Saturday, June 25, 2022

Mandatory Online filing of retirement claims to also cover Self-Employed Members age 60 to 64 years old starting July 1

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Social Security System (SSS) President and CEO Michael G. Regino said the coverage of the mandatory online filing of retirement benefit claims through the My.SSS Portal will be extended to self-employed members who are 60 to 64 years old starting July 1, 2022.

This is in addition to all employee-members, voluntary members, land-based Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) members, and self-employed members aged 65 years old and above at the time of retirement who were required to file online effective July 2020.

“As early as 2015, we have made this online facility available to our members who have reached their technical retirement age of 65 years old. With the onset of the pandemic, we have continuously enhanced this online facility to provide our members with a simpler and more convenient mode of application without physically going to our branches. All they need to do is to access their My.SSS account, click Apply for Retirement Benefit under the Benefits section of the E-Services tab, fill out the required information, and submit the required supporting documents,” Regino said.

Members with the following special cases on retirement benefit claims should still file manually at any SSS branch or foreign representative office:
With outstanding Stock Investment Loan Program (SILP)/Privatization Loan Program/Educational Loan/Vocational Technology Loan balance;
With dependent child/children under guardianship;
Wherein member is incapacitated, under guardianship, or confined in an applicable institution such as penitentiary, correctional institution, or rehabilitation center;
With Application of Portability Law or Bilateral Social Security Agreements;
With adjustment or for re-adjudication of claim; and
With the unclaimed benefit of a deceased member.The retirement benefit is a cash benefit granted to a member who can no longer work due to old age and has reached the prescribed retirement age. It can be in the form of a monthly pension for those who have paid at least 120 monthly contributions prior to the semester of retirement or a lump sum for those who have paid less than 120 contributions. The qualifying conditions for the retirement benefit program can be accessed at while the guidelines and policies on the online filing of said benefit claim through the My.SSS Portal can be found at

4 Preparation Tips When Applying for an Online Cash Loan

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If you want to take out a loan, but don’t want to go through a stringent process, you can try online cash loans. You can do so from an online-only lender using their website or app, or from the online department of a traditional lender such as banks and similar financial institutions.

Compared to traditional loans, online cash loans don’t require in-person interactions with a banker or the lender’s representative. Also, many online lenders offer quick application and evaluation processes. In most cases, you may be informed of your loan application status within 24 hours. Most online cash loan providers also only ask for minimal requirements, which makes this option more attractive to people who have limited documentation on hand.

Nevertheless, “minimal requirements” doesn’t mean no requirements. While it’s easier to apply for a loan from online lenders, you still need to follow a certain process. As a loan applicant, you need to be ready to comply so you can get approved and gain access to the cash quicker.

From looking for an online loan app Philippines users can rely on to preparing the necessary documents, here are some tips you need to take note of when applying for an online cash loan:

Identify the Purpose of Your Loan

One of the first things you have to do before you take out a loan is to determine the purpose. Although online lenders are certainly more lenient, they may still inquire about the matter as part of the process. To help speed up your application, make sure you’re clear about the reason why you’re applying for the loan.

It’s also better to identify the specifics to be sure about the amount you need to borrow. For example, the amount for a loan to buy a new gadget can be lower than financing part of your travel expenses.

Consider Your Monthly Debt Payments

Before you apply for a loan, confirm if you have any existing debts as these can affect how well you manage your finances. If you're using about 50 percent of your take-home pay to pay off existing debt, you may find it challenging to time manage a new loan without compromising your daily living expenses.

If possible, pay off your other debts before applying for a new loan to make your monthly expenses more manageable. If you can’t close all your existing loans, then make sure to settle the payments on time each month to avoid interest charges.

Look for the Best Loan Rates and Terms

Different financial institutions have varying loan rates and terms when it comes to online cash loans. In the case of online lenders, they’re usually more considerate with regard to payment terms. Depending on the amount you’ll be borrowing, you can pay the loan off within 6 or up to 36 months. Do take note that the loan term can affect the interest rates. While a longer loan payment term may be easier for you to handle monthly, the interest rate is often higher. On the other hand, shorter loan terms have larger regular payments but come with lower interest.

Given this fact, make sure to explore what different financial institutions have to offer. Do your research and ask the lender if you can have a sample loan computation. This will give you a glimpse of the loan payments and visualize how they affect your finances.

Have Your Requirements Ready

When you’re applying for an online cash loan, the lender may ask you for certain requirements like a valid ID and proof of your income. Online lenders request for the former to identify the individual to whom they’re about to lend their money. It’s also one way they can perform background checks to ensure you have a trustworthy record as a borrower. Some valid IDs you can submit include government-issued ones such as your:

● Driver’s license

● Passport

● Postal ID

● COMELEC Voter’s ID

● Professional Regulation Commission ID

● Unified Multipurpose ID

Aside from your identification card, financial institutions also need to verify your income. They do this to assess your capability to pay the loan and other risks that can come with allowing you to borrow money. Depending on the lender, there are a few documents you can show as proof of your income. In case you’re employed, lenders may ask for a copy of your most recent pay slip, certificate of employment, or BIR Form 2316, which proves your salary has been subjected to income tax.

If you’re self-employed, prepare the Department of Trade and Industry registration of your business or the Securities and Exchange Commission registration of your company.

Although applying for an online cash loan is quicker than the traditional application process, it still requires some preparation. If you’re planning to borrow some funds, follow these recommendations so you can gather the requirements beforehand. More importantly, the preparations can help you manage your loans and finances better.

Friday, June 24, 2022

Hamilo Coast: Nurturing nature for 15 years and beyond

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The current rate at which individuals observe sustainability practices is far from halting climate change. Whether it is reducing the use of disposable items or saving more energy, environmentally conscious activities will only yield significant results if everyone is “cast in the same mold,” so to speak. That said, high-impact global sustainable development lies within the responsibility of the government and large organizations—conglomerates among them.

Understanding such a role, SM Prime Holdings, Inc., one of the largest integrated property developers in Southeast Asia, has incorporated its sustainable practices in its developments early on. Through SM Prime’s Costa Del Hamilo Inc., a leader in the leisure resort industry and the movers behind Hamilo Coast – this premium seaside complex in Nasugbu, Batangas, fosters a tangible connection with nature. Marking its quindecennial year, Hamilo Coast looks back at its milestones and achievements with its core emphasis on sustainable development.

“Sustainability has been at the forefront of our vision in providing a resort lifestyle. We strive to practice both environmental and social sustainability in our operations through our partners and commnunities,” Franklin M. Bolalin, Assistant Vice President for Hamilo Estate Management, said.

Disaster risk reduction

Every year, the country deals with an average of 19 typhoons, with some often resulting in damages to properties and loss of life. Coastal defenses such as seawalls and breakwater structures are often implemented to resist storm surges. In the case of Hamilo Coast, mangrove trees are the key.

Hamilo Coast’s 100,000 square-meter or equivalent to 10 hectares mangrove belt is one of the largest mangrove areas in the municipality. The sustainable beach resort town has since planted 50,000 mangrove propagules, protected hand-in-hand with the conservation organization World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Philippines.

Biodiversity conservation

Apart from disaster mitigation, mangrove trees also benefit the climate by absorbing greenhouse gases (GHGs) and carbon dioxide. This capacity nurtures the ecosystem and biodiversity in the area, providing habitat for a wide array of species.

Hamilo is home to rich marine life and abundant flora and fauna. Its conservation programs and various sustainability initiatives have nurtured and conserved its precious biodiversity. There are about 96 various bird species found at the estate. Among these bird species are the rough-crested Malkoha and the Philippine eagle-owl.

From growing local plants to conducting regular coastal clean-up drives, coastal resource conservation initiatives are active in Hamilo Coast. With the help of WWF, they can increase their fisheries’ biological capacity and monitor their Marine Protected Areas (MPAs)—the Pico de Loro, Etayo and Santelmo coves which are among the three MPAs for Costa Del Hamilo’s Sustainable Development Project. Hamilo has been working with WWF since 2007 monitoring the health and viability of Hamilo Coast area.

In recognition of its conservation efforts, Hamilo Coast was cited by the World Wide Fund for Nature as its longest Sustainability Partner in 2020.

“Over the years, our partnership with SM significantly contributed to the impact we are making in our work in Hamilo Coast. From liquid waste and coral monitoring, to our present work on integrated waste management and food sheds, we hope that this continuing partnership would help us realize our vision of making Hamilo a holistic model of sustainability”, says Katherine Custodio, WWF-Philippines’ Executive Director.

Green buildings development

The path towards a sustainable future is paved with many interventions, including zero waste, dematerialization, zero emissions and resource efficiency practices. For its part, Hamilo Coast makes its intention to be a premiere sustainability community possible by making sure its buildings are designed with the environment in mind.

Some of the estate’s facilities are powered by alternative sources of energy. For example, its lamp posts use solar power more than traditional ones to function. Natural lighting and ventilation are also noticeable in some of its residential areas, which benefits the environment as well as its tenants. Additionally, Hamilo Coast implements a solid waste management plan that consists of recovery of materials and vermicomposting, among others.

Sustainable living

At Hamilo Coast’s core is how a distinct beachfront home can harmonize with its surrounding environment. As people crave for a more relaxed environment, closer to nature and the outdoors amid a work-from-home setup pushed by the ongoing pandemic, Hamilo homes give access to invigorating landscapes, coves to explore and the calming sea.

Fifteen years later, Hamilo Coast has surpassed its reputation as a weekend respite. It is now one of the best settlement options for people looking to live the coastal life in a sustainable community.

Whisky, Chocolate, Art, &More at Sheraton Manila Bay

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Indulge in a sublime whisky and chocolate tasting experience that will entice all senses with Sheraton Manila Bay’s one-night only pairing event entitled “Whisky and Chocolate Experience” happening at the hotel’s newest food and beverage hub &More by Sheraton on June 30, 2022 from 7:00 PM onwards. Enjoy various flavor notes of whisky complemented by artisan chocolate pastries meticulously prepared by our seasoned culinary team for only Php 600++ per person.

The Whisky and Chocolate Experience at &More by Sheraton will feature a flight of three premium Scotch whisky from Chivas Regal expertly paired with delectable pastries including Chocolate-coated Orange Bruschetta, Espresso Dark Chocolate Truffle, White Chocolate Madeleine, and Peanut Chocolate Caramel Lollipop which are culinary creations infused with superior cocoa beans and decadently-flavored chocolates from Auro.

The event will also serve as the opening night for “Project AMORsolo at Sheraton Manila Bay” an exhibition of Lego Bricks Mosaic artworks in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the proclamation of Fernando C. Amorsolo as the first national artist of the Philippines in visual arts. The exhibit will feature three iconic paintings of Fernando C. Amorsolo which were recreated using certified genuine Lego bricks. The Lego exhibit is in partnership with PinoyLUG headed by Leslie Araujo, president and Lego Ambassador Network, , in support of Fernando C. Amorsolo Foundation, Inc. It will run until July 15, 2022 at the Sheraton Manila Bay Main Lobby.

&More by Sheraton is located on the Main Lobby of Sheraton Manila Bay, M. Adriatico cor. Gen Malvar Sts. Malate. For reservations please call +632 5318 0788 or email Like us on Facebook and Instagram @sheratonmanilabay and Twitter at @sheratonmnlbay. For more information, please visit our website at

Thursday, June 23, 2022

Keeping Up with the Lopezes

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Here’s how the Lopez family lives a healthier, better life with Santé

They say that a family is like the branches of a tree that grow in different directions. However, for the Lopez family, their root remains united through a household hobby–bicycling.

In an interview with the Lopezes, Louie, Alou, Gel, Aira, and Kang shared what they feel about being the newest addition to the family of Santé, a premier natural and organic health and wellness product and services provider, and their secrets to achieving not just a fit body but a healthier lifestyle, especially amid the global health crisis.

Speaking of #FamilyGoals and #FitnessGoals, the Lopez family has the best of both worlds. Heading the tribe of these health enthusiasts is their father, who is well-loved and known by many as “Papa Louie.” His daughters sharing his same energy include Aira Lopez, a duathlete, a YouTube vlogger with half a million subscribers, and the host of a CNN show called Cycling Unlimited, with her equally beautiful and fit siblings Alou Lopez, Angela Lopez, and Alyssa Lopez.

During the height of the pandemic, the family’s home was not an exception to the virus. Alou, who was working as a flight attendant in a local airline, was very much exposed to different people. Thus, she was infected first. Thankfully, due to their active regimen, the family only had mild symptoms and recovered faster.

“With the mobility limitations brought by the pandemic, it was challenging for everyone to stay active. However, we delivered packed foods to frontliners at the hospitals and checkpoints using our bikes. As we helped and gave back to the community, it became an exercise routine for the family,” Papa Louie shared.

Ever since, the family has been health enthusiasts, doing different kinds of sports and physical activities. But more than the benefit to them, they equally see it as their mission to tap more. “Biking is not just a sport for us. It is our advocacy. Because it is a male-dominated sport, we want to encourage more women to participate in it,” Alou shared.

As the Lopezes hope to reach more Filipinos, especially women and inspire them to do the sport they love and enjoy, the family was ecstatic to join Santé as they share the same values and goals with the brand--helping people live better lives.

“We trust the brand. I have been drinking Santé Barley for a long time. It has helped me address my health issues. It is also my secret to keeping an energized and fit body,” Papa Louie added.

Santé Barley™, the company’s flagship product, is made of barley grass gathered at a young age and turned into powder and capsule forms. It is composed of pure organic barley grass rich in vitamins and minerals that help detoxify the body, lower bad cholesterol, aid digestive health, deliver a good number of antioxidants, assist wound healing, bone formation, and many more.

A glass or capsule of Santé Barley™ fortifies the body with Vitamin C, zinc, calcium, amino acids, magnesium, iron, B-vitamins, and carotenoids, essential to giving the immune system an extra boost. The healthy goodness of Santé Barley™ is certified organic by New Zealand’s renowned organic produce and products organization, BioGro.

Lastly, the Lopezes reminded everyone to be happy and mentally prepared before pursuing any sports, such as cycling. “Most importantly, do not forget to drink your everyday supplements, such as Santé Barley,” Aira added.

Santé Barley™ and other Santé products are organic health and wellness products offered by Santé, known for developing a comprehensive selection of everyday barley-based products. They are designed to improve people’s quality of life to live more and do more.

Santé is one of the leading global growers of certified barley grass grown and harvested from New Zealand. With its mission to help people live better lives, the company promotes, produces, and distributes premier natural health and wellness products and services. Today, Santé has expanded its offerings, including a fitness and rehabilitation center with Santé Fitness Lab, staying true to its thrust of promoting a healthy lifestyle.

To learn more about Santé, visit its website at

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

DOST-SEI issues warning on fake and suspicious social media accounts

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The Department of Science and Technology – Science Education Institute (DOST-SEI) advises its stakeholders, scholars, applicants, and the public to be wary of fake and suspicious social media groups and pages bearing the name or logo of the Institute and/or its flagship DOST Scholarship Program.  


The Institute has recently come across numerous websites, and Facebook pages with misleading information about scholarship programs, including fake job offerings. Some of these social media accounts are:  


  1. DOST Scholarship 2022 -  
  2. DOST Scholarship – 

Please be reminded that any announcement regarding DOST-SEI scholarships, and other programs can only come from the official Facebook page and the official website at the following links:  
  1. Science Education Institute – Department of Science and Technology - 
  2. DOST-SEI Website – 
Furthermore, applicants and scholars should course all applications and related concerns to the official email addresses of DOST-SEI scholarship division.

SEI has taken a proper course of action to combat these accounts and would like to affirm its stand against misinformation, disinformation, and mal-information.   

Any suspicious social media account or website may be reported to the Institute via email or through the SEI Facebook page.

Monday, June 20, 2022

PLDT, Smart train future cybersecurity professionals

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PLDT and Smart engage the next generation of cybersecurity professionals in the fight against cyber threats and cybercrime. PLDT and Smart’s Cybersecurity Operations Group (CSOG) trained graduating Computer Science, Computer Engineering, and Information Technology students from Asia Pacific College (APC) on cybersecurity under a six-month internship program called the Cyber Warrior Course (CWC).

“Cybersecurity is an advocacy. You need discipline to survive the industry. I’ve had 27 years of experience but I am still learning. You have to constantly push yourself to be better because the enemy is getting more sophisticated,” encouraged Angel Redoble, FVP and Chief Information Security Officer at PLDT and Smart.

“Our students spend two terms on internship. It has been a working success for us and our partner-institutions. Internship lets students experience the workplace and the importance of why they are choosing this particular career,” said Rhea-Luz Valbuena, Executive Director of APC School of Computing and Information Technology.

Out of the 40 students who passed the interviews conducted by CSOG, 19 of them chose the CWC and were onboarded into the program. Guided by CSOG trainers and subject matter experts, the interns, also called cadets, were immersed into the group’s daily operations – analyzing real-world situations and using scientific and empirical approaches to solve cybersecurity challenges.

“Every minute counts. You should be quick in addressing issues. We’re glad that our mentors from PLDT and Smart helped us with our tasks,” said Information Technology major Melo John Lorenzo, the Top 2 cadet of his batch.

The interns were assigned to the different CSOG subgroups called ‘pillars’ to learn their specific functions and how they contribute to the PLDT Group’s overall efforts in defending the companies’ data, networks, systems and infrastructure and protecting customers against cyber attacks.

“The world has seen a dramatic increase in cybercriminal activities. Together, let us push back against these nefarious actors who undermine people, organizations, even nations, and help ensure a safer internet for all,” said Francisco Ashley Acedillo, AVP and Head of Cyber Security Strategy and Innovation at Smart.

Developing cybersecurity warriors is part of PLDT and Smart CSOG’s active drive to fortify and ensure the resiliency and sustainability of their cybersecurity systems, which is fundamental to the PLDT group’s much broader program to elevate the quality of customer experience by protecting them from cyberthreats.

Green Run at Vermosa encourages outdoor activity, nature appreciation for physical, mental health

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After two years of quiet and confinement, it’s time to celebrate the green outdoors and have fun in the sun.

Vermosa, an Ayala Land Estate in Imus Cavite, is front running the event. It is a modern, suburban community that promotes healthy and active living. On July 3, Sunday, everyone is invited to lace up and run for a greener tomorrow with the staging of Green Run. It will be a one-day, multi-level run within its 750-hectare property that is fast gaining fame as the new sports and fitness hub down south.

Consisting of 21K, 10K, 5K and 3K distance categories, the Green Run is targeting elite athletes, fun runners, fitness enthusiasts, athletes in training, weekend athletes, families, barkada, and just about anyone who is eager to run. Various running routes winding through wide open spaces and abundant greenery punctuated with wide pedestrian walkways, bicycle and jogging lanes, and enhanced greenways will make this Run a truly pleasant experience.

Vermosa’s famous Ayala Vermosa Sports Hub, a state-of-the-art professionally–managed sports facility that has already hosted various national and international sports events will be the center of activities for registration and information. Featuring a FINA-standard Olympic size swimming pool, a warm up pool, an IAAF standard 400m track oval, field with natural tiff grass, an Athletes Lounge, and a gym operated by Sante Fitness Lab, a premier training ground for amateur and professional athletes.

Vermosa has partnered with Pinoy Fitness, the running, fitness and multisport event organizer, to conduct the Run. A beautiful medal created by artist Cynthia Bauzon-Arre of Forest Foundation Philippines, will be among the perks that runners will get for their participation. Proceeds of the Run will go to Haribon Foundation’s Adopt-a-Seedling Program, to build a greener tomorrow.

Vermosa Estate Head Jay Teodoro, a sports and fitness enthusiast himself, says “As more places begin to reopen, we can now enjoy the outdoors with more activities to engage in. I personally advocate sports and spending time outdoors as it helps boost physical and mental health. Physical activities, like running, provide a change of scenery and help reduce stress. This is why we organized the Vermosa Green Run. We want people to rediscover their surroundings, appreciate nature, enjoy the fresh air and boost their health. With an abundance of wide-open spaces and the state-of-the-art sports facilities at Vermosa Sports Hub, Vermosa provides one of the best venues to engage in physical activities.”

Those interested to join Green Run may go to to register.

Sunday, June 19, 2022

Reloadly partners with PLDT Global to enable migrant Filipinos to support their loved ones from abro

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Reloadly has partnered with PLDT Global to make international top-ups available to migrant Filipinos

PLDT Global has partnered with Reloadly, an international airtime top-up and digital goods solution, to give businesses and their developer teams plug-and-play access to PLDT Global network.

Under this partnership, digital businesses can integrate seamlessly to the PLDT Global network all over the world through Reloadly APIs, supporting the growing demand from the global developer community for innovative airtime solutions for the fintech, NGO, cryptocurrency, e-commerce, and customer rewards industries.

Reloadly is also one with PLDT Global on the mission to transform the lives of its clients globally, accelerating the deployment of high-speed data networks, closing the digital divide in the countries where it operates by deploying digital highways for millions of people who today are taking advantage of the new digital economy.

Acting as an airtime aggregator, Reloadly provides the world’s first dedicated platform for connecting to the global mobile network. Within this platform is a growing toolkit of airtime software, including Reloadly’s airtime API, widget, plugin, SDK, GitHub projects and more, as well as a vast multilingual library of developer documentation to build open-source airtime solutions.

“We are delighted to join forces with Reloadly for its airtime solutions to strengthen our Vortex platform. Our partnership reflects PLDT Global’s commitment to make digital solutions more accessible to Filipinos wherever they are in the world. This will uniquely position PLDT Global to offer a more convenient option for our customers to securely and seamlessly make digital transactions, including paying bills and sending load to their loved ones. This fosters our vision of enhancing connectivity for migrant Filipinos and their families back home,” said PGC Global CEO Albert Villa-Real.

Michel Francis, CEO of Reloadly, says that “Reloadly is a startup with global ambitions that enables users of our airtime software toolkit to easily integrate with top mobile operators like PLDT Global.”

“The vast majority of the world -- about 78% -- still depend on prepaid plans,” Francis adds. “Our mission is to reinvent and break down barriers in the global telco industry by empowering developers and brands to fuel mobile access in markets across the world, most of which have been underserved for far too long.”

Reloadly’s partnership with PLDT Global is an important step to seizing the untapped potential that mobile phone ubiquity has ushered in the global economy. Through this alliance, creating, customizing, and integrating airtime services for creative and innovative new business lines will become more possible than ever.

Reloadly, Inc.: RELOADLY provides simple, intuitive, and flexible APIs to send Airtime, Data Bundles, Gift Cards, and Bill Payments across the world. As the world’s first developer platform for connecting to global telcos, Reloadly provides better building blocks for integrating digital mobile payments. Reloadly built several open source solutions for the developer community, taking the complexity out of integrating with telcos. With a transparent system and direct connection to +800 operators worldwide, Reloadly offers a “pay as you go” platform with plug-and-play technology, being the only company that provides SDKs in the industry.

PLDT Global: PLDT Global Corporation (PGC), the international arm of the Philippines’ largest integrated telco network PLDT Inc., is a technology services company that provides high quality communications infrastructure and innovative platforms to its network of carriers, enterprise customers, and distribution partners enabling them to achieve their desired connectivity, reach, and market relevance. For over 20 years, PLDT Global has built its strong international presence by providing meaningful connectivity and data solutions to a growing network of partners. To find out how PGC can help you achieve your digital acceleration goals, please visit

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