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Congress Honors Roberto E. Aboitiz



A resolution honoring the life and work of Ramon Aboitiz Foundation, Inc. (RAFI) President Roberto E. Aboitiz has been adopted by the House of Representatives in plenary last May 9, 2017.

Authored by 10 Cebuano representatives, House Resolution No. 54 is entitled “A resolution honoring Mr. Roberto Eduardo Melendez Aboitiz, Chairman of the Board and President of the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation, Inc. and Co-Chairman of the Metro Cebu Development and Coordinating Board, his leadership and contribution in business and social development and expressing condolences on his demise.”

According to Cebu City North District Rep. Raul del Mar, the House Resolution will be submitted to the Speaker of the House Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez this week for signature.

The resolution recognizes and honors the life, legacy, and memory of Mr. Aboitiz and the impact his work has left in the Philippines, particularly in Cebu.

“He demonstrated the essence of service-oriented leadership: promoting respect, courtesy, and diplomacy; embodying stability, security, and humility; and cultivating character (with a sincere heart of service and compassion), competence, (leading with excellence and integrity), and citizenship (with a deep love for his community, country, and people),” reads the resolution.

Mr. Aboitiz assumed leadership of RAFI in 1986 after the death of his father, Don Eduardo Juan Aboitiz, bringing the foundation to new levels of engagements with the public, private, and civil society sectors at the local, national, and international levels.

Mr. Aboitiz is best known for being a visionary and his “bugsay” leadership principle, a Visayan word for “oar” or “paddle,” which refers to his leadership philosophy emphasizing that each person is accountable and determined in paddling towards their goal and bringing about positive change in their communities.

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Make Way for the OPPO F5 Red!



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OPPO Philippines sure knows how to kick off the year with surprises and exciting opportunities for selfie-lovers everywhere. Just when everyone thought that selfies could not get any better, comes the OPPO F5 that’s not only best for capturing real moments, but also stylish and trendy. Just last week, OPPO’s very own influencers were seen flaunting a bright red smartphone on their social media accounts, teasing the public about its upcoming smartphone in fierce red color. And the long wait is over because the much-awaited OPPO F5 Red is now available in the Philippines in all OPPO concept stores nationwide.

Ready to paint the town RED

Living up to its Selfie Expert handle, the OPPO F5 Red is the latest addition to the F5 line-up which boasts of the A.I. Beauty Recognition Technology, designed to capture the real you that can help selfies look more attractive and natural. Now available in fierce red color, the OPPO F5

Red is the ideal smartphone for users who aspire to create a statement through the smartphones they carry. It highlights OPPO’s advanced beauty technology in a more fashionable and lifestyle approach through its distinct color.

The OPPO F5 Red shares similar features with the OPPO F5 – from camera specs and beauty technology, speedy facial unlock, and performance. It features a 20MP front camera and a 16MP rear camera with a higher resolution (2160×1080) and better photo quality. In addition, it has 4GB of RAM best for multi-tasking and a 32GB storage for apps, videos, and selfies.

“The OPPO F5 is making waves in the smartphone market with its proven A.I. Beauty Recognition Technology and we are happy to announce that we are now offering it in a much-desired red color. This answers the need of our customers who are looking for a stylish, functional, and selfie-centric smartphone, ideal for today’s social media-driven lifestyle,” said Eason De Guzman, OPPO Philippines’ PR Manager.

The OPPO F5 Red is priced at Php 15,990. And for users who are looking for an OPPO F5 with stronger and more seamless performance, the OPPO F5 6GB in red is also available for Php 21,990 in all OPPO concept stores nationwide.

For more information about the whole OPPO F5 series, customers may visit the OPPO website. They can also follow OPPO on Facebook  for the store list and latest updates.

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In The Business of Helping Communities and the Environment



Citronella farmers in Imbayao, Malaybalay, Bukidnon harvest grass for the essential oils in Human Nature’s products.

Vulnerable people who get integrated into Inclusive Business models are finding opportunities for well-paying jobs, raised incomes, and increased roles in responding to challenges related to the environment. This is how Filipino companies like EcoIngenuity Inc. and Gandang Kalikasan, Inc. (GKI) are making an impact in the lives of communities they work with.

As companies with inclusive business models, EcoIngenuity Inc. and GKI belong to the category of businesses that tap suppliers, distributors, or partners poor communities. Inclusive Business models can also tap the poor as consumers by making relevant products or services accessible to them.

GKI operates the beauty brand Human Nature, which strictly adheres to the environmental and safety principles of the Natural Products Association (NPA), a Washington D.C.-based nonprofit organization that serves as a natural products industry watchdog to protect consumers from unsafe products.

EcoIngenuity is the company behind the brand Jacinto & Lirio, which creates multi-functional and sustainably made leather goods out of water hyacinth. Known as the most damaging aquatic plant, water hyacinth has infested communities by the Pasig River and Laguna De Bay. Water hyacinth contributes to higher flood levels because it clogs waterways. In communities where there is water hyacinth infestation, fish kills are rampant, and the rate of water-borne diseases are high.

For people and planet

The communities that work with both GKI and EcoIngenuity found opportunities to gain useful skills, increase their income levels, and connect with relevant markets.

Human Nature’s suppliers of raw materials such as citronella, coco nectar, and lemongrass hail from more than 23 communities and social enterprises across the Philippines. In the communities located in Bukidnon and Camarines Norte, women make up at least 40 percent of the workers. Most of these farmers have limited education and rely on subsistence farming to make a living. They have no land of their own and because they are found in remote areas, they have limited exposure to their potential markets.

To help these farmers raise their income, Human Nature builds on their capacity of their farmers, provides testing support and seeds, and buys their raw materials at fair, above-market prices. For example, Human Nature purchases citronella oil at 40 to 60 percent above market value.

Women from the Water Hyacinth Livelihood Initiative process dried hyacinth to produce the plant-based leather used in the creation of Jacinto & Lirio’s products.

Part of Human Nature’s capacity building efforts for marginalized communities are skills training, values formation program, and the allocation of profits for scholarships. The recipients of these scholarship programs receive training and education for agri-social entrepreneurship.

Aside from supporting farming communities, 58 percent of Human Nature’s workforce hail from low-skilled, marginalized sectors in Manila and Laguna. These employees receive 68 percent more than the legal minimum wage so that if they belong to a family of four, they can enjoy better standards of living.

Like Human Nature, EcoIngenuity’s Jacinto & Lirio also provides women with opportunities. All of Jacinto & Lirio’s beneficiaries are women from seven different communities in Pasig City, Rizal, Laguna and Pampanga. Most of them are stay-at-home mothers from Rizal who live in water hyacinth-infested rural areas. They cannot work in a normal office setup because they take care of the households while their husbands are away working. By working with Jacinto & Lirio, these women learned to utilize water hyacinth as material for multifunctional and stylish leather goods such as planners, journals and bags.

Jacinto & Lirio helped bring back life to the water hyacinth infested areas and create opportunities for the communities’ mothers who also learned to offer services like embroidery, laser etching, and creating full colored prints. This helped the women increased their households’ income, so they can better provide for their family’s needs. Aside from creating leather goods, they get linked to relevant markets to help ensure sustainability of their income.

Shared prosperity through Inclusive Business

Inclusive Business took center stage in ASEAN 2017, which the Philippines chaired. The Inclusive Business Summit was a highlight of the Philippines’ ASEAN chairmanship. Inclusive business models across the ASEAN also took center stage during the ASEAN Inclusive Business Awards 2017, an integral part of the ASEAN Business Awards initiated by the Department of Trade and Industry-Board of Investments (DTI-BOI) in partnership with the Asian Development Bank, Asian Business Advisory Council, Credit Suisse, and the International Finance Corporation. Both EcoIngenuity and GKI were nominees to the ASEAN Inclusive Business Awards.

Aside from advocating for Inclusive Business in ASEAN, the Philippine government is promoting Inclusive Business in the country. Under the Philippines’ Investment Priorities Plan (IPP) 2017-2019, medium and large firms in the agribusiness and tourism sectors may receive five-year tax holidays if they implement inclusive business models.

To qualify for these incentives, the larger companies should integrate small and medium enterprises in their value chain. The companies should also be implementing their inclusive business models during a three-year year period.

“The impact of Inclusive Business goes beyond social impact to make a difference in issues like environmental concerns,” said Trade Undersecretary and Board of Investments Managing Head Ceferino Rodolfo said. “As ASEAN governments try to create a more enabling environment for Inclusive Business, we look forward to seeing more companies become inclusive businesses that help promote economic and environmental sustainability.”

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Pag-IBIG Fund – La Union to Sponsor Mass Wedding on Feb. 14




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The Home Development Mutual Fund (HDMF) otherwise known as the Pag-IBIG Fund in La Union will sponsor anew a mass wedding in time for the Valentine’s Day.

Rachael H. Gallano, supervising marketing specialist of Pag-IBIG Fund – La Union, said the mass civil wedding on February 14 dubbed as “I Do, I Do Araw ng Pag-Ibig” will be in partnership with the local government of Luna.

“This is a nationwide project of Pag-IBIG Fund to help couples save time and money for their wedding. In La Union, the wedding of 110 couples will take place at the popular Luna watch tower,” Gallano said.

To be able to tie the knot, Gallano said one or both of the couples must be a Pag-IBIG member. If not, they are required to apply for membership and remit an initial P100 savings.

Pag-IBIG Fund will sponsor the decorations and set up of the venue which will be Moroccan-themed, symbolic rings, headdress and bouquet of the bride, as well as snacks.

The municipality of Luna, on one hand, will shoulder the marriage license fee, stage, lights, and sound system. Mayor Vic Marron will officiate the wedding.

Expenses for the wedding gown or suit and required documents such as birth certificate and certificate of no marriage will be handled by the couples.

“Cash and vacation packages will be raffled off in lieu of the house and lot to benefit more couples,” Gallano informed.

Interested couples may register at Luna Municipal Social Welfare Office or the Pag-IBIG office at Government Center, Sevilla in San Fernando City, La Union.

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A New Year, a New Limited Edition Whisky From Johnnie Walker



Image Source: Johnnie Walker Logo (PRNewsFoto/Johnnie Walker)

The dawn of a new year brings new plans, new resolutions and new beginnings – but for the team of 12 expert whisky makers at Johnnie Walker, this is the case everyday as they continue to push the boundaries of flavor in Scotch Whisky.

This New Year, the team behind the world’s number one Scotch Whisky brand [1] , has released a special edition whisky exclusive to travelers: Johnnie Walker Blenders’ Batch Sherry Cask Finish – available now in duty free stores worldwide.

Image Source: PRNewsfoto/Johnnie Walker

The Johnnie Walker Blenders’ Batch portfolio is a series of whiskies crafted with the freedom to create blends that challenge whisky making traditions. The result is a unique series of experimental whiskies which deliver distinctive flavors and amazing serves.

The experiment behind this latest release took inspiration from the iconic Johnnie Walker Black Label, which has been crafted with an element of sherry cask maturation for over a hundred years. Inspired by this process, the whisky makers at Johnnie Walker wanted to delve deeper and explore the fruity notes that sherry cask maturation brings to the taste – creating the deliciously rich and sweet Johnnie Walker Blenders Batch Sherry Cask Finish, aged 12 years.

Made with whiskies from distilleries such as Blair Athol, Cardhu and Strathmill, Johnnie Walker Blenders’ Batch Sherry Cask Finish is a smooth-sipping dark Scotch with notes of sweet vanilla, smoke, raisins and a warming finish of dark chocolate.

Aimee Gibson, Johnnie Walker expert whisky maker said: “Johnnie Walker Blenders’ Batch whiskies are the result of bold experiments that push the boundaries in flavour. Taking inspiration from the element of sherry cask maturation in Johnnie Walker Black Label, I was intrigued by the rich and fruity taste it added to the blend. It inspired me to experiment with the sherry cask finish to awaken more of these fruity notes and to add a unique flavour dynamic.”

“The outcome has been extraordinary; Johnnie Walker Blenders’ Batch Sherry Cask Finish is a fantastically sweet and rich whisky. It’s the perfect introduction for those who are new to Scotch Whisky, but will also excite seasoned whisky lovers,” she added.

Commenting on the travel retail exclusivity, Dayalan Nayager, Managing Director of Diageo Global Travel said “This is a special launch for Diageo Global Travel because it’s exclusive to our shoppers. It is the first travel retail exclusive from the Johnnie Walker Blenders’ Batch series and will make the perfect purchase for travelers who want to gift something truly special in the New Year.”

“Travelers are looking for brands that have discovery, authenticity, craftsmanship and real human stories behind them, and there is none better than Johnnie Walker. We are thrilled to offer shoppers a glimpse into the world of flavor exploration from the world’s biggest Scotch Whisky brand and add another innovation to our range.”

The best way to enjoy Johnnie Walker Blenders’ Batch Sherry Cask Finish is to mix it with ginger ale and garnish with a fresh orange segment to create a delicious home-made cocktail. Much like Johnnie Walker Black Label, this new whisky is perfect for mixing. Serve this long drink in the evening and add a taste of richness to those nights in full swing, when conversation flows.

Treat yourself or someone else to an exciting new flavour this New Year. Travelers can pick up a bottle of Johnnie Walker Sherry Cask Finish in selected duty free stores worldwide now, retailing at GBP26.50 / $44 RRSP for a 1 litre bottle. (Johnnie Walker)

[1] The IWSR 2017- based on volume and value data 2016

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