Jan 5, 2021

Smart empowers schools in Region 10, providing solutions for online learning

Coping with the demands of education in the new normal has been rough for some educators due to the lack of equipment for the production of modules and connectivity tools for online classes. 

Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart), the wireless arm of the country’s largest integrated telco PLDT, launched various efforts to respond to educators’ needs. One of them is the Study Smart Program, which aims to provide technology and digital solutions, including printers, photocopiers, laptops, WiFi devices, Free WiFi, and SIM cards, to schools all over the country. 

In Region 10, Smart has supported 21 schools, colleges, and universities from Misamis Occidental, Misamis Oriental, Cagayan de Oro City, Bukidnon, Iligan City, Camiguin Island, and Ozamiz City. 

One beneficiary, Tagoloan Community College (TCC), received a photocopier, paper and toners to help in the printing of modules. Misamis Oriental General Comprehensive High School also received free WiFi devices for deserving teachers. 

Smart also introduced Infocast, an SMS-based broadcast system, to augment the schools’ information campaign efforts amid the health crisis. The service has helped 13 schools in the region to receive advisories, announcements, and send inquiries, via SMS, for free. 

Dr. Susan S. Olana, Bukidnon National High School Secondary School Principal IV, expressed her gratitude to Smart. “We thank Smart for being our strong partner. The equipment they provided to the school will have a huge impact in the delivery of instruction, especially in these challenging times,” she said. 

Schools like the Iligan Medical Center College also acquired Smart Bro Pocket WiFi devices at discounted prices to help their teachers connect to the Smart’s LTE network. 

“It is important for schools to be equipped with necessary tools as they continue the new normal of education. Smart offers technology solutions that will truly help teachers and students, especially in their online classes where connectivity is crucial,” said Ma. Santina Calipayan, Smart Community Relationship Specialist. 

“We are happy that we are able to help a lot of schools in Region 10. We thank them for choosing and trusting Smart,” she added. 

Study Smart Program has been made possible through the help of Smart’s regional and provincial distributors, Elvir’s Blue Sky Telecom, Ilicomm, and Metroshoppers Inc. Other beneficiary schools under the program include PHINMA Cagayan de Oro College, Liceo de Cagayan University, Bukidnon State University, Ozamiz City National High School, Misamis Occidental National High School, Valencia National High School, among others. 

Study Smart is part of a broader program of PLDT and Smart to highlight the application of ICT for development, in support of the Group-wide advocacy to promote digital inclusion. These initiatives also aim to contribute to the achievement of UN Sustainability Development Goal #4 of providing quality education.

Dec 3, 2020

Globe sees 4G LTE as new PH Standard for Mobile Internet

As part of the national plan in shaping a new normal for the Philippines, the country is ramping up the shift into a new, digital economy. Technological enhancements to further boost the digital economy can help facilitate continuity of businesses and enhance productivity, especially as the country aims to thrive in the new normal. At a time when the majority of the population’s interactions are online, better connectivity is a necessity. Internet usage has increased exponentially as well over the first half of 2020, following the effects of COVID-19. 

Aligning with the national plan to boost digital inclusivity and fulfill its commitment to serve its customers, Globe has been focusing on upgrading its network infrastructure and expanding its reach through new site builds. Globe sees 4G LTE as the new Philippine standard for mobile internet, emphasizing that customers deserve higher speed and better connectivity. With the ongoing network upgrades, the telco’s capacity using advanced wireless networks 4G LTE and 5G will enable its customers to enjoy a better data experience. 

"Internet services have become a critical need for many Filipinos. With the evolution of mobile technologies, it is high time for our country to have 4G/LTE everywhere as the basic mobile internet technology used by everyone. And for the most demanding mobile uses, 5G is here and now, too. Both 4G and 5G were designed for the internet, with 5G designed specifically for new uses such as video streaming, mobile gaming, and even IoT. That is why we call on all customers who still use 3G for mobile data to make the 4G/5G change -- SIMs and handsets -- and see the difference,’ adds Gil Genio, Globe’s Chief Technology and Information Officer. 

With the call from the national government to improve internet services, Globe laid out a 3-pronged strategy to improve data experience which includes aggressive cell site builds; upgrading its cell sites to 4G LTE using many different frequencies; and fast-tracking the fiberization of Filipino homes nationwide. 

Network builds, upgrades and optimization efforts are currently underway and will continue until the end of 2021. 

Globe has been aligning its initiatives in support of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal No. 9 which highlights the roles of infrastructure and innovation as crucial drivers of economic growth and development. Globe is committed to upholding the 10 United Nations Global Compact principles and 10 UN SDGs. 

 For more information, visit www.globe.com.ph.

May 9, 2020

Five Mother’s Day gifts you can easily get online even while you're staying at home

Mother’s Day is coming up this weekend, and while we're all on stay-at-home quarantine mode, it’s still more than possible to make your mom feel special on the day of the year that’s just for her!

With many businesses now opening online stores with delivery and cashless payments options, finding a good gift for your mom should be a breeze.

Here are some hassle-free gift ideas:

1. For the movie junkie mom If your mom loves movies, why not give her access to all her favorite films and series with a Netflix subscription? You can even set up a movie night for the entire family complete with your go-to snacks. Subscribing to Netflix with your PayMaya virtual or physical card is easy. Buying snacks online at supermarkets like Landers and Super8 is also convenient, now that you can pay by simply keying in the mobile number linked to your PayMaya account. You can even score up to 100% Balik Bayad for your purchases!

2. For the mom who’s the senti type If you’re feeling a little crafty, you can also create a scrapbook for your mom. Compile photos of your favorite moments together as well as little memorabilia like theme park tickets, and use materials that are readily available at home. Include heartfelt letters from the entire family and get ready for some happy tears from your senti mom. If you don’t have art materials available, you can easily order them via National Bookstore at Lazada and pay with your PayMaya account.

3. For the foodie mom What better way to spend a Mother’s Day than with the people she loves most? Plan a nice and warm Sunday meal with the whole family at home, and take the pressure off her hands by having her favorite food delivered. What’s even better is you can order food online at a PayMaya partner restaurant like McDonald's, Goldilocks, Army Navy, Shakey's, Red Ribbon, Chowking, Burger King, Domino's Pizza, Sariwon Korean Barbecue, Soban K-Town Grill, and Sibyullee Unlimited Korean BBQ, and pay using your phone number for up to 100% Balik Bayad!

4. For the mom who’s practical One great way to show your love for your mom who keeps the house together is by helping out with the household expenses. Take care of groceries by ordering online, and settle her bills for her, all with the help of your PayMaya. You can even get P100 Balik Bayad when you pay a PLDT bill worth at least P1,000 this month, as well as P50 Balik Bayad for Smart and Sun postpaid bills.

5. For the extroverted mom Does your mom miss all her friends and relatives? How about setting up one big video call with the whole family to greet her and her fellow moms a happy Mother’s Day? You can make sure you stay connected by buying data packages for your and the rest of her friends at discounted rates through the PayMaya app!

This Mother's Day, let PayMaya’s help you show just how much you love your mom at the safety and comfort of your own home. If you don’t have your own PayMaya account yet, it’s easy to sign up in time for Mother’s Day!

Just download the PayMaya app for Android or iOS, register your own account, and start shopping with the fastest, safest, most rewarding, and hassle-free way to pay for anything both online and in-stores! Better yet, teach your mom how to set up her own PayMaya account by checking out paymaya.com/quick-guide.

For more details on the awesome PayMaya promos you can enjoy, check out paymaya.com/deals. Don’t forget to follow @PayMayaOfficial on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for more news and updates!

PayMaya is the only end-to-end digital payments ecosystem enabler in the Philippines with platforms and services that cuts across consumers, merchants, and government. Aside from providing the payments acceptance for the largest e-Commerce, food, retail and gas merchants in the Philippines, PayMaya is enabling national and social services agencies as well as local government units with digital payments and disbursement services. Through its PayMaya app and wallet, it is providing millions of Filipinos with the fastest way to own a financial account with over 40,000 Add Money touchpoints nationwide, more than double the total number of traditional bank branches in the Philippines combined.

Feb 19, 2020

PayMaya Preferred: Get quick treats and sweet deals when you use PayMaya QR at Ministop

Grabbing a quick bite or buying some last-minute needed items just got more convenient and rewarding as Ministop joins the growing list of PayMaya Preferred merchants, where customers can get added treats and perks whenever they pay using PayMaya QR. 

PayMaya QR is now currently available in more than 500 branches of Ministop all over the country, allowing for the ultimate convenience not just in buying goods but in having a quick and hassle-free payment experience as well. 

Additionally, shoppers can also get a P50 cashback once a week from February 19 until April 18, 2020 whenever they scan to pay a minimum of P200 using PayMaya QR at participating Ministop branches nationwide. 

This is on top of the usual 1%, 10%, or 100% cashback they can get whenever they use PayMaya QR at thousands of partner merchants and establishments nationwide. 

“Whether it’s grabbing Ministop’s famous Uncle John’s Fried Chicken for a quick lunch or buying supplies for home, your payment experience just got more convenient and rewarding because of PayMaya QR. It’s the perfect marriage of convenience and rewards, which makes buying your items at Ministop with PayMaya even more exciting,” said Raymund Villanueva, Head of QR Ecosystems at PayMaya. 

Ministop is just the latest in a growing list of PayMaya Preferred Merchants around the country, where PayMaya is the preferred mode of payment instead of cash, as part of the “Don’t Pay Cash. PayMaya!” campaign of the country’s most rewarding mobile wallet today. 

Aside from being able to conveniently pay for Ministop purchases using their mobile phones, PayMaya users can also add money to their accounts in select branches through the Pay & Go kiosk, which will soon be enhanced to offer even more convenient add money options in the coming months. 

So hop on the cashless lifestyle and download and register for a PayMaya account now to enjoy the most rewarding mobile wallet experience at Ministop today. Dahil basta Ministop, don’t pay cash, PayMaya para may BalikBayad ka! 

To know how you can maximize your PayMaya account, visit www.PayMaya.com/deals or follow @PayMayaOfficial on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

FDA Orders Retailers and Sellers to Stop the Sale of Porcelana Astringent Due to Health Risks

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), has directed drug stores, department stores, supermarkets, and other establishments to stop the sale of THE ORIGINAL PORCELANA® ASTRINGENT IMPROVED FORMULA which continues to be sold commercially in Davao, CDO, Cebu and other parts of the country. 

The FDA says merchants who ignore the warning and continue to sell the product shall face regulatory actions and sanctions. In the latest FDA Advisory No. 2020-061, THE ORIGINAL PORCELANA® ASTRINGENT IMPROVED FORMULA has been found to be positive for the presence of HYDROQUINONE and TRETINOIN, ingredients that are NOT allowed to be part of a cosmetic. 

As per Administrative Order No. 13 s. 1999, the FDA says Hydroquinone and/or Tretinoin (Retinoic Acid) shall be classified as a home remedy, over-the-counter, or prescription drugs depending on the amount present. 

 Accordingly, because it failed to comply with these standards, the FDA says they are classifying THE ORIGINAL PORCELANA® ASTRINGENT IMPROVED FORMULA as an adulterated cosmetics product which poses potential hazards to the consuming public. 

Using the product may result in adverse reactions including skin irritation, itchiness, anaphylactic shock and even, organ failure. This is the second time in less than a year that THE ORIGINAL PORCELANA® ASTRINGENT IMPROVED FORMULA failed to comply with the regulations of the FDA. 

Last year, the FDA also issued an advisory against the use and sale of the THE ORIGINAL PORCELANA® ASTRINGENT after it was found that they were using Hydroquinone and Tretinoin beyond the levels allowed for a cosmetic product. 

To report any sale or distribution of THE ORIGINAL PORCELANA® ASTRINGENT IMPROVED FORMULA, the online reporting facility eReport can be accessed at www.fda.gov.ph/ereport.