Digital Discernment: A workshop that aims to promote digital citizenship in schools nationwide

As a long-time advocate of, and resource speaker on, digital citizenship, I welcomed the recent collaboration of Globe Telecom, Facebook, and the Department of Education (DepEd) to continue bringing awareness of responsible digital citizenship to public and private schools nationwide, for both teachers and students.

(L-R) Globe Senior Vice President Nikko Acosta, DQ representative Galvin Ngo, Globe President & CEO Ernest Cu, Facebook Head of Community Affairs in Asia Pacific Clair Deevy and DepEd Undersecretary Tonisito Umali

Why is digital citizenship even more important now

As of end-2017, there are now over 60 million internet users. That is 60% of the populace! 52.2 million of the 60 million, roughly half of the entire Philippine population, is mobile, spending over 3 hours on it daily. A Philippine National Police (PNP) report also showed that half of internet users are 17 years old and below.

An international think-tank formed in association with the World Economic Forum, the DQ Institute, revealed in its inaugural 2018 DQ Global Impact Report that 56% of kids aged 8-12 years old worldwide who are online, are exposed to cyber risks. A study of the Philippine internet situation in that report shows that 73% of Filipino children are exposed to cyber risks, the second highest in a study among 29 countries.

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I signed the Bloggers for Freedom statement!

Today, you and I enjoy the freedom to write and publish our thoughts and feelings. All my children were born in an age where freedom of expression and the right to communicate are taken for granted. I fear that this freedom is in grave danger if we let it be.

It was not so from 1972 to the 80s when martial law under then Pres. Marcos was in effect. I witnessed the shutting down of ALL media outlets (TV, print, radio) except those that broadcasted news favorable to the sitting administration.

The pressure on Inquirer’s owners to sell their shares, the charges against Rappler (which I see as an overkill by SEC), and the announcement that is closing soon…..all these make me very, very uncomfortable and fearful that after mainstream media, bloggers and netizens like you and I will be next.

Spokespersons for the government are trying to assuage us that this is not martial law the Marcosian way — the President has not physically shut down these media outlets, they say. There are legal processes in place, they say. Sure…the strategies are no longer physical. The scare tactics, just like media strategies, have gone digital.

When I was asked if I wanted to sign this statement by bloggers, I willingly did so. Today, along with other bloggers who signed, I am posting this on my blog for my children and grandchildren to see. Long after I am gone, I want them to know that, at least for one moment, I tried to fight to keep the freedom they know INTACT and FREE FROM INTIMIDATION. 

If you are also a blogger or netizen, and the statement below resonates with you, please join us by adding your name to this growing list of signatories via this Google Form.

In your social media posts, please use also the following hashtags:


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Don’t throw away those long expired Sodexo GCs!

Are you still holding on to expired Sodexo gift certificates (GCs)? Don’t throw them away! You may just be able to use the provisions of the Gift Check Act of 2017 (R. A. 10962), signed into law last December 19, 2017 by President Duterte, to get replacement GCs.

These GCs expired in 2010!

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Money Saving Tip: Pay Your Real Property Tax Early (Updated)

When do you pay your annual real property tax?

Sec. 60 of the Real Property Tax Code (or PD No. 464) states:

“Payment of real property taxes in installments. — Real property taxes may, in the discretion of the taxpayer, be paid without penalty in four equal installments; the first installment to be due and payable on or before March thirty-first; the second installment, on or before June thirty; the third installment, on or before September thirty; and the last installment, on or before December thirty-first, except the special levies authorized under Sections forty-seven and fifty-five of this Code which shall be governed by the local ordinance or Department Order issued by the Secretary of Finance, as the case may be.”




For taxpayers who choose to pay the entire year’s real property tax within the first quarter, there are discount incentives.

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Digital transformation: My takeaways from #DigiCon2017

For three days last October 11-13, 2017, the largest gathering of marketing practitioners came together for the Internet Mobile and Marketing Association of the Philippines’ (IMMAP) second digital congress named DigiCon DX. This year, the congress focused on the culture envisioned to aid marketers in adapting to digitalization as reflected by its theme “DX: The Culture of Digital Transformation”.

Eduardo Mapa, Chairman of #DigiCon2017

So what was I doing here? Well, thanks to friends from the industry, I was invited as part of the media pool — which meant that I could attend sessions as a delegate and get some media access to boot.

This was a change I would not miss. As a blogger usually at the other end of the marketing campaign, I only experienced campaigns from the receiving end. At #DigiCon2017, it was actually a great chance to observe and listen to talks designed from the perspective of brands, advertisers, marketers and PR guys.

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DOLE says salesladies will no longer be required to wear high heels!

Have you ever noticed, in some malls that you go to, that the salesladies always wore high heels? Each time I noticed that, I would wonder how they ever got through the day. I know how my feet would hurt a lot in high heels during my corporate days.

Good news for them! The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Silvestre Bello signed last August 25, 2017 Department Order (DO) 178 prohibiting employers from requiring their female employees to wear shoes with heels higher than one inch. In addition, if the shoes are an inch high, they should be wedge-type shoes.

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