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    Maynilad to connect 14K customers to sewer network

    Maynilad Water Services Inc. (Maynilad) is aiming to add more than 14,000 customers to the sewerage system this year as it installs around 2,000 new sewer service connections in the city of Manila.

    The new sewer lines will further expand Maynilad’s existing sewerage system, which catches wastewater generated by customers and conveys it to sewage treatment plants (STP) for proper treatment.

    “Despite restrictions brought on by the quarantine, we are resuming our sewer line installation activities so we can expedite the expansion of our wastewater infrastructure,” said Maynilad chief operating officer Randolph Estrellado.

     Since 2007, Maynilad has  invested more than P40 billion into wastewater projects, bringing its current wastewater infrastructure to 22 treatment facilities (from only two STPs in 1997), 606 kilometers of sewer lines, and 102 wastewater pumping/lift stations.

    Maynilad is the largest private water concessionaire in the Philippines in terms of customer base. It is the agent and contractor of the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) for the West Zone of the Greater Manila Area, which is composed of the cities of Manila (certain portions), Quezon City (certain portions), Makati (west of South Super Highway), Caloocan, Pasay, Parañaque, Las Piñas, Muntinlupa, Valenzuela, Navotas and Malabon all in Metro Manila; the cities of Cavite, Bacoor and Imus, and the towns of Kawit, Noveleta and Rosario, all in Cavite Province.

    Meralco powers LSI shelters

    Meralco crewmembers conducting energization works at the CCP Complex, Pasay City, as the power firm continues to provide reliable electricity to container vans serving as temporary shelters for locally stranded Individuals or LSIs. These operations include the installation of six concrete poles and 350-meters of bundled wires. This LSI facility is one of the many vital establishments in the Meralco franchise area given high priority when it comes to providing safe, adequate, and reliable supply of electricity, especially during this time of pandemic.

    Aboitiz echoes ABAC PH call to ‘go digital’

    The Aboitiz Group is supporting the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Business Advisory Council Philippines’ (ABAC PH) recommendation to adopt a digital transformation approach to address the short- and long-term economic impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

    “Digital technology has already disrupted businesses and jobs. Now, COVID-19 has ushered in a ‘new normal.’ Online tools and digitally-enabled platforms should be accessible to businesses and individuals to operate and work in a post-COVID environment,” said ABAC member and Aboitiz Group president and chief executive officer Sabin  Aboitiz.

    “We need to fast track building the infrastructure to establish the digital highways that would interconnect the Philippines’ 7,100 islands. This is critical to stimulating our local industries and creating the scale in order to fully engage in international trade,” said ABAC PH Chair Tomas Alcantara.

    “We need to harness digital innovation to take advantage of our young and talented population, and ensure a future-ready workforce,” he added.

    ABAC PH stressed that government interventions should integrate digital technologies to provide innovative solutions in facilitating ease of doing business. This will also improve productivity and efficiency in support programs such as financial inclusion and adaptive learning and training.

    In a letter to Department of Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez, ABAC PH called on the government to implement measures, including possible efforts with ASEAN neighbors and key trade partners to ensure the free flow of goods and services.

    “This kind of initiative builds trust, fosters trade, promotes open markets, and more specifically, facilitates the movement of people and helps secure a steady supply of food, which is necessary as the region fights this pandemic,” said Alcantara.

    With businesses restarting and economies reopening, ABAC PH urged for public-private dialogue to discuss strategies and lessons that would best benefit the Philippines in the short and long term.

    RCBC: Take caution when doing online transactions

    Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. (RCBC) said online banking services have increased tenfold during the pandemic, but an outbreak of data phishing and other online scams was also cultivated.

    A cybersecurity firm reported that phishing attacks in the Philippines increased by 158 percent during the first quarter of the year.

    Trisha Vanessa Liu, RCBC Information Technology Security Head said that as clients have been more reliant on digital channels, scammers have also evolved to target online neophytes or rookies.

    Liu said that scammers have been employing social engineering techniques such as phishing, which is the most common threat wherein scammers would send a seemingly legitimate email or text messages from the bank leading customers to a malicious website to extract their personal information.

    Liu has advised clients to always visit verified websites and not to click on links or download attachments that look suspicious. Aside from a possible virus or malware it may cause, personal information may be easily extracted.

    “Being able to decipher fake from a legitimate email notification or text message can help prevent fraudulent transactions from happening,” Liu said.

    She said that simply responding to phishing messages or emails, may already cause information to be sent to the scammers through the mobile number or email address being used.

    “Clients are reminded that the bank will never ask for One-Time Passwords (OTP) or any personal information which scammers may use to confirm transactions on their behalf,” Liu said.

    Liu stressed that RCBC’s IT Security Group assures its clients that the bank will continue to improve its security protocols to protect its clients and the institution. It also gathers intelligence to prevent future threats from happening.

    Recently, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has urged banks and other financial institutions to maintain sound risk management policies and safeguards against online fraud due to the rising number of complaints.

    Globe bags 3-peat win as ‘Telco of the Year’

    For the third consecutive year, Globe took home the “Philippines Mobile Data Service Provider of the Year” and the “Philippines Telecom Service Provider of the Year” accolades from the prestigious Frost & Sullivan Best Practices Awards.

    For Globe president and chief executive officer Ernest Cu, these awards are a continuing testament to how Globe covers all the bases to ensure that its customers’ telco and data experiences continue to evolve despite many challenges.

    “To be accorded with the same honors for the last three years only shows our consistency and sound company policies.  We share these wins with our employees, customers and investors whom we thank for their support, trust and faith,” said Cu.

    Frost & Sullivan based Globe’s wins on the following criteria: financial performance, addressing unmet needs, customer service experience, visionary scenarios through mega trends, brand equity, and implementation of best practices.

    Frost & Sullivan vice president Richard Wong said in a letter announcing Globe’s recognition for the third consecutive year that the three-peat was made possible by the premier telco and data service provider’s strong overall performance.

    “We also recognize that your (Globe’s) receipt of this award is the result of many individuals – employees, customers and investors – making daily choices to believe in the organization and contribute in a meaningful way to its future,” wrote Wong.

    The contenders for the Frost & Sullivan Best Practices Awards were evaluated on a variety of actual performance indicators which include revenues, market share, capabilities, and overall contribution to the industry in order to identify best practices.

    The Frost & Sullivan Best Practices awards honor best-in-class companies that have demonstrated excellence in their respective industries. Frost & Sullivan’s intent is to help drive innovation, excellence and a positive change in the global economy by recognizing best-in-class products, companies and individuals.

    Manulife cuts premium for term products

    Manulife Philippines and Manulife China Bank Life Assurance Corporation (MCBL) have made their term insurance offerings more affordable, so more Filipinos can access insurance protection, in light of the ongoing global pandemic.

    Manulife Philippines has lowered the minimum premium for its one-year term product from P12,000 to P10,000, or as low as P28 per day.

    At P10,000 premium, a 30-year old can enjoy life insurance coverage worth almost P3.5 million.

    Customers can also renew this plan on an annual basis. Available in Philippine Peso (PHP) and US Dollar, the one-year term product is now payable on a quarterly, semi-annual or annual basis, to make payments more flexible to customers.

    For MCBL clients of China Bank Savings, the same features have been made to the term product Base Protect.

    “Concerns about COVID-19 has made many of us realize the importance of protecting ourselves and our families. At the same time, the pandemic has also taken a toll on Filipinos’ personal finances,” said Richard Bates, President and CEO of Manulife Philippines.

    “To help Filipino families secure their future, we have made our term insurance products more affordable and flexible,” Bates added.

    Manulife Philippines has also lowered the minimum premium for its five-year term product React5, which can now be availed for as low as P23 per day.

    React5 comes with an Accidental Death Benefit to give Filipinos more protection coverage. Customers can renew this plan every five years. They may also opt to convert to a regular insurance plan anytime before they reach age 65. Available in Philippine Peso and US Dollar, React5 premiums can now be paid quarterly, semi-annually or annually as well. This is also available to MCBL clients of China Bank andChina Bank Savings through Base Protect Plus.

    Manulife Philippines is a wholly-owned domestic subsidiary of Manulife Financial Corporation, among the world’s largest life insurance companies by market capitalization.

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