USAID head Gloria Steele at educ summit; New NHMFC head; PAYMAYA bags 11 Quills; ABOITIZ bats for better normal; AYALA Group for gender diversity; MAYNILAD bags 6 Quills; SMART LOCKER concept in PH

    Gloria Steele at the launch of Hugpong sa Pagbangon in Iloilo in 2015. (USAID)

    USAID head Gloria Steele leads speakers at 14th National Education Summit

    The acting administrator of the United States Agency for International Development, Gloria Steele, will be the keynote speaker at this week’s 14th Washington SyCip National Education Summit that will focus on how Filipino students can overcome learning challenges amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

    With a 40-year career at USAID, Steele, a Filipino-American, was appointed acting administrator by U.S. President Joe Biden shortly after he took office in January. A staunch education advocate, she launched the Education Governance Effectiveness (EdGE) program in 2013 when she was USAID’s mission director for the Philippines.

    Under EdGE, Steele also introduced the Hugpong sa Pagbangon in Iloilo province in 2015, an education recovery assistance for communities affected by Typhoon Haiyan.

    USAID implements its EdGE program in partnership with Synergeia Foundation, a nonprofit organization that transforms communities to improve the quality of basic education, has handed out 61 Seal of Good Education Governance since 2017, with nine local governments being recipients of the Seal for three years in a row.

    With the theme “Learning from our Best to Defy Gravity”, the virtual summit on March 25-26 will show how the national and local governments can work more efficiently to help students across the country who have fallen behind their international counterparts based on recent global learning competency assessments. The event will be streamed live on Synergeia’s Facebook page.

    Consistent winners of the Seal include Diffun, Quirino; Solano, Nueva Vizcaya; Lambunao and Mina in Iloilo; Cagayan de Oro City; Valenzuela City; Datu Paglas, Maguindanao; Bongao, Tawi Tawi; and Bacnotan, La Union.

    Apart from the Seal, the winning local governments will receive prizes for their communities from PLDT Smart and Seaoil Foundation.

    Official media partners for the event are Malaya Business Insight,, INQPOP!, BusinessWorld, Digital News Exchange, Pageone, The Philippine Post, The Luzon Daily, The Visayas Journal, The Mindanao Life, Manila Magazine and Woman PH.

    New NHMFC head

    CARLO LUIS P. RABAT(right) takes his oath before DHSUD Secretary Eduardo Del Rosario as the newly-elected president of the National Home Mortgage Finance Corporation (NHMFC). Mr. Rabat, whose thrust is on the development of housing programs, served as mayor of Mati City, Davao Oriental from 2013 to 2019 and as the city’s vice mayor from 2010 to 2013.

    PayMaya bags 11 Quills

    PayMaya Philippines brought home 11 Quills at the recently held 18th Philippine Quill Awards Night for its initiatives that enabled various stakeholders amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

    The digital financial services leader was conferred three Excellence Awards and eight Merit Awards this year by the International Association of Business Communicators-Philippines (IABC-Philippines), a prestigious award-giving body that recognizes strategic and excellent programs, campaigns, and materials in business communications.

    It won Excellence Awards for: #OneAgainstCOVID19, a corporate social responsibility (CSR) campaign; LGUs Embracing and Accelerating Digitalization (LEAD) Program Webinar Series for local government units (LGUs); PayMaya Academy: Preparing Our Talent to be ‘Mission-Ready’ for the Future of Work, an all-digital learning program for PayMaya’s employees to enable personal growth and development while working from home under the community quarantine.

    PayMaya also received 8 Merit Awards for various marketing, government sector, employee program, and media relations campaigns, namely: “Don’t Pay Cash. PayMaya!”; Bayanihan para sa Digital Ayuda: Building the Philippine Government’s Cashless Infrastructure for Financial Aid with PayMaya; I am PayMaya: Forging Employee’s Ownership of PayMaya’s Growth Narrative through Internal Communication; I am PayMaya: Utilizing the 4Cs in the New Normal; VHUB: Providing PayMaya Employees Freshest Information–Anytime, Anywhere, and on Any Device;   PayMaya Squad: Creating a national micro-community of Filipinos living the cashless lifestyle;  and Empowering the Media Industry with Safe Contactless Payments Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic.

    Aboitiz joins ABAC push for better normal

    The Aboitiz Group is joining other regional economies looking to recover under a “better normal” post-pandemic by adopting new technology and innovation and applying these with other stakeholders in the Southeast Asian region.


    “APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) could serve as the catalyst for collaboration and complementation among stakeholders, within and across economies. Technology and innovation offer the tools for recovery and opportunities to navigate in yet another new normal,” said Aboitiz Group president and chief executive officer and APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) member Sabin Aboitiz.

    This year, ABAC will submit a Report to APEC leaders which outlines key policy recommendations focused on trade and investment in goods and services, digitalization, regional economic integration, and sustainability.

    Aboitiz participated at the Innovation and Digitalization Group during the recent virtual 2021 ABAC-SOM (Senior Officials Meeting) Dialogue.

    The dialogue carried the theme “Implementing the APEC Putrajaya Vision 2040,” referring to the vision of “an open, dynamic, resilient and peaceful Asia-Pacific community by 2040, for the prosperity of all our people and future generations.”

    Ayala Group promoting gender diversity

    To celebrate International Women’s Month, Ayala Corp. president and chief operating officer Fernando Zobel de Ayala made a commitment to promote gender diversity from the staff to the board level during his keynote address at the “#ChooseToChallenge: Inclusive Leadership in Times of Crisis” webinar hosted by Male Champions of Change last week.

    Zobel said Ayala Corp. has set a Board Diversity Policy, committing that the Board, which is intended to be the company’s guiding principle as it evolves top leadership towards greater diversity and improved representation. He also committed to continue increasing the number of women from entry-level to senior leadership positions.

    “Advancing workplace gender equality, and the other dimensions of diversity in all our companies is a priority area moving forward,” Zobel said. “We plan to align our diversity programs with best- in-class global standards, while working with peers to make diversity and inclusion as the norm in Philippine business.”

    Across the Ayala Group, based on 2014 to 2019 records, female employees dominate male employees by an average of 31 percent. At the top management level, 44 percent of senior leaders are women.

    Maynilad bags 6 Philippine Quill Awards

    West Zone concessionaire Maynilad Water Services Inc. (Maynilad) bagged three Excellence and three Merit Awards in the recently concluded virtual ceremony of the 18th Philippine Quill Awards.

    Excellence Awards were given to the company’s crisis communications program “Explaining the rotational water service interruption in the West Zone”, and wastewater programs “Kubeta Talks – Let’s Talk Dirty” and “Golden Kubeta Awards – Bringing Wastewater Conversations to the Mainstream”.

    Merit Awards were given to Maynilad’s social media tool “Maynilad Simpleng Ginhawa Online Videos”, and COVID-19 communications programs “Development of the Post-ECQ Plan – Workplace Re-entry Guidelines for Maynilad Employees” and “Maynilad Post-ECQ Sanitation Service Information Campaign”.

    “This recognition from the IABC is a huge honor for our organization. It will serve as inspiration for us to keep striving for excellence in the development of communications initiatives that serve our customers and other stakeholders,” said Maynilad president and chief executive officer Ramoncito S. Fernandez.

    Organized by the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC), the Philippine Quill is the foremost mark of excellence in business communication, recognizing the most effective and innovative communication initiatives in the country.

    Smart locker network concept comes to PH

    The smart locker service that has become extremely popular in Asian countries is set to come to the Philippines. Very soon, the QUBE Smart Locker powered by Box24 will be installed in various locations such as DMCI Homes, MyTown Co-Living, Serendra under Ayala Malls, and many more pilot locations within the metro.

    Elcid Lao, CEO of LAUNDRAFÉBox Corporation, the company behind QUBE Smart Locker, said, “QUBE Smart Locker is a brand-new service provider and system on its own… We are confident that Filipinos will embrace it as the concept offers a graceful start in innovative technology.”

    By downloading the Box24 app, clients are entitled to 24/7-access to smart lockers that can be used for a variety of drop-off and pick-up services such as laundry, logistics, storage, bills payment, and shopping.

    Clients can enjoy the convenience of having a personal locker near their own residence or workplace. The service allows parcel pick-ups during the client’s preferred time without worrying whether the building staff has received it or not. The smart locker totally eliminates the precarious face-to-face encounters associated with delivery of parcels and goods.

    Cid underscores the contactless features of QUBE smart locker by saying, “The smart lockers are 100% cashless. Clients can pay online through the mobile application available on Android and iOS.”


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