PayMaya promoting safe public commute

    PayMaya is helping promote safer and more convenient commutes in partnership with UBE Express. By allowing the riding public to pre-book and pay for their fare online or scan to pay using PayMaya QR at the terminal or aboard the bus, UBE Express and PayMaya are helping commuters follow health standards that prevent the further spread of the virus causing the COVID-19 disease.

    Digital financial services PayMaya is enabling premium bus transit provider UBE Express with safer cashless payments acceptance for its fleet of buses around the country as the transportation industry moves into the “new normal” amid the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Commuters who will be riding on UBE Express’ Premium Point-To-Point, PITX-Sucat and PITX-Lawton bus routes once they are available again can feel safe and secure as the company offers various cashless payment options powered by PayMaya.

    Even before hopping aboard any one of UBE Express’ fleet of close to 90 buses plying various routes in Metro Manila and neighboring provinces, commuters can easily book and pay for their tickets on any of the company’s routes through its website ( powered by PayMaya Checkout and pay using their credit/debit cards or e-Wallet accounts such as PayMaya.

    Commuters can make contactless payments at the terminals or on boarding the bus by scanning the UBE Express QR codes using their PayMaya app.

    Groups and companies which want to avail of PayMaya’s solutions for the transportation industry may visit or send an email to [email protected].

     Tanduay bags awards in US

    Tanduay has been dominating spirits competitions and awards in the recent years. Most recently, three of its products again gained recognition, this time from the prestigious Ultimate Spirits Challenge.

    The Tanduay Double 16 Years Old Aged Rum was a finalist for the rum category, receiving a rating of 94 and was adjudged excellent and highly recommended. Tanduay Asian Rum Gold, meanwhile, received a 92 rating and was also adjudged excellent and highly recommended. With a rating of 88, Tanduay Silver Asian received a strong recommendation and was deemed very good.

    Tanduay sources its sugarcanes from Victorias, Negros Occidental.

    Tanduay’s distillation plants are located in Negros Occidental, Misamis Oriental, and Laguna, and they keep the tradition of Tanduay’s original distillery in Manila, which has already been decommissioned.

    Last June, Tanduay was declared once again the world’s best-selling rum by Drinks International. Early this year, Tanduay won five medals from the Beverage Testing Institute. Tanduay Asian Rum Gold topped the list with a gold medal. Silver medals, meanwhile, were awarded to Tanduay Asian Rum Silver and Boracay Cappuccino Flavored Rum. Tanduay Double Rum and Boracay Coconut Flavored Rum both received bronze medals. 

    Cybersecurity training solution launched

    Grant Thornton has launched [email protected] Cybersecurity, an online service that helps businesses design, implement, and monitor their internal cybersecurity awareness and training programs.

    With Grant Thornton’s expertise and experience in cybersecurity consulting and learning and development services, [email protected] Cybersecurity provides up-to-date and relevant cybersecurity awareness content delivered through an automated learning and phishing simulation platform that makes learning more effective. The service aims to makes employees more vigilant against real-life cybersecurity attacks in today’s increasingly digital world.

    “As organizations become increasingly dependent on digital technology, the opportunities for cybercriminals continue to grow,” said Third Librea, head of Advisory Services. “We elevate the effectiveness of cybersecurity education through Vigilant Cybersecurity. The platform works to influence employee behavior changes and reduce risk at every level of an organization by strengthening the ‘human firewall.’”

    [email protected] Cybersecurity is one of Grant Thornton’s online service offerings that allow businesses to transform their operations through technology.

    SNAP, NPC & PSALM hold virtual info drive on Benguet dam operations

    Turnover of flyers to the barangay officials of Tinongdan, Itogon, Benguet.

    SN Aboitiz-Benguet, National Power Corp. (NPC), and the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (PSALM) recently conducted their annual public information drive on Ambuklao and Binga Dams and reservoir operations.

    The information drive, now on its 9th year, was  done virtually starting on August 1, with the distribution of flyers (with proper observance of physical distancing and protective gear requirements) and posting of links to information videos on a streaming platform.

    The annual PID is conducted to promote safety and preparedness through greater awareness on the dam discharge warning protocol, emergency action plan, flood forecasting and warning, and radio communication network involved in operation of Ambuklao and Binga dams and reservoirs. The PID covers barangays Ambuklao, Dalupirip, and Tinongdan and the municipalities of Bokod and Itogon.

    SNAP-Benguet, NPC, and PSALM together form a technical working group  on the operations and maintenance of the Ambuklao and Binga dams, which are government-owned.

    Mercato Centrale to launch online platform

    Outdoor lifestyle markets organizer Mercato Centrale tapped software solutions company Multisys Technologies Corp. to develop and launch a comprehensive one-stop B2B2C online platform that will cater to product suppliers, food vendors and restaurants, and foodies in the metro.

    Mercato merchants will be able to digitally transact with their loyal customers and metropolitans all over Metro Manila, and product suppliers with various food vendors, through the Mercato Centrale app, which will feature an online shopping system with electronic payment and delivery services—all in one portal.

    Through the platform, small and medium food enterprises can receive orders online and track their overall performance, including their revenue, items ordered, and ratings in real-time. Merchants can also easily add, delete, or edit their menu, as well as customize their customers’ order options.

    Foodies will be able to enjoy the best bites and gastronomic experience from their city’s finest cuisines, in the comfort of their own homes, while supporting local restaurateurs, SMEs and vendors. Users will have several digital payment options and receive real-time updates on their orders for pickup or delivery.

    Various other enterprises can also interact with Mercato vendors to sell and supply fresh meat and vegetable produce, among others.

    P&A Grant Thornton named Chair of AASC


    P&A Grant Thornton managing partner and chief operating officer  Jun Cuaresma has been appointed by the Professional Regulatory Board of Accountancy (BOA) as the chairman of the Auditing and Assurance Standards Council (AASC) for a term of three years, up to June 30, 2023.

    The AASC is the body authorized by BOA to establish and promulgate generally accepted auditing standards in the Philippines. Its main objective in adopting International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) standards and practice statements is to attain the uniformity of local generally accepted auditing standards with IAASB pronouncements. This harmonization enhances the reliability and acceptability of the audited financial statements of Philippine companies, not only locally but globally.

    Cuaresma has over 30 years experience in auditing local and international companies in various industries.

    In addition to his leadership roles at P&A Grant Thornton, Cuaresma heads the firm’s People and Culture Group.

    A cum laude accountancy graduate from the University of the East with a master’s degree in management from the Asian Institute of Management, Cuaresma was president of the Association of Certified Public Accountants in Public Practice  which was awarded him a Lifetime Achievement Award.

    Alorica to hire returning OFWs

    Alorica Inc., a global leader in customer experience, is providing returning overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) with employment opportunities as part of the company’s aim to hire 4,000 new employees for its Philippine sites in the next few months to meet the high demand of the business.

    Alorica offers competitive salaries, medical benefits, skills-enhancement training particularly in English communications, online learning, and  opportunities for further studies.

    Alorica is offering both agent and non-agent career paths for OFWs and thousands of Filipinos across the country looking for employment. For agent positions, new hires may progress as subject matter experts or team leaders after six to 24 months of tenure, and potentially move up to operations manager after 48 to 72 months of tenure.

    Non-agent career paths in the company include roles in recruitment, administration, human resources, training, and information technology.

    QBO bares winning startups

    QBO Innovation Hub, in partnership with Youth Business International (YBI) and supported by, recently unveiled the winning startups of the RESQUE: Startups vs. COVID-19 Competition—a nationwide startup competition that aims to help scale startups with COVID-19 initiatives, as well as startups with plans to or currently implementing pivot strategies to adapt and secure sustainability for their company.

    The winners were announced at QBO’s first-ever Virtual Demo Day last July 30, taking home P100,000 each to further amplify their COVID-19 initiatives.

    QBO received an overwhelming response of over 100 entries in a few weeks with the following hailed winners in QBO’s RESQUE: Startups vs. COVID-19 Competition: Agro-DigitalPH, Eswelabs, Filipino Homebased Moms,  Futuristic Aviation and Maritime Enterprise Inc., NextPay, Rumarocket,  SeeYouDoc, SukiPlus, Twala and Zagana.

    Araneta City taps Mr Speedy for online delivery platform

    Araneta City has partnered with courier service Mr Speedy to provide customers with an improved system for online purchases and deliveries.

    Araneta City Assist was launched last June to create a more personal link between buyers and stores/shops. This service allows patrons to directly call a store to place their orders, choose their preferred mode of payment, and have items delivered straight to their doorsteps.

    Araneta City Assist covers not only restaurants but also non-food stores from Araneta City malls and Farmers Market stalls. Customers can now take their pick from the varied offerings of the City of Firsts for whatever needs they may have.

    Araneta City Assist services can be availed of via the Araneta City website (, mobile app (available in App Store for iOS and Google Play Store for Android), or Facebook page (

    Microtel Davao named among best worldwide

    Microtel by Wyndham Davao has been named as one of the best Microtel hotels worldwide—an accolade it shares with branches around the world which have met Wyndham’s exceptional level of service, quality and commitment to excellence.

    In its congratulatory message, Wyndham Hotels and Resorts lauded Microtel by Wyndham Davao and other awardees for their dedication, and for delivering a memorable travel experience to guests, “an achievement that would be unattainable without the passion and commitment of you and your team.” The winners were evaluated on specific criteria–including exceptional quality scores, outstanding guest reviews, and an unwavering commitment to the Wyndham Rewards® loyalty program and members.

    Located in the Damosa Gateway Complex and IT Park, Microtel by Wyndham Davao is close to corporate offices, restaurants, bars, coffee shops and the Davao International Airport. It has 51 stylish rooms and suites to meet the needs of travelers, and features 3 meeting rooms for business and conference needs.

    DLI has also opened its doors to major business process outsourcing (BPO) firm Concentrix earlier this year amid the community quarantine. Microtel Davao served the BPO company by means of housing and accommodation for its employees working inside Damosa IT Park. Aside from ensuring the safety of the people of Davao, this partnership also highlights DLI’s continuous efforts to carry on with business operations in the city while ensuring the steady flow of support to the local communities who need assistance the most.

    Refinitiv launches program PWDs

    Global financial provider Refinitiv has launched a local chapter of its employee program Refinitiv Ability Network (RAN), spearheaded by the Manila Operations Center. RAN seeks to build, promote, and sustain an inclusive working environment, and raise awareness and acceptance of disabilities, both visible and non-visible.

    RAN is one of the company’s newest movements under the #RefinitivEmployeeNetworks, which supports the cause of underrepresented groups in the corporate world. The umbrella program includes the Refinitiv Prism Network for the LGBTQ community and Refinitiv Women Network.

    Refinitiv Philippines rolled out its inaugural RAN activity through a series of webinars for both employees and the public. Led by expert disability advocates from various industries, the three-part virtual talks were meant to break down barriers that isolate PWDs from society and likewise educate the public on how they can support and give a voice to the disabled community.

    The talks featured Dr. Violeta Bautista, Head of Clinical Psychology in UP Diliman; Will Jelbert, Customer and Success Manager and bestselling author of The Happiness Animal; and Ryan Gersava, social entrepreneur and founder and president of PWD-advocate company Virtualahan Inc. Their sessions delved into inclusive topics such as mental and emotional wellbeing amid the pandemic, and the social struggles of PWDs and their rights.

    Following these pilot activities, Refinitiv will roll out webinars on mental, physical and emotional disabilities, including one celebrating Autism Awareness Month in July.

    Refinitiv is also investing in internal efforts such as disability training and exchange of best practices to further involve their employees and give disabled colleagues the confidence and opportunity to showcase their talents just like any able-bodied individual.

    Toyota rolls out home delivery system

    Toyota Motor Philippines introduces a safer and more convenient option to get one’s dream Toyota. Through the new home delivery system, TMP’s wide network of dealer outlets can now deliver newly purchased vehicles right at the customer’s doorstep.