FAITH.e Coalition unifies religious sectors to promote credible elections

FAITH.e Coalition public relations photo
(L-R) Carlo Dino, General Secretary, Votenet Philippines; Bishop Evangelio Mercado, Chairman, Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches (PCEC); Bishop Efraim Fendero, Secretary General, World Evangelical Alliance (WEA); Bishop Broderick Pabillo, Auxillary Bishop of Manila; Bishop Noel Pantoja, Executive Director, Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches (PCEC); Salma Rasul, Executive Director, Philippine Center for Islam and Democracy (PCID); Reuben Abante, Senior Pastor, Lighthouse Bible Baptist Church & Ministries; Edumundo “Toti” Casino, Past President, Philippine Computer Society; and Nanding Paunil, National Director, Prayer Life Ministries.

QUEZON CITY, Philippines – February 10, 2016: With less than 90 days to go before the national elections, various religious groups assembled to form the FAITH.e Coalition which advocates the full implementation of Republic Act 9369 or Election Automation Law for an honest and credible electoral process. In its full implementation, the R.A 9369 mandates the activation of all the security features of the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) voting machines and other safety nets that were not implemented in the past 2010 and 2013 elections.

FAITH.e, which stands for Fairness, Accuracy, Integrity, Transparency and Honesty in Elections, is a coalition of religious leaders, church groups and faith-based organizations comprising of Roman Catholic, Protestant, Evangelical and Muslim members.

These religious groups have united to form an alliance that would ensure that the authority given by God to elect government servants to the Filipinos will be applied and protected. The coalition considers any effort to tamper with the electoral process to be not just illegal but also an immoral act that undermines God’s will for the Filipino people.

The coalition’s primary concern is the present state of the automated election system (AES), particularly the status of the cases filed with the Ombudsman and the Supreme Court against the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) and the supplier of the PCOS machines Smartmatic-TIM for removing certain security features specified in the Election Automation Law when the AES was implemented. PCOS will again be used when the Filipino voters practice their right of suffrage on May 9 to elect into office the country’s next president, vice president, senators, representatives and local officials.

“FAITH.e Coalition appeals to the Ombudsman and the Supreme Court to decide upon the cases filed against COMELEC and Smartmatic-TIM with a sense of urgency. We fear that if the cases will not be decided on immediately, the full restoration of all security features of the PCOS machines will not happen in time for the 2016 elections. We believe that the absence of these security features in the AES violates the law of the land and will place the credibility of the 2016 elections in doubt,” Secretary General of the World Evangelical Alliance Bishop Efraim Tendero shares.

The coalition’s objective is to ensure that the COMELEC will restore all the security features mandated in RA 9369, particularly the following:

  • Voter-verifiable paper audit trail
  • Implementation of a truly random manual audit after the elections
  • Source code review that will allow more interested parties to participate
  • Use of digital signatures of teachers/Board of Election Inspectors
  • Ballot verification through the use of ultra-violet detectors to check against fake ballots

“We trust that the Ombudsman and the Supreme Court will uphold the law and protect the sanctity of the vote of every Filipino. We pray that they will allow God to use them to ensure that fairness, accuracy, integrity, transparency and honesty will prevail in the coming elections,” Bishop Tendero added.

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Filinvest and HardieFlex® on Building the Filipino Dream



Publicity shot hardiflex
Princeton Heights, one of Filinvest’s projects located in Molino, Cavite displays an American New England theme, with the use of the HardiePlank® Siding.

MANILA, Philippines – January 13, 2016. Filinvest Land, a name that has become synonymous with property development, has been in the real estate business since 1967 and has proven its authority in a diverse range of real estate developments including residential subdivisions, mid-rise and high-rise condominiums and offices, shopping centers, leisure hubs and more. Filinvest has built homes for over 135,000 families, and is committed to continue to fulfill Filipinos’ dreams. As such, it puts a high regard on using the best materials in all its developments to ensure the quality of its end-product while providing a safe environment for its contractors.

Versatile, preferred building material

One brand Filinvest has consistently used is HardieFlex®. Filinvest has found the resistance of HardieFlex® to fire, impact, moisture damage, and termites to be a great benefit for the company as it adds value to its developments. Filinvest also discovered another benefit: high-quality HardieFlex® fiber cement boards are effective against damage caused by rodents. It has enough toughness to prevent rats from creating holes in the panels.

Filinvest also found out that, unlike plywood that shrinks or expands [when exposed to varying weather conditions], the HardieFlex® boards have maintained their form and integrity. Because of this, once the panels were put in place and the finishing has been applied, cracks are unlikely to appear. Re-sealing will not be required for a long time.

Filinvest also demands versatility. Aside from using the fiber cement boards for interior purposes, they have explored outdoor applications, too. One of the company’s projects, Princeton Heights in Molino, Cavite, has an American New England theme, with traditional exterior siding as a notable design feature. To attain this look, Filinvest used HardiePlank® Siding with a wood grain-textured finish. The planks were simply applied directly onto the concrete walls.

Safeguarding the homeowner’s interests lies at the core of Filinvest’s business, which is why the company continues to use HardieFlex® for its projects.

First introduced in the mid-1980s, James Hardie’s pioneering fiber cement technology served as the foundation for the HardieFlex® products we know today. James Hardie entered the local market in 1996, and Filipinos—both end-users such as homeowners and big corporations such as real estate developers – embraced HardieFlex® as their go-to building material for ceilings and walls, initially. Made from high-grade cellulose fiber, Portland cement, water, sand and especially formulated additives, HardieFlex® is durable and requires minimal maintenance and repair hence is very cost-effective and environment-friendly with very low VOC.


Eyes on the ball: How volleyball phenom Alyssa Valdez keeps her VIBE ON

Public Relations imageMANILA, Philippines – December 17, 2015: Alyssa Valdez, also known as “The Phenom of Philippine Volleyball” has won it all – Team Championships, UAAP Season 76’s Best Scorer, Best Server, Season MVP and Finals MVP awards plus the hearts of thousands of fans.

Behind her success

Alyssa discovered her love for volleyball at a young age, crediting her brothers for influencing her to pursue the sport. “I have tried a lot of sports but it is with volleyball that I really found myself in,” she shared.

As an athlete, she trains rigorously every day to stay on top of her game. But she is more than just that. Alyssa is also a student currently pursuing graduate studies in Ateneo de Manila and an endorser to a slew of major brands. She’s also a friend and a daughter.

Juggling her athletic career and her studies while maintaining her relationships is not easy, Alyssa admits. But she strives on to find a balance. “It’s important that I set my priorities to make sure that no matter how busy I get, I still have time for the other things that are also important to me.”

She adds, “I always challenge myself to not only be consistent but to push myself to be better. Of course there are challenges I encounter along the way. But my passion and commitment drives me to keep moving forward, to be the best version of myself.”

A brand that VIBES ON

Her attitude is very much in line with Lenovo’s new and vibrant campaign – VIBE ON, an extension of the brand’s overarching proposition that life rewards those that never stand still.  The Lenovo VIBE ON promise aims to empower individuals, particularly millennials to go their own way by providing smartphones with the latest technology and features that they care about, at a price they wouldn’t expect.

“Alyssa Valdez perfectly embodies the VIBE ON campaign. She’s successful in her chosen field and she’s an inspiration to millennials of today. We’re proud to have her as one of our VIBE ON ambassadors,” Dino Romano, Country Manager for Lenovo Smartphones, Philippines.

Vibe P1: The Perfect Gadget

For someone like Alyssa who is always on the go, the Lenovo VIBE P1 matches her lifestyle well. With its impressive 5000mAh battery, users can be sure that it will last them through the day with the ability to charge other phones in need of a battery boost anytime. It also comes equipped with a 24W quick charge function that allows for rapid smartphone battery charging.

“Because I’m always on the move, I need a smartphone that will allow me to stay productive and connected the whole day. The Lenovo VIBE P1 is perfect for me. I love its long-lasting battery life, which allows me to watch movies, listen to music and check my social media accounts without worrying that I would run out of battery. ”

Power to Spike On

Alyssa’s attitude and determination makes her an exceptional role model to the youth. Despite challenges and failures, she continues to spike on through life. When asked to share her advice on how to succeed even at a young age, Alyssa said, “Anyone can be successful in his or her chosen field when you put your heart into it.  Success for me is 90% passion and 10% hard work. ”

Use popular holidays to boost your brand’s social media presence

Brands with social media presence should not miss out on creating buzz and awareness during special occasions and popular holidays.

Take for instance Halloween, one of the most awaited occasions in the Philippines. It’s a time for adults to dress up and party, and for children to roam the neighborhood while trick or treating.

Halloween Facebook Contest Winners
Contest winners used charms and skills to score likes.


Last Halloween, Ardenites donned their horror costumes and participated in a Facebook contest dubbed, “Post as Your Creepiest”. Participants posted their Halloween-worthy pics on ArdentComm’s Facebook page. The three photos with the most number of likes from November 1 to 6 were declared winners. The prizes were GCs to one of Metro Manila’s most popular eat-all-you-can buffets.

The contest was a success as it pulled in sweet numbers in a mere five days: 116 new fans, 3,873 reach, 709 engagements and 43 comments. All these at practically no cost except for the GCs. The online banter between staff and their friends also showed the intangible but vital elements of fun and creativity.

Any company or brand can do such easy holiday-themed contests with great results. Make sure your contest has the elements of:

1. Timeliness. Everyone wants to part of something. More so when that something is currently in the air. Special occasions give us that opportunity to unite in celebration and be part of a community.  Companies should take advantage of popular holidays to mobilize their fans. They already like the brand and they’re just waiting to be engaged. Make them do fun stuff. Stir the nest. Create excitement. There are holidays happening year-round that offer tons of contest ideas aside from Halloween such as New Year, Valentines Day, Easter, Mothers’ Day, Independence Day, and Christmas.

2. Simplicity. Make it easy to join and spread the word. Throw out the complicated mechanics. It kills the mood. Keep the excitement alive by increasing who can join. Don’t alienate a particular segment of your fans by, say, barring students, especially if your brand is patronized by this group.  Rules should be easy to follow and remember.  Fan the flames further by making use of the Share button.

3. Champions. Every company has a ready pool of champions just waiting to be tapped and that’s none other than their employees. What’s more, these employees have social media platforms with several layers of friends. If the staff understands that it is in their interest to promote the company or the brand, they would be more than willing to do some heavy lifting. They’d be proud to showcase to their friends how they are an active part of a company.  The promise of a price or incentive is only added motivation.

Social media is effective when companies keep things social. Popular occasions are social events that bring everyone together. Get your brand involved in the celebrations. This makes it easy for people to get behind your brand. Your employees get to do something that is visible to external audiences.  And netizens who would not encounter your brand otherwise get to be new fans.

While your competitors wrack their brains trying to think of new gimmicks, you have your social media campaigns lined-up for the next 12 months thanks to popular holidays that happen year-round.


Motorcycle makers steer road safety training for kids

QUEZON CITY, PHILIPPINES – November 13, 2015. Of the reported 400 fatal road accidents in Metro Manila last year, more than 200 involved children 15 years and below, according to the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA).

This is why the Motorcycle Development Program Participants Association (MDPPA), composed of leading motorcycle manufacturers such as Honda Philippines Inc., Kawasaki Motors Philippines Corporation, Suzuki Philippines Inc., Yamaha Motor Philippines Inc., and Kymco Philippines, Inc.; is using Public Relations to promote safety, especially among children.

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The MDPPA’s Road Safety Seminar for Children uses interactive road safety education activities right in the campuses of different elementary schools in Metro Manila as part of the organization’s advocacy. The second leg of the seminar, held in collaboration with the Far Eastern University-Nicanor Reyes Educational Foundation Diliman College (FEU-FERN), included hands-on exercises, road situation simulation in the portable children’s road safety park and the appearance of MDPPA’s mascot “Rodi”. The one-day event was held last September in FEU-FERN campus in Diliman, Quezon City and was attended by grade two pupils.

Grade Two teacher and one of the seminar speakers Deceree Carimal shed light about the innovative format of the seminar. “Children are visual learners so they need to see what’s being explained,” she said, noting that it is more difficult to impart the lessons by just verbally explaining the concepts. Carimal added that when children see adults violating traffic rules, it is very likely that they will mimic what the adults are doing.

Rodel Pablo, president of MDPPA, explained the importance of the activity, “Sadly, a large number of the adult population in the country either don’t follow road safety rules, or are not actively teaching their kids. Training the children about road safety would significantly reduce the rate of road crashes in the future.”

Pablo also shared the vision of MDPPA’s members, “MDPPA puts road safety at the forefront of our initiatives. Also, our member-motorcycle manufacturers all believe that as road safety is for all it is also a shared responsibility and should be a continuing effort “

Public Relations through stakeholder engagement

“A major cause of road crashes is the intentional ignorance of traffic rules,” said Engr. Alberto Suansing, Secretary General of the Philippine Global Road Safety Partnership (PGRSP), a non-profit organization that brings together government agencies, business entities and civil society to address global and local road safety issues. “We have to inculcate the habit of following traffic rules among children, and impress on them the ideas that discipline and adherence to safety practices—for example, as simple as wearing a helmet when riding a motorcycle and crossing the road using the pedestrian lane—are what will save their lives. The best way to start is to simplify the lessons by using visual and practical learning strategies,” added Suansing, who is also the former assistant secretary of the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) and was in concurrent capacity as Chief of the Land Transportation Office (LTO).

The Road Safety Seminar for Children is also in pace with the UN Road Safety Collaboration’s global campaign called “#SaveKidsLives”, which aims to make roads safer for everyone especially the children. MDPPA plans to hold the seminar in more elementary schools this quarter.