Recent Posts

Guidelines For School Field Trips As Per DepED

January 11, 2018
Educational field trips have always been one of the few things students look forward to in a school year. Not only that it makes students enjoy where they're going, but also because they learn a lot of things. After the incident that took place in Tanay, Rizal, both the CHED and DepED issued a moratorium of field trips at off-campus sites. Although this was the case, this memorandum was lifted by the DepEd; of course, new rules and regulations are following.

DepEd Field Trip New Guidelines
Photo: PhilStar

Education Secretary Leonor Briones issued these guidelines in the effect of Department Order 66. These guidelines state that the following restrictions and rules are to be implemented in the support of K to 12 curriculum.

The guidelines in which all co-curricular and extra-curricular activities will be observing are as follows:

  1. Ensure relevance and alignment with the educational competencies of the K to 12 Curriculum and leadership development of learners.
  2. Uphold child protection principles and that no learner shall be disadvantaged in any form;
  3. Observe the safety and security protocols for all participants before, during and after the activity
In addition, vehicles that are to be used in educational tours are subject to thorough inspection and investigation before utilization. DepEd Memorandum No. 47 series of 2017, which took effect after bus accident in Tanay, Rizal was immediately and effectively annulled by the Department Order.
Prior to this, the CHED also implemented stricter rules and guidelines as regards educational and recreational activities. These include thorough checking the vehicles to be used, mandatory insurance for participants, and making the act voluntary.

"Participation in all off-campus activities is voluntary. Under no circumstances shall of-campus activities place undue financial burden on the learners and their families. Teachers shall not charge their expenses to learners," were the direct words from the memorandum. Moreover, the DepED iterated that schools should not use these educational tours as a platform to gain profit; also not as means of fundraising. Furthermore, students should not be forced to join trips at the expense of failing.

With the following guidelines, schools and institutions should always bear in mind that they are utmost responsible for the well-being of their students off-campus during these tours. What do you have in mind for this new rules?

No-faced 100 Peso Bill Affirmed By BSP, Investigation Ongoing

January 06, 2018
It is the day of Christmas when a netizen justified that hundred peso bills has been withdrawn from an ATM machine which initiated an investigation. Although, the governor of Banko Sentral ng Pilipinas or BSP, Governor Nestor A. Espenilla Jr., stated on December 27 that the bill with no face is most likely an isolated case. The Central Bank had concluded at first that the so-called “faceless” bills is not all over the place. “It’s clearly looking like an isolated incident at this point,” said Espenilla, after assuring that they are looking into the case at the moment.

Faceless 100 Bill


A transaction was reportedly made on December 25, Christmas Day making a withdrawal amounting to P400 of “faceless” money. This incident happened on an ATM of the Bank of the Philippines Islands (BPI) in its Libis branch.



The photo above is a screenshot of the post that went viral of the netizen who allegedly made a withdrawal of the “faceless” bills. A person named Earla Anne made the upload on Christmas Day that showed four P100 bills not displaying the face of President Manuel Roxas.

The photo above is a closer look of the bill that clearly shows the bill had no face of the former President Manuel Roxas.

The spokesperson of BPI, Owen Camayo, said they have requested BSP to confirm the “faceless” P100 bills. “Let’s wait for the BSP to announce their findings,” he responded. “On our part, we are conducting our own investigation on the matter and validating the concerns of our client-depositor,” he added.



The photo above is a statement from the Banko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP). It says that they have initiated an investigation regarding the issue. Despite being posted repeatedly on social media, they emphasized that the case was experienced by a few individuals only.

The mechanical cause of the erroneous printing has also been identified by the BSP and stated that it also has been resolved since. The fact that they print millions of banknotes on a daily basis, there are inevitable cases of machine errors that cause rare misprints.

People who are affected by the incident and acquiring the said banknotes can go to the head office in Manila or its Security Plant Complex in Quezon City to turn-over the banknotes. These will also be replaced by perfectly manufactured bills of the same value.

The BSP also stated that a procedure is done to assure the quality of our money over the years and will continue to provide the same quality.

France Is Giving Scholarship For Filipinos

December 13, 2017
Most Filipinos' dream is to go abroad and to start a new life. However, these dreams are only made possible if they work abroad. Another thing is when they have family members abroad who're more than willing to take them. Although right now, there are sources which they can use to aid them in going outside the country. Just recently, the French Embassy launched a program that would accommodate and open opportunities to Filipinos.

France Scholarship for Pilipinos


This opportunity would not only help aspiring Filipinos to go out of the country, it'll also help them develop their studying and carrying out research in France. Of course, with the goals of making contributions to the Philippine society.


In this article, we will be detailing the scholarship that France offers. Moreover, we'll also discuss eligibility and how one can apply!

First and foremost, the PhilFrance Scholarship Program was successful in opening two (2) separate calls for application; this is for academic year 2018-2019.

The first is for professional and Filipino students who yearn to come to France for a master's degree or a doctoral program; the organization accepts higher studies in all fields and courses.
PhilFrance Scholarship benefits for this type include:
  • Monthly allowances;
  • Health care for the student, length would depend on their field of study; and
  • A partial tuition subsidy

Eligibility requirements:

  1. Filipino citizens;
  2. Must be residing in the Philippines at the time of application
  3. Graduates or graduating students of a Philippine higher education institution
    • For applicants to Master’s degree programs: final-year students or graduates of a Bachelor-level degree
    • For applicants to PhD programs: final-year students or graduates of a Master-level degree
The second type of scholarship is open for CHED-recognized institutions staff and faculty who want to pursue master's or doctoral degrees in higher French-associated schools.
CHED-PhilFrance Scholarship for selected candidates would be:
  • A round-trip ticket/travel expenses;
  • Waived registration fees for state-regulated programs (public institutions);
  • Monthly allowances; and
  • Health-care packages

Eligibility requirements:

  1. Must be  a Filipino citizen 
  2. Needs to be an employee; by a CHED-recognized Philippine institution of higher learning
  3. Must be in good health and of good moral character
  4. At the very least, must be holding a Bachelor’s degree (for applicants to Master’s degree programs) or a Master’s degree (for applicants to Doctoral degree programs)
  5. Not be more than 42 years old for applicants to Master’s degree programs and not more than 40 years old for applicants to Doctoral degree programs by the time you begin your degree
  6. Demonstrates strong academic record
  7. Demonstrates knowledge or expertise that would prepare them adequately for successful study and research in a specific graduate program
  8. Have no pending criminal charges; and must not have been convicted for violation of any Philippine Law
  9. Fulfill all the Terms and Conditions of the grant, including a return service obligation

Sciences Po, a worldly-known French institution for social sciences, came to an agreement with CHED in terms of full tuition for Sciences Po’s graduate programs. Meaning, this will be financed as well, on top of all the other benefits offered by the CHED-PhilFrance Scholarships.

Both scholarship programs have a deadline of 13th of April 2018 at 4:00 P.M.
So do you think you are eligible for these scholarship programs? If yes, what are you waiting for? Apply now!

How can I apply if I am eligible?

In the PhilFrance scholarship website, there is a link there that would directly take you to the application page of either programs.

Clicking on the "Apply Now!" button will take you to this page:



As you can see, this is the page where they're asking applicants for their personal information. Furthermore, it's also the part where you'll need to provide your program information such as:
  • Complete name of French Higher Institution
  • Degree
  • Complete Program Name
  • Estimated Tuition fees for the entire program (In Euros)
In addition to that, you'll also be asked to submit copies of your documentation. Just scroll down and you'll be able to see this part:




If you'll notice, you'll be able to see that on the last part, you're asked to submit a copy or a documentation of your proficiency in French. Meaning, you should train for the French language first before you try and apply.

Want to know more about these programs? Visit the PhilFrance website now by clicking here!

Since 2016, approximately 35 Filipino scholars have either been currently pursuing or recently completed, graduate degrees; all in the French language and literature, mathematics, marine biology, environmental and ecological sciences, applied chemistry, engineering,  business, public policy and governance, as well as public health.

Lower Income Tax? That Means Higher Tax For Tobacco, Petroleum, And Sugar Products By 2018

December 13, 2017
Earlier this year, we have had thoughts about the new amendments on the income tax. Hearsays were spread throughout the entire country about how it will impact salaries. Just recently, the House of Representatives finally gave consent on the new bill that will lower income tax. Moreover, this bill aims to get more tax from products like tobacco, sweetened beverages, petroleum products, and cars this 2018.

Lower Income Tax


With this reform, people earning Php250, 000.00 a year will be exempted from paying taxes. If we try and compute that, people who have monthly salaries of around Php22, 00.00 and of course lower than that would be these people.

With these changes, it is expected to generate around Php134 billion and this is to fund administrative infrastructure projects.

The Congress finally came to the conclusion of approving the consolidated version of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion bill (TRAIN); after uncountable meetings of the bicameral conference committee, the income tax of almost 6.8 million taxpayers will now be gone. When this came to an approval, people were more than happy. Furthermore, this can ultimately help both parties in terms of finances, health, and prioritization.

Our Dearest President Rodrigo Duterte, had this bill as one of his priorities as he mentioned in his most recent SONA. So as per processes, the President should receive the final and consolidated version of this bill for either approval or veto before it takes effect.

Cars and high petroleum taxes


As mentioned earlier, taxes for cars and petroleum will be affected with this change. Why is that so? Because according to the Department of Finance, 50% of the petroleum in the country is consumed by the wealthiest 2 million families in the Philippines. Although this is the case, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), diesel, and gasoline are kept to a minimum with the increase.
In addition, the consolidated version of TRAIN will also aid 80% of Filipino households that do not have cars; it also provides a four-tier tax scheme.
  • Cars priced up to Php1 million will be taxed 10%
  • Vehicles more than Php1 million will be taxed 20%;
  • Lastly, cars that are more than Php4 million will be taxed 50%
Electric cars are exempted from this while hybrid cars? They'll be taxed at staggering 50% rates. As per reports, this is to promote cleaner and friendly environments.

Sugar and sweetened beverage taxes


The bill is not only focusing on a financial aspect because if you try to think of it, the point here is to exercise and promote health awareness. The bill also imposed a tax of Php6.00/liter for sweetened beverages that use both caloric and non-caloric sweeteners. Moreover, an additional Php12.00/liter for those using high-fructose corn syrup.

Although this is the case, ALL milk and coffee products are exempted to these amendments. As well as meal replacements, natural fruit and vegetable juices, and medically-indicated beverages.
As you will notice, the bill also promotes health and well-being.

Tobacco tax


It's true that financing is not the only concern of the government by pushing this bill through. Since tobacco tax will start increasing starting next year, this act is just one way of containing people who have vices. Tobacco excise taxes will hike at Php2.50 each year. This one will start at Php32.50 this coming 2018.

Cosmetic surgeries and enhancement taxes


Before this amendment, the original plan for excise tax increase of this field is 20%. With the new TRAIN, it's now just down to 5%. 

Although this is the case, the bill has exemptions especially to small businesses that have total annual sales of less than Php3 million from Value Added Tax (VAT). Having that said, almost 98% of all registered businesses small and micro businesses in the country will be exempted.

In addition to all this bill has to offer, it will also increase coal excise tax from Php10.00 per metric ton to Php150.00 per metric ton; this will be done in a total span of three (3) years. If we're to compute, it'll be increments of Php50.00 per year starting at Php50.00/metric ton in 2018.

Excise taxes for all metallic and non-metallic resources are on a hike from two (2) to four (4) percent.

Thus, this bill's aim is to really set and hike funds for the betterment of the country and to of course aid people with their well-being and overall health.

Persons with disabilities (PWDs), Senior Citizens,  and Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) will be retained, as well as VAT exemptions for agricultural and raw products, health, and education.
Moreover, buying of medications for diabetes, high cholesterol, and hypertension will be free if there are prescriptions from professional health professionals issued.

Online Application For Appointment To Get Passport With 10-Year Validity Is Now Open

December 12, 2017
Earlier this year, we spilled the beans on Duterte signing into law the extension of validity of both the Philippine Passport and the Driver's License. It was also said that this act will not only extend the validity of both IDs, it'll also bear more requirements and eligibility concerns. For instance, not everyone can secure a driver's license easily like before; the same goes with the Philippine passport.



Furthermore, this will serve as good news for everyone since the validity will be rocking!

In this article, we will be discussing the news on the start of the online application in getting a Philippine Passport.

For the whole of November, application for a Philippine passport came to a halt to make way for the major changes. However this 2nd week of December, people can now secure a spot for an appointment in applying for a Philippine Passport.

Read: Setting an appointment with the DFA online

Starting January 2018, the DFA will be issuing passports with a 10-year validity. This is in accordance to the newly signed Republic Act No. 10928 by President Rodrigo Duterte earlier this year.

The process in securing an application remains the same; you have to go to the website, fill out all needed information and schedule your appointment.
Fees and charges remain the same:
  • Php950.00 for regular processing (20 working days)
  • Php1, 200.00 for express/rush processing (10 working days)
Moreover, people who fall under these categories are to be exempted from the "No Appointment No Entry" policy of the DFA. Meaning, they can go directly to the courtesy lane without securing a proper appointment with the DFA. The exemptions of this courtesy lane facility availment as ASEANA are:
  • Persons w/ disability (PWDs) with PWD ID
  • Senior Citizens with Senior Citizen ID
  • Pregnant women with medical certificate (proof of pregnancy)
  • Solo Parents with Solo Parent ID
  • Minors (seven years old and below) with NSO/PSA-certified birth certificate
  • Regular government employees / with GSIS / appointed by Civil Service Commission
  • Dependent of government employee
    • Legal spouse
    • Parents
    • Unmarried children
  • Retired government employees (one year availment)
  • Incumbent elected officials
  • For barangay level, only the following are entitled:
    • Barangay Chairman
    • Barangay Kagawad
    • SK Chairman
  • Endorsement from House of Representatives must be endorsed by DLLU before lodging their applications to Courtesy Lane
  • Media Personnel must first secure endorsement from Public Information Services Unit (PISU) before going to Courtesy Lane.
  • Referrals made from DFA employees (limited to 3 referrals per month) and Head/s of other government agencies must secure proper endorsements duly signed by authorized signatories of their respective offices. Only original copies will be accepted for verification purposes. Photocopy of DFA employee’s valid I.D. / government agencies official’s Department I.D. must be attached for verification purposes.
Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) with supporting documents as proof of employment can also walk-in at the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration in Mandaluyong City.

New PhilHealth Contribution Table Starting January 2018

December 10, 2017
Over the years, the government aims to aid its people by giving them assistance in every aspect possible. Tax for the goods; Pag-IBIG Home Developmental Mutual Fund (HDMF) for housing and real estate concerns, and lastly, PhilHealth for health and well-being. All of these mentioned are organizations that are intended to help us in our journey with life. Moreover, all things we can do as members are supposed to assist us in every way possible.


PhilHealth has been with us for as far as millions of us can remember. Adjustments were made, people were replaced, and a lot has changed in the years before. But recent changes were made and this change is so far one of the most impactful of all. Why? Because this change concerns everyone who is currently employed.

This new revision covers all members and employers under the "employed" sector program and all others concerned.

The subject of this revision is: Adjustment in the Premium Contributions of the Employed Sector to Sustain National the Health Insurance Program.

As per Republic Act No. 7875, as amended by RA 10606, also known as the National Health Insurance Act of 2013, “It is the policy of the State to adopt an integrated and comprehensive approach  to  health development which shall endeavor to make essential goods, health and other social services available to all the people at affordable cost and to provide free medical care to paupers. Towards this end, the State shall provide comprehensive health care services to all Filipinos through a socialized health insurance program that will priofitize the health care needs of the underprivileged, sick, elderly, persons with disabilities (PWDS), women and children and provide free health care services to indigents.”

With this new objective, its main reason for the adjustment is to continuously help improve the benefits that the organization gives to its members. Furthermore, since the health demand is growing, the capacity of government aid in health should be perpendicular to it as well.
This circular covers all employed members including:
  • Formal Economy including (Kasambahays, Family Drivers, and Sea-based Overseas Filipino Workers)
  • Employers and members in both the government and private sectors

Revised PhilHealth Premium Contributions

The circular is effective starting January 2018 onwards. The monthly premium contribution should just be at the rate of 2.75% taken straight from the monthly basic salary; it has a floor of Php10, 000.00 and a ceiling of Php40, 000.00 still sharing by the employee and the employer.

The computation for this adjustment after the effectivity of the removal of salary brackets should be:

Monthly Basic Salary x 2.75%Monthly PremiumPersonal ShareEmployer  Share
Php10, 000.00 and belowPhp275.00Php137.50Php137.50
Php10, 000.01 to  Php39, 999.99Php 275.02 to Php1, 099.99Php137.51 to Php549.99Php137.51 to Php549.99
Php40, 000.00 and abovePhp1, 100.00Php550.00Php550.00

In line with RA 10361, the kasambahays' premium contributions should be shouldered by the household employer. However, if the kasambahay receives a monthly salary of Php5, 000.00 and above, he/she should be responsible for her personal premium contributions. Thus, the kasambahay should give an equal amount of her proportional share.

Although it is clearly stated that this circular will be effective in January 2018, it's also indicated that it'll be effective after fifteen (15) days after publication in a newspaper of general circulation. Moreover, it shall be deposited thereafter with the Office of National Administrative Register (ONAR) of the University of the Philippines Law Center.

With the changes, thinking of it long-term is actually the key. Although you may notice that these changes can have a huge impact on your monthly salaries, it being an investment is actually a healthy way of saving for your health.

This article first published at efrennolasco.com
Read Also:
Source: PhilHealth

Migrate To Switzerland And Earn 1 Million Pesos?

December 08, 2017
Every Filipino has a dream; in fact, everyone has a dream. Most Filipinos have this dream of travelling or migrating to a different country. Others yearn for snow, while others just want to live that sophisticated urban or rural life. Although that's the case, all these dreams of course need to start somewhere. Moreover, migrating can be a bit of a pain in the neck especially with the financing and eligibility. However, a recent word has been spread that can actually make you "live the dream." Not only that, you'll also get paid for doing so!



There's a small village in Switzerland where it can both accommodate you and pay you at the same time. If you haven't heard of Switzerland, better do your research now because you might want to grab this opportunity.

Albinen, the village in Switzerland we're talking about is truly amazing. Remember those mesmerizing scenes in the Lord of the Rings? In The Hobbit? Well, you might want to release the inner hobbit in you when you see this spectacular scenery.

Why do you think this village is inviting people from different parts of the globe? If you think it's because of population, then you're correct.

Many of the people who have been moving away are young people and families. As per Swiss news agency ATS, the only local school in the town had to close after three (3) families moved away. The reason for the mass leaving is yet to be known but it's not about the village being inhabitable - in fact, it's the contrary.

Want an example?
Photo: travelandleisure

Imagine getting to live in the Swiss Alps and getting paid, wouldn't that be a dream come true? This village is inviting people from all over the world to live there for good. As per Town Mayor Beat Jost, 29 residents are against this plan while the other 71 are in favor of it. Moreover, that "yes" vote means that the town will pay 25, 000 Swiss Franc to people who will be willing to live with them.
The downsides of living in this town is that it doesn't have as many jobs as the rocking major cities, and there'll be a countable amount of people you can interact with in the village. As of the moment, there are only 240 residents living in the town.

Although there are tons of good news attached to that, we cannot escape the fact that everyone will be able to live there. Of course, there are requirements and eligibility matters that need to be settled before being approved to live in their village:
  • Living there, you need to commit that you'll be residing in that village for at least a decade;
  • Applicants must be aged under 45;
  • Must be willing to be a Swiss Citizen or have a valid Swiss C permit
  • The property they choose to buy or build in the village must be in a minimum of 200, 000 Swiss Franc or Php10 million;
  • Lastly, they need to make their home in Albinen as their permanent home, not their second home.
Although the last point is attainable by having to get a job in cities nearby or by getting a remote job and by working from home.

Moving away before the 10-year requirement is up will require you to pay the town back for their investment. Yes, you would need to pay the town's payment they made to you for living with them which of course is kind of a bitter deal.

For Filipinos out there, if you try and convert the payment into pesos, currently, that is Php1, 200, 000.00 for every adult who moves there and 10, 000 Swiss Franc for every child (around Php500, 000.00). Imagine the amount you would need to put up if you attempt and desire to leave before your agreed decade is over. Just look at this beautiful picture and remind yourself why you went there in the first place:
Photo: dailymail UK

Ever dreamed of travelling to a different country? Ever wanted to live in a place where you feel like you're in a western movie because of the pastures, the sceneries, and the people you live with? If that's the case, then why not try and apply to be a resident of Albinen? Who knows, maybe that's where your luck is the whole time.

South Korea Goes Visa-Free For Filipinos Until April 2018

November 14, 2017
Since the rise of their drama and music, a lot of people from all around the world are somewhat imitating the Koreans. From their fashion, language, to their culture, South Korea has been part of the main pillars of entertainment. Having that said, a lot of Filipinos are currently wanting to visit the country. Furthermore, some even want to learn their way of life; from how they live their lives to how they run their lives. South Korea has been a real influence to many Filipinos. Well, good news because South Korea allows Filipinos to land visa-free at a certain location.



Hold your horses, this good news is only applicable if you'll land or arrive at the YangYang airport
The YangYang airport is an international airport in a small northeastern part of South Korea, YangYang county, Gangwon Province. While majority of Filipinos can enjoy this benefit, citizens of Vietnam and Indonesia is also included in this. This is to pave way for the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang. Since the YangYang airport is the closest airport from Pyeongchang, they gave out this mini-feature that would make millions eligible to enter their country to either participate and witness the winter Olympics.

While there are good news, there also are bad news, of course

Although we can jump so high and be delighted by this news, unfortunately, there are no direct flights through Cebu Pacific and Philippine Airlines to YangYang airport. So, in order for Filipinos to avail this visa-free feature, they should depart from a different airport or a different country, perhaps. Since this is the case, it's a recommendation to travel somewhere first before going to the airport to watch the Winter Olympics. Although not everyone can do this, you can still try to find flights that directly arrive at YangYang.

This plan of South Korea just aims to boost and improve the country's tourism industry. Especially for the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, it will start to attract many people; even people who are not interested in participating in the Winter Olympics; it will start on the 9th of February to the 25th.

CSC-COMEX Schedule for the 4th Quarter of 2017

October 29, 2017
Good news to everyone who wants to take the Civil Service Examination! The Civil Service Commission (CSC) announced the schedule of examination, online reservation, as well as the procedure for application in Civil Service Commission Computerized Examination (CSC-COMEX) for the 4th quarter of 2017.

CSC Comex


The following schedules for the conduct of CSC-COMEX in CSC Central Office and CSC Regional Offices and the corresponding Online Reservation of examination slots are as follows:

CSC Central Office

Date of Examination                           Date & Time of Online Reservation

October 3, 2017 (SubProfessional)          September 27, 2017, 8:00 AM
November 7, 2017                                        November 2, 2017, 8:00 AM
November 28, 2017                                     November 22, 2017, 8:00 AM
December 5, 2017                                        November 29, 2017, 8:00 AM

CSC Regional Offices

Date of Examination                      Date & Time of Online Reservation

October 19, 2017                                      October 13, 2017, 8:00 AM
October 26, 2017 (SubProfessional)   October 23, 2017, 8:00 AM
November 16, 2017                                 November 10, 2017, 8:00 AM
December 7, 2017                                    December 1, 2017, 8:00 AM

Note:

The availability of online reservations and examination slots for the CSC Regional Offices (CSCROs) shall include only CSCROs joining the scheduled date of examination. Applicants/registrants are strongly advised to check the Testing Center and Personal Appearance Venue indicated in the Examination Schedule before making a reservation.

The given schedule may be subject to change without prior notice. Also, alternative mode of taking the examination or rescheduling the examination may be adopted in the CSC Central Office in cases of unforeseen system technical problem.

In cases like system technical problems in the Regional Offices, rescheduling would automatically be in the context. The CSC Comex is therefore advising registrants to regularly check the COMEX accounts for latest announcements, developments and updates.

With these schedules, examinees and aspiring ones can now have the dates and schedules of the examination, date and time of online reservation. With this knowledge, they no longer have to wait for announcements; they no longer need to proceed to offices to ask when they can push through with the examination.

Technology is truly becoming more and more developed; with all of these updates, facilities, and tools, it's safe to say that everything now will be easier in terms of appointments and scheduling.

According To Facebook, Pinoy Shoppers Are Getting Mobile-Savvy

October 29, 2017
When the “ber months” start in the Philippines, Filipinos also consider this time as the start of the Christmas season. In addition to that, it also is a collaboration with the holiday season; thus, it means shopping time. For a social media giant like Facebook, this season is the biggest shopping event of the year. Facebook sends this message to local or abroad-based businesses. Even big or small, many are looking to make the most of the holidays.

Mobile Savvy Shopper
Image from clark.com
Kenneth Bishop, managing director of Facebook Southeast Asia, reported that some of the company’s new insights on Filipinos as “mobile-first” shoppers were ways on how businesses can reach them better via Facebook’s mobile platform. He said this in his recent press briefing.
We are committed to helping businesses win consumers during the holiday season by connecting them with the more than 63 million mobile-first Filipinos on Facebook,” Bishop added.

Mobile is used for gift-hunting



Bishop said that three in five Filipino consumers use their mobile devices in their “shopping journey” during the holidays; using their phones and feeds for the best presents and find inspiration in their gift-hunting that would suit their loved ones, quoting statistics from the Facebook 2016 Holiday study.

Facebook users confess; 91% admitting that browsing the platform was a great influence in their holiday shopping, according to Bishop.

Smartphones are the new shopping product. There are times when desktops are used but most of the shopping happens on a mobile phone starting with the evening commute.
The study also found, however, that 42% of Filipinos use mobile mainly to avoid long lines inside stores.

Facebook as ‘Second shopfront’


With mobiles becoming more essential in Filipinos’ ‘shopping journey;’ with these significant numbers, Bishop encouraged businesses to use Facebook as their “second shopfront.” Creating campaigns that complement mobile-viewing behavior, both online and in -store.

Multi screening is another prominent behavior of Filipinos as consumers according to Bishop. Filipinos are spending more time on mobile devices over other forms of media including TV. He is encouraging businesses to also use the advantage of Filipinos’ “multiscreening” culture. Why? Because 70% of Filipinos are on Facebook multiple screen view while watching TV. This makes the social media platform a powerful channel to tap into mobile-first Filipinos’ multi-screen behavior.

He cited a 2016 holiday campaign by Nestle for its All-Purpose Cream, wherein the brand repurposed its 60-second TV ads into six-second Facebook videos, and also experimented with other ad formats on the platform such as slideshows and photos to accommodate even the low-bandwidth users.
Another very successful campaign are the Jollibee real-life commercials. These commercials were first seen and became famous in Facebook when the Jollibee page did the upload there.

The Nestle campaign, which ran from October to December, resulted in a 19% sales value growth compared to the same period in 2015, or a penetration of 500,000 new households.
In-store mobile complements
Moreover, another study shows that one in two Filipino consumers said they still use their smartphones when shopping in-store during the holiday season even when they are already physically in a store. This is to do some form of research before finalizing their purchases and to be able to get the best deals.

Some of these in-store shopping mobile activities include:
• Comparing prices (70%);
• Product comparison (61%);
• Reading product reviews (60%);
• Taking photos (53;); and
• Reviewing their shopping lists to make them more informed in purchase decisions (53%).

Impressive results

Last Christmas of 2016, another mobile business success story, said Bishop, is when Magnolia debuted its Avocado Macchiato ice cream flavor TV campaign. What they did was they extended to Facebook in November-December 2016.

It has reach millennials who make up 60% of shoppers on Facebook of all 25 to 45 years old through creative video and mobile-optimized ads. The campaign featuring the popular “AlDub” love team of Alden Richards and Maine Mendoza made use of both mobile video and photo ads, which also achieved impressive results in major brand metrics by 16 points. Magnolia wanted to expand the brand’s appeals to young consumers while increasing ad recall and sales for their Avocado Macchiato ice cream. This is something that people saw online and inspired them to go to the store and take action.

Mobile is influencing the shopping behavior of Filipino consumers during the busy holiday season where people are discovering brands and products,” Bishop said. “We are committed to helping businesses win consumers during this season by connecting them with more than 63 million mobile-first Filipinos on Facebook,” he added.

With all of these evidences, we are now sure we’ve reached the successful age of technology. With everything in our pockets, it’s a clear indication that we are readily advancing.

Although this is good news for both businesses and consumers, it’s quite evident that these innovation makes all information available with just a few clicks. Thus, creating a need for neither learning nor strive to learn. We just need to always remember that technology cannot answer everything.
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