Coca-Cola PH continues to empower micro-retailers with the launch of new centers to provide entrepreneurial skills

Monday, July 8, 2024

Coca-Cola Philippines aims to empower more micro-entrepreneurs nationwide with the launch of Centers for Entrepreneurship (CFEs) under the digital Sari-Sari Store Training and Access to Resources(iSTAR) program in seven key areas. The CFEs, located in Davao del Norte, Cagayan de Oro, Taguig City, Nueva Ecija, Cebu, Bacolod City, and Camarines Sur, will serve as sustainable hubs offering training, mentoring, and financial support to help small business owners thrive.

The iSTAR program is designed to empower individuals in entrepreneurship and equip them with the necessary skills through the use of digital platforms for starting and managing retail businesses.

"At Coca-Cola Philippines, we are committed to supporting the entrepreneurial spirit and unlocking the potential of aspiring entrepreneurs. The launch of the iSTAR Centers for Entrepreneurship is a testament to our dedication to foster economic growth and sustainable development at the community level," said Coca-Cola Philippines President Tony del Rosario during the launch of the CFE in Tagum, Davao del Norte.

The program is the result of a public-private partnership between the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and Coca-Cola Philippines. This collaboration supports Coca-Cola Philippines’ broader economic empowerment strategy to break the cycle of generational poverty. 

For more than a decade, this partnership has expanded with seven regional microfinance and non-governmental institutions across the country, making iSTAR’s modules free and accessible nationwide through the TESDA Online Program.

iSTAR aims to address key barriers that hinder the development of women entrepreneurs, such as limited access to training, resources, and mentorship. Through its expanded digital platform, iSTAR has empowered over 150,000 micro-entrepreneurs, surpassing its 2025 target of 100,000 graduates. Earlier this year, the program was showcased at the 68th session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) at the UN Headquarters in New York.

"These CFEs represent hope, opportunity, and the collective effort of our partners like TESDA and the Tagum City Council of Women Foundation Inc., whose dedication is instrumental in making this initiative a reality. Together, with a shared vision of economic empowerment, we can bridge existing gaps and create a truly inclusive environment where micro-entrepreneurship can thrive,” added del Rosario.

TESDA also acknowledges how the iSTAR program helps bridge the digital divide among micro and small businesses. "The Philippines is lagging behind in digitalization, but with Coca-Cola Philippines introducing this digital platform to educate and empower women, we are heading in the right direction," said TESDA Deputy Director General for Special Concerns Felizardo Colambo.

Building a network of sustainable support

The CFEs represent a strategic expansion of the iSTAR Program by establishing regional hubs that aim to provide business development, training, and support to micro-entrepreneurs.

The hubs will be managed by a network of trusted partners, including microfinance institutions, cooperatives, civil society organizations, and the local government units of the hubs’ locations. This initiative reinforces Coca-Cola Philippines' commitment to building the capacity of Filipinos in entrepreneurship and empowering them through the strategic use of digital platforms and the fostering of business networks.

"When the CFE was offered to us at the Tagum City Council of Women Foundation (TCCWFI), we accepted it with open arms, without hesitation. We immediately saw the need for it, not just in our area, but throughout Mindanao. We are grateful to the City Government of Tagum and Coca-Cola Philippines for bringing this initiative to our city,” said TCCWFI President Alma Uy.

Scaling impact with technology

The iSTAR Program and CFEs are among Coca-Cola Philippines’ projects that seek to leverage technology to amplify the reach and impact of its support for micro-retailers. It’s similar to the Tindahan Extra Mile (TEM): Balik PET Bottle program, which utilizes innovative methods to promote the circularity of plastic packaging.

TEM, in collaboration with the Basic Environmental Systems and Technologies, Inc. (BEST) and the Philippine Association of Stores and Carinderia Owners (PASCO), aims to support micro-retailers as frontline environmental advocates by helping transform their sari-sari stores and carinderias into collection points for recyclable PET bottles. With increased visibility and proximity to these drop-off bins, consumers are encouraged to dispose of their plastic bottles. Micro-retailers earn environmental points for collecting bottles, which can be redeemed for cashback and products, thereby strengthening their businesses.

Graduates of the iSTAR program are provided support to join Coca-Cola Philippines’ network of TEM partners so they can continue to grow their businesses and inspire their communities to keep their surroundings clean.

Learn more about Coca-Cola Philippines’ community initiatives by visiting the Coca-Cola Philippines Sustainability Hub.
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Schneider Electric named the world’s most sustainable company by Time magazine and Statista

Schneider Electric, the leader in the digital transformation of energy management and automation, has topped the "World's Most Sustainable Companies for 2024" list by Time magazine and Statista. This recognition reflects Schneider Electric's ambitious goals to reduce its own emissions, but also the company’s commitment to helping its customers to become more energy efficient and reduce their emissions.

Time and Statista highlighted Schneider Electric's technological expertise and the Schneider Sustainability Impact (SSI) program. This transformative program drives and measures the company’s progress toward global sustainability 2021–2025 targets contributing to six long-term commitments that cover all environmental, social, and governance (ESG) dimensions. Among this progress, the company helped customers reduce their carbon emissions, with 553 million tonnes of CO2 saved and avoided since 2018. The company has also made significant progress in transforming its own supply chain. Carbon emissions from Schneider Electric's top 1,000 suppliers fell by 27% since the beginning of the program — and 21% of the company's most strategic supply chain partners have met Schneider Electric's decent work standards.

"We are incredibly honored to be recognized as the world's most sustainable company," said Peter Herweck, CEO of Schneider Electric. “This achievement is a testament to our unwavering commitment to sustainability, which is embedded in everything we do. We consider the environment, society, and good governance in our decisions and daily operations. That's why we're pushing hard to make even more progress on our sustainability goals and ensure everyone contributes to creating a positive and enduring impact”.

Schneider Electric was also recently included in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index for the 13th consecutive year, ranked #1 in its industry and secured its place in the Europe index. This achievement reflects its strong environmental, social, and governance (ESG) performance, with sustainability at the core of its strategy. 

Time and Statista used a transparent, multi-stage methodology to identify the world's most sustainable companies for 2024. The process began with a pool of over 5,000 of the world's largest and most influential companies. Following a four-stage assessment, the final ranking considered factors like external sustainability ratings and commitments, corporate reporting practices, and environmental and social performance indicators. This comprehensive approach produced a ranking of 500 companies from over 30 countries.
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Your Curated Weekend Stay at lyf Malate Manila

Sunday, July 7, 2024

lyf Malate Manila has curated the perfect weekend getaway for your urban stay. From lyf’s chic accommodation to nearby historical landmarks, delectable true-Filipino cuisine, and vibrant social events, lyf has curated an exciting journey to help you make the most of your stay. Whether you're a local seeking a quick getaway, or a traveler exploring the city, break out of the norm and change up your lyf-style!

Step outside lyf Malate Manila and dive into the vibrant streets of Malate. Begin your journey at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where the city's rich culture unfolds before your eyes. Explore the historic Rizal Park, where lush landscapes and national heritage converge. Indulge in local experiences like kalesa rides and delicacies such as dirty ice cream for an authentic taste of Manila's charm. Afterwards, venture to Adriatico Street to discover the bohemian side of the city, where quaint cafés like Café Adriatico serve up original flavors perfected over 35 years. From Jim’s Pares Mami to Wok-Inn, and a variety of street food stalls offering isaw and taho, the culinary journey continues to unfold with an array of street food delights that capture the essence of Manila's distinct street culture.

As the sun sets, delve into the local art scene with lyf Malate Manila's curated cultural events, where artists and enthusiasts gather to celebrate creativity. These immersive experiences offer opportunities to connect, engage, and immerse yourself in Manila's ever-evolving creative community. With lyf's artistic space and social events, the property transforms into a cultural crossroads where individuals from diverse backgrounds unite to share, learn, and celebrate art and heritage.

Start your second day with a hearty breakfast at nearby eateries in Remedios Circle, or create your very own delight in lyf Malate Manila’s “Bond” kitchen and serve it at “Hangout” which are both located at the roof deck. Here, you can socialize with other travelers and locals while overlooking the sunrise and crafting your own specialties. For those exploring a unique side of flavor, you can explore an array of Spanish restaurants in the area such as Casa Armas, an authentic Spanish restaurant. Let your taste buds dance to the harmonious flavors of Spain, right in the heart of Manila.

Discover the rich cultural offerings of Manila, from the renowned performances at the Cultural Center of the Philippines to the priceless art and artifacts showcased at any of the four National Museums nearby. Take advantage of lyf Malate Manila's strategic location to explore nearby attractions like Escolta, home to the historic First United building, a masterpiece of art deco architecture hosting vibrant art events in Ermita.

Moreover, lyf Malate Manila caters to the needs of bleisure and business travelers alike with its array of facilities. Whether you're blending work and leisure or focusing solely on business, the property’s innovative spaces like Connect, a coworking and communal lounge area, and Nook, private working spaces, provide the ideal environment for productivity and collaboration. “We always try to make our amenities lively and accessible, and we do our best to bring all sorts of social events into the scene here at lyf. From mixers, live music, and art events, we make it a must that our guests have a unique lyf-style breakthrough in every stay, accompanied by a truly unforgettable Manila experience” said Joyce Pascual Agsaway, lyf Malate Manila’s lyf Champion (Residence Manager). 

Your weekend getaway is thoughtfully designed to accommodate your needs, merging rich, cultural nuances with value for comfort. You can fully indulge in one of the property's standout features: a myriad of spacious and generously appointed room options. The “One of a Kind" 1-bedroom units are tailor-made for solo travelers and couples, while the expansive allure of the All Together 2-bedroom and 4-bedroom units are primed for families and groups of friends ready to explore the vibrant city. Their fresh and fun architecture and interior is a unique take on modern luxury stays, and perfectly reflects the richness of Manila's lifestyle.

From the art-adorned common areas to the communal spaces that beckon conversations, every inch of lyf reflects the city's heartbeat, telling stories that go beyond words. These spaces aren't - just designed; they are conceived to be platforms for exploration, leisure, and rest as you stay at lyf Malate Manila. 

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Bayad and MyEG seals partnership, promoting accessible options for government services

Tuesday, July 2, 2024

Bayad, the pioneer brand in the outsourced bills payment collection system in the Philippines, and now a full-service fintech company, seals its partnership with MyEG, a market leader in electronic solutions providing online automation and government payment services in Malaysia and the Philippines.

Under the partnership, MyEG Philippines will integrate its biller brands with Bayad, allowing Bayad’s physical and digital touchpoints to accept payments for government institutions such Landbank of the Philippines – Link Biz, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA), Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA), Department of Health - Metro Manila Center for Health Development (DOH-MMCHD), Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA), and different Local Government Units (LGUs).

Bayad President and CEO Lawrence Y. Ferrer underscored “Financial inclusion plays a significant role in regaining the country’s economic growth. As industry movers, we are one with MyEG Philippines in enabling accessible payment solutions through our Bayad Centers, our partner establishments, and our mobile and web applications – the Bayad App and Bayad Online. All our efforts in Bayad are anchored in simplifying the payment experience of our kababayans as we help them elevate their standard of living.”

MyEG PH President and CEO Ann T. Saldaña also shared, “MyEG Philippines remains steadfast in its commitment to digitalization and enabling seamless government transactions. Through our partnership with Bayad, we will be able to provide convenient payment options that will help Filipinos secure their financial future. From government contributions, permits and important documents, all these can now be settled in real time.”

“We share the same goal with Bayad in strengthening the country’s financial inclusion and in fostering trust and confidence in our stakeholders.”, added Saldaña.

For fintech institutions like MyEG PH that are interested to be part of Bayad’s extensive bills payment collection network, you may send an email to Bayad enables partners to attain nationwide presence and provides end-to-end support services for efficient payment and collection processing.
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Discovery Shores Boracay & Club Paradise Palawan Receive Recognitions from Prestigious Travel + Leisure SEA

Discovery Shores Boracay and Club Paradise Palawan are deeply honored to receive recognitions from the prestigious Travel + Leisure Luxury Awards Asia Pacific 2024. These awards are a testament to the collective efforts of our dedicated teams who have consistently worked with passion and commitment to ensure our guests have memorable experiences.

Travel + Leisure’s award-giving body acknowledges top standing properties and key figures in the hospitality industry across the Asia Pacific, including regions such as Australia, Cambodia, Laos, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Macau, Malaysia, Maldives, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, the South Pacific, Thailand, and Vietnam. 

These accolades highlight the ongoing dedication and hard work of the teams at Discovery Shores Boracay and Club Paradise Palawan, who strive to provide exceptional service and unforgettable experiences to their guests.

Discovery Shores Boracay

Discovery Shores Boracay has been named one of the top 10 Philippine properties in the Beach Island + Upcountry Resorts category. Nestled on the pristine shores of Boracay Island, this luxurious resort offers breathtaking scenery, upscale accommodations, and world-class amenities. Over the years, the resort has continuously elevated its standards, ensuring that every guest enjoys a memorable stay amidst the stunning natural beauty of Boracay.

Club Paradise Palawan

Club Paradise Palawan also earned a distinguished spot, ranking among the top 5 Philippine properties in the Beach Island + Upcountry Resorts category. This serene retreat spans 19 hectares on Dimakya Island, surrounded by the stunning natural beauty of Palawan. Club Paradise Palawan not only offers an unparalleled getaway but also boasts of its General Manager, Joegil Magtanggol M. Escobar, who secured 2nd place in the Hotel General Managers category. 

Both Discovery Shores Boracay and Club Paradise Palawan were also honored in Travel + Leisure’s “Best Family Hotels and Resorts in the Philippines”, receiving the Family Approved stamp from T+L.

Club Paradise Palawan provides a variety of engaging activities for children through their Junior Hotelier program. Kids can explore the workings of the hotel, enjoy outdoor activities such as kayaking, swimming with turtles, paddling, Roblox escapades, exploring treehouses, and participating in creative projects organized by the hotel staff. This dedication to creating family-friendly experiences highlights the resort’s ongoing efforts to cater to guests of all ages.

Discovery Shores Boracay invites young guests to join the Kids’ Club, offering board games, books, puzzles, and other fun activities, including a Roblox metaverse treasure hunt. Children can also indulge in a kid-friendly boodle fight, a traditional feasting experience after playtime. The resort’s continuous innovation in providing engaging activities for children showcases its commitment to creating a welcoming and enjoyable environment for families.

These accolades reinforce Discovery Shores Boracay and Club Paradise Palawan as premier destinations in the global hospitality scene, showcasing their commitment to delivering extraordinary experiences and genuine Filipino hospitality.

Discovery Hospitality Corporation (DHC), the managing group behind these two award-winning properties, is a home-grown Filipino hospitality group that has been a pioneer in the industry. DHC operates a diverse collection of properties in the Philippines’ top destinations, consistently striving to deliver authentic experiences with genuine Filipino warmth. 

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Deel Launches Deel Physical Spend Cards Worldwide

Deel VISA physical card is now available for contractors in 20 countries.

Deel, a global HR company, today announced the global launch of its physical spend card, now accessible for contractors in 20 countries, with many more planned to land soon. This brings contractors one step closer to accessible global purchasing power, allowing them to gain instant access to their earnings, shop worldwide, pay securely, and hold their money in a more stable currency. 

The Deel Card acts as a spend card (both virtual & physical), empowering contractors to make purchases and payments with ease wherever they are, and avoiding the hassle of waiting for funds to clear in their bank account before they can access them. Now, with Deel Card, they can start spending their hard-earned income immediately.

Contractors usually face challenges when it comes to managing finances. Deel Card gives them the flexibility to spend their funds the way they want. Furthermore, receiving funds and spending them in USD can be difficult for those without a US-based bank. Now, the Deel Card can allow contractors to hold their balance in USD, providing greater stability and flexibility, no matter where their life (or work) takes them.

The Deel Card is a global VISA card powered by Airwallex, a leading global payments and financial platform for modern businesses. Airwallex’s infrastructure allows Deel to set up accounts in multiple locations, and issue local cards to customers in Brazil, Argentina, Australia, and several other markets. By issuing a card locally, Deel contractors can take advantage of lower costs and higher acceptance rates when making purchases compared to international cards. 

“Our focus at Deel is to offer contractors the best payments experience possible and that includes flexibility and speed. Now with Deel’s physical card, they’ll be able to access their money faster and in USD, no matter their location,” says Dan Westgarth, Chief Operations Officer at Deel.

“The ability to operate across borders can unlock substantial growth for companies of all sizes – by accelerating international expansion, optimizing supply chains, or attracting the best talent,” said Ravi Adusumilli, Executive General Manager, Americas, Airwallex. “Deel and Airwallex have a shared goal of shaping the future of work, by allowing contractors to receive and spend their earnings anytime, anywhere, and in their preferred currency.”

How does it work?

Requesting a Deel Card is as simple as a few taps on the Deel app. Once approved and delivered, contractors will be ready to use it for all their physical transactions. A virtual card option is also available for online transactions.

With the Deel Card contractors can:

  • Access money faster: No more waiting for funds to hit their bank account—get instant access to their income.
  • Hold their balance in USD: Enjoy the stability of holding your balance in USD; perfect for international contractors with less stable currencies.
  • Spend securely: Every transaction made with the Deel Card is secure, giving peace of mind with every payment.
  • Accepted around the globe: Wherever contractors go, the Deel Card makes the perfect companion for any journey.
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lyf Cebu City: Work and Play's Newest Address in Baseline Center, Cebu

lyf Cebu City, the first international experience-led social living serviced residence in the heart of Cebu, invites professionals, digital nomads, and working travelers to experience the perfect blend of work and play in a culturally rich environment. With its unique spaces and amenities, the property offers a haven for those seeking to immerse themselves in diverse cultures, maintain productivity, and create lasting connections within a vibrant community.

“lyf Cebu City's international standard of serviced residence has the potential to ignite remarkable growth in the region. By offering a dynamic and inclusive environment, it encourages collaboration, innovation, and cultural exchange.” said Cecille Teodoro, The Ascott Limited’s Cluster General Manager. “This property also adds significant value to Ascott’s already diverse portfolio, furthering our commitment to offering a comprehensive range of accommodations tailored to the evolving demands of today's business landscape in the Visayas and Mindanao regions.”

Cebu is renowned for its rich cultural heritage, and lyf Cebu City serves as a gateway to embracing the city's unique offerings. Situated at Baseline Cebu, not far from the city's capital, guests can be nestled in a dynamic urban setting, as this serviced residence seamlessly blends modern living with Cebu's rich cultural heritage. 

Baseline Center stands out as a strategic location for leisure and business or both, for several reasons. Its prime district positioning within a kilometer radius of top-notch universities, schools, hospitals, and commercial establishments ensures convenience for many facets of travel. 

Additionally, the development’s integration into the vibrant urban landscape of Cebu makes it an ideal destination for leisure travelers. With its mix-used development featuring sustainable, long-term office, residential, and recreational venues, guests can seamlessly transition between work and play. Its accessibility to main road points such as Osmena Blvd., Escario St., and Mango Avenue also adds to its appeal as a strategic hub for business travelers. 

Start your lyf Cebu City experience at the Say Hi check-in counter, where trained staff will warmly welcome guests and ensure a smooth and personalized check-in process. The team is committed to delivering exceptional service and assisting guests throughout their stay, whether through providing local recommendations, arranging transportation, or addressing any inquiries one may have.

The co-living spaces at lyf Cebu City have been thoughtfully designed to cater to the modern professional's needs. The Connect (Coworking Space and Communal Lounge) provides an inspiring atmosphere that allows professionals to have that extra push to complete every task or a private space for those looking to take meetings or simply work in peace. 

Once work for the day ends and it’s time to turn off the digital gadgets, lyf Cebu City’s other amenities are available to give the proper stress relief that guests yearn for following a long shift. Guests can channel their inner foodie and go on a culinary journey at the Bond (Social Kitchen), where they can unleash their creativity and cook extraordinary dishes.

Guests can also unwind and share stories with fellow professionals at the Hangout (Mezzanine). The area offers a space for professionals to tell relatable experiences since guests are surrounded by fellow hardworking individuals who can provide valuable insights or company to share a drink with while overlooking the breathtaking view of Cebu.

For those looking to work up a sweat and release some stress following a long day of work, they can do exactly that within the confines of lyf Cebu. At the Burn (Social Gym), guests can have easy access to a 24/7 fully equipped gym that can accommodate any guest’s fitness needs. 

Guests who prefer a more recreational and relaxing pastime can take advantage of the Dip (Dipping Pool). Take a refreshing dip in the pool’s crystal-clear waters, unwind on the comfortable loungers, or simply bask in the sun while enjoying the vibrant ambiance within lyf Cebu City while the city’s ever-changing skyline beats nearby.

"We invite everyone to come and experience lyf Cebu City, where work and play seamlessly intertwine in a culturally rich setting," encouraged Rey Vergel Mulat, lyf Champion (Residence Manager). "Step into our vibrant community, immerse yourself in the local culture, and create unforgettable memories. Our flexible and thoughtfully designed spaces provide the perfect balance between work and relaxation, allowing you to seamlessly transition between professional commitments and personal downtime. With our modern amenities, well-equipped workspaces, and vibrant communal areas, you'll find everything you need to stay productive and connected." 

lyf Cebu City is now open and ready to welcome guests seeking a culturally immersive and productive experience. 
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