SBCorp, DBP forge
partnership for MSME sector recovery
July 6, 2021
MAKATI – The Small
Business Corporation (SBCorp) and the Development Bank of the
Philippines (DBP) forged a partnership through a Memorandum of
Understanding (MOU) signed on 7 June 2021 at the DBP Building in
Makati City. The aim of the partnership is to develop a
collaborative approach between the financing programs of both
institutions to further facilitate the recovery and sustainable
growth of the micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
segmentation and strategic client referral process, the DBP’s MSME
Recovery Program and SBCorp’s COVID-19 Assistance to Restart
Enterprises (CARES) Program, which are both designed to accelerate
the recovery of MSMEs, will complement for the purpose of providing
a more efficient assistance to their target beneficiaries.
strategies will be implemented by reciprocally identifying the
institutions’ market segments and designing a two-way client
referral process which will be based on the asset size of the
enterprises pursuant to the individual mandate of the institutions
and existing lending guidelines.
DBP President and CEO
Emmanuel G. Herbosa said the partnership will serve as a response of
the DBP to the needs of their clients with nominal loan requirements
and insufficient documentation. “Through this memorandum of
understanding, we vow to get our act together to make sure that our
programs work to serve the best interest of our target beneficiaries
in a more effective and efficient way,” he added.
On the other hand, SBCorp
President and CEO Ma. Luna Cacanando affirmed that the DBP’s MSME
Recovery Program is a complementary facility to the CARES Program as
both programs offer similar low financing cost features, longer
repayment terms and grace period, and collateral-free loan for
amounts not exceeding PhP 3.0 million. “The synergies that this
partnership will produce will not only be mutually beneficial to our
respective institution, but will ultimately go a long way in helping
our MSMEs restart and rebrand their businesses,” PCEO Cacanando
DBP Senior Vice President
Paul D. Lazaro and SBCorp Executive Vice President Santiago Lim also
shared their optimism on the potential of the collaboration.
The program interventions
developed by the institutions for the MSMEs are pursuant to the
enactment of the Republic Act No. 11494 otherwise known as the
Bayanihan to Recover as One Act (BARO) which ought to bolster the
resiliency of the Philippine economy.
“We must build stronger
alliances, not only to ensure the success of our corporate goals but
to achieve the collective aspirations of our nation to help our
MSMEs survive and ultimately recover from the economic challenges
brought about by the national health emergency confronting the
country in the past 15 months,” PCEO Cacanando added.
reaches one million registered users; BSP congratulates CARD
July 2, 2021
SAN PABLO CITY –
CARD MRI’s mobile banking app, konek2CARD, has reached more than 1
Million registered users as on June 28, 2021 after an aggressive
marketing campaign, which was launched first quarter of 2021.
The mobile banking
application first saw an increase in user registration in May 2021
with 808,378 users registered on the application. The campaign
consisted of various promotions including registration and usage
promos and a konek2CARD dance contest that spiced up the campaign
CARD Bank, which initiated
konek2CARD in 2016, ushered in the largest number of registrants
with 557,913, followed by CARD SME Bank with 273,974, CARD MRI RIZAL
BANK with 168,187, and CARD, Inc. (A Microfinance NGO) with 754. The
financial institutions of CARD MRI garnered a total of 1,000,828
registrations and counting.
Changing the Way We Live
konek2CARD has changed the
way people live in the New Normal by providing a variety of banking
transactions to its clients in the comforts of their homes. Among
these include checking of savings and loan balance, transferring
funds, purchasing e-load, and viewing of mini-statement and
transaction history. Agent-assisted transactions such as cash-in
(deposit) and cash-out (withdrawal) services through konek2CARD
agents are also made possible through konek2CARD. These services
bring an added convenience to clients most especially as health and
safety protocols should be observed during the COVID-19 pandemic.
With the positive response
towards the mobile banking application, CARD MRI Founder and
Chairman Emeritus Dr. Jaime Aristotle B. Alip emphasized the
importance of konek2CARD in this COVID-19 era and expressed hope
even as the pandemic stretches on.
“We are delighted that our
clients and communities are embracing our digital initiatives as we
prioritize their health and safety amid the pandemic. We continue to
be one with the government in ensuring transactions are safe for our
clients. I believe that this is the beginning of our fruitful
journey as we reach out to more underbanked communities,” said Dr.
CARD MRI Managing Director
Aristeo A. Dequito also expressed his gratitude to those who have
trusted the mobile banking service.
“As we conform to our
government-mandated protocols, we continue to adapt to the new
normal with konek2CARD to provide our clients the convenience they
need in times like these. We are grateful to our clients for
trusting konek2CARD, and we hope that the mobile banking application
continues to serve as their companion for their banking needs,” said
Road to Financial
konek2CARD was not only
designed to provide safety and convenience to its clients. It also
serves as an instrument to financial inclusion. As the platform
being used by the four financial institutions of CARD MRI namely,
CARD, Inc. (A Microfinance NGO), CARD Bank, CARD SME Bank, and CARD
MRI Rizal Bank, the mobile banking service enables them to break the
barriers that separate its clients, especially those in the
outskirts of communities, from experiencing affordable and
well-designed financial services.
According to CARD Bank
President and CEO Marivic M. Austria, “Since konek2CARD’s inception
in 2016, we saw how the mobile banking application changed the lives
of our clients and the communities we serve overtime. This is a part
of our financial inclusion initiative to make sure no one gets left
behind especially during a health and financial crisis such as
Through konek2CARD agents
strategically placed in neighborhoods, konek2CARD is within reach of
CARD MRI clients who need to make their banking transactions.
Because of the accessibility of konek2CARD agents, more users saw
the need to register to the mobile banking application, contributing
to the success of the “Saya ng Buhay, Level App” campaign. To date,
CARD MRI has 11,621 konek2CARD agents nationwide.
“Reaching one million
registered users proves how vital digital transformation is in our
journey towards eradicating poverty,” Head of the konek2CARD
campaign and CARD SME President and CEO Cynthia Baldeo said. She
added, “Our konek2CARD agents, operations staff, and executives are
all essential in making this possible.”
CARD, Inc. Executive
Director Vicente Briones, Jr. also sends his gratitude to konek2CARD
agents who have been vital in their operations. “Thanks to our
konek2CARD agents, we have created an ecosystem that makes it
possible for our clients to conduct their financial transactions
even during the weekends without going to our offices. We appreciate
how they make our clients’ lives more convenient through their
In light of expanding
their services to provide access to better financial and social
development assistance to communities, CARD MRI RIZAL BANK President
and CEO Elma B. Valenzuela is also optimistic in overcoming the
challenges of financial inclusivity.
“We will not be fazed by
the roadblocks that try to exclude the unbanked and underbanked
communities in the Philippines. We will eventually reach those in
the far-flung communities with our initiatives, especially now that
konek2CARD is in place,” said Valenzuela.
BSP on konek2CARD
Meanwhile, Bangko Sentral
ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Benjamin E. Diokno congratulated CARD
MRI for reaching 1 million registered users on konek2CARD in a
“We extend our
congratulations for reaching 1 million registered konek2CARD users.
CARD has been a longtime partner and champion of financial
inclusion, and we are glad to mark this achievement with you today,”
In addition, the current
BSP governor and former budget secretary mentioned how it was
“fortunate to witness the beginnings of konek2CARD” as “the
significant gains in a short period revealed the vast opportunities
available to financial service providers when they maximize enabling
policies and adopt an innovative financial inclusion-oriented
In his speech, Diokno also
revealed some of the digitalization initiatives included in BSP’s
Digital Payments Transformation Roadmap for 2020 to 2023. This
includes QRPH payments, which will allow payment of goods and
services in stores, markets, and even transportation through the use
of mobile phones. He also mentioned the Philippine Identification
System (PhilSys) which will authorize clients to avail bank accounts
and other financial services using the PhilID alone. This will
lessen the need to acquire various government IDs and will expedite
As mobile and internet
connections remain to be a constant problem for Filipinos, Diokno
also broached the subject of “pushing for mainstream technologies
like satellite internet” and making way for more broadband players
in the industry.
Finally, the BSP governor
remarked how “digitalization can improve the lives of a common man”
as he ended his speech with a positive note.
“Indeed, by embracing our
financial inclusion mission, we can improve lives and create shared
prosperity in ordinary and extraordinary times. And so, to the
officers and personnel of CARD Bank, keep up the outstanding work,”
konek2CARD will continue
its mission of serving communities with its digital financial
services. It hopes to acquire 2 million registered users by the end
private sector join force to upskill PH workers through Philippine
Trade Training Center
June 28, 2021
PASAY CITY – When
the nation develops its people, the people develop its nation.
This was highlighted by
government agencies and the private sector during the launch and the
ceremonial signing of the Memorandum of Understanding of the first
Philippine Skills Framework (PSF) Initiative on Friday (25 June
2021), a part of the country’s inclusive innovation strategy that
targets to equip Filipino workforce with skills mastery and lifelong
Seeing the need to create
a framework to upskill, reskill, and prepare the country’s human
capital to increase their competitiveness, the Department of Trade
and Industry (DTI), Philippine Trade Training Center - Global MSME
Academy (PTTC-GMEA), and the Technical Education and Skills
Development Authority (TESDA) convened nine other government
agencies to forge partnership for the Philippine Skills Framework.
Among the government
agencies that participated in the PSF are Commission on Higher
Education (CHED), Department of Education (DepEd), Professional
Regulation Commission (PRC), Department of Science and Technology
(DOST), Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Tourism (DOT),
National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), Department of
Labor and Employment (DOLE), and the Department of Information and
Communications Technology (DICT).
As the government
recognizes the importance of a “whole-of-society” approach to
realize this endeavor, they have enjoined industry associations and
learning and development institutions in shaping the said framework.
The Philippine Skills
Framework builds upon the continuing partnership among national
government agencies. It is a product of the memorandum of
understanding that DTI and TESDA forged with SkillsFuture Singapore
in 2019, during the 50th anniversary of the diplomatic relations
between the two countries.
industry transformation maps which provided insights in the impact
of technology and jobs, career pathways, skills required for various
occupations and reskilling options. Adopting the approach of
Singapore, the Philippines is focusing on skills and developing a
skills framework for specific industries as part of its Industry 4.0
“This is indeed a
momentous event as we see an MOU signed in 2019 between the
Philippines, represented by the DTI and TESDA, and Singapore,
represented by Skills Future Singapore, now seeing tangible results
– eleven government agencies in the Philippines, coming together to
forge partnership in the development of the Philippines Skills
Framework for various sectors witnessed by the our Singapore
Institutional partners,” PTTC-GMEA Executive Director Nelly Nita
Upskilling needed to
innovate Filipino Workforce
In his message of support,
Senator Joel Villanueva, who also chairs the Committee on Higher and
Technical & Vocational Education said that the launch of the
Philippine Skills Framework gives guidance to Filipino workers to
the country’s priority sectors.
“With the launching of
Philippine Skills Framework Initiative today, we are not only
expressing or codifying our belief about the value of skills mastery
and lifelong learning. We are also taking the lead for Filipinos,
especially the youth, to follow. By guiding them to the country’s
priority sectors and in-demand occupation and skills, they, too, can
take action to make their career choices work for them,” he said.
“The future of work is
already here, even before the pandemic. The COVID-19 only served as
an accelerant of trends already well underway, especially in digital
technology, artificial intelligence, and even in robotics. Now more
than ever, we should help Filipinos navigate their way to success
and take advantage of opportunities that lie ahead,” Senator
For his part, DTI
Secretary Ramon Lopez emphasized that the need to reskill the
country’s human capital remains a significant part of the plan to
produce a future-ready workforce.
“As we continue with our
efforts to grow and develop competitive and innovative Filipino
enterprises, the need to reskill and upgrade the skills of our human
capital and workforce remains a crucial part of our plans. This is
essential so that our industries can increase and sustain their
competitiveness under the 4IR and move us closer to our goal of
becoming an industrialized nation,” he said.
“We aim to achieve better
employment opportunities that will provide them with higher income.
Skills development is a key pillar of our Inclusive Innovation
Industrial Strategy or I3S. This involves the implementation of
enhancements of our country’s formal education curriculum and
improvements in our technical and vocational education training, and
refinements in our higher education system, Lopez added.
approach in tune with PRRD’s mandate
In his speech, Secretary
Lopez reiterated President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s mandate to involve
the whole country – from the government to its citizens – in matters
of national importance.
“This also requires the
active involvement and support of stakeholders from industry and
private sectors to inform and provide the government the need and
advice of what the market demands from our workers and potential
employees. As such, more than a whole of government, this needs a
whole-of-society approach to ensure its success. As President
Rodrigo Roa Duterte once said during his inaugural address, anything
of national importance [and] significance needs cooperation and
support of people,” he said.
Technical Education and
Skills Development Authority Director General Secretary Isidro
Lapena also emphasized that the signing of the Memorandum of
Understanding (MOU) signifies the whole society’s commitment to
develop the country’s human resources.
“This Memorandum of
Understanding seals our partnership for a whole-of-society
participation for human resource development and competitiveness.
Through this memorandum of understanding, we signify one commitment:
to coordinate and collaborate towards the development of sectors
that will guide them in enhancing their skills for a particular job
role,” he said.
PSF a long-term solution
to evolving workforce demands
For her part, DTI
Undersecretary for Competitiveness and Innovation Group Rafaelita
Aldaba said that the Philippine Skills Framework will help workers
be prepared for the future of work.
“The work of the
government is crucial in managing the transition process and
ensuring that training and skills development is provided to prepare
the workforce for the jobs of the future. While past generations of
talent could expect linear career progression, the workforce of the
future will be required to rapidly learn and relearn new skills as
reskilling, upskilling and redeployment define the new normal in the
future of work,” she said.
Secretary Lapena also
believed that PSF is a long-term solution as the country enters the
Fourth Industrial Revolution.
“In the long run, we saw
how this will benefit Filipinos to raise the standard of our human
resources and be better prepared for the Fourth Industrial
Revolution,” he noted.
Singapore’s commitment to
While the country is
well-prepared to implement the Philippine Skills Framework,
Singapore’s Ambassador to the Philippines Ambassador Gerard Ho Wei
Ho committed to help in the implementation of the PSF.
“The launch of the PSF is
a timely and crucial step towards strengthening the Filipino
workforce's ability to respond and to adapt to the digital economy
in a post-pandemic world. As Singapore is a close friend, we will
continue to assist in the implementation of the PSF, not only
through the government channels, but also, hopefully, with more
collaboration in the private sector,” he said.
The Ambassador also
thought that the PSF will entice more Singapore-based businesses to
invest in the country, as its workforce will be future-ready.
“The PSF will strengthen
the case for more Singapore-based businesses to create a greater
economic footprint in the Philippines,” he noted.
PTTC Executive Director
Nelly Nita Dillera added that the Philippines - Singapore
partnership went beyond the creation of the PSF.
“This partnership actually
worked beyond the Philippine Skills Framework, but we also got to
understand the nuances and the challenges confronting the two
countries in the implementation of the Skills Framework,” she said.
Supply Chain and Logistics
Sector first to implement PSF
The Supply Chain and
Logistics sector is the first to adopt the PSF, as its own Skills
Framework was launched the same day.
The Department of Trade
and Industry, Technical Skills Development Authority, and the
Logistics Services Philippines were present to sign the Memorandum
The MOA aims to establish
a collaborative effort between the government and the logistics
services sector in advancing a competitive and future-ready
logistics workforce through training and skills development.
Specifically, the MOA provides scholarship programs to the logistics
services sector on existing TESDA Training Regulations and
non-registered programs, as well as collaborate on the formulation
of the Philippine Skills Framework for Supply Chain and Logistics.
The PSF will also be
implemented in the priority sectors, namely: Construction, IT-BPM,
Tourism, Health and Wellness, Food, Manufacturing, and Creative
NPA surrenders, army
recovers high caliber firearms in Eastern Samar
78th Infantry Battalion
June 27, 2021
BORONGAN, Eastern Samar
– An NPA cadre in Eastern Samar surrendered to 78th Infantry
Battalion and exposed the Communist Terrorist Group’s (CTG) arms
caches containing high-powered firearms and improvised explosive
The NPA identified as
alias Roel served as the Political Instructor and the Assistant
Squad Leader of Squad 2 in the NPA’s Guerilla Unit operating in the
southern municipalities of Eastern Samar. He voluntarily surrendered
to Lieutenant Colonel Oliver C. Alvior, Commanding Officer of 78th
Infantry Battalion based in Brgy. Lalawigan, Borongan City, on June
15, 2021. Upon his surrender, he brought with him one (1) 5.56mm
M16A1 Rifle, magazines, and numerous ammunition.
Upon his surrender, alias
Roel was immediately given the mandatory proper medical and dental
care as provided under the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration
Program (ECLIP) of the government. Citing starvation and fatigue due
to constant movement across the hinterlands of Eastern Samar as the
primary consideration for his surrender, alias Roel has been
successfully convinced to lay down his arm after series of
negotiations mediated by Llorente-Gen MacArthur Peace Builder Group
(PBG). Their members are former NPAs and supporters of the CTG.
Amazed by good treatment
of the soldiers toward him, which is in stark contrast to the lies
and fears instilled by his NPA comrades, alias Roel decided to
reveal critical information on the status of the said NPA guerilla
front. In a statement, he affirmed that the terrorist group had lost
most of its manpower as a result of the relentless combat and
security operations implemented by 78IB and Eastern Samar Provincial
Police Office (ESPPO) as the main operating units under the Peace
and Law Enforcement Development Support (PLEDS) Cluster here in
Eastern Samar. This constant military operations also disrupted
their capability to recruit new members forcing the rebel group to
leave excess firearms in their caches through their former contacts
in numerous barangays.
Alias Roel, assured of his
safety and security by the government, also revealed the location of
Communist Terrorist’s arms caches in the hinterland barangays of Gen
MacArthur, Eastern Samar. Thus, 78IB was able to locate and recover
five (5) M16 rifles, two (2) M14 rifles, and six (6) IED main charge
In a statement, Lieutenant
Colonel Alvior praised the bravery of the former rebel in deciding
to surrender his firearm and to pinpoint NPA arms caches. He gave
assurance that the government will provide necessary interventions
for alias Roel and his family as the latter decided to be
law-abiding citizens of the Republic of the Philippines.
“The surrender of alias
Roel and the discovery of the NPA arms cache is a manifestation of
the effectivity of the Whole-of-Nation approach wherein the
collective effort of the TF-ELCACs particularly by the PLEDS and LPE
Clusters represented by the Peace Builder Groups, have provided a
conducive environment for the remaining active NPAs to surrender.
The increasing number of NPA surrenderees and the recovery of
numerous firearms and explosives signify that the NPA in Eastern
Samar are directionless because their top leaders in Eastern Samar
have abandoned their fighters", Lieutenant Colonel Alvior said.
NCCP to US
Congress: Pass the PH Human Rights Act now
June 26, 2021
QUEZON CITY – The
National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP) an
aggrupation of Protestant and Non-Roman Catholic Churches commends
and welcomes the reintroduction of the Philippine Human Rights Act (PHRA)
to the US Congress last June 17, 2021, by US Representative Susan
Wild of Pennsylvania. This bill seeks to intervene in the massive
and intensifying human rights violations in the country under
President Duterte’s administration.
“The reintroduction of the
PHRA gives hope to the Filipino people whose rights and lives have
been ferociously trampled upon by state security forces. We believe
that the international community has been vigilantly keeping watch
to the bleak human rights situation in the country and we thank
churches and human rights organizations in the US for their
determined lobbying”, said Bishop Reuel Norman O. Marigza, the
General Secretary of the NCCP. He added that such vigilance to walk
alongside the suffering Filipino people is a concrete manifestation
of “bearing witness with us, of love and justice in action, which is
the hallmark of Christian living”.
The PHRA aims to block
security assistance and funding to the Philippines until President
Duterte’s administration made the necessary reforms to its military
and police forces. NCCP hopes this will help in improving the human
rights condition in the country. If passed, the PHRA will prevent
the sale of arms to the Philippines worth two billion dollars. The
sale includes attack helicopters and the additional 126 million
dollars worth of assault boats and armaments.
“This Act has been a
direct result of tireless work and lobbying efforts of our allies
and partners in the US, the churches and grassroots people’s
organizations, Filipino-American activists and rights defenders who
have been working along our side to push for reforms. This is a
concrete example of solidarity work being built and strengthened by
movement-building, and this movement from the ground up can be a
very powerful tool for impacting change” Bishop Marigza added.
We express gratitude to
Rep. Wild and to the 13 honorable members of the legislative body
who co-sponsors the H.R. 3884,” the bishop said. “We pray and call
that this Bill be passed without delay in the US Congress. This
critical bill can spell life and death for many who are made
vulnerable by the policies and actions of the Duterte government,
particularly the economically poor and human rights activists.
Indeed, acts of solidarity can go a long way”, Bishop Marigza
Two flood control
structures erected to protect residents of Calbayog City
GISSELLE G. PARUNGAO
June 22, 2021
CALBAYOG CITY – A
total contract amount of P54.4M is allocated to build two flood
control projects in Calbayog City through the effort of the
Department of Public Works and Highways -Samar First District
A flood mitigating
structure is erected in Barangay Lonoy, Calbayog City which spans
373 linear meters and a height of (3) meters which also includes a
walkway. The structure has a parapet of 0.95 meters which acts as a
barrier for the safety of the residents. The scope of work also
covers embankment, steel sheet pile foundation, concrete capping and
hand laid rock embankment.
structure is built along Cag-olango Creek in Barangay Cag-olango. It
has a length of 109.11 meters on both sides and a height of 3.2
meters. This also has a parapet of 0.8 meters and walkway along the
Flood control structures
are used to reduce or prevent the detrimental effects of flood
waters. These were built to prevent water overflow and soil erosion
along the creeks or riverbanks and has high assurance of safety and
health environment of the families living therein.
available in Indonesia
June 22, 2021
MAKATI CITY – The
Philippine Trade and Investment Center -Jakarta reported that
Emperador is now available in Indonesia after months of discussion
with importing entities, bringing the taste of proudly Filipino-made
alcoholic beverage to the largest ASEAN economy.
“Emperador is a household
name and a global brand, and we are proud to facilitate its entry
into Indonesia,” said Commercial Attaché Jeremiah Reyes of the
Philippine Trade and Investment Center - Jakarta. “We look forward
to supporting the growth of local enterprises and bringing more
Philippine products to this massive consumer market.”
To thresh out the details
of Emperador’s market debut, Commercial Attaché Reyes met with
importers PT Pantja Artha Niaga (PAN) and PT Sumber Anggur Sejahtera
(SAS) on June 14. The two importing entities built a sprawling
network comprising six wholly-owned distribution channels and eight
external distributors covering major Indonesian provinces.
Emperador products is
available in Red&White stores, a brand developed by PAN and SAS.
There are 84 Red&White stores located across Indonesia, 69 in
Jakarta, four in Surabaya, nine in Bali, and one store each in
Semarang, Palembang, Ambon, and Gili Island of Lombok.
Alcohol consumption in
Indonesia is expected to grow by an annual average of 9.6% YoY from
2021-2025, with spending set to hit USD 8.6 billion (IDR120.5
billion) in 2025, according to Fitch Solutions. Spending will be
primarily driven by non-Muslim minorities and the tourist
population, particularly in Bali.
“We are excited for the
prospects of Emperador in Indonesia and commit to provide all the
necessary support to help it replicate its success in the
Philippines, here in Jakarta,” said Reyes.
“The importers that we’re
in discussion with have expressed interest to carry more brands from
the Philippines into Indonesia. This is a welcome development as we
continue to mainstream more brands and show our Make It Happen
mindset to the global stage,” he added.
Emperador, Inc. is the
largest liquor company in the Philippines and the world’s largest
brandy manufacturer with a portfolio of distilled spirits and
alcoholic beverages in 55 countries.