Pru Life UK hosts nationwide events for aspiring financial advisors

Tuesday, July 9, 2024

Join Pru Life UK's Build Your Business Sessions this July!

In a bid to nurture entrepreneurial talent and drive financial security across the country, leading life insurer Pru Life UK is set to continue its series of Build Your Business (BYB) sessions throughout July. 

Held both in-person and virtually nationwide, these sessions offer budding entrepreneurs valuable insights into building a sustainable and financially stable business in the life insurance industry. 

By holding these sessions, Pru Life UK aims to expand its 38,000-strong agency force, ultimately contributing to the broader goal of securing the lives of more Filipino families. 

Expanding Nationwide Presence

Pru Life UK will host BYB sessions in strategic locations across the country, providing more Filipinos with the opportunity to explore a rewarding career in financial advisory.

This July, BYB sessions will be held in Metro Manila (Makati, Ortigas, QC), South (Alabang, Laguna), North (Baguio, Cavite, Pangasinan), and VisMin (Cebu, Davao). Additionally, virtual sessions are accessible and open to all.

Participants will learn from experienced financial advisors who will share their knowledge and success stories, providing a roadmap for empowered newcomers to follow. The initiative highlights Pru Life UK's commitment to empowering individuals to achieve their professional aspirations while making a positive impact on their communities.

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51% of women-led SMEs surveyed in the Philippines experience increased revenue after accepting digital payments

Monday, July 8, 2024

Visa, a global leader in digital payments, conducted a survey on small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) in the Philippines. Findings show that 51% of women-led SMEs and 56% of micro-businesses experienced revenue growth with digital payments adoption. Given women constitute over half of Asia's population and SMEs' vital role in the economy, maximizing women's economic potential could add $89 billion annually to the Asia Pacific economy including in the Philippines. 

SMEs are crucial for economic growth in the Philippines, with more than a million Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the country. The Philippines’ Department of Trade and Industry data show that 99.5% of businesses in the country are MSMEs with almost 50% of them in wholesale and retail trade, generating 65% of total employment. Furthermore, the Asian Development Bank estimated that MSMEs contribute around 36% of the country’s GDP[1].

The Visa study found that managing businesses has become easier for 72% of the surveyed SMEs in the Philippines. Wallets, predominantly GCash, dominate as the main provider of digital payment for SMEs, especially those that are female-led (61%) who were surveyed in the Philippines. Visa has partnered with GCash to introduce the new GCash Card – giving millions of unbanked Filipinos access to the benefits of owning a payment card. 

Among the businesses that have started accepting digital payments, those accepting cards witnessed the most significant turnover increases (83%). Digital payments provide instant transfers and enable cashless transactions for an enhanced commerce experience. Visa supports SMEs in the Philippines by offering widespread acceptance and robust protection for both merchants and customers, guarding against fraudulent activities.

Guaya Melgar, CEO and Co-Founder of Mochi, a billing and collections platform, said: “My business has grown since I introduced digital payment methods. I appreciate the convenience, speed, and the ability to easily track payment records. It provides my customers with a convenient cashless payment option too. I hope to expand my business beyond the Philippines so enabling cross-border payments will help me grow my customer base.”

"Small and medium-sized businesses are the driving force behind the thriving economy in the Philippines. Visa is proud to contribute to their growth by providing secure and convenient digital payment solutions,” said Jeff Navarro, Visa’s Country Manager for the Philippines. “Visa is committed to continuously supporting the Philippine government’s financial inclusion and digitization goals, including empowering SMEs, the cornerstone of the economy, by introducing innovative financial and payment solutions so they can build on this foundation to grow their business.” 

Visa recently launched a SME online toolkit to enable tourism merchants to maximize the benefits of contactless payments. In 2023, Visa launched the SME Accelerator Program in the Philippines to support SMEs and partners through competitive pricing, faster onboarding, and comprehensive take-to-market support. The expanded SME Accelerator initiatives will also focus on a wider set of partnerships with ecosystem participants to serve smaller sellers and fast-track solutions deployment for SMEs. 

The Visa Foundation has also pledged $100 million over five years to accelerate access for underrepresented and women-led SMEs in APEC economies, including in the Philippines. Of the nearly 67 million SMEs reached by Visa globally, approximately 29.6 million are from APEC economies, with 10.9 million being women-led SMEs. 

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Your Haven With an Investment Edge: RLC Residences unveils the last tower of Le Pont Residences

Le Pont Residences continues to bridge Filipinos to their best life

Le Pont Residences, which translates to “The Bridge,” has linked Filipinos to their best life at the 31-hectare master-planned Bridgetowne Destination Estate (BDE). RLC Residences’ premium high-rise property launched its first tower in 2023 and is now introducing its second. 

Le Pont Residences’ first tower is now 85% sold, one of the fastest-selling residential developments in the area. Aspiring homeowners can still have their slice of heaven with the remaining units or invest in the new tower. Le Pont Residences’ second tower will keep the sophisticated charm of its first tower, along with new features to look forward to.

“Le Pont Residences is both a haven and an investment opportunity. It’s only been 1 year and 6 months since we first introduced the first tower, but it already appreciated by 8% in net value, with units currently valued at Php 310K/sqm compared to the initial launch price of Php 286K/sqm. We are proud of this performance, which is much higher than the government 10-year tenor of 6.5%," reveals John Richard Sotelo, RLC Residences’ Senior Vice President and Business Unit General Manager and Robinsons Land Chief Marketing Officer.

The new tower features an enhanced selection of units, including bi-level penthouse units (±390 sqm) featuring an iconic curved staircase that serves as the home’s beautiful centerpiece. Tower 2 also features one (±46 sqm) - to four-bedroom (±220 sqm) homes, including an executive one-bedroom unit at ±63 sqm. All units come with loggia and thoughtful deliverables such as an engineered wood finish across the home and appliances like an air conditioner, refrigerator, cooktop, and washer and dryer, with additional dishwasher for Penthouse Units. Units also have smart home features such as A/V intercom, smart door lock, and smart switch, as well as multiple ethernet hubs and mesh devices.

Moreover, Tower 2 will access the same host of amenities offered at Tower 1, including the podium, clubhouse, work lounge, fitness deck, meeting room, pet park, swimming pools, and the tower’s own Altitude 51 - home to party units, sky lounge, and grilling area perfect for private gatherings. Furthermore, residents of Tower 2 can enjoy a new game simulation room. 

Haven with an investment edge

Le Pont Residences

Le Pont Residences has proven its future readiness distinction as it is the first and only EDGE-certified building in Bridgetowne Destination Estate. EDGE or Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies, is a green building standard and certification system by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) that evaluates various developments across the globe. 

Moreover, the existing and upcoming developments at Bridgetowne Destination Estate will drive Le Pont Residences’ value. The destination estate is an emerging business district and lifestyle hub home to a collection of sustainable office buildings, green spaces, retail, and other full-scale commercial establishments.

Internationally certified office buildings like GBF, Campus One, Tera, Exxa, Zeta, and Giga Towers give homeowners at Le Pont Residences easy access to their workplaces. Tera Tower is certified by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), while Zeta Tower is built with sustainable green building features for energy savings and an enhanced work environment.

Bridgetowne will also soon be home to premium shopping centers like Opus Mall. The luxury commercial space will have five floors of local and international brands in a world-class interior design concept.

Lastly, Fili will be the first authentic 5-star Filipino hotel. The property will combine the finest hotel offerings with modern Filipino elements, including locally crafted finishings, breathtaking skyline views, and a unique gastronomic experience. 

Towering over the entire destination estate is The Victor. The 60-meter-high statue, designed by Jefrё Manuel-Figueras, is one of the world’s tallest art installations and pays homage to the resilience and unwavering determination that resides within every Filipino.

Aspiring residents can find these and more at Bridgetowne. The destination estate sits in a prime location connecting Quezon City and Pasig. Homeowners can access the rest of Metro Manila via three major thoroughfares—C5 Road, Ortigas Avenue, and Amang Rodriguez Avenue.

“We are proud of how Le Pont Residences is designed to be a one-of-a-kind residential development in Bridgetowne Destination Estate. This project is also an epitome of our Raise, Live, Connect philosophy - which is providing our residents with beautiful, well-designed homes that elevate their lifestyle, while at the same time presenting an excellent investment opportunity,” says Karen Cesario, RLC Residences’ Marketing Head and Chief Integration Officer.

Interested investors and homeseekers looking for a haven with an investment edge may connect with a Property Specialist through
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Coca-Cola PH continues to empower micro-retailers with the launch of new centers to provide entrepreneurial skills

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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