Filipino startup wins
in global pitch competition
October 27, 2020
MAKATI CITY –
Filipino startup Edukasyon.ph emerged as the overall winner in the
Wildfire Pitch Competition, held during the Ignite 2020 Cyber
Conference on 13-15 and 20-22 October 2020.
equity-free cash, Edukasyon.ph is an education technology platform
that connects students to education opportunities. The startup was
among the five startup finalists – four of which were founded in the
The six-day conference was
organized by Brainsparks, Dentsu, and TechShake and was supported by
the Department of Trade and Industry-Export Marketing Bureau (DTI-EMB).
“DTI-EMB, as IGNITE’s
partner since their first conference in 2017, has always been a
supporter of IGNITE’s vision of bridging the gap between startups
and corporates or non-tech industries, and at the same time
promoting the PH startup ecosystem to the rest of the world,” said
DTI-EMB Director Senen Perlada, during his opening remarks on 22
“This year’s edition of
IGNITE is a perfect example of how technology and innovation can
address the needs of today and the post-pandemic world,” he
The conference featured
several international speakers and a pitch competition for startups
in the education tech, health tech, fintech, e-commerce, and
workplace tech sectors. Winners for each sector delivered their
three-minute pitches on the final day to determine the overall
The other finalists were:
• MyGolana, a health tech
startup providing affordable and accessible counseling solutions
• Nextpay, a fintech
startup providing an easy solution for small businesses to manage
and track their finances.
• 1Export, an e-commerce
startup that is a one-stop, end-to-end platform helping small
businesses in the Philippines export, by addressing concerns in
terms of compliance and market access.
• PEAK, a Thai workplace
tech startup that offers online accounting software that allows
businesses to track business information instantly.
“Out of the five
finalists, four of them are Philippine startups. It shows that the
Philippines is not lacking in talent and potential as a startup
ecosystem. The challenge now is creating an environment that will
not only help startups survive but also thrive and take advantage of
the new opportunities brought about by the pandemic,” said Perlada.
Rafaelita Aldaba said during her opening remarks on 13 October that
"as the virus is contained and as [physical support] bolster the
economy, along with global recovery we will be able to take
advantage of emerging opportunities and challenges from shifting
trade and investment preferences and changing forms of international
productions in the wake of Covid-19 by fast tracking innovation and
adapting new technologies with greater focus on more resilient,
inclusive, and sustainable industrial recovery toward the post
Since 2017, Ignite
Philippines has gathered the stakeholders from the startup ecosystem
under one roof. The online event was attended by more than 1,200
participants from 25 countries.
maltreatment of Nasino and child violated int’l standards on
Manhandling of Baby River
funeral further exposes tyranny of Duterte gov’t says global rights
October 23, 2020
QUEZON CITY – The
International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines (ICHRP)
and its chapters condemned the Philippine government’s inhumane
treatment of Filipina political prisoner Reina Mae Nasino following
the death of her three-month-old Baby River. Statements from the
global coalition reminded the Duterte’s government that the acts of
cruelty against Nasino and her child are violations of international
rules on women prisoners.
“The treatment of Reina
Mae Nasino and her Baby River from the State has violated
international standards of treatment of prisoners and children,”
says ICHRP’s chapter in British Columbia, Canada.
Human rights advocates
from all over the world send their deepest sympathy to Reina Mae
Nasino who not only has been cruelly deprived of her right to care
and comfort her child, but also has been deprived of her right to
cradle and see her baby at the funeral one last time.
The United Nations Rules
for the Treatment of Women Prisoners and Non-Custodial Measures for
Women state that women prisoners should be allowed to breastfeed
their children. Expert medical research studies have evidenced that
breastfeeding provides protection for infants against infections,
including acute and prolonged diarrhea, and long-lasting active
Article 3 of the
Convention on the Rights of the Child, to which the Philippines is a
State Party, declares that “The baby’s best interest shall be the
primary consideration in all actions concerning children, whether
undertaken by public or private social welfare institutions,
administrative authorities, legislative bodies, or courts of law.”
After immense public
pressure, Philippine court was prompted to grant a furlough to Reina
Mae Nasino to visit her baby’s wake but with heavy security and in
“A legal right intended
for prisoners but the Duterte government deemed it as privilege only
to be given to its allies and powerful elite,” says Asia Pacific
Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines spokesperson Sister
Since their separation,
Baby River had fallen ill several times and on October 9th, Baby
River died from acute respiratory disease at the intensive care unit
of the Philippine General Hospital. According to ICHRP chapter in
the United States, the Philippine government’s handling of Baby
River and Reina Nasino’s case amounts to no less than torture.
“We are enraged and hold
the Philippine government responsible for River’s passing.
Ultimately Duterte himself is responsible given his backtracking on
promises to release political prisoners and Anti-Terror Law which
demonizes, imprisons and kills activists,” ICHRP-US spokesperson
During the first three
hours of “furlough” in which Nasino attended River’s wake, state
forces surrounded Reina and did not remove her handcuffs except so
she could briefly wipe tears from her eyes. Obstructing free speech,
the jail personnel further tried to prevent Nasino from speaking
with the media. During the Baby River’s burial, there were 43
heavily armed state authorities deployed and hijacked the burial
procession from the family. Nasino was still unhandcuffed.
“We note the politics of
selective accommodation and the blatant disregard for the principle
of justice. Individuals and groups who committed crimes against the
people are exempted from prosecution and accountability while the
poor and those working on social justice issues are arrested and
kept in jail on trumped-up charges,” says ICHRP- British Columbia.
pharmacy in Oroquieta City
October 23, 2020
SAN PABLO CITY –
BotiCARD opens its 12th branch in Oroquieta City in Misamis
Occidental to provide its healthcare products and services to the
local community on October 19, 2020.
To comply to minimum
health protocols, CARD MRI executive committee members and senior
advisers attended the branch opening via online conference. Said
BotiCARD President Rosenda P. Aquino, “The pandemic will not be a
hindrance in achieving our goal. At a time like this, we know that
we are needed the most by our clients and the general public.”
Reinforcing CARD MRI’s mission
The Oroquieta Branch is
the third branch of BotiCARD in Mindanao which is strategically
located beside the CARD MRI Rizal Bank-Oroquieta Branch. Aside from
the banking institution, CARD, Inc. (A Microfinance NGO) and CARD
MBA are also present in the City. “With the additional force of the
pharmacy of CARD MRI, empowering communities is already on the
horizon. We are intensifying our approach to fight the different
facets of poverty,” said Aquino.
Aquino also added that,
“BotiCARD is not an ordinary pharmacy. Aside from providing quality
generic medicines, we also provide primary healthcare services to
CARD clients and staff and the communities to ensure their
Meanwhile, CARD RBI
President and CEO Elma B. Valenzuela shares her commitment in
helping the institution meets its mandate of providing health care
products and services to the community. With thousands of clients of
the microfinance-oriented rural bank in the area, its staff are in
full support by introducing the additional service of CARD MRI to
its clients in Oroquieta. “As we are one with the overarching goal
of CARD MRI in eradicating poverty, we will empower one another to
also empower the local communities,” said Valenzuela.
The direction towards a healthy community
The pharmacy advocates the
use of generic medicines as it is more affordable and as effective
as branded medicines. In partnership with the Microfinance and
Health Protection (MaHP) Program of CARD MRI, it also provides free
medical services through clinics located in various communities.
The institution is guided
in achieving its mission by providing genuine service to its clients
and the communities. “We will not wait for our clients to come, but
we will bring our services closer to the communities to provide them
equal and inclusive opportunities for all.”
Armeda Villasin, one of
the clients of CARD RBI in Oroquieta, shares that she is very much
grateful for CARD MRI. “CARD is a good institution because it
provides numerous benefits to its members to ensure that every
family is secured.”
BotiCARD also eyes to
develop loanable medicine and wellness products to be offered to
CARD clients to encourage them to prioritize their health.
BotiCARD was an idea
conceived from CARD MRI’s partnership with Freedom from Hunger in
2011. Fighting poverty means not only providing access to financial
products and services but addressing its different aspects. With
poor health and inaccessible healthcare services, the poor will
suffer even more. Boosting people’s health and providing quality
medicines and healthcare services are ways to break the vicious
circle of poverty. This is BotiCARD’s support to CARD MRI’s mission
in ending poverty in the country.
Linking art and
biz through string art
October 22, 2020
DAVAO CITY – In an
artist’s perspective, selling or marketing one’s artworks could be
as tedious as conceptualizing an output from scratch. But despite
that, Sandie L. Padilla took the challenge by heart.
Padilla is among the fifth
batch graduates of the Kapatid Mentor Me (KMME) program, an
initiative of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and
Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship (PCE) aiming to guide and
mentor entrepreneurs according to their needs, with the help of
experts in different fields. This batch graduated last July 18,
Padilla, who owns and
manages Sandie String Art Design, was hesitant about starting his
business when he came back to the Philippines after working in
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia for 6 years. However, with his love for the
arts and his determination to have a sustainable livelihood, he
finally decided to open this venture.
Padilla, who used to work
as a coffee shop barista while still abroad, is armed with the kind
of creativity and commitment to come up with something that is
unique and eye-catching. The idea of having a business related to
using strings to create portraits came into mind while he was busy
making remarkable pieces through wire sculptures and coffee bean art
during his work breaks. Innovativeness is innate in him, and this
became his ticket to discovering his talent in crafting artworks
through strings. Who could have thought that the long strips of
thread can be used to produce portraits?
It was a eureka moment for
him when he started doing string art, he said that he remembered
doing it when he was still in elementary. When asked about his
motivation to pursue this, he shared that it is the uniqueness and
craftsmanship of string art.
When Padilla came back to
Davao City, he did not pursue his passion for string art right away.
He tried working as a promo-merchandiser in a shopping mall at
first, however, he felt that something was telling him to pursue art
instead of getting an eight-hour job.
While navigating on
Facebook and checking on anything that got his attention, he came
across the official page of Negosyo Center Davao City. Through it,
he found out about the different programs and services that the
Negosyo Center provides. That was when he realized that it would be
great to begin working on his own business.
“I immediately thought of
turning my passion in string art into a business opportunity,” he
narrated. From then on, he started attending various training
activities, including those on how to run a business, and an
orientation on how to avail a micro loan. With his unending interest
in business, he enrolled in the KMME program, which provided his
foundation as an entrepreneur through different sessions tackling
the 10 modules.
Following his KMME
graduation, the Sandie String Art Design started reaping the fruits
of his labor, especially that Padilla participated in trade fairs,
such as the Mindanao Trade Expo (MTE) and the renowned Manila FAME.
This move made him earn between P15,000 and P77,000.
Despite the struggles he
encountered as an entrepreneur, especially with being a newbie and
the uniqueness of his concept, Padilla never lost the spark to go
on. He is thankful to DTI, too, for walking with him in this
The pandemic, which has
affected business operations, did not stop him as well to continue
with what he has started. Innovative as he is, Padilla maximized the
social media and other means to widen his network, to sustain the
expansion of his market. His untiring efforts resulted in new
designs and the establishment of a bigger production area in his
He encouraged other
artists to consider getting into business through the craft they
love. For him, it is likewise a way to give back to the community
where they operate.
”Ang kita sa abroad kay
makita raman sad nimo diri sa Pilipinas basta og maningkamot ra man
gyud diay ka (We can still earn here in the Philippines the amount
we receive while working abroad if we continue to work hard),” he
It is Padilla’s dream to
help the persons with disability and women in several communities in
the future. He said he will establish his own gallery or workshop
for him to teach them about string art, and earn from it.
For those interested to
buy Padilla’s artworks, he can be contacted at 09665384644 or in his
Facebook page, Sandie String Art Design.
CARD, Inc. adapts
to the new normal with CARD Sulit Padala and konek2CARD
October 21, 2020
SAN PABLO CITY – As
part of its mission to provide accessible services to its clients
amid the COVID-19 health crisis, CARD, Inc. (A Microfinance NGO), a
member of CARD Mutually Reinforcing Institutions (CARD MRI), opens
more CARD Sulit Padala outlets in Visayas and Mindanao.
CARD Sulit Padala is now
available in 116 CARD, Inc. unit offices nationwide. Through this
domestic remittance service, clients can now pay for their loans and
receive remittances not only from CARD, Inc. outlets but also from
other financial institutions under CARD MRI namely CARD Bank, CARD
SME Bank, and CARD MRI Rizal Bank which also have more than 300
CARD Sulit Padala is also
known for its "piso" or one-peso charge for first time money senders
and its minimum rates for those sending remittances anywhere in the
CARD, Inc. Executive
Director Jocelyn Dequito highlighted the importance of CARD Sulit
Padala as the country transitions to a New Normal. “As we adapt to a
better normal, we want to continuously give our clients the easiest
and convenient remittance services where they can experience a
hassle-free sending and receiving of money anywhere in the
Philippines,” Dequito said.
Dequito also mentioned
that their clients can now pay their loans through konek2CARD agents
in their barangays. This is another way for the institution to bring
an easier way of paying their loan dues wherein clients do not need
to travel to CARD offices. “CARD is exerting more effort to adapt to
the new normal and bring safer transactions to our clients. This
initiative will surely help our clients especially this time when
many of us are still carefully complying to health and safety
protocols,” said Dequito.
She also explained that
expanding CARD’s payment channels is beneficial to its million
clients in the Philippines. "We encourage our clients to opt for our
alternative ways to lessen physical contact and immobilize the
spread of the virus and ensure their safety."
Army foils NPA’s
plan to disrupt gov’t livelihood opportunities in Can-avid, E. Samar
DPAO, 8ID PA
October 20, 2020
CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan
City, Samar – The government troops repelled Communist NPA
Terrorists (CNTs) who were planning to disrupt the implementation of
government’s livelihood trainings in two remote villages of
Can-avid, Eastern Samar in a gunfight about 10A.M., October 20, 2020
in Barangay Salvacion, Can-avid, Eastern Samar.
According to Lieutenant
Colonel Joven D Bugarin, Commanding Officer of 52nd Infantry
Battalion, soldiers were sent in order to conduct security
operations for the upcoming Agrikultura at Kabuhayan tungo sa
Kaunlaran at Kapayapaan (AKKAP) Project launching on Thursday,
October 22, 2020 in barangays of Boco and Balagon of Can-avid.
However, during the
conduct of security operations the troops clashed with more or less
25 CNTs in Barangay Salvacion, Can-avid, Eastern Samar who scampered
to different directions after the 15-minute firefight.
Three soldiers were
wounded while an undetermined casualty was reported on the CNT’s
“Traces of bloodstains in
the area they abandoned suggest that many in the NPA were wounded,”
said LtCol. Bugarin.
Utilizing K9 teams,
recovered were two anti-personnel mines (APM), blasting caps, and
electrical wires that will be used by the NPA to sow terror.
To recall, on December 13,
2019, three innocent civilians were killed while 14 were wounded
including two minors and an infant caused by NPA's roadside bombing
in Barangay Libuton, Borongan City, Eastern Samar. While on April
2019, a nine-year-old boy died in another NPA bombing in Barangay
San Miguel, Las Navas, Northern Samar. And recently, four civilians
including two teachers were also wounded in an ambush in Barangay
Tagbayaon, Jiabong, Samar.
“This only shows how cruel
and heartless the NPA’s are. They ignore the safety of the civilians
and put their lives at risk for their own gain,” LtCol. Bugarin
The livelihood training
under AKKAP is part of the Provincial Task Force to End Local
Communist Armed Conflict (PTF-ELCAC) program in order to address the
insurgency problem in the remote Barangays in the town of Can-avid.
At the same time, offer livelihood opportunities to the residents
who have been suffering from poverty.
The Commander of 801st
Infantry Brigade, Brigadier General Camilo Z Ligayo said the
collaboration among the military, Local Government Units and
different Government agencies were already in place but the CNTs
hinder the implementation of the government programs and projects.
“Ang mga teroristang NPA
ay salot at perwisyo. Sinasabotahe at pinipigilan nila ang pagpasok
ng mga pangunahing serbisyo ng pamahalaan sa mga Geographically
Isolated and Disadvantage Areas (GIDAs). Pinagkakait ng mga NPA na
makaranas ng pag-unlad ang mga kababayan natin sa mga pinakaliblib
na mga kumunidad. Mga Teroristang NPA ang tunay na pagpapahirap at
nagpapanatiling mahirap dito sa buong Samar,” BGen. Ligayo said.
Unrest in pineapple and
urged to stop unlawful layoffs at Dole Philippines, pineapple
workers calls for reinstatement
Associated Labor Unions
October 16, 2020
QUEZON CITY – Hundreds of unlawfully
laid off pineapple and banana workers are calling for their
reinstatement and thousands more are appealing to Japanese top
executives to stop the illegal retrenchments of Dole Philippines
Inc. employees in Polomolok, South Cotabato.
The Dole Philippines was
acquired by Japanese firm Itochu Corporation from Dole Food Inc. in
The plant-level unrest was
started by an on the spot termination on September 15 of 478 regular
employees without just and authorized cause and amid the continuing
hiring of more contractual workers from manpower cooperatives.
This ruthless retrenchment
by Dole in a monocrop economy such as in Polomolok is both untimely
and unconscionable. Management fully knows that there are no new
jobs waiting for retrenched workers once they are terminated. The
upstream and downstream economies of towns and cities built around
plantation operations are very vulnerable to corporate attempts to
bring down wages and to artificially bring down labor rights.
The effect of pandemic is
negligible and cannot be used by Dole Philippines Inc. to justify
the lay-offs given the resilience of its strong export markets. It
has deep corporate pockets and the current troubles attributable to
the pandemic are a mere blip. The termination is doubly painful to
severed workers to lose their livelihood as the country's economy
sink deeper into recession caused by the pandemic lockdowns.
In seeking redress, sacked
employees sought the help of the labor federation Associated Labor
Unions-Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (ALU-TUCP) and asked
it to represent them in the government mediation and conciliation
mechanism in the hope that they be reinstated back to work, said
Sofriano Mataro, ALU Regional Vice President for Southern Mindanao
employees fear they might suffer the fate of retrenched co-employees
have asked the help of the labor federation to convey their appeal
to Itochu Corporation top executives to stop any further unlawful
lay off of regular workers in Polomolok.
Workers strongly believes
the Dole Philippines middle executives are disempowering the right
of more than 6,000 regular employees to organize a union and
collectively bargain for better wages and benefits by the end of the
year and undermine the legal procedure by replacing them with
non-regular contractual workers without the knowledge and the
consent of the top management.
management continues to replace regular workers it has retrenched
and will be retrenching with contractuals, clearly establishing that
they are just bidding down wages, eroding constitutionally protected
workers rights, and maximizing profits in service of corporate
greed. Targetting 32 core union leaders for retrenchment reveals
that they are really engaged in union-busting.
"The relative Dole
Philippines' labor-management shared industrial peace was broken by
these unlawful termination and disrespect to the workers right to
legally organize a union and negotiate for better wages and
benefits. While employees still have hope with top management
officials, we urge the Dole top executives to respond and intervene
by ordering a stop to the unlawful termination, reinstate illegally
laid off employees and ensure the workers' right to form a union and
collectively bargain before the situation become worse, " Mataro
Dole Philippines profited
immensely from our workers here. It is also time for them to
restrain greed in the name of plain decency, he added.
With almost 20,000
plantation and cannery workers during peak operations, Dole
Philippines Inc. is the biggest producer and marketer of renowned
pineapple and banana fresh fruits, juices and by-products to the U.S,
Middle East, Japan, China, Korea, Australia and New Zealand through
its 16,000 hectares of pineapple and banana plantations and
canneries located in South Cotabato.
It is a giant
multinational which is not losing money since the agricultural
export market remains vibrant. Over the last 15 years Dole
Philippines' corporate earnings have been highly profitable, in no
short measure, due to the labor productivity of its workers.
Rommel C. Lesigues facilitating the conduct of Oily
Water Separator course through blended learning.
October 13, 2020
TACLOBAN CITY – In
support to the government policies and priorities as articulated in
the We Recover as One Report under the banner program “enabling a
digital government and economy” toward mitigating the impact of
COVID-19 pandemic and transitioning to a “new and better normal”,
the National Maritime Polytechnic (NMP) through its Curriculum
Development Section (CDS), conducted a pilot class on Oily Water
Separator (OWS) Course on 10 October 2020 (Saturday) adopting
blended learning as teaching methodology.
The alarming effects of
the COVID-19 pandemic have dramatically changed the existing
education and training landscape to technology-based learning to
minimize face-to-face contact and control the spread of the virus.
The NMP’s OWS Course in blended learning conforms with the
reprioritization of government programs on adult learning in
protecting the marine environment and in improving its accessibility
to Filipino seafarers.
The pilot class was
conducted to determine areas for improvement / refinement prior to
its offering to ensure that loopholes, deficiencies, misalignments
are identified and corrected. It was facilitated by Engr. Rommel C.
Lesigues and attended by twelve (12) NMP trainees who during the
said day, were billeted at the NMP dormitories.
The theoretical aspect of
the course was delivered though an online or e-learning platform
using Google Classroom and Google Meet applications and the
practicum exercise and assessment were conducted through the
traditional face-to-face method.
OWS is an advocacy program
of NMP, developed with the aim of providing seafarers with a deeper
understanding of Resolution MEPC.107(49) “Revised Guidelines and
Specifications for Pollution Prevention Equipment for Machinery
Space Bilges of Ships” to increase the effectiveness of shipboard
oily waste management.
The offering of OWS will
ensure compliance to paragraph1.1.5 of the said resolution, viz,
Ship staff training should include familiarization in the operation
and maintenance of the equipment and heighten seafarers’ awareness
in the effects of ships’ daily operations to the environment and
contribute for the attainment of the International Maritime
Organization’s (IMO) overarching objective to achieve safe, secure,
and efficient shipping on cleaner oceans.
Moreover, another pilot
class is scheduled to be undertaken come 17 October 2020 (Saturday)
for the offering of the Updating Basic Training (BTU).
Also, the online
Consolidated MARPOL 73/78 course and the blended Training Course for
Instructors (IMO Model Course 6.09) and Assessment, Examination and
Certification of Seafarers (IMO Model Course 3.12) are in the
pipeline for their immediate offering.
Further, the development
of the Vessel Crane Operator Course and the Freefall Enclosed
Lifeboat Course in blended learning are for completion within the
Meanwhile, NMP continues
to conduct face-to-face trainings with strict implementation of the
Maritime Industry Authority’s (MARINA) approved Post-Enhanced
Community Quarantine Operational Plan and other health and safety
protocols as required by the Department of Health (DOH), Department
of Labor and Employment (DOLE), and local government unit (LGU).
Likewise, seafarers who
are interested to avail of the NMP’s FREE online classes on SHAPIMS,
PADAMS, and GSTS may register through this link:
Stakeholders who wish to
validate the authenticity of their seafarers-employed with NMP
issued certificates may visit www.verify.nmp.gov.ph. Also, those
interested in NMP research undertakings may visit the NMP website
and access the e-Research Information System Portal which is
designed to disseminate NMP completed researches, present the
Research Agenda, and engage the industry stakeholders to collaborate
in the research activities.
Further, NMP encourages
OWWA registered seafarers to avail of the NMP-OWWA (Overseas Workers
Welfare Administration) Seafarers’ Upgrading Program (SUP) and
Skills for Employment Scholarship Program (SESP) which entitles the
beneficiary to receive financial assistance for training costs from