Quincy Miller, new Converge FiberXers import arrives in the PH for PBA Commissioner’s Cup

24 Aug

MANILA, Philippines, August 23, 2022 Converge FiberXers import Quincy Miller arrived this morning in Manila to begin rigorous training with the team in preparation for the PBA Commissioner’s Cup this coming September.

The 29- year-old, 6-foot-9 forward has spent the past 10 years of his professional career playing for some of the biggest basketball leagues around the world.

Quincy Miller was the 38th pick overall in the 2012 NBA draft by the Denver Nuggets, where he played 52 games with 16 starts. Shortly after, he played for the Sacramento Kings and Detroit Pistons in 2015 then moved on to be one of the most loved players in Serbia under the EuroLeague and many more across Europe. Most recently, he played for Nacional in Basketball Champions League Americas, and now, he’s been recruited to play for the youngest yet most promising team in the PBA, the Converge FiberXers.

Team owner and Converge CEO, Dennis Anthony Uy shares his excitement over developments in the rookie team. “The Converge FiberXers is pleased to have Quincy as our import. He is a well-rounded player with the height and build that is a definite advantage for the team. Under the leadership of our new head coach, Aldin Ayo, I look forward to seeing him play this coming September. First order of business is to start practice right away, build rapport with the team and bring out the best in each player, said Uy.

GCash ramps up public sector partnerships towards financial inclusion

24 Aug

In line with its vision of “Finance for All,” GCash, the Philippines’ leading fintech company, holds its second annual “One with the Nation” conference, to further strengthen its partnership with the public sector.

The theme of this year’s conference is “Innovative and Inclusive: The Future of Digital Financial Services”. What started out as a webinar due to pandemic restrictions in 2021 is expected to make a bigger impact this year as the upcoming event will be in a hybrid setup that will be held on-site on August 25, 2022, Thursday at the SEDA Hotel in Bonifacio Global City in Taguig and will be streamed simultaneously online via Zoom.

The “One with the Nation” conference gathers industry leaders and top government officials for crucial insights on the future of digital financial services towards a more financially inclusive country, with a strong focus on economic growth. This event is a rare opportunity to listen and learn from powerful speakers led by Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Felipe Medalla, who will be discussing the importance of digital payment adoption in fostering economic growth.  

Also present is Trade Assistant Secretary Mary Jean Pacheco, who will talk about convenient and safe online payments through eBayad.

Meanwhile, representatives from the Commission on Audit (COA) and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) will share their insights on eCollection, ePayments and digital payment options for MSMEs.

GCash president and CEO Martha Sazon together with GCash chief customer officer Winsley Royce Bangit, and chief commercial officer Oscar Enrico Reyes Jr. will highlight key developments and updates in the rapidly growing fintech sector.

“At GCash, we continuously strive to make meaningful innovations with our products and services to better serve Filipinos and achieve our vision of ‘Finance for All’. Together with our esteemed partners from the government, we aim to leave no one behind without access to digital financial services,” said Sazon.

Topics will include “Enabling Economic Growth through Digital Payments Innovations,” “Reinforcing Growth through Digital Payments Adoption,” “Understanding the Guidelines on eCollection and ePayments,” “Promoting Inclusive Finance within Local Government Units through the Paleng-QR Ph Program,” and “Promoting Convenient and Safe Online Payments through the eBayad Mo! Program.”

The GCash app is available for free on the Google Play and App Store. For more information, visit www.gcash.com.

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About GCash

GCash (G-Xchange, Inc.) is the #1 Finance App in the Philippines. Through the GCash App, 66M registered users can easily purchase prepaid airtime; pay bills at over 1,600 partner billers nationwide; send and receive money anywhere in the Philippines, even to other bank accounts; purchase from over 5.2M partner merchants and social sellers; and get access to savings, credit, loans, insurance and invest money, and so much more, all at the convenience of their smartphones. GCash is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Mynt (Globe Fintech Innovations, Inc.), the first and only duacorn in the Philippines.

GCash was recognized by The Asian Banker (TAB) and by the IDC in 2021 for its outstanding digital financial inclusion programs.

ABS-CBN pauses deal with TV5

24 Aug

Here is their official statement:

McDonald’s joins Brigada Eskwela 2022, bolsters support as face-to-face classes resume

24 Aug

MANILA, PHILIPPINES — Reinforcing its commitment to make a difference through programs that support Filipino children’s need for education, QSR giant McDonald’s Philippines through its charity of choice, Ronald McDonald House Charities, once again extends its support to schools for the annual Brigada Eskwela.

Led by the Department of Education (DepEd), Brigada Eskwela gathers volunteers from both the private and public sector every year to help prepare public elementary and secondary schools for the upcoming school year. Since 2015, McDonald’s and RMHC have been providing meals, cleaning materials, and Ronald McDonald Read-to-Learn kits to partner schools. 

This year, the company distributed over 20,000 Burger McDo to educators and volunteers, while 1,000 Happy Meal toys and 20 sets of Read-To-Learn kits were provided to elementary schools. These kits are part of RMHC’s Read-To-Learn program, a program in partnership with DepEd, which provides reading materials to Grade 1 and Grade 2 learners in public schools as well as trains educators on teaching beginning reading.

Grounded by its core value of malasakit, employee-volunteers from McDonald’s also took time from their daily routine to help prepare and distribute meals, and clean school premises, to ensure that both students and teachers alike, can hold classes in a safe and conducive learning environment.

Meanwhile, the company also allocated streamers, welcome banners, and safety signages to over 4,000 schools, in an effort to ensure that government-mandated COVID-19 protocols are still being followed as face-to-face classes resume.

“On behalf of our Chairman and Founder Dr. George Yang and President and CEO Kenneth Yang, congratulations to the Department of Education led by Vice President and DepEd Secretary Sara Duterte on the launch of the 2022 Brigada Eskwela program. Makakaasa kayo na nandito ang McDonald’s at ang kaniyang charity of choice, Ronald McDonald House Charities, para makatulong sa inyong paghahanda para sa simula ng bagong school year,” said McDonald’s Philippines Managing Director Margot Torres during the Brigada Eskwela Kick Off.

With the generosity of Filipinos, the support of partners, and the efforts of volunteers, RMHC can achieve more. Anyone can help share feel-good moments to those in need by donating at rmhc.org.ph/donate.  

SKY BOOSTS ITS 24/7 CUSTOMER SUPPORT SYSTEM KYLA TO SERVICE MORE SUBSCRIBERS NATIONWIDE 

15 Aug

SKY continues its commitment to provide top-notch and hassle-free service to its valued subscribers by making it more convenient for them to raise their concern with just a few clicks through their 24/7 customer support KYLA.   

By expanding KYLA’s accessibility to more parts of Luzon (Baguio, Batac, Dagupan, Laoag, Urdaneta, Bulacan, Batangas) and in Mindanao (Davao, General Santos, Zamboanga) starting August 15, SKY ensures that SKY subscribers from different parts of the country can experience the same fast and convenient customer service. 

Since its launch in 2021, more SKY subscribers expressed their satisfaction with KYLA in addressing their simplest to more complex matters when it comes to their cable and internet service. Here are some common concerns that KYLA can help manage to assist each subscriber in real-time: 

Matters on monthly billings and payment  

Got questions with your SKY bill? Do you plan on enrolling in digital payment methods for ease of transactions? Want to know the status of your monthly bill and so on? 

KYLA’s got you covered on matters regarding your SKY billing and monthly payment. With KYLA, you can easily access your monthly statement and address any concerns from inquiries, status updates, information on SKY’s payment channels to transferring your billing details in an instant. 

For more complicated billing matters, KYLA can also endorse you right away to a live agent to discuss other queries. A subscriber shared “I got the answer that I needed to check my account immediately. Good thing that my KYLA inquiry was answered quickly.” 

Service concerns and real-time advisories 

Got a technical concern with your cable TV or internet connection? KYLA is here to help solve the issue to restore services as soon as possible. KYLA can also notify SKY users of the latest advisories in real-time to keep them updated on SKY’s maintenance efforts, among others. 

As shared by another SKY subscriber “Salamat kasi meron kayong ganitong customer service. Hindi ko na kailangan tumawag sa landline at maghintay nang matagal para malaman kung may ongoing maintenance sa area namin.”  

Subscribers can also do their part in reporting anomalous incidents like cable cutting affecting their services by submitting their reports directly to KYLA. 

Instant troubleshooting and account reconnection  

For troubleshooting and reconnection confirmation, KYLA’s updated feature now accepts video and photo attachments so that subscribers can directly send proofs of payment for account reconnection or a video of their modem for internet connection diagnostics and troubleshooting with a live agent.   

“KYLA is interactive and it guides you on what you need to do, for complicated matters it becomes personalized as soon as an agent takes over the conversation, everything is easy too,” a happy SKY subscriber commented.  

These are among the concerns that SKY’s KYLA can help you with.  Plus, it’s even easier to raise concerns through KYLA as all the subscriber needs to do is type a simple query in English to start a conversation.  KYLA will be able to recognize the concern and direct the subscriber to the proper resources or journey to address the issue.   To ensure a seamless conversation, subscribers are advised to keep their account number ready for transactions that will require it. 

Access KYLA on Viber via mysky.com.ph/kylaofsky, on Facebook Messenger through m.me/myskyupdates, or on any web browser via mysky.com.ph/message-us. For more info on KYLA’s features and functionalities, please refer to mysky.com.ph/aboutkyla

Cebu Landmasters sustains growth momentum with record 1.55B H1 Net Income, up 40% Year on Year

15 Aug

On the back of strong sales and project completions, leading VisMin developer Cebu Landmasters, Inc. (CLI) achieved its highest H1 net income performance of Php1.55 billion, an increase of 40% versus H1 2021. Without the adjustment from CREATE law, CLI grew its earnings attributable to parent by 18% from the reported Php 1.1 billion of the same period last year.

Real estate sales also grew by a robust 45% from Php5 billion to Php7.36 billion year on year. All other business units continued to improve performance as the firm fast-tracked construction and strengthened operations. These resulted in higher percentage of completion, paving the way for more units to qualify for revenue collection. Gross profit margin was maintained at a healthy 45% as the company strongly mitigated inflationary pressures while sustaining 100% of its construction operations.

CLI’s economic housing brand Casa Mira accounted for the largest share of H1 2022 revenues indicative of the significant housing backlog in key VisMin cities. A hefty 40% of H1 2022 revenues came from Cebu; with Davao following at 16%; Cagayan de Oro, 15%; Iloilo, 12%; and the balance from Ormoc, Bacolod, Dumaguete and Bohol. With CLI’s portfolio now encompassing over 15 key VisMin locations, the company sees increased contributions from its new expansion areas in the coming quarters. 

The listed firm’s first-half leasing business expanded by 20% year-on-year as both office demand and retail foot traffic saw a healthy rebound especially in Cebu. With heightened tourism activity accompanied by increased mobility in Vismin, CLI’s hospitality business registered a 271% growth as occupancy rates significantly improved.

CLI’s capital expenditures rose by 42% to Php5.5 billion from last year’s Php3.88 billion, with most of the amount earmarked for project development while 22% was spent on land banking including the purchase of a 17-hectare expansion site in Butuan City. CLI is also gearing up for its large-scale townships in Davao, Cagayan de Oro and Minglanilla in Cebu as these are now moving strongly at different stages of development. 

Cebu Landmasters’ Davao Global Township (DGT) envisioned to be the preferred central business district in Davao has already completed land development and is now selling commercial  lots. The first 4 towers of The East Village at DGT, the township’s first six-tower residential project, are also now almost 100% sold.

Davao Global Township (DGT), envisioned to be the premier central business district in Davao, was recently inaugurated with the site development completion of the 23-hectare estate. The company also announced that limited commercial lots were being made available for sale to select developers and investors in the estate, awarded as Best Township in Asia 2021 by PropertyGuru Asia Property Awards. The first 4 towers of The East Village at DGT, the township’s first residential offering, is now 90% sold in only 4 months since its March 2022 launch date.

These positive developments were further reinforced by CLI’s announcement that it would increase its retail bonds offering to Php8 billion from Php5 billion and a Php3 billion oversubscription. Strong interest from institutional buyers prodded the move. Meanwhile, the maiden retail bonds of CLI was rated PRS Aa plus with stable outlook by PhilRatings on the back of sound management and strategy with a sustained competitive advantage in the Visayas and Mindanao markets.

Cebu Landmasters’ economic housing brand Casa Mira accounted for the largest share of the company’s H1 2022 revenues indicative of the significant housing backlog in key VisMin cities. Known to provide more value to the Filipino family, Cebu Landmasters unveiled its Casa Mira brand in key cities in VisMin. The photo above shows the club house with swimming pool of Casa Mira South located in Naga and San Fernando, Cebu.

Jose Soberano III, CLI chairman and CEO, disclosed: “We are on track to achieve another record year and there are several strong indicators for CLI to achieve its growth guidance of 20% this year. With our expanding portfolio and with our operations tailored to provide the strongest ‘ground game’ in the region, CLI is best-positioned to address the growing housing backlog while extending best-in-class turnaround times and customer service.” 

GLOBE TO SELL OVER 7,000 TOWERS; THE LARGEST EVER TOWER SALE AND LEASEBACK TRANSACTION IN THE PHILIPPINES

12 Aug

August 11, 2022, MANILA, PHILIPPINES ± Globe (PSE:GLO), a leading digital platform in the Philippines with major interests in telecommunications, financial technology, digital marketing solutions, venture capital funding for startups, corporate venture building, virtual healthcare and providing support to
entertainment, announced today that it obtained Board approval for its milestone initiative to sell over 7,000 towers, of which 66% are located in Luzon, 19% in Mindanao and 15% in Visayas. The tower assets up for sale are made up of 79% ground-based towers and 21% rooftop towers, and have been grouped into 3 unique distinct portfolios assigned to three different tower companies representing local and international groups with deep experience and expertise in telecom tower infrastructure, and engineering and construction. Upon completion, this transaction will represent the largest ever tower sale and leaseback deal in the country.

Globe expects to raise a significant amount of capital over the next few quarters from executing this transaction. Of the total proceeds, approximately 75% will be used to fund capital expenditures, to support ongoing network expansion and sustain industry-leading network consistency and reliability scores. The balance of 25% will be earmarked to cover our 2023 debt servicing requirements. This will significantly improve the health of the company’s balance sheet and provide flexibility to compete in this dynamic market as well as further expand its digital ecosystem.

As the biggest milestone of this initiative, Globe signed 2 sale and leaseback agreements for 2 portfolios consisting of 5,709 telecom towers and related passive telecom infrastructure for over 71 Billion Pesos.

DUWA Cebu Children’s Festival Takes Kids on Wild, and Wonderful Experiences

11 Aug

Give your kids an experience of a lifetime at DUWA Cebu Children’s Festival, where young minds can harness their innate curiosity and creativity and push the boundaries of what they can be!

Happening on August 13-14 and 20-21 at Oakridge Business Park, this exciting weekend activity guarantees fun-filled days to keep the little ones happy and occupied.

“DUWA Cebu Children’s Festival recognizes that it is through play that children first grasp the world around them. By providing weird, wild, and wonderful experiences, the festival hopes to enrich the local landscape with things kids can do,” said Allen Tan, one of the organizers. 

With the popularity of the Internet, many children no longer get a chance to play outside their homes and partake in Filipino games that their lolo and lola once enjoyed. This time, they can try tubig-tubig, buwan-buwan, jackstone, takyan, bato-lata, and many more for free every 2-3pm on all Festival days.

“Over the pandemic, children have been cooped up, and it has been limiting their social skills. So we wanted to do something that fosters interaction and enhances their sense of wonder and play,” said co-organizer Mark Deutsch. 

They can also broaden their artistic perspectives by watching free performances of the Cebu Centre for Dance Ballet and Sistemang Pilipino and by attending the musical storytelling by Little Boy Productions.  

The more reserved ones may stay at the drawing tables, play sungka, do some origami, or simply read their favorite story books.

“Creativity is important, as adults, we see AI replace people in the workplace. However, there’s one thing AI can’t replicate and that’s creativity. So it’s important to immerse children in creative activities and instill the importance of this value,” said Mark Anthony Ynoc, Mandaue Business Month Chairperson 

For those who desire to enhance their skills, the Festival has lined up numerous workshops for only P650 per child, per workshop, including a snack pack.

They can pick among the following activities:  Ballet Workshop with Cebu Centre for Dance, Hip Hop Dance with Mr. Quelo, Theatre Workshop with Penelop Ong, Young Inventors Workshop with the University of the Philippines Fabrication Lab, Express Yourself through Watercolor with Marianne Guinto, and Draw Your Heart Out with Little Boy Productions, 

Learn more about DUWA and how to register for the workshops by visiting https://duwachildrensfestival.com/

Converge nets P3.9 billion in first half, up 21.5% Y-O-Y

11 Aug

Leading fiber broadband provider Converge ICT Solutions Inc. (PSE: CNVRG) booked a net income of P3.95 billion in the first half of 2022, a 21.5% growth over the same period last year, despite the challenging economic environment as it continues to roll out its high-speed broadband service to more cities and municipalities across the country and increased demand from businesses, particularly small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

“Even as we are feeling the pinch of rising commodity prices on consumer demand, we remain committed to making focused investments to reach unserved and underserved communities which are in dire need of reliable and quality internet connectivity,” said Converge CEO Dennis Anthony Uy.

Converge installed nearly 650,000 new fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) ports during the second quarter of the year. This allowed the Converge fiber network to reach more than 13.5 million homes as of end-June 2022, representing 52.1% household coverage. This puts the company on track to reach the company target of covering 55% of Philippine homes by 2023. 

Converge Chief Operations Officer Jesus Romero noted that the recovery of the enterprise sector has also been contributing to the company’s sustained growth with revenues from Converge Business growing by 25.5% to nearly P2 billion in the second quarter compared to its year-ago level.

There was across-the-board growth in the enterprise sector covering SMEs, large enterprises, and wholesale, with small and medium companies booking the most robust growth, doubling their revenue contribution year-on-year for the second quarter of 2022 from the same period in 2021.

Revenues from residential customers, meanwhile, saw a growth of 37.9%, from P10.2 billion previously to P14.1 billion in the first six months of the year. This brings the company’s consolidated revenues to over P16 billion during the period, an increase of 36.3% year-on-year.

Meanwhile, earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) amounted to P9.2 billion in the first half of the year, 41.5% higher from the previous year. As a result, the company’s consolidated EBITDA margin reached 57.2% in the first six months of the year, higher than the 55.1% posted during the same period last year. 

For 2022, Converge will deepen its reach in North Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao, eyeing to open in more major cities by year-end. It already has presence in Cebu, Mandaue, Lapu-Lapu, Davao, and Cagayan de Oro, to name a few.  

“We will continue to expand as we aim to serve the connectivity needs of our people which we hope will also help aid the country’s economic recovery amid the continued threat of COVID-19 and inflationary pressures due to the unstable external environment,” Uy said.

GCash–USAID Alliance for Mangrove Conservations Celebrates International Mangrove Day in the Calamianes Islands

3 Aug

GCash, the leading digital mobile wallet in the Philippines, is partnering with the United States International Agency for Development (USAID) Fish Right Program to plant 125,000 mangrove trees in Culion, Palawan, as part of the company’s ambitious goal to integrate sustainability into its core business by planting 2.3M trees in 2023. This newly launched alliance leverages USAID’s decades-long experience in marine biodiversity conservation, climate resilience and fisheries management.

The initiative was announced at a day-long launch event on 26 July, coinciding with International Mangrove Day, which included a celebratory tree planting ceremony. The event featured speakers from Culion Foundation, Inc. (CFI), one of the implementing partners on sites,  with Alberto A. Lim, CFI President, Culion Mayor Virginia Vera, Deputy Chief of Party William Jatulan, USAID Fish Right Representative, and a recorded message from Martha Sazon, President and CEO of GCash and other local partners and interested stakeholders among its 400 attendees.

The event started with a fun run and culminated in a tree planting activity together with beneficiaries of the cash for work on the rehabilitation of mangrove sites as follows; fisherfolks, Calamian eco-warriors, indigenous groups and women leaders who are directly engaged in the strict monitoring and enforcement of science-based approach to the management of these reforestation sites and the protection of the seascapes and coastlines.

“We all live on the same planet, but the impacts of climate change are felt more strongly by the most vulnerable communities,” said Sazon. “GCash recognizes the environmental importance of mangroves, and we are excited about our partnership to build communities rich in biodiversity and disaster-resilient,” she added as part of the official rollout.

USAID Fish Right Deputy Chief of Party William Jatulan commended the partnership’s efforts toward climate resilience, “We support GCash’s efforts in engaging more Filipinos in protecting our coastal areas. These mangrove forests not only protect fish habitats, but they also serve as “blue sinks” that sequester more carbon and mitigate the effects of climate change. Let’s work together for the safety and livelihood of millions of Filipinos for today and for generations to come.”

This unique partnership engages GCash users in mangrove planting efforts through GForest, an environmental sustainability feature on the app where you can grow your own forest and support tree planting in GCash’s partner locations through ‘green energy points’ or GEnergy. GForest encourages users to reduce their carbon footprints by rewarding these points for every cashless transaction done through GCash.

Since GForest’s launch in 2019, more than 11 million users have contributed to planting around one million trees in various locations nationwide. Through the GCash – USAID partnership, Culion Foundation and the local government of Culion co-manage mangrove nurseries and planting of seedlings in eight barangays namely Osmeña, Carabao, Galoc, Binudac, Malaking Patag, Luac, Baldat and Burabod since April 2022.

During the launch, Mayor Vera committed to sustaining Culion’s mangroves by engaging the community and educating them on its importance. The mayor has since issued an executive order for the annual observance of International Mangrove Day in the municipality, requiring tree planting with the scholars availing of education assistance from LGU.

The partnership sets to scale this initiative to engage neighboring municipalities and USAID partners across different marine protected areas in the Calamian Islands and South Negros as part of GCash’s  2.3 M trees by 2023 target.

The partnership supports USAID Fish Right’s efforts towards mangrove rehabilitation, which is critical in protecting coastlines from natural disasters and in mitigating the effects of climate change. Healthy mangroves also serve as nursery grounds for many fish, crab and shellfish species that support the livelihood of fisherfolk and mangrove-planting communities.

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