URC, GBF design face shields for essential workers

Universal Robina Corporation (URC) and the Gokongwei Brothers Foundation (GBF) are currently producing much-needed face shields using URC’s available resources.

The Gokongwei-owned food firm has temporarily repurposed some parts of its production line to manufacture 100,000 reusable face shields vital to frontline health workers battling the coronavirus pandemic.

According to GBF Director Grace Colet, these will go to some of the hospitals that have been at the forefront of the country’s efforts to slow the spread of the virus.

GBF is targeting over 25 beneficiaries including: Research Institute for Tropical Medicine, Philippine General Hospital, Lung Center of the Philippines, Philippine Heart Center, San Lazaro Hospital, Rizal Medical Center, East Avenue Medical Center, The Medical City and Chinese General Hospital.

“We (GBF) were experiencing problems securing our personal protective equipment (PPE) orders from suppliers,” related Colet “Sometimes they’ll back out a day or two even after placing the order. And prices were increasing. It was a struggle to secure the very valuable PPE that we needed for donation to our health workers.”

Colet related, “Being an engineer, David Lim of URC got inspired to study the design and make it more efficient in terms of using available resources. We consulted doctors and specialists from the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) to ensure we are providing appropriate PPEs.”

URC senior vice-president for quality engineering, sustainability and technical services David Lim created the face shields, taking into consideration the urgency for these protective gears. “Some face shields are generally disposable. That’s why they had to make a lot. Our team decided to come up with a face shield design that can both be easily manufactured and is reusable,” he said.

For Dr. Maria Julieta Germar from PGH’s obstetrics and gynecology department, disinfecting URC’s face shield is easy because it doesn’t have foams. “The distance from the mask makes it easy for us to use goggles, loop and N95 masks underneath it. It is also not prone to fogging which is important when we do our surgeries,” she added.

According to Dr. Germar, the face shields are used by their medical personnel but later on, they intend to provide to patients who may need additional protection. URC’s face shields are made from just three basic materials, making mass production easier: a polypropylene (PP) strip that is 14mm thick and about a meter long; an 8-by-13-inch PET sheet; and some staples.

The company buys the PET sheets and staples, but it produces the PP strips in its facility in Calamba, Laguna. With minimal materials needed, URC is able to produce 3,500 face shields a day at two of its production facilities in Laguna. To date, it has delivered 40,000 to various hospitals and will complete deliveries by May.

According to Lim, the demand for the face shields is continuously growing. “This COVID fight is a battle for everyone. It is an honor for URC to be able to contribute and collaborate with GBF and hospitals, with safety, quality and sustainability in mind. That is the URC way.”

The Gokongwei Group’s URC is one of the largest food and beverage manufacturing companies in the country, producing Filipino favorites like C2, Great Taste and Jack ‘n Jill snacks. Also from the same parent company is GBF, a foundation dedicated to contributing to the country’s progress by helping educate its workforce in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.

Lung Center of the Philippines launches 155225 LCP-OPD hotline with PLDT

The Lung Center of the Philippines (LCP) today launched its emergency OPD consultation number 155225 dedicated for COVID-19-related concerns and cases.

Through PLDT Enterprise, the Lung Center of the Philippines deployed the said emergency hotline to provide health assistance and consultations to Filipinos experiencing COVID-19 related symptoms, Asthma, COPD, Bronchiectasis, and Tuberculosis without them needing to personally visit the hospital.

“With this partnership, we aim to support the initiatives of the Lung Center of the Philippines in battling the COVID-19 pandemic so they can efficiently provide timely medical assistance to our fellow countrymen,” said Jovy Hernandez, ePLDT President & CEO and SVP & Head for PLDT and Smart Enterprise Business Groups.

The hotline was established in line with the designated COVID-19 referral center’s response initiatives against COVID-19. Recently, the Lung Center of the Philippines launched its own “COVID AskForce” which is its online portal for all inquiries regarding the novel coronavirus with over 600 volunteer doctors.

“By having an emergency hotline, we can quickly give out necessary health information to Filipinos needing medical attention if they suspect of having COVID-19 or know someone experiencing possible symptoms,” said Dr. Jessica Catalan-Legarda, Supervising Head of LCP OPD Hotline of the Lung Center of the Philippines. “This also helps us manage our frontlines in extending immediate health assistance and care to those who need it the most.”

The 155225 LCP-OPD hotline, which will operate from 8am to 5pm, is also a channel through which the Lung Center of the Philippines can accept donations such as personal protective equipment (PPE) and other medical supplies.

Maxi-Peel bridges frontliners and their loved in new video

With the many challenges we face everyday–especially now that there is a global health pandemic going on–a call for encouragement and a message of gratitude can go a long, long way.

Even though nothing can ever beat the comfort of being at home with their families, we can help boost the morale of our brave frontliners by continuously expressing our appreciation for their hard work and sacrifices.

Maxi-Peel has taken the initiative to become the bridge between our modern heroes and their loved ones who they might not have seen over the past weeks or maybe even months. Through the online video Gaganda Muli Ang Bukas, individuals whose moms, dads, relatives, and even friends are able to reach out to their loved ones who are continuously fighting for a better tomorrow.

The video offered an opportunity for these people to send our modern day heroes messages and reminders to take a rest when they can, to also look out for themselves, and to express how much they are missed.

Moreover, through a short speech, these loved ones were able to share the pride and happiness of knowing that their family member is able to help a significant amount of those who are in need.

Hope has always been something that Maxi-Peel believed in, and just like our brave frontliners and their families who remain strong as they keep fighting, Maxi-Peel also urges everyone to not give up with the hashtag #WagMongIsukoAngLaban.

The brand’s encouraging message of hope has always stood as an inspiration for women across the Philippines even before the pandemic happened. By bringing hope to consumers who may have felt bullied or dejected in the past because they lack the confidence to face the world, have found a partner in Maxi-Peel to give them a brighter outlook.

Now, Maxi-Peel is doing the same for the entire country as it pushes for encouragement in these trying times.

Watch the full video of Gaganda Muli Ang Bukas below:

The Body Shop joins Planet CORA for coastal cleanup

The Body Shop Philippines has always been at the forefront of sustainability. Not only in the development and production of its products, the company also constantly seeks for new projects to help make the world a much better place.

All over the world, piles of mismanaged wastes wind up on our shores. Non-biodegradable wastes–especially single-used plastics such as straws, bottles and bags–are big contributors to pollution. When left in the ocean, these wastes can end up killing marine life, which will inadvertently affect human life as well.

Because of this sad reality, The Body Shop Philippines partnered with Planet CORA, a non-profit organization dedicated in protecting the planet, in gathering almost 200 volunteers for a Coastal Cleanup in Las Piñas Parañaque Critical Habitat Eco-Tourism Area (LPPCHEA).

Planet CORA was founded by actress-singer, environmentalist, and mental health advocate Antoinette Taus a while back. She named the organization after her late mother Corazon, which also stands for Communities Organized for Resource Allocation.

The cleanup drive held earlier this year helped in physically reducing wastes as well as creating awareness and inspiration for the volunteers to instill change in their lifestyles. Joining Antoinette and The Body Shop team are other celebrity advocates such as Yassi Pressman and Joey Mead-King.

A total of 2.29 tons of waste were collected in just a span of two hours. Majority of the collected wastes were plastic bottles.

The Ocean Cleanup with Planet CORA is just one of the many advocacies of The Body Shop Philippines. The company is also active in livelihood projects and supporting the marginalized sectors.

Guided by its brand expression “Beauty with Heart,” the company continues to be focused on five core values: Against Animal Testing, Support Community Fair Trade, Activate Self Esteem, Defend Human Rights, and Protect The Planet.

All of its products are created using the finest ingredients sourced from the four corners of the globe, which are not tested on animals and are 100% vegetarian. The Body Shop has been in the Philippine market for eighteen years with over 55 strategically located stores nationwide.

Marikina Teacher wins Foton van from Gabay Guro Foundation

Mary Jean Libot, a 26-year-old teacher from Marikina City is the proud new owner of an 8-seater Foton Gratour Van. She won the vehicle as a raffle prize from Gabay Guro’s Grand Gathering on September 22, 2019.

The PLDT-Smart Foundation’s flagship advocacy program for teachers, last year celebrated its 12th anniversary with a prize-filled and all-star Grand Gathering, along with the launch of the Gabay Guro app at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

The event gathered over 20,000 teachers from all over the country to experience a historical Teachers’ Tribute, which was headlined by the country’s biggest stars such as Aegis, Angeline Quinto, Christian Bautista, Ian Veneracion, Jaya, Jed Madela, Kyla, Kuh Ledesma, Martin Nievera, Moira dela Torre, Ogie Alcasid, Piolo Pascual, Pops Fernandez, Regine Velasquez-Alcasid, Zsa Zsa Padilla, and Gabby Concepcion and Sharon Cuneta, who were reunited by a performance on-stage after a very long time.

In addition to all the artists that entertained the teachers during the event, Department of Education secretary Leonor Briones also graced the evening with her presence. Many prizes were given away to the attendees, including the Foton Gratour van won by Teacher Mary Jean of Mother Divine Providence School, and Teacher Maricel Bustillo of Las Pinas City National Senior High School – CAA Campus who won a brand new house and lot.

The launch of the Innovations pillar

Aside from entertainment, Gabay Guro’s Grand Gathering 2019 was also used a platform to launch of the Gabay Guro App. This move is the foundation’s “seventh pillar” of activities, which include classroom donation, scholarships, teachers’ training, livelihood programs, connectivity and computerization, and the Teachers’ Tribute.

The new Digital Innovations Pillar of Gabay Guro aims to reinforce the digital transformation for Filipino teachers, school leaders, and stakeholders by equipping them with new modes of teaching and the latest technology that will enable them to create, grow, and evolve their craft for the benefit of their students.

Backed by this new learning pillar, Gabay Guro introduces an application for teachers that will provide e-learning content and interactive technology and ready-to-use online tools that are aligned with the DepEd and CHED curriculum. This will provide teachers with the latest and easily accessible educational resources right at their fingertips. The new Gabay Guro app will be launched before the end of the year.

“Gabay Guro continues to develop innovative programs for our teachers and our partners in nation-building,” Gabay Guro Chairperson Chaye Cabal-Revilla said. “Every year, it is our great honor to be able to give back to our teachers through a grand tribute and we always look forward to continuing this mission and empower them through Gabay Guro’s previously six and now seven core pillars of learning.” 

For more information and updates about Gabay Guro, visit gabayguro.com, like and follow the official Gabay Guro Facebook account, Twitter and Instagram at @PLDTGabayGuro.

Project Kalinga, a day care inside UP Diliman, gets fresh reno

Ang taong ‘di marunong lumingon sa pinanggalingan ay ‘di makakarating sa paroroonan.” We’ve all heard our parents, grandparents, and even teachers deliver this age-old saying at least once in our lives. Even though it may sound dated, it still remains true to this day.

As parents, we all wish for our kids to grow up as good people. We want them to embody basic values while they reach their dreams. I’m pretty sure the parents of the senior students from the University of the Philippines’ BS Interior Design Program are very proud of their children right now. For their capstone course ID 179: Special Project in Interior Design, the graduating batch has taken the opporunity to give back to their beloved university.

Their thesis, titled “Project Kalinga: Nurturing Spaces for the Future,” aims to redesign the UP Kalinga Day Care Center (KDCC), a humble institution within the university that looks after the children of UP employees while their parents are at work. Also known as the “Pink House in Area 1,” the non-formal and non-structured alternative learning institution caters to children aged 1.6 to 5.5 years old. It is supervised by the Center for UP Center for Women’s and Gender Studies, KDCC aims to meet the developmental needs of children in a gender-fair and peaceful environment, as well as promote positive self-concept in children.

The project’s advocacy is to promote holistic development in children through encouraging and nurturing environments. They believe it is necessary to highlight the attention given to children of this age because this is where their cognitive and social aspects begin to develop. They also saw choosing KDCC as a means of giving back to the university that they stayed in.

Under the supervision of Asst. Prof. Pamela Aquino and with their Project Head, Dana Sangalang, the group is comprised of Mikee Arevalo (CAD Operator and Procurement), Catherine Asejo and Erielle Ekong (Quality Control and Site Coordinators), Clement Ignacio (Design Head), Gaille Marquez (Secretariat & Procurement), Rizza Tabios (Procurement and Quality Control), Sophia Teaño and Angela Titular (Externals & Publicity Co-heads), and Steffi Yuquimpo (Design Co-head and Finance).

Together they worked to renovate KDCC’s main shared spaces, including the Reception Area, Teachers’ Room, Recreation Area, Kitchen, Storage Room, and Restroom. They also introduced a Breastfeeding Area and a Dining Area in the renovated daycare.

In the process of choosing a beneficiary, the class conducted visits to various institutions that may need their services. Once they are decided, they assess the space to see which areas need the most attention and what problems can be improved through interior design. They also look for contractors for the project. The class then proceeds to conceptualize what design will fit the space.

Project Kalinga’s outcome came from the idea of a “Treehouse”, as the space is imaginative and results from the collaboration between a child’s imagination and an adult’s guidance. They saw this as parallel to the function of a day care center.

Throughout one semester (over 5 months), the class handled all the needs of the design, from the technical plans and detail drawings, the procurement of furniture, and the coordination with the contractor in executing the design. They also looked for sponsors, handled marketing and publicity, and conducted various events to raise funds for the total cost of the project.

Through Project Kalinga, Batch 2020 students were able to grasp better their roles as future professionals in the field and the value of their services, especially for the underserved. To learn more about the project, you may visit their Facebook page, UP BS Interior Design Class of 2020.

Project Kalinga is co-presented by Hulma Manila Fabrication, Inc., Global Visions Events & Marketing, Inc., Saxum Et Sal, Inc., in cooperation with Kuysen Enterprises, Inc. and is also brought to you by Creamline Ice Cream, Universal Robina Corporation, Splash Corporation, Aztec Secret Health & Beauty, San Miguel PureFoods, Republic Biscuit Corporation, and Del Monte Foods, Inc.

Give back this Christmas through LazadaForGood

Christmas is a time for giving and while we are busy shopping for our gifts for our loved ones, Lazada is making things easy for us to shop for gifts for those in need, too.

Aside from its upcoming 12.12 Grand Year End Sale, Lazada formally introduced the first-ever Digital Giving platform by an eCommerce player in the Philippines.

This is part of a wider #LazadaForGood program where shoppers can “heart-to-cart” as they shop online and support local communities and causes in need through direct donations on the Lazada platform.

The platform was built to benefit 11 local and international advocacy partners: Habitat for Humanity, Young Focus, Caritas Manila, MovEd, UNHCR, Hero Foundation Inc., UNICEF, WWF, Tahanan ng Pagmamahal, HOPE, and CCEF. Shoppers can support causes close to their hearts, from alleviating poverty to saving the environment to putting a roof over someone’s head.

“Christmas is the season for giving, and we want to empower our customers to do just that and empower our advocacy partners in their various causes. Lazada’s 12.12 Grand Year End Sale is not only about making our wishes or our loved ones’ wishes come true, but also to make the wishes of many others in the community come true,” said Ray Alimurung, Lazada Philippines’ chief executive officer.

“This is the first Digital Giving platform by an eCommerce company in the Philippines. We are truly honored to partner with great organizations who share the same values, and going forward, hope to sustain this initiative by onboarding more. We believe that everyone can contribute in their own way, big or small, and we would like to do our part by providing our advocacy partners a platform to champion their causes, raise awareness, funds and resources.”

“At Lazada, we are a platform that takes meaningful partnerships seriously online and offline. As the leading online lifestyle destination in the country, it is our duty and responsibility to empower and demonstrate real human connection and meaningful shared experiences. This Christmas season, we want our customers to add their heart-to-cart and shop for good.”, said Neil Trinidad, Lazada’s chief marketing officer.

Here’s how you can access LazadaForGood on your Lazada app:

Check out for Lazada’s 12.12 Grand Year End Sale

This coming December 12, enjoy discounts of up to 90% off on more than 12 million deals from your favorite local and international brands and sellers. At Lazada’s 12.12 Grand Year End Sale, make yours and other people’s wishlists come true by adding your Heart-to-Cart.

This year will bring even bigger Brand Mega Offers from partners such as Xiaomi, Olay, FitFlop, Pampers, Hydro Flask, Wyeth, LEGO, Apple, Jansport, Coocaa, Tefal, and Reebok.

Don’t forget to set your alarms at 12 midnight as the biggest discounts will come your way from 12mn-2am and 12pm-2pm. Most importantly, don’t forget to donate to a good cause!

To know more about Lazada’s Digital Giving platform, visit http://bit.ly/LazadaDigitalGiving.

To know more about Lazada 12.12, visit Lazada.com.ph, facebook.com/LazadaPhilippines and Instagram.com/lazadaPH.