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The ‘Factory Sustainable Solutions’ solution from Tetra Pak is a new factory-wide strategy for optimizing water, energy, and cleaning-in-place (CIP).

The ‘Factory Sustainable Solutions’ business is a recent addition to Tetra Pak’s wider sustainability offering. It provides food and beverage (F&B) producers with a customized combination of cutting-edge technologies and industry-leading plant integration capabilities. In order to assist clients in achieving their sustainability goals and cutting expenses associated with operations, it aims to assist food and beverage businesses in optimizing their use of energy and resources.

Food and beverage companies, who have historically relied on fossil fuels and energy-intensive procedures, are facing mounting pressure to maximize resources and boost energy production from renewable sources. This occurs at a time when operating costs are going up because of increased raw material costs, new CO2 levies, and water waste fines. It will be crucial to find answers to these problems, as companies seek to their manufacturing and supply chains for assistance in cutting costs.

Complementing its resource-efficient equipment and services portfolio, Tetra Pak’s ‘Factory Sustainable Solutions’ embodies a systematic, factory-wide approach. Solutions can be integrated at any stage to recover and reduce the consumption of resources, such as energy, water, and chemicals. Optimized resource consumption reduces long-term operational costs and related greenhouse gas emissions, while supporting compliance against ever-tightening sustainability standards.

The Tetra Pak Factory Sustainable Solutions team will support customers by finding the right technologies and integration solutions for their needs, advising them on the best practice set-up for their line or facility. This results in a tailored pipes and installation diagram that optimizes water, energy, and CIP according to the specific needs of the customer’s operations.

The ‘Factory Sustainable Solutions’ offering boasts state-of-the-art technologies, such as:

  • Nanofiltration, developed by Tetra Pak, reclaims caustic cleaning liquid used for CIP. This technology allows for the recovery of clean chemicals and water for future reuse, enabling up to 90% recovery of the total spent liquid.
  • Reverse Osmosis, developed by Tetra Pak, uses proprietary membrane filtration technology to improve resource efficiency across multiple applications, including milk separation and water reuse.

Tetra Pak is also collaborating with innovative technology partners to offer additional solutions, including:

  • HighLift™ heat pump technology, in collaboration with Olvondo Technology A/S, can be integrated into operations to facilitate the reuse of waste heat to produce steam across plant equipment, including the Tetra Pak Direct UHT unit, at pressures up to 10 bar. 
  • High-temperature heat pumps, in collaboration with Johnson Controls, which up-cycles processed waste heat to use elsewhere in the factory.
  • Solar thermal collectors, in collaboration with Absolicon, utilize the sun as an unlimited source of clean and renewable energy to power hot water and steam delivery – at temperatures above 150°C – making it suitable for UHT applications.

Stefano Vittor, CEO at Olvondo Technology A/S, says, “By incorporating our HighLift heat pump technology into its Factory Sustainable Solutions business, Tetra Pak is offering an impactful solution to reduce carbon emissions across the food and beverage industry. We’re delighted to be part of this collaboration and play a role in the change Tetra Pak is driving.”

Fredrik Norrbom, Director, Sweden at Johnson Controls System and Service AB, added, “Approximately two-thirds of industrial energy use is driven by heat demand, derived largely from fossil fuels. Heat pumps are vital for increasing energy efficiency and delivering net zero heating when combined with renewable electricity. We are proud to collaborate with Tetra Pak on smart building solutions to help customers achieve sustainability targets while helping the industry make critical progress on emissions reduction.” 

Nicole Uvenbeck, Director of Factory Sustainable Solutions and OEM Components at Tetra Pak, says, “This launch is an incredibly exciting and significant milestone for us at Tetra Pak – especially our team who have been working hard to push the boundaries of the impact and value such an approach can bring for our customers.

To date, we have mainly focused on machine and line optimization, and we have realized the overwhelming benefit of replicating this at a factory level, providing a more holistic optimization approach. Factory Sustainable Solutions is an evolution of our expertise, spanning water, energy, and CIP recovery. This will redefine how we support our customers in achieving their sustainability ambitions while reducing operational costs.”

Fiona Liebehenz, Vice President of Key Components, Plant Solutions and Channel Management at Tetra Pak, says, “I’m extremely proud of the team. Our customers are under more pressure than ever to operate as efficiently as possible regarding resource usage. This is, for many, an existential challenge to secure the future of their operations. Through working with them and understanding their individual needs and objectives, we’re providing them  fit-for-purpose equipment enriched with our holistic food & beverages application knowledge to address that challenge, delivering tangible improvements in a financially advantageous way.”

Tetra Pak’s Factory Sustainable Solutions expertise and guidance are available worldwide as the firm begins today. Tetra Pak wants to keep growing and improving its product line in order to meet the constantly changing needs of its clients in every market.

More information about Tetra Pak is available at 


Lifestyle, News

Putting money into public health

The birthing facility in Brgy. Irawan, Palawan was given a new lease on life with the improvements done by SM Foundation, enabling the facility to secure necessary licenses to resume operations.

Given the difficult lessons learned from the most recent pandemic, investing in healthcare has never been more crucial.

During the peak of COVID-19, one of these lessons exposed the fragility of health institutions collapsing under the weight of enormous medical demands. The need for the public and private sectors to step up was evident, but the need to plan forward rather than just react to potential health crises is even more pressing.

This highlights the significance of accessibility and the efforts made by the private sector to narrow the socioeconomic divide in healthcare. Better community access to high-quality primary healthcare in collaboration with national and local governments is what this implies for SM and its foundations.

Mission NOT impossible

Medical missions allow access, especially of remote or economically disadvantaged communities, to medical care, education and support.  SM Foundation’s (SMFI) medical missions provide free consultations, basic laboratory tests, dental check-ups and proper dosage of appropriate medicine. SM Foundation reached an important milestone by conducting more than 1,600 medical missions, benefiting nearly 1.3 million patients year-to-date.

“Patients who once endured long queues at crowded healthcare facilities now find relief as we bring healthcare services to remote barangays or provide them conveniently at our malls and properties,” Connie Angeles, SM Foundation Executive Director for Health and Medical Programs said.

And more than just a structure

While health facilities offer a venue for the conduct of medical services, fixing it up through thoughtful and meaningful design could do more for the community than just provide space. Rural health centers are considered as lifelines, offering a comprehensive range of health services at a minimal cost or even free to the most vulnerable.

“These opportunities to rebuild health centers do more for human well-being. The refurbishment of public healthcare facilities not only enhance their capabilities by way of improvements and new equipment but also make these facilities more responsive and conducive to the health needs and recovery of those they serve,” Ms. Angeles said.

Furthermore, the renovation allows public health centers to meet PhilHealth Accreditation standards, resulting in an increase in PhilHealth utilization and helping decongest city hospitals and minimizing the spread of communicable diseases.

Through these accredited health centers, patients could avail themselves of PhilHealth benefits such as primary care, maternity care and pharmacy needs at the barangay level. These efforts also result in increased capitalization for local governments.   

Many sectors also benefit from these renovations including the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the Philippine National Police, terminally ill patients and women and children to name a few.

SM Foundation’s 200th rural health center in Laguna is a classic example. “Marami kaming programa na hindi namin malagyan ng lugar kasi kulang ang space kaya’t naghahagilap kami kung saan ito ipu-pwesto,” said Dr. Elmira Montesa who leads the Santa Cruz Rural Health Unit (SCRHU). [We have many programs that we can’t accommodate because there is not enough space and we are scrambling for places for these.]

Following the Department of Health’s (DOH) guidelines, SM Foundation elevated the

SCRHU. The rehabilitation transformed the center into a welcoming space, featuring comfortable waiting areas, a reception area for health workers and designated facilities for breastfeeding mothers, the elderly, and persons with disabilities. It has a mobile play cabinet for children coping with illnesses. SM also included a rainwater catchment system to the renovated facility to contribute to water conservation.

In 2023, SM Foundation breathed new life into UP-PGH’s post-COVID & PulmoCare hub.

Prior to the rehabilitation, UP-PGH Division of Pulmonary Medicine chief Dr. Lenora Fernandez recalled that the facility struggled to expand its services to meet the growing needs of the community.

“PGH does have many donors but they have so many competing priorities, too. Those patients who continued to suffer from debilitating shortness of breath in silence still lacked essential services such as pulmonary rehabilitation equipment,” Dr. Fernandez said.

The newly refurbished facility now has a new lobby to receive patients and spacious rooms with dedicated areas for rehabilitation, ultrasound, cardiopulmonary exercise testing and virtual consultation. Dr. Fernandez expressed optimism about the future of the hub and sees the number of patients served growing every year.

In Brgy. Irawan, Puerto Princesa, a community birthing facility’ serving thousands of residents and indigenous people, had to halt operations in 2018 as it was unable to meet government health requirements.

“Kahit ilang kilometro ang layo nito sa mga kapwa ko katutubo, ito ang pinakamalapit na birthing facility dito sa aming lugar. Kaya malapit ang loob ng komunidad sa facility, lalo na ng mga kapwa ko katutubo. Noong kami ay nahinto, may mga pagkakataon na may nanganganak na sa loob ng sasakyan,” midwife Narcisa Jagmis, a member of the Tagbanua tribe, and who leads the birthing facility said.

[Even though it is several kilometers away from my fellow natives, this is the closest birthing facility here in our area. When we were stopped, there were times when someone was giving birth inside the car.]

SM Foundation supported the community by revamping the birthing facility in 2023, enabling it to obtain the required licenses to resume operations. Dedicated rooms and spaces for storage, scrub-up, breastfeeding, consultations, birthing, clean-up and sterilization, as well as labor and recovery wards were added. It also introduced a rainwater harvesting system and installed energy-efficient lighting fixtures and appliances.

Another SM affiliate, BDO Foundation, also achieved a major milestone as it rehabilitated its 160th rural health unit (RHU) in 2023. This involved renovating exteriors, layout and interior design, lobbies and waiting areas, offices, birthing clinics, consultation rooms, treatment rooms and pharmacies as well as installing breastfeeding stations for nursing mothers, play areas for children, and waiting lounges for senior citizens.

BDO Foundation also installed new signages, furniture, and fixtures to help health workers accommodate more patients in environments conducive to good health and well-being. The improvement of facilities empowers doctors, nurses, and midwives to provide quality primary healthcare services more often and more efficiently to their constituents. The initiative also benefits mothers, infants and children, persons with disabilities, senior citizens, and indigenous peoples living in remote areas.

Officers from BDO Unibank and BDO Network Bank also suggested health centers that required support. The DOH, local government representatives, and health authorities supported the project by offering advice on RHU renovations. The BDO Foundation assisted health centers in obtaining accreditation from PhilHealth and favorable DOH assessment ratings in healthcare delivery through the rehabilitation program. One of the objectives of the Philippine Health Agenda is to enhance the healthcare delivery system.

A total of 364 health centers and medical facilities have been constructed or renovated by the combined efforts of the SM Foundation and BDO Foundation.

By continuously granting fair access to high-quality basic services, the organization hopes to effectively contribute to Sustainable Development Goal 3 (Good Health & Wellbeing) and pave the way for a brighter and healthier future.

For more information, please visit

For inquiries, please contact: [email protected] 

Entertainment, Lifestyle, News

BingoPlus completes its first cleanup effort along the coasts of Anilao

In support of the 1st Saksi Ngayon Bouyanihan and Coastal Clean-up Drive, BingoPlus, your go-to entertainment platform in the nation and provider of your favorite online tongits, bingo, and perya games, searched the shores of Villa Estelita’s beachfront in Anilao, Batangas alongside a number of organizations.

The event organizer, Saksi Ngayon, came up with the Bouyanihan event name to unite people in the shared spirit of environmental stewardship and support. The word “bouya,” which is the Filipino word for buoy, is combined with the word “bayanihan” to refer to the clean-up drive. BingoPlus, Saksi Ngayon, Hotel Sogo, the Philippine Coast Guard Auxiliary, independent professional divers, and community members came together for this event.

BingoPlus began cleanup mid-morning, meeting up with other participants at the beachfront. Several trash bags were gathered at the meet-up area by the one-hour mark, where attendees meticulously decided on which was the oddest item in the pile. During the cleanup, BingoPlus also gave out merchandise to event-goers who were taking a break from the summer sun.

Once the shores of Villa Estelita were cleaned up, BingoPlus and Hotel Sogo were invited to take a speedboat out into the waters where buoys with their respective brand logos were going to be set up by professional divers. These buoys are meant to provide boats with a place to moor as an alternative to using anchors that have a possibility of destroying corals and disturbing the local aquatic life.

Saksi Ngayon recognized BingoPlus’ support and participation at the end of the cleanup with certificates of participation and acknowledgement, thanking the brand for its partnership.

Despite its reputation as an advocate for Philippine amusement and leisure, BingoPlus makes sure to uphold its environmental and community obligations. The brand’s investment in culture also encompasses the flora and fauna that contribute to the distinctive and internationally renowned biodiversity of the Philippines. BingoPlus viewed the clean-up campaign as a chance to demonstrate environmental responsibility and community cooperation.

Digiplus Interactive Corp.’s core brands, BingoPlus and ArenaPlus, firmly establish the company as the nation’s leading provider of gaming and entertainment. Visit and for additional updates, or get the apps right now from Google Play and the App Store.

Lifestyle, News

The employee-focused culture of Eastern Communications has earned them the Great Place To Work Certification™

Eastern Communications celebrates its most loyal employees through the “Araw ng Parangal” longevity awards, honoring those who have dedicated their service from five to over thirty years.

Eastern Communications is pleased to declare that it has received its 2024 Great Place To Work® CertificationTM, a distinguished honor determined by employee input. Remarkably, 92% of Eastern’s workers said they felt welcomed when they first started working there.

The certification is based on real-time employee feedback about the company culture and the leadership practices that have been shown to produce market-leading revenue, employee retention, and greater innovation, according to Great Place To Work®, the world’s foremost authority on workplace culture. By receiving this honor, Eastern Communications is now recognized as one of the best places to work in the Philippines.

“Great Place To Work Certification™ is a highly coveted achievement that requires consistent and intentional dedication to the overall employee experience,” says Sarah Lewis-Kulin, the Vice President of Global Recognition at Great Place To Work. She emphasizes that Certification is the sole official recognition earned by the real-time feedback of employees regarding their company culture. “By successfully earning this recognition, it is evident that Eastern Communications stands out as one of the top companies to work for, providing a great workplace environment for its employees.”

“At Eastern, we make sure we build a transformational community, one that cultivates our employees’ growth while celebrating each employee’s unique talents and skills. Our culture thrives on the strong connections between our team members, and earning the Great Place To Work Certification™ affirms all our combined efforts. This recognition belongs to our incredible Ka-Eastern family—whose dedication, passion, and relentless hard work truly make us a great place to work,” said AC Cometa, Eastern Communications’ Human Resources Head.

Ka-Eastern: Employees at the Heart of Eastern Communications

Eastern Communications earns two Bronze Stevies at the 2024 Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards held at Shangri-La The Fort Hotel, Manila on May 24, 2024

Eastern Communications, a pioneering Philippine telecommunications company, bridges high-tech with high-touch, emphasizing human connections. This 145-year-old telco champions a people-centric approach, deeply valuing its employees, known as “Ka-Eastern.”

The company’s Heart of Service value encourages employees to go beyond their tasks, fostering meaningful interactions with customers and stakeholders.

Eastern’s dedicated Learning & Engagement team alongside an internal core committee organizes various activities that focus on generating camaraderie, supporting a healthy lifestyle, and increasing employee satisfaction. These activities, such as fun runs, online games, community engagements, and celebrations, are done both virtually and in person. Through its Longevity Awards, the company also recognizes employees who have dedicated many years of service to Eastern.

Eastern Communications invests in the growth of its people through regular skills training sessions. By providing valuable learning tools and opportunities to enhance their skill sets, the company boosts productivity, empowers its team, and ensures everyone feels valued and appreciated.

Empowering its people also earned Eastern Communications recognition at the 2024 Asia Pacific Stevie Awards, where the company won two Bronze Stevies for thought leadership and infrastructure initiatives.

[From L to R] Eastern Communications’ VP & Head of Product & Innovation Edsel Paglinawan, DSCN Consultant Albert Tuason, and AVP & Head of Network Planning, Engineering and Implementation (NPEI) Delfin Lopez at the 2024 Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards

Eastern Communications’ Brand Communications Head, Hannah Lazatin, emphasizes how Eastern’s winning initiatives focused on digital transformation, future-proofing businesses, nation-building, and boosting economic growth.

Join Eastern’s Growing Team!

Job searchers are 4.5 times more likely to discover a terrific boss at a recognized workplace, according terrific Place To Work study. These companies also pay their workers fairly and have higher employee satisfaction and advancement rates.

Are you hoping to progress in your career with a company that values its employees? Go to Eastern Communications Careers Careers to view our careers page.

Lifestyle, News

As per HK magazine, SM Investments is the best corporate governance-compliant Philippine corporation

In its 14th Institutional Investor Corporate Awards, the Hong Kong-based journal Alpha Southeast Asia named SM Investments Corporation the Philippines’ top company with the Strongest Adherence to Corporate Governance.

SM has already won the aforementioned category nine times, with 586 investors and analysts from Southeast Asia, the US, and Europe casting their votes.

“At SM, we uphold the highest standards of corporate governance in keeping with our commitment to attain shared value for our stakeholders – towards responsible and sustainable development for the communities we serve,” said SM Investments President and Chief Executive Officer Frederic C. DyBuncio.

SM Investments secured its 13th victory in the Most Organized Investor Relations category and placed among the top five performing businesses in the Best Strategic CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) category.

Fund managers with investments in Southeast Asia, big institutional investors, insurance companies, pension funds, hedge fund funds, private banks, equity and fixed income brokers, as well as buy- and sell-side analysts, were among the participants in the Alpha Southeast Asia survey. This year, the top 38 publicly traded businesses in Southeast Asia were identified based on their exceptional performance in the areas of corporate governance, investor relations, disclosure, transparency, financial management, integrated reporting, corporate social responsibility, and/or dividend policy.

For more information, please visit

For inquiries, please contact: [email protected] 

Food, News

Employee-led Mangrove Reforestation Project is Launched by Jollibee Foods Corporation

Commits to Help Restore the Country’s Mangrove Ecosystem

Employee Volunteerism. Employees from Jollibee North Luzon District 1 participate in a mangrove tree planting project in Alaminos City, Pangasinan.

Through the Jollibee Group Foundation, Inc. (JGF), the corporate social responsibility arm of Jollibee Foods Corporation (JFC), is still driving change. JGF led a mangrove regeneration campaign that included a series of tree-planting events that took place in three coastal provinces.

Employees of JFC have planted over 4,000 mangrove trees: 1,700 saplings in Lemery, Batangas, and 2,250 mangrove propagules along the shores of Carmen, Cebu, and Alaminos, Pangasinan.

Protecting shorelines. Last year, 212 employee volunteers participated in a string of tree-planting activities. The photo shows some Jollibee employees who volunteered planting mangrove propagules in Lemery, Batangas. 

The reforestation project, according to JGF President Gisela Tiongson, is a component of JFC’s stepped-up efforts to further its global sustainability strategy, Joy for Tomorrow, in keeping with the goal under the Planet pillar to support responsible planet-stewardship.  

“JFC’s 45th anniversary last year marked a special milestone that inspired us to step up our effort in creating value for our stakeholders and in giving back to the environment,” said Tiongson. “Through this mangrove reforestation program, we aim to help restore the mangrove ecosystem and build a more resilient future for our fellow Filipinos living in coastal communities.”

Strengthening collaboration

JGF has collaborated with national agencies and local community partners to ensure that the mangrove planting activities are done correctly using the right species that are planted in the right site and in the right season—all these considerations are crucial in ensuring mangrove survival and propagation.

To bolster its commitment to expand its Mangrove Reforestation project in 2024, Jollibee Foods Corporation and Jollibee Group Foundation has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Department of Environment and National Resources (DENR). Present during the signing were (L-R) Jollibee Group Foundation’s President and Executive Director Gisela Tiongson, Jollibee Foods Corporation’s President and CEO Ernesto Tanmantiong, DENR Secretary Maria Antonia Yulo Loyzaga, and Jollibee Foods Corporation’s Vice President and Head of Public Affairs, Atty. Raul Academia. 


Tiongson recognized the support provided by DENR SCIS-Strategic Alliance and Environmental Partnership Division, DENR-Environmental Management Bureau, DENR Region 7, City Environment & Natural Resources Office (CENRO) of Cebu City and Carmen, and CENRO Calaca, Batangas. “We are grateful for their assistance and for guiding us throughout the activities, as well as the People’s Organization in Cebu for the mangrove seedlings,” she said.  

Fostering employee engagement

Treating the Planet Responsibly. Zenith Foods Corporation and Red Ribbon – Mandaue City employee volunteers plant mangrove propagules in Carmen, Cebu.

The reforestation program was started in 2023, with over 200 employee-volunteers from Jollibee, Greenwich, Red Ribbon, Zenith Foods Corporation, and Jollibee Worldwide Services Logistics. This also formed part of the Company’s engagement program for its employees and JFC’s 45th anniversary activities.

To bolster the project, JFC’s President and CEO Ernesto Tanmantiong and JGF’s Tiongson, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with DENR Secretary Maria Antonia Yulo Loyzaga on April 19.

Tanmantiong emphasized, “We are cognizant of the climate emergency we are in, and hence, we are taking steps to contribute to climate mitigation in the work of JGF, together with the company. To this end, we will be investing in mangrove reforestation initiatives with the help of our employee volunteers. And we will be supporting communities in mangrove management.”

In line with the MOU, JGF pledged to “extend its support to community-based mangrove protection and reforestation activities and mobilize volunteer employees to participate in the conduct of environmental programs and activities in mangrove reforestation.”

This year, JGF intends to expand the knowledge, expertise, and skill set of JFC staff members beyond their job duties by working toward establishing the initiative as an ongoing program. JGF also intends to carry out mangrove planting operations in Visayas and Mindanao under strict community control in order to further expand the nation’s mangrove ecosystem.

Food, News

For the third time, Jollibee Group has received the Gallup Exceptional Workplace Award

Continues to be the first and only Philippine-based company to have received the global award

Global workplace consulting and research firm Gallup has once again recognized the Jollibee Group with the Gallup Exceptional Workplace Award. This marks the third time the homegrown restaurant company has received the accolade.

For the third time in 2024, the locally owned restaurant chain Jollibee Group has been honored with the Gallup Exceptional Workplace Award (GEWA). The company’s dedication to employee engagement as a key component of its business strategy is affirmed by this award. The Jollibee Group is still the only firm with its headquarters in the Philippines to have won this honor.

Over 100,000 teams worldwide, 2.7 million workers are covered by the GEWA. It honors top-tier companies that incorporate engagement into their workplace culture and is based on Gallup’s extensive and meticulous workplace survey.

“This recognition was made possible by the countless men and women of the Jollibee Group around the world who contribute and shape our uniquely joyful work culture,” said Ernesto Tanmantiong, Jollibee Group’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “Our three-time recognition is timely as it comes at the heels of our best year yet in 2023: a clear manifestation that our business success is deeply interconnected with our people’s success.”

“We remain committed to helping our talents build a career where they can live out their purpose, build meaningful relationships at work, and contribute with their unique talents to our mission of bringing the joy of eating to everyone. We strive hard to make our people not only successful but also happy, Tanmantiong added.

Gallup Chief Executive Officer Jon Clifton congratulated winning organizations for redefining what it means to be a great place to work amid continuing workplace challenges. “Your commitment to creating environments where employees are listened to, valued, and positioned to use their strengths every day is what sets you apart. Thank you for setting a new global standard in what it means to be a thriving workplace,” Clifton said.

A Joyful Work Environment

Jollibee Group’s strengthened People Agenda was key to its record business performance, which was characterized by back-to-back best-ever years in 2022 and 2023.

Earlier this year, the company defined its Employer Value Proposition “Choose Joy,” which articulates the unique experience of being a Jollibee Group employee and the company’s culture of joy built over the past 46 years.

Through its D&I vision and commitment to “Joy for All,” the Jollibee Group has also continued to elevate the importance of diversity and inclusion (D&I) in the workplace. The D&I vision aims to cultivate a more joyful and inclusive environment for the team members who power the organization as well as the customers and stakeholders who are part of the organization’s ecosystem.

Amidst the epidemic in 2020, the Jollibee Group was initially granted the GEWA. It was the first time a business with its headquarters in the Philippines has received this honor. In 2023, the company was listed as one of TIME Magazine’s World’s Best Companies and won its second GEWA award.

The Jollibee Group has also been named one of the World’s Best Employers by Forbes Magazine for three years running, from 2020 to 2022. The business was included in Forbes’ first list of the World’s Top Female-Friendly Companies in 2021.

News, Tech

ICT Enablement Sessions Lead the Way in Digital Transformation for Eastern Communications

Aiming to elevate the Philippines’ below-average rank of 60% in the UN ICT Development Index

Eastern Communications Product Manager Jovee Gecha discusses ICT trends at the 2024 Access Eastern run in Clark Pampanga.

In the Philippines, digitalization has emerged as the key to company expansion. The International Data Corp. (IDC) estimates that in 2023, Asia-Pacific would spend $1.3 trillion on information and communication technology (ICT) services. The first telecom company in the Philippines, Eastern Communications, is currently spearheading the nation’s ICT solution integration to support entrepreneurship and economic growth in the digital age.

The Philippines is facing difficulties even if the IDC also notes that the region is becoming more and more dependent on emerging technologies, with an average growth rate of  4.6% until 2027. According to the UN’s ICT Development Index, the nation has a score of 65 out of 100, which is third lowest in Southeast Asia and lower than the global average of 72.8.

The aforementioned statistics highlights the imperative nature of Eastern Communications’ efforts to bridge the digital divide for Filipinos by augmenting its network reach and improving ICT awareness.

Tailored Solutions for Diverse Needs

Eastern Communications understands that businesses in the Philippines vary significantly in size, scope, and requirements. Therefore, it has developed a range of ICT solutions that cater to the unique needs of each enterprise. From small startups to large corporations, Eastern provides comprehensive services designed to optimize operations through boosting efficiency and innovation.

“Empowering businesses beyond internet connectivity, we’re elevating Eastern Communications’ role to a managed services provider across various industries. This year, we’re committed to delivering comprehensive ICT solutions that streamline operations and empower Filipino entrepreneurs to thrive in today’s digital era,” said Eastern Communications’ AVP & Head of Marketing Jed Estanislao.

Eastern’s Network Solutions offers seamless access points that are adaptable to any business setting. By having network tools equipped with cutting-edge security features like the Secure Access Service Edge (SASE), Security Service Edge (SSE), Software-Defined WAN (SD-WAN), and Managed Endpoints, businesses can operate confidently, knowing their networks are safeguarded against evolving threats. The company was recently recognized by Cisco as its Top SMB Partner, highlighting its dedication and expertise in delivering innovative Cisco solutions to small and medium-sized businesses.

With cyber threats rising, Eastern’s Cyber Defense Suite provides innovative security solutions integrated into connectivity solutions, such as its DDoS Protected IDS & Zero Trust Network Access, and offers more advanced security options through Point Solutions and Eastern as a Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP).

Eastern Communications was recently granted Sophos’ Platinum Partnership status, becoming the first telco provider in the Philippines to receive this honor in May 2024. This achievement highlights its pivotal role in driving sales for Sophos’ hero products, including XGS Firewalls and Endpoint Security, underscoring its commitment to delivering cutting-edge technologies to safeguard businesses against evolving cyber threats.

Eastern Cloud services cater to the varying needs of remote work environments. Innovations include cloud-hosted infrastructures, development platforms and testing environments, business continuity, and backup solutions, enabling businesses to operate seamlessly and securely from anywhere.

Continuing its vision to position the Philippines as a regional hyperscale hub, Eastern has enhanced its Data Center Services. Offering hyperconverged infrastructure, hyperscale colocation, and partnerships with industry leaders like Huawei and Asus, Eastern ensures optimal performance and reliability. Multi-tenancy options further maximize resource utilization, making Eastern’s Data Center Services a cornerstone for businesses’ digital infrastructure.

Access Eastern: Bridging the Digital Divide Across the Islands

Recognizing the importance of inclusivity in the digital age, Eastern Communications extends its reach to regional cities through its “Access Eastern” thought leadership runs. Starting in May 2024, these initiatives will cover key locations such as Clark, Laguna, Cavite, Baguio, Dumaguete, and more areas to follow. By engaging with businesses in regional hubs, Eastern Communications aims to bridge the digital divide and ensure that all enterprises, regardless of location, have access to transformative ICT solutions.

Through its tailored ICT solutions, strategic partnerships, and commitment to sharing its valuable expertise, Eastern Communications is not only fuelling the growth of businesses but is also building a culture of digital empowerment for Filipinos. As businesses continue to navigate the complexities of the digital era, Eastern Communications remains a trusted “Partner in Progress,” empowering them to thrive in an increasingly interconnected world.

Empowering Filipinos Through Education and Thought Leadership

Beyond offering cutting-edge ICT solutions, Eastern Communications recognizes the importance of knowledge democratization in driving digital adoption among businesses. In line with this vision, Eastern Communications is set to launch pocket ICT Enablement Sessions and its biggest thought leadership event of the year entitled, “Transcend Technology Summit: Forging the Future of Business.”

The goal of Eastern’s ICT Enablement Sessions is to provide organizations with essential knowledge about Network Solutions, Cybersecurity, Cloud Solutions, and Connectivity—as well as insights from industry experts such as Cisco, Huawei, and Fortinet.

These projects, which are expected to launch in the latter part of the year, are the most important thought leadership events to be aware of from Eastern Communications. Eastern hopes to empower Filipino enterprises around the country by collaborating with leaders and specialists in the tech sector and arming them with the resources and know-how required to prosper in their specific sectors and locales.

Food, News

Recycling by Coca-Cola Philippines at the Panaad sa Negros Festival

Coca-Cola Philippines and its partners commemorated Earth Day by gathering 444.85 kg of PET bottles and cans between April 16 and 21 as part of the Panaad sa Negros Festival 2024 through the Tindahan Extra Mile (TEM) program, following a successful launch in Bacolod.

In an effort to reduce plastic waste and fight pollution, the program gives micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) and owners of sari-sari stores the ability to turn their establishments into places where empty plastic bottles are collected. By gathering bottles, micro-retailers can accrue points that can be exchanged for money and merchandise for their stores.

TEM is a collaboration between Coca-Cola Philippines, Basic Environmental Systems and Technologies, Inc. (BEST), and the Philippine Association of Stores and Carinderia Owners (PASCO). As of May, there are over 3,500 TEM members in the country.

This local effort aligns with The Coca-Cola Company’s global World Without Waste strategy. Globally, the company aims to collect and recycle the equivalent of each bottle and can it sells by 2030, make its primary consumer packaging recyclable by 2025, and use an average of 50% recycled material in its packaging by 2030.

TEM is a crucial component of “May Ikabobote Pa,” Coca-Cola Philippines’ consumer engagement campaign, which encourages people to recycle their empty bottles and cans. Customers may find out the closest pickup locations and further information about the company’s recycling programs by visiting the Coca-Cola Philippines Sustainability Hub.

Food, News

Jollibee is Listed in Kuwait’s Top 10 Brands for Customer Satisfaction

Warm, joyful service. Jollibee earned another triumph with its recent inclusion in the Top 10 brands for customer satisfaction in Kuwait. The awards program by Service Hero surveyed over 500 brands in the country.   

According to the 2023 Service Hero Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI) Awards, local food chain Jollibee has been named one of Kuwait’s Top 10 Brands for Customer Satisfaction.

An annual recognition program called the Customer Service Index Awards rewards Kuwait businesses who provide outstanding customer service. It gauges important aspects of the service, like overall satisfaction, expectations, and recommendation likelihood. It also evaluates several aspects of the services, including personnel, location, value for money, staff quality, speed, and dependability. For this list, more than 500 brands in 20 categories were assessed.

“Being recognized among Kuwait’s Top 10 brands for customer satisfaction from over 500 brands is a testament to our commitment to providing customers with great-tasting food served with the warmth and joyful service that the Jollibee brand is known for. This citation is not only a badge of honor for us, but it also means we are fulfilling our promise to our customers,” said Joseph Tanbuntiong, Jollibee Group Chief Business Officer and Head, Jollibee Global.

Meanwhile, Dennis Flores, President of Jollibee Group’s business in Europe, Middle East, and Asia, and Australia (EMEAA), congratulated the Jollibee Kuwait team and franchisee for this milestone recognition: “We celebrate this achievement with all our store and operations teams in Kuwait whose passion and dedication to our mission of serving great-tasting food and bringing the joy of eating to everyone has made this recognition possible. We are also grateful to our customers in Kuwait for their continued support and loyalty to Jollibee.”

“We extend our deepest gratitude to our franchisee Yacoub Aljajery for his steadfast belief in our brand. His hands-on approach not only ensures operational excellence, but also fosters a culture of passion and commitment, making exceptional customer service at Jollibee Kuwait possible,” Flores added.

The Jollibee Group opened the first Jollibee store in Al Watya, Kuwait City in February 2012 through franchisee Yacoub Aljajery of the Al Musaifra Catering Company. Today, Jollibee has seven stores in Kuwait, with loyal fans craving for bestselling products such Chickenjoy and Jolly Spaghetti.

Jollibee as a franchisor of choice

“I chose Jollibee as a franchise because of its strong brand recognition, delicious menu offerings, and the opportunity to introduce Jollibee to Arab/Kuwaiti customers, which has proven to be a successful venture,” said franchisee Yacoub Aljajery. “As a franchisee, I appreciate Jollibee’s comprehensive support system, including marketing assistance, ongoing operational guidance and training programs which have been instrumental in the growth and success of our franchise operations in Kuwait.”

“Being cited as one of the Top 10 brands in Kuwait is a recognition for our dedication and hard work in upholding Jollibee’s standards and values. This award also serves as our source of pride and motivation to continue delivering exceptional service and quality to our customers in Kuwait,” he added.

Jollibee also has stores in other Middle East countries such as the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, and Oman.

Recently, Jollibee has been ranked Top 5 Strongest Restaurant Brand in the World, overtaking more established Quick Service Restaurant brands, according to the latest annual brand ranking report by Brand Finance, the world’s leading independent brand valuation agency. Jollibee has elevated its rating from AA- to AAA. In addition, Jollibee is the only Philippine brand listed in the 2024 Top 25 Most Valuable Restaurant Brands and Top 10 Strongest Restaurant Brands.

The brand has also been cited as the Top 2 fastest-growing restaurant brand in the world. Surging by an impressive 51% to USD2.3 billion in brand value, Jollibee ascended from rank 20 to rank 17 in this year’s Global Restaurant Rankings.

Serving joy. The Jollibee Kuwait team has shown passion and dedication in providing exceptional customer service to customers who crave for bestsellers Chickenjoy and Jolly Spaghetti.   

Outside of the Philippines, mainstream customers are still gravitating for Jollibee. Mainstream non-Filipino locals make up around 100% of the clientele in Vietnam and Brunei, 81% in Malaysia, 80% in the UK, 70% in Singapore, and 60% in Hong Kong. This demonstrates the brand’s attractiveness on a worldwide scale.

Jollibee Group flagship brands in the ranking

The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf TM, another brand owned by the Jollibee Group, is ranked among Kuwait’s Top 10 Brands for Customer Satisfaction. In the café category, it likewise came out on top. The flagship brand for the coffee and tea industry under the Jollibee Group is CBTL.

To learn more about Jollibee Group, visit