Barangay council members and residents of Brgy. 128 Smokey Mountain with their Bayan Tanim! planting crates, to be used in their community garden.

    MPIF launches Bayan Tanim!

    Metro Pacific Investments Foundation (MPIF) launched Bayan Tanim!, a program aimed to help disadvantaged communities recover from the adverse effects of Covid-19 pandemic by growing household crops from their backyard.

    Bayan Tanim! was developed to provide communities and displaced workers with the means to grow their own vegetables safely at home. It also supports the “Plant, Plant, Plant” campaign of the Department of Agriculture which provided the seeds and the “Move Food Initiative” of Agrea Agriculture System International Inc. Agrea supplied the planting crates which contain basic cultivation essentials such as seeds, seedlings, fertilizer, soiless potting mix, as well as fresh vegetables directly sourced from local farmers.

    In partnership with First Pacific Company Ltd., MPIF turned over the first 100 Bayan Tanim! plant crates to the local government of Brgy.128 Smokey Mountain in Tondo, Manila.

    With the assistance of Alagang Kapatid Foundation Inc., MPIF aims to determine and assist the vulnerable sectors drastically affected by the pandemic. Partner companies such as Light Rail Manila Corporation (LRMC) have also committed to help communities within their concession areas. Other target communities lined up for the next schedules will be in Barangay Culiat, Epiphany in Caloocan, and people living near the public cemeteries near Parokya ng Pagkabuhay in Novaliches, Quezon City.

    Bayan Tanim is the third phase of MPIF’s COVID-19 efforts, following substantial PPE distributions to medical frontliners in over a dozen hospitals and Kaya Natin To, a relief pack distribution effort to over 3,700 families in underserved and marginalized communities.

    SM Supermalls goes bike-friendly

    SM will build a connected network of bike lanes on all roads in the Mall of Asia Complex stretching up to 18 kilometers, including a dedicated bike lane along J.W Diokno Boulevard.

    SM Supermalls through SM Cares is creating bike-friendly infrastructures and facilities to give the growing number of bike commuters and enthusiasts a safe, convenient, and enjoyable experience.

    The Bike-Friendly SM initiative will roll out at the SM Mall of Asia this month, and across all SM malls nationwide in the coming months.

    “By transforming our malls into bike-friendly establishments, we hope to support inclusive and safe mobility, and promote a culture of cycling, “says SM Engineering, Design, and Development President Hans Sy Jr. who conceptualized and spearheads the project. “It is part of a comprehensive plan to make communities where SM malls are located, more inclusive, livable, and sustainable.”

    The SM Mall of Asia (MOA) is leading the way with bicycle lanes in the MOA Complex complete with bike-centric street signs. In addition, SM will enhance its bike parking capacity, install repair stations, a helmet depository, and bike supply and refreshment stations.

    Through this initiative, SM will build a connected network of bike lanes on all roads in the MOA Complex stretching up to 18 kilometers, including a dedicated bike lane along J.W Diokno Boulevard. Other plans consist of connecting SM’s network of bicycle lanes to major roads in the metro.

    Clearly visible bike-centric road signs will be installed. SM’s road signage is based on NACTO (National Association of City Transportation Officials) US Standards implemented by member cities such as Boston, Los Angeles, New York, and Washington, DC.

    Cycling enthusiasts can look forward to SM goes bike-friendly with convenient, safe and Accessible Bicycle Parking, Bike Repair Stations, a Helmet Depository, Bike Vendo Machines carrying ride essentials such as bike tubes, lights/blinkers, bike locks, repair kits, tire patch kits, hand wipes, ponchos, gloves, and multitools; and the Seaside Bike Kiosk offering a wider range of accessories and gear will be available for sale.

    Project Agile supports DepEd’s Learning Continuity Plan

    City Savings Bank (CitySavings) recently launched Project Agile, a learning series for teachers to build the capability of educators and to support the Learning Continuity Plan (LCP) of the Department of Education (DepEd).

    Composed of several virtual training modules, Project Agile is CitySavings’ newest Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative that aims to equip teachers with tools and skills to efficiently collaborate and conduct classes online.

    The bank tapped Vilma Clerigo, MAEd, Integrated Basic Education Department principal of San Beda College Alabang to conduct the first module which is “Managing Virtual Classes.” Since its pilot run, CitySavings was able to reach more than 1,000 participants from various divisions and regions nationwide. It taught methods to elicit active participation from students and manage virtual classrooms while conducting an online class.

    “As the DepEd community adapts to the new normal of teaching and learning, CitySavings will continue to actively support this through Project Agile. We envision that this will help teachers find new ways to extend their classrooms beyond the constraints of traditional walls,” said Paula Ruelan, assistant vice president and Reputation and Brand Management head.

    CitySavings hopes to launch the second module soon which will train teachers to use and maximize G-Suite, the productivity and collaboration tool of Google, as the demand for virtual communication and teaching rises.

    Malaysia hosts virtual trade exhibit

    Malaysia’s Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) through its trade agency, Malaysia External Trade Development Corp.n (MATRADE), is hosting the #MyAPEC2020 Exhibition virtually starting September 1 and will run until Dec. 31.

    #MyAPEC2020 Exhibition is held in conjunction with Malaysia’s hosting of APEC 2020.

    The initiative aims to provide a conducive online platform, with state-of-the-art technology for companies from Malaysia and other APEC economies to meet digitally with potential business partners from all over the world.

    According to Siti Azlina, the MATRADE commissioner based in Manila, #MyAPEC2020 Exhibition provides business opportunities for small and medium enterprises and offers a great learning experience for these companies in terms of adopting and adapting to virtual engagements.

    #MyAPEC2020 showcases products and services by over 300 exhibitors from Malaysia and 21 APEC member economies. In line with the APEC 2020 theme “Optimising Human Potential Towards A Resilient Future of Shared Prosperity,” the target sectors include technology; innovative F&B and agrofood; green tech and energy; healthcare; professional and business services; transport and logistics; lifestyle; and building materials.

    The exhibition is an immersive business platform that includes business pitching; virtual B2B meetings; and webinars – broadcasting of live presentations covering various topics that provide insights and current information of business opportunities.

    The virtual exhibition platform can be visited at upon registration.

    Meralco companies turn over E-jeep to Atimonan LGU

    Manila Electric Co. affiliate companies, Atimonan One Energy, Inc. (A1E) and e-Sakay, Inc. has turned over a new electric jeepney to the local government unit of Atimonan in Quezon Province in order to provide an alternative means of transportation.

    The companies noted that the P1.07 million e-jeep donated by A1E will provide an alternative and more efficient mode of transportation within the Atimonan town center when it starts operations this month.

    The vehicle has a seating capacity of 16 passengers but in order to observe physical distancing, it will only accommodate eight passengers per trip apart from utilizing acrylic dividers, two automatic alcohol ports and eight blower fans.

    “This project is consistent with Meralco PowerGen and A1E’s core values and business strategy, which are aligned with One Meralco Group’s Sustainability Agenda that focuses on power, planet, people and prosperity… This Sustainability Agenda sets the direction in achieving business objectives while at the same time transforming our operations, improving our customer service, and more importantly protecting the environment and empowering our communities,” Rogelio Singson, Meralco senior vice president, expressed.

    He added that they remain committed to bring into reality the A1E power plant as part of the company’s energy transition plan that involves a diversified power portfolio that will utilize high efficiency, low emissions coal technology and renewable sources.

    Infobip launches ‘Moments’

    Global cloud communications platform Infobip recently launched Moments, an omnichannel customer engagement hub that enables Filipino businesses to better understand and reach today’s connected consumer.

    As the pandemic accelerates the digital adoption of the Philippine market, the omnichannel environment becomes competitive more than ever with the great inrush of businesses shifting online. With the influx of brands reaching out to customers every day, Filipinos are expecting personalized and relevant messaging from their preferred brands.

    ‘Moments’ helps businesses create and activate highly effective campaigns that will resonate with customers on a personal level by providing a 360 view of the customer and unifying today’s most popular communications applications onto one platform. These include chat apps (Viber, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Line, KakaoTalk, etc), SMS, email, voice, mobile apps, websites, and emerging channels such as rich communication services (RCS). This enables businesses from different sectors, especially in e-commerce, retail, finance, insurance, transportation and logistics, and utilities to connect with their customers on their preferred channels.

    Charist Montenegro, country manager, Infobip Philippines, noted the importance of still adding a human touch to attract and keep customers. Key features of Moments include: easy cross-channel campaign management; unified customer data; smarter audience segmentation; dynamic marketing automation and; powerful analytics.

    EasyCall make WFH more manageable

    EasyCall Communications Philippines is providing businesses and enterprises with powerful connectivity and data management solutions, particularly for those working from home or remotely.

    According to Paul Villena, general manager of EasyCall, the company’s managed technology services, technical support and technology services solutions aim to help companies realize their full connectivity needs, especially during these unfamiliar times.

    EasyCall offers a suite of best in class tools that fit the needs of different businesses.

    EasyCall, together with strategic partner Thycotic – a provider of cloud-ready privilege management solutions recently named as a Leader in the Gartner 2020 Magic Quadrant for PAM – help businesses manage privileges and ensure access to sensitive information remains safe and compliant.

    Thycotic’s award-winning Secret Server solution is an enterprise-grade, fully featured Privileged Account Management solution that secures and manages all types of privileges, protecting administrator, service application and root accounts from cyber-attack, and offers the fastest time to value of any PAM solution.

    EasyCall also offers enterprises with unified communications systems and solutions through strategic partner, Yeastar Cloud PBX. Yeastar is a scalable, flexible solution that offers stable, robust, and fully-featured business telephone systems to companies through Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). Yeastar’s solutions enable a whole range of business phone line capabilities possible from home, and also saves on implementation and maintenance costs and phone bills, since the technology does not use analog phones or traditional phone lines.

    Prestone provides laptops to scholars

    Prestone is distributing laptops to scholars in response to the way education will be conducted in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

    The laptops come as additional benefits of the Anak ng Mekanilo program together with tuition for the four-year course and a monthly allowance. In partnership with J&T Express, a leading e-commerce delivery service provider in Southeast Asia, the laptops were recently delivered to the nine scholars, who are now third-year students at the STI Colleges in their respective towns and provinces.

    The nine Anak ng Mekaniko scholars are Edmajea Aguinaldo from Makati City, Anna Dela Cruz and Harvey Plazo from Camarines Sur, Christian Diamante from Misamis Oriental, Aulinda Buban and Keith Perez from Antipolo City, Joselito Peñada from Leyte, Melver Masangkay from Batangas, and Jaime Abesamis from Davao City.

    Prestone initiated the search for Anak ng Mekaniko Scholarship Program in 2017, as a way of giving back to the unsung heroes, the local auto mechanics, nationwide. Nine scholars, with inspiring stories, were chosen from among hundreds of applicants.

    Ford donation program raises over $1M

    Ford Motor Company Fund announced Ford employees and others contributed a total $1,133,447 million to COVID-19 related relief efforts around the world, surpassing its goal.

    The COVID-19 Donation Match Program was established in April to provide Ford employees, their families and friends a way to help fight the growing pandemic that kept them at home and unable to volunteer in traditional ways.

    The donation match supported community projects in markets with significant coronavirus-related needs and a substantial number of Ford employees. Nearly one-third of the funds went to hunger relief efforts.

    In the Philippines, Ford has raised over $12,000 or roughly P600,000 which helped fund Gawad Kalinga’s relief and rehabilitation operation “Walang Iwanan, Walang Hawaan” program, providing food packs to thousands of vulnerable and less-privileged families in Gawad Kalinga communities in the Visayas.

    The donation also funded the purchase of personal protective equipment (PPE), tools and medical supplies such as alcohols, sanitizers, and thermal scanners needed by volunteers who will facilitate the relief efforts on-ground to ensure their own safety and protection.