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    MPIF’s Bayan Tanim! partners with DA, Agrea

    Metro Pacific Investments Foundation (MPIF), the Department of Agriculture (DA) and Agrea Agricultural System International Inc., signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to strengthen their shared advocacy for food sustainability in the Philippines.

    The MOU, signed  by DA Secretary William Dar, MPIF president Melody del Rosario and Agrea president and founding farmer Cherrie Atilano, certifies their partnership to support MPIF’s latest initiative, Bayan Tanim!.

    Bayan Tanim! is the Foundation’s support for the ‘Plant, Plant, Plant” program of the DA and the “Move Food Initiative” of Agrea. It primarily aims to provide communities and displaced workers with the means to grow their own vegetables safely at home.

    MPIF will identify the community beneficiaries, spearheading the distribution of the Bayan Tanim! Agricultural Starter Kits and managing the overall implementation of the campaign.

    The DA will provide 1,000 agricultural starter kits containing seedlings of common vegetables,  spearhead capability building activities including online courses, lead the advocacy campaign for integrated urban agriculture, and  provide information, education, and communication materials on urban agriculture techniques.

    The Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI), will contribute seedlings of commonly grown vegetables, and provide training on Urban Agriculture techniques. Agrea will act as the main supplier of seedlings, guarantee quality control for the planting kits.

    First Pacific Co Ltd. (FPC) donated a total of 200 crates barangays in Manila (Tondo), Quezon City ( Culiat) and Caloocan. LRMC will provide 100 crates to their fenceline communities in Manila and Pasay, in time for their anniversary.

    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.

    RSA leads blood drive

    In response to the urgent need to replenish blood supply at the Philippine Red Cross–and contribute to the treatment of COVID-19 patients–San Miguel Corp.(SMC) has launched a quarterly blood and convalescent plasma donation drive across its facilities nationwide.

    SMC, which is marking its 130th anniversary, is the first private company in the country to undertake such an initiative with the Red Cross.

    “Fewer people are donating blood since the pandemic started to date, yet there is a growing demand for blood for transfusions needed in emergent cases. I can’t think of a more meaningful way to mark San Miguel’s 130th anniversary than to help replenish the Philippine Red Cross’ blood bank. While we’re still dealing with a pandemic, many more non-COVID-19 patients are in need of blood to get the care they need,” said SMC president and chief operating officer Ramon S. Ang, who donated blood for the launch last September 18.

    “We just want to help in any way we can. This is a San Miguel group-wide effort that we will do every quarter. Our employees across the country are encouraged to donate. I believe, together, we can all make a difference,” Ang said as the drive was launched simultaneously via ZOOM in six different SMC facilities around the country.

    Among these were the Purefoods Hormel Plant in General Trias, Cavite; the Manila Toll Expressway Systems, Inc. facility in Silangan Laguna, San Miguel Brewery’s community clinics in San Fernando, Pampanga; Mandaue, Cebu, and Sta. Cruz, Davao Del Sur, and the SMC Head Office Complex in Mandaluyong, Metro Manila.

    The event was participated in by over 400 SMC employees.

    Viva Voce at the online Sunshine Place

    The Sunshine Place will present a series of online classical music concertos through Sunshine Classics on Senior Recreation Center’s You Tube Channel.

    Viva Voce starts off the series on  October 1 -15, with pianist, Mariel Ilusorio, soprano Anna Migallos and tenor Marvin Bautista in a delightful online concerto of Broadway, Opera, and Filipino songs.

    US-born Soprano Anna Migallos earned her Master of Performance in Vocal Performance from the Royal College of Music in London.  She has performed in the United Kingdom, Asia, and the Philippines.

    Tenor Marvin Bautista who hails from a family of musicians joined Tining, Ang Koro ng Letran Calamba, and later the Coro San Benildo, the resident chorale of De LaSalle-College of Saint Benilde. A veteran of international competitions, he appeared in several productions together with the Viva Voice Lab at the Cultural Center of the Philippines.

    Pianist Mariel Ilusorio was a first prize winner of NAMCYA Piano Category A-II in 1985. Her musical studies include a Pre-College Diploma from the Juilliard School in New York and Bachelor of Music Degree from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music in Ohio. She studied with the eminent piano pedagogue, prof. Arie Vardi at the State Academy of Music in Hannover. She now teaches at St. Scholastica’s College, UST Conservatory of Music, and the Philippine High School for the Arts.

    Ticket purchases are accepted until October 15, 2020 at 12:00 noon. A link will be emailed and valid October 1 – 15, 2020. Registrants can access the concert video as many times as they want.

    For tickets, contact Mariel Ilusorio at (0917)709-2255 or [email protected]. Senior rate at P250 and regular rate at P350.

    The Sunshine Place, a senior recreation center under the Felicidad Tan Sy Foundation.

    Chamber of Thrift Banks to hold ‘virtual’ annual convention

    The Chamber of Thrift Banks (CTB), the umbrella organization of thrift banks across the country, will hold its ‘virtual’ annual convention with the theme “Thrift Banking in the New Decade” on October 13 to 15, 2020. Originally scheduled last March 13, the convention was postponed because of the onset of the coronavirus. Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Benjamin E. Diokno will deliver the keynote address.

    The convention will tackle the challenges of the ‘new normal’ and the growth opportunities for member banks in the new decade. Forum topics include banking technologies for thrift banks, consumer and SME lending, and the BSP’s digital banking initiatives among others.

    JazzyPay helps firms to adopt cashless payments

    JazzyPay helps businesses efficiently bill their customers from any part of the world via App, Email, SMS or Messaging Platforms. With JazzyPay, merchants can now adopt cashless payments within only one day and without requiring a deposit.

    JazzyPay’s unified payments platform allow partner merchants to accept payments from anywhere in the world via 27 payment methods, including credit and debit cards (Visa, Mastercard, Amex), online banking, e-wallets (AliPay, CoinsPH, GCash, GrabPay, WeChat Pay) and over-the-counter deposits.

    Kathleen Acosta, chief operating officer and co-founder of JazzyPay, said this solution assures all Filipinos including OFWs and their families a secure way or sending funds.

    Since its launch in January 2018, JazzyPay has established itself as the go-to payment gateway, serving hundreds of merchants including Adventist Medical Center Manila, Adventist Hospital Santiago City, Manila Adventist College, and Dr. Arturo P. Pingoy Medical Center among others.

    JazzyPay recently raised a USD 500,000 seed financing round led by Cocoon Capital to accelerate its growth and to help more businesses go cashless during COVID-19. JazzyPay also introduced upgrades with a brand new user interface, enhanced features, and heightened security to help their partners adapt to the new normal.

    Microsoft launches program for better employment of PWDs

    The recently launched Microsoft Enabler Program pioneers disability inclusive workplaces across Asia Pacific by removing the barriers for a more diverse workforce.

    Piloting in five markets: Korea, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand, the programs aims to expand to the rest of the region by the end of 2020.

    Organizations committed to the program will receive training from the non-profit organizations (NPOs) to become inclusive employers, and these businesses will in turn provide job shadowing, internships, mentoring and opportunities in tech jobs for PwDs identified by the NPOs. Microsoft will provide industry required training in cloud and artificial intelligence, as well as a platform for all three to collaborate towards an inclusive future for every person.

    Microsoft will provide online training in data engineering and programming, cloud computing on Microsoft Azure and application development in GitHub to the PwDs.

    For the employer partners, Microsoft will conduct workshops on inclusive design and assistive technologies enabled through artificial intelligence on Microsoft Azure.

    In the Philippines, the organizations tapped are Virtualahan, Cognizant Technology Solutions,  Crayon,  ePLDT,  HCL Technologies,  Nexus Tech, NTT Asia Pacific,  NTT Data and  Wipro.

    TransUnion tackles online credit application dropouts, rising fraud

     TransUnion is extending its data and technology expertise to help financial institutions accelerate digital transformation and be able to provide consumers with an easy digital application and onboarding experience. This answers the need for finance services that can address consumer pain points as well as the increase in fraud as digital transactions rise.

    Delivered via a single platform and a single API that significantly reduces integration time and effort for financial institutions, TransUnion Seamless Onboarding encompasses identity verification, fraud prevention, credit risk decisioning, and service orchestration to bring a differentiated and holistic solution to the Philippine market.

    This means that the consumer are able to instantly apply for finance products like credit cards via mobile or at a branch near the point-of-sale and getting approved soon enough to be able to snag a store promotion for zero percent installment exclusive to that credit card.

    Sun Life Insurance for QLO borrowers

    Select Sun Life of Canada (Philippines), Inc. (Sun Life) insurance products will be available to borrowers of Quick Loans Online (QLO), a cost-free and risk-free salary loan facility powered by fintech lending company MR Angel Credit Corp. (MRACC).

    Under the initiative, qualified QLO borrowers will automatically enjoy free Sun Life personal accident insurance with a maximum coverage of P80,000. The borrower will be covered for a full year for contingencies such as loss of life, dismemberment, and loss of sight due to accident. The insurance covers various occupations except those in the police, military, naval or air service.

    The strategic partnership between Sun Life and MRACC was formalized through a virtual contract signing attended by Sun Life chief executive officer (CEO) and  country head Benedict Sison, Sun Life president Alex Narciso, MRACC CEO and president Mica Tan, and MRACC vice president Ruth Oquend

    Aboitiz extends laptop subsidy, online assistance to scholars

    The Aboitiz Group, through its social development arm Aboitiz Foundation, has continued assisting nearly 860 students in secondary and tertiary levels via its scholarship program amid the disruption caused by the pandemic to education systems worldwide.

    The foundation has allowed monthly allowances to be converted to laptop subsidy for students who have limited means to purchase tools for a ‘hybrid’ type or online schooling.

    The Foundation recently launched the Aboitiz Scholarship Portal, a one-stop hub for its scholars that contains updates, advisories, learning materials, and a scholars’ profile dashboard. This innovation is how the scholarship program adapts to the new normal of doing transactions and engagements online.

    The Aboitiz scholars also gathered online for the Aboitiz Beyond Classrooms (ABC) Learning Series, the first virtual general assembly of its scholars last August 19. The event was attended by over 280 high school and college scholars in Metro Manila and Cebu via YouTube livestream.

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