Friday, November 18, 2022

2023 Hult Prize OnCampus Program: Everything You Need To Know

Wazzup Pilipinas!?

by Denise Audrey T. Enriquez

A streak of good news for aspiring Filipino changemakers, as the world’s largest student movement organization for social entrepreneurship will be kicking off its annual challenge this coming November 2022 to be hosted online by De La Salle University in Taft, Manila.

The Hult Prize Foundation has launched its OnCampus Phase, happening in over 121 countries around the world and 3,000 universities and campuses. De La Salle University will be hosting its local edition for its students to tackle this year’s challenge entitled Redesigning Fashion in hopes of changing the world through social enterprise.

This year’s challenge probes on the adversities that arise from contributing to fast fashion, which often include social problems such as depletion of non-renewable resources, unethical manufacturing, excessive energy and water-use, and so much more. These contentious issues were addressed head-on by 13 contending groups through their innovative social startup ideas. These were further cultivated during the expert-led Training Session Series offered by the organization preceding its main event, the Competition Pitch Day, which will be held on November 26, 2022 on Zoom.

During the initial phase of the Global $1M USD Competition, the OnCampus Program takes place in around 2,000 college campuses around the world, on five different continents. Teams competing strive to create a social startup concept which is done through training and mentoring sessions. Contenders present their ideas to CEOs, founders, and managing directors of Philippine companies during the program's competition pitch day. The last team standing will power through to represent DLSU and the Philippines at the Impact Summits that will take place at the regional level all over the world.

For more than a decade, the Hult Prize Foundation has been transforming how young people envision their own possibilities as impact leaders of change in the world around them. Originally founded as a one-million-dollar prize startup program, the organization today is the worldwide leader in impact education and has trained and graduated more than two-million alumni across 121 countries. Indeed, it is no wonder why the organization has been considered the “Nobel Prize for Students” given its prestigious honor along with the sizable social impact that comes with the glory of facing the annual challenges.

The winners of this OnCampus event will automatically advance to compete in its Quarter Final Phase and continue on the run for its one-of-a-kind award in seed capital of 1M USD to change the world. “Sustainable social impact starts with just one idea and as the 6th iteration of the OnCampus Program in DLSU, we’ve strived to support and help cultivate these budding ideas the best we can. We have all the confidence that our Top 5 finalists will showcase the business acumen partnered with the community-centered values that Lasallians aim to embody. We hope you watch just how Lasallians can change the world!” Mariah Camille Oliveros, the current Campus Director of Hult Prize at DLSU, said.

Be in the know with the concluding competition day by staying tuned for updates on HPDLSU’s social media pages.


4 Top Advantages of Hard Drive Data Recovery

Wazzup Pilipinas!?

A damaged hard drive and lost data are the most difficult things that businesses face. You end up losing all your business and customer-centric information. Again, you lose innumerable files that you were using all these years for doing business. The files took much of your time to get as well as money and additional resources in getting those. Worry not. There is a process of recovering your hard drive data, and reinstating the drive to its previously known ideal configuration after your computer system or drive gets crashed or corrupted.

According to an article published in Forbes, companies leverage data recovery tools to prevent data loss because of hardware/software failure, software becoming corrupt, and due to human error. Data recovery software is also used to recover essential data lost as a result of natural calamities, power outages, or virus attacks.

1. Recover business-critical files

Using a hard drive recovery tool will let you restore your business-critical files. There are numerous files of clients, customers, employees, reports, and so on. Losing them as well as essential data imply a huge setback for operations and your organization’s reputation!If your clients learn that their sensitive data is lost, you may even face a lawsuit. You might also be sued for non-compliance by various data regulation authorities.

2. Easy to use

These days, you will find hard drive recovery software that is effective and user-friendly. You can use data recovery tools for business as well as personal reasons. They’re extremely easy to use and you do not need any special skills to use them. You will have to download the application, install the same, and simply run it.

After running the software, you need to choose the hard drive from where you would want to recover data and files. The software will scan that specific drive. You will view a list of the required files that you can easily recover. Choose the files you would want to recover and the application will begin the recovery process. All you need to do is copy these files to another drive in your computer system. The hard drive recovery software is professionally developedgiving you multiple options for various hard drive issues. Next, you need to choose the recovery type that is related to the drive issue you are facing. You will need to quickly recover data or files to ensure business operations aren’t interrupted.

3. Saves your money

When you have a foolproof and failsafe hard drive recovery process in place, expect to save much of your business dollars. Usually, traditional business with no data recovery tools ends up spending huge money in restoring countless files. There are also internet or data costs to consider. In the absence of recovery software, your team will have to spend much of their time recovering hard drive data and files rather than getting more business for the company.

There could be an additional financial loss if clients sue your business for losing or corrupting their data. Legal suits are very expensive and can rip you off financially. However, when you use data or file recovery tools in place, you can recover all files and information before your clients learn about it. You do not need to pay for legal suits.

4. Saves much of your valuable time

When your business loses important files and data on the system hard drive, much time is lost recovering loads of files/data. First, you need to ascertain which files are most important and that you cannot afford to lose. The process will take time because it’s impossible to remember which files are critical for your clients and which aren’t. Once you figure out which files need quick restoration, you will have to spend much of your time going to the actual source to restore those files.

If you do not have data recovery tools in place, it means you may have to recreate all essential files manually. It signifies enormous waste of time amounting to several hours of productive hours, especially for mid-sized to large companies.

That is why hard drive data recovery is the ideal solution to the problem to help you recuperate files in less time. When you have data recovery software, all you need to do is choose the files you would want to recover. It means there is no loss of productive time in recuperating files as well as data that you don’t require anymore. You just need to recover the essential files in less time. It will take a few minutes; the recovery process will be effective and quick.


Now you know about the hard drive recovery process with the use of apt tools offers loads of benefits when you lose files or data on your hard drive. So, if you have recently lost important files and data, invest in a recovery tool without delay to avoid legal hassles and expenditures.

GININTUANG REPLEKSYON: Limang Dekada ng Buhay at Kamatayan Mula, Tungo, at Para sa Masa

Wazzup Pilipinas!?

This coming December 2022, the UP Repertory Company commemorates the 50th year of the Martial Law Declaration as it coincides with the organization’s own Golden Anniversary. With the 50th production season themed “RPN: Rep Pipti Na!”, the UP Repertory Company presents “GININTUANG REPLEKSYON: Limang Dekada ng Buhay at Kamatayan: Mula, Tungo, at Para sa Masa”, journeying through six plays representing each decade of the Filipino people’s ongoing struggle against oppression and injustice through the art of theater.

Witness 6 Filipino plays that have represented 5 decades of reflecting the plight of the Filipino masses: Bonifacio Ilagan’s PAGSAMBANG BAYAN, The U.P. Repertory Company’s own MABINI GIRLS, and TEATRO NG BAYAN as presented through “Hindi Aco Patay” by Juan Matapang Cruz, Joi Barrios LeBlanc’s DAMAS DE NOCHE, Gary Granada’s LEAN, and Edward Perez’ FRONTLINER.

As a University Performing Group of the University of the Philippines Diliman, the UP Repertory Company continues to perform narratives depicting the social realities of the Filipino people, especially in this turbulent political climate. And as the same tyrannical regime takes over the country once again, the UP Repertory Company mirrors the masses’ continuing struggle for freedom, democracy and justice.

The six plays will be helmed by directors Kathryn Manga, Jasper Villasis, Brian Arda, Laverne Lacap, Edwin Guillermo, and Pat Maliwat. The artistic and production team is composed of The UP Repertory Company’s resident members: Gio Potes (Head Dramaturg), Johnmark Villanueva (Creatives Team Head), Joey Madarang (Head Stage Manager), Pauline Vengano (Stage Manager), Wendel Diaz (Stage Manager), Daphne Giga (Production Designer), Aimee Ramos (Production Manager), and Jayrus Hernandez (Company Manager).

Featuring the actors Bonifacio Ilagan, Matthew Gador, Ace Hernandez, Roni Paderes, Jasper Villasis, Yuri Molina, Andrea Cabadsan, Aimee Ramos, Gab Gulle, Bernadette Anne Morales, Leah Curitana, Michelle Alde, Jules Azaula, Harvey Sallador, Annie Maligaya, Niniya Morena, Pat Maliwat, Kirk Justin Ramos, Robe Zamora Dagcuta, Nicholas Jalea, Jaime Monserrat, and Pauline Vengano.

GININTUANG REPLEKSYON will be shown this coming December 3, 2022 (3PM & 7 PM) at the Erehwon Center for the Arts, Don Francisco Street, Villa Beatriz, Matandang Balara, Quezon City. Ticket prices are P350 (for students) and P500 (regular price).

For tickets and other details, please contact Aimee Ramos at 0956 990 3167.

Special thanks to INQUIRER.Net, Wazzup Pilipinas and POP! as online media partners.

On December 2022, join the UP Repertory Company in commemorating Martial Law @ 50 as it coincides with UP Rep’s own Golden Anniversary. “GININTUANG REPLEKSYON: Limang Dekada ng Buhay at Kamatayan: Mula, Tungo, at Para sa Masa” - a journey through six plays representing each decade of the Filipino people’s ongoing struggle against oppression and injustice through the art of theater: PAGSAMBANG BAYAN, MABINI GIRLS, TEATRO NG BAYAN, DAMAS DE NOCHE, LEAN, and FRONTLINER.

GININTUANG REPLEKSYON will be shown this coming December 3, 2022 (3PM & 7 PM) at the Erehwon Center for the Arts, Don Francisco Street, Villa Beatriz, Matandang Balara, Quezon City. Ticket prices are P350 (for students) and P500 (regular price).

For tickets and other details, please contact Aimee Ramos at 0956 990 3167.

Philippine Post Office releases new stamps featuring PBBM, VP Sara

Wazzup Pilipinas!?

The Philippine Postal Corporation (Post Office) released new stamps to mark the inauguration of President Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos, Jr. and Vice President Sara Z. Duterte.

The Post Office released on Nov. 17 the first day of issue of stamps commemorating the historic inauguration of President Marcos Jr., who took his oath as the 17th President of the Republic of the Philippines held at the historic National Museum in Manila on June 30, 2022.

The complete set of stamps includes the President’s Oath of Office administered by Supreme Court Chief Justice Alexander Gesmundo and witnessed by Marcos’ wife, Liza, and their three sons, a Souvenir Stamp Sheet featuring President BBM’s inaugural address, the Official First-Day Cover envelope depicting the first family and the combined souvenir sheet stamped and postmarked on the official First-day cover.

On the same day, a commemorative stamp was also issued to honor Vice President Sara Z. Duterte who took her oath as the 15th Vice President of the Republic of the Philippines, before Supreme Court Associate Justice Ramon Paul Hernando at San Pedro Square in Davao City on June 19, 2022.

The set of stamps features her oath of office, a photo of the inaugural speech, the combined Official First-Day commemorative cover envelope and a souvenir sheet of the inauguration, and the signing of document which was witnessed by her father, former President Rodrigo Duterte, and VP Sara’s mother Mrs. Elizabeth Zimmerman.

“We are not just honoring them by issuing their stamps. We are commemorating a historic event for the country whereby a new president and vice president were elected by the Filipino people. The Post Office being one of the nation’s guardians and recorders of history, we immortalize this significant event through these beautiful and meaningful stamps”, Postmaster General Norman Fulgencio said.

The Post Office has printed 40,000 copies of the Presidential inauguration and another 40,000 copies for the Vice President’s commemorative stamps. In-house Post Office graphic artists Eunice Beatrix Dabu and Ryman Dominic Albuladora did the layout of the said stamps.

The designs feature the official seals of the Republic of the Philippines and the Office of the President and Vice President respectively.

The launching ceremony for the Presidential and Vice Presidential Inauguration Commemorative Stamps shall be scheduled for a later date.

Stamps and official first-day covers are now available at the Philatelic Counter, Manila Central Post Office in Liwasang Bonifacio. For inquiries, please call (02)8527-0108 or (02)8527-0132 and follow and like our Facebook page for updates.

SSS offers calamity assistance to ‘Paeng’-affected members, pensioners starting November 17

Wazzup Pilipinas!?

The Social Security System (SSS) announced today that it will extend financial assistance to its members and pensioners in areas affected by Severe Tropical Storm ‘Paeng’ starting November 17, 2022 and will last until February 16, 2023.

SSS President and Chief Executive Officer Michael G. Regino said that the SSS Calamity Assistance Package consists of the Calamity Loan Assistance Program (CLAP) for its members and the Three-Month Advance Pension for SSS and Employees’ Compensation (EC) pensioners.

“We, at SSS, are always ready to assist our members and pensioners in the typhoon-stricken areas. We want to assure them that even during times of calamities, they can rely on the financial assistance from SSS,” Regino said.

Regino said members and pensioners in the areas to be declared under state of calamity by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), or the Sangguniang Bayan, Panglungsod, or Panlalawigan can avail of the financial assistance.

Provinces under state of calamity are Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon, Albay, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Sorsogon, Catanduanes, Masbate, Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Guimaras, Iloilo, Negros Occidental, Basilan, Lanao del Sur, Tawi-Tawi, Sulu, Maguindanao del Norte and Maguindanao del Sur.

In Cagayan, the towns that are under the state of calamity include Amulung, Enrile, and Tuguegarao. In Marinduque, these areas are Mogpog, Santa Cruz and Buenavista, and in Cotabato, these are Pigcawayan, Libungan, and Midsayap. Other areas also declared under state of calamity include Muntinlupa City, Calbayog in Samar, Sirawai in Zamboanga del Norte, and Zamboanga City in Zamboanga del Sur.

Under the CLAP, qualified members in Paeng-affected areas can borrow a loan equivalent to their one monthly salary credit or up to P20,000. The calamity loan is payable in two (2) years or 24 equal monthly installments with an annual interest rate of 10%.

Likewise, the SSS will provide financial aid to SSS and EC pensioners in typhoon-hit areas. “Pensioners may avail of the Three-Month Advance Pension wherein SSS pensioners will be given three months advance of their total monthly pension,” Regino said.

“We want to help our members and pensioners during these difficult times. We hope that the financial aid that we extended to them will be of big help to rebuild their lives,” Regino said.

Meanwhile, Regino reminded members and pensioners in areas affected by Super Typhoon Karding that they still have until January 6, 2023 to avail of the CLAP and Three-Month Advance Pension for those hit by the super typhoon.

Undersea discovery leads to multilingual childrens’ books on Pinoy scientists

Wazzup Pilipinas!?

A children’s storybook about a pioneering Filipino scientist who made a surprising discovery in one of the deepest parts of the world’s oceans has led to a collaboration between the University of the Philippines - Diliman’s College of Science (UPD-CS) and College of Arts and Letters (UPD-CAL) for a series of inspiring multilingual children’s books on the lives of Filipino researchers.

UPD-CAL DFPP Professor Emeritus Dr. Rosario Torres-Yu and UPD-CS Associate Dean Dr. Lillian Rodriguez (2nd and 3rd from left, respectively) hold up copies of the children’s book, “Doktor ng Dagat,” the first volume of the Sulong-Agham Book Series. Looking on are publisher Supling Sining, Inc. Vice President Jose Monfred Sy (leftmost) and the DFPP Assistant Chair Maynard Manansala.

The Sulong-Agham Book Series is set to launch in December with the book, “Doktor ng Dagat.” Written by CAL Departamento ng Filipino at Panitikan ng Pilipinas (DFPP) Professor Emeritus Dr. Rosario Torres-Yu and developed for publication by Supling Sining, Inc., the tome touches on the life and work of Dr. Deo Florence Onda of the UPD-CS’ Marine Science Institute (MSI) who was the first Filipino and one of the first humans ever to explore Emden Deep in the Philippine Trench.

The third deepest place on Earth, Emden Deep is one of the world’s most inaccessible regions even though it is just barely 100 kilometers away from Eastern Samar. And yet, despite its depth and isolation, it was not untouched by humans. You will have to read the storybook to find out what Dr. Onda saw in the depths of the ocean, but it was enough to prompt him to dedicate his life to helping raise public awareness about maintaining the health of our rich marine resources.

Dr. Onda’s life story comes to life in the expert hands of Dr. Torres-Yu, a renowned storyteller and beloved mentor, with illustrations by Paul Eric Roca. Aside from winning and, later, being a judge of the prestigious Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature, Dr. Torres-Yu is also the former dean of CAL and former director of the Sentro ng Wikang Filipino. Meanwhile, Roca is a painter, illustrator, and internationally-published editorial cartoonist.

“Doktor ng Dagat” is written in Filipino with translations in Dr. Onda’s native Cuyonon as well as in English. It is the pilot volume of the Sulong-Agham Book Series, done in partnership between UPD-CS and UPD-CAL, which aims to inspire Filipino children to pursue science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) by showcasing the lives and work of Filipino scientists. Other books in the series will also be published in Filipino and other Philippine languages, with English translations.

“We hope that this series of stories, beginning with Dr. Onda’s, will help bring about a new generation of scientists and a more science-minded public,” Dr. Torres-Yu said.

“This pioneering project between CS and CAL underscores the importance of collaboration between the arts and sciences and invites young readers to experience the wonders of science,” noted UPD-CS Dean Giovanni Tapang.

“Doktor ng Dagat” and the Sulong-Agham Book Series will be formally launched on December 12, 2022 at 4:00pm in the lobby of the CS Administration Building in UP Diliman. Supling Sining is open to sponsors who are interested in gifting the book to underserved communities, at just ₱100 a copy.

To purchase copies of “Doktor ng Dagat” or to inquire about sponsorships, please contact China Pearl de Vera at For interviews and other media requests, please contact

Thursday, November 17, 2022

Gradiant, Global Water Solutions Provider, Awarded $20M in New Contracts in India

Wazzup Pilipinas!?

New projects deliver Gradiant's full-technology stack solutions to India's renewable energy and industrial clients

Gradiant, a global solutions provider for advanced water and wastewater treatment, is pleased to announce awards of $20 million in new contracts in September and October 2022. The awards are for clients in the manufacturing of photovoltaic cells (or solar cells) renewable energy and industrial protective equipment. All three projects will be delivered as design-build contracts.

One of the largest solar companies in India has partnered with Gradiant at a manufacturing site in the Western Region for ammonia and fluoride removal and wastewater treatment. The new facility will recover, neutralize, and treat complex wastewater rinse streams from photovoltaic cell production to levels that meet the client's sustainability goals and local discharge limits.

Gradiant has also partnered with a leader in the renewable energy business for the design-build of two facilities for ultrapure water and wastewater treatment to support a new photovoltaic cell manufacturing site also in Western Region. The project will include Gradiant's patented RO InfinityTM membrane technology to treat industrial wastewater streams. The zero liquid discharge (ZLD) facility will reduce wastewater to only salt and solid wastes.

"We are experiencing strong growth in the India market across multiple strategic verticals," said Prakash Govindan, COO of Gradiant. "India was already one of the fastest growing economies in the world and is well positioned to gain as global companies review their sourcing and manufacturing footprints to de-risk and diversify their supply chains. We are also witnessing a clean energy transition in India, as the country builds out renewable energy infrastructure and its supply to the world. This local market has always been important to India, and Gradiant is ready to support our clients with advanced water solutions as they shift or double-down their local manufacturing operations."

In addition to these renewable energy projects, Gradiant is working with a leading manufacturer of industrial protective equipment for their new facility in Southern India. Gradiant will deliver an effluent treatment and ZLD waste minimization system. The plant will feature Gradiant's Carrier Gas ExtractionTM (CGE) for ZLD and SmartOpsTM for AI-powered asset performance optimization, and a membrane biological reactor (MBR) for advanced wastewater treatment.

Gradiant entered the India market in 2018 to engage with major international and domestic companies to solve their advanced water and wastewater challenges in water recycling, minimum and zero liquid discharge, and ultrapure water. Clients are served by in-country expertise from Gradiant's main office in Chennai while collaborating and leveraging global process and engineering resources. The India team is comprised of 80 expert engineers and staff today, with plans to increase headcounts across the country.

About Gradiant

Gradiant is a global solutions provider for advanced water and wastewater treatment. With a full suite of differentiated and proprietary end-to-end solutions, powered by the top minds in water, Gradiant serves its clients' mission-critical operations in the world's essential industries. Gradiant was founded at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and is uniquely positioned to address the world's increasing challenges created by industrialization, population growth, and water stress. Today, with over 450 employees, Gradiant operates from its global headquarters in Boston, regional headquarters and global technology labs in Singapore, and offices across twelve countries. For more information, please visit

The Christmas Carnival Hot Air Balloon Lands at Sheraton Manila Bay

Wazzup Pilipinas!?

Sheraton Manila Bay kicked off the holiday season with a festive Carnival-inspired Lighting ceremony.

Sheraton Manila Bay marks the start of the yuletide season in whimsical flair with a Christmas lighting ceremony highlighting the hotel’s 16-feet Carnival Hot Air Balloon at the newly refurbished lobby on November 10, 2022.

This year, all Marriott properties in the Philippines unite in a collective celebration of Paskonstelasyon where each Marriott hotels and resort in the country consecutively launched their own holiday festivities with the debut of their symbolic star. The Marriott Bonvoy constellation of stars include the Carnival Star (Sheraton Manila Bay), the Soiree Star (Sheraton Manila Hotel), the Destination Star (Sheraton Cebu Mactan Resort), the North Star (Clark Marriott Hotel), the Vacation Star (Courtyard by Marriott Iloilo), and the Brilliant Star (Manila Marriott Hotel).

Sheraton Manila Bay’s ceremonial Christmas lighting event was graced by Manila City Mayor Hon. Honey Lacuna-Pangan, Manila City Vice Mayor John Marvin “Yul” Servo Nieto, and led by hotel General Manager, Richard Masselin. The Community Choir, the hotel’s singing ambassadors, serenaded the attending associates with classic Christmas Carols including the chorale rendition of the official Marriott Holiday Jingle “Moments With You” originally performed by Acel Bisa and Josh Espinosa. The hotel’s culinary team also prepared a festive buffet feast complete from ham carving station to holiday-inspired desserts.

Inspired by this year’s theme “Sheraton Manila Bay: The Carnival Star”, the ceremonial event focuses on the lighting of the hotel’s unique 16-feet tall Carnival Hot Air Balloon which symbolizes the promise of travel and mirrors the fun, festive vibe of carnival. The Sheraton Manila Bay “Carnival Hot Air Balloon” features a velvet gold and red sleigh filled with gifts, circus elements, clowns, Christmas drums, jester bears, and a prominent display of lighted parols mirroring Paskonstelasyon, the Marriott Bonvoy constellation of stars. A myriad of red, gold, purple and blue tones embellish and blend the hotel lobby into an inspiring celebration haven while the Pastry Carnival Tent, styled in similar fashion, are filled with holiday hampers and homemade goodies.

Sheraton Manila Bay is accepting order for holiday hampers, grazing boxes, and homemade goodies. Please check our holiday E-brochure for more information about our festive offers. Visit

Sheraton Manila Bay is located at M. Adriatico cor. Gen. Malvar Streets, Malate, Manila. For reservation please call +632 5318 0788 or email Like us on Facebook and Instagram @sheratonmanilabay and Twitter at @sheratonmnlbay.

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

PLDT reinforces PH as next hyperscale hub in Southeast Asia at Telecoms World Asia

Wazzup Pilipinas!?

The PLDT Group bolsters its mission to help make the Philippines Southeast Asia’s next hyperscale hub. At the recent Telecoms World Asia conference held in Bangkok, Thailand, PLDT Enterprise’s Asia-Pacific Regional Head, Jeff Mendoza, emphasized the critical role played by PLDT in creating the digital infrastructure required by the country’s transformation into a regional hyperscale powerhouse.

At the conference, the premiere event on digital solutions and services for Asian Telcos, Mendoza discussed the emergence of holistic digital ecosystems in support of the Philippines’ fast-paced digitalization–particularly, the steps that the PLDT Group has taken in the last two years, cementing its lead in the industry and reinforcing its commitment to drive the country’s digital capabilities forward.

“Over the past few years, we have witnessed unprecedented digital adoption in the region, especially in the Philippines,” says Mendoza. “Google’s latest e-Conomy SEA report shows the Philippines as the frontrunner in Southeast Asia with its digital economy expected to be sustained at a CAGR of 20% through 2025.”

VITRO Sta. Rosa, the largest and most advanced hyperscale data center in the Philippines, is among PLDT’s notable investments in digital infrastructure, and adds to its current network of 10 data centers that host the country’s richest IP ecosystem.

The recently launched Jupiter Subsea Cable System, together with upcoming international cable systems ADC and Apricot, further deepen PLDT’s digital infrastructure investments.

Together, these form PLDT’s response to the rapidly growing requirements of the country’s thriving digital economy—driven by a young digital-savvy population and the strong propensity to use cloud across business sectors.

As PLDT continues to build world-class digital infrastructure to strengthen the Philippines’ position as the next hyperscale destination in Southeast Asia, it also continues its close collaboration with key government agencies, such as the Department of Trade and Industry, the Board of Investments, and the Department of Information and Communications Technology, to enable the country’s digital ecosystem.

These government entities continue to support the digital thrust by enabling policies that promote cloud computing as the preferred technology for administration and delivery of government services, and laws that grant fiscal and non-fiscal incentives for high-value strategic investments such as digital infrastructure.

PLDT’s efforts to help drive the Philippines as the next hyperscale hub is guided by an even bigger mission to help build a sustainable future for Filipinos. PLDT remains dedicated to its efforts and initiatives that strongly support UNSDG No. 9: ‘Build resilient infrastructure, promote sustainable industrialization, and foster innovation’.

For more information, visit

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

First Philippine Parks Congress: Growing healthier, more liveable cities through urban parks

Wazzup Pilipinas!?

The Philippine Parks Congress will have its inaugural staging on November 23 to 25, 2022.

Organized by the Department of Tourism (DOT), National Parks Development Committee (NPDC), Nayong Pilipino Foundation (NPF), Intramuros Administration (IA), Urban Land Institute Philippines (ULI) in partnership with the City of Manila, and City of Baguio. The 1st Philippine Parks Congress aims to gather public and private sector stakeholders involved in developing urban parks and green spaces across the Philippines to lay the foundation for creating a national framework for the development of Philippine urban parks.

"The pandemic highlighted the importance of parks and open spaces and it's apt that we are holding the first Parks Congress at the largest park in Metro Manila - Rizal Park, Luneta," said Cecille Lorenzana Romero, Executive Director of NPDC.

“With the pandemic pushing us to be more appreciative of open spaces, there could be no more perfect time than now to organize the first-ever Philippine Park Congress not just to promote sustainable development for our community, but also to attract tourists and enhance the tourism experience which is included in the 7-point agenda of DOT Secretary Cristina Frasco,” shared by Nayong Pilipino Foundation Executive Director Gertie Duran-Batocabe.

“The Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022 highlights that cultural infrastructure and open spaces should be more inclusive to allow for dialogue and cultural exchange. Parks promote art, heritage, culture and other related domain of the Philippine creative industry, and we have seen activities like these help Intramuros recover during the pandemic. The first Philippine Parks Congress will allow us to learn about best practices to make our parks and open spaces more inclusive, “ Edgardo Baysic, OIC of IA noted.

MANILA PARKS STUDY TOUR. The event will kick off on November 23, 2022 with a guided tour around major parks and open spaces in the country’s capital – Paco Park, Rizal Park Luneta, Fort Santiago, ASEAN Garden, Baluarte de San Diego Gardens, Arroceros Forest Park, Mehan Garden, and Kartilya ng Katipunan.

MAIN PLENARY DAY. A series of talks and lectures by key people from both the public and the private sector will take place on the Main Plenary Day at the Rizal Park Open Air Auditorium on November 24, 2022. Keynote Speaker, Jelle Hendrik Therry of Ramboll will open with a lecture on urban parks design from a global perspective and Paulo Alcazaren of PGAA Creative Design will provide a lecture on a history of urban parks in the Philippines. Other speakers will shed light on their respective organizations, agencies and companies by sharing their unique experiences, best practices and technical services in maintaining and operating public parks and open spaces.

Participants will also have a chance to take part in the discussion of the proposed National and Local Public Parks Authority (NALPA) bills currently being reviewed in Congress and in the Senate.

BAGUIO PARKS STUDY TOUR. With its new tourism campaign line, Breathe Baguio, the City of Baguio will share its rehabilitation projects and programs that breathed new life to its famous sites such as the Botanical Gardens, Mines View Park, Burnham Park, and Dominican Hill, a new art and cultural hub.

The inaugural Philippine Parks Congress is also a celebration and a recognition of the 60th Founding Anniversary of the National Parks Development Committee, 50th Founding Anniversary of Nayong Pilipino Foundation Inc., and 10th Founding Anniversary of Urban Land Institute Philippines.

Physical attendance is limited to participants who have been given email invitations.

The general public is invited to participate via Zoom or through Facebook Live. Certificates will be sent to those who have successfully attended via Zoom. Online participants may register here:


Official website:

Facebook page:

Instagram: @parkscongressph

Xbox Releases First-Ever Transparency Report with Community Safety Practices

Wazzup Pilipinas!?

Xbox recognizes the power of play and is committed to making play more fun by creating positive gaming experiences that are safe, inclusive and accessible for all players.

Xbox also knows online safety is a common concern for many Filipinos, many of whom will be spending more time gaming as the holidays approach – after all, we have the world’s longest holiday season!

To help ease some of these concerns, Xbox released its first Digital Transparency Report.

This report covers a range of important actions taken to moderate content, protect Pinoy players on the platform and foster a positive environment where every player from around the world is empowered to control what they see and experience through customizable settings and message filters.

Key takeaways that you may want to share with your audiences include:

Xbox is taking action to offer better experiences. The Xbox team issued more than 4.33M proactive enforcements against inauthentic accounts, representing 57% of the total enforcements in the reporting period. Inauthentic accounts are typically automated or bot-created accounts that can detract from positive player experiences. This proactive moderation, up 9x from the same period last year, allows Xbox to catch negative content and conduct before it reaches players. Xbox continues to invest and improve its tech so players can have safe, positive, and inviting experiences.

Players are stewards of the community. Xbox values all is players, especially its passionate Pinoys! Hence, player reporting is a critical component in Xbox’s safety approach. Alongside increased proactive safety measures, investments in scanning and filtering technologies, and education from the Xbox Ambassador community, reporting helps Xbox improve the work that it does to better protect players. Xbox’s players provided over 33M reports this period, with communications (46%) and conduct (43%) accounting for the majority of player concerns. Content moderation agents are on-staff 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year to make sure the content and conduct found on the platform adheres to Xbox’s Community Standards.

Players are in control. Every player is different and preferences on content and experiences are not one-size-fits-all. Xbox offers many ways for players to customize settings, from message filters to parental controls, at any point in their Xbox experience. These settings allow players to manage the type of content they see and experience across all the ways they play, whether on PC, console, or anywhere with Xbox Cloud Gaming. It’s up to the players, friends, and family members to take control and implement the settings that are right for them.

Experts Share Strategies to Reduce Global Biodiversity Funding Gap

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Over 70 biodiversity finance experts from Europe and Asia shared various approaches to reduce the global funding gap for biodiversity management at the United Nations Development Programme Biodiversity Finance Initiative’s (UNDP-BIOFIN) Regional Dialogue, held from 8 to 10 November 2022 at the Conrad Hotel in Manila.

“Biodiversity finance finds ways to raise and manage funds to sustainable manage biodiversity. The wealth of our participants’ experiences presents an array of fundraising solutions for the post-COVID world,” explains BIOFIN Global Manager Onno van den Heuvel. Biodiversity investments can stave off extinction. “Every USD1 billion investment reduces the total number of threatened plant and animal species by .57%. However, just .19% of the world’s cumulative GDP is allotted for biodiversity.”

More than halting extinction, biodiversity finance protects the natural systems people rely on. Millions of people across the globe, including 40% of all Filipinos, depend on forests, rivers and oceans for their survival and well-being.

“We are being presented with a once-in-a-generation opportunity to save our planet,” shares UNDP Resident Representative Dr. Selva Ramachandran. “We hope our three-day dialogue influences global fora and environmental fundraising programmes over the coming years.”

Sessions tackled results-based budgeting, public-private finance partnerships, nature financial disclosure, insurance and compensation mechanisms, repurposing harmful subsidies, debt instruments, Islamic finance, protected area finance, crowdfunding, lotteries, carbon-based finance instruments, offsets, taskforces on nature-related financial disclosures, coral reef insurance, plus practical COVID-19 recovery strategies. Participants were also able to plant native trees such as banaba and tulibas at the Mount Makiling Forest Reserve in Los Baños, Laguna.

Biodiversity Investments Give 500% Return

In July 2020, Campaign for Nature released a groundbreaking report where over 100 economists and scientists found that investing in the protection of 30% of Earth’s habitats gives a better than 500% return in cumulative benefits.

Globally, this can lead to USD250 billion in increased yearly economic output, plus USD350 billion in improved ecosystem services annually.

For the Philippines, ecosystem services are valued at about PHP2.3 trillion, ranging from timber and fuelwood production to water provision, ecotourism, carbon sequestration, flood prevention and seafood production.

The Philippine Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (PBSAP) aims to leverage and manage various economic incentives, policies and existing capital to sustainably conserve endangered wildlife and their habitats up to 2028. PBSAP requires at least PHP24 billion yearly to cover the costs of park management, personnel, equipment, research, operations, plus other overheads.

However, a baseline study conducted by the Department of Environmental and Natural Resources Biodiversity Management Bureau (DENR-BMB) and BIOFIN found that from 2008 to 2013, just PHP5 billion was allotted for biodiversity initiatives, a mere 0.31% of the national budget. This means Philippine biodiversity projects are only 20% funded, with creative solutions needed to bridge the 80% financing gap.

“Despite the immense economic contribution of fisheries, agriculture and ecotourism to the country’s GDP, less than 1% of the country’s national budget has traditionally been allotted for the protection and conservation of natural systems like forests and coral reefs,” notes BIOFIN Philippines Country Manager Anabelle Plantilla.


Financing Biodiversity Conservation in 41 Countries

Launched a decade ago, BIOFIN is a global initiative to help countries develop fundraising solutions to sustainably manage their respective ecosystems at the national level. Since 2012, BIOFIN has developed a 41-nation network covering biodiversity-rich regions across Africa, Europe, South and Central America, plus the Asia Pacific Region.

In Costa Rica, BIOFIN, the National Bank of Costa Rica and the National System of Conservation Areas are working together to enhance protected area entry fees to someday buy privately-owned land inside Costa Rica’s protected areas system. A crowdfunding initiative spearheaded by Costa Rican Vice-president Rica Epsy Campbell Barr successfully raised USD1.7 million.

In Zambia, BIOFIN is working with numerous partners to develop green bonds for investors to directly fund African biodiversity conservation, with a goal of raising USD 400 million in green bond issuances by 2030.

In Bhutan, BIOFIN is working with allies to explore insurance-related finance solutions to financially offset groups affected by human wildlife conflict – a must in a region which harbors endangered tigers and snow leopards.

BIOFIN has been implementing biodiversity finance solutions in the Philippines since 2014. Its largest initiatives include fundraising PHP580 million for 107 Legislated Protected Areas by pushing for increased congressional financing, fundraising PHP17 million for terrestrial reforestation through the Mynt and GCash GForest Programme, fundraising PHP1.6 million for Together for Tamaraws to help communities in Mindoro Occidental affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, plus the Year of the Protected Areas, an ongoing campaign to convince Pinoys to responsibly visit the country’s 247 protected areas.

Among many initiatives, BIOFIN is currently working on a results-based budgeting manual, plus support to post-2020 global biodiversity framework financing targets.

Concludes DENR Biodiversity Management Bureau Director Natividad Bernardino, “Biodiversity investments generate excellent economic and holistic returns. As the planet slowly recovers from the global COVID-19 pandemic, we should re-invest in the protection of the natural systems that give us food, water, clean air and medicine. What we need is simple – to make our planet livable again.” (ENDS)

About the Biodiversity Finance Initiative (BIOFIN)

BIOFIN was launched in 2012 and seeks to address the biodiversity finance challenge in a comprehensive manner – building a sound business case for increased investments in the management of ecosystems and biodiversity, with a particular focus on the needs and transformational opportunities at the national level. For more information:

About the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

UNDP partners with people at all levels of society to help build nations that can withstand crises, and drive and sustain the kind of growth that improves the quality of life for all people. On the ground in 177 countries and territories, we offer a global perspective and local insights to help empower lives and build resilient nations.

In the Philippines, UNDP fosters human development for peace and prosperity. Working with central and local governments as well as civil society, and building on global best practices, UNDP strengthens the capacities of women, men and institutions to empower them to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and the objectives of the Philippine Development Plan. Through advocacy and development projects, with a special focus on vulnerable groups, UNDP works to ensure a better life for Filipino people. BIOFIN is a UNDP programme. For more information:

Captioned Images:

Results-based budgeting. “Every USD1 billion investment reduces the total number of threatened plant and animal species by .57%,” explains BIOFIN Global Manager Onno van den Heuvel at the launch of the 8th BIOFIN Regional Dialogue, held at the Conrad Hotel in Manila, the Philippines. (UNDP-BIOFIN)Conserving wildlife. Thousands of lesser flamingos (Phoeniconaias minor) aggregate at an alkaline lake in East Africa. BIOFIN’s fundraising solutions range from sustainable ecotourism to lobbying for increased budgets for national parks. In the past decade, BIOFIN has developed a global network spanning 41 countries, with 26 more slated to join in 2023. (Gregg Yan)

Protecting vital habitats. Together with public and private sector allies, BIOFIN helps protect land and seascapes which harbor endangered and iconic wildlife. Shown is a wild tamaraw (Bubalus mindorensis) bull at the Iglit-Baco Mountain Range in Mindoro Occidental. (Gregg Yan)

Planting native trees. Participants also planted native tree species such as tulibas (Micromelum spp.) and banaba (Lagerstroemia speciosa) at the University of the Philippines Los Baños campus in Laguna. (Gregg Yan)

Developing environmental fundraising solutions. BIOFIN Regional Dialogue delegates from Europe and Asia gather at the grounds of the Conrad Hotel in Metro Manila, the Philippines. (Gelo Rockit Chua / UNDP-BIOFIN)

The Future of Libraries after the Pandemic

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Instituto Cervantes de Manila will hold a seminar titled “The Future of Libraries”, this Saturday, November 19, 2022, in its center in Intramuros (calle Real, Plaza San Luis, Intramuros, Manila). It will be composed of a lecture and a round table discussion. The lecture will be from 10:00 AM to 11:30 PM and the round table discussion will be from 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM.

Libraries have always had a respected role in society, being repositories of knowledge that have helped our civilizations advance, and where people could enrich their minds and keep themselves entertained without the expectation of shelling out money for everything. Nowadays, however, libraries are faced with many challenges brought about the digitalization of information, the increasing number of diversions for the public, and the difficulties brought about by the pandemic. In this regard, Instituto Cervantes is organizing the aforementioned activities in order to discuss the importance of libraries, their future given the new changes in our society, and how they can cope with these challenges.

The speaker for the seminar is Carme Fenoll, Director of the Culture and Community Area of the library of the Universitat Politécnica de Catalunya. For the round table discussion, there will be representatives from the National Library, the Miguel de Benavidez library of UST, the Ortigas Foundation, and the Aurelio Montinola Jr. library of Alliance Française.

This event is open to all and is free of charge. Kindly confirm attendance by sending an email at The Future of Libraries is organized by Instituto Cervantes in collaboration with the Embassy of Spain in the Philippines – AECID. For further information, please send an email to

BingoPlus Foundation’s FutureSmart Scholarship Program 2022 funds 10 IT scholars

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BingoPlus Foundation Inc., the corporate arm of leisure entertainment brand BingoPlus, has made education one of its causes to support with a PhP6 million scholarship granted to iACADEMY under its FutureSmart Scholarship 2022 Program.

Officers of the Foundation signed an agreement with representatives of iACADEMY to sponsor ten students last November 2 at the head office of Leisure & Resorts World Corporation (LRWC) at Tektite Building in Pasig.

With its specialization in the field of information technology, iACADEMY was seen as the perfect partner school for BP Foundation as it aligns well with the Foundation’s vision to create IT-competent professionals in the future. BingoPlus Foundation firmly believes that education and technology are important components of nation-building and has thus prioritized the FutureSmart Scholarship 2022 Program as one of its top Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives of the year.

Through the scholarship, the Foundation aims to address some challenges faced by the education sector to provide more and better educational opportunities to the younger generation and thus leave its footprint in the building of a better society.

LRWC President Andy Tsui said, “We wish to inspire the younger generation and make their dreams come true.”

“We are truly honored to welcome iACADEMY as a new partner, and we’re grateful to be given the opportunity to contribute to keeping students on the path towards a brighter future,” said Jasper Vicencio, President of BingoPlus and Trustee of BingoPlus Foundation Inc.

The FutureSmart Scholarship 2022 Program will be launched in the current school year of iACADEMY.

Inventions in health and environment preservation named in the newly revitalized BPI-DOST Innovation Awards

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Young Filipino innovators from all-over the country display their wits and creativity through their inventions presented in the first-ever BPI-DOST Innovation Awards 2022 held on October 28, 2022 at the Holiday Inn, Makati City.

The Department of Science and Technology – Science Education Institute (DOST-SEI), in partnership with the BPI Foundation Inc., has named the top three inventions that aim to help solve pressing issues on immunization, environment, and health. These projects emerged as winners of the new BPI-DOST Innovation Awards, formerly known as the BPI Science Awards.

Earning the maiden award is St. Louis University in Baguio City with their project entitled: “TaniKalusugan-BlockVax: A Digitized Immunization Records System using Blockchain Technology,” which is a digitized immunization records system that tracks all the vaccinations taken by each person in the country. It aims to provide ease to health practitioners in organizing and managing immunization data of all Filipinos while keeping the data safe. The team is composed of Charles Marco M. Obispo, Hanna Louiza R. Manalang, and Roby F. Soriano, together with their project adviser Kasima Rose M. Mendoza.


Young innovators from the University of the Philippines – Visayas also received the BPI Innovation Award with its “Carbon Quantum Dots as Innovative Materials for Detection and Removal of Selected Aquatic Pollutants.” This project explored the potential application of nanomaterials as nano-catalysts for photodegradation of harmful organic pollutants and as nanoprobe for the detection of heavy metals in aquatic environments. The project is crafted by team members Lorraine Ann F. Mana-ay, Maridel S. Somejo, and Steve C. Turita, together with their project adviser Concepcion P. Ponce.

The third winner is University of Santo Tomas’ “Artificial Intelligence-Based Prediction of Colorectal Cancer using miRNA Expression,” which designs, trains, and tests artificial neural networks in predicting the likelihood of colorectal cancer in patients using levels of expression of specific miRNAs found in blood plasma and colorectal tissue samples.

“We aim to challenge our young minds to create innovations that matter for the betterment of our communities and ultimately, our country. We hope to have inspired the young people of today to continue using their gifts to make significant contributions to the country and to help improve the lives of every Filipino,” said BPI Foundation Executive Director Owen L. Cammayo.

DOST-SEI Director Dr. Josette T. Biyo also expressed her gratitude to the BPI Foundation for its continued support and partnership in the Institute’s advocacy of developing the next generation of science leaders. “Trust that the DOST-SEI will continue to strengthen its efforts to develop a critical pool of science and technology professionals and to provide opportunities for young innovators like you to pursue significant and valuable careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics,” said Dr. Biyo.

The winners were named after completing workshops on presentation skills, innovation, and creative entrepreneurship, design thinking, patent, technology marketing and commercialization, and collaboration and networking.

Stamp Bazaar at the Manila Central Post Office held

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In celebration of 2022 National Stamp Collecting Month and the 255th Anniversary of the establishment of the Philippine Postal System, the Philippine Stamp Collectors Society (PSCS) in cooperation with the Philippine Post Office held its annual “Stamp Bazaar” last November 12, at the historic Manila Central Post Office lobby in Liwasang Bonifacio.

The primary purpose of the Post Office is not only to deliver letters and parcels but also to recognize and immortalize the rich history, culture, and achievements of the Philippines through the issuance of stamps, postcards, and official philatelic items.

Veteran and young generations of Stamp enthusiasts have proven that the popularity of stamps in everyday life of Filipinos has not disappeared even with the popularity of the internet.

“Stamps have not lost their worth; stamps become even more meaningful for stamp lovers and stamp collectors because of their historic, cultural and educational value”, PSCS President Jorge Cuyugan said.

Those who are engaged in stamp collecting are one in saying that they have been entertained, and have gained knowledge while it is an investment opportunity for others.

Philately or stamp collecting has been around for over a hundred years in the country and has enticed millions of people from all over the world. Postage stamps could be likened to a miniature art collection or an exotic library or a museum of world icons.

Stamps are categorized into topics such as the environment, world cultural celebrities and national heritage, landscapes or animals, sports, and heroism among others.

A free guided Heritage Tour was also organized among the participants in and around the iconic post office building which was built in 1926 and considered an Important Cultural Property by the National Commission for Culture and Arts (NCCA)

Where to Get a Personal Loan From - Banks vs. Online Lenders

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When considering getting a personal loan, one should consider what is more important to them. Is it a quick application process or talking to a bank manager face to face? Technology has enabled users to get loans after clicking a few buttons to fill in their details. However, some borrowers still prefer the face-to-face experience of dealing with a relationship manager.

Whether one prefers online lenders or banks depends on various factors. These aspects include urgency, interest rate, and repayment terms. Borrowers should look at several lending companies before making a decision.

Banks Vs. Online Lenders: The Differences

Before settling on a preferred lender, there are various factors one should look at. These factors form key differences between bank loans and online lenders. Below are the key differences between these two personal loan lenders.

The Application Process

The key difference between banks and online loans is how borrowers apply and receive the funds. In this aspect, online lenders such as Digido have a significant advantage over banks. These lenders have been structured to maximize the convenience of the loan application process.

These online lenders allow borrowers to check interest rates and the limits one may qualify for. Additionally, borrowers can easily submit an application through the computer or a phone. They can also quickly upload the requested documents.

Apart from having a faster application process, these lenders can send out the personal loan on the same day the application was sent. It is all due to the streamlined digital lending process.

Unfortunately, bank loans have a longer application process that can span days or weeks as the process is primarily manual. These may be better for emergencies.
Fees and Interest Rates

Though online lenders have reduced overhead costs from lacking branches, they may not necessarily translate the benefits to borrowers. For this reason, one cannot bank on them to offer the lowest-cost option of a personal loan. Some online lenders add extra fees and have higher interest rates than bank loans. Notably, many online lenders also lend to users with riskier credit ratings. As a result, they add these charges, such as origination fees and others, to cover the potential risk.

Not all lending companies are the same; some have predatory lending practices. One should read the terms and conditions and other users' reviews before applying.

Regarding interest, banks have better rates and may offer fee discounts to existing customers.

Eligibility Requirement

Since banks offer better rates, they have very strict eligibility requirements. They also do not lend to very risky customers. Notably, online lenders have limited requirements. They also lend to borrowers with bad credit ratings.

Customer Service

Banks lead in offering the best customer support. If calling and engaging the bank becomes problematic for users, they can stop at a local branch to get faster assistance. Online lenders do not provide this face-to-face support; if they do, it's very rare. For this reason, users who are not tech-savvy can struggle to get proper assistance.

That's not to say they do not offer customer service. Many online companies have well-trained professionals who provide assistance via calls, web chat, or email.
Loan Products

Online lenders often focus on some sections of loans. They can provide specific personal loan products for borrowers to meet some needs. However, banks have a wider selection of loan products. Additionally, borrowers can open other accounts, such as savings and checking accounts, for other purposes.

Since banks have many available products, they can comfortably handle all customers' borrowing and savings needs. It is easier to track and manage finances when all deposit and loan accounts are in the same place. Having all these products with one bank also helps when negotiating for better interest rates.

How To Choose Between Online Lenders and Banks

The key differences between bank loans and online lenders can help borrowers determine which option to select. A borrower can choose an online lender if they want a loan quickly, have a bad or limited credit history or want a convenient application process. Digital loans have a completely streamlined application process and few eligibility requirements in all these cases.

However, a borrower can also select a bank when they want face-to-face customer support, can get a good interest and discount, or want to keep all their financial activity in one place.

When choosing online lenders, borrowers should be keen not to select predatory ones. Such lenders have very high fees, large repayments over a short duration, and aggressive solicitations.


There is no wrong or correct answer on whether to go for a bank loan or an online lender. It also comes down to the terms of the loan and a person's needs when they require the loan. Regardless of the options, one selects, it is advisable to read through the terms and conditions and shop around for attractive loans. The more choices one has, the higher the chance of getting a good deal.

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