities to OFWs to be part of the Coca-Cola family as a distributor, wholesaler, or a community reseller. Balik Pinas is a journey that the company and new entrepreneurs take together at every step—from setting up the business, to sustaining it, to ensuring growth. Coca-Cola assists former OFWs in choosing a suitable business model for their area, helps in managing their cash flow and inventory, and sees to it that they are given proper guidance and training until they are fully ready and equipped to operate on their own—all in all, a sustainable and profitable business founded on practical support from a global beverage brand. According to Carlos Rivera, CCBPI Territory Sales Team in Naga City, the Balik Pinas Program started as a small-scale initiative in Naga City to help former OFWs. Just a couple of months after returning home, Carlos Manzano and his family was able to set up their business as Coca-Cola distributor through the Balik Pinas Program, which Carlos said has reshaped his life and outlook forever. IN PHOTO: Carlos and their family’s multi-cab routing unit with the Coca-Cola Naga Sales team. When the program’s pilot rollout started, the Manzanos—brothers Carlos and Jazz, and their father Lito—were among the pioneer members. Carlos and Jazz had both been working for several years in Qatar until the COVID-19 pandemic shook the trajectory of their career and, consequently, the well-being of their families. Together with their father, Lito, who also used to be an overseas worker, they set up a beverage distribution business in their hometown Naga City. Their optimism, as with any new business venture, was tempered with anxiety over how it would all turn out—especially with the considerable challenge of launching during such tenuous times until Rivera offered them membership to the Balik Pinas Program of Coca-Cola. Now, the Manzanos are running a profitable business as Coca-Cola distributors. “Even when I had to leave Qatar suddenly because of the lay-offs, I always envisioned that I would head back to work there when things settle. But with Coca-Cola’s Balik Pinas, I have a livelihood that doesn’t take me away from my family as being an OFW had,” said Carlos.  Lito can still remember his first order of 60 cases of Coke products. Now, the Manzano  family business has grown to an average of 4,000 cases a month, just five months after they started—a feat magnified for it being in the middle of a pandemic and strict quarantine measures. The Manzanos have also since invested in routing units to augment their business’s capabilities—a multicab and a tricycle. Since starting his business in 2019, Billy Belleza (left), is now one of the prominent Coca-Cola distributors in his area and has added another mini truck to serve more routes and deliveries. Billy is one of the pioneers of Coca-Cola’s Balik Pinas program. Another Balik Pinas program pioneer member is Billy Belleza who decided to return to the country after working for 20 years in Brunei. “I am really thankful that Coca-Cola reached out to me to be a part of this. They have never failed to present opportunities for me and my business to grow since I decided to take part in the Balik Pinas Program. My sales actually soared this year,” said Belleza, who is also based in Naga City. According to Rivera, Balik Pinas Program was really designed for returning OFWs like Billy, Carlos, and Jazz and their families to set up and run a viable business at home. “With their success and in light of current events, this program was expanded to operate on a national scale, so the company can lend assistance to repatriated OFWs and their families as they weather through new challenges brought on by the pandemic,” Rivera said. Coca-Cola has consistently sought to create programs to support MSMEs, more so now with the COVID-19 pandemic having disrupted countless lives and livelihoods. With programs like Balik Pinas, Coca-Cola remains firm in their commitment to help local communities, contributing to the restart of the national economy—by way of reaching out to Filipinos.  To know more about the program, you may reach Coca-Cola’s contact center at (02)-8813-COKE (2653). For SMART/PLDT users: toll-free number: 1800-1888-COKE (2653); and for GLOBE users: toll-free number: 1800-8888-COKE (2653). You may also contact 0919-160-COKE (2653) via SMS......»»

Category: lifestyleSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 24th, 2020

South Korea rolls out new policy to boost support for ASEAN

The South Korean government has announced a more advanced foreign policy strategy to provide additional support to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and other issues in the region......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsNov 28th, 2020

PhilExport entrepreneurs see better days for MSMEs

DAGUPAN CITY, Oct. 12 (PIA) - The group of Philippine exporters in the Ilocos region are optimistic that better days are in store for micro entrepreneurs amid the pandemic.Jocelyn Ong Perez,.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philippinetimesRelated NewsOct 12th, 2020

Christmas 2020 for workers and farmers

HOTSPOT Tonyo Cruz Two things workers are looking forward to at the end of each year are the 13th month pay and the Christmas bonus. And it seems about two million workers may not get any 13th month pay at all, if the Duterte government would have its way. The reason? Because of the pandemic. In reaction, Kilusang Mayo Uno chairperson Elmer Labog  issued his shortest statement yet this year, unable to hide labor’s frustration: “It is the government’s responsibility to bail out MSMEs in times of emergencies.” Indeed, it is the state’s obligation to support and prop up micro, small and medium-scale enterprises especially now in the time of pandemic. By saying MSMEs could dispense with the 13th month pay, the government is practically passing on its responsibility to MSMEs. Workers continue to give their share through the cheap, underpaid and overstressed labor power that makes sure MSMEs continue to function and perform their role as main engines of the economy. The government must do its job: Bail out the MSMEs. It is quite surprising that the Duterte government seems disinterested in bailing out MSMEs, considering the avalanche of news about the borrowings here and there. According to Sonny Africa, executive director of the think-tank Ibon Foundation, the borrowings has reached a historic high: “It took 118 years for the country’s debt to reach P6.1-trillion in 2016. President Duterte is taking just six years to more than than double that to P13.7-trillion in 2022.” Again, the reason for the borrowing has been “because of the pandemic.” Regardless of where the money goes, and whether or not MSMEs and workers received only a drop from it, they would pay the entire debt through more and higher taxes for years to come. Workers are not asking for something they have not earned through hard work. They earned that 13th month pay. It is not an optional thing. It is part of the law. The pandemic should oblige the state to bail out our MSMEs to enable them to fully function, and to give the workers’ their due under the law. Workers have given and lost a lot because of the pandemic. Workers have not asked for free rides to work, but the government fails to provide adequate and safe mass transport. Workers have asked for free mass testing in their companies and communities, but the government has other ideas. Workers and their families would have fared better with unemployment benefits amid the dismal pandemic response of government, but it seems the same government wishes to push them instead to pawnshops and loan sharks. We haven’t even factored in the laid-off, underemployed and unemployed workers, as well as the undetermined number of overseas Filipino healthcare workers stranded in the country since April. They all don’t wish to be “patay-gutom” and “pala-asa”.  They don’t wish to stay unemployed and be dependent on aid. They are ready to work and earn their keep. But since the president made policy decisions affecting their ability to obtain work, it is the government’s obligation to bail them out as well. The situation of our nation’s farmers is no different. For instance, rice farmers continue to produce our national staple. The pandemic made even worse the effects on them of the combined power of policies such as rice tarrification, the stranglehold of Big Landlords, the vast influence of rice cartels, and the continued operation of illegal rice importers. Price monitoring by Bantay Bigas and the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas reveals the outrageously low palay prices nationwide, which means ruin to our nation’s rice farmers: Negros Occidental and Bicol region P10; Capiz P10-P11; Caraga P11; Tarlac P11-12; Ilocos Sur and Nueva Ecija P11-13; Camarines Sur P11.50-14; Bulacan and Mindoro P12; Isabela P12-P13.50; Pangasinan P12-P12.30; Antique P12.50; Agusan del Sur P13; Davao de Oro P13.14; Davao del Norte, Surigao del Sur and South Cotabato P13.50; North Cotabato P14; and Lanao del Norte P15. If you look at it, plantitos and plantitas today pay 20 to 50 times more for ornamental plants, compared to the prices traders and the NFA offer to our farmers. According to Bantay Bigas and KMP, the government procures way less than 20 percent of the produce of rice farmers.  And then we hear that the NFA would rather import rice from other countries, at pandemic-affected prices at that. Without any state intervention, by way of NFA buying rice farmers’ produce at P20 per kilo, and providing loans to farmers, there could be worse rural poverty in the coming months and years. Between our workers and farmers, their families have been made to sacrifice a lot since March, with prices of basic goods spiking, with new and higher expenses arising from online classes for the children. There cannot be no aid for them.  Neither should workers and farmers shoulder the burden of the failure or refusal of government to provide funding for bailouts sorely needed by MSMEs, and be forced to accept new national debts to pay for policies such as rice tarrification and importation. The government knows the scale of the problem. The Department of Labor and Employment says 13,127 companies have either laid off workers or permanently closed. The response cannot be “pass the burden to workers”. The answer should be: “the state must do everything to rescue the companies and the workers.” OFWs across the world should be familiar with bailouts and economic protections because of the pandemic. Many countries that host OFWs enacted huge bailouts and stimulus to their economies, partly so that migrant labor could continue to be employed. They enjoy health insurance, and special COVID19 coverage. Governments handed out checks to both citizens and companies. Is it too much to ask that the same be done in our own country? Or do Filipinos have to go abroad to experience such social and economic protections?.....»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsOct 9th, 2020

Fanged GAB to go after health protocol violators

The Games and Amusements Board will have more teeth in going after violators of strict health protocols among pro sports. GAB chairman Abraham ‘Baham’ Mitra in his appearance in the Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum online session on Tuesday stressed that with the presence of an official Joint Administrative Order (JAO) the agency has the right to sanction any teams or players found guilty of breaching safety protocols in their respective leagues. “Since meron nang JAO and sa amin na ibinigay 'yung load, kami na ang mag-i-impose ng sanctions,” said the 50-year-old Mitra of the provision of the JAO signed by his office together with the Department of Health and Philippine Sports Commission (PSC). The sanctions of course, will always be done in coordination with top officials of the pro leagues that were already given the green light to resume workouts as in the case of basketball, football, and boxing under a General Community Quarantine (ECQ) status. “In case something happens and there may be violations, we will be there,” said Mitra. The National Capital Region (NCR) and other nearby provinces reverted back under a Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) on August 4 owing to the major surge of COVID-19 cases, prompting a delay in the resumption of team workouts among professional players. The GAB chairman also didn’t mince words against repeated violators, adding it has the right to cancel licenses of erring players or ball clubs. “Kung talagang paulit-ulit ay puwede sigurong suspendihin at eventually, kung talagang matigas ang ulo, tanggalan ng professional license. We can do that dahil meron na ring JAO,” Mitra said in the weekly forum presented by San Miguel Corp., Go For Gold, MILO, Amelie Hotel Manila, Braska Restaurant, Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), and powered by Smart, with Upstream Media as the official webcast partner. Mitra commended both the PBA and PFL for policing their ranks and doing their job of having everybody on board in terms of understanding and abiding by the strict health guidelines as provided under JAO. He added the cooperation of every players and teams are needed for the plan to work out especially once teams begin their respective trainings. “So far yung mga leagues naman sila na mismo (ang kumikilos). Nau-unahan parati ang GAB, kasi kami we want to hear both sides, we want due process.  And we’re doing several things. Unlike ang PBA, nakatutok lang sa PBA, ang PFL nakatutok lang sa PFL,” said the son of the late House Speaker Ramon Mitra Jr. In the case of the Blackwater franchise, the GAB chairman said the team was only given stern warning by his office since the violations committed were done when JAO was yet in effect. Besides, the PBA already penalized the ballclub for P100,000. “The PBA already sanctioned them and GAB doesn’t want to really step on institutions. We always believe in self-regulation. Nandiyan lang kami kung kailangan ninyo kami,” said Mitra, a former member of the House of Representatives and Palawan governor. At the same time, he clarified that guidelines under JAO can be amended and revised from time to time, to adopt to the current situation of the country under the COVID-19 pandemic......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 4th, 2020

PLDT Home& rsquo;s new ad sheds light on rediscovering strongest family connections

Life in lockdown has been a learning phase for everyone. The pandemic may have brought collective fear due to the uncertainty of the times but there remains a glimmer of hope in the small things that were used to be taken for granted. And as families take part in this universal experience, it is also in these moments that people gain a newfound appreciation for the things that truly matter to them......»»

Category: techSource:  thestandardRelated NewsJul 22nd, 2020

Cebu biz groups appeal for financial support to disrupted firms, MSMEs

CEBU CITY, Philippines — At least six business groups in Cebu made a request for the government to provide financial assistance to members of the business community severely impacted by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, particularly for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). The Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI), Mandaue Chamber of […] The post Cebu biz groups appeal for financial support to disrupted firms, MSMEs appeared first on Cebu Daily News......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJul 11th, 2020

Metro Manila mayors mull another 15-day ECQ extension

THE Metro Manila Council (MMC) may recommend to the government another 15-day extension of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in the National Capital Region (NCR) in light of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic. In a television interview on Friday, MMC Chairman and Parañaque City Mayor Edwin Olivarez, said the council may formalize the recommendation […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimes_netRelated NewsMay 8th, 2020

BSP OKs P360 billion loan package for MSMEs

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas has approved a package of measures to free up at least P360 billion to help micro, small and medium-scale enterprises as the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic has severely disrupted economic activity across the country......»»

Category: financeSource:  philstarRelated NewsApr 17th, 2020

Cushioning the impact of Covid-19

In light of the nation’s growing concern for the coronavirus pandemic, President Rodrigo Duterte placed the National Capital Region on a community quarantine on March 12, 2020. Seeing that the community quarantine would not be sufficient to address the threat of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), Duterte, on March 16, issued an order that placed […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimes_netRelated NewsMar 27th, 2020

NCAA 95: Cancellation of season in Policy Board’s hands -- Cayco

The decision to cancel the remainder of the NCAA Season 95 is now in the hands of the Policy Board according to Management Committee chairman Peter Cayco of host Arellano University. In an interview on DZMM’s Fastbreak on Saturday, Cayco said that the league’s management committee had already proposed to terminate the season in light of the coronavirus (COVID-19) global pandemic to the Policy Board composed of presidents of member universities and colleges. “Actually, we proposed to the Policy Board, the Management Committee proposed, to cancel na the rest of the season,” said Cayco. “We are still awaiting approval.” On Monday, the NCAA announced that all NCAA activities are suspended until further notice. This declaration came almost a month after the NCAA halted all sporting events last February 14. On Thursday, President Rodrigo Duterte put the National Capital Region under community quarantine beginning on Sunday until April 14 as part of the measures to curb the spread of the virus that triggered a global pandemic. “But in the meantime, we were overtaken by the declaration of a lockdown. So we still have enough time to contemplate what to do,” said Cayco. The Arellano U official, who is also a board member of the Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc., pointed out that pushing through with the season might affect the schedule of Season 96. The NCAA usually opens June with its centerpiece basketball tournament.    “But for us in the Management Committee, we have decided to recommend the cancellation for the rest of the season because it will eat up to Season 96,” he said. “The Policy Board will have to approve it,” added Cayco. The stoppage of activities affected the ongoing volleyball and football tournaments and the yet to start athletics, beach volleyball and cheerleading competitions.          --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 14th, 2020

PSC closes facilities with NCR under community quarantine

In light of the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19), the Philippine Sports Commission is closing all of its facilities starting Friday, March 13. The PSC released a memo about the closure of its sports facilities in accordance to the pronouncements made by President Rodrigo Duterte regarding the measures to curb the spread of the virus that triggered a global pandemic. “Following the pronouncements of President Rodrigo R. Duterte on the government's measures to contain the spread of COVID-19, all facilities of the PSC will be closed from today (Friday) until the lifting of the community quarantine,” said statement. On Thursday, Duterte put the National Capital Region under community quarantine beginning on Sunday until April 14. Access to the facility is limited to the skeletal force assigned by the agency. “No training is allowed inside the premises. The agency leaves it to the discretion of the national sports associations to decide if they will continue to train,” the memo stated. “The PSC, however, advises them to proceed with utmost caution and to observe stringent safety protocols.”.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 13th, 2020

DTI-ROG continues to deliver promise; sheds P655M funds for post-Yolanda Projects in Region 8

DTI-ROG continuously delivers its promise of uplifting micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in Yolanda affected areas by engaging a total of 43,573 beneficiaries with a total amount of PHP 655,524,638 in assistance......»»

Category: newsSource:  samarnewsRelated NewsDec 18th, 2016

PIO photography workshop sheds light to areas for improvement, lauds top 3 stills

Delegates from different District Engineering Offices (DEO) in Region 8 assembled at Marju Krisel Hotel and Restaurant, Calbayog City, Samar last June 9-10, 2016, for the first PIO Conference cum Workshop of Fiscal Year 2016......»»

Category: newsSource:  samarnewsRelated NewsJul 22nd, 2016

China to donate 500,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines to PH — Palace

Malacañang said Saturday that the Chinese government will donate 500,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines to the Philippines as the two countries reaffirmed ties and cooperation against the pandemic. Chinese State Counselor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi (DFA OFFICIAL TWITTER ACCOUNT/ MANILA BULLETIN) The Office of the President (OP) made the statement as Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Affairs Minister Wang Yi made a 40-minute courtesy call to President Duterte in Malacañang Saturday. In a statement, the OP said that Wang assured Duterte of China’s commitment to support the Philippines’ efforts to combat COVID-19, a disease that originated in Wuhan, China. “He (Wang) announced that China will donate 500,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine to the Philippines. He likewise affirmed China’s resolve to do everything to ensure that vaccines become a global good,” Malacañang said. According to Malacañang, Duterte lauded the continued high-level engagement between the Philippines and China even amid the pandemic and stressed the importance of both sides delivering on the promises of the Comprehensive Strategic Cooperation. Duterte stressed that cooperation on public health must be strengthened, particularly access to safe and effective vaccines, to safeguard the health of the people and in order to hasten the economic recovery of both nations and their neighboring countries. “The recovery of nations… sits on the back of stronger economies,” Duterte told Wang. “China plays a very key role in reviving our region’s economy. Let us do all we can to revive economic activities between the Philippines and China,” he added. Malacañang said that Duterte thanked China for its continuing support and cooperation in the country’s fight against COVID-19 in terms of medical equipment and supplies and sharing of experiences and expertise as well as in the repatriation of Filipinos. Economic cooperation Wang declared that China will continue to support the Philippines’ recovery through enhanced economic cooperation. He likewise reiterated his country’s determination to complete pending infrastructure projects. The Palace said that Wang underscored China’s commitment under President Xi Jinping to work closely with the Philippines to sustain the positive trajectory of the valued and special bilateral relations. At the start of his presidency in 2016, Duterte has expressed his desire to build stronger relations with China — even temporarily setting aside the country’s victory over the West Philippine Sea in The Hague to make it happen......»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsJan 17th, 2021

DSWD-12 gives out P97.8M in livelihood assistance for those affected by COVID-19

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 13 Jan) – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has released around P97.8 million in livelihood assistance to residents of Region 12 (Soccsksargen) who lost their livelihood due to the continuing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. Bonifacio Selma, DSWD-Region 12 assistant director, said Wednesday a total of 11,091 qualified […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanewsRelated NewsJan 17th, 2021

Saso: Chasing a dream

She barely missed the Player of the Year title but emerged as the money leader in a pandemic-disrupted season that led to the integration of JLPGA’s 2020-21 seasons, giving the Fil-Japanese another crack at a sweep of the top two honors......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJan 16th, 2021

Pagasa: Wet, cloudy Sunday to persist nationwide

    MANILA, Philippines — Moderate to at times heavy rains will be experienced in the Bicol region and Quezon, including Polillo Islands, due to the tail-end of a frontal system, the state weather bureau said Sunday. In its midday weather advisory, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said scattered light to […] The post Pagasa: Wet, cloudy Sunday to persist nationwide appeared first on Cebu Daily News......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJan 3rd, 2021

Disrupted by COVID-19, power sector resets

The COVID-19 pandemic may have negatively impacted the energy sector but it has opened up a window of opportunity to reset and realign the sector......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJan 2nd, 2021

Basilan peace projects continue in 2020 despite pandemic

Basilan, a component-province of the Bangsamoro region, has 11 municipalities and two cities — Isabela and Lamitan......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJan 1st, 2021