March 1, 2022 5:53 p.m.
Manila Water posted consolidated earnings of ₱3.7 billion for 2021, 18% lower than the previous year as the full-year effect of the COVID-19 pandemic impacted customer demand and business operations, even as domestic and international operations outside the East Zone Concession showed improved performance.
Despite the challenges, including an ongoing tariff freeze, the Company pushed through with its projects to ensure prudent compliance to regulatory and service commitments, with group CAPEX at nearly ₱17 billion for the year.
On a group level, revenues declined 4% to ₱20.3 billion due to lower billed volume across all segments in the East Zone Concession and in several domestic subsidiaries, with the full-year impact of COVID-19 restrictions significantly affecting customer consumption.
Cost and expenses for the period stood at ₱9.2 billion in 2021, up 7% from last year, as business and operating activities ramped up coming from restrictions imposed under the Enhanced Community Quarantines (ECQ) in 2020.
This increase was partially offset by lower power and chemical costs in line with lower production during the period.
For its operations in the East Zone Concession, 2021 saw revenues decline by 6% to ₱9.2 billion, mainly driven by 4% decline in billed volume.
Meanwhile, cost and expenses rose by 11% to ₱5.5 billion for the period, driven by the resumption of repairs and maintenance, collection, connection, and sanitation activities with the relative easing of ECQ restrictions from the previous year.
These activities are in compliance with increasing service obligations in the East Zone Concession, even as it continues to operate under a tariff freeze on implementing approved adjustments.
Despite the challenges posed by ECQ restrictions on project execution, the East Zone Concession continued with its capital expenditure program, consequently posting nearly ₱14.0 billion worth of projects for the year.
Said projects focus on water supply, network reliability and wastewater expansion in line with the fulfillment of service obligations under its Service Improvement Plan.
Some notable projects are the East Bay Project which will provide an additional 50 million liters per day (mld) of water supply to customers by extracting water from Laguna Lake. Furthermore, the Wawa Calawis project will provide total additional supply of 518 mld, with 80 mld already available by end 2022.
These projects will further augment available water supply to East Zone Concession customers and ensure reliable water service, with continued collaboration with key government agencies MWSS, NWRB and NIA. East Zone Concession customers currently continue to experience 24×7 water supply but the growing demand will require investments in additional infrastructure.
Looking at the businesses outside the East Zone Concession, Manila Water Philippine Ventures (MWPV) saw improvement in profitability with the good performance of its North Luzon and Central Luzon clusters. Specifically, MWPV’s Laguna Water saw a 2% growth in billed volume, driven by the increase in consumption with the energization of its Laguna Wellfield.
For Manila Water Asia Pacific (MWAP), equity share in net income of associates more than doubled in 2021, with improved performance from East Water in Thailand, as well as by bulk water supply operations of Thu Duc Water and Kenh Dong Water in Vietnam.
Lastly, 2021 marked key wins for Manila Water for both its domestic and international businesses. For MWPV, it secured a 200 mld bulk water supply contract for the Province of Pangasinan.
This ₱8.0 billion, 25-year project will provide bulk water supply to over 1.3 million customers in the province.
For MWAP, 2021 signaled the entry of Manila Water in the Middle East market as it successfully closed two Management, Operations and Maintenance (MOM) contracts with the National Water Company in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for its Northwest and Eastern clusters, respectively. These MOM contracts are in line with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s long-term plan towards a public-private partnership for its water utility.
PH slides to top 4 in Kaspersky’s new global ranking of countries most targeted by online threats
February 5, 2024 9:46 p.m.
In 2023, web threats targeting the Philippines were about two percent less (48%) than in 2022 (49.8%), according to the latest Kaspersky Security Network (KSN) report.
With this new data, the country moved two spots down to fourth place worldwide among countries most targeted by malicious files from the internet and phishing websites. It looks like a positive development but Kaspersky is strongly advising against dropping the armor.
“There are two things that could explain the drop in web threats, albeit slightly. First is that we see the country is slowly making headway in cybersecurity. We classify the Philippines to be in the intermediate group of countries that are identifying cyberattacks and making efforts to implement rules. The second one and this we have to seriously take note, is that cybercriminals are continuously taking other attack routes that might be off the radar. One trend that we consistently have been seeing lately is their preference for targeted attacks instead of the spray and pray method,” said Yeo Siang Tiong, General Manager for Southeast Asia at Kaspersky.
“Complacency, however, is still not an option. Cybercriminals continue to develop their tools and techniques. They actually surprise cybersecurity experts all the time. Our mindset should be how to be able to hunt threats before they could cause harm and damage. At this point, I recommend that we should be talking more about threats as we proactively learn to detect and respond to them. This is where threat intelligence comes in handy,” added Yeo.
Web or online threats are attacks through browsers which are also cybercriminals’ tried and tested way to spread malware. It can easily be done with or without the involvement of the victim.
A web attack with victim participation is done through social engineering. The victim is tricked into doing something that jeopardizes their personal security or the security of the organization they work for. The objective is to get the victim to respond by clicking an infected email attachment, a compromised website, or responding to a fake unsubscribe notice, among others. Last year’s data breaches involving a government agency and an e-wallet company, which were each reportedly traced to phishing, are examples of this type of web threat.
An attack requiring no victim involvement is through drive-by downloads. By simply visiting a compromised website, their device gets infected automatically (and silently) particularly if they failed to apply a security update to one of their apps. This method is used in most web attacks.
In the recent global ranking, the Philippines came behind Mongolia (51.8%), Moldova (48.9%) and Greece (48.8%). Since 2019, the country has consistently been in the top 10 ranking countries.
Among Southeast Asian countries, the Philippines is trailed by Malaysia with the overall percentage of users attacked by web-borne threats from January to December 2023.
To stay protected, Kaspersky recommends users the following:
- Do not download and install applications from untrusted sources
- Do not click on any links from unknown sources or suspicious online advertisements
- Create strong and unique passwords, including a mix of lower case and upper case letters, numbers, and punctuation, as well as activating two-factor authentication
- Always install updates
- Ignore messages asking to disable security systems for office or cybersecurity solution
- Use a robust cybersecurity solution appropriate to your system type and devices
For organizations, Kaspersky recommends the following:
- Always keep software updated on all the devices to prevent attackers from infiltrating network by exploiting vulnerabilities
- Use strong passwords to access corporate services. Use multi-factor authentication for access to remote services
- Choose a proven endpoint cybersecurity solution for business that is equipped with behaviors-based detection and anomaly control capabilities for effective protection against known and unknown threats
- Use dedicated set of effective endpoint protection, threat detection and response products to timely detect and remediate even new and evasive threats
- Use the latest threat intelligence information to empower your security experts
There’s a Nanyang near you for all your Singaporean food cravings
August 4, 2023 6:30 p.m.
Missing Singapore’s famous Hainanese Chicken Rice, Laksa fishball, Cheesy Chicken Chop Noodles and Kopi?
Visit your nearest Nanyang Philippines branch.
Globe powers up TOYCON 2023’s landmark 20th year
June 29, 2023 6:53 p.m.
As Toycon Philippines proudly commemorates its 20th year, the landmark celebration promises to be more electrifying than ever with the formidable support of leading digital lifestyle brand Globe.
Globe has always been at the forefront of supporting diverse subcultures and passions, and this partnership is a testament to its commitment. As part of the collaboration, Globe will bring to life the rich world of its cinematic and theatrical partners, further enriching the TOYCON 2023 experience for attendees.
“As the country’s most reliable network and top digital solutions platform with an ecosystem of various services, we’re uniquely positioned to foster the vibrancy of the toy collecting and creating community. This partnership underscores our commitment to nurturing a wide array of passions and interests while ensuring the best connectivity for all participants.”
Cholo Mallillin, Marketing Head at Toycon Philippines, said: “The collaboration with Globe will further elevate the Toycon experience. This partnership will bring more surprises and rewards to our community. We invite everyone to join us as we celebrate 20 years of Toycon in the most exciting way possible.”
TOYCON 2023 will be held at the SMX Convention Center in MOA from July 7 to 9, 2023. Attendees are in for a treat, as they have the chance to meet their beloved childhood characters, explore an expansive marketplace of unique toys and collectibles, and participate in exclusive Globe activities.
One of the highlights of the partnership is a series of exclusive perks for Globe customers. By using Globe Rewards points, customers will have the opportunity to win various ticket tiers ranging from Day Passes to VIP Passes. There will also be exclusive toy freebies for VIP pass holders, and unique Globe-only activities, such as paint-your-own Gudi.
At the event, Globe will also host an interactive booth featuring activities designed to reward and inspire. From earning freebies by donating Rewards points to a good cause, to free arcade plays and meet-ups with popular streamers, Globe customers are in for an exciting weekend of gaming and beyond.
To learn more about Globe, visit https://www.globe.com.ph/.
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