Thursday, March 31, 2016

Salamander to the Rescue!

Posted By: The Mail Man - Thursday, March 31, 2016

The Philippines gets visited by at least cycles annually. A significant number of these manage to get landfall. But that is not even half of the story. The amount of rainfall that the country gets sets it as one of the most disaster prone countries in the world. Flooding has been a reality and even without landfall, the occurrence of the seasonal “Habagat” or Southwest Monsoon ensures that rainfall causes flooding in the most vulnerable areas that are also where a significant portion of the population resides.

Urban and rural flooding is a reality and there are ways to mitigate if not prevent this. When flooding occurs, it is always considered a calamity or disaster and lives and property are at stake. Transportation therefore is critical during such times. Thus, the necessity for Salamnder, an amphibious tricycle was born. 

Designed by the country’s King of Bodykits Victor “Atoy” Llave with a group of enterprising  youngsters  whose purpose is to find a solution to the country’s flood problem, H20 Technologies recently unveiled the first ever Philippine made amphibious tricycle.

Branded as the Salamander, this amphibious vehicle took five years to develop and revolved around the concept of a five-seater motorized tricycle with a sturdy hull and fiber glass body. It is powered by a 250cc motorcycle engine, and can be controlled by a handlebar or a stick when the Salamander is running on water. The design team is also led by the company’s Chief Engineer, Lamberto Armada who also revealed that they have created two models that runs with either a mechanical or an electric motor. “Electric vehicles and the infrastructure needed to support these vehicles are still in its early stages. Years from now there will be charging stations situated throughout the urban areas but right now, people will have to resort to traditional methods instead. That’s why we created the fuel based version as well to ensure that we were able to bring our innovation to the people who need it today.” Armada went on further to say “the Salamander will help us to overcome the challenges we have today during rainy season with flooding; but also be ready as the market shifts to more sustainable and eco-friendly electric vehicles in the near future.”

Patented by H2O technologies, the Salamander can function like a normal tricycle on land, and transforms into an amphibious vehicle once operated in a watery environment. It can reach speeds of up to 80kph on land, and six knots in water with a full passenger load of six people including the driver. Deriving knowledge from his family’s boat manufacturing business, one of H2O’s founding member/CEO Dominic Chung derived his expertise from boat building and coordinated with Atoy regarding the tricycle’s unique body structure. “The Salamander was designed to withstand a certain degree of impact or damage and can still maintain its buoyancy and stability even in rough seas,” explains Chung.

Source: Readings from Topgear and

Diwata 1 Awaiting Turn

Posted By: The Mail Man - Thursday, March 31, 2016

Diwata 1, the country’s first step in space technology went into the International ASpace Station aboard the Cygnus rocket last March 23, 2016. Cygnus had in its payload 3,375 kilograms of cargo that included supplies for the crew of the space station. 

Diwata 1 is tentatively scheduled to go into orbit on April 24, 2016 and is expected to undergo its mission of 20 months by taking high resolution photos of the country from an orbital distance of 400 kilometers above the earth. This will be done two times daily.

The four specialized cameras  will take images of the country that will provide information needed regarding weather patterns, agricultural applications that will relate to land use and management of water resources. It will also provide images to be used in disaster risk reduction and management. The micro-satellite will be utilized in monitoring natural disasters, forests and marine resources. Territorial waters monitoring will also be provided by Diwata 1. It is expected to provide 3,600 images during its lifespan.

Diwata 1 is the result of a research program by the DOST-Advanced Science and Technology Institute and UP Diliman that began in 2014. This was to develop the basic and needed expertise in space technology and other allied fields in science and engineering.

Diwata 1 was co-developed with scientists and engineers from Tohoku University and Hokkaido University of Japan. The DOST-ASTI-UP contingent is composed of 9 Filipino engineers aged 22-26.

Diwata 2 is now being developed by the same DOST-ASTI-UP team and is tentatively scheduled for launch by 2017. Both microsatellites is a product of a DOST budget allocation Php3.802 million for research which is part of a 3 year Php840.82 million program as a projected foundation of a Philippine Space Agency.

There is also a program for unmanned aerial vehicles for military research applications.

Davao City and Iloilo City Centers of Excellence in IT-BPM Operations

Posted By: The Mail Man - Thursday, March 31, 2016

The Department of Science and Technology – Information and Communications Technology Office (DOST-ICTO) have elevated Davao City and Iloilo City as Centers of Excellence in IT-BPM Operations. Both cities were already part of the Next Wave Cities (NWC). These are cities that are the top locations for domestic and international IT-BPM industry companies.

The Department of Science and Technology through its Information and Communication Technology Office has formulated Outcome 4.It aims to achieve global leadership in the ITBPM Industry by generating at least 1.3 million jobs in the ICT industry by 2016.

The Next Wave Cities initiative is part of the program called DigitalPH composed of three other flagship initiatives; seedPH, Stepping Up the Value Chain and Rural Impact Sourcing (RIS).

This program focuses on the creation and development of ICT hubs that shall serve as IT-BPO investment destinations outside Metro Manila, thereby creating economic opportunities in the countryside.

These cities are the hubs for the IT-BPM industry where talent, infrastructure, cost and business environment are factors in the locality’s ability for sustainable growth in the IT-BPM industry.   

Also, ten more cities were cited as NWCs by DOST-ICTO together with the Business Process Association of the Philippines. These are the following:

Baguio City
Cagayan De Oro City
Dagupan City
Dasmarinas City
Dumaguete City
Lipa City
Malolos City
Naga City
Sta. Rosa City, Laguna
Taytay, Rizal

After assessment by DOST-ICTO these cities is projected to have sustained growth in the medium term.

Davao and Iloilo joins Metro Manila, Metro Cebu, Metro Clark, and Bacolod City as premier IT-BPM hosts and high-density locations.

The following cities were also handed awards for having stood out in respective categories. Dasmarinas City was named as the city with Best in Talent Availability; Laoag City is Best in Infrastructure; Dumaguete City is Best in Business Environment; and Legazpi City is awarded with Most Active ICT Council and LGU.

Aside from elevating Davao City and Iloilo City as Centers of Excellence, New Emerging Cities were also recognized for being New Emerging Cities. These are cities that have a potential to be among the Next Wave Cities:

Balanga City
Batangas City
Iriga City
Laoag City
Legazpi City
Puerto Princesa City
Roxas City
Tarlac City
Tuguegarao City
Zamboanga City

Monday, March 28, 2016

Kickstart Turns 4!

Posted By: The Mail Man - Monday, March 28, 2016

Kickstart Ventures has been in the leading edge of systemic support for startups since 2011. Of course, Kickstart started out as a startup itself. A wholly owned subsidiary of Globe Telecom, Kickstart was conceptualized and was launched in 2011 but was incorporated in 2012.

Kickstart filled in the gap that was needed at a time when startups were the logical results of the business evolution in the country and in the region.

In the Philippines, Kickstart is known as:

1.    An active institutional investor for digital startups.
2.    A preferred lead/co-investor of investors
3.    An active collaborator for startups. Kickstart utilizes its networks that include Globe Telecom, SingTel and Ayala Corp.

Kickstart invests in the following areas in the digital media sector that ranges from digital SaaS to Digital Concierge. It also is involved in Technology Innovations that increase efficiency, energy management and storage and even operating systems that improve efficiency, and customer experience.

By December 2012, Kickstart had  10 startups in their portfolio some of which are now household names such as Kalibrr and Tripid and to add another 7 up to 2015. It is not about making money. It is all about not having to fail. And Kickstart has barely scratched the surface of the barrel when it comes to investing in talent, ideas and hard work.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Among All Senatorial Candidates, Raffy ALUNAN #3 Has The Clear Cut Legislative Agenda

Posted By: Tech Support - Sunday, March 27, 2016
Techblade.PH is the leading online magazine for Science and Technology, Research and Development, and Education.  In reviewing the Senatorial Candidates for 2016, Techblade.PH has found Senatorial Candidate Raffy ALUNAN (Independent #3) to be the one with a very concise legislative agenda.  With credentials such as former Secretary of Interior and Local Government and former Secretary of Tourism, his experience and knowledge is what we may need to develop education in the Philippines.

From his video (at 10:00), Mr. Alunan states : "We need to improve the quality of our education, and the quality of our for our youth.  Values, Patriotism, good manners, and right conduct, should be instilled in the early years of character formation like it was during my time.  The content pushed to the hearts and minds of our youths will be scrutinized and the capability of our teachers enhanced."

Watch his video here:

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Revolution Now! Internet of Everything

Posted By: The Mail Man - Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Ten years ago, we would have not imagined that we would be glued to our smartphones. In fact, in a recent survey, those in the 18 – 50 year old age range would rather lose their TV sets than their smartphones. “Connectivity” at all times seems to be the ethos. Be it work related or social or entertainment.

How did it get to this point and where shall it go from here?

Let us look at the Industrial Revolution now on its “Fourth” Reinvention since it started.

The steam engine provided the power needed to run mills and even foundries. Steel production was needed to lay down the rails for trains, erect buildings, bridges and build ships. This brought in the age of mechanization.

The second level is when electricity was widely used and that the “Assembly Line” was developed by Henry Ford. This also led to a redefinition on who and what are the workers, skill sets and even social levels in society.

After the development of the transistor and the Integrated Circuit, the 3rd level was reached when computers were more portable and had more computing power. The internet was developed and a whole lot of interconnectivity between people revolutionized our communications and links to each other. By this, communications became instantaneous and physical distance was no longer a hindrance to social interaction but it was the world of industry and business where this was applied to the hilt.. Now, businesses need not be limited by the setting sun. A business can operate where the sun never sets and this is because of the internet.

But the new technology not only brought efficiency on a global scale but also presented solutions to questions that have not even been asked. This is the 4th level or stage. The Internet of Everything. Now, information about almost everything can be found. It is not only about communicating via IP and connectivity between humans but also connectivity between machines without human intervention of interaction. This turns information into action. For example, a diagnostic machine in a hospital can be connected to Big Data  and not only a diagnosis is made but also a treatment protocol that is stored in another hospital’s database will be made available in realtime.

The Philippine Internet of Everything (IoE) Consortium envisions the Philippines as a hub of IoE in the region. That is why the biggest corporations in the country formed themselves into an IoE Consortium. This will result in the following:

1.    Richer and more meaningful data that cuts across industry disciplines
2.    Utilization of Big Data
3.    Development of more digital technologies

This will enable the country and its economy to get on the next level. That it will diminish barriers is of no question. This will lead to a population that is mobile oriented and digitally inclined. This will enable us to face the following challenges:

1.    Increased digital transactions
2.    Increased complexity in lifestyle
3.    The ability to make more specific solutions
4.    The projected exponential rise in connected devices.

These are the benefits coming our way with the Internet of Everything.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

The Quality of Philippine Teaching

Posted By: The Mail Man - Saturday, March 12, 2016

With the coming of the K+12 Program and the ever increasing population of students in the country, there is not only the dearth of classrooms and physical facilities that is the challenge to Philippine education. There is a need to look into the quality of teachers that is the main pillar of the educational system.

There has been the unbridled proliferation of Teacher Education Institutions (TEIs) which has been the source of barely qualified teachers. According to a World Bank study, most of the TEIs graduates do not pass the Licensure Education for Teachers (LET). There has been an increase in the numbers of TEIs between 1996 and 1998 that resulted in low-quality programs that failed to meet the minimum standards of accreditation and only less than 30 percent complied with the minimum standards set by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED). During the two-year period, the number of new TEIs reached more than 800 nationwide.

Based on a study conducted by the Philippine Business for Education (PBEd) on the LET performance of all TEIs in the country for nine (9) instances of LET from October, 2009 to September 2013, the national passing rate was only 54 percent.

The PBEd study also showed that only eight out of 16 graduates who are first time takers pass the LET, while the other eight repeaters have an average passing rate of only 16 percent.

While there are top TEIs, the study found it also alarming that there are more than 100 TEIs that perform below the national passing rate and are considered ‘worse performing schools’ because only less than 20 percent of their graduates pass the LET, while 17 TEIs were considered ‘worst performing schools’ for having zero passers in the LET since October 2009 for both first-time takers and repeaters, based on data from the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC).

PRC records showed that only 35.74 percent or 23,301 elementary teachers out of 70,786 examinees, and only 34.40 percent or 26, 767 secondary teachers out of 77,803 examinees passed the August 17, 2014 LET. In 2015 it was 31 percent and 41 percent respectively.

Given these data, there is a need to upgrade the state of teacher-education to improve the delivery of quality education in the country. To a large extent, the quality of education depends on the qualifications and competence of teachers.

Source: Readings from PRC and other relevant websites.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

UP steps into the Space Age with Space Tech Lab

Posted By: The Mail Man - Thursday, March 10, 2016

With Diwata 1 already transferred turned over to the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency who in turn will transport it to the US for launch into space the University of the Philippines will continue in lockstep with the development. UP plans to build a space technology research center that will maximize the involvement of mostly UP engineering graduates. This will be in connection with the Philippines’ first effort to launch into orbit its Diwata 1 this summer.

The Electronics and Electrical Engineering Institute in UP Diliman will be the site of the UP Microsatellite Research and Instructional Facility.
UP president Alfredo Pascual, said that the UP Microsatellite Research and Instructional Facility

“We will build an expansion area where we will house our space development activities,” Pascual told reporters in a forum at the Quezon Hall in UP Diliman.

“Our aerospace program will interact with the National Aerospace Program of the DOST (Department of Science and Technology),” Pascual disclosed.

Citing technologies that were indirectly assisted and developed by the US Space Program, such technologies will benefit the country as a whole. These new technologies will be developed from the collaboration of DOST and UP.

“Whatever we will develop from our aerospace program we will feed to our domestic industry and eventually the technologies developed and processed will benefit society,”  Pascual said.

Also, courses, industry training at the laboratory and curriculum will be developed where Filipino students will learn satellite technology and assembly.

The DOST has issued a grant of Php120 million for the construction of the facility. Currently, Filipino engineers are in Hokkaido University and Tohoku University for Diwata 2, the country’s 2nd microsatellite that is being assembled.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

BPO Philippines: A Brief History

Posted By: The Mail Man - Tuesday, March 08, 2016

Notwithstanding the political atmosphere  wherein credit is being grabbed from the construction of highways that were really planned in the late 1940s to the early 1950s and implemented in the late 60s and early 70s to who is to blame for the cracked rails in the MRT, it would be an oasis in the middle of parched rice fields to have some factual explanation on a hotly contested industry sector. The Business Process Outsourcing sector.

So instead of just taking statements from candidates, let us take it from those who really deserve credit such as Mr. Rainier Borja,  Karen Batungbacal and even Bill Gates who donated Microsoft Apps Licenses to the PCPS Program to get the Philippine BPO Industry rolling:

Hereunder is a brief history of the Philippine BPO Industry:

1992 - Frank Holz, under the Accenture group, created the first contact center in the Philippines 

1995 - The Philippine Congress passed the Special Economic Zone Act, lowering area requirements for development and offering tax incentives to attract more foreign investors 

1997 - Sykes Asia set up shop and becomes the first multinational BPO company in the Philippines 

1999 - Jim Franke and Derek Holley found eTelecare, more popularly known as the first call center in the country
2000 - The BPO industry accounted for 0.075% of the country’s GDP 

2001 - PeopleSupport, a US-Based outsourcing center, restructured their business, and moved their operations to the Philippines, providing 8,400 jobs 

2003 - The Convergys Corp. opened up two call centres in the Philippines. The Philippines, along with India, was chosen by then president of the company, Jack Freker, as part of the company’s global expansion and revenue generation plan 

2005 - The Philippines gained 3% of the global BPO market, which accounted for 2.4% of the country’s GDP 

2006 - ePLDT Ventus was at the forefront of the local BPO landscape 

•This improved the Philippine domestic economy by 5.4%
•11,000 people were employed across North America, Europe, and Asia 

2010 - The Philippines was declared the world’s BPO capital!
•525,000 employees in call centres
•$8.9 Billion in revenue generated
•Revenues are expected to soar with a five-year compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 38%
•The country continues to become an attractive location for foreign investor 

2011 – The BPO industry becomes one of the biggest and fastest growing job providers in the private sector 

•$11B revenue generated and 638,000 Filipinos employed
•Revenue comprised 4.9% of country’s total GDP

2012 - The BPO industry grows even further
•BPO industry grew by 46% annually since 2006
•Revenue comprised 5.4% of the country’s total GDP

2013 - Revenue generated climbs up further to $15.5B and 900,000 Filipinos are employed full time 

2016 - BPO industry is projected to generate 1.3M new jobs, with 17% annual growth 

Of course there was the revision of Republic Act 7916, so that buildings or floors in buildings could register as an ecozone. That meant that the budding BPO industries were exempt from paying national and local taxes, and only had to contribute 5% of their gross income as tax. That was an incentive that led to further growth of the industry. Tech Blade leaves it to the reader to research who authored the revision of the law lest we be accused of campaigning for a candidate

Monday, March 7, 2016

Transitions: Inventor of the “Email” Passes Away

Posted By: The Mail Man - Monday, March 07, 2016

The inventor of the Email has passed away at age 74. Direct electronic messages via different machines from different users were invented by Ray Tomlinson.

"A true technology pioneer, Ray was the man who brought us email in the early days of networked computers," his employer, Raytheon, said in a statement.

"His work changed the way the world communicates and yet, for all his accomplishments, he remained humble, kind and generous with his time and talents, He will be missed by one and all." A company spokesman said Tomlinson passed away on Saturday, March 5, and the cause of death was not yet confirmed.

The following tributes and salutations were circulating:

"Thank you, Ray Tomlinson, for inventing email and putting the @ sign on the map. #RIP," Google's Gmail team tweeted.

Vint Cerf, considered one of the fathers of the Internet who was once a manager of the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), lamented the "very sad news" of Tomlinson's passing.

When Tomlinson invented the user@host standard for email addresses, it was applied at DARPA's ARPANET, the Internet's precursor. He was the first to use the @ symbol in this way, to distinguish a user from its host. DARPA is the developer of major US weapons’ systems.

Tomlinson is a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Upon ascertaining that what he invented is working as what was expected, Tomilinson said "When I was satisfied that the program seemed to work, I sent a message to the rest of my group explaining how to send messages over the network. The first use of network email announced its own existence."

The email is an essential part of the 4th Wave of the Industrial Revolution and has revolutionized how the world communicates with each other. It is the transfer and conveyance of data and information at such speed and volume that has made the difference.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

MSU-IIT Bags 2015 Philippine StartUp Challenge

Posted By: The Mail Man - Wednesday, March 02, 2016

The Mindanao State University – Iligan Institute of Technology won one of the top spots in  the 2015 Philippine StartUp Challenge. The Philippine StartUp Challenge on its 2nd year is an initiative of the DOST – Information and Communications Technology Office (DOST-ICTO) and the Philippine Software Industry Association (PSIA).

The Philippine Startup Challenge is a digital startup competition for college students from all over the country that aims to inspire them to develop innovative and socially relevant startups that could solve some of our country’s problems The theme for this years’ competition is “Create disruptive technologies, Solve real life problems.

The competition started with 108 entries and was eventually winnowed down to 20 last October 28, 2015 by a selection committee. The selection committee was composed of industry experts, startup founders and government representatives.

The MSU-IIT BookNow was announced as one of the winners at the Bayview Park Hotel, Manila.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

PH Largest Solar farm up in Batangas

Posted By: The Mail Man - Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Instead of growing crops like rice or corn, this vast farm harvests heat from the sun and generates enough energy to power the whole of western Batangas.

This is the 63.3-megawatt Calatagan Solar Farm at the convergence of Calatagan, Lian and Balayan towns, the largest solar facility completed in the Philippines to date.

Located 10 minutes from Calatagan’s popular beach resorts, such a glistening man-made structure with a unique undulating landscape—not yet common in this part of the world—attracts curiosity. Passersby often stop to take selfies with the farm for a background.

Solar Philippines—a renewable energy firm led by 22-year-old entrepreneur Leandro Leviste—developed, financed and constructed this solar farm at a cost of $120 million (P5.7 billion).
Comprising more than 200,000 panels built by 2,500 people, this solar farm was completed ahead of other projects backed by conglomerates and foreign investors racing to secure feed-in-tariff allowance.

The farm started generating power weeks before the March 15 government deadline to build capacity to obtain fiscal incentives under the country’s feed-in-tariff regime.


With over three decades of operation, Calatagan Solar Farm is expected to offset over 1 million tons of carbon dioxide, equivalent to planting over 5 million trees. Now that this farm has been switched on, it is expected to continue to employ at least 100 people and boost the economy of Batangas.

Built on previously unproductive land in Barangay Paraiso, Leviste said this farm was now generating unprecedented livelihood for three towns.

“Being on a peninsula (Calatagan), facing the South China Sea, the solar farm enjoys a steady breeze, the highest levels of sunlight in Southern Tagalog and is seldom hit by typhoons,” Leviste said.
Solar Philippines said this latest project was just the beginning of its plan to transform the power industry.

Unique position

“Whereas others see solar as just a part of their portfolio, we believe it will one day supply the largest share of the energy mix,” Leviste said.

“Costs continue to improve, and solar will soon become cheaper than coal. As the only local company organized to develop and build solar farms from end-to-end, we are in a unique position to realize that potential.”

While there are other solar power projects in the pipeline, the Calatagan project—apart from being the biggest completed so far—marks the first time a local company has developed, financed and constructed this type of renewable energy facility.

The majority of the cost was funded by Philippine Business Bank (PBB), the banking arm of the Zest-O group led by business magnate Alfredo Yao, Leviste said. Other banks that supported the project were Banco de Oro, China Bank and Bank of Commerce.

“We owe this success to banks like PBB, who support SMEs (small and medium enterprises) in emerging industries as partners more than just as financial institutions,” Leviste said. “We look forward to extend these partnerships into future projects.”

Leviste said he expected this solar farm to break even in eight years.

On top of malls

When Solar Philippines began building solar power plants, it first built solar panels on top of shopping malls such as Central Mall Biñan, SM North Edsa and Robinsons Palawan. It still dreams of turning every vast rooftop in this country into a power plant.

However, building solar farms on idle tracts of land is now seen as a way to scale up operations and generate power at a lower cost.

“Whether the panels are installed on land or on a rooftop, the business model remains the same, except the terms of the off-take agreements can differ. In either case, we enter into a power supply agreement with a buyer (such as the building-owner), or sell power to the grid’s Wholesale Electricity Spot Market,” Leviste explained.
“The real difference is scale and with that comes lower costs. We plan to focus on solar farms as the best way to accelerate the deployment of solar in the Philippines, but we’ll also continue to develop rooftops, not least to spread awareness that the time for solar has arrived,” he said.

More projects

Solar Philippines will soon begin construction on its next projects in Mindanao and Luzon. It aims to complete 500 MW of capacity by 2017.

Including the Calatagan project, Solar Philippines has a total solar power capacity of 80 MW at present. Other projects in Mindanao (20 MW) and Luzon (50 MW) are seen to boost its capacity to 150 MW by midyear.

Leviste is confident his company could build more projects outside of the next round of solar feed-in-tariff, the allowance the government gives—and consumers pay for—as an incentive to renewable energy producers.

With solar energy, the Department of Energy has set a new solar feed-in-tariff rate of P8.69 per kilowatt effective until March 16—applicable to the next 71 MW to 500 MW of capacity built. The installation target for solar energy under this feed-in-tariff regime was capped at 500 MW until March 15.

“We’re charging ahead at full speed on our next batch of projects, even without a next round of feed-in-tariff, because by making solar cost competitive, we can grow the market beyond subsidies and supply the entire demand of the Philippines,” Leviste said.

“The exciting thing is that the Philippines will be among the first places where solar will overtake fossil fuel, because existing rates are so uncompetitively high, allowing the Philippines to become a global leader in solar power and positioning it for when the numbers start to make sense in the rest of the world. That can only happen if companies like us are focused on making solar cost competitive for the long term, instead of just maximizing profits from subsidies in the short term,” he said.

Great challenge

For solar farms built on land, Solar Philippines’ strategy is to buy all the land occupied by its projects. This is because few landowners are willing to tie down their property for over 25 years, Leviste said.

“Land acquisition is one of the greatest challenges for solar projects in an archipelago where arable land is highly valued, and most other solar developers are unwilling to risk buying lands outright,” he explained.

“We consider our patience and willingness to make an up-front investment for land to be one of our competitive advantages, demonstrating our long-term commitment to bring solar to every province of the Philippines,” he added.

A son of environmental advocate Sen. Loren Legarda, Leviste shares the vision of SolarCity and Tesla Motors founder Elon Musk, who believes in a future where solar energy will replace the electricity grid we know today.

Leviste was about to finish his senior year at Yale University, where he was majoring in political science, when he heeded the call of entrepreneurship. He founded Solar Philippines in 2013, initially running the new enterprise from his bedroom. He has since assembled a 200-man team.


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