Saturday, June 20, 2020

From co-working space hub to e-commerce platform: Young entrepreneurs go online

Wazzup Pilipinas!

With the implementation of the enhanced community quarantine in Metro Manila, most businesses have to suspend their operations, or their employees have to work remotely at home. The restrictions also forced many to go digital in their everyday lives: from working, to paying bills and buying necessities. It is no wonder that web stores and online groceries are thriving today.

In May, Roots Collective, a community of young social entrepreneurs, launched their digital platform to market their products such as home care, food and drinks, zero waste goods, and spread the message of achieving an inclusive and sustainable growth through entrepreneurship.

According to Allister Roy “Aloy” Chua, Roots Collective general manager for business development, their website has provided them a way to stay alive and thrive amidst the pandemic.

“But more than being an e-commerce store, we set up the site na in a way na hindi siya webstore lang. We set the website up to eventually become a digital platform for our entrepreneurs,” he said.

The root of Roots

Roots Collective started in 2016 when a group of entrepreneurs came together to create a more structured and stable physical community for them.

“We decided to have a proper dedicated workspace, selling space and storage space. And by night, it will be an events place,” Aloy said.

The group was first named as Roots Katipunan, since their office is in that area.

“We wanted to have a space - physical and psychological space - where social entrepreneurs and young local entrepreneurs come together to show the excellency of Filipino craftsmanship, sustainability, creativity, and for social enterprises, their social missions.”

Get Rooted!

The Roots webstore sells products such as Tsaa Laya, which sourced their tea from farmers in Calauan, Laguna; Banana Chief’s from plantations in Zamboanga; and organic products like coconut sugar and quinoa from Green Tummy. Other products that are essential to promote hand hygiene are natural disinfectants from Happy Helpers as well as Chlorine Dioxide from Pro-Organics.

The group is also open to collaboration with other local entrepreneurs who wish to have their products displayed on their website.

“We are very much open to having new merchants coming in. Just shoot us an email at We’ll send you a memorandum of agreement with the details and you may send us a product list and the items so we can safely store them in our warehouse,” Aloy added.

In October 2019, Roots Collective with the support of the Peace and Equity Foundation (PEF) and the Forest Foundation Philippines (FFP) launched the Sibol (growth) Program Fund, a special grant facility that will facilitate collaborations among young social entrepreneurs and grassroots communities that PEF and FFP support.

“The fund will focus on the collaboration between Roots Collective and our traditional partner communities in product development and design, marketing and distribution,” PEF Knowledge Management Officer Anna Brillante Vibar said.

The partnership between PEF and with then Roots Katipunan kicked off in 2018 for the leadership development of young social entrepreneurs. Tagged as Collective Community Program, this community of practice provides entrepreneurial capacity building, market access and impact funding. The program hopes to strengthen the network of aspiring and seasoned social entrepreneurs supporting each other and at the same time create a positive impact to the local communities involved.

For inquiries, comments, or suggestion, contact Aljan Quilates at 09297748534

The Peace and Equity Foundation aspires to drive positive change in poor Filipino household communities by investing in social enterprises that will provide them with viable livelihood and better access to basic services. We work with partners who share this vision by developing models and best practices that will steer social enterprises to scale up. Founded in October 2001, our Foundation is the steward of an endowment fund and registered as a non-stock, non-profit organization based in Quezon City, Philippines.

Friday, June 19, 2020

5 Distinctive Style Inspired by Jewish Culture

Wazzup World!
Traditional Jewish clothes that are prior to modernization and the ones that are post-modernization of Judaism have a distinctive style and fashion. Though as a religion Judaism never had a quoted dress code, some clothing of the Jewish garment has evolved Israeli style and garments. 
Like the Kippah, Tallit, and Tichel, a women’s silk headscarf has represented Jewish attire from the sub-communities of Jewish and the country of origin. Jewish people love to celebrate and reenact their promises and values throughout the year with many occasions like Shabbat, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and Tu B’Av.
Some of the Extraordinary Jewish Style Elements:
  1. Katan
Tallit katan or Yiddish is a traditional small head shawl-like garment worn by Jewish men from the age of preschool. It is made out of wool or cotton and can be designed striped or non-striped. Yiddish has a hole for the head and tzitzit (knotted fringes) attached to the four corners. Tallit katan symbolizes communal solidarity and devotion to God.

  1. Kippah
Kippahs, kippot, or yarmulkes are small round-shaped head coverings or skull caps worn by Jewish men which became popular around the second century. It represents reverence to God and is worn compulsorily during customs and occasions. 

Among different communities wearing different kippahs is a ritual. Among Israelis crocheted kippahs and among modern orthodox Jews suede kippahs, satin kippahs among conservative and reform Jews, and Black velvet Kippahs in Haredi Jews are used. Today wearing kippahs is a choice and women also wear kippahs to embrace the style and the custom.

  1. Tichel
Tichel is a headscarf or kerchief worn by many married Jewish women as tzinet or the act of modesty of covering the hair. There are wrapping variations for the length of hair and style. Sinar tichel is the most usual one and gives the look of layering scarves and ties wrapping around the head. With tichel, hundreds of variations can be made from tying knots and creating braids and sidelocks to keeping it simple or high and giving volume. You can shop for tichel here.

  1. Shtreimel
On the occasions of Shabbat, Yom Kippur, and other holidays and in synagogues, married men of mostly Hasidic and Litvak communities wear a fur hat that is known as Shtreimel. The most common shtreimel comprises a large black velvet cap surrounded by the cap. Head coverings like shtreimel symbolize spiritual merit with the addition of beauty and showcasing craftsmanship.

  1. Bekishe
On Shabbos and holidays many Hasidic and Haredi Jews wear a long black frock coat. Two main types of Bekishes are the plain or glatt one and Tish Bekishe. The glatt Bekishe is plain and smooth and worn for Friday night and Saturday morning prayer and the Turkish one that is more gorgeous and lined with velvet is generally worn during shabbos and occasions.
Jews have their own significant clothing like all other religions and communities in the country. Aside from the Jewish exclusive garments, symbols, and styles used by the Jewish community like the beautiful mezuzah patterns, star of David, and Hamsa have been famous in the fashion industry and jewelry. 
Some customary gifts like the Pushka or a charity box that is kept in Jewish households to accumulate donations to offer, menorahs, dreidel, and coins are given on festivals.

Smart Asset Managers: The Netflix of Business Investments

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Are you looking for investment opportunities? With the ongoing pandemic experienced by the whole world, our businesses of all kinds and sizes were undoubtedly affected in one way or another. Even the essential goods and services sector couldn't maximize on their earning potential as most of us were financially-challenged due to unemployment brought about by travel restrictions and health hazards while exposed out on the field or enroute to our jobs.

It is time for us to bounce back as we ease our way to less stricter quarantine protocols.

I recently joined a Zoom meeting with fellow bloggers to know more about Smart Asset Managers (SAM) on the night of June 18, 2020. It was more than an hour of discussion about a platform that could warrant our attention especially if we are eager to earn from a potential worthy investment.

The SAM platform encourages people to subscribe with a minimum amount of $300 while the "asset managers" invest on strategic businesses which they believe will turn them the best profit.

The Zoom meeting was officiated by Rommel Santos, and Diego Jose Ramos, both key personalities managing the Smart Asset Manager. They did their best to explain how SAM works with only a minimum of $300 subscription, while expecting to get up to 15% revenue per month which you can withdraw anytime.

This kind of business is like a crowdfunding for funds they could use in securing business opportunities, though they did say only about 30% from the subscriptions will be used while the remaining 70% stays with them. One mentioned it as the Netflix of business Investments as it does offer you  choices - just hoping they are investment-worthy, just as some of the shows from the streaming platform are not that pleasing. Also, is it the right time to invest while we are still amidst the Covid-19 Pandemic? All I could say to that is we have no other way but to go up afterwards so the opportunity maybe knocking into our doors. How sure are we about the people behind SAM? Are they knowledgeable enough to risk our money? Well, they will surely be transparent to reveal their portfolio and keep us updated of their latest investment finds and profits.

They will use our money as a capital to venture into different kinds of businesses including conventional businesses globally complying with the countries' financial rules and regulations to make the business legal. This includes an Indonesian company called KinerjaPay. Thus, it is better to research on their target acquisitions. Do not just rely on my recommendation, seek out more information about them and their efforts, both past and present, especially the future they are hopefully sharing financial rewards with.

But since all businesses are not immune to economic situations, there are also possible losses too. Do we expect the worst? Maybe, but I assure you that noone wants to lose their fortune so they will surely study tediously before investing.

Unlike MLMs, there will be no recruitment necessary. You are not required to recruit a downline. Everyone will surely get a piece of the pie, may it be pizza, apple, egg or buko. 

They are aiming to expand to the Philippines soon as there are also many Filipinos from other countries that were interested to invest, and are already investors benefitting from the rewards. Thus, they hope you will download the SAM app now, subscribe, learn how the platform works, and earn too.

For more information, please see more information below:

The Philippines will soon welcome Smart Asset Managers (SAM) into the country with its planned grand launch.

SAM is registered as a general business company in Melbourne Australia and its digital technologies is in digital and conventional business developments. It also aims to reverse the conventional method of entrepreneurial journey through economy sharing.

Earlier this year, SAM opened its market and community in Malaysia and Indonesia. It’s targeting the Philippines as its third Southeast Asian market. Founded by Rommel Santos, a Philippine-born New Zealander based in Australia entrepreneur.

SAM will operate in the country with an initial of at least a million US dollar investment from the $10-million digital expansion project. He believes that the Filipinos yearn for alternative ways of earning and gaining more understanding of the financial technology or fintech.

Santos said he also intends to buy the majority shares of the Indonesian company KinerjaPay, a digital payment solutions in brick-and-mortar businesses in Indonesia and Southeast Asia regions –

– to promote the growth of e-Commerce and marketplace in the internet by providing users and merchants with safe and secure shopping experience online. It is a publicly listed company in New York Stock Exchange.

With SAM’s entry into the country, Santos expressed optimism that he could bring in positive financial changes into the lives of ordinary Filipinos.

“They only have to subscribe to SAM and see for themselves how their subscribed amount earns incentive even if they are sleeping,” Santos explained. “We share the opportunities to all our subscribers to engage directly in the business.”

SAM tentatively schedules its Philippine launch in July or August.

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Qatar's Ministry of Commerce Welcomes WTO's Ruling against Saudi Violations of Intellectual Property Rights, Promotion of Piracy

Wazzup Pilipinas!

The Ministry of Commerce and Industry of the State of Qatar welcomed the ruling by the World Trade Organization (WTO) finding that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has breached Intellectual Property Rights by refusing to take action against beoutQ piracy channel, and instead actively promoting this piracy.

The WTO's ruling found that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has breached its obligations under the WTO Agreement on Trade related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights ("TRIPS Agreement") and failed to protect intellectual property IP rights by refusing to take action against, and instead actively promoting, sophisticated Saudi based broadcast pirate "beoutQ".

The WTO Panel has called on Saudi Arabia to stop its abuse of IP rights and "bring its measures into conformity" with WTO law.

This is the first time in the seventy-three-year history of the WTO and its predecessor (the GATT) that a Panel has rejected a respondent's attempt to invoke the national security exception as a defense.

The WTO Panel found that Saudi Arabia's failure to take criminal action against beoutQ was so disconnected from any legitimate security interest that it could not meet even "a minimum requirement of plausibility in relation to the proffered essential security interests".

Reacting to the Panel Report, HE the Minister of Commerce and Industry Ali bin Ahmed Al Kuwari said in a statement to Qatar News Agency: "Qatar, and international rights holders, have scored a resounding victory today. We expect Saudi Arabia, especially since it is hosting the upcoming G20, to respect this decisive ruling and end the theft and piracy of IP rights at once. They can start by heeding the WTO's ruling and conducting a fair, timely, and transparent legal proceeding against the perpetrators in order to stop this abuse posthaste."

The ruling came after the State of Qatar filed a formal complaint against the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia through the WTO's Dispute Settlement Body.

In its report published today, the WTO Panel concluded that beoutQ has been pirating copyrighted media content of Qatari company beIN Media Group LLP (beIN) in Saudi Arabia and beyond, including through the sale of beoutQ subscriptions and set-top decoder boxes at numerous retail outlets across Saudi Arabia.

The report said that in addition to pirating beIN's proprietary and licensed sports content, the beoutQ boxes allow access to thousands of pirated movies, TV shows, and TV channels from around the globe, and pirate broadcasts have been transmitted via Saudi-based Arabsat satellite frequencies and a Saudi company, Saudi Selevision Company LLC, has "allowed or assisted beoutQ to broadcast its pirated content on Arabsat".

The report stressed that the piracy has been conducted on a "commercial scale". The Panel concluded this after considering evidence revealing the commercial purpose of beoutQ, such as the sale of advertisements and extensive marketing of the pirate service.

The report pointed out that there were deep-seated and fundamental flaws in Saudi Arabia's commitment to providing enforcement procedures consistent with the TRIPS Agreement, and Saudi Arabia has refused to take any effective criminal action against beoutQ despite being fully aware of the "extensive evidentiary basis for concluding that beoutQ is operated by individuals or entities subject to the criminal jurisdiction of Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia has also restricted or otherwise frustrated the ability of beIN (and its licensors) to pursue civil actions against the infringement of their IP rights, the report added. It further said that the authorities of the Saudi government have "engaged in the promotion of public gatherings with screenings of beoutQ's unauthorized broadcasts", including of the 2018 World Cup.

The Panel's analysis shows how, by allowing beoutQ's theft and piracy to spread unchecked for several years, Saudi Arabia has actively violated its obligations under the TRIPS Agreement to protect the IP rights of Qatari nationals and of high-profile sports and entertainment rights holders from other trading partners, including the United States, the European Union, and the United Kingdom. This is despite complaints by governments around the world, as well as by some of the highest-profile sports leagues and media companies around the globe.

Under this ruling, Saudi Arabia must now heed the WTO Panel's call to stop its abuse of valuable IP rights, and "bring its measures into conformity with its obligations under the TRIPS Agreement".

While the dispute before the WTO Panel focused on IP-related violations, the Panel's findings also highlighted Saudi Arabia's human rights violations directed at Qataris.

The Panel found that Saudi Arabia "expelled Qatari residents and visitors in Saudi territories" with only two weeks' notice - for no reason other than that they were Qatari - and imposed restrictions preventing Qataris from travelling to, or transiting through, Saudi territory.

Moreover, the Panel highlighted that these discriminatory measures were mandated by the Saudi government, finding "the existence of the general anti sympathy measures that directly or indirectly fostered a climate of anti-sympathy against Qatar and Qatari nationals".

It is worth noting that Qatar has initiated several other legal proceedings before the WTO, and other international courts and tribunals, in respect of unlawful actions taken by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Egypt, since June 2017.

Qatar will continue to pursue justice through these legal actions, while honoring its own international law obligations.

During the session, several WTO Members intervened before the Panel as third parties, supporting aspects of Qatar's position.

In this context, the European Union emphasized that, consistent with the WTO obligations, "criminal procedures and penalties should not be provided only on paper, but should be effective in practice".

Brazil and the European Union pointed to the damage being done to their own rights holders.

Brazil, Canada, the European Union, Japan, Russia, Singapore and Ukraine insisted that Saudi Arabia's invocation of the national security defense must not pass without judicial scrutiny.

The Panel's report is based on extensive evidence submitted by Qatar over the course of multiple written submissions and two oral proceedings, and despite Saudi Arabia's intensive engagement in this process.

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

PHLPost sets health and safety protocols to fight Covid-19

Wazzup Pilipinas!

The Philippine Postal Corporation (PHLPost) has committed to keep the post office safe for employees and the public in the fight against Covid-19.

PHLPost has emphasized that the safety of its personnel and postal clients are of paramount importance. It has introduced measures to keep its post offices and mail processing facilities accepting postal ID’s, domestic and international mails safe.

For daily health checks, employees and the public are required to declare their whereabouts and health status for easy contact tracing, regularly promotes physical distancing, hand sanitation, regular temperature checking and wearing of facemask. 

To keep its workplace safe, mails and parcels regularly received at the post office are being sanitized and disinfected by its maintenance personnel who wear personal protective equipment (PPEs) for secure working environment.

Work arrangements such as flexible hours, shifting and work-from-home were also adapted according to work requirements.

PHLPost is also committed to fulfill its universal mandate of continuous delivery of important mails from various government and private sectors who are important clients of the agency.

Meanwhile, post offices in the country are now open to serve the public from 8:00am until 5:00pm.

LTFRB, LTO transitions to "new normal" with use of online, cashless transactions

Wazzup Pilipinas!

As the country make adjustments for the “new normal,” amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) health crisis, the Department of Transportation (DOTr), through the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) and the Land Transportation Office (LTO), is pushing for technological innovations that will lessen human intervention and physical contact in agency transactions.

Starting 16 June 2020, the LTFRB will launch, in the National Capital Region, its latest initiative: the Public Transport Online Processing System (PTOPS). This system, which is still on pilot testing and for consultation with stakeholders from June 1-15, will allow transactions to be made online - making LTFRB services faster and accessible for all its stakeholders. This, however excludes the publication and hearing of cases.

In partnership with PISOPAY.COM, the PTOPS not only aims to make transactions faster and more convenient, but also aims to ensure that physical distancing will be continuously observed, as a precautionary measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Using PTOPS, a user can easily create an account, select the type of transaction, and schedule an appointment online with the LTFRB.

Aside from helping to curb the spread of COVID-19, the new system also prevents opportunities for corrupt practices as there is now lessened human intervention.

"Kailangan na po nating masanay na ito na ang magiging normal simula ngayon. We are making our services accessible at the comfort of your homes and we have to adapt to this new reality. In this way, we lower the risk of possible virus transmission,” LTFRB Chairman Martin Delgra III said.

To recall, aside from PTOPS, the DOTr is also championing the implementation of safety protocols by promoting cashless transactions or digital payments as part of the “new normal.”

The Department has encouraged various digital payment providers to make their services available to transport operators and drivers to pave the way for cashless or contactless transactions in public transportation, such as taxis and transport network vehicle services (TNVS). Additionally, the LTFRB had also directed the use of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags on all public utility vehicles (PUVs) plying expressways and tollways.

For its part, the LTO said the “new normal” procedures will also be practiced in various transactions made with the agency through the Land Transportation Management System (LTMS).

Through the system, anyone can process their transactions online with the LTO to include driver/conductor’s application for renewal of license, requests for revision of records, and requests for Certificate of No Apprehension.

For settlement of traffic violations, motorists with admitted cases may settle their violations outright by paying fines at any LTO District Office Cashier or via electronic payment channels and online banking.

Meanwhile, for contested cases, motorists can submit their position papers online through the LTMS. Notification of hearing schedule and settlement updates will then be sent through electronic mail (e-mail) and through a portal dashboard.

According to LTO Assistant Secretary Edgar C. Galvante, the LTMS is currently on pilot test at some LTO offices which are under the general community quarantine (GCQ).

“We are doing the pilot-test at 24 LTO Offices to iron-out the technical glitches, and thus ensure that everything will run smoothly. Once all are in place, the LTMS will be implemented in all LTO offices nationwide,” Asec. Galvante said.

“The LTMS will limit human intervention so as to comply with the safety protocol advised by health authorities. Aside from this, I encourage everyone to be a responsible motorist so that our roads will be safer and settlements will be less. In this way, we can contribute to the faster healing process of our country,” Galvante emphasized.

Instituto Cervantes programs a videoconference on Magellan’s arrival to the Philippines

Wazzup Pilipinas!

On June 13, at 6pm, Instituto Cervantes de Manila presented a videoconference on the first circumnavigation of the world. The guest speaker was Tomás Mazón, a specialist on the topic and creator of the website La Primera Vuelta al Mundo (

Interest in the historical Magellan-Elcano expedition is growing in the Philippines, particularly because the country was part of this voyage when the Magellan landed in the Archipelago in 1521. Many of the details of what happened are well known, but others remain obscure. In his talk, titled “Magellan & Elcano in the Philippines: Details in the historical archives”, Tomás Mazón will present the results of his research from the archived sources and the chronicles to complete or clarify the account of what happened.

Although an engineer by profession, Tomás Mazón has devoted his time to research on various articles on this topic. He regularly publishes the results of his research in his website.

The videoconference, presented by Instituto Cervantes de Manila in collaboration with the Embassy of Spain in the Philippines, was held on the Zoom platform and was conducted in Spanish, but simultaneous translation in English will be provided. The audience were able to interact with the speaker by submitting their questions during the event. Admission was free on a first-come, first served basis. For further information and updates about this event, please check out or Instituto Cervantes’ Facebook page:

DOH, FDCP, DOLE Issue Guidelines for Film and Audiovisual Work Amid COVID-19

Wazzup Pilipinas!

The Department of Health (DOH), the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP), and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) have joined forces to release guidelines for the resumption of production work and activities in the film and audiovisual industry amid the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) crisis.

The "Joint Administrative Order (JAO) No. 2020-001 on the Health and Safety Protocols for the Conduct of Film and Audiovisual Production Shoots and Audiovisual Activities During COVID-19 Pandemic" was signed with immediate effectivity on June 7, 2020 by FDCP Chairperson and CEO Liza Diño-Seguerra, DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello III, and DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III.

"These guidelines, drafted in consultation with professional guilds and stakeholders, prioritize the health and safety of our film and audiovisual workers as they slowly resume operations," said Diño-Seguerra. "As the film and audiovisual industry is part of the country's hardest-hit business sector due to COVID-19, it is empowering that our lead government agencies are working with the FDCP to support industry members in transitioning to the new normal of performing their works while ensuring a safe environment amidst the pandemic."

The Order covers all film and audiovisual companies; workers regardless of employment status (including contractors and freelancers); all contents (including motion picture, film, television, animation, and advertising); all stages of production (including pre-production, principal photography, and post-production); all venues of production (including locations, production and animation studios, workplaces, production sites, and post-production facilities); and all others concerned with the conduct of film and audiovisual production shoots in all stages.

In the absence of a vaccine and definitive cure, producers and employers are required to comply with the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) and DOH minimum health standards for COVID-19 mitigation by increasing the physical and mental resilience of workers, stopping transmission, reducing contact rate, and shortening the duration of infectiousness.

With sectors slowly returning to work as we jumpstart our economy, the risk of COVID-19 affecting our population remains. "These minimum health and safety protocols will ensure that our workers in the film and audiovisual industry are protected. Furthermore, by implementing these guidelines we likewise ensure that this protection extends to their families and communities," the Health Secretary said.

Among the mandatory control measures that promote the safety and health of workers are the following:

1. Reduce the number of workers and create alternative work arrangements. A maximum of 50 workers only shall be allowed to work in production sites.

2. Modify necessary revisions of scripts and production executions without sacrificing health safety measures.

3. Maintain physical distancing.

4. Employ engineering controls to limit physical contact and personal hygiene.

There must be handwashing stations, footbath mats in all entrances, and physical barriers in common areas. The sanitation of workplaces and production or shooting sites, as well as the disinfection of equipment, wardrobe, props, and vehicles must be done regularly. There must also be a designated COVID-19 isolation area in locations and workplaces for all stages of production.

5. Enforce effective implementation of JAO through Administrative controls.

Producers and employers must disseminate all COVID-19 health and safety protocols to workers and must plan their work and productions to comply with the requirements of the Joint Administrative Order. Safety orientations must be conducted before the resumption of production work.

6. Proper use of PPEs.

Workers must wear their personal protective equipment (PPE) like surgical masks, face shields, and gloves at all times. They should also use alcohol or hand sanitizer religiously, on top of washing their hands properly. Producers and employers must provide an ample supply of PPE and alcohol or hand sanitizer.

In order to ensure compliance with the minimum standards of the JAO and the occupational safety and health (OSH) of workers, an OSH Officer must be present in workplaces and production sites at all times.

Vulnerable population groups composed of pregnant women, senior citizens, and those with underlying health conditions are discouraged from working on production sites as they have a higher risk of contracting COVID-19. The producer or employer must develop agreements that detail alternative work arrangements and deliverables from these workers with no diminution in talent fees or benefits.

Aside from ensuring the strict compliance of industry stakeholders, the Order also provides for the Safe Filming Program which will give information on working safely in the Philippines by creating a resource website with the guidelines, systems, resources, forms, documents, issuances, updates, and best practices from international film commissions.

FDCP-DOH-DOLE Joint Administrative Order No. 2020-001 was published on June 7, 2020 in a newspaper of general circulation. The complete text of the Order can be accessed here.

Batangas City hailed as One Planet City Challenge 2019-2020 country winner for the Philippines

Wazzup Pilipinas!

The capital city of Batangas province has been named the Philippine winner in the latest edition of the World Wide Fund for Nature’s (WWF) One Planet City Challenge, joining the list of national winners from 22 countries worldwide.

The city’s comprehensive climate mitigation and adaptation plan, which includes interventions based on city-specific climate vulnerabilities, impressed the urban sustainability experts from across the globe that compose the OPCC jury. Batangas City also reported an ambitious target for carbon neutrality by 2030 and its vision to be the first carbon-neutral city in the Philippines.

In a letter from the OPCC Team in Stockholm, the jury acknowledged the city’s aggressive efforts in promoting climate risk assessment.

“Batangas City showed particularly strong performance related to its vision. The city scored well across different indicators especially political action and climate risk assessment and evidence of action, especially related to adaptation.”

Together with Batangas City, fellow finalists Muntinlupa and Santa Rosa, Cagayan de Oro, Davao, Dipolog, La Carlota, Pasig, San Carlos, Tagum, Malolos, Parañaque, and Quezon City, were included in the country’s roster of qualifiers for OPCC 2019-2020.

WWF-Philippines Executive Director Joel Palma praised the City of Batangas, as well as the other local qualifiers, for representing the Philippines well.

“I would like to commend the Batangas City LGU and all the other LGUs who have taken part in the OPCC. I would like to commend their efforts in finding solutions to ensure that development is made sustainable by putting into the equation the environment and people. The challenges we are facing now, particularly the pandemic, proves that there is a direct link between the health of the environment and the health and well being of people,” shared Palma.

Nearly 66% of the global population has been represented in the year’s OPCC leg, with 255 cities participating from over 53 countries across the globe.

Originally launched as the Earth Hour City Challenge, OPCC kicked off in 2011 as a biennial global challenge where cities are encouraged to share climate mitigation and develop adaptation plans centered in their critical role of building a sustainable and climate-safe future. Being accountable for 70% of carbon emissions globally and generating 80% of the total GDP, the political and economic power of cities are considered instrumental in the transition to a more stable climate.

Winners of this year’s OPCC are also eligible to participate in We Love Cities, a WWF campaign interwoven with the OPCC which aims to liaise better communication between city officials and the citizens they represent on climate change and sustainability issues. For more information and updates, log on to

Kiefer Ravena, Gabe Norwood keep healthy as they wait for PBA return

Wazzup Pilipinas!

​Elite athletes always make sure to get the right nutrition not just for themselves, but for their family as well.

"I always watch everything I eat and drink especially after what happened to me a couple of years ago," said Kiefer Ravena, who was found with banned substances by FIBA due to a tainted supplement that resulted in a year-long suspension.

"Being an athlete of my age, I need to watch what I eat to help extend my career," added Gabe Norwood, who has been playing pro ball for 12 years. "And I need to teach my kids as well the importance of proper nutrition."

For Norwood and Ravena, they only trust one chicken -- Bounty Fresh.

Bounty Agro Ventures Inc. is the first and only poultry integrator in the country that does not inject any antibiotics to its chickens from day one. Yes, no traces of chemicals can be found in any of the wide line of products BAVI has.

"We pride ourselves in serving the Filipino people with chickens that have zero antibiotics in it. From our live to dressed to Chooks-to-Go and Uling Roasters, not even a speck of antibiotics can be found in them," said BAVI president Ronald Mascariñas.

Being owners of their own Chooks-to-Go branches, Ravena and Norwood can say that they eat what they serve.

"I only want to serve the best and the best means something that I can also serve to my parents and myself. That is why I can look anyone straight in the eye and say that I always eat the same chicken I serve in my Chooks-to-Go store," said Ravena.

Save the Children Philippines calls for end to exploitative and harmful work for children

Wazzup Pilipinas!

At the World Day against Child Labor, Save the Children Philippines calls for end to exploitative and harmful work for children

June 12, 2020 – In celebration of World Day Against Child Labor, Save the Children Philippines calls for an end to child labor to give every child the chance to thrive and develop to their fullest potential.

There are around 2.1 Million child workers aged 5-17 years old in the country as per the 2011 survey of the Philippine Statistics Authority, most of them in hazardous and exploitative work conditions. Save the Children Philippines is concerned that figures may have changed already and the adverse impact of COVID-19 will push thousands of children into poverty, and forced labor as parents and guardians face loss of income and livelihood opportunities.

Atty. Alberto Muyot, Chief Executive Officer of Save the Children Philippines said children who live in poverty are the first to suffer the consequences of the economic impact of the pandemic.

“No child should be engaged in harmful work,” said Muyot.

Save the Children Philippines is committed to partnering with the national and local governments, civil society organizations, private sector, parents and schools in finding sustainable solution to the problem in line with Article 32 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention 182 on the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labor, and ILO Convention 138 on the Minimum Age of Employment.

Save the Children Philippines believes that deprived and marginalized children including those from Indigenous People’s communities, children with disabilities, out of school children and youth, children in conflict affected areas, those living in areas prone to natural disasters, and those from low income families are more vulnerable to exploitation and harmful work.

In the last 40 years, the child rights organization has been advocating children’s rights and implementing programs that include maternal and newborn healthcare, sustainable and inclusive learning, and protection from physical and humiliating punishments, and online sexual abuse and exploitation.

“We believe that every child has an inherent and inviolable right to health and survival, to play and learn and to be protected from all forms of abuse and violence including exploitative work,” Muyot said.

DOST in awe of Scholars’ volunteerism amid COVID-19

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When the country imposed the nationwide community quarantine amid the spread of the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19), worry and uncertainty clouded the minds of many, especially the poor, who are unprepared of the sudden restrictions in movement and economic activity. Despite this, Scholars of the Department of Science and Technology - Science Education Institute (DOST-SEI) were among the first to organize themselves to do volunteer work in their localities.

DOST officials are amazed with the various initiatives done by its scholars - both ongoing and scholar-graduates.

“It is very inspiring to know that our DOST Scholars are doing their own part to help the nation recover from the current crisis,” said DOST Secretary Fortunato de la Peña who regularly reports of the agency’s efforts in his official social media page.

As of June 5, there are 1,081 ongoing and former science scholars who volunteered in relief operations; data encoding and validation; 3D printing of frames for face shields and production of other personal protective equipment (PPE) for frontliners; and production of alcohol. Some even helped in their community safety assistance program by monitoring persons entering and leaving their barangay.

DOST-SEI Director, Dr. Josette Biyo, said that while they are in awe of these initiatives, she credits the Institute’s scholars’ formation program called “The Filipino Patriot Scholars Project” in further awakening patriotism and servant leadership traits among scholars.

“Since 2017, we wanted to inculcate the core values such as professional excellence, social responsibility, servant leadership and volunteerism among our scholars aside from them pursuing academic excellence. We know that those values don’t fully blossom in a matter of days or weeks, but the Patriot Project allowed them to find deeper meaning to the brand of being DOST Scholars,” Biyo said.

The number of scholar-volunteers kept rising from an initial 500 in April to more than a thousand as of date. Biyo furthered that there are still scholar-volunteers whose contributions were undocumented.

“The documented efforts may represent only some of the initiatives from DOST Scholars but the impact cannot be overstated,” she said.

Among the documented efforts, Biyo said some notable modes of assistance include data validation for the distribution of Social Amelioration Program, development of online tracking mechanism for persons under investigation and monitoring (PUIs and PUMs), and strategic campaign to provide baby-friendly relief via a movement called #FeedPHBabies. A number of scholars and alumni also pooled resources to buy food packs, groceries, and other essentials for the vulnerable in their localities. Scholars also helped in information dissemination by creating infographics and publication of relevant information materials while others enlisted as volunteers for the Molecular Biolab to be established in assistance to COVID-19 testing.

The Feasibility Analysis of Syndromic Surveillance using Spatio-Temporal Epidomiological Modeler (FASSSTER), which was developed by a team lead by a research team from Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU), with funding support from the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD) of DOST, allows forecasting of possible cases in a given area at a specified period of time. It is used for creating predictive models and visualizing possible scenarios of outbreaks of dengue, typhoid fever and measles at specified time periods. Under this project, 45 DOST Scholar volunteers are deployed at the Department of Health (DOH) regional offices nationwide and work as data encoders and analysts. Data gathered from this model will support the decision-making of DOH, local government units and healthcare facilities in terms of resource planning and other measures to mitigate the spread of the virus.

Biyo mentioned that Shana Genavia, a DOST Scholar, was also part of the DNA Sequencing Core Facility that helped validate the COVID-19 Detection Kit developed by the University of the Philippines - National Institutes of Health (UP NIH). MD-PhD scholar-graduates of UP Philippine General Hospital also underwent training at the UP National Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (UP-NIMBB) for deployment at the Department of Health (DOH) Testing Centers.

She also cited that some DOST Balik Scientists and graduate scholars from University of San Agustin in Iloilo are doing epidemiological modelling of COVID-19 for the Province of Iloilo, Guimaras, and Panay. The results of which are given to the City Mayor and Governors in aid of policy making.

“Even in Marawi, we saw great volunteer efforts from those who benefitted from our Bangon Marawi Scholarship Program. These scholar-graduates who named themselves Team Batis distributed food packs in Marawi City and Balo-i in Lanao del Norte, and Saguiaran, Marantao, Maguing, and Tugaya in Lanao del Sur,” Biyo said.

As the community quarantine was relaxed in several parts of the country, DOST-SEI is positive that the initiatives from its scholars will remain.

“Indeed, there’s no amount of volunteer work that is too small nor big enough. The fact that reaching out to others while being under the same threat of exposure to the deadly virus is noble for our young scholars. We’re so proud of them,” Biyo disclosed.
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