Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Experiencing Pisay's facilities at Discovery Science Camp 2015

Posted By: Jessel Munoz - Tuesday, July 28, 2015
Short lectures and more hands-on experiments - these are the kind of science classes that I would love attending. Because of the non-stop "lectures only"science classes that I have been attending in my school, it became a boring subject for me until I joined the Discovery Science Camp in Summer of 2015.

The Discovery Science Camp is a five-day program composed of workshops, activities, and adventures related to science. On our first day, we had four workshops - Mr. Swab It (Agar plate swabbing), Oobleck making (about non-newtonian fluids), Microscopy, and Fossil Making. We had short lectures about the said topics and hands-on activities after (which were all fun). After that, there was a quiz bee about the workshops. We were also able to see and learn how fireworks are made, and some of the campers were able to light up the fireworks mixture made during the activity. It was really exciting!

We also experienced the Project Pitch, wherein the campers had to think about different researches that may help the world become a better place. It was a very good experience as it can be an excellent exercise for the mind and for learning how to work under time pressure. Now, me and my fellow campers use these abilities that we learned during Project Pitch in making our Investigatory Projects in school.

Aside from exercising our intellectual skills, we also had a lot of physical activities just like the Aghamazing Race (Amazing Race) and team building exercises. Each of the tasks were held in different parts of Pisay, and were all connected to Science.

The campers were also given a privilege to go up on the rooftop of Pisay, where we were able to use telescopes and observe the heavenly bodies late at night. We were taught on how to use different kinds of telescopes and how to identify the stars and their distance from each other.

The other exciting factors was that we were able to use Pisay's facilities--- we stayed in their dorm during camping, had  lectures and activities in their classrooms and laboratories, ate in their cafeteria that serves good food, know our facilitators and fellow campers, and build friendships with them even after the camp.

It was a fun-filled and a very informative camp from Day 1 up to the last, and there was no single dead air during the camp. It would be the kind of camp I would recommend to other students, science lover or not, because I guarantee that after experiencing this camp, they would just love science even more than they could ever have.

- Jeanill Migraso, Camper











YouthHack Manila launches first Code Weekend, raises awareness on tech and entrepreneurship

Posted By: Jessel Munoz - Tuesday, July 28, 2015
Riding on the success of 2014’s first high school hackathon, YouthHack Manila upped its game  this year with Code Weekend, thirty-six hours of pure coding. The overnight event, held at Microsoft Philippines last July 11 and 12, drew close to one hundred students from various high schools and universities in the metro for workshops on coding, entrepreneurship, and the future of the technology industry in the country. 

Unique among hackathons of its calibre, Code Weekend did not require its participants to already be familiar with coding languages. Seasoned coding veterans and aspiring programmers alike ended weekend run with an application of their own.  

The first day kicked off with a session on the basics of web development by Mr. Mark Tarcelo, a computer science teacher at Philippine Science High School. Tarcelo introduced concepts and real-world examples in using HTML, CSS, and Bootstrap.

“If you want to understand how these new technologies are going to impact or maximize your life, you need to understand how these work, and how you can make your own contribution,” Tarcelo adds.

This was followed by a workshop on PHP, Apache, and MySQL by members of the University of the Philippines Center for Student Innovations (UP CSI). The session explored website dynamicity and interaction. 

Mr. Chad Estioko of Kalibrr, meanwhile, led the final session for the day on Javascript. 

The intersection of technology and entrepreneurship became the theme of the second day, with Mr. Paul Gadi of Altitude Games and Mr. JC Soriano of MagisSolutions giving talks on the shifts in the business world. 

“Games, whether deemed a business or an art form, can change people’s lives,” Gadi says, and finding where they meet is where “you will find the most success.” 

Soriano, too, turned his vision of solving “bigger, more pressing problems” into an organization that provides technological services to those who need them the most. He emphized finding the “why” in any venture, and cites Google as an example: “Google did programs for a purpsoe. They wanted to organize the world’s information. And for that purpose, they became a 3 billion dollar company.”

Participants scrambled to finish their programs in order to pitch them to a panel of judges, including Gadi, and Mr. Lyle Jover of Raket.ph, a network of freelancers turning to the digital world to make money. 

Six teams made it to the final round of pitching, with applications ranging from “classified ads for mentors and mentees” to a website that matches prospective pet owners with underprivileged pets. However, three programs proved to be a cut above the rest. 

Where’s the Loo?, in third place, is a web and mobile app that allows users to find and rate toilets in public places. Users can add toilets they find on the map and gain points when they rate and supply relevant information. The team was composed of students Kimberly Gamboa, Arvy Ngo, Jeremy Uy, and Alexis Ngo from Philippine Science High School. 

The silver prize went to Mentor Town, a project that seeks to connect people who want to learn skills with mentors who can teach them. The appeal of Mentor Town lies in the strength of its mentor-mentee community. The innovators behind Mentor Town are Alexis Collado, Royce Chan, George Balmaceda, Vince  Agbayani from Ateneo de Manila University.
Team Moller-Trumbore, composed of Willard Torres from Ateneo de Manila University and Miguel Madridejos from University of the Philippines Diliman, took home the crown. Torres and Madridejos were the only ones among the top six teams to have created a game. The game involves colored blocks in empty space — and the only limit is the user’s imagination. Blocks can be used to fill out the space, and movement is simple, with the standard WASD and arrow keys. Users can create a solo project or participate in joint play. 

The top three teams were awarded Microsoft gift bags and scholarships for higher learning from Gates Professional Schools. 

YouthHack Manila, the mother organization of Code Weekend 2015, is a youth-led initiative that enables budding innovators to use technology and entrepreneurship to change the world.

Learn more about YouthHack Manila by visiting our website www.youthhack.net and liking our Facebook Page www.facebook.com/YouthHackMNL. If you’re interested in partnering with us for future events, feel free to email manila2015@youthhack.net.














Monday, July 27, 2015

Students Learn Science The ISIP Way

Posted By: Tech Support - Monday, July 27, 2015
ISIP is the first Science Camp of Integrating Science in the Philippines.  It aims to start a community of Filipino youth who have a deepened appreciation for science.

Goran Tomacruz, Camp Director, talks about what transpired this summer in the very first

Integrating Science in the Philippines Camp held at the Philippine Science High School Main Campus in Diliman, Quezon City, last May 18 to 22, 2015.

Goran's point of view:

“I'm not that smart to study science. Nosebleed. 'Yung matatalino na lang,” some people I know would say. After months of trying, I thought that I could never prove them wrong. But after a surreal Discovery Science Camp 2015, I realized that my friends and I could change that.
 

Discovery Science Camp 2015 is a collaborative project between Integrating Science in the Philippines and Philippine Science High School – Main Campus that aims to increase the science appreciation and skills of 29 high school students from the Philippines, including students from SOCCSKSARGEN, Nueva Ecija and Batangas. The camp was facilitated by recently graduated PSHS-MC students with the guidance of the school's faculty and staff.
 

The theme of the camp is to use the Scientific Method to solve Climate Change and Disaster Risk. The students were immersed in a five-day experience packed with lessons, activities and challenges. However, what sets this camp apart from other science camps is that we, the organizers and facilitators, use informal learning to teach science. We set a friendly and cheerful atmosphere in the camp with team activities, movies and game nights, but we also push the campers' scientific abilities to their limits to enhance their mental skills and creativity with workshops and project making. We also gave them refreshing programs such as a workshop quiz bee, hands-on activities and stargazing.
 

The preparation for the camp was extremely challenging. This camp was a first for all of us, especially a camp that lasted five days long, so organizing it took a lot of weeks of brainstorming. We were building and editing and dropping countless ideas for the camp, hoping to give the students the experience we promised. Week after week, we would build and finalize the program, even during camp week. While the students were sleeping, the facilitators and I would continue to edit the activities and make them more feasible and entertaining. And through all the struggles, mistakes and triumphs of our preparation, we learned new skills and lessons along the way.
 

Personally, I enjoyed every single day of the camp. I loved how the students were eager to learn and explore the campus with their new friends. I was amazed by their efforts to understand some data from scientific articles and communicate them into a story everyone can enjoy. The research and investigatory project proposals they produced under a lot of time pressure were so good and creative that it shocked us all. The campers were also very enthusiastic during the team activities, and it was very inspiring to see students from varying schools doing the same things we were interested in. This experience gave me a new perspective about the science community and I made lasting friendships and memories.
 

Overall, the science camp was successful. The campers and facilitators had a memorable, fun and challenging learning experience. Although it was very exhausting to manage and we made some mistakes, it was worth the trouble and we will keep on getting better on the science camps to follow. I feel proud to be a part of this life-changing event. There are a few camps that can fill you with wonder and understanding about science, and I believe this is one of them.

- Goran Tomacruz, Camp director 










Tuesday, July 21, 2015

YouthHack Manila 2015 Startup Challenge

Posted By: Jessel Munoz - Tuesday, July 21, 2015
YouthHack Manila was started one year ago with the goal of helping students learn more about startups, technology and entrepreneurship. YouthHack held its first startup challenge last July 12-13, 2014 at the Gates Professional Schools where over 100 high school students got the opportunity to hear from experienced entrepreneurs, go through ideation, prototyping and pitching workshops and pitch their idea to a panel of judges.

YouthHack Founder David Ongchoco shared, “Through our events and programs, we hope to empower students to build their skills, take risks and turn their ideas into reality. It’s my dream that hopefully, the next Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs or Bill Gates success story will come from YouthHack.”

Since starting out with a two-day event last year, YouthHack has expanded its programs to include a Code Weekend and a Fellowship Program that pairs talented high school and university students with fast-growing startups. The first-ever YouthHack Code Weekend was held last July 11 and 12, 2015 in Microsoft Philippines where participants spent over 36 hours building a working prototype of their ideas. YouthHack has also held events and programs in Philadelphia and Singapore.

This July, YouthHack Manila in partnership with Katalyst.ph will be holding the YouthHack Manila Startup Challenge on July 25 and 26 in Xavier School. More than 250 students, including both high school and university students, will gather for an opportunity to learn more about startups and entrepreneurship.

Students will get the opportunity to hear from experienced entrepreneurs and businessmen like Kalibrr CEO Paul Rivera, ABS-CBN Chief Digital Officer Donald Lim, Chikka Founder Dennis Mendiola and Katalyst.ph Co-founder Mercedita Natividad.

This will be followed by workshops in ideation, prototyping, product development, growth hacking, marketing, user experience and pitching. These workshops will be led by mentors from IdeaSpace, Kalibrr, Uber, Buybitcoin.ph and Founder Institute. These workshops will be followed by a fire-pitching session where students can gain direct feedback from mentors.

On the second day, students will be given an opportunity to pitch the ideas they’ve developed to our esteemed judges from Katalsyt.ph, IdeaSpace Foundation, Impact Hub Manila, ZAP, Tech in Asia, Plug and Play and Launch Garage. Student teams have a chance to win over P100,000 worth of prizes, including cash, coworking space membership, gift certificates, mentorship and more. Main prize sponsors include Katalyst.ph, SMART, Colab.ph and Impact Hub Manila. Other sponsors include Cointelegraph.ph, Gardenia, Marks & Spencer and the Mayor’s Office of Quezon City.

In line with the goal of really helping build the startup ecosystem in the Philippines, YouthHack Manila will also be having a Startup Fair alongside the Startup Challenge. YouthHack will be bringing together over 30 startups in the Philippines so students can see first-hand what types of problems startups are trying to solve and how they can get involved in the Philippine startup scene.

Ongchoco added, “There’s no better way to jump into the startup scene than by interacting with actual startup entrepreneurs themselves, learning from their experiences and potentially interning with these startups that we’ll be bringing in the Startup Fair. We hope to open up the world of these students and give them an opportunity to jump right in.”


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Thursday, July 16, 2015

Ubiquity Expands in Bacolod

Posted By: Jessel Munoz - Thursday, July 16, 2015
Negros Occidental Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr. (seated center) with Ubiquity's founder and president, Matthew Nyren (seated right) at the signing of the lease agreement for the company’s expansion, held at the Governor’s Office in Bacolod City. With them are (BNeFIT) President and Bacolod City Councilor Atty. Jocelle Batapa-Sigue (seated left) and Albert Pimentel, Alexie Santos, Christopher Repaso, Jude Crisostomo and Eric Enriquez, all of Ubiquity./Capitol photo


The Ubiquity Global Services, a multinational company based in New York, is expanding its operations in Bacolod City.
This, after the company has expanded its office space at the Negros First CyberCentre when they leased an additional 1,200 square meter space. The CyberCentre was championed by Negros Occidental Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr.

The planned expansion will bring the company's total office space in the CyberCentre to nearly 4,000 square meters. The expansion is expected to complete before the end of the year.

With the signing of several new clients, Ubiquity is increasing its Bacolod workforce to approximately 1,500 employees by early 2016.

Ubiquity's founder and president Matthew Nyren recently signed the expansion of the lease agreement with Marañon at the Provincial Capitol.

"I am excited about our forthcoming expansion in the Negros First CyberCentre," he said.

He added that this expansion will provide a progressive working space for the creation of nearly 2,000 career opportunities in the region within the next year.

“The expansion establishes Bacolod as our company's largest operating location in a growing global network that includes sites in Metro Manila, the United States, Latin America and Europe. We look forward to big things for the Bacolod center and our talented colleagues here in Negros Province,” he stressed.

For his part, Marañon is very happy with the continued expansion of the Ubiquity and looks forward to the additional jobs it will create for the province.
He assured Nyren of the provincial government's support in all initiatives involving the development of human resource for the business process management industry.

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Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Startup Focuses On Cleaning Makati and BGC Condos

Posted By: Tech Support - Wednesday, July 15, 2015
Condo owners in Makati and Bonifacio Global City can now turn to their mobile phones and breathe a sigh of relief in reference to their long standing problem of how to get their condo cleaned. 

A new startup business called Kasakoo (http://kasakoo.com) can handle the cleaning requirements easily.  Aided with a clean and simple online interface which allows a condo owner to indicate the number of rooms and bathrooms of  the condo, as well as whether the condo is carpeted or not, booking a cleaner through Kasakoo provides a more efficient way of getting the condo cleaned.

The founders say that, "We have a talent pool of about 20 or so cleaners that are experienced cleaners from the hospitality industry. We pride ourselves to be one of the companies that focus on the welfare and fairness of compensation to our freelancers. Our Mission is to provide quality service from start to finish and after, at affordable rates to clients and fair compensation to all our service providers. Our rates start at 300PHP an hour and we only charge for time required to clean the unit. Book online and we'll call you to confirm."


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Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Primer on K to 12 Released By Philippine Business for Education

Posted By: Tech Support - Tuesday, July 14, 2015
A non-profit organization, The Philippine Business for Education (PBEd), is currently in a drive to disseminate more information on the K-to-12 Program implemented by the Department of Education (DepEd).

The PBED (Philippine Business for Education) which serves as the voice of the business community in education reform is currently distributing an infographics kit in tits role as a staunch advocate of the K-to-12 program.

Circulated among employers and employees, the kit aims to provide sufficient information on the program, which impacts workforce development, and to allay apprehensions on the costs of the additional academic years.

Included in the K-to-12 kit are infographics on salient features of the program; the four senior high school tracks; K to 12 timeline; and opportunities after senior high school. The kits also contain information on common misconceptions about K-to-12; senior high school vacancies; senior high school voucher program; the Tertiary Education Transition Fund (TETF) Act and the Unified Student Financial Assistance System for Tertiary Education (UniFAST) Act.

It has been circulated to various business chambers and organizations including the Makati Business Club (MBC), the Management Association of the Philippines (MAP), the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP), Australian New Zealand Chamber of Commerce Philippines ANZCHAM), Information Technology and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP), and Semiconductor and Electronics Industries in the Philippines Inc. (SEIPI).

Interested parties may download the HQ file from http://bit.ly/pbedkto12

Netizens In Negros Island Cry for Justice for Assaulted Environmentalist, Benjie Casipe

Posted By: Tech Support - Tuesday, July 14, 2015
Following a post on an online magazine on organic farming about the environmentalist who lost his life due to a senseless robbery and assault, netizens on Negros Island have been posting "Justice for Benjie" on social media.

Benjie Casipe, only 37 years old, was a dedicated environmentalist, who passed away in a tragic way last week.

A dreadful incident of robbery and merciless beating landed him in a hospital and eventually caused his untimely death in Bacolod last week. The culprit, a trisikad driver, remains unknown as of this time.  Nevertheless, all are hoping that he will be caught the soonest possible time, and justice will be served on the senseless killing of a young person, who has dedicated his life in community service and working for the good of our environment.

Gerry Ledesma, president of the Philippines Reef and Rainforest Foundation Inc., said Benjie was an excellent community worker and a staunch conservationist. A sorry loss of a good man, Ledesma added, as he pointed out that whoever had beaten up Benjie must know how precious he was.

Benjie was so passionate about what he was doing, particularly in promoting environmental education and dealing with community affairs.

Bacolod Councilor Jocelle Batapa Sigue, on her Facebook post, expressed her sadness on the untimely demise of her friend, and claimed that she will work hard in fast tracking the passage of an ordinance regulating the trisikad and tricycle operations in the city. Sigue said she would do it in spite of possible political repercussions, as some individuals warned her, since nobody dared in the past to touch the issue of the unregulated operations of tricycles and trisikad in Bacolod.

Benjie was also a very active volunteer of the Green Alert Negros. Rusty Biñas, one of the GAN's prime movers, has this to say for Benjie: “We will celebrate your life and contribution to the environment activism. You touched us in many ways, and your peculiar way of telling your story makes us all happy. We will always remember you and your work, especially in protecting the wildlife of Negros when you gave them voice for more than two decades.”

The remains of Benjie will be cremated on Thursday, July 16, 2015, in Bacolod City.






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Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Bagosphere Expands Job Training Operations

Posted By: Jessel Munoz - Tuesday, July 07, 2015
Markel Serva, sales officer, shares to the local media his struggles to support his family as a farmer and a tricycle driver. He later joined the BagoSphere training program and is now employed at a call center. (BagoSphere Photo)      
Social enterprise BagoSphere is expanding its intensive and affordable job training program to key cities in the Philippines to give more high school and college graduates better opportunities to jumpstart their career in the outsourcing industry.

“When we first started BagoSphere, we wanted to create an affordable solution to tackle youth unemployment. In the last two years testing and implementing our training model in Bago City, we learned a lot about helping young people find meaningful jobs. We saw life-transforming results and measurable social impact. Now, we have started our expansion plans with Bacolod City, the capital of Negros Occidental, and we hope to help more high school and college graduates gain relevant communication and IT skills in an authentic work setting and get them hired,” said Zhihan Lee, co-founder and CEO of BagoSphere.

He added: “we started BagoSphere because we have seen that youth unemployment is one of the strongest drivers for poverty. At the same time, we live in a world where a college degree doesn’t guarantee a job anymore, and it’s a long and expensive road getting there. In India, I saw how rural youths with no formal education can find full-time employment thirty minutes away from home in a data work center! I thought to myself, we have to help young people find good jobs in an increasingly competitive job market in Southeast Asia.”

Lee along with Ellwyn Tan and Ivan Lau founded BagoSphere after leading volunteer projects in Bago City while they were still in college at the National University of Singapore.

BagoSphere, which operated in January 2013, boasted 373 graduates, 240 of which have been hired by business process outsourcing firms, despite more than 50 percent of them have zero previous work experience. The graduates received an average starting salary and performance incentives of P10,000 per month.

Because of the program, the Department of Social Welfare and Development in Region 6 has tapped BagoSphere to train students belonging to the conditional cash transfer (CCT) beneficiary-families from Bago City. Atleast 80 percent of its first batch have been employed within two weeks of graduation. Because of this, DSWD is now looking at a long-term partnership with BagoSphere.

BagoSphere has partnered with Teleperformance, Transcom, and Panasiatic – three of the leading global outsourcing companies in the country – for immediate placements after undergoing training.

Bagosphere is set to open its Quezon City branch in the fourth quarter of the year. Its expansion was backed by its latest impact investor Elea Foundation for Ethics in Globalisation, a Swiss-based organization supporting social enterprises based in developing countries.  

Lee is expecting to replicate their success in Bago City to the Bacolod and Quezon City branches.

“We are proud of the milestones achieved by BagoSphere, the only brick-and-mortar company in our startup portfolio.  Hopefully, the inspiring stories coming out of the Bagosphere graduates would encourage other impact investors to sign up with Bagosphere so that the work they’ve started for the benefit of unemployed and underemployed Filipino youth would reach other areas,” said Pia Angeli Bernal, social impact investments manager of Kickstart.

BagoSphere is currently accepting applications for its August 10 classes in the cities of Bacolod and Bago.


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Thursday, July 2, 2015

Four Startups Join CyberCentre in Bacolod

Posted By: Jessel Munoz - Thursday, July 02, 2015

Negros Occidental Governor Alfredo G. Marañon Jr. (seated 2nd from right) with Atty. Jocelle Batapa-Sigue (seated 1st from right), president of Bacolod-Negros Occ. Federation for Information and Communication Technology (BNEFIT) and Brent Andrew Chua (2nd from left), president of Simplex Gamelabs at the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement held at the Negros First CyberCentre in Bacolod City. (Capitol photo)


Four startups recently joined the Technology Business Incubation Center (TBIC) of the Negros First CyberCentre in Bacolod City.

The startups - SWAPROSE, Simplex Gamelabs, Audacity Studio, and Aardvark - are still in their initial stage of organization. These companies are composed of students, young entrepreneurs and mentors.

The founders of the startups recently signed an application agreement to be part of the TBIC program and avail of the facility, equipment and mentorship support provided under the program with Negros Occidental Governor Alfredo G. Marañon Jr.

To be accepted at the TBIC, the startups must be engage in developing business models that utilize and incorporate information and communications technology (ICT).

The startups will receive mentoring from successful business owners and managers, and will be required to participate in seminars, information meetings and other such activities sponsored by organizations related to improving their business marketing and management skills. Further, the TBIC will tap available various local business leaders and operator to volunteered to provide mentoring.

The TBIC startup program was a concept of the Bacolod-Negros Occidental Federation for Information and Communications Technology (BNEFIT), the recognized ICT Council of the National ICT Confederation of the Philippines (NICP).

BNEFIT is recognized to promote the competitive advantages and the growth potential of the Province of Negros including the City of Bacolod in the Philippines IT-BPO industry, and created as corporate entity under the Security and Exchange Commission (SC) with an equal composition of government, business and private sector, academe and training sector, and industry.

BNEFIT also partnered with the Department Of science and Technology (DOST) Region VI for the development of startups under the program “ICT Startups Equipment Support (ISES) program to unite under the vision of scaling up the province’s potential for ICT to encourage the development of start-up companies and entrepreneurs by assisting in programs, projects and activities such as but not limited to start-up fora, ICT entrepreneurship trainings and development of technology incubation programs.


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Wednesday, July 1, 2015

2015 Mobile Summit Kicks Off At Enderun Tent

Posted By: Tech Support - Wednesday, July 01, 2015
With the theme "Mobile First Generation", Mobile Summit Manila 2015 kicked off today at the Enderun Tent, Taguig to discuss major trends in the Philippine mobile marketing landscape, as well as best practices, strategies and techniques to take advantage of this powerful medium.

In attendance were C-level Executives, strategists from Brands, Agencies, and Digital Enthusiasts.

The speakers representing different areas of the mobile marketing landscape gave attendees a holistic    overview of what it takes to succeed in the mobile first generation.






BPO Revenues Expected to Overtake OFW Remittances in 2017

Posted By: Jessel Munoz - Wednesday, July 01, 2015
Photo from Sunstar.com.ph
The revenues of the Business Process Outsourcing are seen to overtake the income remittances of the Overseas Filipino Workers in the next two years.

Jose Mari Mercado, president of the Information Technology-Business Process Association of the Philippines, said that the growth rate of OFW contribution was pegged at six percent every year, “the Information Technology industry is growing 15 to 18 percent every year.”

He said that there more than one million people working for the BPO industry in the country.
Citing the data from Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, Mercado said that the remittance from OFWs is $25 billion in 2014, and would grow six percent every year.

In the BPO industry, the income last year was $18.9 billion while the target revenue for this year was pegged at $21.2 billion, he said. “By 2017, the BPO would earn $28.9 billion,” Mercado added.

He said “if the growth rate remains, the BPO will overtake the income of OFW in 2017. The number of investors and companies coming to Philippines has not slow down, it’s going up.”

Mercado said that “we have 150,000 jobs to add this year, we need to fill this up. We need another 150,000 next year.”

He said that the biggest challenge in the industry is to always make sure that the talents have capability needed by the industry. “There’s enough graduates in Negros Island. But we have to make sure they have the competencies needed to be able to work for our industry.”

He urged the young people to “go to this industry. Understand that you need to study on something where there is a job waiting.”

Mercado, along with the country’s IT leaders, was in the province recently for the four-day Talent Development Expo today at The District, Ayala North Point, Talisay City, Negros Occidental.


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Lloyd Tronco is a Certified Digital Marketer and Out-Of-Home Media Strategist.  His experience in entrepreneurship started in Bacolod City, Negros Occidental selling home made ice-candy during summers. He currently does marketing consultancy for startups.









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The Importance of a Seasoned Sales Person to a SaaS Startup

Posted By: Tech Support - Wednesday, July 01, 2015
Medix CEO, Marc Medina with newly appointed Consultant for 
Sales Development, Dae Bunao.
There is no doubt that a lot of great ideas have emerged over the past few years simply because of the revolution in technology and digital media.  More technopreneurs are born into the scene and a lot of talented and creative individuals have constructed great platforms and applications to fill gaps in our daily lives either as individuals or as professionals.

In the case of Medix.ph, the initial rollout zoomed in on the dental profession, providing dentists with a digital platform which would improve clinic management and systematize patient records.  While this was a nifty idea, just like any other startup, a large user base needed to be built in the shortest amount of time.

We have heard it over and over again that in the startup community, there are a great number of ideas and fledgling ventures who have a solid and scalable back-end, owing to the tech capabilities of the founders who usually serve as highly capable CTOs doubling as newbie CEOs.  And herein lies the rub, the great idea or concept will hardly survive without help from a solid plan in Marketing and Sales.  Such is even amplified 10 times when we talk of Software as a Service (SaaS) offerings.

Thus even with a good marketing plan, the stretch from marketing to sales is still a wide chasm.  It is for this reason that even though I crafted a marketing and media strategy for Medix, drawing from the experience of working with multinational ad agencies, it was imperative to get a seasoned sales person to do the ground work.  This led Medix to draw talent from a totally different field - Real Estate Sales.

No we're not talking about a hotshot broker here.  The type who usually does stellar sales as a one-man-show is not we're focusing on.  We're actually talking of a Group Leader (in the insurance industry they may be called Branch Heads).  Someone who won't just execute the Marketing plan but will also devise his Sales plan as aligned to the larger strategy.  Furthermore, we needed someone who could multiply the sales team via training and spur them in the right way.  Someone who we can think of as a Captain Ball.  Simply put, Marc Medina, Medix CEO, plugged in Dae Fernando Bunao, a seasoned Group Head in the Real Estate whose experience goes way back to the early days of the real estate boom during the 1990s.

This position in the startup team play is highly important especially if one has a SaaS Startup. 

Marketing and media can do what I'd like to call "the airstrikes" but at the end of the day, it's the seasoned sales person who brings in the infantry to win the war.


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Lloyd Tronco is a Certified Digital Marketer and Out-Of-Home Media Strategist.  His experience in entrepreneurship started in Bacolod City, Negros Occidental selling home made ice-candy during summers. He currently does marketing consultancy for startups.









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In my recent talk at Media Outlook 2015 at the Fairmont Hotel in Makati, I cited the increasing cost of OOH media.  In this respect, since OOH media costs are rising, agencies should be very discerning in terms of audience delivery for a particular site prior to recommendation to client. ... Read More


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