Sunday, April 30, 2023

EdgePoint and Globe partner to strengthen connectivity, allowing Filipinos to enjoy faster mobile and broadband speeds in key areas nationwide



EdgePoint Infrastructure (“EdgePoint”), a leading ASEAN-based independent telecommunications infrastructure company, via its subsidiary, EdgePoint Towers Inc. ("EdgePoint Philippines") has announced their latest expansion in the country through a new partnership with Globe Telecom, Inc (Globe), a leading digital solutions provider in the Philippines.

The partnership will see both industry leaders working towards enhancing the telecommunications industry in the country by increasing both tower and co-location sites. EdgePoint is a build-to-suit and colocation partner towerco of Globe.

“We are very pleased to partner with Globe to support its expansion plans across the Philippines by providing a network of suitable sites to meet their needs. The team will work closely with our counterparts in Globe throughout the whole process right from identifying the right locations to undergoing the complete build process. With our regional experience and in-depth local knowledge, we are confident we will be able to take over Globe’s expansion requirements, allowing them to focus on other areas of the business.” ~Alexander Kiel, Chief Executive Officer of EdgePoint Philippines

Rizza Maniego-Eala, Chief Finance Officer of Globe Telecom commented: “Globe is focused on bringing fast, seamless connectivity to the people and ultimately being a key contributor to the country’s digital ambitions. We ended 2022 with 5G connectivity in 70 cities and towns across the Philippines, more than double our coverage compared to the year before making our 5G network available to nearly all of the population in the National Capital Region (NCR), Cebu and Davao. We are looking to partner with industry players who share the same appetite for growth and are confident that both EdgePoint and Globe have similar goals and synergies on how we can further enhance the telecommunications industry, grow both our companies as well as be key contributors to the nation.

“This latest partnership with Globe is in line with EdgePoint’s aim to become a leading independent towerco in the Philippines, where we will continue to apply the vast combined experience of our leadership team and industry partners to fortify our growth trajectory. Both companies are aligned in our goals to deploy next generation connectivity solutions in the country, and I look forward to us growing together dynamically through this partnership as well as other collaborations in the future.” ~Alexander Kiel, Chief Executive Officer of EdgePoint Philippines

EdgePoint first entered the Philippines market in April 2022, when they acquired 2,934 towers from the PLDT Group. Currently, EdgePoint Philippines operates 2,557 active sites across the Luzon Islands, with the total number targeted to be closed by mid of 2023. The Group currently owns and manages a total of 14,000 towers across Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines.

For more information on EdgePoint, please visit https://edgepointinfra.com

 






 

ABOUT EDGEPOINT INFRASTRUCTURE
EdgePoint Infrastructure is a telecommunications infrastructure company that aspires to power Digital ASEAN via Next Generation Infrastructure. Headquartered in Singapore with operations in Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines, through EdgePoint Towers Sdn Bhd, PT Centratama Telekomunikasi Indonesia, Tbk and EdgePoints Towers Inc. respectively, the company is focused on providing sharable and leading-edge telecom structures, small cells and in-building systems. EdgePoint aims to be an industry leader through scale and innovation, driving operational efficiencies through the adoption of analytics and digital technologies. 

About Globe Telecom
Globe is a leading full-service telecommunications company in the Philippines and publicly listed in the PSE with the stock symbol GLO. The company serves the telecommunications and technology needs of consumers and businesses across an entire suite of products and services including mobile, fixed, broadband, data connectivity, internet and managed services. It has major interests in financial technology, digital marketing solutions, venture capital funding for startups, and virtual healthcare. In 2019, Globe became a signatory to the United Nations Global Compact, committing to implement universal sustainability principles. Its principals are Ayala Corporation and Singtel, acknowledged industry leaders in the country and in the region. For more information, visit www.globe.com.ph. Follow @enjoyglobe on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

LCF sets out priorities for 2023 CSR Expo



Green light for a greener present and future, the 2023 CSR Expo—the much-anticipated annual corporate social responsibility (CSR) event in the country organized by the League of Corporate Foundations (LCF), as part of the nationwide commemoration, of which LCF is the lead, of National CSR Week—is all set for July 4 to 7 at the Makati Diamond Residences and the Palm Drive Activity Center in Makati City. 

The 21st edition of the CSR Expo aims to bring together companies from various sectors–corporate and private foundations, private sector, non-government organizations, civil society, academe, and government agencies–to expand networks, strengthen collaboration, and learn about the latest models, trends, and best practices in CSR. 




“The pandemic has intensified issues of climate change and food security, and the need for disaster-resilient communities. Significant future-ready education for Filipino children has also become a more pressing concern today than ever before.” ~Sebastian C. Quiniones, Chair of the Board of Trustees of the LCF and Executive Director of Pilipinas Shell Foundation

This year’s theme of the CSR Expo, “From Extra to Essential,” acts as a continuation of last year’s theme and is a rallying cry for the business sector to lead and challenge the business sector to fully embody the principles of good corporate citizenship to achieve sustainability through accountable governance and strict compliance with legal requirements. 

“We turn to CSR to help us integrate principles of sustainability and accountability in our everyday work. The 21st CSR Expo is taking last year’s theme forward to emphasize that good and accountable citizenship and environmental stewardship are imperative for organizations to drive change and to achieve long-term sustainability.” ~Shem Jose Garcia, Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees of LCF and Executive Director of Vivant Foundation

Diverse perspectives 
The 2023 CSR Conference is set from July 4-6 at the Legazpi Ballroom of the Makati Diamond Residences. The Conference will feature a strong speaker panel composed of thought leaders from various industries and sectors to offer diverse perspectives on how to create real value through effective CSR practice and environment, social, and governance (ESG) compliance. 

These include H.E. Juha Markus Pyykko, Ambassador of Finland to the Philippines; Maria Divina De Leon, Principal Technical Expert at Shell International, B.V.; Aleli Arcilla, Vice President and Country Managing Director at Mondelez International; Secretary Arsenio Balisacan, head of the National Economic Development Authority; Ma. Victoria Tan, Chairperson of the Global Compact Network Philippines; and Secretary Rex Gatchalian, head of the Department of Social Welfare and Development. 

The members of LCF organize themselves into various Committees anchored on knowledge-sharing, partnership building and resource-leveraging. Each Committee will organize a Session during the Conference that will take the theme forward in their own contexts and will feature their own set of speakers and unique format specifically chosen to engender audience discussion and thought. Committee Sessions at the 2023 CSR Conference include: Enterprise Development: “Responsible Investing: Driving the ESG Agenda in Enterprise Development”; Environment: “Opportunities and Challenges for Nature-Based Solutions”; Education: “Learning for the Future: the Role of ESG in Education”; and Disaster Resilience: “ESG+R: Think Resilience”.


Recognition of CSR excellence
The awarding ceremonies of the 4th CSR Guild Awards will be awarded on July 6. The Award is conferred on organizations that have developed outstanding CSR projects which created a positive impact to the communities they serve after a rigorous  nomination, screening, and judging process by a panel of judges. There will be eight awards to be bestowed under two major categories: seven Program awards (Arts & Culture, Enterprise Development, Environment, Education, Health, Financial Inclusion, and Disaster Resilience) and one Collaboration Awards that showcases initiatives organized by two or more LCF members or partnerships.

A full-day CSR Exhibit will also be held from July 6-7 at the Glorietta Activity Center, one of the most popular malls in the country, to feature diverse CSR initiatives of various exhibitors, including those organized by LCF non-members, to a large public audience. 

For the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2023 CSR Expo is slated for a full in-person event to offer unique experiences that are difficult to replicate virtually. 




For more information contact: Christian Sanchez, Communications Officer, League of Corporate Foundations - communications@lcf.org.ph.




Saturday, April 29, 2023

Stay Cool This Summer with Hanabishi Air Conditioners: Tips for Efficient Use and Maintenance



As the summer season brings in intense heat, staying indoors and relying on your room air conditioning (AC) unit becomes necessary to counter the scorching weather. However, constantly using an AC unit can lead to higher energy consumption, which translates to higher electricity bills. Here are some tips from our technical experts from Hanabishi to efficiently use and maintain your air conditioning unit while keeping your energy consumption and costs down:

Set your AC unit to a comfortable temperature: The ideal temperature for an AC unit is between 23 and 26 degrees Celsius. Lowering the temperature to the lowest possible setting can result in a spike in energy consumption.

Use a fan to complement your AC unit: Using a fan can help distribute cool air more evenly throughout the room, allowing you to set your AC unit at a higher temperature and consume less energy.

Keep windows and doors closed: Keeping doors and windows closed while using your AC unit can help maintain the desired temperature and reduce energy consumption.

Clean your AC unit regularly: Poorly maintained air conditioning systems can cause respiratory illnesses and allergies, with dirty filters being the most common culprits. Hanabishi recommends cleaning the air filter of your AC unit once a month and flushing the drainpipe frequently to prevent clogging and increase energy consumption.

Consider investing in newer models of air conditioning units: Newer models of air conditioning units are more energy-efficient, which can translate to lower energy bills. Hanabishi offers several models of air conditioning units that are energy-efficient and easy to maintain.

Incidentally, Hanabishi offers energy-saving AC products, including the Inverter Split Type Airconditioner 1.0HP (HMSTINV10ZEN), which utilizes new technology to cool and clean rooms while reducing energy consumption by up to 60%. Additionally, it features an easy-to-clean filter. If you prefer portable air conditioning units, Hanabishi also offers the Hanabishi Portable Airconditioner 1.0HP (HPORTAC10HP) and 1.5HP (HPORTAC15HP), both equipped with easy-to-clean filters, a remote control, timer, and digital LCD display.

"We know that comfort is one of the utmost concerns of every Filipino family, and with the rising summer heat, it is essential that they get a reliable cooling system. Hanabishi air conditioning models offer a lot of options to suit everyone's need for a cooler and more comfortable home." ~Cherish Ong-Chua, Hanabishi Vice President for Marketing and Finance

By following these tips and investing in an energy-efficient air conditioning unit like Hanabishi, you can enjoy a cooler and more comfortable home during the summer season while keeping energy consumption and costs down.

Hanabishi appliances are available via their website, www.myhanabishi.com; through e-commerce platforms Shopee and Lazada; and in leading appliance stores nationwide.

 








 

 

About Hanabishi: 

Sa Bahay at sa Business Mo, Hanabishi!

Hanabishi is a Filipino household name for appliances for over 35 years. It is a brand engineered to fit the lifestyle of the Filipino both for homes and businesses.  Hardworking, durable and resilient, are the attributes that personify Hanabishi making it the brand of choice of 

every Filipino mom and businessman when it comes to value and practicality. Hanabishi is the mark of quality that grows with you through the years.  Built with passion and an impeccable desire to uphold the quality of life in every Filipino home, Hanabishi will remain to be the PRACTICAL choice and KAPARTNER, today and for the many years to come.

For more information about Hanabishi, please visit www.myhanabishi.com/shop/ and  like them on Facebook: www.facebook.com/MyHanabishiAppliances/



Thursday, April 27, 2023

SM Blind Awareness Campaign made even wider, goes all the way to Cavite

The Blackout Zone opens at SM City Tanza from April 24 until May 14


SM Cares just launched the latest leg of “The Blackout Zone”, the organization’s highly successful exhibit designed to simulate blindness in SM City Tanza, Cavite last April 24, Monday. 

Present at the launch were Engr. Bien Mateo, Senior Vice President of SM Supermalls, Arch. Jaime Silva from the Philippine Foundation for the Rehabilitation of the Disabled, Inc., Marlo Lucas from the Resources for the Blind Inc., and Jayme Marino of the National Council on Disability Affairs. Also present during the launch are Dr. Florencio Costa of the Tanza National Comprehensive High School, Mr. Joebert Guzon of FEAPITSAT, and Coralyn Perez of Tanza Municipal Social Welfare and Development representing Mayor Yuri Pacumio.


Student participants from Tanza National Comprehensive High School at The Blackout Zone booth at SM City Tanza

Student participants from Tanza National Comprehensive High School at The Blackout Zone booth at SM City Tanza


“The Blackout Zone” is the first exhibit simulating the blind experience in the Philippines which is mounted inside a mall, promising an immersive and experiential tour of a day in the life of a blind person for free. Participants get to fulfill simple tasks, like tying a shoe, creating a sandwich, making coffee, and watching movies in a safe setting without sight. At the end of the tour, the participants are debriefed by the blind master, a representative of the blind community who shares their personal insights and how the challenges within the exhibit reflect the daily experience of blind people. In this way, mall-goers, tenants, and employees are encouraged to have a deeper understanding and affection for members of the blind community.


(L-R) NCDA Information Officer Jayme Marino, Resources for the Blind, Inc Marlo Lucas, SM Supermalls SVP for Operations and SM Cares Program Director for Disability Affairs Engr. Bien C. Mateo, United Architect of the Philippines’  Arch. Jimmy Silva, SM Supermalls SAVP for Operations Jason T. Terrenal, FEAPITSAT Academic Head Joebert Guzon, and Tanza National Comprehensive High School Principal Dr. Florencio C. Costa.


“We at SM Cares firmly believe that empathy and awareness are crucial to enabling a barrier-free and disability inclusive environment. As such, we humbly invite everyone to visit ‘The Blackout Zone’ to show solidarity, appreciation, and inspired action to the blind community.” ~Engr. Bien C. Mateo, SM Cares Program Director for Disability Affairs 

Following the success of “The Blackout Zone” from previous legs in SM Southmall and SM City Clark, SM City Tanza’s setup is the biggest one to date. First launched in October of last year, “The Blackout Zone” has been visited by almost 2,000 attendees. The Tanza exhibit will be open until May 14, and plans for future exhibits in different SM malls around the country are already underway.


The Blackout Zone blind master Andrew Perez briefing the first batch of participants


The Blackout Zone is just one of the many initiatives of SM Cares under its Program on Persons with Disabilities. Others include the annual Emergency Preparedness Forum for PWDs and senior citizens; the annual Happy Walk for Down Syndrome in partnership with the Down Syndrome Association of the Philippines; and the annual Angels Walk for Autism in partnership with Autism Society Philippines.

Through The Blackout Zone, SM Cares supports the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly "SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities."

SM Cares is the corporate social responsibility arm of SM Supermalls, supporting initiatives focused on communities and the environment. Aside from the program on PWDs, its advocacies include Programs for the Environment, Women & Breastfeeding Mothers, Children & Youth, Senior Citizens, and the SM Bike-friendly initiative.


SM Blind Awareness Campaign


To learn more about these programs, visit www.smsupermalls.com/smcares.

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Seize It, Book It, Sulit with Cebu Pacific’s Summer Seat Sale

Seize It, Book It, Sulit with Cebu Pacific’s Summer Seat Sale


Cebu Pacific (PSE: CEB), the Philippines’ leading carrier, is encouraging every Juan to seize the moment and take advantage of its low fares as it offers another round of seat sale to make summer much brighter.

From April 26 to 30, 2023, CEB travelers can book their flights across the airline’s widest domestic network for as low as PHP 199 one-way base fare, exclusive of taxes and other fees, and travel as early as May 1 until September 30, 2023.

“This summer is the perfect time for every Juan to push through with their well-deserved travel plans. We invite our passengers to go on their next great summer adventure with Cebu Pacific.” ~Carmina Romero, Cebu Pacific Director for Corporate Communications

Whether you’re looking to cool down and swim on the white sand beaches of Boracay and Bohol or escape the hustle and bustle of city life while roaming around the nature parks of Bacolod, Cagayan De Oro, and General Santos, there’s a Cebu Pacific flight for you directly from Manila, Clark, Cebu, and Davao.

Passengers with existing Travel Funds may use these to pay for flights and other add-ons. Apart from the Travel Fund, other payment options such as payment centers, credit or debit cards, and e-wallets may also be used.

CEB flies to 35 domestic and 25 international destinations, spanning across Asia, Australia and the Middle East.

Book your flights now via bit.ly/CebuPacificSale.

Jollibee Group Foundation, DOST Partner to Elevate Lives and Livelihoods of Smallholder Farmers

Partnership for Agro-Entrepreneurship. The MOU signing was held at the DOST-PCAARRD Innovation and Technology Center in the presence of (seated, from left): (place names in this sequence for easier read) JGF Executive Director Gisela Tiongson (seated, third from left); JGF Senior Program Manager Ma Laize Ar Cruzat (seated, fourth from left); DOST-PCAARRD Executive Director Dr. Reynaldo V. Ebora (seated, second from left); and DOST Undersecretary Leah J. Buendia (seated, first from left). Behind them are (can we make a generic description to acknowledge the other people in the photo).


Jollibee Group Foundation (JGF), the social development arm of Jollibee Group, and the Department of Science and Technology - Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic, and Natural Resources Research and Development (DOST-PCAARRD) recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding, which aims to further enrich their efforts in developing the entrepreneurial capacity of smallholder producers and link to agriculture value chains. 
 
“This partnership is an important milestone for farmer entrepreneurs. PCAARRD’s expertise in research and development in agriculture will surely help create access to more technologies that can enhance farmers’ livelihood to become more profitable.” ~Gisela Tiongson, Executive Director of JGF
 
The agreement between DOST-PCAARRD and JGF focuses on further promoting sustainable agricultural practices through technology transfer, access to knowledge, and tools to enhance productivity. It also aims to improve research and development activities to bring forth science and technology-based solutions for agri-aqua enterprises. The program also includes networking and market linkages to ensure the viability of agro-enterprises. 

“We believe that this partnership for agro-entrepreneurship will strengthen PCAARRD’s efforts in addressing technology gaps to improve quality and productivity, as well as in building the capacities of farmer groups and partner LGUs to provide opportunities to tap institutional markets. We are also certain that this will pave the way to strengthen the implementation of projects and activities with the end goal of achieving JGF’s mission and PCAARRD’s mandates.” ~Dr. Reynaldo V. Ebora, DOST-PCAARRD Executive Director
 
This initiative also supports JGF’s Farmer Entrepreneurship Program (FEP), which empowers and helps smallholder farmers sharpen their technical and business acumen, as well as partnership-building skills. FEP uses the Agro-Enterprise Clustering Approach to assist farmer groups supplying Jollibee Group and other markets.
 
To date, Jollibee Group has accredited 18 farmer groups across the country that supply more than 9,000 metric tons of vegetables to the company, which accounts for more than P360 million in total sales.










About Jollibee Group

Jollibee Foods Corporation (JFC, also known as Jollibee Group) is one of the fastest-growing restaurant companies in the world. Its mission is to serve great-tasting food and bring the joy of eating to everyone through its 17 brands with close to 6,500 stores across 34 countries including the Philippines, United States, Canada, the People's Republic of China, United Kingdom, Vietnam, United Arab Emirates, and Australia. 

The Jollibee Group has eight wholly owned brands (Jollibee, Chowking, Greenwich, Red Ribbon, Mang Inasal, Yonghe King, Hong Zhuang Yuan, Smashburger); five franchised brands (Burger King, Panda Express, PHO24, and Yoshinoya in the Philippines, and Tim Ho Wan in certain territories in China); 80% ownership of The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf; 60% ownership in the SuperFoods Group that owns Highlands Coffee and PHO24; and 51% ownership of Milksha, a popular Taiwanese bubble tea brand. 

The Jollibee Group, through its subsidiary Jollibee Worldwide Pte. Ltd. (JWPL) owns 90% participating interest in Titan Dining LP, a private equity fund that owns the Tim Ho Wan brand. The Jollibee Group has a joint venture with the THW Group to open and operate THW restaurants in Mainland China. It also has a business venture with award-winning Chef Rick Bayless for Tortazo, a Mexican fast-casual restaurant business in the United States.

The Jollibee Group has launched its global sustainability agenda dubbed Joy for Tomorrow, which aims to strengthen the company’s commitment to sustainable business practices. The agenda centers on the key pillars of Food, People, and Planet, and consists of 10 focus areas namely: food safety, food quality, nutrition & transparency, employee welfare, farmers livelihood, community support, good governance, packaging & recycling, waste reduction, and energy & water efficiency. Each focus area sets goals and initiatives that contribute and align with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs).

The Jollibee Group was named the Philippines' most admired company by the Asian Wall Street Journal for ten years. It was also honored as one of Asia's Fab 50 Companies and among the World's Best Employers and World’s Top Female-Friendly Companies by Forbes. The company is also a two-time recipient of Gallup’s Exceptional Workplace Award, making it the only Philippine-based company to receive the distinction. 

To learn more about Jollibee Group, visit www.jollibeegroup.com

Tuesday, April 25, 2023

BPI Launches ‘Hot Summer’ Auto, Housing Loan Promo

BPI Launches ‘Hot Summer’ Auto, Housing Loan Promo


The Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) is strengthening the capacity of Filipinos to avail auto and housing loans as it launches its Hot Summer Promo, one of the bank’s initiatives to support nation-building by enabling Filipino families to own their dream cars and homes.

“As the thought leader in retail lending, our new promo will leverage on the ‘travel’ or ‘tourism’ mindset of consumers, by helping them get their own home or car while allowing them to have a chance to win a trip. With the continuous recovery of the economy and upbeat consumer confidence in spending, we will continue to explore new opportunities to capture a wider market share. This will be done through remarkable payment solutions and exciting offers such as the BPI Hot Summer Promo to our clients.” ~Dennis Fronda, BPI Retail Lending and Bancassurance Group Head

BPI Retail Lending Group Management Committee: Top L-R: Redilberto Lopez - Auto Loan Division Head, Dennis Fronda - Retail Lending and Bancassurance Group Head, Mark Launcel Panizales - Retail Lending Product Marketing Division Head Bottom L-R: Noreene Cayco - Channel Management and Bancassurance Division Head, Bernadette Ocampo - Housing Loan Division Head, Edelinda Tined - Models, Analytics, and Insighting Division Head.


BPI expects to generate 30 percent higher business volume for auto and housing through BPI’s Hot Summer Promo, an exciting all-in offer of low rates, free Insurance, waived bank fees, and a chance to win an all-expense paid trip for clients and partner brokers/dealer agents.

Winners will be rewarded with an all-expense paid trip to a domestic or international destination.


Promo Mechanics

The auto and housing loan promo offers will run from April 24 to May 31, 2023 for online, branch, and dealer/developer-referred accounts.

It is open to all individual and corporate clients whose applications are received within the promo period and booked on or before June 30, 2023 for auto loans, and on or before July 31, 2023 for housing loans. 

The promo cannot be availed in conjunction with any other existing promo of the Bank.

The minimum loan amount for auto loan is P500,000, with a minimum loan term of 36 months or three years. This is applicable to brand new passenger cars (SUVs, pickups) and big bikes, and must be for personal/private use.

Also through the flexible MyKotse program, BPI becomes the only bank in the Philippines to offer extended loan tenors of 6 years  and 7 years, depending on the car’s engine displacement, from the industry standard tenor of 5 years. 

For housing loan, the minimum loan amount is P1 million, with minimum loan term of 10 years. This is applicable for all loan purposes, and for “My Bahay” accounts but with terms and conditions applied.


All-expense paid trip 

All accounts that will be booked under the auto loan promo are eligible for raffle entry (for every 500K loan amount = 1 raffle entry), with a maximum of four raffle entries or P2.5M loan amount. For housing loans, all accounts that will be booked under the promo are eligible for raffle entry (for every increment of P1M loan amount = 1 raffle entry), with a maximum of four raffle entriest. 

There will be 10 minor and one grand raffle winner/s for accounts booked until June 30 (auto loan) and until July 31, 2023 (housing loan).

Winners for both the minor and grand raffle will be drawn 14 days after the promo period (June 14, 2023). Travel period must be from September 1, 2023 to August 31, 2024.

Monday, April 24, 2023

Every day is Earth Day at SM Supermalls!

Youth participants join forces with SM Supermalls for a sustainable future.


SM Supermalls, in collaboration with its corporate social responsibility arm, SM Cares, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), local government units and partner schools and organizations joined the rest of the world in celebrating Earth Day at SM malls nationwide on April 22, 2023.

With the theme "Invest In Our Planet, Invest In Our Youth," SM Supermalls and SM Cares lined up various activities that aimed to raise awareness among children and their families about the importance of coming together across various sectors to take care of the environment. SM malls nationwide simultaneously held relevant and impactful celebrations with activities such as Children’s Storytelling, Coloring, and Sustainability Tours, gathering 1700 children and 350 employee volunteers. These activities aimed to encourage everyone in the family, particularly the young ones, to protect and respect Mother Earth.

Earth Day is an annual celebration led by the Earth Day Network that puts the spotlight on issues that are affecting the environment. First held in 1970, Earth Day was the result of a need for a unified response against various environmental problems like pollution and resource depletion. Today, the event is considered the biggest environmental movement in the world, with millions joining celebrations every year.


Children learn about how to protect the environment individually and as a community through art, storytelling and a Sustainability tour around SM malls

Children learn about how to protect the environment individually and as a community through art, storytelling and a Sustainability tour around SM malls


“At SM, every day is Earth Day. However, today we are reminded of our responsibility to protect the planet we live in. We believe that we must all come together and take the necessary steps against this climate crisis and accelerate a greener and more equitable future for everyone.” ~Ms. Liza B. Silerio, SM Supermalls Vice President for Corporate Compliance and SM Cares Program Director for the Environment

SM Supermalls featured the art of multi-awarded Filipino artist, sculptor and illustrator, Manuel Baldemor. His works depict the rich cultural aspects of the Philippines and can be found in multiple institutions worldwide. His drawings and Earth Day poem inspired the Earth Day program at SM, reflecting a long-time partnership on SM Cares programs for the environment, starting with his design of SM’s first eco bags in 2007.  

The storytelling activity featured a special Earth Day story based on Baldemor’s artworks. The story reflected simple ways children can participate in living sustainably on their own and with their families. Meanwhile, kids and kids-at-heart were welcomed at the coloring activity section. Participants were given art materials and a selection of Baldemor's drawings to color in. Malls used recycled materials in designing the activity areas. 

And to cap off the celebration, a sustainability tour was held wherein everyone participated in a guided tour to one or more of the mall’s eco-friendly facilities such as the EV charging stations, water recycling treatment plants, waste segregation bins, Plastic Waste Collection booths, E-waste Collection bins and various bicycle amenities.


Filipino artist Manuel Baldemor’s artistic contribution provide inspiration for the Earth Day program.

Filipino artist Manuel Baldemor’s artistic contribution provide inspiration for the Earth Day program. Joining him at SM City Fairview were DENR NCR Director Mr. Manuel T. Escasura; Quezon City Vice Mayor, Honorable Gian Sotto; Ms. Andrea Villaroman, Head of the Quezon City Climate Change and Environmental Sustainability Department, Planet CORA’s Partnerships Director, Cat Trivino and SM Supermalls executives.


To highlight the role of collaborating with the public sector in driving environmental programs forward, SM City Fairview hosted the DENR Gawad Taga-ilog Awards photo exhibit, which recognized winning local government units who are leading in protecting Metro Manila’s waterways. The agency also further provided 800 tree seedlings to participants and customers through a DENR Community Pan-TREE to encourage at SM Megamall, SM Mall of Asia, SM North EDSA, SM City Fairview, SM City Novaliches, SM City Marikina, SM City East Ortigas and SM Southmall.

The Quezon City Climate Change and Environmental Sustainability Department also promoted the city’s Trash to Cashback program to encourage its citizens to be Eco Warriors and promote recycling. 


Youth participants join forces with SM Supermalls for a sustainable future.


The Earth Day celebration is just one of the numerous ways that SM is promoting sustainable living among Filipinos, and the company has other programs aimed at helping care for the environment. These are the Trash to Cash Recycling Market held every first Friday and Saturday of the month; daily water recycling systems, and environmental campaigns such as the Green Film Festival, Green Retail Agenda, and the International Coastal Cleanup Drive, just to name a few. 

SM Cares is the corporate social responsibility arm of SM Prime Holdings, responsible for initiatives that promote sustainability and the development of the community. SM Cares’ advocacies include programs on Women and Breastfeeding Mothers, Persons with Disabilities, Senior Citizens, and Children and Youth, as well as the Bike-Friendly SM initiative, in addition to its Programs on Environment.

To learn more about these, visit www.smsupermalls.com/smcares

Five urban development aspirations for Metro Manila

In 2022, Singapore is placed 3rd in the World Competitiveness Ranking – the small country out of Asia even placed 1st in 2019 and 2020.


Metro Manila’s forecast of becoming a global power city is challenged by the consequences of rapid urbanization. The UN-Habitat lists the effects of climate change, natural disasters that hamper urban infrastructures and city competitiveness, unequal livability, job creation, and poverty reduction. 

Is there a way out of Metro Manila’s challenges? Architect and Urban Designer Chintan Raveshia, and Urban Planner and Sustainability Consultant Tony Chan of Singapore-based Arup emphasize urban development should also consider people’s aspirations, its changing needs and expectations, and the national identity of the residents. 


  • Finding the identity of the city

Raveshia inspires responsible stakeholders to ask themselves first the most fundamental question: “What’s the identity of the city and how do we make its residents proud?”

“Singapore, a city that is high on everyone’s liveability list, is also working with citizens and grass roots organizations to inculcate a sense of ‘lovability’ for the city. This helps to strengthen the societal bond, increase equity, improve community safety, and exude pride and a feeling of ownership of the city amongst the residents. The balance of liveability, efficiency, and lovability paves the way for a true success of our cities in this climate emergency era.” ~Chintan Raveshia, Architect and Urban Designer

For his part, Chan believes that a successful sustainable urban development goes hand in hand with the capability to enhance people’s quality of life.

“We must develop and harness models of development that have low-carbon targets, which are also of a human scale, thriving and inclusive; models that are also just, secured and enhances the quality of life for all its residents. In addition, we should look at creative ways to increase local citizen participation as well as new technologies or products that can support the overarching vision and development objectives.” ~Tony Chan, Urban Planner and Sustainability Consultant

If Singapore reclaims lands for more affordable housing and increased integrated city developments and Melbourne builds accessible green spaces to promote social interaction, what plans would best fit Metro Manila’s sustainable and livable future while maintaining its identity? Here are five urban development aspirations Filipinos hope for the country’s main political and economic hub. 


Despite land scarcity, Singapore manages to be one of the greenest cities in the world with over 400 parks, more than 3,300 hectares of nature reserve, and over 300 kilometers of park connector network.


1. Accessibility across all social classes

While Metro Manila is the Philippines’ major economic driver – accounting for 32% of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) – it’s often challenged in sustaining accessible living conditions for residents across all social classes. UK-based The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) ranked Metro Manila 105th out of 139 cities in the Global Liveability Index 2022. The increasing population density in Metro Manila has resulted in some inconveniences in daily conditions like vehicular traffic situations, least green open spaces, high carbon footprint, inaccessibility to affordable housing, and unequal income opportunities.

Urban planners and developers suggest mixed-use planning in the metropolis and coastal developments because they are crucial to achieving the 15-minute concept. Here, residents across all walks of life are encouraged to live a healthy, affordable, and sustainable lifestyle because residential, commercial, and office spaces are integrated within a single development. 


Metro Manila is comprised of 16 cities and 1 municipality - is the economic, political, and cultural capital.


2. Open green spaces for a healthy and sustainable living environment

Studies shows that Metro Manila has only 5 square meters of green space available per person, this number is well below the 9 square meters set by the World Health Organization.COVID-19 had the entire world reassess their health conditions, lifestyle practices, and environmental situations. The impact was even more drastic in Metro Manila due to population density, crowded space, and insufficient parks and open areas. 

Aside from improving air quality and enhancing biodiversity, green spaces also moderate temperatures during the warm season. 


Melbourne is considered by many experts as one of the most liveable cities for the past decade.


3. Enhancing Human health and wellbeing 

Cities with sufficient healthcare facilities, access to health coverage, and infrastructures that enhance well-being and promote a healthy lifestyle, produce prosperous societies. 

The way cities are planned, designed, and executed has a crucial impact on how people live as it presents opportunities and effects on their lifestyles and overall well-being. While there is evident progress in Metro Manila’s health sector, rapid urbanization continues to pose risks in communities due to challenges in overcrowded neighborhoods, vehicular emissions, heavy traffic, pollution, and flood-prone areas.


4. Resilient community

Resilience is the capacity of individuals, communities, and systems to adapt, survive, and grow in the face of stress and shocks, and even transform when conditions require it. Relevant dimensions under the City Resilience Index (https://www.cityresilienceindex.org) by the Rockefeller Foundation & Arup, other dimensions include Health & Well Being, Economy & Society, Infrastructure & Environment as well as Leadership & Strategy

As Philippines and Manila grows, we face a dual challenge of adapting to climate change and the need to alter development strategies that are increasingly contributing to global warming. Philippines is among the top 10 countries in the world most affected by climate change in the past 20 years, according to the Global Climate Risk Index As an archipelago, impacts resulting from climate change are immense. In addition, metro Manila’s safety and resilience are endangered by various natural disasters. 

Natural disasters persist every season due to our geographical location. 

Well-planned and executed urban designs have the power to build safe and resilient communities in Metro Manila.  Infrastructures like proper bike lanes and walkable streets ensure residents’ safety, accessibility, and comfort, whereas science and technology-based solutions that can build flexible structures, multi-use systems, and technologies can help residents adapt and prepare for changing conditions. 


5. Global and competitive city

Metro Manila is one of Asia’s premier regions. As the country’s engine growth driver, it has growing investments in infrastructures and multitudes of business investments and developments.

The metropolis’ rising potential can further step up by following global models like Singapore, Melbourne, and Hong Kong which created several integrated cities and coastal developments that ushered in a vibrant economy and paved for a better urban lifestyle. These visions create an avenue to further increase opportunities for jobs, better education, better lifestyle, and bustling economic activities.

These can contribute to the Philippines’ national and local economies by driving tourism and infrastructure development while also creating equitable and inclusive communities. These, in turn, create a wider room of opportunities and, therefore, attracts more talent. 


Building inclusive and sustainable growth centers

When all stakeholders are listened to and addressed, communities will be energized when introduced to well-designed, master-planned and implemented developments. This will result to a lasting impact on Metro Manila’s future and its residents because it fosters more inclusive growth and makes the urban landscape an extension of their home.

When a city embraces its history, celebrates its milestones, innovates and adopts for the future, and most importantly, nurtures its residents and responds to their aspirations – it is a city working toward competitiveness and unlocking future potential. 

How about you? What would you aspire your city to be?

SM Prime, UPLB Team Up for Sustainability Scholarship

SM Prime & UPLB Scholarship


SM Prime Holdings Inc. (SM Prime) has partnered with the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) to further promote the country’s pursuit of sustainable development.

Through a scholarship grant, SM Prime aims to assist select students pursue undergraduate degrees in Bachelor of Science in Human Ecology (BSHE) and Bachelor of Science in Forestry (BSF) – courses geared towards sustainability. 

The scholarship will be awarded to students from low-income households in Pasay City intended to provide better employment prospects and help reduce poverty and inequality, which are major obstacles to sustainable development. 


  • Collaboration for innovation and sustainability
In an interview, UPLB Chancellor Dr. Jose Camacho, Jr. shared his optimism about the partnership, citing the impact of education, especially sustainability-related fields of studies, in social and economic mobility.

“The scholarship will enable more students to pursue their studies in areas related to sustainability such as environmental science, renewable energy, and sustainable agriculture. By investing in education in these areas, we are preparing a new generation of leaders who will have the knowledge and skills to address the complex environmental and social challenges facing our world today. It will encourage research and development in areas related to sustainability. By providing support for students to pursue advanced studies, we are creating a pipeline of future researchers and innovators who can develop solutions to pressing environmental and social problems.” ~Dr. Jose Camacho, Jr., UPLB Chancellor

Aside from enabling students to pursue their education without financial burden, the UPLB chancellor believes that the scholarship can produce competent leaders capable of solving complex environmental and social challenges, and create a pipeline of innovative researchers. 

He further stressed how fostering collaborations and innovation in sustainability between the academic community and the private sector can lead to new environmentally and socially responsible products, technologies, and services that contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals.


SM Prime AVP and Head of Marketing, PR, and Communications Rida Reyes Castillo signed the memorandum of agreement alongside UPLB Chancellor Dr. Jose Camacho Jr. The scholarship formed under the partnership continues SM Prime’s pursuit of sustainable development.


  • Ripples of social good
SM Prime AVP and Head of Marketing, PR, and Communications Rida Reyes Castillo shared that the partnership between SM Prime and UPLB is a testament to the shared commitment of both institutions towards promoting sustainability and creating a better future for the next generation. 

By supporting the education of would-be scholars, SM Prime hopes to create ripples of social good within families and communities, ultimately contributing to the development of a more sustainable and equitable society.

“Improving the well-being of its partner communities and investing in people’s growth have long been among SM Prime’s sustainability pillars woven at the core of its business strategies and operations. As such, SM Prime deems it important to create programs that would provide access to quality education for all, and in the long term, create a pool of proactive human resources who can responsibly carry out and balance the economic, social and environmental aspects of a society’s sustainable development aspirations. SM Prime believes UPLB would be the best partner to support its sustainability initiatives in promoting a conducive learning environment while honing new Iskolars ng Bayan leaders committed to knowledge creation and public service.” ~Rida Reyes Castillo, SM Prime AVP and Head of Marketing, PR, and Communications

The SM Prime Sustainability Scholarship is open to students from Pasay City, under UPLB's BSHE and BSF programs with an annual gross family income of not more than PhP150,000.00

For more information, interested applicants may contact the UPLB OSG +63 49 536 3209 or email at osg.uplb@up.edu.ph.

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Medical care brought closer to low-income families in Cagayan

Roland Bariuan takes home free medicines after his medical check-up.


While access to quality healthcare continues to be hampered by challenges, medical missions have become an increasingly vital source of support for low-income communities. Through time, they have gone beyond providing medical care and have taken up a new role: transforming the lives of individuals and communities.

The SM Foundation, Inc. (SMFI) recognizes just this, so it has made its mission to travel from Luzon to Mindanao to provide free medical care and services to thousands of patients from various hard-pressed communities.

Just recently, the medical mission team headed to the cities of Tuguegarao and Cauayan in Northern Luzon and provided services to thousands of low-income families. Two of them are Roland Bariuan and Angeline Cacanindin.


Medical Mission Tuguegarao and Cauayan

  • Strength to do more
Roland has been a tricycle driver in Tuguegarao City since 1994. But, two years ago, he suddenly felt weak and had to spend money on medical consultations and examinations.

“Napansin ko na kahit malakas ako kumain, namamayat ako at nanghihina. Nalaman ko na may diabetes na po ako. Pero hindi pwedeng pabayaan ko ang sarili ko. Hindi pwedeng maging tamad ako dahil may sakit ako. Kung tamad po ako mamasada, wala kaming pangaraw-araw at gagastushin pambili ng gamot. Dahil magastos po magpagamot, kadalasan po akong pumunta sa city health office para sa lahat ng aking checkups. Ngayon, nataon pong nalaman kong mayroon medical mission dito sa SM City Tuguegarao. Ang kinikita ko sa pamamasada ang ginagamit ko at ng pamilya ko para sa aming pangangailangan. Kaya mahalaga sa akin ang aking kalusugan. Ang magandang pangangatawan ang nagbibigay sa akin ng lakas para mas lalo pang pagsumikapan ang pamamasada. Pero bilang tricycle driver, hindi namin maiiwasang magkasakit dahil usok ang kasabayan namin sa pamamasada. Kaya malaking tulong ang libreng check-up sa ang libreng gamot mula sa SM Foundation. Malaking tulong ito dahil kahit papaano, hindi ko muna iisipin ang pang gamot ko.” ~Roland Bariuan, a tricycle driver in Tuguegarao City since 1994

Determined to care for his health, he goes to the city health office for his routine checkups. The same drive to boost his health is also what led him to SM group’s medical mission, led by SMFI:

Through the medical mission, he received free consultation, blood tests, x-ray, and medicines–services that would break the bank if he had it done elsewhere. With the assistance extended to him, he had his scheduled checkup without worrying about the finances and even managed to put aside money originally allotted for medicine and laboratory tests.


  • Making quality healthcare attainable
Roland’s fellow resident from Cagayan Valley, Angeline Cacanindin, knows full well the need to maintain a healthy body, for this is her tool to fulfill her duty as a house helper. She also believes that this is what her children can rely on as they strive in school.

However, her youngest daughter has been complaining about a toothache, which was already interfering with her nutrition and attendance in school.

When she heard about SMFI’s medical mission in SM City Cauayan, she immediately brought her daughter for a checkup. Here, her daughter’s tooth was extracted. She also received free paracetamol, antibiotics, vitamins apt for her child’s age, and dental hygiene tips from volunteer dentists.


Angeline Cacanindin (rightmost) hold the hand ofher daughter during the tooth extraction.

“Butas na po ang mga ngipin niya. Kaya tuwing kumakain po siya, pumapasok ang kanin at nasasaktan siya. Hindi na rin po siya makapag focus sa school dahil sa sakit. Nito lang po, tumawag po ang teacher niya at sinabing umiiyak po ang anak ko per hindi umiimik. Nung kinausap ko po siya, nalaman kong sobrang sakit na po ng ngipin niya. Umiyak din po ako dahil ramdam ko ‘yung sakit. Hindi ko siya agad madala sa dental clinic dahil nasa trabaho po ako at mahal din po ang magpabunot. Ang medical mission na ito ay malaking tulong kasi libre po serbisyo pati ang mga gamot. Ngayon po, makakapagsimula muli kaming subaybayan ang kalusugan ng aming anak para maganda po ang kinabukasan niya.” ~Angeline Cacanindin

Through the ongoing medical missions of SMFI, many economically disadvantaged individuals like Roland and Angeline get lifelines–an intervention that provides immediate relief to those in need and a chance to access medical care and resources that are often unavailable or unattainable.

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Jollibee Foods Corporation Mounts Employee-led Mangrove Reforestation Project

Protecting shorelines . Last year, 212 employee volunteers participated in a string of tree-planting activities. The photo shows some Jollib...