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SM supports PAF frontliners through its emergency quarantine facility in Pasay
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is becoming increasingly relevant as an inclusivity tool for companies since it brings social development interventions in their host communities. Described in a broad term as a company’s efforts to improve quality of lives, CSR is not only vital to companies, nonprofits, and employees – but also to communities where these businesses operate.
At the onset of the pandemic in 2020, CSR was proven to bring greater impact as companies and various organizations work together to help fight the spread of this unfamiliar, invisible enemy—COVID-19.
Staying true to its commitment to spreading social good amid this difficult time, SM hastened its efforts to complement the government’s COVID-19 response. One of these efforts was to put up various emergency quarantine facilities (EQFs) that aims to house COVID-19 patients who are asymptomatic or those with mild symptoms.
Funded by SM Foundation (SMFI), the EQFs were built by the SM Engineering Design and Development (SM EDD) and WTA Architecture and Design Studio. One of the EQFs that were built is at the Villamor Air Base in Pasay City, which remains to be operational.
This EQF in Pasay has 15 beds and is complete with fans, exhaust fans, toilets and a nurse lounge. To date, the said EQF has already catered to more than 500 confirmed cases of COVID-19 among the Philippine Air Force (PAF) uniformed and civilian personnel.
PAF Chief Surgeon Colonel Maria Socorro Posadas said, “This donated EQF helped the PAF in sustaining the quarantine facility requirement of the PAF COVID-19 cases. This helped our COVID-19 positive personnel to recover faster.”
Furthermore, Arch. Lyndon Araña, Project Manager of SM EDD, one of the employee volunteers shared, “We built these facilities to support and take care of the frontliners, especially those in our host communities like Pasay. This is our expertise, our contribution in the fight against COVID-19. We are here to help you get better, no one is alone in this fight.
Aside from the EQF in Pasay, SM also constructed five more EQFs at the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Health Service Command – V. Luna and Camp Crame in Quezon City.
Through the joint efforts of SM’s subsidiaries, corporate social responsibility arms, and partners, SM has donated Php30.4 billion for its total COVID-19 group-wide response composed of essential medical supplies and equipment, relief goods, and direct assistance to its tenants, employees and host communities.
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Women bartenders on creating cocktails with Tanduay, defying stereotypes, thriving in a male-dominated field
March 29, 5:30 p.m.
As renewed interest in cocktails continue to grow, bartenders are also taking the spotlight, and in El Nido and Siargao, two bartenders are paving the way for women to shine in a male-dominated industry.
Sharleen Antonio works with her husband and fellow bartending professional, Larry Guevara, in one of Palawan’s top beach destinations. Riza Delguime, meanwhile, is a bartender for a leading resort in the country’s surfing haven.
Creating Tanduay-Infused Cocktails
Both women have been bartending for years and share a preference for Tanduay in creating cocktails.
“It’s very easy to mix in cocktails because of its unique and bold character. I usually go for the classic Tanduay Dark Rum in my root beer and rum with a squeeze of fresh lemon,” Antonio said.
She shared that they used Tanduay rums in her bar management class back in college, so she is very familiar with the brand. Collaborating with the brand, she came up with three Tanduay-infused cocktails that are perfect for any time of the year — the Mango Basil Mojito, Tanduay Espresso Martini, and Tanduay Old Fashioned.
Delguime likes Tanduay’s sweet and strong flavor. Foreign customers would usually ask what rum brand she uses in her cocktails and would then request drinks infused with Tanduay rums.
“I have my own signature cocktail, which is perfect when I mix it with Tanduay. We have female guests here in the resort who would request for cocktails that are not too strong, and I would make one for them also using Tanduay,” she said.
Delguime further shared that the bartending scene in Siargao has always been “good and clean.”
“There are different varieties of bars here like sports bars and pool bars, and they are all super busy because of the many tourists who visit our island,” she said.
Breaking the Glass Ceiling
Antonio shared working in a male-dominated industry wasn’t easy in the beginning. Women bartenders used to be seen as just “cotton candies” behind the bar to attract male clients and rake in tips.
“While I may have experienced some catcalling and received some indecent proposals from male guests in some instances, I have to say that I have been lucky to have always worked with my husband behind the bar. In 2016, we joined Pilipinas Got Talent Season 5 to show that there is more to bartending than meets the eye,” she shared.
Advice for Aspiring Bartenders
Delguime advised aspiring bartenders to just be themselves.
“That would be the key to your success. Bartending is fun, and you get to entertain guests,” she said.
Antonio, meanwhile, has made it her advocacy to educate people about bartending as hospitality and F&B professionals.
“Gone are the days when women were simply considered as bar backs or force multipliers during busy bar shifts. Or worse, simply as ornaments behind the bar,” she noted.
Antonio wants to motivate, inspire, and empower women bartenders and those who would like to start a career in the bartending industry. She and her husband have been conducting workshops and seminars around the country to help aspiring bartenders better their craft.
“It is my wish that female bartenders will continue to flourish and leave their own mark in the field we all so love and are passionate about,” she said.
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Heated Pokémon battles at Paldea Region
August 23, 2022 5:42 p.m.
The Pokémon Company is pleased to share the following news about the Nintendo Switch software titles Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet.
Here’s a New Pokémon that you can meet in the Paldea Region!
Cyclizar is a Pokémon that lives with humans. This Pokémon has lived in many households in the Paldea region since ancient times. It has a mild disposition, and people riding Cyclizars are a very common sight. It appears that Cyclizar don’t mind being ridden because the warmth of a rider helps stave off the cold.
Cyclizar has a body optimized for running. It can sprint at over 70 mph while carrying a human. It has an extremely hard head and thick, lithe tail that are not only useful for maintaining balance and absorbing shocks while sprinting—they also provide effective ways to attack during battles.
Here’s a new move from Cyclizar: it can shed its tail! The user can create a substitute for itself using its own HP before switching places with a party Pokémon in waiting.
Battle with Pokémon Trainers from All over the World in the Battle Stadium!
With the Battle Stadium feature in Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet, you’ll be able to use the internet to enjoy battling Trainers from all over the world.
Ranked Battles, which players have had the chance to enjoy in Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield, will be returning in Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet. Players will be able to take on battles in modes like Casual Battles and Online Competitions as well.
Get ready to have heated Pokémon battles with the new partners you meet in the Paldea region!
Casual Battles are low-stakes battles in which results are not recorded. One appealing feature about these battles is that you can use any Pokémon.
In Ranked Battles, you will be able to test your battle skills against Pokémon Trainers from all over the world. Your rank will change depending on your battle results. Trainers are sorted into tiers based on their ranks. If you can reach Master Ball Tier, the topmost tier, you’ll have a chance to vie to be the best Pokémon Trainer in the world in fierce battles.
Online Competitions are competitions in which Trainers can battle with other entrants.
In Official Competitions, various kinds of rules may govern these special competitions in which you compete to see how high you can place in the rankings.
In the Friendly Competitions format, you can hold your very own competition or join one set up by other Trainers.
Rental Teams lets you easily borrow Battle Teams by inputting IDs that have been shared online. You’ll also be able to build your own Battle Team and make it available for Pokémon Trainers all over the world to use!
Please note that a paid Nintendo Switch Online membership is required to use the Battle Stadium. To use the Battle Stadium, you may need to install updated data that may become available on or after the games’ release date. Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield players cannot battle with Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet players.
Master Using the Terastal Phenomenon in Battle!
Terastallizing is a phenomenon in the Paldea region that makes Pokémon shine and glimmer like gems. Terastallized Pokémon shine during battles, too.
Change your Pokémon’s type and turn the tables!
The primary feature of Terastallizing in battle is that it changes your Pokémon’s type to its Tera Type. Pokémon don’t outwardly show what their Tera Type is until they Terastallize—a fact that
you can use to take opponents by surprise in battle. Combining Tera Types with different moves and abilities can open up near-infinite strategic possibilities.
This Tyranitar, which is normally Rock/Dark type, became Ghost type after Terastallizing.
If a Coalossal combines the Steam Engine Ability with a Water Tera Type, the Pokémon can take less damage and receive a speed boost when it gets hit by a Water-type move.
Tera Blast is a new move that shows its power when the user is Terastallized.
Tera Blast is a Normal-type move that can be learned with a TM. When used by a Terastallized Pokémon, it becomes a move of the same type as the Pokémon’s Tera Type and displays its immense might. Use it at the right moment to change the flow of the battle.
Tera Blast inflicts damage using the Attack or Sp. Atk stat—whichever is higher for the user.
New Items That Can Make Battles Even More Exciting
These items can be held by Pokémon to trigger a variety of effects. How you use them may mean the difference between victory and defeat. Use them in conjunction with Pokémon moves and Terastallizing to achieve victory.
This herb will allow the holder to mirror an opponent’s stat increases and boost its own stats–but only once.
This hooded cloak conceals the holder, protecting it from the additional effects of moves.
If a Pokémon holding this item uses a multi-strike move, that move will be more likely to hit numerous times.
Lastly, the latest trailer for Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet has been released! Check out the trailer titled “Competitive Play Trailer | Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet” at https://youtu.be/22fAJ6Iy_80
For more information about Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet, please go the official webpage: https://scarletviolet.pokemon.com/en-us/
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From PayMaya Enterprise to Maya Business
August 21, 2022 5:06 p.m.
PayMaya, the country’s largest processor of merchant payments, has relaunched its enterprise brand as Maya Business.
The new Maya Business seamlessly integrates omnichannel payment acceptance solutions, business-to-business (B2B), and business-to-government (B2G) payments, with digital banking services powered by Maya Bank, including a high-interest business deposit account and a range of credit products for enterprises and their customers.
The transformation comes on the heels of the successful launch of the new Maya brand and consumer app in late April this year which saw an accelerated uptake for wallet and digital banking services.
“With the new Maya Business, we’re creating the future of the enterprise, unleashing digital at a faster speed and on a broader scale,” said Manuel V. Pangilinan, Chairman of Voyager and PayMaya, and Chairman Emeritus of Maya Bank.
Accelerating the digital transformation of businesses
During the event, keynote speakers Department of Trade and Industry Secretary (DTI) Alfredo Pascual and Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Felipe Medalla emphasized the need to accelerate the digital transformation of businesses as critical components of sustainable economic growth and inclusion.
“The BSP welcomes the rollout of new digital financial services that bring the benefits of digitalization to Filipino businesses and end-users. We are creating the right environment, but without enterprises like Maya, it means nothing if the private sector does not find a way of utilizing the opportunities. These efforts contribute to our push to expand financing options for our MSMEs and bring them into the mantle of the formal financial system,” said BSP Gov. Felipe Medalla.
For his part, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Alfredo Pascual underscored the crucial role of the private sector in helping the Philippines achieve its digital transformation goals.
“The private sector, with its agile mindset and disposition, has to play a key role, particularly in implementing the digital transformation of large and small enterprises as well as the government itself. Congratulations to Maya for providing a fast and secure financial transaction platform for businesses and consumers,” Pascual said.
According to the BSP 2021 E-Payments Measurement, business payments account for 24.1% of total monthly retail payments. Supplier payments make up almost 90% of total business payments, but most of these still use non-digital channels.
Maya Business is committed to accelerating digital transformation among enterprises and consumers in line with the national targets under the Digital Payments Transformation Roadmap 2023 and eCommerce Philippines Roadmap 2022.
“As a growth and transformation enabler, we are embedding our digital Maya solutions into the operating systems of our merchants, big or small, online or physical,” Orlando B. Vea, PayMaya Founder-CEO and Maya Bank Co-Founder, commented.
From payments to digital financial services
“From being a payments partner for enterprises, we’re now an all-in-one growth partner for businesses,” said Shailesh Baidwan, PayMaya Philippines Group President and Maya Bank Co-Founder. “Beyond leadership in payment acceptance, we’re enabling our customers with new digital financial services like business deposit, payroll disbursements, working capital loans, and buy-now-pay-later products.”
Maya Business offers merchants the broadest range of payment acceptance solutions, allowing businesses to accept any credit, debit, and prepaid card, scan-to-pay via QR, or via Maya wallet, whether online or on-ground. Solutions include Maya Checkout for online payments, Maya Payment Links for digital invoicing, Maya QR enabled by QR Ph Person-to-Merchant (P2M) payments – the national standard promoted by the BSP, and Maya Terminal, the country’s first android point-of-sale device.
Business owners and corporations can fast-track their business growth with a fully digital bank account that offers free PesoNet transfers and a 1.5% interest rate, four times higher than traditional banks. This feature is currently available for existing Maya Business clients.
On top of payment acceptance, Maya Business also offers a disbursement platform that enables organizations to efficiently distribute funds to their employees, suppliers, or citizen beneficiaries.
Maya Business honors Financial Inclusion Heroes
Maya Business is making big moves to help leapfrog millions of citizens, businesses, organizations, and government offices into more inclusive digital financial services.
Formerly PayMaya Enterprise, the country’s largest digital payments processor for key industries, recently recognized trailblazing partners that have championed Filipinos’ welfare through accessible financial services.
Recognized as Financial Inclusion Heroes, these organizations have proactively adopted digital solutions to empower their constituents by making everyday transactions more convenient and accessible.
“Financial inclusion is at the heart of what we do. We are proud to honor outstanding partners who have led the charge in enabling more Filipinos to be financially included through innovative and relevant services,” said Orlando B. Vea, CEO-Founder of PayMaya and Co-Founder of Maya Bank.
Maya Business is powered by the country’s only end-to-end digital payments company, PayMaya Philippines, and Maya Bank for digital banking services.
DTI and BSP: showing the way for financial inclusion
Leading the list of Maya Business Financial Inclusion Heroes are the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) for spearheading the country’s digital payments transformation roadmap and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) for championing e-Commerce adoption across consumers and enterprises.
Through progressive regulation and initiatives led by the BSP, the Philippines has made significant inroads in achieving the national target of financially including 70% of adult Filipinos by 2023. As of end-2021, more than 53% of adult Filipinos already have access to basic financial accounts.
BSP Gov. Felipe Medalla called on the private sector to support the national financial inclusion goals during his keynote remarks at the Maya Business event. Joining him to receive the Financial Inclusion Hero award for the BSP are Deputy Governor Chuchi Fonacier, Deputy Governor Bernadette Puyat-Romulo, and Monetary Board Members Anita Linda Aquino and Peter Favila.
For the DTI, Secretary Alfredo Pascual and Assistant Secretary Mary Jean Pacheco accepted the recognition. In his keynote, Sec. Pascual said that “collaboration between industry and government is effective in promoting priority initiatives.”
“We have accomplished much through our collaborations, and the successful outcome speaks for itself. Let us continue with our Ecommerce Roadmap 2023-2025 and assist large merchants and, more importantly, MSMEs in leapfrogging toward a cashless and inclusive fintech,” Pascual added.
Financial inclusion at the grassroots
Brgy. Namayan of Mandaluyong City, one of this year’s awardees, exemplified how financial inclusion can empower communities. As the first-ever barangay-level “cash lite” community in the Philippines, Brgy. Namayan enabled its residents and workers to enjoy digital transactions with the help of Maya Business.
The barangay equipped its residents with citizen ID cards linked to Maya accounts for everyday payment transactions in sari-sari stores, karinderia, bulalohan, and other small merchants. Barangay workers, meanwhile, can safely receive their monthly allowances through their Maya-powered citizen ID cards.
“Our collaboration with Maya becomes even more relevant now, given the need for safer contactless transactions. By encouraging cashless technologies in everyday transactions in our barangay, we are building a safer and more inclusive community,” said Brgy. Namayan Chairman Victor Emmanuel Francisco Jr.
Financial Inclusion Heroes across sectors
Maya Business feted partners who contributed significantly to promoting financial inclusion. Among these Financial Inclusion Heroes are:
- Ease of Doing Business Champions – National Government Agencies: the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), Professional Regulation Commission (PRC), Pag-IBIG, and Social Security System (SSS) for making it easier for citizens to pay civic fees through omnichannel payment acceptance
- Ease of Doing Business Champions- Local governments: Taguig City and Caloocan City for adopting an ecosystem approach for person and business to government payments and citizen disbursements
- LGUs Embracing and Accelerating Digitalization (LEAD) program Champion: Department of Interior and Local Government for promoting e-payments adoption among local governments units (LGUs)
- Agriculture: Development Bank of the Philippines for the joint efforts in promoting countryside development
- Education: the University of the Philippines System for adopting an all-in-one ID card with payment capabilities for their students and employees
- Humanitarian: Oxfam Pilipinas for pioneering the use of cashless technology in disaster preparedness and emergency response via the Inclusive and Affordable Financial Facilities for Resilient and Developed Filipinos Project (iAFFORD) program
- Social Welfare: Department of Social Welfare and Development for utilizing digital technologies in delivering pandemic cash assistance to citizens
- Travel and Tourism: Philippine Airlines for helping grow the sector post-pandemic
“With our Maya Business partners, we are making big moves in driving digital financial services adoption across the length and breadth of the country,” said Shailesh Baidwan, Group President of PayMaya and co-founder of Maya Bank.
To know more about Maya Business, visit maya.ph/business and follow @MayaBusinessPh on Facebook.