Month: March 2015

The best gift to Filipino graduates

Every March, as I attend graduation ceremonies, I get a rush of inspiration seeing so many young Filipinos reach a major milestone and life achievement – completing their studies.

We can see both pride and relief in their eyes. They exchange hugs and high fives, happy to be free from the shackles of their terror teachers.

Parents, too, beam with delight as they applaud the end of tuition fees and other school-related expenses.

This year, about 700,000 fresh graduates will be scouring newspaper advertisements, join job fairs, sign up on online job websites, visit companies and inquire about possible employment vacancies.

A number of these graduates will find jobs in the Philippines; a number will find jobs abroad. Some will work in a formal company; others will be working more informally. And unfortunately, some will join the ranks of the unemployed.

This is the unfortunate milieu our 2015 graduates are entering. We need to build a bridge between education, and employment and entrepreneurship, and we need to fill in the gap at the soonest possible time.

In the case of New Zealand’s Ministry of Education, they created an agency called Careers New Zealand (NZ) to bridge this gap by working with both the private sector and educational institutions.

They determine the qualifications demanded by the workforce then ensure that the right skills and expertise is developed in schools. Therefore, graduates match the job opportunities in the market.

Inspired by New Zealand, our office is currently working with Generoso Villanueva National High School in Bacolod to match the needs of the job opportunities in their area, which include call centers and HRM opportunities, to the skills that they are teaching to their students.

Offering alternatives

To scale this up, Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Armin Luistro committed to establish placement offices in public high schools in the K to 12 system, upon our suggestion during the budget deliberations of DepEd in the Senate.

But with the lack of jobs to fill in the first place, we need to offer more alternatives to our young graduates, and entrepreneurship should be a viable option for them.

Micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) compose 99.6% of total establishments in the Philippines and contribute 61.2% of the country’s total employment. Already, MSMEs play a vital role in providing livelihood and prosperity to millions of Filipinos.

Entrepreneurship can also serve as a means for our unemployed youth sector to pave their own way out of poverty and into financial independence. Not to mention, they can create more job opportunities for their peers.

The Department of Trade and Industry is now establishing 100 Negosyo Centers all over the country this year with our recently enacted Go Negosyo Act, which will consolidate all efforts in assisting starting and current small business owners.

Potential clients can access help in business registration, financing, product development, financial management and market linkage from these Negosyo Centers.

We also authored and sponsored the Youth Entrepreneurship Bill, which aims to expose our Filipino youth to entrepreneurship at a young age and give them a good foundation for business creation in the future.

If enacted into law, course programs in entrepreneurship will be developed for primary, secondary and post-secondary schools to give them basic knowledge on financial literacy and how to start and run their own businesses.

Moreover, the bill aims to create a fund and support structures to aid starting entrepreneurs in their product development, access to capital, training and other services, to help them establish their own enterprises.

The Youth Entrepreneurship Bill was passed on third reading in the Senate and was passed on second reading in the House of Congress recently.

With our improving economy, there is no better time than now to empower our youth with the values and skills of innovative entrepreneurship.

I am hopeful that the Philippines can offer our wide-eyed, idealistic, and well equipped graduates a wealth of opportunities – from job openings in successful institutions to the possibility of putting up a thriving business around their innovative, world-class ideas.

Firs published on

Mission statement

For seven years, before joining the Senate, I was a social entrepreneur, working in microfinance and micro enterprise programs in rural parts of the Philippines. Our institution primarily worked with women sari-sari storeowners, providing them financing support; training and linking them to companies they otherwise would not have access to.

Through the years, we came to a conclusion that many other social enterprises started after ours would also adhere to – if you provided access to opportunities, Filipinos would step up, take these opportunities and do well for themselves and their families.

We witnessed for ourselves how our nanay-partners improved themselves through our program and that of our microfinance partners. Many of them who didn’t finish high school and had humble beginnings were slowly but surely becoming savvier entrepreneurs who were providing more for their families through their micro businesses.

The Filipino that we saw was not lacking in talent or drive, but rather, just lacking in opportunities. There were of course individuals that refused to work hard and learn, but they were always in the minority; the majority recognized and wanted the opportunities and at the end of the day, did well with them.

It was the same case for our work with the youth. The more popular image of the Filipino youth is involved with teenage pregnancies, drug abuse, violence in gangs and too much DOTA-playing.

Yet, in our years serving the sector, we found thousands of outstanding youth organizations serving their communities, a brotherhood assisting the welfare of indigenous peoples, former street children teaching arts education to their peers, transformed tambays training for disaster rescue, and a group of young people teaching financial literacy and entrepreneurship to former combatants and children of war.

It’s the same formula for the Filipino youth. Give them the proper guidance and mentoring, show them that they can do something worthwhile for themselves and for other people and see them grab these opportunities and make the most out of it.

I’ve been both a witness and an advocate of this fundamental truth that Filipinos can achieve if given the right tools and support. But unfortunately, still to this day, a number of our countrymen do not believe in our own capacity for goodness and greatness.

For every believer in entrepreneurship, there are those that say that Filipinos are Juan Tamads and not built to be our own bosses. For every advocate of the Filipino youth, there are those that believe that the youth are useless, apathetic and only concerned with their Facebook and video games.

With regard to the Bangsamoro Basic Law, the same opposing perspectives apply. There are those who believe that development in the area cannot be achieved under Moro leadership, while there are those that believe that our Moro people can reverse the vicious cycle of poverty and violence through their self-determination.

There are those that speak with certainty that funds given to the Bangsomoro will be used primarily for guns and to line the pockets of corrupt politicians, while there are those who see classrooms and hospitals being built, water systems, electricity and social services finally being delivered to the communities.

Somewhere between these two perspectives lies the best course of action – a careful optimism that sees all angles but has that positive outlook at its heart and as its driving force.

Make no mistake though, action, reform and change can only happen if you start from a perspective of hope, rather than one of distrust, discrimination and pessimism.

We don’t talk enough about the politics of hope. In our minute-by-minute, 140-character, news cycle-led world, it seems that the politics of hope has become passé or even considered naive by the armchair analysts.

Optimism has seemingly lost its luster amidst the talk of vengeance, distrust and disappointment with our leaders.

But the truth is that in my line of work, I have been blessed to come across stories of change and hope, of true political action and reform, of new translations of people power, of unsung and unmentioned heroes who, like me, still believe in what the Filipino can be.

This column will hopefully be that oasis for fellow optimists and hopeful out there.

First published on Manila Bulletin



Bam: Bamboo Business Booming But…

Private bamboo stakeholders lamented that lack of supply may prevent the country from grabbing a lion’s share of the growing global market.
This was revealed during the Senate hearing on the status of the Philippine Bamboo Industry Development Roadmap conducted by the Committee on Trade, Commerce and Entrepreneurship headed by Senator Bam Aquino.
According to different private bamboo furniture makers, there is high demand for their products but cannot keep up due to lack of supply.
Even the Department of Education (DepEd) said it cannot meet its mandate of sourcing 20 percent of their furniture needs such as desk, tables and chairs from bamboo furniture makers due to lack of suppliers.
During the hearing, stakeholders have pointed to the government’s lack of coordinated action in ensuring a steady supply of bamboo poles.
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) said that the country has around 50,572 hectares of bamboo forest.
However, it is not enough to cover the market’s monthly demand of eight million bamboo poles.
Under the National Greening Program, the government has allotted just one percent of the country’s 1.5 million hectares of forest as areas for bamboo planting.
For 2015, the DENR is targeting 3,086 hectares of bamboo plantation.
In line with this, Sen. Bam called on concerned government agencies and the private sector to align their plans and programs to properly address the supply dilemma the industry currently faces.
Sen. Bam said the Philippine Bamboo Industry Development Council (PDIBC), headed by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), must take the lead in addressing the supply issue via a technical working group (TWG).
According to Sen. Bam, Executive Order 879 mandates the PBDIC to provide overall policy and program directions for all stakeholders in the bamboo industry.
The EO also tasked the government to reforest at least 500,000 hectares with bamboo as contribution to the ASEAN commitment of 20 million hectares of new forest by 2020.
“Why aren’t we hitting the target number of bamboo poles needed by the manufacturers,” asked Sen. Bam, adding that the DTI must clarify the roles of the concerned government agencies and other stakeholders under the EO.
“That will be a lost opportunity of income and livelihood for communities and for the economy,” Sen. Bam stressed.
“I would like to be able to address those concerns with recommendations coming from the PBIDC, upon consultation with all of the concerned individuals and institutions,” Sen. Bam added.
Sen. Bam is pushing for a clear bamboo industry roadmap as he sees the industry as another vehicle for the government’s inclusive growth program.
“If we have more communities planting bamboo and there are ready markets left and right to purchase these, that would be a waste if we don’t supply them,” said Sen. Bam.

Excerpt from Bam’s Mornings@ANC Interview

Question: Last topic of discussion will be the Mamasapano incident, Sir. You were already quoted that the President, your cousin, is ultimately responsible for the Mamasapano incident.

Sen. Bam: As early as February, he was already admitting this. He had a public address, in fact, iyong statement nga niya was, hanggang mamatay siya, dala-dala niya ito.

The next day, people kept on asking why isn’t the President taking responsibility. But he has already stated as much.

At this point, the reports come out already, I don’t think there was really anything new with regard to P-Noy, Purisima and Napenas because napag-usapan na naman ang nagawa nila at iyong accountabilities at responsibilities.

One thing I probably try to amend is regarding the Bangsamoro Basic Law. Because there were some lines in the report or some conclusions made regarding the BBL.

For example, nakalagay doon na masyadong optimistic iyong peace panel. Or nakalagay doon na one of the casualties ng Mamasapano ay ang Bangsamoro Basic Law.

Very categorical statements, concluding on the Bangsamoro Basic Law and I think it’s beyond the scope of the report.

To conclude on what happened in Mamasapano, that’s really the job of the committee. But the BBL was not presented, it was not talked about in length, it can raise questions.

It can raise doubts but to be categorical about it I think should be left to the committee handling the Bangsamoro Basic Law.

Question: So you weren’t very comfortable that the conclusion about the government peace panel?

Sen. Bam: Definitely because they weren’t given a chance to also explain. They can explain regarding the ceasefire that they tried to do.

The BBL is not just a ceasefire. It’s a whole other process.

I’m trying to get clarification now if that was a line that is categorical or if it’s one of those lines na, baka style lang iyon – it was just a matter of (writing) style.

We’re getting clarifications now and I probably will try to amend the report on those aspects.

Going back to ultimate responsibility.

Q: He’s responsible, you say, but is he liable? Apparently these are two different things.

Sen. Bam: I think Sen. Poe said it best that the responsibility is political in nature and not legal in nature. It’s really interesting that the President admits this already, and yet, the next day and the next following weeks.

Even just this weekend noong nasa Isabela ako, iyon pa rin ang tanong ng tao.  Oh, is the President accepting responsibility on this. I always say, sinabi na niya iyan.

He already said it and he submitted as much already. I think the effort to bring out the truth and be as transparent as possible is there. Nandiyan na iyan.

I think the three things that we really need to focus on, number one, iyong paghuli sa mga pumatay. I think that’s something that everybody wants to see and even the report said we should not let that go.

In fairness to Secretary de Lima, mukhang tinutuloy naman niya iyan. She will probably file charges quite soon, probably in April.

Second is to make sure that the families are taken cared of.  I think is something that the President has committed to and even the Senate, nakabantay kami kung talagang mapupunta sa kanila ang mga benepisyong dapat sa kanila.

And I think third, is really our true ultimate responsibility which is to make sure that this doesn’t happen again by pushing for peace in Mindanao.

Iyon ang totoong ultimate responsibility natin at the end of the day, to make sure more Filipinos don’t die anymore because of armed conflict.

Q:  Many people keep asking you sir, kung umamin na ba ang Presidente because it was never really, I guess, categorical, him admitting that I am responsible.

Sen. Bam: I’ll challenge that. I think it was categorical but I don’t think it wasn’t picked up enough. That’s really my assessment.

Q: So there’s nothing new?

Sen. Bam: Its nothing new. Magtataka ka. Sabi nga nila, if a lie is said often enough, it becomes truth. Baka if a question is asked often enough, it becomes an answer.

Kumbaga, tinatanong ng tinatanong kaya mukhang di sinagot pero sinagot naman.

Q: Para malinaw. He’s responsible pero he’s not liable for you?

Sen. Bam: No, I don’t think so. I think the report is quite clear that the responsibility is political in nature and not legal in that sense.

Q: But were you uncomfortable even signing that committee report, I mean of course, with reservations?

Sen. Bam: I put with reservations, in fact most of the senators put reservations and amendments.

There were some parts na I’m going to ask na isama, like si Sen. Trillanes wanted some parts na isama sa executive session.   Of course, sinabi na niya sa media ‘di ba but I will ask the committee first if they can include some other parts.

Q: What he said was he asked the committee kung puwede masama ang executive session and I think he won that through a vote. What he did, he spoke to the resource persons, got their permission and told us.

Sen. Bam: Anyway may proseso iyan.

Q: Do you think that it should be included?

Sen. Bam: I think a lot of senators want to put in more facts into the report, including myself, and don’t forget that in May, that will be finalized through a vote and before that, Senator Poe, will need to get the inputs of other senators.

So the report that we saw, might be different from the report that will finally come out because of the amendments.

Primarily, my concerns were really regarding the peace process kasi as you read it kasi, parang tapos, and again, this really pains me because at the end of the day, it’s really our true responsibility to make sure that the peace process continues now.

Q: Does that mean that you’re still supporting the BBL?

Sen. Bam: I’ll put in my amendments and hopefully the BBL, after amended, can actually resolve some of these issues now.

The BBL, as is, I don’t think has a chance of getting passed, as is.

A lot of amendments need to be put in, parts about the constitutionality needs to be corrected on that aspect.

Even before Mamasapano, marami nang may gustong mag-amend niyan. In fact, indigenous peoples came to my office and said senator paki-klaro naman sa BBL ang karapatan ng indigenous peoples, kasi hindi malinaw na kung pagkatapos gawin ang BBL, kung ang mga lupa namin in the area, kung ano ang treatment noon.

I committed to them. I said we will clarify that all of your rights under the IPRA will not be affected by the BBL.  So even before Mamasapano, may mga amendments na talaga iyan to really improve it.

That’s our job, to deliberate, debate and come up with the best version of the law.

Definitely, may mga issues na iyan. Because of Mamasapano, I think some issues need to be clarified with regard to security measures, with regards to the budget. It has to go through the process.

Ang mahalaga sa akin is that we don’t let go of the peace process. Some people have suggested mag-charter change na lang tayo para federalism. That’s Mayor Duterte’s suggestion actually.

Puwede ring pag-usapan iyon, puwedeng pag-usapan ang BBL, ang mahalaga we don’t just let it go.

We’re quite close already, admittedly maraming pagbabago kailangang mangyari, maraming reforms kailangang ipasok but I hope people won’t let go of that peace process because that’s our responsibility at the end of the day.

Q: Do you think it’s still possible for the BBL to be passed before the end of the term of the President?

Sen. Bam: I think it’s possible with significant amendments and significant changes but if it doesn’t pass. Si Speaker has already said to look for Plan B.

Nabasa ko iyon noong isang araw. Then what’s that Plan B, what’s plan C, what plan D and let’s make sure that one of those plans does come to pass.

Q: What could be a Plan B for you?

Sen. Bam: A charter change. Maybe not now, maybe the next president.

Q: You’re open to that?

Sen. Bam: That’s the plan B that they’re talking about.

Q: No, you. Is that something that you would be open to? Would you support something like that?

Sen. Bam: For the next president probably. In fact, hindi lang naman iyan tungkol sa Bangsamoro.

Economic provisions, sa Bangsamoro, a lot of term limits, a lot of these things need to be changed. For the next president na siguro iyon.

Q:  Do you support federalism?

Sen. Bam: Maybe categorically, hindi support, but maybe we can take a second look at it.

Q: So you’re open? Why?

Sen. Bam: The idea that your locality has enough power to determine what’s going to happen in a small area, I think mahalaga iyon.

Malinaw rin ang responsibilities ng local at kung ano ang responsibilities ng national. That’s something I think we can look at definitely.

I’m sure a few senators will be willing to look at that too. My point lang is, let’s just make sure we don’t let go of the peace process.

I hope we can continue reminding everyone that come May, June, July iyong usapin diyan about BBL and maybe other alternatives.

We just make sure that it does push through. Huwag tayong ningas kugon na papakawalan na lang natin. Sayang naman, we’re close to it already, we just make sure that we go the distance.

Q: Last question sir, should the President apologize for the Mamasapano incident?

Sen. Bam: I think  by saying he was responsible for it, categorically, saying he will bring this to his death, malaking bagay na iyon. That’s really up to him.

We don’t live in a vacuum. Right now a lot of the moves are really towards 2016 already.

You’re almost that it’s a trap. You’re almost sure na soon na mag-sorry siya, someone’s gonna say, bakit naka-smile, bakit di sincere ang mukha, o bakit ganoon ang tono ng boses niya.

I’m almost sure that those who are asking him to say sorry are already ready with their statement after he does.

The best way to move forward are the three things I mentioned.

Let’s ensure that peace happens, let’s take care of the families and iyong mga pumatay, let’s bring them to justice.



NEGOSYO, NOW NA!: Mahabang Pasensiya

Mga Kanegosyo, noong naka­raang linggo, pinag-usapan natin ang kahalagahan ng sariling interes sa pagnenegosyo upang magtagumpay ang ating pinatatakbong negosyo.


Kung nasa isip natin ang ating ginagawa o mayroon tayong enterprising mindset, masasamantala nating ang magagandang pagkakataon upang mapalaki ang ating kita.


Ngayong linggo, pag-uusapan naman natin ang mahabang pagpapasensiya, na isang mahalagang katangian sa pagnenegosyo.


Mahalaga na mayroon tayong mahabang pisi habang pinalalaki pa natin ang ating negosyo, lalo na sa pagpapaikot ng pera. Sa una, mukhang wala nang katapusan ang gastos dahil puro palabas lang nang palabas.


Naririyan ang pagbili ng mga gamit para sa opisina tulad ng computer at printer, mesa at upuan, sasakyan para sa delive­ry at ‘di inaasahang gastos tulad ng repair ng puwestong rerentahan.


Kailangang tipirin at balansehin ang mga gastos habang hindi pa kumikita. Baka malunod sa gastos at lalo lang tayong maubusan ng pasensiya sa bagal ng pagpasok ng pera.


Isa pang realidad sa pagpapapasensiya ang kailangan na­ting tanggapin — hindi lahat ng naisip nating negosyo ay baka pumatok at makagawa kaagad ng marka sa merkado.


Kung maikli ang pasensiya ng isang negosyante, hindi na ito magtitiyagang maghintay pa bago makilala ang kanyang negosyo o produkto. Isasara na lamang niya ito at baka hindi na sumubok ng iba pa.




Tulad na lang ni Justin Uy, may-ari ng Profood Internationa­l Corporation na nakabase sa Cebu City.


Noong Dekada ‘70, sinubukan niyang pumasok sa negosyo sa murang edad na 15-anyos para makatulong sa ama’t ina at 10 kapatid.


Una, pinasok nito ang shell crafting bago sinubukan ang paggawa ng fashion jewelry, manukan, pagtatanim ng kabute at iba’t iba pang maliliit na negosyo.


Maliban sa kulang sa puhunan, hindi rin nagtagal ang kanyang mga negosyo dahil sa kawalan ng maganda at matibay na merkado.


Sa negosyo naman niyang manukan, naubos din ang kapi­tal niya dahil kinailangan pa niyang gumastos sa patuka ng mga manok. Bukod pa rito, matagal pa ang paghihintay bago mangitlog ang mga manok.


Noong Dekada ‘80, napansin nito na nagkalat ang mangga sa kanilang lugar at hindi pinapansin ng mga magsasaka dahil walang gustong bumili.


Kung patuyuin kaya niya ang mga manggang nakakalat? Pinasok niya ang pagtitinda ng dried mangoes, na kalat na sa Cebu noon pang ­Dekada ‘50 ngunit karamihan sa mga ito’y home-based lang.


Doon na nagsimul­a ang Profood Inter­natio­nal Corporation.


Dahil latecomer na sa dried mangoes industry, nahirapan siyang pasukin ang lokal na merkado. Kaya ibinenta niya ito sa Europe, United States at Japan.


Ngunit hindi ito na­ging madali para sa kanya dahil mahirap para sa isang papasimula pa lang na kumpanya ang magbenta ng produkto sa isang maunlad na bansa.


Sa halip na mawalan ng loob, gumawa siya ng ilang mga hakbang para maging katanggap-tanggap ang kumpanya sa ­international market.


Pinasok niya ang toll packing para sa ibang kumpanya tulad ng Del Monte, Nestle at Coca-Cola.


Maliban pa rito, ginawa niyang moderno ang kanyang planta at tinuruan ang kanyang mga tauhan ukol sa international standards ng pagpoproseso ng produkto para makakuha ng international certification.


Tatlumpu’t apat na taon ang binuno niya bago nailagay ang Profood International Corporation bilang pinakamalaking dried fruit producer sa country.


Mula sa mangga, nasa 15 nang tropical fruits ang kanilang pinapatuyo at ibinebenta. Target din nito na makapaglabas ng walong bagong produkto sa mga susunod na taon.


Kung naubos lang ang pasensiya ni Justin sa mga pagsubok na kanyang naranasan, hindi niya maabot ang titulong “Dried Mango King” ng Pilipinas.


First published on Abante



Youth Entrepreneurship to Address Youth Unemployment

With the graduation season fast approaching, excitement builds up as students prepare themselves for the next phase of their young lives – the professional life.


After graduation, they will be scouring newspaper advertisements, join job fairs, sign up on online job websites, visit companies and inquire about possible employment vacancies.


A number of these graduates will find jobs in the Philippines; a number will find jobs abroad. Some will work in a formal company; others will be working more informally.  And unfortunately, some will join the ranks of the unemployed.


For the Filipino youth, especially those in the last unfortunate set, they have to have better choices. What if rather than just working as an employee, you could become your own boss and run your own enterprise?


In the Senate, I have the Youth Entrepreneurship Bill, which aims to expose our Filipino youth to entrepreneurship at a young age and give them a good foundation for business creation in the future.


If enacted into law, course programs in entrepreneurship will be developed for primary, secondary and post-secondary schools to give them knowledge how to start and run their own businesses.


Moreover, the bill aims to create a fund and support structures to aid starting entrepreneurs in their product development, access to capital, training and other services, to help them establish their own enterprises.


The Youth Entrepreneurship Bill was passed on third reading in the Senate and was passed on second reading in the House of Congress recently.


I hope that this bill will be enacted into law soon to assist our fresh graduates and young Filipinos.


This bill hopes to also address the growing unemployment rate in the country.

The government’s push for inclusive growth will not take off unless the problems of youth unemployment and underemployment are not immediately addressed.


The challenge is make our current economic growth felt by every Filipino through generation of jobs and creation of livelihood. And youth entrepreneurship is one of the keys for our Filipino youth to experience this growth for themselves and for their families.


First Published On: Youth Enterprising Blog



Is crowdfunding the future of businesses in PH?

MANILA, Philippines – How does crowdfunding work? What solutions can it offer business startups and social enterprises in the Philippines?


According to Senator Bam Aquino, the current banking system makes it very difficult for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and business startups to get the financing they need. But for large corporations, it is very easy to get loans – in fact, banks knock at their doors with offers.


“If you’re a micro to pre-medium business and you need around P500,000 to P5 million but you don’t have collateral – even if you have a contract, idea or a business model – you still won’t get the financing you need,” the senator added.


This is why Filipinos need to look for alternative finance sources like crowdfunding, Aquino noted.


During the 1st Philippine Crowdfunding Conference in Manila on Wednesday, March 18, business experts and successful entrepreneurs discussed crowdfunding and crowdsourcing and how these concepts can be applied in Philippine businesses.


Crowdfunding for small businesses


Crowdfunding is the thriving practice of funding a venture through raising monetary contributions from a group of people. The advancement of social media has particularly made this practice successful for business startups in other countries.


Aquino believes it can work for the Philippine economy.


“As we go around different areas, we find that putting up a small enterprise is becoming the best solution for Filipinos. But they need the right support to be able to turn their ideas into fruition. Crowdfunding might be the best way to move this sector forward,” Aquino said.


The senator, who authored the Go Negosyo Act of 2014, emphasized the importance of empowering social enterprises and SMEs in promoting inclusive growth in the country.


“If we will support our SMEs, who’s to say that we can’t enter the next phase of where the Philippines should be – a middle income economy where opportunities are (available) for more Filipinos?” Aquino said.


He added: “Each part of the chain of our countrymen should be able to get that opportunity to put up their business and turn their ideas into fruition. This is the best place for crowdfunding to come in.”


Crowdfunding and social media


Crowdsourcing Week Founder Epi Nekaj says crowdsourcing and crowd funding are causing disruptions in the world’s finance systems.

Epi Ludvik Nekaj, founder of Crowdsourcing Week, said crowdfunding started because of two major factors – social media and the world financial crisis in 2008, which gave birth to crowd companies.


“Millions of people right now are becoming bankers. That’s why banks right now are trying to figure out if their business model is broken or outdated,” he said.


The Internet continues to contribute to the growth of crowdsourcing and crowdfunding. According to experts, everyone will be connected to the Internet by 2035.


“This means the future of content is human-powered content. Who runs the Internet? There’s no single entity that runs it. You are the Internet. We are the Internet,” Nekaj said.


He added: “Crowdsourcing is about passion. It’s about talents, skills, and resources. When we talk about crowdsourcing and crowdfunding, we need to make sure that we’re really tapping the resources that the crowds have.


Crowdsourcing spawns innovation and social media spawns connection.”

Nekaj said that there are 4 types of crowdfunding platforms. These are:


  • Donation – the crowd gives money or other resources to support the cause.
  • Reward-based – the crowd gives money in exchange for a reward (a product or service) that the company will provide or produce
  • Equity-based – the members of the crowd become part-owners of the company raising funds
  • Lending – the company merely borrows the money from the crowd with a legally binding contract that the loan will be repaid


In Asia, Nekaj noted that crowdfunding is more inclined toward equity and lending. This is because these systems challenge founders to finish the project – since 70% of crowdfunding programs do not deliver on time.


“There is so much potential in Asia. By 2025, the volume of investment crowdfunding will be $92 billion, according to experts,” he added.


Harnessing the power of the crowds


Crowdsourcing efforts have actually been used in past projects in the Philippines. Rappler’s investigative desk editor Chay Hofilena discussed how the news website has utilized crowdsourcing in its past efforts.


In Football for Peace, Rappler and the Philippine marines were able to raise 2,400 indestructible balls for kids in conflict areas through donations.

Meanwhile, Project Agos constantly calls out for volunteers who help scan social media for calls of help during disasters.

All these campaigns were amplified by social media.


“We’ve seen that social media has the potential for social change. It’s a mobilization tool we can use to harness the good in people,” Hofilena said.


Crowdsourcing has also democratized the way media organizations cover news.

“It’s no longer a top-down editorial approach. Now, the public can set the news agenda by stating the issues that concern them and issues that matter to them. It has allowed the media to become real agents of change,” she added.


The way of the future


Nekaj believes crowdfunding will continue to change the world’s finance systems in the future.


“A bank is a place that will lend you money if you can prove that you don’t need it. Alternative financing is developing because of this. We don’t need more banks. We need more banking,” he added.


While social media has become a powerful tool in crowdsourcing and crowdfunding, people still need to wield it carefully he said.


“There’s nothing wrong with social media, but we have to be socially productive. You should be that entity that thinks forward. We need to be part of a socially productive ecosystem in crowdsourcing,” Nekaj stressed.


Source: Rappler



Most Filipinos can fill 275,000 jobs for World Expo 2020 in Dubai – Emirates country manager

MANILA – The World Expo 2020 set in Dubai will create an estimated 275,000 jobs and Filipinos will expectedly fill up a lot of these vacancies, said Abdalla Al Zamani, country manager of Emirates in the Philippines.


These new jobs will be in the areas of medical services, engineering, and information technology, he said at a press briefing that included journalists Emirates flew in from the Middle East for a familiarization tour of the Philippines.


This increase in employment of Filipinos to Dubai necessitates the increase of the number of flights to the Middle East commercial and aviation hub, Zamani said, calling on the Philippine government to start the bilateral air talks so that this would become possible.


Until January this year, Emirates used to fly three times a day between Manila and Dubai. But the Civil Aviation Board cut the number of Emirates flights down to two a day.


Zamani said as it is, with almost 800,000 overseas Filipino workers in Dubai, many of them going back and forth for vacation and work, the number of flights is not enough to accommodate the demand.

The ideal number of flights is 40 per week, he said.


Aside from Emirates, Philippine Airlines also flies twice daily to Dubai.

Zamani said that even with more airlines servicing the route, there is still room for more flights.


Source: Interaksyon



BIDA KA!: RAVEolution!

Mga Bida, ilan taon nang patok ang larong Defense of the Ancients o DOTA sa ating kabataan. Halos napupuno ang mga Internet cafés sa buong bansa dahil sa mga naglalaro ng DOTA.


Ang DOTA ay tinatawag na multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) game kung saan dalawang grupo ng players ang naglalaro. Ang pakay ng laro ay sugurin at sirain ang base ng kalabang team.

Sa sobrang kasikatan nito, ginawan pa ito ng kanta ng dalawang Pinoy artist na may pamagat na, “DOTA o ako?” kung saan pinapipili ng babae ang kanyang boyfriend kung sino ang mas mahalaga.


Kung sa tingin ng iba, isa lamang libangan ang paglalaro ng DOTA, may isang grupo naman ng kabataang gumagawa ng pangalan sa Pilipinas at sa ibang bansa sa paglalaro nito.


Ito ay ang Team Rave na binubuo nina Ryo ‘ryOyr’ Hasegawa, Jio ‘Jeyo’ Madayag, Djardel ‘Chrissy’ Mampusti, Mark ‘Cast’ Pilar at Michael ‘nb’ Ross.


Kamakailan, humingi sila ng tulong sa aming tanggapan para makakuha ng pagkilala sa kanilang pagsali sa international DOTA tournaments.


Nahihirapan silang pumunta sa ibang bansa para makipagkumpetensiya dahil pinagdududahan sila ng mga embassy na sila lamang ay magti-TNT o tago nang tago, at ‘di na rin babalik ng bansa.


Maliban pa rito, hirap silang makakuha ng mga sponsors dahil hindi naman kinikilala ang kanilang paglalaro bilang isang totoong sport.


Sa kuwento nga ni Jio sa Facebook page ng Team Rave, dumating na sa punto ng kanyang pananatili sa South Korea na isang beses lang siya kumain sa isang araw.


Subalit hindi sila nawalan ng loob. Ipinagpatuloy pa rin nila ang kanilang career bilang mga professional e-sports players. Kung mayroon silang kinita mula sa isang tournament, agad nila itong ipinapadala sa mga pamilya nila sa Pilipinas.




Nabigyan ng malaking break ang Team Rave nang makapasok sila sa DOTA 2 Asian Championships (DAC) na mayroong kabuuang prize money na $2.94 million o P130 million noong nakaraang buwan.


Itinuring na underdog ang mga kabataang Pilipino sa event dahil ito’y madalas mapanalunan ng mga koponan mula sa China o Russia.


Subalit maraming ginulat ang Team Rave nang rumatsada ito patungong ikaanim na puwesto sa mundo. Natalo nila ang Team Hell Raiser mula Russia at Team Invictus mula China.


Subalit, natalo sila ng Team Big God mula China sa score na 2-1. Ang mga Tsinong ito ay mga matatagal nang naglalaro ng DOTA at nakikipaglaban sa mundo.


Kahanga-hanga ang naabot ng TeamRavePH. Hindi ito inaasahan dahil kasama nila sa torneo ang labing-anim na pinakamagagaling na DOTA teams sa mundo.


Nagbunga ang kanilang pagsisikap dahil nakapagbulsa sila ng P6.6 milyon o $150,000. Bukod dito, nakilala ang Pilipinas bilang isa sa mga bansang may pinakamagaling na DOTA players sa mundo.


At mga Bida, noong nakaraang linggo, nanalo na naman ang Team Rave nang talunin nila ang Team MVP Phoenix ng South Korea sa score na 3-2. Dahil dito, inihayag ang Team Rave bilang ang Summit 3 DOTA South East Asia Champions.


Sila ang kakatawan sa South East Asia sa Mayo sa Los Angeles, California para sa Grand Finals. May sigurado na silang P160,000 o $3,600, ngunit ang target nila ay maging kampeon sa mundo at manalo ng P2.7 milyon o $61,000.




Sa kabila ng karangalang hatid nito sa bansa, marami pa rin ang bumabatikos sa e-sport na ito. Kesyo nakakasira raw ito ng pag-aaral at nauubos na ang oras ng ilan sa paglalaro nito sa halip na magtrabaho.


Pero bago tayo humusga, dapat nating timbangin ang epekto nito sa lipunan. Ano nga ba ang nakakasakit? Ang boxing o ang paglalaro sa Internet café?


Dapat lang ilagay sa tama ang paglalaro nito dahil lahat naman ng sobra ay nakakasama na. Ang ilang mga siyudad at barangay nga ay ipinagbawal na ang paglalaro ng DOTA.


Ngunit malaki ang naitutulong ng DOTA para masanay sa strategic thinking, cooperation, teamwork at iba pang mahahalagang values para sa kabataan.




Ilang dekada ang nakalipas, pumatok sa bansa ang larong bilyar bunsod na rin ng tagumpay ni Efren ‘Bata’ Reyes. Sa kasagsagan ng kasikatan ng bilyar, sa halos lahat ng kanto ay may makikita kang bilyaran kung saan nag-uumpukan ang maraming tao.


Noong una ay hindi kasama ang bilyar sa Southeast Asian Games at Asian Games ngunit napilitan na rin ang organizers na isama dahil sa kasikatan nito.


Ilang beses na ring nakapag-uwi ng medalya para sa bansa sina Bata, Francisco “Django” ­Bustamante, Ronnie Alcano at maraming iba pa nating mga ­manlalaro.


Ganito rin ang nakikita ko sa e-sports. Malay ­natin, baka sa loob ng dalawang dekada ay kilalanin na rin ito bilang isang totoong sport at isama pa sa ­international events gaya ng Olympics.


Kapag nagkataon, mayroon na naman tayong pani­bagong pagkukunan ng karangalan. Kaya sa ating mga DOTA players, patuloy lang ang laban tungo sa tagumpay!



First Published on Abante





Bam on the Committee Report regarding the Mamasapano Hearings

I have signed the committee report with reservations and with an intention to propose amendments.

As much as we agree with majority of observations found in the committee report on the Mamasapano incident including the President’s responsibility which he himself stated in a public address last month, we feel that there were conclusions made on matters that were beyond the scope of the hearing.

Primarily, these include conclusions made regarding the peace process, the actions of the Government Peace Panel and regarding the Bangsamoro Basic Law in general.

We have sent a letter to the committee seeking clarification on these matters. And if need be, we will propose amendments to the committee report when it is tackled on the floor.

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