Saturday, June 17, 2017

DOTr Reiterates Strict Observance of its Bidding Processes

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade reiterated his directive to DOTr officials, as well as to interested parties in all projects of the Department, that he shall enforce strict observance of bidding and procurement processes, and shall not entertain nor tolerate discussions and negotiations that are not prescribed under the law.

The Transportation Chief likewise stressed his principle of not meddling with the affairs of the Bids and Awards Committee (BAC).

“The BAC should be an independent body from the Secretary. I will not allow anyone to discuss with me projects that are undergoing procurement. I will only be open to official discussions once the procurement process has been finalized, and complete documentation is already on my table. Maging strikto tayo sa pagsunod sa proseso para hindi tayo mabahiran ng korapsyon,” Secretary Tugade said.

Last May, the DOTr has started the online livestreaming of procurement processes for all projects of the Department to promote transparency, accountability and good governance.

Since its activation, DOTr has livestreamed a total of twenty-nine (29) projects, twenty-one (21) of which were covered during the Pre-bid Conference, while eight (8) projects were covered during the Opening of Bids. The online livestreams can be seen in the official DOTr Facebook page.

Secretary Tugade has urged the public to monitor and observe the Department’s bidding and procurement proceedings and to report any anomalous incidents.

“I am serious with my no-corruption campaign inside the DOTr. I encourage everyone to remain vigilant in our fight against the corruption. Isa man dito ang mahuli ko, lalagutin ko,” Secretary Tugade said.

DOTr Secretary Tugade Directs Heightened Security Measures in All Transport Hubs

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Mandaluyong City, Philippines—Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur P. Tugade yesterday ordered his key officials to put in place heightened security measures in all transport hubs in the country, and emphasized that public safety is the topmost priority of his administration.

The Transport Chief stressed the need for consistent visibility of security personnel in transport facilities to prevent untoward incidents and to deter lawless elements from conducting activities detrimental to passengers.

 “Let us be visible and vigilant in the service of country...para sa Pilipino at Inang Bayan,” Secretary Tugade said.

In response, Undersecretary for Aviation Capt. Manuel Antonio “Skee Tamayo yesterday directed aviation authorities to post sufficiently armed roving uniformed and covert security personnel within the premises of all airports and other installations. Immediately, Manila International Airport (MIAA) General Manager Ed Monreal implemented the directive at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Complex.

“Let’s do this in all airports— parking, arrival, lobby, departure, check in, immigration, boarding, waiting and greeting areas. We must have roving organic and security personnel,” Sec Tugade said.

The Transportation Secretary likewise underscored the need for all security personnel to always be on alert and adopt the “buddy system” while roving.

“Walang guwardiyang pa-upo-upo at pabanying-banying. No personal calls,” the Secretary emphasized.

Secretary Tugade’s order on heightened security in all transport facilities is in light of the security threat posed by the Maute Terrorist Group, which has besieged Marawi City and resulted in the President’s declaration of Martial Law in Mindanao.

It may be recalled that the Transportation Chief, through Department Order (D.O.) No. 2017-008 dated June 5, 2017, has put the control and supervision of security operations in all seaports nationwide under the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG).

Check Out Twitter's New Look!

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Last year, we told you exactly who we are (Twitter is what’s happening!) and refreshed our brand. Today, with lots of feedback and ideas from you, we’re refreshing our product too and making it feel lighter, faster, and easier to use. We listened closely and kept what you love. And for the things you didn’t, we took a new approach to fix and make better.

These are some of the changes rolling out across, Twitter for iOS, Twitter for Android, and Twitter Lite over the coming days. Here’s what people will see:

       Profile, additional accounts, settings, and privacy – all in one place! A new side navigation menu and fewer tabs at the bottom of our app = less clutter and easier browsing. You told us you loved this change on Android last year and we’re excited to now bring it to iOS.
       Links to articles and websites now open in Safari’s viewer in the Twitter app so you can easily access accounts on websites you’re already signed into.
       We’ve refined our typography to make it more consistent, and added bolder headlines to make it easier to focus on what’s happening. Also, rounded profile photos make it clearer to see what’s being said and who’s saying it.
       More intuitive icons make it easier to engage with Tweets – especially if you’re coming to Twitter for the first time. For example, people thought the reply icon, an arrow, meant delete or go back to a previous page. We switched to a speech bubble, a symbol most know and love. We also made the icons lighter for more seamless interaction.

DICT To Launch Top 3 Priority Projects

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The Department of Information and Communications Technology is steadfast in its aim to shape the country’s Information and Communications Technology (ICT) roadmap through initiatives that enhance government operations and online services, and projects that contribute towards the strengthening of telecom and public service infostructures in the country.

Pursuant to such endeavors and in celebration of National ICT Month, the DICT is holding an event focused on the Department’s three flagship projects —the launch of the National Government Portal (NGP), the unveiling of the National Broadband Plan (NBP), and the continuing of the refocused Free Wi-Fi Internet Access in Public Places (FWPP) Project. All three projects contribute to the single objective of providing ready and reliable communication and transaction channels between the government and the people. Together, these facilitate the development of a more efficient, ICT-enabled society, leading to accelerated and sustainable socio-economic growth.

The DICT thus invited us to cover the grand launch and introduction of these projects on 23 June 2017, 8 a.m., at a hotel in Manila.

Further news about the launch will be posted soon here at

Relax Your Feet with ‘Zach Ebony’ from Banana Peel

Wazzup Pilipinas!
Dads are always on their feet, juggling between being a provider and making sure that quality time is spent with the family. How dads manage through their day exhausts one of the most hard working part of the body—his feet. Wearing comfortable footwear is essential in making everyday tasks easier. Being in comfortable footwear enables you to do more of what is important, and what you enjoy the most.

However, we easily neglect the importance of wearing proper footwear all the time. Poorly designed footwear can harm far more than your feet. They can cause pain throughout your body such as back pain and joint problems. You can avoid these, by picking the right footwear. The quality, style and fit must be all considered.

The quality used for your footwear should not irritate your skin. It should make your feet comfortable. More importantly, good quality footwear doesn’t easily get worn out.

In considering the style, you must look at how the arch support is shaped and how deep the heel cup is—in order to support you properly and have proper stability as you move.

And lastly you must highly consider the fit. Just like a car, you need to “test drive” the shoe by walking in them to see how they feel while moving. 

Just in time for Father’s day, Banana Peel introduces its new collection ‘Zach Ebony’ collection. These flip flops are layered with high-density EVA insoles and rubber outsoles to create a foot-bed that's firm on the ground but comforting for hardworking feet. This is perfect for fathers who put a premium in good footwear. Zach goes beyond the usual man flip flops as it offer more benefits like:
o    Arch support 
o    Easy on-and-off means it’s convenient to wear at any point
o    Even more breathability than slippers

Affordable, fashionable, and functional ‘Zach’ is the perfect flip flop gift you can give your father this Father’s day. After all, don’t they just want comfy footwear after a long and productive day, just like everybody else?

To know more about Banana Peel, go to 

Philippines' First Subway System Gets Underway

Wazzup Pilipinas!

The Metro Manila Subway Project may be an ambitious undertaking, but it is moving forward.

At the seventh Steering Committee Meeting presided by Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur P. Tugade last week, partners from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) presented updates on the Feasibility Study being conducted on the Metro Manila Subway Project.

Among the issues discussed were timelines, alignment, and organizational arrangements. Sec. Tugade reiterated his directive that he wants the project to be operational before the end of President Rodrigo Duterte’s term.

“I don’t want bola-bola. I want this project finished,” Tugade said.

Apart from fast-tracking the project, he also proposed for the subway to extend all the way to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

"I need to have that connectivity. I have a big problem with NAIA because of the projected increase in volume of passengers," he said.

The subway alignment originally has 13 stations, starting from Mindanao Avenue and ending at FTI Taguig. This is seen to cut travel time from Quezon City to Taguig to just 31 minutes.

Sec. Tugade also proposed a training facility for railway operators to which JICA responded positively. JICA also presented possible organizational arrangements to ensure that the subway will be constructed, operated, and maintained by a competent and dedicated team of certified operators and experts.

Apart from a world-class design, the proposed subway system will have water-stop panels, doors, and high-level entrance for flood prevention, earthquake detection, and a train stop system just like the subways in Tokyo.

At the end of the meeting, a minutes of discussion was signed by Sec. Tugade and JICA.

Department of Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar, Bases Conversion and Development Authority President Vince Dizon, Metro Manila Development Authority Chairman Danny Lim, representatives from the National Economic Development Authority, and officials of the Embassy of Japan were also present at the signing.

President Duterte and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe are expected to sign a loan agreement for the Mega Manila Subway Project during the latter’s visit to the Philippines in November.

Know the Tools to Help Improve Your Business at PBEX 2017

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Small and Medium Enterprises make up the majority of companies in the country, and large companies also depend on SMEs that they can supply with the necessary items they need to do business.

In an effort to improve business processes in the SME industry, the 8th Philippine Business and Entrepreneur's Expo has invited entrepreneurs and consultants to share tips and ideas on how they can grow their business further.

The Entrep Success Forum (to be held on Sunday, July 29) feature business owners Mr. Von Ryan Reyes (King’s Care Laundry) and Mr. Jerome Arenas Lustre (JBooks Consultancy Services), business consultant Prof. El Pangulayan Buelva (Host of the Business Café radio program) and marketing educator Prof. Jerry Yao as they share business tips from cashflow to human resource management to marketing and business expansion. This forum is open to everyone.

The 8th Philippine Business and Entrepreneurs' Expo will be held at the Megatrade Hall 1 of SM Megamall in Mandaluyong City this July 28 to 30, Friday to Sunday. We are open for exhibitors to showcase their products and services - get in touch with Ex-Link at (+63 2) 633-0153, 643-3887 or 535-1150; SMS (+63) 920 981 4376 or (+63) 920 924 2532; email or message us on Facebook @exlinkevents. Program lineup subject to change without prior notice.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Innovation is Key to Penetrating Different Market Segments: Lenovo

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The world’s top PC maker credits its consistent growth to a customer-centric approach

During a recent visit to Lenovo Philippines’ headquarters in Taguig, Lenovo’s Executive Director and Regional General Manager for Central Asia Pacific (CAP), Ivan Cheung shared
why innovation matters at Lenovo. According to Cheung, the company allocates US$1.5B each year to explore and create new products for its customers.

Cheung said, “Innovation is at the core of Lenovo’s business. It allows us to better serve our clients and provide them what they need. With a history of ‘firsts’ and pioneering leadership that is rooted in genuinely listening to customers and through analysing data, we will continue to provide cutting-edge technologies to cater different users’ needs.”

Customer centricity also plays a huge part at Lenovo. “We take engagement with our customers seriously. By addressing their needs at every touchpoint – from product inquiry, the actual purchase of products, to the after-sales experience – we are confident that the experiences we create are highly relevant, no matter for consumers or business users.”

In addition, Lenovo Philippines Country General Manager Michael Ngan shared, “To stay on top of a competitive market, we do our best to keep our core business strong and leverage our strengths. Part of the strategy is to create products for different market segments continuously.”

In recent months, for instance, the multinational tech company has locally introduced a wide range of products catered to different kinds of enthusiasts and professionals, including Legion, the company’s PC brand dedicated to the gaming community. It also released Kaby-Lake powered ThinkPad devices designed for the working professionals.

As for smartphones and convertibles, Lenovo respectively brought in the Phab 2 Pro – a Tango-enabled smartphone with an augmented reality (AR) feature – and the Yoga Book, which is geared for both productivity and creativity, through its touch glass surface allowing users to type, write, or draw digitally.

Cheung also demonstrated confidence in bringing more growth and improving the company’s quality of service in the country. He believes in the power of communication to make things happen for a team; and thus, makes it a point to engage regularly with team members of the recently-formed CAP unit – made up of Lenovo offices based in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, and the rest of Asia.

Cheung leads CAP’s business operations, strategy, sales and marketing for Lenovo’s line of PCs, mobile devices, and data center infrastructure.

Rustan’s Supermarket Says, “Thank you, Dad!” with a Weekend Sale

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The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach—and the same goes for dads! This Father’s Day, a treat for the taste buds could be the perfect way to say thanks to the first and special man in your life.

Luckily, Rustan’s Supermarket has got everything you need to whip up a perfect present just for dad. Starting today until June 18, the supermarket is holding the Dad’s Day Weekend Sale where you can score every father’s favorites at a special discount.

An occasion such as Father’s Day calls for gathering the whole family. Why not hold a big barbecue? Your meat-loving dad will appreciate choosing from Australian steak cuts and assorted sausages, which come at 20% off, and wagyu burgers and lamb chops, which are on a buy 1 take 1 promo.

Have the right accompaniments to your heavy meats at the ready. UK brand Waitrose has a great selection of sauces to slather on while or after grilling. Then, stock the table with healthy Deep River Kettle Chips for a light bite. Get all these at 10% off.

To complete the celebration, score beers, wine, and spirits offered in bundle deals or at a 30% discount.

Continue to show dad your appreciation in the little things—sometimes that’s what people appreciate the most. Make every day more special for dad and show him that you care with a simple gift box of his daily essentials. Choose from coffee and men’s care products that will brighten up his everyday—all at 10% off.

Come to a Rustan’s Supermarket near you and find that special something to give your dad the big thanks he deserves.

For more info, visit, follow and like rustansfresh on Facebook, and @rustansfresh on Instagram and Twitter.

Rustan’s Supermarkets are located at Makati Area: Glorietta, Greenbelt 1, Paseo de Magallanes, Alphaland Makati Place, Paseo Center, Century City Mall.  North Area: Shangri-La Plaza, Gateway Mall, Katipunan, Tomas Morato, P. Guevarra, Corinthian Hills, Village Center Antipolo, The Grove by Rockwell, Ayala Malls The 30th. South Area: Ayala Alabang Village, Evia Lifestyle Center, Uptown Mall BGC. Cebu: Oakridge Business Park, Ayala Center, Arcenas Estate CDO: Ayala Centrio Mall. Also, visit Marketplace by Rustan’s at San Antonio Plaza, Rockwell Power Plant Mall, Central Square Bonifacio High Street, and Connecticut San Juan.

NPC Conducts Privacy Compliance Check on BPI

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The National Privacy Commission (NPC) is conducting a privacy compliance check on the Bank of Philippine Islands (BPI) after the recent incident that caused the bank’s electronic channels to be temporarily suspended, inconveniencing many of its clients.

The compliance check will evaluate the existing governance, organizational, physical and technical measures in place and seek to address any gaps especially in the bank’s breach management protocol, with the view of preventing or mitigating similar incidents in the future.

Under Republic Act No. 10173, otherwise known as the Data Privacy Act of 2012 (Data Privacy Act), the NPC is mandated to ensure compliance of institutions with its provisions, which includes data breach notification, management and mitigation.

The NPC has been in contact with the bank since 7 June 2017, the first day news about the incident spread on social media. The high profile nature of the incident, and the potential harm to thousands of data subjects prompted the Commission to immediately coordinate with the bank and its data protection officer to work towards containing the breach and lessening the impact of the incident.

According to Privacy Commissioner Raymund Enriquez Liboro; “We appreciate BPI’s efforts to establish communication with the Commission throughout this episode to assuage our concern for the privacy of their depositor’s personal data. We highly regard the bank’s assurances. As advocate and vanguard of people’s privacy rights, however, the NPC’s public mandate compels us to look even further and deeper into this matter,” Liboro said. “We believe the BPI management fully understands this, because of our shared goal of ensuring the protection of the privacy rights and interests of their clients” he added.

The BPI incident was reported to have been caused by human error resulting in previously posted transactions to be reposted. The discovery of the error prompted to the Bank to suspend access to thousands of accounts. The BPI incident involved a breach in security affecting the availability and integrity of information that relates to individuals, considered a personal data breach under NPC’s memorandum circular on personal data breach management (NPC MC 16-03).

Commissioner Liboro explains further, "First, the BPI incident impacted information which is considered personal under the Data Privacy Act. This includes the processing of data, which is capable of uniquely identifying data subjects, such as the account information of BPI and BPI Family Bank customers contained in BPI’s systems. Second, the nature of the incident impacted both the availability and integrity of personal information considering that the incident resulted in the posting of erroneous account information and the prevention of its access to account holders. Under the law, impacts to availability and integrity of personal information may constitute a breach where loss and/or alteration to personal information occurs, whether accidentally or unlawfully."

Commissioner Liboro underscored the importance of data protection in the Internet age. “With many services being on-line, a simple data processing error can affect thousands of data subjects as well as have national impact, we can’t help to reiterate the importance of good house keeping for data processing systems and having breach management protocols in place compliance with data protection and privacy regulations reduces breach incidents and puts data subjects out of harm's way.” Commissioner Liboro said.

The National Privacy Commission recently held a general assembly of Data Privacy Officers (DPO) in the banking industry. The event, called DPO2, was conducted in cooperation with banking regulator the Banko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and the Bankers Association of the Philippines (BAP). After government, the NPC believes that the banking and finance sector's Personal Information Controllers (PICs) are involved in high-risk processing, because of the nature of the data they process and the potential impact of breaches to economic security.

League of Corporate Foundations to Hold CSR Expo for 2017

Wazzup Pilipinas!

I am always reminded by the words of many thought leaders that all our efforts of reaching out to others in the form of donations, medical missions, etc., would become nothing more but a repetitious activity if we would not empower the people themselves.

We've all heard about so many Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs or something similar but differently named activities conducted by many companies, NGOs, foundations, etc., I've posted so many of these stories on my site coming from many brands or companies, and though I am deeply grateful for the effort, I would like to ask if we are really making a significant change on the lives of these people we are trying to save.

Since every little thing counts, and we've also heard about stories giving hope and inspiration among those we've helped. But I do believe we could do more if we also come up with more long-term programs that would come hand-in-hand with our initial outreach.

However, many are saying that these activities seem to be nothing more but an opportunity for photo and video coverage so companies could compile the stories as part of their corporate portfolio to show how they are compassionate and giving towards others. People would see these companies flaunt to the whole world that they are advocates for change and development of our society. This may be the case for corporations, but entirely different for individuals who would even leave their stable jobs just to help. Somehow, I would tend to agree to all of these but deep inside I know that there are more going on behind the scenes.

Though we all know there could be vested interests (especially for businesses that we keep reading in the news), these efforts also inspire others to follow or emulate, and even go beyond than the usual. Those who tend to benefit from these generous benefactors are the beneficiaries.

I am more proud of those whose activities include empowering the communities. Only when we empower others to stand up on their own and work hard for their livelihood, that is the only time when we will be successful in uplifting the lives of the people we are trying to save.

Just as how informal settlers would return to their dilapidated homes because there are no means of livelihood at their new settlement provided by the government, those we are trying to feed, cure, nourish, etc., will be more likely forever dependent if we do not empower them to become more of what they are now.

The League of Corporate Foundations (LCF) will be having an event on July 19 to 20, 2017 at Dusit Thani Hotel and Glorietta Activity Center for their series of talks from many reputable speakers coming from various sectors, and an expo for public awareness of the many foundations.

The LCF is a network of over 80 of the largest operating and grant-making corporate foundations and corporations in the country. Since 2001, we have been celebrating the annual Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Week in July.

In 2016, LCF celebrated its 20th year and commemorated the annual CSR week with the theme “Co-creating the Future through CSR”. The creation of integrated value and the recognition of a singular global development agenda paved the way for organizations to work further towards collective movement.

This 2017, on LCF’s 16th year of observing CSR week and its 21st year as a dynamic network of corporate foundations and corporations, our CSR Expo theme “Disrupting for Social Good” will create another milestone for LCF, as we all move toward disrupting the status quo and effecting greater change and impact with a wider reach.
Their special guest during their media launch held at the Villar SIPAG Laurel House, Shaw Boulevard cor. S. Laurel St. Mandaluyong City on Wednesday, June 14, from 10AM to 12nn, was former Environment Secretary Regina "Gina' Lopez who is often referred to as an advocate for the environment even before she was appointed as the DENR Secretary, and she only got kick out by the Commission on Appointments mainly not because of her lack of following due process but because she was very controversial with his fight against irresponsible mining.

Sadly, our government is still full of scalawags with a lot to gain if the mining companies continue to operate. Business is business especially for those involved in mining so there are probably moves that were made to ensure she is removed from her office.

However, she also has allies mostly among businessmen who would gladly support her with her endeavors, and being part of the equally powerful Lopez clan, she also has many resources she could tap to put into action her projects.

She gave a lengthy talk, and presented a few videos too, including one that showed how passionate and emotionally touched she is regarding the sad fate that our fellowmen has to undergo at a community destroyed by the mining industry. She also talked about her other efforts, and another video showing her latest TV show that looks more like another travel show but if you look a lot more closer, you might also feel her sincerity not just to protect the environment but also the community affected by its destruction. She would probably show how beautifully blessed the country is, and encourage us to sustain it so that the future generation would also appreciate its wonders.

When you visit the expo or listen to the talks on the 19th and 20th of July, I urge you to ask for their efforts towards significant long-term projects that would be more helpful for our countrymen. You may also want to ask how you could help with your own little way. We should not limit the opportunity to the big players but also seek the cooperation of the little ones. Big or small, everyone's help is necessary.

In my own little ways like participating in the recent community outreach at two barangay schools located at Bontoc, Mountain Province, joining the Pasig Rehabilitation Council Commission on their Pasig River Tour, asking thought-provoking questions to the people I met during Independence Day celebrations at Quirino Grandstand, and many more that I do through my story-telling by means of blogs, vlogs and social media, I seek to find more ways I could help out and inspire others in the process.

Our country is rich not only in natural resources but also of loving and caring people, but when desperation comes, some would resort to either criminal acts or dangerous addiction to drugs and other vices. None of these would ever happen if we have enough opportunities for everyone to flourish and live a decent life.

We are thankful for all the CSR programs from many foundations, but now is the time that even the poorest of the poor, should be taught how to pull themselves out from the slums.

We all know the real answers to the issues, but some of us just want to sensationalize everything for our own fun and pleasure. It's like pointing out the obvious with only the intention to mock or ridicule others.

It would be very rare for anybody, especially for the government, to admit their mistakes, or greed, whichever is more prominent or valid as the reason. You cannot force anyone to commit a career suicide. We will all forever be in denial.

But this country would not improve or change for the better if all of us are forever divided by continuously finding faults on others without offering any concrete solutions.

We also forget about our own shortcomings. It's like complaining about the floods, but we kept on throwing our cigarette butts, used water bottles or candy wrappers on the streets, cutting trees for parking spaces or paper, destroying lands to mine for copper, polluting the river with our waste, etc.,

Like many of us, we are all very much inclined to uplift ourselves above and way ahead of others. We all seek convenience, comfort and luxury. What is sad is that we sort of step on others on our way to the top. Every time we limit opportunities to only a few, just because we want exclusivity, we tend to sacrifice the welfare of the nation.

Remember that this nation would only progress if our mindset would only be "Walang Iwanan" and "Sama-Sama" towards success. No man should be left behind.

More photos and videos on our official Wazzup Pilipinas social media pages like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, etc

SAP Simplifies Business Planning and Consolidation Based on SAP BW/4HANA

Wazzup Pilipinas!

SAP SE announced the general availability of SAP Business Planning and Consolidation (SAP BPC) 11.0, version for SAP BW/4HANA. The application improves mission-critical business processes including planning, budgeting, forecasting and financial consolidation and reporting, all in one unified solution. Thus, it supports more strategic decision making through accelerated insight to action and serves as a basis for finance transformation and innovation. This announcement was made at SAPinsider Financials being held June 14–17 in Amsterdam.

“In our quest to make it easier for customers to plan, budget, forecast, consolidate and share a consistent view of financial information and key metrics throughout the organization, SAP BPC now leverages the streamlined simplicity achieved in SAP S/4HANA® and SAP BW/4HANA,” said Mala Anand, president of Analytics at SAP. “This simplified architecture eliminates data replication and reduces hardware and administration costs while allowing customers to perform real-time analysis and planning across entire ERP landscapes. Finance departments no longer require separate systems for transactions and analytics.”

Ingmar Christiaens, Partner Advisory Services, EY, said: “The SAP S/4HANA suite has made tremendous progress supporting the CFO’s agenda to build an agile finance function. SAP has now taken another big step forward in the planning and consolidation space with SAP BPC, version for SAP BW/4HANA. The modern user interface enables users to easily access enhanced analytic features and experience accelerated performance from the increased use of core SAP HANA functions.”

Cliff Eng, SAP finance transformation partner, PricewaterhouseCoopers, said: “SAP BPC, version for SAP BW/4HANA, provides a flexible option for SAP customers seeking to enhance their finance capabilities on the SAP HANA technology. This solution is expected to unlock several performance improvement opportunities. SAP's newest offering can provide finance organizations with the ability to rapidly develop more comprehensive planning models, which may lead to better insight and improved decision making.”

The latest release of SAP BPC provides:
·         Simplified financial models in SAP BW/4HANA
·         Streamlined data-loading processes with the ability to load sources from across the enterprise and beyond
·         One product for planning and consolidation
High Performance
·         Faster planning and close cycles with calculations pushed down to SAP HANA®
·         More detailed planning with no restrictions on granularity or calculations
·         Improved scalability and performance via SAP BW/4HANA
·         Increased openess with the ability to incorporate data from cloud applications and other third-party data sources
·         Improved decision making and a more complete view of the business
·         Extended reporting and analysis, and hybrid planning scenarios thanks to integration with the SAP Analytics Cloud solution

The version of SAP BPC for SAP BW/4HANA additionally allows customers to extend planning beyond finance to other line-of-business planning scenarios. Customers using previous versions of SAP BPC, the integrated planning functionality in the SAP Business Warehouse (SAP BW) application, and the planning applications kit (an SAP BW–based planning solution) can maintain their current investment in SAP BW and gain further technical and functional benefits upon migration to SAP BW/4HANA.

Seamless Integration of SAP BPC and SAP Analytics Cloud Enables Deeper Analytics and Hybrid Planning

SAP Analytics Cloud allows users to plan, analyze and predict business outcomes all in one place. Users can seamlessly move their BPC data and models into the cloud for further planning, self-service visualization and predictive analytics. Finance departments can perform more in-depth analysis by using predictive functions on current data sets combined with potential business challenges and influences before running a budget or forecast. Additionally, the business process flows in SAP BPC provide full integration to extend a hybrid planning process between SAP BPC and SAP Analytics Cloud. This allows for full movement of data and dimensions in a bidirectional manner for broadening business planning scenarios on premise and in the cloud.

For additional information, please read the SAP Business Planning and Consolidation 11.0, version for SAP BW/4HANA blog. For more information, visit the SAP News Center. Follow SAP on Twitter at @sapnews.

DOTr Stresses Importance of MRT-3 Safety Inspection, Says Interagency Efforts to Minimize Effect to Passengers in Place

Wazzup Pilipinas!

The Department of Transportation today stressed the importance of conducting safety inspection in all MRT-3 trains, which resulted to the temporary decrease in speed and the number of trains running during peak hours.

According to DOTr Undersecretary for Railways Cesar B. Chavez, the instructions given to him by Secretary Arthur Tugade to prioritize safety of the riding public was very clear.

“Malinaw po ang utos sa atin ni Secretary Tugade. Hindi na baleng paulanan kami ng mura kaysa tahimik ang tao dahil nasa ospital sila o sementeryo. Parte po ito ng proseso upang masiguro ang kaligtasan ng ating mga mananakay kaya kahit paulanan niyo kami ng puna, ito ay kailangan naming gawin,” Usec Chavez explains.

Currently, the MRT3 maintenance team is working double time to ensure the fast completion of the safety inspection in order to deploy additional trains so as to minimize the impact of speed reduction. As of this morning, there are already 17 trains in operation as compared to yesterday’s reported 15.

To assist passengers, DOTr has sought the help of MMDA and LTFRB to prepare the deployment of additional buses in all MRT3 stations.

LTFRB Chairman Martin B. Delgra III said that additional city buses were deployed to give MRT-3 passengers an alternative mode of transportation.

On the other hand, MRT-3 Director for Operations Deo Leo Manalo clarified that the previously announced 4-day safety inspection is just an estimate. He reassured passengers that the MRT3 maintenance team is focused in completing the safety inspection at the soonest possible time for the rail line to be able to deploy additional trains.

“We will do everything to complete it earlier,” Dir. Manalo said.

It may be recalled that yesterday afternoon, the MRT 3 management has mandated a thorough inspection of wheel axles of all its trains following an incident yesterday when the train driver of Car 64 observed an abnormal noise and strong lateral movements on the train. When ignored the conditions could possibly lead to more serious problems.

SM Youth Go-See Season 2 Announces Macauly Lofgren and Erika Kristensen as New SM Youth Ambassadors!

Wazzup Pilipinas!

From the thousands who auditioned online, to the top 50, down to the 14 finalists, only two were hailed as winners of the second season of the SM Youth Go-See – Macauly Lofgren and Erika Kristensen.

For weeks, they’ve surpassed challenge after challenge -- from styling themselves in their own fashion shows, posing with a snake for a high fashion shoot to producing their own campaigns aimed to empower the Filipino youth, Macauly and Erika have shown that they have what it takes to be the latest SM Youth ambassadors.

"The past few weeks have been an incredible journey. To me this has always been more than a competition, this truly was an opportunity to reach out and inspire the youth. What I didn't expect was to be inspired by all of you — my family, friends, supporters, and fans I made along the way. I truly am so grateful for all the support you have given me. As I begin my journey as the next SM Youth ambassador I hope this inspires you all to never give up on your dreams. I am so glad to be a part of not just a brand but a family that is more than an audience to change, a family that instigates change. Remember, always aspire to inspire until you expire,” shares Macauly Lofgren.

Smart, Twitter Bring ‘Lite’ Experience to More Filipinos

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More Filipinos will now have access to up-to-date information as PLDT wireless subsidiary Smart Communications partners with Twitter to bring the Twitter Lite experience to mobile users across the country.

Twitter has launched a data-friendly version of its service called Twitter Lite, which will enhance Filipino users’ mobile-first experience with fast and real-time information on what’s happening around the world and what people are talking about.

Twitter's head of sales for Southeast Asia Tina Pang and head of business development for Southeast Asia and Australia Dwi Adriansah pose for photos with Smart Communications’ senior manager for digital platforms and product development Paul Pajo and vice president for digital products and partnerships Harvey Libarnes during the launch of Twitter Lite in the country in partnership with Philippine telecommunication providers.

Twitter Lite users will still get to enjoy the key features of Twitter on mobile web, without consuming too much data. To activate Twitter Lite, users must log on to on their phone browser, click on their user photo to go to settings, and activate the Data Saver mode. On the Twitter Lite timeline, users will see a preview of images and videos, before choosing which ones to fully load.

Optimal use via TNT, Opera Mini

To maximize the Twitter Lite experience, TNT, Smart’s value brand, is offering three-day access to Twitter, whether via Twitter app or mobile web browser, for just P10. To avail of this service, TNT subscribers may text TWITTER10 to 4545.

Smart Prepaid users may also avail of All Out Surf 30, which offers 300 MB open access that can be used for Twitter for two days, apart from unlimited texts to all networks and 30-minute calls to Smart, TNT, and Sun. Smart Prepaid subscribers may text ALLOUT30 to 9999 to get this data package.

Using Opera Mini further amplifies Smart, Sun and TNT users’ Twitter Lite experience, as the browser compresses data and loads faster. The Twitter Lite option is set on the speed dial of Opera Mini upon installation, giving Smart, Sun and TNT subscribers easy access to the latest news and information on their favorite entertainment and sports celebrities.

Beneficial partnership

“We are happy to partner with Twitter to offer the Twitter Lite experience to our more than 63 million subscribers across the Philippines,” said Harvey Libarnes, vice president for digital products and partnerships at Smart. “This partnership will benefit our subscribers, especially those who have limited connectivity, because they will get to fully enjoy the mobile web features of Twitter while at the same time have access to the latest information anytime and anywhere in the country,” Libarnes added.

“Entertainment is one of the most talked about topics in the Philippines on Twitter. For example, we saw over 4.6 million tweets during AlDub’s first-ever teleserye Destined to be Yours’ pilot episode,” said Dwi Adriansah, head of business development for Twitter Southeast Asia and Australia. “We are excited to partner with two of the largest telcos in the country to bring data-friendly, real-time updates from what’s happening with love couples like AlDub, KathNiel, and JaDine, to the latest teleseryes, as shared experiences to more Filipinos across the nation with Twitter Lite.”

With more than 313 million active users worldwide, Twitter has become a vital platform for social media-savvy Filipinos to stay updated on events and personalities in and out of the country.

How to Get Ready for a Business Trip in 1 Hour

Wazzup Pilipinas!

No matter how schedule-wise you are the unexpected situations may still occur. A sudden need for a business trip, for example, may arise almost out of nowhere. And for a professional like you, saying no is not going to be an option.

Let’s say this sudden trip happens today. You’re given an hour to pack. How do you pull off a miracle like this?

Here are a few tips from the professionals at

1.       Make a quick list of priorities.
Yes, you still have time to make a list even if you have nothing more than an hour left. Make a list of the important things to bring. Are there documents you need? Is there a package you need to deliver?

Consider this as a quick moment for you to organize your thoughts. Without a clear list, you’ll end up running around, panicking. And when you let the panic set in, that’s when you leave things – important ones – behind.

2.       Figure out what kind of clothes you need.
Do you have an official uniform you need to wear? Don’t forget your pajamas, too!

Aside from those basics, you need to find out what weather you’re preparing for. Is it snowing where you’re going? Is it a tropical country? The research needed to do this won’t take an hour. The few minutes you spend on this can save you from frostbite. Or possibly, a heat stroke.

3.       Pack the electronics.
You’ve got the clothes. You’ve got the documents. Now, it’s time to pack the real essentials – the electronics.

Your laptop, your phone, your tablet – make sure everything’s packed away. Don’t forget the chargers, as well. Think about other accessories you might need. You may need to bring a portable hard drive, or a flash disc. What about your earphones and your power bank?

4.       Take your passport and money.
You can’t leave home without them! Your passport and money are the bare basics you’ll need in any trip. You can afford to forget your toothbrush. You can even afford to leave a few pieces of clothing behind. But you can never afford to leave your passport and money at home.
Make sure you have any alternatives with you, as well. You may want to bring your checkbook. Don’t forget your credit cards as well.

5.       Don’t rush.
You’ll probably think this is a crazy piece of advice. You only have one hour left. Of course, you’re going to rush!

Well, you may not believe it, but an hour is actually a lot of time. It’s more than enough to pack everything you need into your luggage. When you rush, you tend to panic. And when you panic, you waste more time. You rummage through your closet, looking for things you don’t really need. You distract yourself from what’s essential. But when you’re relaxed, your mind functions better.

This is not just applicable to people who have just found out about their trip. You may be one of those people who procrastinate and leave the packing until the very last minute. This is for you, too.

So the next time you have an hour left to pack, take a deep breath. Relax. It’s an entire hour – and that’s more than enough time to pack.

About author: Olivia is a journalist, content-writer and a bookworm. She loves to teach, read and write. Her second biggest love after books is her cat called Patty, who usually kindly assists her while writing. Follow Olivia on Facebook and Twitter.

LTO to Enhance its IT System: Plans Online Driver’s License, Car Registration Transactions

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The Land Transportation Office (LTO) today said it will modernize its system to make online transactions possible and more efficient.

LTO chief Edgar Galvante said that part of their strategy is to enhance the agency’s Information Technology (IT) system. This, he said, will improve services, promote transparency, prevent corruption and allow drivers and car owners to transact in comfort and convenience.

“It is being done abroad, why not here?” LTO Assec Galvante said.

The LTO head explained that the idea has been around for some time now. He added that the agency is now working to turn this idea into a reality.

“We are gearing towards online registration of driver’s license application and car registration. We need a credible IT to be able to enforce that,” LTO Assistant Secretary Edgar Galvante emphasized.

The LTO chief added that the five-year license with 5 years validity will be available by the end of the year.

Transport Secretary Arthur P. Tugade has expressed his support for online driver’s license application.

Speaking before transport cooperative delegates and government officials at the 3rd National Congress for the Transport Cooperative Sector last Saturday, June 3, 2017, the Transport Secretary said that the Department is considering online driver’s license applications.

“Pinag-aaralan namin na sa hinaharap, kung wala kang violation, online na lang ang application ng lisensya.”

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Ovation Productions Announces Cast of ‘Sister Act’ – The Broadway Musical Smash Hit Set to Open June 27

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Ovation Productions proudly announces its new theater offering to all musical theater fans with “Sister Act,” a hilarious, feel-good musical straight from Broadway, New York as it plays beginning June 27 – July 9 at the Theatre at Solaire.

Based on the mega-hit film from the 1990s, SISTER ACT will be performed in Manila for the first time on a limited two-week run and promises the audience to groove to the original score with music by 8-time Oscar Academy, Grammy and Golden Globe Award-winning composer Alan Menken (Disney’s Alladin, Beauty and the Beast, Newsies, The Little Mermaid, Enchanted, Little Shop of Horrors), with its vast inspiration of musical styles from Motown, soul and funk to great big disco anthems.

Produced by Whoopi Goldberg, TROIKA Entertainment and Sister Act On Tour, LLC, SISTER ACT received five 2011 Tony® Award nominations including BEST MUSICAL, BEST ORIGINAL SCORE (Alan Menken (music)/Glenn Slater (lyrics), and BEST BOOK OF A MUSICAL (Cheri & Bill Steinkellner and Douglas Carter Beane).

SISTER ACT tells the story of a wannabe disco diva Deloris Van Cartier whose life takes a surprising turn when she witnesses a murder, and is put into protective custody in the one place the police are sure she won’t be found – a convent! Disguised as a nun, she finds herself at odds with both the rigid lifestyle and an uptight Mother Superior. Using her fabulous disco vibe and killer voice to inspire the choir, Deloris breathes new life into the church, but in doing so, blows her cover. Deloris helps her fellow sisters find their voices as she unexpectedly rediscovers her own. A sparkling tribute to the universal power of friendship, SISTER ACT is reason to rejoice!

“ To hear people laugh and cheer the way they do at SISTER ACT — a show people think they know but are pleasantly surprised to discover is not what they are expecting — is a magical experience for a producer,” says Producer Whoopi Goldberg, who also played the lead role of Deloris in the 1992 Hollywood blockbuster. 

.ASEAN Told: PHL On Track With Cheap, Secure Energy Initiatives

Wazzup Pilipinas!

The Duterte Administration is working doubly hard to provide Filipinos affordable, reliable, secure and environmentally friendly power, the Department of Energy (DOE) reported to the ASEAN member nations.

The DOE issued the update when it hosted the 16th Annual Meeting of the Regional Energy Policy and Planning–Sub-Sector Network (REPP-SSN) recently at the Sofitel Hotel in Pasay City.

The event served as the Third Sub-Sector Network meeting by the DOE in line with the country’s hosting of the last ASEAN Forum.

The other two conferences were the Civilian Nuclear Energy (CNE) held last 19 April and the Energy Efficiency and Conservation (EE&C) held last 5 May.

DOE Undersecretary Jesus Posadas in the meeting said that the DOE under Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi has taken decisive steps in line with the Duterte Administration’s energy objectives and directions for the years 2016 to 2030.

Designated in the DOE as the Senior Official on Energy, Posadas said the thrust is to “ensure energy supply security, improve access to adequate and affordable energy products and services and working towards a low carbon future.”

The Philippines emphasized to the other ASEAN Member Countries the need for regional energy cooperation.

“We will improve the reliability, availability and resiliency of energy infrastructures and facilities, promote technology innovation through research, development, demonstration, deployment and encourage investments in infrastructure development,” said Posadas.

“The DOE will facilitate the build-up of an appropriate portfolio of installed and dependable energy capacities, anchored on a technology-neutral policy, especially for the power sector, for base load, mid-merit and peaking requirements to support our growing economy,” he added.

The 16th REPP-SSN meeting primarily tackled program updates in the ASEAN Plan of Action for Energy Cooperation (APAEC) which are the ASEAN Power Grid, Trans-ASEAN Gas Pipeline, Coal and Clean Coal Technology, Energy Efficiency and Conservation, Renewable Energy, Regional Energy Policy and Planning and Civilian Nuclear Energy.

Those in attendance were updated on the status of energy-related engagements of ASEAN with various dialogue partners and international organizations.

The meeting output which includes refinements to current APAEC program areas and the REPP-SSN’s work program will be presented during the Senior Officials on Energy Meeting (SOME) in July 2017.

Currently chaired by Singapore, the REPP-SSN serves as the venue for monitoring the deliverables under the APAEC. It is also a place for countries to offer suggestions to address energy challenges for the region.

Moreover, the APAEC is the blueprint for better cooperation towards enhancing energy security, accessibility, affordability and sustainability under the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) framework.
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