A seamstress turns flour sacks into face masks.

    Pilmico, Mask4AllPH produce face masks

    Aboitiz Group food and agribusiness unit Pilmico is supporting the “all-volunteer” organization Mask4AllPH that distributes free face masks produced by partner cooperatives to benefit urban poor communities nationwide.

    Pilmico has partnered with several sewing cooperatives to produce face masks out of Pilmico flour sacks. Mask4AllPH started and powered a movement of wearing masks to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus disease 2019.

    To date, Pilmico has donated 23,000 pieces of flour sacks to the Mask4AllPH project, which will then be upcycled into 160,000 reusable face masks.

    Prior to joining the project, Pilmico had tapped 30 seamstresses in Taguig and Cebu City to make reusable face masks out of flour sacks. This initiative produced over 50,000 flour sack face masks that were distributed to Pilmico customers, employees and partner communities.

    A story on resilience

    Shell Philippines Exploration B.V. (SPEX),  operator of the Malampaya deepwater gas-to-power project, has highlighted how resilience has enabled this resource to continuously provide energy for the country during the pandemic.

    In her recent talk at the 15th National Chemical Engineering week recently, SPEX Production Services Team lead Michelle Malonzo  said  Malampaya had to develop certain measures and strengthen their business continuity management to continue delivering natural gas to its customers in a safe, efficient, and reliable way.

    “This pandemic has really pushed us to think outside the box on how to make people safe and functioning while being socially distant,” Malonzo said.

    She added: “The Malampaya offshore platform and the onshore gas plant are key installations to the nation’s energy security as it is the only local producer of indigenous natural gas. It supplies up to 30 percent of the power in Luzon and ever more, during the pandemic. Every day, the challenge is to provide continuous gas delivery to customers in a safe and reliable manner.”

    Malonzo also said SPEX looked through different emergency scenarios the team may encounter and identified how to respond to each situation to keep Malampaya running safely.

    Coca-Cola helps OFWs restart

    With the aim of helping repatriated overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) by providing them opportunities to start their own business at home, Coca-Cola Beverages Philippines, Inc. (CCBPI)—the bottling arm of Coca-Cola in the country—has expanded its Balik Pinas program to national scale and coverage.

    Balik Pinas gives opportunities to OFWs to be part of the Coca-Cola family as a distributor, wholesaler, or a community reseller.

    Coca-Cola has consistently sought to create programs to support MSMEs, more so now with the COVID-19 pandemic having disrupted countless lives and livelihoods.

    Coca-Cola assists former OFWs in choosing a suitable business model for their area, helps in managing their cash flow and inventory, and sees to it that they are given proper guidance and training until they are fully ready and equipped to operate on their own—all in all, a sustainable and profitable business founded on practical support from a global beverage brand.

    Baguio’s Smart City vision

    Baguio City has enlisted the expertise of Cisco in creating its Integrated Command and Control Center.

    Cisco’s Integrated Command and Control Center serves as Baguio City’s monitoring center and coordination office all-in-one. It will be operated by a combined force from the CDRRMO, Police, Fire Services, Health and  EMS Departments.

    Cisco will be installing a holistic and integrated Smart City platform which includes the Command and Control Center, an Integrated Communication Platform, a Video Management System with Video Analytics, Computer Aided Dispatch , and Geographical Information System  and big data analytics for the city of Baguio.

    Ultimately, Baguio City will be able to closely monitor and respond to incidents in the community, improving peace, order and safety for its citizens. Baguio City will also be able to better manage and respond to citizen complaints and feedback with the integration of its Smart City app launched earlier this year.

    Maynilad handwashing campaign

    West Zone concessionaire Maynilad Water Services Inc. is intensifying its handwashing campaign through donations of hand-wash stations and soaps to several local government units (LGUs) and public schools.

    The water company is installing 26 hand-wash stations across its West concession area, and 12 of these have been installed in public markets, health centers, and city halls. Maynilad is also providing 1,170 one-liter liquid hand soaps for these stations.

    Maynilad also recently donated 1,878 one-gallon bottles of liquid hand soaps and disinfectants to several schools, in support of the Department of Education’s (DepEd) Brigada Eskwela 2020 program. Around 250 posters that specify proper handwashing instructions were likewise provided to the DepEd-Quezon City Schools Division Office.

    These initiatives reinforce Maynilad’s month-long activities that celebrate the Global Handwashing Day.

    40  firms join CIIE 2020

    Forty Philippine companies are set to showcase various healthy and natural food selections in the country’s third participation in the China International Import Expo (CIIE) at the National Exhibition and Convention Center, Shanghai, China on November 5 to 10.

    The Philippine delegation will focus on healthy and natural food products to tap into the growing demand for nutritious fruits, snacks and ingredients in China. The delegation is under the FOODPhilippines banner .

    Food segments that will be featured are tropical fruits and vegetables, processed fruits and nuts, healthy snacks, seafood and marine products, and other premium food selections.

    The FOODPhilippines pavilion will also showcase emerging tropical fruits such as durian, calamansi (Philippine Lime), guava, and passion fruit. Seafood products including tuna, milkfish, squid, and shrimp will also be available in different packaging, including frozen cuts, in can and in sausages.

    Sari-Sari Store program jumpstarts micro-retailers

    The Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation (PDRF), Coca-Cola Beverages Philippines Inc. (CCBPI), Smart Communications, Unilever, Hapinoy, PASCO Philippines Corporation, and Jefferies LLC—an American investment banking firm—recently launched a joint Sari-Sari Store Program aiming to jumpstart the early recovery of 400 micro-retailers in the Greater Manila Area by giving them the opportunity to avail up to P10,000 worth of retailer packages. The launch was held as part of a virtual orientation for over 330 Hapinoy sari-sari store partners.

    The program offers packages per store: P3,000 worth of Coca-Cola products from CCBPI, Smart Communications’ Exclusive Smart Ka-Partner Retailer Package (equivalent to P500 or P 4,000) or Ka-Partner Negosyo Phone Package (equivalent to P3,500), and Unilever’s Paninda Packs containing P3,000 worth of Unilever products. Each beneficiary can choose all or some of the offered packages based on their needs.

    The Sari-Sari Store Program is a collaboration between fast-moving consumer goods companies  and other private sector stakeholders involved in developing micro-retailers.

    Taiwan’s AI solutions and cyber security products flourish amid growing global trends

     “Taiwan Excellence,” the international promotional campaign run by the Bureau of Foreign Trade (BOFT) and the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) held recently a livestream press conference that showcased Taiwan’s breakthrough solutions in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Cyber Security.

    “Taiwan has a very solid foundation in ICT and semiconductor industries. AIoT and cybersecurity are two of the Six Core Strategic Industries which are important parts of Taiwan’s industrial technology policy,” explains BOFT Director General Cynthia Kiang.

    Presented during the virtual conference were several Taiwanese ICT companies, three of which are winners of the Taiwan Excellence Awards, which generated a lot of excitement and buzz with the unveiling of their new products.

    The companies presented were iEiTSTi (Tatung System Technologies Inc.), Zyxel Networks Corporation , The Syscom Group NETCenter, BankPro e-Service Technology Co., Ltd., and LaFresh Information Co., Ltd.

    Taiwan’s AI and cyber industry is seizing upon market trends and the opportunities they provide to develop more integrated, expandable and customized products.

    For more information, please refer to

    Vivant turns over science laboratories to 4 Metro Cebu schools

    Vivant Foundation Executive Director Shem Jose Garcia (third from left) leads the turnover of the new science laboratory to the Mabolo National High School represented by Dr. Rosemarie Novabos (front, right) and Dr. Danilo Gudelosao of the Cebu City Schools Division of DepEd (third from right).

    Vivant Energy Corporation, through Vivant Foundation, has completed the retrofitting of one science laboratory each for Mabolo National High School in Cebu City, Mandaue City Comprehensive National High School, Liloan National High School, and completely upgraded the existing science laboratory at the Mandaue City Science High School.

    The new science laboratory will be used for online classes and teaching demonstrations.

    The Vivant group also funded the conversion of the old faculty room at Mabolo National High School into a science laboratory and donated core laboratory equipment and teaching tools.

    “We decided to focus on education because it is the best way to invest in the future of any community…particularly in our public schools,” Vivant Foundation Executive Director Shem Jose W. Garcia said.

    Dr. Danilo G. Gudelosao, Assistant Superintendent of the Cebu City Schools Division, said that even with distance learning, teaching science in a well-equipped laboratory is still the most effective way to engage children.

    The new science laboratories are part of Vivant Foundation’s support for STEM education in public schools. Under the same program, Vivant also provides scholarships to qualified participants of the DepEd 7 Regional Science and Technology Fair.


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