Saturday, March 28, 2020

CAR MSMEs Help Cope with COVID-19 Pandemic

Benguet MSMEs produce facemasks for COVID-19! The municipality of Itogon, Benguet, through the initiative of LARNS Hills Association of Ampucao tailors, has already placed a bulk order of washable facemasks for the local community. LARNS is a recipient of the DTI's Shared Service Facility program.

Considered as the backbone of the country’s economy, micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) are well distributed in every place that you find them in food manufacturing, retailing, and distribution among others. In the Cordillera provinces, MSMEs are trying to cope up with the downturn of business resulting from the imposed enhanced community quarantine as a measure of protection and overcoming adversities brought by the coronavirus disease or COVID-19 pandemic. Responding to the needs of the people and inadequacy of suppliers, MSMEs took initiative in producing face masks and face shields for the community, frontliners and health workers.

In Kalinga, more than 3,000 pieces of facemasks are produced in a week while entrepreneurs from other provinces are also sewing masks to augment shortage in the area. Kalinga’s Carol Lines Ethnic Fashion, Balik-Tribo Fashion Accessories, Kinwa Etnika Handicrafts, Jajie's Native Fashion & Ifka's Weaving and other members of the Chamber of Kalinga Producers Inc. are also donating their resources, time and effort to frontliners doing extra work to contain the spread of the dreaded COVID-19.

In Mountain Province, members of the MontaƱosa Weavers Association (MWA), a provincial wide weaver’s organization, Guinzadan Weavers and recipient of sewing machines and looms under DTI’s Shared Service Facility (SSF) program wanted to give back to the community by donating facemasks to Sagada local government. Other SSF Cooperators, such as Guinzadan Weavers Association and Tribeline Cordi, are making washable facemasks available at affordable prices.

For Benguet province, DTI-initiated rolling stores for prime and basic commodities were scheduled in Tuba in coordination with the local government unit reaching Nangalisan in March 24, Camp-4 in March 25, Twin Peaks in March 26 and Taloy in March 27. Items sold in the four-rolling-store activity were provided by Tiong San La Trinidad through the coordination of DTI Baguio-Benguet.

Criminal charges would be filed against those suspected of overpricing and hoarding medical devices and products like alcohol, medicines, and face masks.

DTI-CAR has already coordinated with the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) of the Philippine National Police (PNP) to look into the reported scams and online selling of said medical devices at high prices.

All LGUs activated their Local Price Coordinating Councils as a mechanism to prevent and curb the possibility of price manipulation. As a council, they conduct joint monitoring to cover all basic necessities and prime commodities and other critical products, regardless of agency jurisdiction provided in the Price Act.

The country’s Price Act also maintains that the State provides effective and sufficient protection to consumers against hoarding, profiteering and cartels with respect to the supply, distribution, marketing and pricing of said goods, especially during periods of calamity, emergency, widespread illegal price manipulation and other similar situations.

As defined under Section 3 of the Price Act, “Basic Necessities” include: rice; corn; bread; fresh dried and canned fish and other marine products; fresh pork, beef, and poultry meat; fresh eggs; fresh and processed milk; fresh vegetables; root crops; coffee; sugar; cooking oil; salt; laundry soap; detergents; firewood; charcoal; candles; and drugs classified as essential by the Department of Health.

Friday, March 27, 2020

AXA Extends Payment Deadline and Coverage for COVID-19

AXA Philippines, one of the country’s leading insurance providers, is extending deadlines for payments due within the enhanced community quarantine and expanding insurance coverage related to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

“This is our way of helping our customers cope with the current situation. While on quarantine, we want them to stay in their homes, be healthy, and stay safe as much as possible,” says Rahul Hora, AXA Philippines president and chief executive officer.

AXA is extending its payment grace period from 31 days to 60 days for policies due from February 15 to April 30, 2020 for all health and life insurance policies (individual and group).

In addition, AXA Global Health Access policies will cover treatments and hospitalizations related to COVID-19 until June 30, 2020 (subject to the customer’s plan coverage). Compulsory quarantine-related medical expenses will also be covered if the insured is eventually confirmed to be infected with COVID-19.

Moreover, benefits of select AXA insurance products will be paid out whether related to COVID-19 or not. These include Health Max, Health Exentials, and Health Start; Shield Rider, Critical Conditions Rider and Group Critical Illness policies and the Care Rider, Daily Hospital Income benefit under Health Exentials and Group Daily Hospital Income (DHI) policies.

For Smart Traveller, all travel insurance policies bought before March 11, 2020 will be covered for trip cancellation or postponement due to COVID-19. For all AXA policies with life insurance coverage (individual and group policies), death benefits resulting from COVID-19 will be covered.

AXA is also continuing the services which are done in partnership with its health partners. These services are made available to all of AXA’s life and health insurance policyholders for a limited time. With the risks that going to a hospital during the COVID-19 quarantine may entail, AXA customers may avail of medical consultations in the comfort of their own homes through accessing our health partner’s MyPocketDoctor app. With the app, policyholders have access to free 24/7 teleconsultation with a doctor for a limited period.

Through its other health partner, AIDE, customers may also have medical treatment at home and Php200 off on select healthcare servicesonce they download the AIDE app.

For customers who wish to still pay their premiums on time, payment can be made through various convenient AXA payment channels: credit card and bills payment through online banking or mobile apps (Bancnet, PSBank, Metrobank, BPI, BDO, PNB, Landbank, Union Bank, GCash, and Cliqq for individual life insurance policies and PSBank, Metrobank and Paymaya for general insurance policies).

For those who need to file for claims, customers may do so online. For life insurance policies, submit scanned copies of your documents for life claims and policy benefits to To download forms and to check requirements, please visit

To keep updated on customer advisories, visit or talk to an agent at (02) 8581 5292 from Monday to Friday at 8am to 5pm. Customers may also e-mail

Shopee Launches Shopee Bayanihan, An Initiative Focused on Providing Support for Medical Front Liners and Filipinos in Need

Shopee, the leading e-commerce platform in Southeast Asia and Taiwan, launches Shopee Bayanihan, an initiative focused on providing support for medical front liners and Filipinos in need.

In a true bayanihan spirit, Shopee partners with various humanitarian organizations like Red Cross, Kaya Natin and World Vision to raise funds to support different communities most affected by COVID-19 outbreak. Among those in need are hospitals faced with limited medical equipment and low-income households who face difficulties in securing daily necessities. Under Shopee Bayanihan, users can make a direct donation to these organizations via Shopee from 26 March onwards. Additionally, Shopee donates 2,800 KFN4 respiratory masks to support the health workers in the Philippine Lung Center in their combat against the virus.

Ruoshan Tao, Head of Marketing of Shopee Philippines, said, “In the spirit of bayanihan, we need to come together and draw strength from one another as we tide through this COVID-19 outbreak as one community. We launched Shopee Bayanihan to provide Filipinos a platform to step forward and help those in need. The funds raised will channel much-needed resources to vulnerable individuals and families to help them cope with the situation. We urge everyone to stand together with us and help one another stay strong during this period.”

All Filipinos can make a donation to their partner organizations of choice in amounts of P50, P100, P500, and P1,000 via Shopee Bayanihan. Here’s how:

On March 31, users can tune in to Shopee Live to watch a special program on “Shopee Bayanihan Day”. During the program, popular local celebrities will put up a special performance to help raise funds under Shopee Bayanihan. Users can also find more information on what the partner organizations are doing to support the community.

All proceeds made through Shopee Bayanihan will go straight to their partner organizations. For 
more information, please visit:

Download the Shopee app for free via the App Store or Google Play.
About Shopee

Shopee is the leading e-commerce platform in Southeast Asia and Taiwan. It was launched in 7 markets in 2015 to connect consumers, sellers, and businesses in the region.

Shopee offers an easy, secure, and engaging experience that is enjoyed by millions of people daily. It offers a wide product assortment, supported by integrated payments and logistics, as well as popular entertainment features tailored for each market. Shopee is also a key contributor to the region’s digital economy with a firm commitment to helping brands and entrepreneurs succeed in e-commerce.
Shopee is a part of Sea Limited (NYSE:SE), a leading global consumer internet company. In addition to Shopee, Sea’s other core businesses include its digital entertainment arm, Garena, and digital financial services arm, SeaMoney. Sea’s mission is to better the lives of consumers and small businesses with technology.