Connect with us


PAGCOR earmarks P100-M for evacuation center project

PAGCOR’s Vice President for Corporate Social Responsibility Group Ramon Stephen Villaflor (PAGCOR’s Vice President (VP) for Corporate Social Responsibility Group Ramon Stephen Villaflor (right), Baguio City Vice Mayor Faustino Olowan (middle) and Baguio City Representative Marquez Go (left) lead the groundbreaking of the Barangay Hall Multi-Purpose Complex in Barangay Engineer’s Hill, Baguio City on January 7, 2022, which PAGCOR is helping to rehabilitate.

January 11, 2022 7:18 p.m.

The year 2022 came with a bang for two towns in Benguet after they received P100 million funding from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) for the construction of Multi-Purpose Evacuation Centers (MPECs).

The towns of Buguias and Mankayan, which became the latest beneficiaries of PAGCOR’s MPEC Project, each received P25 million during the project’s groundbreaking ceremonies on January 6, 2022.  The amount represented the first tranche of the P50 million grant for the two-storey MPEC projects which will soon rise in Barangay Bangao, Buguias and Barangay Tabio in Mankayan.

Barangay Captain Linda Tagubasi of Bangao, Buguias expressed her gratitude to PAGCOR because through the MPEC project, their barangay will no longer need to pay rent whenever they need a large space for community activities. Also, they need not worry about lack of temporary shelters for displaced families whenever calamities arrive.  

Meanwhile, the local chief executives of Buguias and Mankayan expressed their gratitude to PAGCOR for the MPEC project grant.

“It is a welcome news that we will soon have a P50 million-worth evacuation center in partnership with PAGCOR dito sa aming munisipyo, which is the northernmost part of the province of Benguet. It is a little mindblowing na ganito po kalaki,” said Mankayan Mayor Atty. Frenzel Ayong.

Buguias Mayor Ruben Tinda-an also thanked PAGCOR for making such project possible. “I am very elated that at the start of the year, here comes the approval of PAGCOR sa ganitong kalaking project na makakatulong sa munisipyo namin. We wish to extend our full gratitude to PAGCOR including those who have facilitated this project.  

According to PAGCOR Chairman and CEO Andrea Domingo, through its MPEC project, the state-run gaming firm stays committed to its mission of providing calamity-prone communities with safe evacuation shelters. “Despite the challenges in revenue generation due to the ongoing pandemic – and now the new surge in cases which will again have a huge impact on our economic activity, we still hold on to our promise of helping build safe structures for typhoon-prone communities. Our aim is not only to help save lives but also help build sustainable and safe communities,” she explained.

Launched in 2020, PAGCOR has now released a total of of P1.516 billion to kickstart the construction of 66 MPECs nationwide. The amount represents the first tranche or 50% of PAGCOR’s committed funding for the project.

Areas which already received MPEC funding from PAGCOR include the provinces of Benguet, Zambales, Batangas, Laguna, Quezon, Cavite, Cagayan, Pampanga, Albay, Camarines Sur and Norte, Mountain Province, Kalinga, Ilocos Sur,  Zamboanga del Sur, Romblon, Capiz, Samar, Tarlac, Aurora, Bataan, Eastern and Southern Leyte, Pangasinan, Isabela, Catanduanes, Oriental and Occidental Mindoro, Isabela, and Caloocan.

Apart from the MPEC groundbreaking ceremonies in Mankayan and Buguias, PAGCOR also held the groundbreaking of two Barangay Hall Multi-Purpose complexes in Engineer’s Hill and Bayan Park Village in Baguio City on January 7, 2022. The P50 million cheque – with P25 million allocation per barangay complex – was already turned over to the Baguio City government in December 2021 to help rehabilitate the existing structures.

Engineer’s Hill Barangay Captain Amado Felizardo said the soon-to-be upgraded facility of the barangay will serve as a good venue for regular meetings, livelihood trainings, social activities, religious events, among others. #


Atayde bats for moratorium on student loan payments during emergencies, calamities

March 17, 2023 9:00 p.m.

STUDENTS won’t have to worry paying their loans during times of calamities and emergencies, as Quezon City first district Congressman Juan Carlos “Arjo” Atayde has introduced a moratorium on the payment of student loans administered by higher educational institutions (HEIs).

The House Bill 7279, which Atayde filed last Feb. 21, headed into its first reading six days later in the Committee on Higher and Technical Education, chaired by Baguio City Rep. Mark O. Go.

He said the bill — once it turns to a law — will halt the payment of all the fees, charges, and costs relating to student loans and technical-vocational training institutions (TVIs) or by the Unified Student Financial Assistance System for Tertiary Education (UNIFAST) during emergencies.

It will cover all students residing in areas declared to be under a state of calamity or emergency — those who are enrolled in state universities and colleges (SUCs), local universities and colleges (LUCs), private HEIs, and public and private TVIs.

“We have to find a way to help our students and their families, when natural or even these man-made calamities hit them hard. We just have to make everything easy for them including a moratorium on the payment of student loans,” Atayde said. “It is a burden on a student and their family especially in difficult times like aftermath of typhoon, fire and earthquakes, among other disasters.”

“In the order of spending, student loans will be their least priority since spending will go mostly to basic necessities for survival,” Atayde added.

The moratorium shall be effective for the duration of the state of calamity or emergency and for 30 days after its lifting. No penalties shall be collected on the deferred payments.

“To provide adequate relief and protection to our students in times of calamities and emergencies, this measure shall allow the deferral of student loan collections for a reasonable period during and after the onset of disasters.”

The Quezon City lawmaker cited also the availability of the moratorium, which shall not adversely affect the status of the students concerned with regard to their eligibility for re-enrollment on the succeeding semesters or terms, or their eligibility for graduation.

“The proposed legislation doesn’t prevent public and private HEIs from implementing more favorable forms of payment relief or assistance to students affected by disasters, prohibiting students from voluntarily waiving the moratorium on student loan payments, or availing subsidies and assistance from the government,” Atayde concluded.

Continue Reading


ShopeePay now available as a payment method for App Store, other Apple services in PH

March 16, 2023 1:59 p.m.

Beginning today, ShopeePay, Shopee’s integrated mobile wallet, is now available as a payment method for Apple services in the Philippines. Customers can use their ShopeePay account to pay for App Store, Apple Music, Apple TV app, and iTunes Store purchases, iCloud storage and more.

The addition of ShopeePay as an Apple ID payment method offers a new way to pay for Apple services without needing a credit card and still allows for easy, secure one-tap purchasing from Apple products including iPhone, iPad and Mac. 

Customers can manage their Apple ID payment information in Settings on iPhone and  iPad, or on their Mac or PC.

Agatha Soh, Director at ShopeePay commented, “ShopeePay is committed to meeting the needs of users who are increasingly expecting seamless payments across all platforms. We are excited to offer  ShopeePay as a convenient payment option for our customers, and expand  access to digital payments, benefitting more users.”

For more information on how to add ShopeePay as a payment method, please visit or

Continue Reading


Be bolder, braver, more confident at SM Supermalls’ Women’s Month celebration!

March 8, 2023, 8:30 p.m.

Ladies, take center stage as SM celebrates Women Power throughout the month of March. Lots of activities both online and on-ground are in store to empower women and girls all over the country. 

Join the Future of Women Global Summit

SM Supermalls will be joining UN Women in kicking off the IWD 2023 celebration through a women’s summit on March 8, at the SM Aura Premier Samsung Hall. Focusing on the future of women in ICT, the two-part event will gather young women, country leaders, policy makers, and advocates together to share perspectives and affirm their commitment to supporting digital equality for women and girls. 

Photo courtesy of SM City Lucena

Photo courtesy of SM City San Jose del Monte

Support your local Womenpreneurs

Great finds for ladies are on sale at the SM Womenpreneur Market! This pop-up of small and medium businesses owned by women for women will give you everything you need from food and beauty to wellness and fashion! 

Wednesdays are for women!

Shopping on Wednesdays has become even more tempting because the Women’s Wednesday Sale is back! Achieve the glow-up you deserve with special discounts, deals, and promos on fashion, beauty, and fitness exclusively for women every Wednesday of March. So don’t hold back on your shopping; you deserve all these and more!

A beautiful treat of wellness all for you

Forda glow-up and pampering sesh tayo this month because lots of self-care deals are available at the Women’s Wellness Sale. Avail of great deals from wellness salons on facials, hair and body treatments, nail care, and massage from March 1 to March 31.

And more deals online!

Special deals are up for women via the SM Malls Online app. Get the best brand offerings every Wednesday from shoes and beauty and wellness to home and hobbies. Use the code WOMEN and get an extra 10% off, capped at 250. What’s great is that there’s no minimum purchase required! 

Also, a collection of brand vouchers will be sent to all women SM Malls Online shoppers valid all month. Wait for your Beauty Pass and give yourself the retail therapy you deserve with tons of discounts, GWP deals, samplers, in-store pick up bonuses, and mystery boxes!

Plus, the SM Malls Online app will be hosting self-care sessions online. Follow SM Supermalls on social media to get a dose of starter packages, Get-Ready-With-Me routines, and beauty products that your favorite beauty experts swear by.

Photo courtesy of SM City East Ortigas

Photo courtesy of SM City Manila

Celebrate Women Power on IG!

Capture the beauty and power of women at the beautiful spots and installations all over SM. Be free to express your own uniqueness and creativity in the specially-designed selfie spaces in partnership with Selfie Studio. Don’t forget to tag us on IG!

We don’t know about you but exciting days await every SM woman. So be bolder, braver, and more confident! With these activities, you can confidently step forward in fashion, beauty, wellness, and express yourselves to make a positive impact.

Stay updated on all things women this IWD 2023 by visiting and following @smsupermalls on social media. 

Continue Reading