NEWS

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Local BPO company to hire 10K in 5 years

Thursday April 6, 2017

Filipino-owned Performance 360 Call Center and BPO Services aims to hire at least 10 thousand agents in the next three to five years, boosted by its active participation in rural impact sourcing of the government. Company founder Michael Cubos said his team is now working on different strategies to expand its services to rural areas around the country, either through working with concerned government agencies, like local government units, Department of Trade and Industry, as well as Department of Information and Communication Technology (DICT), or with interested private investors. The company also offer franchise package to accelerate expansion plans, and take advantage of the robust demand for outsourcing works from other countries. Recently, Cubos' company reached out to the provincial office of DTI in Cebu to lead a robust rural outsourcing industry in the province. Already, the company has an existing plan to expand its call center operations through franchise in non-urban areas, initially in Argao, Medina, Misamis Oriental, Maasin City, Cotabato City. Cubos, who already made some initial talks with the interested franchisees, said that there are a lot of areas and provinces in the Philippines, where outsourcing business can bloom. But, one of the problems identified is the unavailability of fast and reliable internet infrastructure. Manpower is less of a problem, he added. However, the recently approved P3.5 billion budget of the DICT, of which priority project is deploying public Wi-fi, is seen to aid the company's plan to spread outsourcing jobs in the remote areas, in partnership with franchisees, Cubos said. Cubos' company already started to operate a franchised call center. This is located ay Cebu I.T. Park with 30-seat facility, he said this facility serves as a pilot facility. "We already have the system, a good market connection. A franchiseable call center is feasible," said Cubos in an interview. Just like any franchiseable business, the franchisor in this case the Performance 360 Call Center and BPO Services' will handle all business development, IT and quality support as well as all trainings needed to ensure a standardized business formula and work ethic and and office culture. Aside from private investors, LGUs can also avail of this profitable business to increase their employment opportunities in their respective municipalities. (FREEMAN)

Songs of Summer turns 3

Wednesday April 5, 2017

Now on its third installment, Songs of Summer is back this 2017 at Ayala Center Cebu. One may catch the event every Wednesday, starting today, for the entire month of April by the Red Box area. Come May, the event will be at the Terraces. Music starts at 8 p.m. Celebrating the tropical spirit of Cebu, this year’s Songs of Summer is set to make everyone feel fine with a killer line-up. For tonight, the performers are Kurt Ebarita, Vincent Eco, Lourdes Maglinte and Womb. This is the lineup for the rest of the summer April: 12 – J Russ, Wonggoys, Mary Anchit and Jerika Teodorico; 26 – Kurt Ebarita, Hanna Regis, Honeydrop, My Dragon Eats Cat Food. For May: 3 – Diane Tungol, Jayneil Enriquez, Lourdes Maglinte and Loop; 10 – Silingan ni Felicity, Womb, Forgetful Bob, Ella Melendez; 17 – Mary Anchit, Aaron Domingo, Honeydrop, Three-Legged Men; 24 – Bethany, Mother Folker, Wonggoys, Vincent Eco. (SUN STAR CEBU)

Cebu City honored for eco program

Monday April 3, 2017

The Environmental Management Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has recognized Cebu City as among the local government units in the country that excels in environmental governance. “For the city’s exemplary performance for environmental governance; for putting in place sustainable practices to achieve clean air, clean water and clean land; and for promoting the development of Environmentally Sustainable Cities (ESC),” the award citation reads. The award is signed by Corazon Davis, Department of Environment and Natural Resources Officer-In-Charge in Environmentally Sustainable Cities, and Jacqueline Caancan, EMB concurrent director. The award was given last March 30. City Planning Development Office head Concepcion Encabo who received the plaque in Dipolog City said the city is among the local government units that are recipients of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) model cities-program of EMB and the Institute of Global Environmental Strategy in Japan. IGES, which is based in Kitakyushu, Japan has partnered with the city for some environmental programs. Freeman ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: “Since 2011 nag start kana nga program. Sila ang nagpili nato kay naa man tay partnership sa Kitakyushu sa Japan,” Encabo said. Former Councilor Nida Cabrera of the City’s Environment and Natural Resources Office said she is glad the city’s efforts are being recognized yet clarified the basis for the award were programs implemented a few years back. Validation took place from July to December last year. “We submitted a pockets of initiatives that was validated by IGES for sustainable cities, we’re number one in eco policy developments during my time as councilor, we’re the first city to have policy on special waste management and now piloted it to seven barangays, we implemented a policy on septic waste management, and Cebu Business Park was nominated as APEC eco model town in 2016. Even we have some problems in our landfill we have some initiatives in waste reduction and I’m happy with that acknowledgement,” Cabrera told The FREEMAN yesterday. Councilor Joel Garganera, chairman of the City Council’s committee on environment, said there is still a long way to go. “A plaque of recognition is nothing when progress isn’t tangible. We’ve come this far, but we have farther to go. Being an environmentally sustainable city is a responsibility… we still have a lot to improve on, we can’t simply settle,” he told The FREEMAN. He opined further: “I don’t know their criteria for such recognition but certainly dumping the garbage at South Road Properties, reopening the dumpsite and insisting on its operation despite the findings of Department of Health and DENR is certainly mind boggling.” The city government faces a controversial issue in the reopening of the landfill in Barangay Inayawan, which violates environmental laws and by not complying with sanitary requirements, which prompted the Court of Appeals to close the facility.  (FREEMAN)

Ayala, SM offer to put up P25-B elevated expressway

Saturday April 1, 2017

Conglomerates SM Investments Corp. and Ayala Corp. joined forces to combat Metro Manila’s traffic woes, proposing to build what has been called the “missing link,” an elevated toll road that would shift traffic away from Edsa. The two groups, which have cooperated in previous projects, submitted their first unsolicited proposal to the Duterte administration, revealing on Friday a P25-billion, 8.6-kilometer elevated expressway that would link Sta. Mesa, Manila to SM-controlled Mall of Asia complex in Pasay City. Along the way, the toll road, dubbed the C-3 elevated Expressway or C3Ex, would have interchanges in Circuit Makati, Ayala-Gil Puyat and Roxas Boulevard. Jose Rene Almendras, CEO of Ayala unit AC Infrastructure Holdings, told reporters in a briefing the proposal had been submitted to the Department on Public Works and Highways. He said the plan was for the government to hold a competitive challenge, with an award seen by the second quarter of 2018. C3Ex can be finished in three years. It can handle some 100,000 vehicles per day. With the completion of other toll road projects, such as San Miguel Corp.’s Skyway stage 3 in 2018, motorists would see significant benefits, he said. Traveling from Quezon City to Makati would take only 15 minutes from over one hour today, while those moving from Pasay to Makati will be able to bypass Edsa. “I think the traffic problem in Manila has reached that level in which there is no color or citizenship issue anymore,” Almendras said, referring to the decision by both groups, led by Ayala’s Zobel family and the SM Group’s Sy family, to come together. Almendras admitted the C3Ex would benefit their own property developments, a significant earnings provider for their respective conglomerates. As such, a key part of the proposal involved the consortium reimbursing government for right-of-way expenses, typically shouldered by taxpayers. Almendras said this would cost the consortium an additional “few billions of pesos.” He said other groups would be invited into the C3Ex consortium, adding they have already approached SMC. (Inquirer)  

Harolds to expand in Manila

Friday March 31, 2017

Homegrown accommodation facility, Harolds Hotel, is earmarking roughly half a billion pesos this year to fund its expansion plan in Metro Manila. In an interview yesterday, Harolds Hotel general manager Ed Tongco said the 14-storey project will be located inside a 1,500-square meter property in Quezon City and will have a total of 148 rooms. Construction of the project will start in the fourth quarter of this year and scheduled for completion in 2019. “Quezon City is getting to be a destination. In the couple of years, it will be like Makati. There are so many new players there,” said Tongco. Harolds Hotel is owned by GPH Properties Inc. and has been operating as a business hotel since 2011. The 12-storey facility consists of 90 rooms located along Gorordo Avenue in Cebu City. Tongco also revealed the possibility of GPH Properties to open two more hotels in Cebu. The first being in Cebu Business Park and the other in Lapu-Lapu City. However, these are still subject to further considerations as this will depend on the success of Harolds Hotel in Quezon City. But prospects for the Mactan hotel is high with the anticipated rise in tourists following the completion of the Terminal 2 of the Mactan Cebu International Airport in June 2018, said Tongco. Recently, the business hotel has earned an 8.7 rating, under the “very good” category in travel booking site, Booking.com. Tongco said the high rating has earned them more bookings from both domestic and international travelers. The hotel, according to Tongco, has also been named by the government as one of the recommended accommodations for the upcoming Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) meetings in Cebu next month. While Harold’s Hotel was a recommended accommodation for Asean delegates, it so happened that the hotel is performing at more than 90 percent occupancy rate now and could no longer accommodate Asean guests, according to the hotel manager. The hotel is also an attractive site for corporate events, with 40 percent of its market being corporate accounts, 30 percent come from online reservations, and 30 percent from mixed market including travel agents and individual tourists. (SUN STAR CEBU)

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