WATSONS-GRAB partnership, ELECTRIC VEHICLE Summit, DOST-NEDA RGIN Project, GPSTV Season2, BTI Payments, SMART connectivity aid, STAPLES partner

    Watsons, Grab launch partnership in the Philippines

    A.S. Watson Group, the world’s largest international health and beauty retailer, and Grab, Southeast Asia’s leading superapp have launched their Philippine partnership, making essentials such as medicines and self-care products more accessible to Filipinos.

    The partnership aims to provide consumers with a safe and seamless online shopping experience, along with a faster and more reliable delivery service. Watsons’ extensive online and offline network, now joined by Grab’s on demand delivery fleet, play an important role in the customer journey and form a critical foundation for making express delivery possible.

    With the partnership of these two leading brands, customers can now enjoy the following services on both of their platforms:

    Watsons Online x GrabExpress: consumers can order their health and beauty essentials online and have them delivered in 5 hours or less through Watsons App’s Express Delivery service. This service is co-powered by Grab’s delivery service, GrabExpress.

    Watsons x GrabPay: Shoppers can also use Grab’s in-app wallet, GrabPay, to pay for their Watsons purchases both online and offline.

    Watsons x GrabMart: Consumers can also enjoy more ways to shop for Watsons health and beauty products online through GrabMart. The tie-up is initially available in Metro Manila and Cebu but it will also expand to all Grab serviceable areas soon.

    Watson’s partnership with Grab is part of a broader offline, and online regional alignment between the two brands announced early in 2021. It covers six countries, including the Philippines.

    9th PH Electric Vehicle Summit

    The Electric Vehicle Association of the Philippines (EVAP), together with the Manila Electric Company (MERALCO) in partnership with the Department of Energy (DOE) is facilitating the 9th Philippine Electric Vehicle Summit (PEVS) today and tomorrow (September 23 and 24).

    The two-day online event with the theme ‘Accelerating the Switch to Electro-Mobility in the Philippines’ focuses on fast-tracking electric vehicle (EV) adoption in the local transport sector, which aligns with the national government’s goal to attain a low-carbon economy in the middle term.

    The first day of the online conference centers on dialogues about EV technologies and solutions, with keynote messages by leaders from the public and private sectors.

    The second day of PEVS will focus on the EV value chain development and market opportunities. There will be sessions about manufacturing of EVs and batteries, establishment of charging network and infrastructure across the country and feasible business models for EV adoption.

    The 9th PEVS will also touch on updates about several developments for the EV adoption advocacy, including the Senate and the House of Representatives’ respective versions of the Electric Vehicle and Charging Stations Act, the DOE’s recently released charging infrastructure guidelines and policy, and the Land Transportation Office’s administrative order about the classification, registration, and operations of various types of EV.

    The government is also working to attain the goals of its EV Industry Roadmap (2016-2024) as set by the Department of Trade and Industry—Board on Investments (DTI-BOI).

    The 9th PEVS is also being organized with major sponsor Nissan Philippines and other sponsors: Mitsubishi Motors Philippines, Power Equipment and Supply, Inc. (PESIN), Integrated Micro-Electronics, Inc. (MI), and Delta Electronics International (Singapore) Pte Ltd.

    DOST, NEDA launch RGIN Project replication nationwide

    The Cagayan Valley regional offices (Region 2) of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) led the recent launch of the Regional Geographic Information Network (RGIN) Geoportal Innovation Hub nationwide replication program.

    The RGIN has been created to establish a collaborative network of regional and provincial Geographic Information System (GIS) centers nationwide. It aims to provide accurate and up-to-date geospatial data and information, and facilitate easy access to geographic information services.

    Cagayan Valley was the project’s pilot region where it was proven very successful. The project replication initiative targets six other regions initially — Ilocos (R-01), Western Visayas (R-06), Eastern Visayas (R-08), Zamboanga (R-09), and Regions 12 and 13, also in Mindanao.

    DOST Secretary Fortunato T. de la Peña first recommended the establishment of RGIN Geoportal Innovation Hubs in the regions on August 27, 2019 during the launch of the Cagayan Valley pilot RGIN Geoportal Innovation Hub in Tuguegarao City.

    “As DOST Secretary, it is my goal to promote the use of science and technology, for us to provide efficient and relevant services in each region. May the RGIN Innovation Hubs provide solutions to challenges in our respective areas,” De la Peña said during the recent launch.

    NEDA Secretary Karl Kendrick T. Chua, for his part, said “We believe that the use of technology, such as the RGIN Geoportal is the way forward in improving efficiency, effectiveness, and comparative advantage. I am optimistic this will play a vital role in identifying strategies and interventions to fast-track our economic recovery.” Chua stressed.

    GPSTV Season2 now streaming

    The Hotel Sales and Marketing Association (HSMA) in partnership with the Department of Tourism (DoT), Tourism Promotions Board (TPB), and Isentia,  has launched the second season of HSMA GPSTV “Go Safe, Go Travel: Walk and Talk With Us,” a collaborative effort aimed at reigniting the wanderlust of millions of Filipinos.

    Streaming on GPSTVofficialph on Facebook and YouTube starting September 22, it will air  on a CNN TV special later in November.

    Hosted by Kevin Lapeña, GPSTV show has put together a list of excellent travel destinations that will have armchair explorers go on gastronomic and cultural adventures, staycations, bakasyon grandes in beach and adventure destinations, and even plan for milestone events when it is finally allowed.

    Other than unique content and excellent travel tips, HSMA GPSTV “Go Safe, Go Travel: Walk and Talk With Us” will also be sharing the latest travel protocols with its viewers as well as first dibs on special offers from HSMA-member hotels and resorts.

    Contactless transactions made easier

    BTI Payments Inc. addresses the pressing need of providing contactless payment services at many convenient locations nationwide.

    Its 600 owned and operated self-payment kiosks, certified by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and strategically placed nationwide, offer a variety of convenient services including e-cash, e-wallet loading, bills payments, and mobile phone top-ups.

    In addition, these Pay&Go machines were recently upgraded to ensure that transactions are processed in real time, with a 24-hour customer care hotline to address any concerns users may have regarding their transactions.

    Its Cash Connect ATMs, fully accredited by BancNet, provides easy and secure access to cash. These ATMs are located near communities, residential areas, and workplaces—allowing consumers to conveniently withdraw cash along their regular routes and veer away from common places like malls where ATMs are already widely available.

    In line with BSP’s thrust for financial inclusion, BTI Payments Inc. plans to install even more kiosks and ATMs in untapped areas, helping transform community stores into financial hubs and provide more Filipinos with access to transactional tools and services.

    Connectivity aid

    Smart Communications Inc. (Smart) answered the plea of Pasig Catholic College for connectivity assistance for students and teachers who have been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Smart provided 200 preloaded Smart Bro Pocket WiFi units and complemented these with 200 Smart Call and Text prepaid cards in P300 denomination.

    PLDT and Smart provide access to inclusive quality education in basic to tertiary levels, through Information and Communications Technology (ICT), content, pedagogy, and capacity building to ensure that there is #NoLearnerLeftBehind. It is also a staunch advocate of ensuring cyber safety and creating safe spaces online.

    STAPLES partner

    Small Business Corp.  (SBCorp) and Monde Nissin Corp.  (MONDE) signed a memorandum of agreement, making MONDE the first SBCorp-accredited FMCG partner for SBCorp’s STAPLES (Sustaining Trade Access to Primary Food and Link to Enterprises) program.

    STAPLES will provide sari-sari stores who are customers of authorized MONDE distributors access to collateral-free and interest-free loans to increase their working capital and to help make small businesses more robust especially in the face of the pandemic.

    SBCorp is inviting large food manufacturers, distributors, and suppliers to become accredited partners of SBCorp for the implementation of STAPLES in order to expand the reach of its program and to cater to a substantial number of sari-sari stores.