FWD’s new campaign inspires Filipinos to prioritize insurance today to build their best future tomorrow

Sunday, March 3, 2024

In celebration of its 1Oth anniversary, FWD Life Insurance (FWD Philippines) launched a new campaign that kindles the need for Filipinos to insure themselves today.

The campaign video portrays different Filipinos of the next generation and their aspirations. Each character meets the best future version of themselves, who thanks the present self for taking the steps towards achieving their dreams.

At 1O years young, FWD Life Insurance (FWD Philippines) has been the insurer of the next generation by changing the way people feel about insurance through innovative, inclusive, and people-centric plans fit for Filipinos’ evolving needs.

“Our main objective for this campaign is to address the priority gap most Filipinos are exhibiting, meaning they know about insurance, but they do not prioritize getting one,” said Roche Vandenberghe, FWD Philippines Chief Marketing and Digital Business Officer. “With more Filipinos are doing all they can to secure the best future for themselves and their loved ones, we want to support them by making sure their hard work will always be protected.”

Ms. Vandenberghe refers to a 2023 consumer study finding 81% of Filipinos allocating more of their budget for essentials due to inflation. Based on the same study, 78% of Filipinos are also reportedly saving money for the future.[CTCMGO1] [SR2]

While these numbers suggest Filipinos have become more practical with their finances, many still show a priority gap in other essentials such as income protection. This contributes to the Philippines having one of the lowest insurance penetration rates in the region at less than 2%.

Unaddressed, the priority gap leads to protection gap, where they are more susceptible to economic losses due to their vulnerability to critical illness, accidents, and loss of life.

As out-of-pocket expenses for essentials continuously rely on their income, more Filipinos can benefit by prioritizing financial protection as a necessity in building their best future.

Ms. Vandenberghe emphasizes that FWD’s approach is anchored on protecting people’s desired way of life. “We want to do our part in ensuring that Filipinos can celebrate living and build their best future. What you do today makes a difference tomorrow, and by choosing FWD, you can thank yourself later—we got your back.”

Ready to thank yourself later? Learn more about FWD’s campaign and innovative income protection products — visit fwd.com.ph. 

[CTCMGO1]Should we begin the media release with the introduction of FWD's campaign and initiatives? There is no core message in this draft but only mention the statistics.

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Skyro reports strong 2023 performance, expected to triple in 2024 as it expands digital financial offerings for Filipinos


Skyro, a fast-growing fintech provider in the Philippines, continues its commitment to transform the local financial landscape by delivering accessible and affordable digital financial solutions to Filipinos.

Skyro is committed to empowering more Filipinos by offering a range of digital consumer finance products such as product loans, cash loans, and other lending products designed to meet the diverse financial needs of Filipino consumers. These solutions offer a streamlined process, competitive rates, and diverse payment options, providing customers with flexibility and convenience.

Achievements and Business Performance in 2023

In just under two years since its inception as a fintech startup, Skyro has achieved significant milestones and business performance in the fintech industry by the end of last year.

Skyro has recorded significant growth in both applications and usage as it gains traction among new markets and diverse user groups. Notably, in 2023 alone, Skyro achieved an average Compound Monthly Growth Rate of 50%, a testament to the rapid trust and adoption placed in the company’s innovative financial solutions.

Skyro's mobile app had an increase in its number of new and active users by 82.5%, leading to a proportional rise in total app downloads and usage. The brand has grown its network with over 500 partner merchants and a presence in over 2500 stores nationwide. It has also expanded its workforce from less than a hundred to more than a thousand employees.

Its product loan solution has shown exceptional growth in 2023, generating substantial results more than its initial value. Similarly, the cross-sell products have delivered remarkable outcomes in usage.

Outstanding Performance Under Expert Leadership

Skyro’s co-founders and co-CEOs Nasim Aliev and Arsen Liametov have been instrumental in the company's growth and success. 

With a strong experience in financial technology and business development, Aliev oversees key areas such as sales, partnerships, marketing, and customer acquisition, garnering trust from both customers and partners. On the other hand, Liametov is focused on optimizing Skyro's offerings, utilizing his extensive understanding of fintech products and operations. His main areas of expertise include ensuring smooth integration and efficient functioning of Skyro's digital services, all with the goal of meeting market demands while delivering maximum value to Filipino customers.

"At Skyro, our mission is to bring joy into every interaction our customers have with our financial products," shared Nasim Aliev. "We prioritize accessibility, simplicity, and flexibility, supported by an exceptional customer experience. By leveraging a compelling model, we've managed to reduce risk two-fold while achieving profitability, showcasing our strategic foresight and commitment to sustainable growth. We want to create a future where every Filipino has access to the right financial tools and knowledge for achieving success.”

Liametov added, "Our dedication to innovation and customer satisfaction remains unwavering. With a focus on continuous improvement and expansion, we're poised to reach new heights in 2024 and beyond. Skyro is committed to empowering individuals with the financial solutions that would cater to their ever-evolving needs and lifestyles."

Looking ahead to the rest of 2024, Liametov said, "As we anticipate the year ahead, we're filled with optimism, expecting even greater growth and impact for Skyro."

Skyro aims to continue its impressive trajectory into 2024, with expectations of tripling its growth and onboarding half a million customers by the year's end. This ambitious goal underscores Skyro's commitment to expanding its reach and impact in the digital financial landscape of the Philippines, further solidifying its position as a key player in the industry's evolution.

Skyro is a fintech company duly licensed and supervised by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). To learn more about digital financial products from Skyro, visit its official website www.skyro.ph. Follow its official Facebook and Instagram accounts to know more about its latest promos and offerings.
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Bayad clinches Excellence Awards during the Pag-IBIG Fund Chairman's Report

Friday, March 1, 2024

Bayad clinches Excellence Awards during the Pag-IBIG Fund Chairman's Report, held on February 27, 2024 at PICC Complex, Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City. 

The awarding ceremony highlights Bayad as Pag-IBIG Fund’s Non-bank Top Collecting Partner, having served the highest contribution on Pag-IBIG Fund’s Employer Electronic Submission of Remittance Schedule (ESRS) for the year 2023.

Now on its 6th consecutive year, Bayad has once again proven its commitment to excellence in enabling institutions to conveniently help its employees settle their Pag-IBIG Fund home loan contributions through Bayad’s multi-channel payment platform.

Today, both individual and group contributions can be settled through a variety of Bayad’s payment touchpoints covering its Bayad Centers, its network of partner establishments such as leading supermarkets, department stores, convenient stores, pawnshops, courier services, banks, and other financial institutions. Adding to these are Bayad’s mobile application - Bayad App and its web application – Bayad Online, catering to a more tech-savvy market.

Bayad President and CEO, Lawrence Y. Ferrer underscored “Our drive for excellence is deeply rooted in our purpose of helping Filipinos elevate their quality of life. We are committed to provide solutions to both individuals and businesses that effectively help make payments more convenient and seamless.” We are one with Pag-IBIG in helping our kababayans to become financially empowered and fulfill their dream of owning a home.”

For government and financial institutions that are interested to be part of Bayad’s extensive biller network, you may send an email to partnerships@bayad.com. Bayad enables partners to attain nationwide presence and provides end-to-end support services for efficient payment and collection processing.
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GS1 Philippines launches “GS1 Activate” to boost digital transformation in the retail sector with robust barcode system

Aims to introduce to over 30,000 retailers nationwide by the end of 2024

GS1 Philippines, the leading organization on local barcode standards, officially launched GS1 Activate, a web-based service aimed at simplifying barcode generation and symbol creation for businesses, revolutionizing the retail supply chain through digitalization.

Launched during GS1 Philippines’ Annual Conference and General Membership Meeting on January 30, 2024, GS1 Activate streamlines the processing of generating barcode numbers and symbols for businesses, making product data and identification digitized and further improving the efficiency and visibility of supply and demand chains globally and across sectors.

By adhering to GS1 standards and services, GS1 Activate enables businesses to achieve accurate product identification with global trade item numbers (GTINs) and seamless data sharing, enhancing customer service and operational efficiency. With GS1 Activate, businesses can easily obtain barcode numbers for their products, allowing for their global distribution. Additionally, the service provides expert guidance on printing and placing barcode symbols to ensure optimal scanning performance. By leveraging GS1 Activate to share product data, companies can expand their reach to retailers and marketplaces worldwide, enhancing the visibility and accessibility of their products on a global scale.

GS1 Philippines targets to introduce GS1 Activate to over 30,000 retailers nationwide by the end of 2024. They are currently serving over 5,000 retailers. 

“In an economy where the Philippines’ e-commerce market is estimated to reach $24 billion (approx. Php 1.3 trillion) through 2025, GS1 Activate is a game-changer. This new service revolutionizes business barcode generation, reducing the time required compared to traditional product identification methods and eliminating common errors, saving costs on label reprinting and minimizing the need for extensive personnel training. By dramatically simplifying the process, GS1 Activate also enhances efficient data sharing, crucial for strengthening both local and global trade. This launch is a testament to our dedication to advancing digital integration within the Philippines' supply chain ecosystem, reinforcing our role in the global economy,” GS1 Philippines, and Philippine Retailers Association President Bobby Claudio said.

Aligning with the annual gathering’s theme, “Unified Unlocked: Activating Integrated Digitalization,” GS1 Philippines’ conference marked the 50th anniversary of the introduction of the barcode system and highlighted GS1’s focus on shifting to the 2D migration of barcodes to QR codes while calling for global retail Point of Sale (POS) scanners to be capable of processing 2D barcodes by 2027. 

In his remark, GS1 Philippines Chairman Atty. Pablo Gancayo shared, "We are now focused on evolving the barcode into the next level we call the 2D migration, which is expected to revolutionize further commerce. GS1 will guide the industry towards 2D migration, which it hopes to achieve and implement comprehensively by the year 2027."

The annual gathering hosted insightful discussions, networking, and collaboration opportunities among key government figures, industry players, and GS1 members. Among those present was Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Undersecretary Mary Jean T. Pacheco, who emphasized GS1 standards' pivotal role in enhancing supply chain efficiency and visibility for Philippine industries competing globally. During her talk, she discussed the government agency’s three-year food logistics action agenda aimed to revolutionize the food distribution system by addressing critical supply chain gaps and integrating ICT to enhance logistics performance. Undersecretary Pacheco expressed eagerness for collaborations with GS1 Philippines to achieve these goals.

Other government leaders and industry experts also shared their perspectives on the impact of global standards in the digital age, including Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) Secretary Ivan John Enrile Uy; De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde School of Environment and Design faculty member and packaging designer and consultant Prof. Ana Maria Veronica Solano; and CLASSchool Founder and Nutraways Manufacturing Corporation General Manager Love Emmanuel Agudo.

Several executives from both GS1 Philippines and the GS1 Global Office graced the event, namely: GS1 Global Office President and CEO Renaud De Barbuat; GS1 Philippines Trustee and Philippine Exporters Confederation, Inc. (PHILEXPORT) President Sergio Ortiz-Luis Jr.; and GS1 Global Office GS1 Registry Platform Global Deployment Lead Joe Horwood.

Among the prominent industry groups present at the conference were PHILEXPORT, Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), Philippine Retailers Association (PRA), Philippine Food Processors and Exporters Organization (PHILFOODEX), Philippine Chamber of Food Manufacturers, Inc. (PCFMI), Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Association of the Philippines (PHAP), Philippine Consumer Centric Traders Association (PCCTA), Packaging Institute of the Philippines (PIP), Chamber of Cosmetics Industry of the Philippines (CCIP), Soap and Detergent Association of the Philippines (SDAP), and the Beverage Industry Association of the Philippines.
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Globe Business shines spotlight on outstanding ‘Pinaypreneurs’

A year after receiving the Innovator Award from Globe Business at Cosmopolitan PH's Women of Influence 2023, dynamic Pinay entrepreneur Hiyasmin Neri-Soriano continues to stand out as a model of innovation and leadership, embodying the principles that earned her the prestigious recognition.

Over the past 12 months, Hiyasmin has showcased a blend of creativity and a profound grasp of technology as co-founder and CEO of Shoppertainment Live. This led to her recent appointment to the Board of Directors of The Philippine Marketing Association, where she focuses on public relations and communications, further highlighting her influence in the field.

Shoppertainment Live launched groundbreaking campaigns and engaged prominent entertainment and business personalities as anchors for its digital social commerce program. 

“The past year has been incredibly dynamic for me and Shoppertainment Live. We've initiated several distinctive live shopping campaigns across social media and marketplaces, with each session lasting from 3 to 4 hours which completes a full 24-hour stretch. We have also been exploring AI when it comes to content creation for video marketing,” Hiyasmin shared. 

A key aspect of Shoppertainment Live’s success story is its partnership with Globe Business. Serving as its internet partner, Globe Business has played a crucial role in enabling the company to do extensive and simultaneous livestream events for over 250 brands.

“Globe Business, as our reliable connectivity partner, has enabled us to conduct extensive and simultaneous livestream events for more than 250 brands. Leveraging this partnership, we have also effectively powered live commerce initiatives for Globe and have consistently achieved significant monthly sales volumes of sim cards through our live selling strategies,” said Hiyasmin.

KD Dizon, Vice President and Head of Globe Business, encapsulates the essence of this partnership, stating, "We stand united with every woman entrepreneur in overcoming challenges and unlocking their potential by providing innovative solutions, and access to resources necessary for their enduring success."

In the spirit of International Women's Month, Globe Business is set to once again honor two exceptional women business leaders and owners who have significantly contributed to the digital transformation of their enterprises, mirroring the impactful journey of Hiyasmin. The announcement of the winners will take place at the Cosmopolitan PH's Women of Influence Awards 2024.

As the event draws near, the story of Hiyasmin shines as a source of inspiration. Her achievements over the past year not only spotlight her innovative spirit but also stress the vital role of digital technology in propelling businesses forward.

Discover how Globe Business champions the digital transformation and empowerment of women entrepreneurs by visiting https://www.globe.com.ph/business.
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HONOR Wins 45 Media Awards at MWC 2024

Another feat to celebrate! Global leading tech brand HONOR wins 45 Media Awards from global media at Mobile World Congress 

Global technology brand HONOR debuted its new AI-empowered all-scenario strategy with the announcement of the global launch of HONOR Magic6 Pro and the AI PC HONOR MagicBook Pro 16 at MWC 2024 in Barcelona. With the intent-based UI and cross-OS collaboration, HONOR brings the AI-enabled features like Magic Portal and MagicRing, which are widely recognized by the global media. 

This year at MWC, HONOR received 45 awards from the most followed and trusted global media. For the first time in the global launch of the HONOR Magic6 Pro, the media praised it. Android Headlines awarded the HONOR Magic6 Pro "Best of MWC 2024", saying that "The HONOR Magic6 Pro is a step up compared to its predecessor, and not only does it offer great cameras, but it shines in various other aspects". Android Police said, that “With the Magic 6 Pro, HONOR is significantly stepping up its hardware game, leapfrogging the competition in some key areas.”. The tech media CNET also commented that “The Magic 6 Pro is among the most compelling Android flagships available this year.” Impressed by the great performance of HONOR Magic6 Pro, the well-known fashion media GQ Spain said, “The HONOR's Magic Pro series is HONOR’s most prestigious, pouring the best hardware and software.” 

For the first AI PC in HONOR’s history, the HONOR MagicBook Pro 16 has been showcased for the first time globally, winning global endorsements from global media. Mashable included HONOR MagicBook Pro 16 as their “Best Laptops of MWC 2024”. Android Authority awarded the HONOR MagicBook Pro 16 the "Best of MWC 2024" and commented that "HONOR MagicBook 16 Pro is a powerful laptop designed for the age of AI." Also, Trusted Reviews gave the HONOR MagicBook Pro 16 the "Best in Show" Award, saying that "Features like Smart Picture Search, Smart Document Summary, Text Comprehension, AI Subtitle, and Magic Text hint towards a productive future where AI helps take some of the strain out of daily tasks". 

In terms of cutting-edge design inspiration, as an iconic identity of global and premium, the PORSCHE DESIGN HONOR Magic V2 RSR has also been well-recognized by global media. The prestigious industry award "GLOMO Best in Show", which is judged based on the best-of-the-best products on show, was awarded to PORSCHE DESIGN HONOR Magic V2 RSR this year. In the fashion world, global fashion media COSMOPOLITION included this foldable phone into their Editor's tip for London Fashion Week, saying that the "Porsche Design HONOR Magic V2 RSR has been a total game-changer." 

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Property Market Insider: RLC Residences, Colliers reveals condo trends and insights in recent property preview

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

RLC Residences

IN PHOTO (Left to Right): RLC Residences Business Development and Design Head, AVP Stephanie Anne Go, Sales Group Head Mac Dang, Marketing Head and Chief Integration Officer Karen Cesario, Colliers Research Director Joey Bondoc, and Home Buddies Founder Frances Cabatuando at the brand’s Special Property Preview 


In a recent property preview event, RLC Residences showcased its commitment to innovative design and sustainable living with an insightful discussion about real estate trends alongside Joey Bondoc, Research Director at Colliers International Philippines.

"We are proud to be at the forefront of the Philippine real estate market, offering innovative and sustainable living solutions to our customers," says Karen Cesario, Marketing Head and Chief Integration Officer of RLC Residences. "Discussing with expert property consultants like Joey Bondoc allows us to stay ahead of market trends and provide Filipinos with the best possible options for their real estate investment needs.”

Considerations in property investment

In his talk, Bondoc shares four key considerations and intentions that should drive the condominium market. His list includes location, renting prospect, developer record, and price. 

According to Bondoc, buying a property in the right location is key and respondents of a Colliers study feel the same way as 62% prioritize proximity to offices, malls, and other amenities when buying a condo unit in Metro Manila. This trend is particularly evident in the success of RLC Residences' SYNC N-Tower located in Pasig, which boasts 71% units sold to date. Accessible to Makati, Fort Bonifacio, Eastwood City, and Ortigas Center, SYNC has resonated with urban dwellers seeking a strategically located residence that complements their lifestyle.

Joey Bondoc, Research Director at Colliers International Philippines, during his presentation 

at RLC Residences’ Special Property Preview


Moreover, Bondoc emphasized thinking long-term and considering looking for properties that are projected to attract renters and occupants. In the same vein, a referenced Colliers study entails that 45% of respondents plan to use their upcoming property purchase for end-use while 55% intend to use it for investment. The return of expatriates can also be seen as a significant factor contributing to the demand for investment properties. For this specific niche, Woodsville Crest’s proximity to the airport makes it an ideal rental unit for expats and a smart investment opportunity for Filipinos. Woodsville Crest is RLC Residences’ nature-inspired development located in Merville, ParaƱaque, which is also accessible to CBDs like Makati and BGC. 

Third on his list, Bondoc advised the audience to put a prime value on developers’ track record when making investment decisions. This bodes well for RLC Residences as the brand brings in Robinsons Land’s three-decade legacy in the industry. A strong track record instills confidence in stakeholders looking for reliable and reputable developers to invest their hard-earned money. This industry expertise is evident in the success of Sierra Valley Gardens, one of RLC Residences’ award-winning pre-selling developments located in Cainta, Rizal that has seen a remarkable appreciation rate of 47% since its launch date in 2020. The project has received multiple accolades locally and abroad for its features such as smart home-ready units, strategic location, and amenities for various pursuits.

Ticking off the first three considerations while also spending within your capability is the ideal real estate investment according to Bondoc. But more than the total contract price, affordability is also determined by the payment terms. He observed that developers have started to offer lower amortization rates partnered with extended payment terms beyond six to 18 months from the turnover date. 

Moreover, sustainability is also increasingly becoming a priority for condominium buyers. Forty percent (40%) of surveyed individuals in a Colliers study consider sustainable features as an important factor when making a purchase. One project that reflects this need is Woodsville Crest featuring vast green spaces and nature-inspired amenities. The development is set to adapt other environment-friendly features such as a rainwater harvesting system for non-potable requirements of the development, bike parking areas, and e-vehicle charging stations. 

Bondoc’s considerations give a sneak peek of the market’s priorities as they navigate the optimistic residential real estate landscape in the country. 

Factors supporting residential demand

Fortunately for budding investors, the Philippine economy is on a trajectory of growth creating a favorable environment for the real estate sector. Data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed that the Philippine economy expanded by 5.6% in 2023 and the 2024 growth forecast of multilateral lending firms and credit rating agencies is between 5.8% and 7.5%. This development is driven by various factors including increased remittances from overseas Filipino workers and heightened infrastructure spending. 

Regional economies are also experiencing improvement, with GDP growth per region ranging from 5.9% to 9.3% in 2022. Household spending, fueled by remittances from countries such as the United States, Singapore, and Saudi Arabia, has contributed to this growth. Inflation has also slowed down and the average mortgage rate has remained stable. Unemployment has also decreased, indicating a strengthening labor market.

Infrastructure spending is also seen as a priority for the Philippine government, with allotments increasing significantly from Php 406.59 billion in 2015 to Php 1.3 trillion in 2023. Projects such as the Estrella-Pantaleon Bridge, MRT-3 rehabilitation, NLEX-SLEX Connector, Pasig River Expressway, and the Metro Manila Subway are expected to further enhance connectivity within various cities across multiple regions, which would help and drive property appreciation in years to come.

Looking ahead, the residential demand is expected to be supported by the rise in OFW remittances, the return of expatriates, and the development of more integrated communities. Overall, the Philippine real estate market remains resilient, with strong fundamentals and a promising outlook for the future.

"The Philippine property market is unquestionably on the rebound, showing strong signs of recovery. We're witnessing a glimmer of hope, or whatever you want to call it, at the end of the tunnel. The Philippine economy is undeniably on the upswing. Many are asking us, 'When is the right time to invest?' The answer is clear: the right time to invest is now,” Bondoc remarked. 

Individuals looking to invest in residential real estate can check out various RLC Residences condominium projects at rlcresidences.com.
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