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Friday, October 20, 2017

DOTr's "Notice to Terninate" to BURI

Please be informed that on 17 October 2017, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) served upon BURI a Notice to Terminate (Notice) its MRT-3 contract due to the following reasons:

1. Poor performance;

2. Failure to put in service and subsequently ensure the availability of contractually obligated number of trains, and more importantly, for failure to put in operation reliable and efficient trains;

3. Failure to implement a feasible procurement plan for spare parts, as it in fact failed to procure and store the required volume of spare parts, which affected its ability to effect immediate repairs on defective trains and other facilities of the MRT-3 system, and;

4. Failure to comply with the contractual requirements of a complete and up to date Computerized Maintenance Management System.

Further, please be informed that BURI was given 7 calendar days upon its receipt of the Notice to respond and submit a verified position paper stating why its contract should not be terminated. After which, the DOTr shall have 10 days, upon receipt of BURI's response, to decide whether or not it will issue an Order to terminate the entire contract.

Thank you.

32 New Elevators, 13 New Escalators at LRT-2 Stations Now Ready for Public Use

In order to enhance accessibility and convenience of rail commuters, the Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA) simultaneously opened yesterday, 19 October 2017, 32 new elevators and 13 escalators in various LRT Line 2 (LRT-2) stations.

LRTA Administrator Reynaldo Berroya, who led the simple opening rites at the LRT-2 Recto Station in Manila, said the project is in line with the objective of the Duterte administration to provide the riding public, especially senior citizens, persons with disabilities (PWDs) and pregnant women, a safer and more accessible commuting experience.

“Ito po ay handog ng ating Pangulong Duterte sa ating mga mananakay upang maging madali ang pagbi-biyahe,” Gen. Berroya said, noting that the elevators have rails that are user-friendly to PWDs, particularly the blind.

Gen. Berroya likewise expressed his gratitude for the support given by Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade to the rehabilitation program of LRTA.

Berroya noted that the operationalization of elevators and escalators is part of the newly-installed, state-of-the-art and durable conveyance system of the LRTA, which is designed to last from 10 to 15 years.

Berroya said this is the first time that the conveyance system has been replaced since LRT-2 started operations in 2003.

“Yung nakaraang anim na taon sira yan kaya kawawa yung mga pasahero noon,” he said.

Apart from the conveyance system, rehabilitation projects of LRT-2 include the systematic replacement of all train air-conditioning systems, restoration of four trains and rehabilitation of station facilities and equipment. ​​​​​​

The LRT-2 runs from Santolan in Pasig to Recto in Manila, and has an average ridership of over 252,000 passengers daily.

Aegis Juris Fraternity: How to Get Away with Murder 101

The Aegis Juris fraternity members attempted to 'cover up, conceal' the UST law student's death.

It is shocking that upcoming and existing lawyers from this frat are like these. The so called future generations of lawyers are actually a new breed of criminals, cowards and liars. They will twist and manipulate the law to save themselves. It makes you wonder if all lawyers that once belonged to a frat are also like these. There is truth in the saying that Lawyers are liars. They work around the law to save their guilty clients confirming that the affluent who can conveniently hire good lawyers usually get away with crimes.

The Facebook conversation of Aegis Juris Fraternity members that focused on Horatio "Atio" Castillo's hazing death, as presented in the Senate reveals how the frat members attempted to get away with "murder." Good for us that they are amateurs since it's probably their first time to encounter death during their hazing activities. If there's a class/subject on how to get away with murder 101... I think they're about to retake it again. Who knows how long they have been doing this and if everyone else were taught to behave like this.

This is appalling! Such a disgrace not only for the university but for their families and the profession!

I am sorry for the loss of the parents of the UST student but luckily they are in power to make a difference in other students life that wants to participate in Fraternities like this one. Can we just not miss the fact that the freshman willfully joined a frat even though he knew he’s not supposed to.

Fraternities and sororities are false brotherhood and sisterhood at its finest. When you join a group who encourages you to side with each other even if at fault, then you do not deserve to be part of society. I just hope justice will finally prevail and all these educated criminals be disbarred.

It is just very disappointing how slow and hassle the process of finding justice for your brutally murdered kin in the Philippines despite of the apparent concrete evidences being laid out.

I'm somehow elated by the fact that amidst all the evil planning these so-called lawyers were doing that time, one man (Michael Vito), stood his ground and bravely reminded his brods about their fraternity's sacred mantra "Do no injustice, suffer no injustice."

It's appalling to see how these young lawyers turned their back from their sacred oath:

"I will do no falsehood, nor consent to the doing of any in court; I will not wittingly or willingly promote or sue any groundless, false or unlawful suit, or give aid nor consent to the same;"

One even mentioned that they did no injustice, citing it was an accident. Is that how justice works for these 'future' court judges and politicians. No wonder our country's in deep sh*t.

The deep side of this crime is mind boggling. Really, these are lawyers and lawyers to be? We are led to believe that these lawyers take an oath after they pass the bar exam to uphold the law. They uphold their dark characters, their criminal minds thinking they are lawyers and above the law. Instead of having balls to accept the consequences if their action, they resort into lies and perjury that will bite the asses.

*The Aegis Jvris Fraternity is a recognized law school based fraternity exclusively domiciled in the Faculty of Civil Law, University of Santo Tomas. Established since 1979, Aegis Jvris, literally mean Shield of Justice in latin, was founded by 25 young, idealistic, and brave founders who have sown the fraternal seeds which have grown to... become the most dynamic, and active law fraternity in the Faculty. The Aegis Jvris Fraternity pride itself by having 5 deeply rooted principles of Academic Excellence, Equality, Godliness, Integrity, and Service.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

It’s a Fun-Filled Halloween for All Ages at Shang this October

Halloween is here once again, and Shangri-La Plaza has lined up thrilling events for mall guests of all ages to enjoy. 

Visit the Toy Frenzy with the Boo Crew happening from October 19 to 29 at Level 1, Main Wing. Stock up on board games to play and bond over with the whole family from Hobbes & Landes; choose from a range of child-friendly books from National Bookstore; score educational toys from Build City; get child development tools for your infant or toddler from Ogalala; or simply discover what’s new from other participating merchants. Young players can visit Alter Ego’s board game events on October 21-22 and 28-29 at Level 5 of the East Wing.

See your favorite characters and superheroes in all their life-sized glory with the Halloween Installations from October 20 to 29 located in different areas of the mall. Pose with The Hulk, Iron Man, and Spiderman; cute characters such as Hello Kitty and the Minions; or the Star Wars iconic Stormtroopers, R2-D2, and C-3PO.

Bring the kids and dress them up in their best costume for the one-day-only mall-wide Trick or Treat on October 29 where little ones can go from store to store to receive sweet treats and surprise goodies.

Then, from October 30 till November 7, mall guests can shop their way into Dino Planet at the IMMRSV Dome located in the Grand Atrium. Enjoy a spectacular 360-degree view of the Earth in the age of triceratops and velociraptors. People of all ages will be awed by the one-of-a-kind experience of exploring the tropical forests and learning about these majestic creatures.  

Enjoy all these Halloween festivities when you come by the Shang this month of October.

For inquiries, call 370-2597/98 or visit Follow the Shang on Instagram: @shangrilaplazaofficial.

Fujitsu Selects Cebu for Philippines Expansion

Fujitsu is expanding its Global Delivery Center (GDC) network with a new office in Cebu, which opens officially today. The satellite office is an extension of Fujitsu’s GDC in Manila. From the Manila office, which opened in 1993, Fujitsu delivers extensive services in Remote Infrastructure Management, Service Desk, Application Services and Business Process Outsourcing, primarily to customers in the Asia Pacific region, North America, Europe, the Middle East, India, Africa and Oceania. The teams working in Cebu will initially focus on providing Fujitsu customers with support in business application development.

With the highly skilled Philippines workforce supporting current and future software application, Fujitsu aims to help customers quickly, efficiently and cost-effectively develop, upgrade and maintain their business applications. The high proportion of Japanese speakers in the region was another key factor in Fujitsu’s decision to choose Cebu, and to create 400 new positions there over the next two years.

The new GDC satellite office is based in Cebu Business Park which aims to provide green space as well as business, lifestyle and leisure activities to create an inspiring environment. The city’s high population of well-educated, technically skilled people, who often boast multiple language skills, was a key factor for Fujitsu's decision.

The new center is officially opened today with a ceremony attended by the Undersecretary of the Department of Information and Communications Technology of the Philippines (DICT), Monchito Ibrahim; the Head of the Consular Office of Japan in Cebu, Chiharu Tsuruoka; and a Philippine Economic Zone Authority Representative, Raymond Hava. On behalf of Fujitsu, Executive Vice President and Head of Global Delivery, Hidenori Furuta, as well as the Head of Fujitsu’s GDC in the Philippines, Arlene Gregorio, attended.

Arlene Gregorio, Head of Fujitsu’s GDC in the Philippines, said: "Our Global Delivery Centers are strategically located to offer customers access to a consistently high quality service and pool of dynamic and talented employees with high technical and multilingual skills. When expanding our GDC in the Philippines beyond Manila, Cebu was an obvious choice. We are fortunate that many Cebuanos speak Japanese, as well as being great software developers."

The worldwide network of Fujitsu Global Delivery Centers offer 24/7 coverage, 365 days a year, supporting more than 1.2 million end users, on over a million devices, in 40 languages. Fujitsu continues to grow its GDCs and aims to meet demand for skilled, high quality work from customers, across a wide range of industries.

Photo caption: From L-R: Arlene Gregorio, Head of Fujitsu’s Global Delivery Center in the Philippines, Hidenori Furuta, Executive Vice President and Head of Global Delivery, Monchito Ibrahim: Undersecretary of the Department of Information and Communications Technology of the Philippines (DICT)

Sprout Solutions Underlines the Benefits of HR and Payroll Automation

Innovation, changing the way HR works
Sprout Solutions underlines the benefits of HR and payroll automation for businesses of all sizes

The recent ‘State of HR in the Philippines’ report published by Sprout Solutions ranked the major pain points Filipino HR (human resource) practitioners face. Garnering the most votes from a thousand participants are recruitment (56.90%), timekeeping (40.30%), and payroll (38.90%). These identified pain points, which can be really tedious and time-consuming, are actual problems for companies operating in the Philippines regardless of its size.

Good news is technology is continuously changing the business landscape. Today, these HR administrative tasks can be automated through cloud-based software solutions that positively impact productivity and efficiency -- generally improving a company’s bottom line.

According to Patrick Gentry, CEO and Co-founder of tech startup Sprout Solutions, companies are now recognizing the value of investing in software tools that streamline HR and payroll processes which ultimately, enhance productivity, develop employee-employer relations and meet the changing demands of today’s workplace.

“HR automation is now a huge deal for organizations as it can bring fundamental changes in the roles HR play for business growth. HR professionals can now spend more time establishing insights that provide added value for their workforce as technology gradually eliminates the administrative aspect of their job,” added Gentry.

With the Philippines having a total of thirty-two pay rates including night shift differential, overtime pay, holiday pay, among others, HR and payroll processing can get really complicated. Unfortunately, many business organizations are still doing these tasks manually making them prone to discrepancies, errors and even delays. Such inaccuracies are known to cause mistakes in the salary being paid, often resulting in an unhappy staff and strained relations between employees and employers. Meanwhile, from an operational cost standpoint, these incongruities can also lead to higher expenses.

Aside from that, a number of reports are also required from HR practitioners and/or payroll masters to comply with government mandatories. Filing of forms and getting updated reports from the agencies that monitor and collect employee income taxes and contributions can also get complicated especially for growing businesses.

Sprout Solutions, a provider of locally developed and global-quality HR and payroll software, addresses these major pain points through paradigm-changing solutions tailor-fitted for local enterprises.

The company offers customized solutions for its clients through its two modules: Sprout HR and Sprout Payroll. These programs are world-class software solutions that enable HR professionals to perform crucial tasks, both in payroll and HR, within a single dashboard.

Having all HR data reside on one integrated platform, Sprout makes it easier to track work in progress, daily attendance, leave requests, among others. Their comprehensive payroll system is also able to cut processing time by ninety percent.

Sprout’s cloud-based software tools enable organizations to efficiently comply with government requirements by making mandatory government forms accessible and downloadable (with encoded information) through the payroll module.

The tech startup is known to be the only solutions provider to truly automate complex payroll and timekeeping processes that exist for BPO companies and other time-sensitive industries in the Philippines. It has already earned the trust of more than 200 clients, composed of small businesses and some well-established industry players with thousands of employees and is the first Filipino company to be accepted by Acceleprise, a Silicon Valley enterprise SaaS accelerator. It has since expanded its operations to help businesses grow through its software solutions that address HR and payroll needs.

To know more about Sprout Solutions and its services, visit their website at

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Jeremy Miado is Not Giving Up on His Title Dreams as He Gears Up for Cage Return

Jeremy “The Jaguar” Miado is part of a deep talent pool of Filipino mixed martial artists with huge potential, and his objective in the constantly-growing sport is to etch his name among the all-time greats.

Miado will take a big step towards fulfilling his dream to become the sport’s household name as he locks horns with undefeated Thai prospect Pongsiri “The Smiling Assassin” Mitsatit on the undercard of ONE: HERO’S DREAM, which takes place at the Thuwunna Indoor Stadium in Yangon, Myanmar on 3 November.

The three-round meeting with Mitsatit is a critical match for Miado as he is looking to get his career back on track after suffering a razor-thin split decision setback to compatriot Robin Catalan in his promotional debut this past April.

“I am happy that ONE Championship has given me the opportunity to showcase my talent on a global scale. My goal is to be a world champion. This is the first step in my road back to the winner’s circle. Soon, people will know who I am,” Miado stated.

“This is my big opportunity to show people my capabilities as a martial artist. I am very proud and blessed that they are giving me this chance again. For now, I will do my best and train hard,” he added.

Although he is still a relative newcomer to the game, Miado is armed with a strong boxing background as he made a name for himself as a boxer in the Bicol Region and garnered an incredible 32-2 amateur record.

Relocating to Manila two years ago, it was no surprise that success has followed him as Miado amassed an impressive mixed martial arts record of 6-0 since making his professional debut in January 2016.

Miado’s success rate has already seen him claim regional titles such as the Blaze FC strawweight championship belt in December 2016.

The 24-year-old Filipino standout currently hones his craft at Underground Battle MMA Gym in Marikina City, where he is mostly training in anticipation of his second promotional bout under the ONE Championship banner.

As Miado seeks to earn his first win in ONE Championship, a tough task is in front of him as Mitsatit will look to build the momentum to produce on what promises to be a sensational mixed martial arts career against the Filipino.

Mitsatit took the world by storm in 2016 after winning his highly-anticipated first ONE Championship appearance when he defeated Myanmar's Ye Thway Ne in dominating fashion.

The 21-year-old native of Chiang Mai, Thailand followed up his impressive first ONE Championship appearance with a first-round stoppage victory over Filipino Wushu champion Rabin “The Rock” Catalan at ONE: WARRIOR KINGDOM last March.

“My opponent is an outstanding striker, but I am focusing on my ground [skills]. I am a striker, but I know what his skills are,” Miado said of his opponent. “I think his game plan will be to use his striking to overwhelm me. I am practicing my defense in the stand-up. But he needs to watch out for my takedown attempts.”

Miado has a burning desire to become a world champion someday and knows that he must pass his test against Mitsatit as another loss could set him back considerably.

“My goal is to become a world champion. I want to be at the top here. Eduard Folayang was my idol when I started in this sport, and now he is the ONE Lightweight World Champion, so it shows I can do it. I will be going for the belt,” he declared.

Miado is confident that he will be able to translate his winning roll in the local Philippine mixed martial arts scene into the ONE Championship cage.

“I want to compete because this is my passion. Manny Pacquiao is a superstar in boxing. Everybody knows him. My plan is to do my best to have a name like his in ONE Championship,” he ended.

​​For more updates on ONE Championship, please visit, follow us on Twitter and Instagram @ONEChampionship, and like us on Facebook at

Duterte on PUV Modernization Program of DOTr

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) welcomes the statement of support of President Rodrigo Duterte on the Public Utility Vehicle (PUV) Modernization Program. The President’s support is definitely a boost to the program, which aims to provide our commuters a convenient, safe and environment-friendly mode of transport.

We draw our strength and energy from the President’s constant reminder to always be guided by the public good and give the Filipino people the service they deserve.

We are one with the President in effecting badly needed reforms in the public transportation sector. Rest assured that we will not stop until these reforms are put into effect.

Further, we are happy to note that most, if not all, transport groups and cooperatives, with the exception of PISTON, are supportive of modernizing our public transport system.

Nonetheless, the DOTr remains open to fostering a more productive relationship with various transport groups, and welcomes healthy dialogues to bring the level of discourse to a more sensible discussion.

Moving forward, we would like to appeal for the support of all the stakeholders in this endeavor. The PUV Modernization Program is long overdue and Filipino commuters have suffered enough. Let us make this program happen for them.

With the Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP), everybody benefits - from drivers, operators and most especially the millions of commuters.

The President’s fervid support of modernization goes back to the attempts of previous administrations to whose attempts to do the same but had been thwarted due to similar ideologically based transport strikes and protests.

However, when public good is at stake, the Duterte administration will not compromise. This is the message of the President’s speech yesterday. It underscores the national leadership’s strong political will and decisive stance to initiate reform in the public transportation sector.

Government is open to more healthy dialogue, discussion and responsible engagements with transport groups that wish to learn and contribute to the development of the PUV Modernization Program.

This is a wide window of opportunity for everyone -- drivers, the operators, the riding public. The public needs to discern that some ideological influences can derail the greater good. Let us move forward towards the comfortable life that PRRD is fighting for.

A Standing Ovation for Asia’s Got Talent Season 2 Premiere

AXN takes top spot as the #1 international channel in the Philippines, Malaysia, and Singapore collectively.

It’s a YES! from Asia.

The premiere of AXN’s highly anticipated Asia’s Got Talent Season 2 topped ratings among all regional Pay TV channels in the Philippines, Malaysia, and Singapore collectively during the show’s debut on Thursday, October 12, 2017 at 8:30pm.
Billed as the biggest talent competition in the world, Asia’s Got Talent features some of the region’s most breathtaking, jaw-dropping, and mind-blowing performing artists competing for the coveted winning title and a USD100,000 grand prize. The premiere episode was a kaleidoscope of quirky characters and stunning talents, with many acts winning the hearts of judges David Foster, Anggun, and newcomer Jay Park. In a surprise twist, Jay was the first judge to push the Golden Buzzer for the Kyrgyz dance group ADEM whose animated performance racked up 10.2 million views on AXN Asia’s Facebook page in just four days.

In the Philippines, the Asia’s Got Talent premiere improved the timeslot average by seven times and secured AXN at #1 in its timeslot, commanding a 60 per cent share among 21 English General Entertainment channels.

In Malaysia, Asia’s Got Talent took the spotlight as the #1 English program of the day on pay-TV, outperforming the season one premiere rating by 50 per cent. AXN dominated the timeslot with a 49 per cent share across 11 English General Entertainment channels.

In Singapore, Asia’s Got Talent led the ratings chart in its timeslot among all English Pay TV channels, delivering a strong 128 per cent growth versus the timeslot average.

“Asia’s Got Talent is the only show in the world that unites the region in a celebration of vibrant cultural diversity and breathtaking talent that truly shines. We’re proud to provide such an incredible platform on AXN in which to showcase a whole new generation of talent and are thrilled to have the support of our Asian viewers to help launch the next global superstars,” said Virginia Lim, Senior Vice President and Head of Content, Production and Marketing, Sony Pictures Television Networks, Asia.
Each act competing in Asia’s Got Talent will have to receive at least two “Yeses” from the esteemed celebrity judges, comprising 16 time Grammy-winning Canadian musician David Foster, Indonesian rock icon Anggun, and Korean American singer/rapper Jay Park. The three judges must select the most dazzling performances from thousands of hopefuls hailing from 15 territories across Asia. Those who make it to the semi-finals will contend with the ‘fourth judge’, AXN viewers who will ultimately decide the winner of Asia’s Got Talent.

Asia’s Got Talent spans 10 weekly episodes, including five audition episodes, three semi-finals, a finale episode and a results gala. Connect with the judges, hosts, and your favorite contestants through videos and photos on Asia’s Got Talent Facebook, Instagram and YouTube platforms. #AsiasGotTalent

Asia’s Got Talent is the 67th adaptation of the Guinness World Record-breaking hit “Got Talent” format, which was created by Simon Cowell’s Syco Entertainment and is co-produced by FremantleMedia. The “Got Talent” format is officially the most successful reality TV format in history and currently airs in 186 countries.

Asia’s Got Talent is supported by presenting sponsor Traveloka, the leading travel booking app for all flight and hotel needs; and sponsoring partner Great Eastern Life, the market leader in the conventional life insurance business and the largest life insurer in Malaysia by asset size.
In the Philippines, Asia’s Got Talent is brought to you by Cherifer Tangkad Sagad!, KFC Delivery, and Vivo Smart Phone.

Marina Bay Sands, Asia’s leading business, leisure and entertainment destination, is the official venue partner of Asia’s Got Talent.

Asia’s Got Talent Season 2 broadcasts every Thursday at 8:30pm on AXN.

@AsiasGotTalent / #AXNAsia / #AsiasGotTalent / #AsiasGotTalentAuditions

AXN is available on Cablelink Channel 38, Cignal Channel 121, Destiny Cable Channel 61, Dream Satellite TV Channel 20, G Sat Channel 51, and SKYCable Channel 49. AXN HD is available on SKYCable Channel 247.

NAIA Improves Passenger Satisfaction Ratings

Reforms in the NAIA have finally bore fruits. 

According to a survey released to "The Guide To Sleeping In Airports" travel website released on Sunday, October 15, the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) is no longer included in the top 20 worst airports in the world, and even in the top 5 worst airports in Asia 2017. 

It can be remembered that on the same survey conducted during the past administration and released in October 2016, NAIA used to be among the world’s worst airports, landing on the 5th place.

Such placement was attributed to the issue of  “laglag-bala”, which was among the main complaints of travelers especially by OFWs, but was addressed during the first 100 days of the Duterte administration.

Meanwhile, Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur P. Tugade welcomed this improvement, but said that this is just the beginning. Secretary Tugade reminded that the DOTr must not be complacent as there are many things yet to be done and improved at the NAIA.

"Work, work, work lang. While it is good that we are not listed among the worst, let us work even harder to be included amongst the best," Secretary Tugade said. "We should be careful that we do not backslide. The show must go on -- and better!," he added

For his part, Manila International Airports Authority (MIAA) General Manager Ed Monreal says this result is only as good as the last race. 

"The bigger challenge is to maintain or even surpass our achievement," GM Monreal said.  

It can be remembered that NAIA earned the ‘world’s worst airport’ title from 2011 to 2013. In 2014, it landed in the 4th place. It was not included in the top 10 worst airports in the world in 2015, but landed 8th worst airport in Asia. 

Meanwhile, four Philippine airports again joined the list of the top 25 best airports in Asia for this year, 2017. They are: Iloilo International Airport, Mactan-Cebu International Airport, Clark International Airport, and Davao International Airport. 

Among the reforms implemented in the NAIA during the Duterte Administration were the restriction on general aviation to prioritize commercial flights and reduce flight delays; the imposition of the five-minute rule [where pilots who declare they are ready to take off must depart within the prescribed time or they would be put back at the back of the queue] to reduce flight delays and instill discipline among airlines; the construction of Rapid Exit Taxiways to allow an aircraft to leave the runway at higher speed and increase flight movements; provision of  cleaner toilets additional seats, free Wi-Fi, and Well-Wishers’ Area. Regular taxis were also allowed to queue and pick-up passengers at designated points in NAIA terminals to address shortage of taxi units servicing passengers. 

Further, since the new administration took over, there has been no single incidence of a passenger missing a flight for possessing a bullet. Passengers no longer feel the need to wrap bags and luggages in plastic or masking tapes.

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