Lifestyle | More Filipinos Opting for Digital Lifestyle

More cashless transactions for Pinoys: GCash is top finance app for Android, iOS

With the recent development of the pandemic in the world, here in the Philippines, many Filipinos are opting to go cashless and GCash is among the leading mobile wallet provider in the nation. GCash is said to be one of the top finance application for both Android and iOS devices. It is indeed an indicator that more Filipinos are getting digital in their financial needs. 

As of May 15, GCash was the only finance app in the top 10 list of free applications for Android. It also ranked fourth on the overall list of free mobile apps in Google Playstore. For iOS, GCash topped the finance division in the App Store and ranked second after Zoom Cloud Meetings on its free apps list. This shows how GCash has transformed from a convenient mobile wallet to a lifestyle app that enables Filipinos to do more with less, as they embrace the new normal.

“The national health situation has caused more Filipinos to be mindful of their personal finances. As a powerful tool that provides financial services to the masses, GCash is enabling its users to manage their personal finance better than traditional means,” GCash Chief Technology and Operating Officer Pebbles Sy said.

A white paper released by AdSpark, Inc., a portfolio company under Globe Telecom’s 917Ventures, showed that consumption of Personal Finances as a topic grew by 800 percent from January 2020 to end of March 2020 when most Filipinos were required to stay at home.

Global Web Index, which surveyed people on how they foresee the impact of the situation on their personal finances, found that 65 percent of Filipinos surveyed believed that the pandemic will have a huge impact on their personal finances, while 15.7 percent believe that the effect could be even greater.

“Due to uncertainties brought about by the national health situation and the limitations set by the government to help curb the spread of the virus, Filipinos are looking for various ways to address their personal finance concerns. GCash is here to provide them with the necessary financial tools and services that will help them in managing their finances,” Sy said.

As a mobile wallet, GCash allows users to pay for their digital and physical transactions through the GCash app. GCash also allows users to pay their bills, buy airtime load, and transfer funds to any GCash account or to other banks.

Users may also avail of GCash’s savings service, GSave, which offers better-than-industry interest rates; GCredit, which allows them to tap into a credit line for emergencies; invest in money market funds; and GCash Insurance, which allows them to avail of very affordable insurance plans.

“We have seen a huge growth in terms of volumes of transactions in our platform during the community quarantines. We saw people transacting with merchants physically through QR and Barcode and digitally through money transfers. We also saw a lot of people donating to causes, one of which is our native fundraising drive called #FightCOVID19. Our platform has empowered more people in taking care of their personal finances,” Sy said.

GCash saw app installations grow by 2x during the community quarantine, while registrations rose by 2.5x, and app referrals increased by another 2x.

“This is a reflection of how Filipinos are growing more trusting of digital finance, which we believe will be a huge player in implementing the so-called ‘new normal.’ Financial technology will serve as the bedrock of digital services -- those that will empower Filipinos to do more with less,” Sy said.

Globe Fintech Innovations Inc. (Mynt), which operates GCash, is part of the portfolio companies of 917Ventures, the largest corporate incubator in the Philippines wholly-owned by Globe Telecom Inc.

Comment: I am also among those who are using this application. It does a lot of convenience and I can transmit any amount of money any time any where as long as the application is not upgrading or I have good internet connection. The only thing that is off for me is the limit, a hundred thousand limit every month, that includes amount that goes in and out - confirmed or denied. Nevertheless, I am happy with it. :-) 

GCash is available for download on the App Store and Google Play. Try to use this QR, below:


For more information, kindly visit https://www.gcash.com/.

Thank you very much! 

Public Health | Immunization in the Philippines Situation

Immunization in the Philippines, at an all-time low rate
DOH, experts call for continued immunization amid pandemic

Immunization is one of the public health services given primarily by our health centers to prevent any outbreak of known public health diseases that can also spread communicably. However, due to the current pandemic and measures of lockdown, there is a huge concern over an all-time low rate of vaccination now in the Philippines, according to a Department of Health (DOH) official.

With this happening, the DOH and other medical experts are calling for continued immunization despite the quarantine explaining that the country could not afford an outbreak within a pandemic.

The DOH National Immunization Program manager, Dr. Maria Wilda Silva, said that from January to March, vaccination coverage has dropped to 7 percent which is an all-time low. This number is way below the ideal 24 percent coverage for the country to reach the 95 percent target by end 2020.

“This is very low because of the disruption from both the supply and demand side,” Silva said in the recent online Kapihan of Samahang Plaridel.

The call for immunization is strongly aligned with the statements released by the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF which also highlighted the importance of continuing vaccination at this challenging time said that the benefits of immunization clearly outweigh the risks at this time.
“Don’t be afraid because children must get immunized. They are at higher risk of getting measles, polio, pneumonia and other vaccine-preventable diseases,” according to Dr. Lulu  Bravo said, Executive Director of the Philippine Foundation for Vaccination.

“Let us all be reminded that first, if children and other vulnerable sectors are not vaccinated, they can get sick and can die from these vaccine-preventable diseases,” she adds.

Silva shared that one of the vaccine-preventable diseases, pneumonia, remains the number one killer disease among children 5 years old and below. The tender for the child pneumococcal vaccine—between PCV 10 and PCV 13-- is currently being reviewed by the Health Technology Assessment Council (HTAC) for comparability and cost effectiveness.

Asked on the new evidence presented by the World Health Organization (WHO) saying that the two PCVs in the market are equally effective in protecting the children from pneumonia, Silva said:  “When we did the cost effectiveness analysis, they are both cost effective. The price of PCV10 and PCV13, they fall on that range na cost effective sila pareho. But, of course, there is another benefit when we chose the PCV13 because it contains the three sero-types that are not found in PCV10 before. But now with the new evidence, this was now presented to National Immunization Committee and then it was brought up to the HTAC for further review and we are waiting for the review.”

The PCV tender is massive, which is even bigger than that of the controversial Dengvaxia procurement.

“Currently, there is only one available pneumococcal conjugate vaccine available in the market (PCV 13). It is a very expensive vaccine and its eating up more than 60% of the budget of the national immunization program. Mahal talaga pag isang produkto lang ang nasa merkado, ” Silva said.
The HTAC Review of the PCV vaccines is expected to be completed this June.

For her part, Dr. Mary Ann Bunyi, president of the Pediatric Infectious Disease Society of the Philippines (PIDSP), said that like COVID-19, “each opponent virus has its own effective weapon of infecting vulnerable individuals, especially children which is why, vaccination is critical even during a pandemic.

“Sa ngayon, meron na tayong mabisang bala para sa tigdas, polio, tusperina, flu, pulmonya, pagtatae at iba pang mga sakit. So, labanan natin at sugpuin natin ito upang mapanatili nating malusog ang ating mga bata. Sama-sama, tulong-tulong tayong ihayag sa mga magulang kung gaano kahalaga ang magpabakuna.” (For now, we already have an effective defense weapon against measles, polio, pertussis, flu, pneumonia, diarrhea, and many other illnesses. We need to fight and beat these to ensure the health of our kids. We should all together make parents aware how important it is to get vaccinated.)

Comment: Yes, as a nurse, there are a lot of highly proven effective vaccines given already to the public. Usually, those who receive these vaccines are the newborns and children who are part of the vulnerable population. With the current crisis, I just hope that there will be means to reach these population aside from going to the centers. I also hope that other public health programs will not be set aside because of the current pandemic. Let us protect our vulnerable population while protecting our health care workers, too. :-)

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Lifestyle | Cars On Park Mode: Tips from Ford

Ford Ranger Garage
The world is currently experiencing a pandemic and that has brought a lot of cars to be parked in each garage. Even the cars are being parker, there are things that should be done to maintain the car's optimal performance even for a month of stay at the parking space. Don't worry, the tips to be given is applicable to all mobile cars.

So, here are the tips that Ford has shared for us to follow:

1.    Choose a parking spot
Picking a spot where to park your vehicle is very important to its overall well-being. Do not park it on grass or soil, because moisture can make its way up and rust certain parts of your vehicle. Make sure to choose a covered area, or an area out of direct sunlight, and has a solid floor. 

2.    Give your vehicle a wash
Spend time to wash your vehicle in your garage or parking area once in a while to ensure you are able to remove dirt particles or even bird droppings. These will be harder to remove after a couple of days if left uncleaned.

3.    Clean and place a dehumidifier inside the cabin
Give your interior thorough vacuum and throw away food particles or remnants. Having a clean car will avoid insects and animals from entering your vehicle and potentially causing damage to it. Placing an off the shelf dehumidifier inside your vehicle can help combat unwanted moisture, especially in more humid climates. 

4.    Fill up the fuel tank
Make sure to fill the fuel all the way to the brim. This avoids a gap in your fuel tank where oxygen can oxidize. Oxidization is a chemical reaction between the fuel and oxygen which results in gum forming in your fuel tank, which can cause damage to your vehicle if not properly cleaned before using.

5.    Overinflate the tires
The tire pressure can slowly drop over a period of time, even when the car is not in use. Ensure that you overinflate your tires and the spare tire before parking your vehicle. This can also avoid flat spots forming on your tires.

6.    Leave the parking brake down
If you leave your parking brake engaged, it could possibly become stuck or seized after being parked over time. Unless you are parked on a slope, simply shift your vehicle into Park for automatic transmissions, or engage the first gear for manual transmissions.  Keep in mind about shifting back the transmission to Park or engage the gear back to neutral for manual transmission when starting the car.

7.    Lift your wiper blades
This very simple advice can save you money and time after the strict travel restrictions. Lift the wipers and place a ball of cloth underneath it so the blades are not touching the windshield. Heat can damage the wiper blades over time and take away its wiping credibility.

8.    Start your car once a week
Take at least 10 minutes every week to start your vehicle. Let the engine idle so the oil and other fluids can circulate through the engine. This will also enable to recharge your battery if you do not have a trickle charger. This will keep your battery healthy and ensure an efficient start every time.

Hopefully, you got the tips and will be able to execute for your cars, your assets.

Thank you for visiting my avenue, www.ten7avenue.com.

Lifestyle | 6 Simple Things to Do to Fight CoViD-19

Me wearing a mask, advised to wear mask in public spaces
With the continuous rising numbers of confirmed CoViD-19 (Corona Virus Disease 2019) worldwide, there are very easy to do things to help flatten the curve of the infection. It is easy, doable and needing the utmost cooperation of everybody in the community. This will surely help your community, city, country and the region in combating the infection.

As a nurse by profession, there are several infection control measures that can be done to avoid the spread of an infectious disease. There is a chain of infection that has to be noted, to wit: 1) Portal of Exit (where the bacteria or virus will come out from an infected person), 2) Mode of Transmission (how will the infection be passed to another person), 3) Portal of Entry (where will the bacteria or virus enter your body), 4) Susceptible Host (who are the possible recipient of the infection), 5) Causative Agent (what bacteria or virus that causes the disease/illness), and 6) Reservoir (where the bacteria or virus can survive and multiply again). To fight a microscopic enemy, there should be ways to cut the chain of infection. In the case of CoViD-19, some standard precaution methods against any disease or illness will apply, plus some efforts to maintain a healthy physique will definitely be a great thing to do, too.

So, here are some ways to cut the chain of infection for CoViD-19.

First, HAND WASHING! For a droplet transmission through a close contact mode of transmission, the microorganisms can be transferred to a susceptible host when it is touched. Then, the microorganisms carried by your hand or fingers can enter the body when it reaches a body opening such as the nose or mouth. Hand washing can save you from getting infected! Doing it approximately 20 seconds or that’s singing two “happy birthday” song with soap and water will greatly remove the microorganism such as the corona virus. Without available soap and water, but you have a supply of hand sanitizer or alcohol, do a hand rub using those pharmaceutical products. Hand washing is important and equally washing your feet too will do some miracles upon reaching home coming from your day’s work.

Second, COUGH ETIQUETTE! The portal of exit of CoViD-19 is through coughing or sneezing. We can cut the chain of infection if we are used to covering our mouth when coughing, and covering both our nose and mouth when sneezing. There are items that we can use to cover our nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing, it can be a handkerchief, tissue paper, the sleeves of our shirt, inside the shirt we wear and even our hands. It should be part of the manners that everyone should practice because it is applicable not only with CoViD-19, but to other respiratory diseases, too. Then, after sneezing and coughing, do not share your hanky, dispose the tissue properly, and do the hand washing.

Third, SOCIAL DISTANCING! We are highly sociable individuals who wants to hug, kiss, shake hands and talk very near, but to refrain from getting the infection, we are advised to do social distancing. It is just temporary! You may have sneezed or coughed on your sleeves or shirt, and getting close with somebody without hand washing and cough etiquette, there’s a high probability that you’ll share some microorganism unwanted in the body. So, keep a safe distance.

Fourth, TAKE YOUR VITAMIN C! Vitamin C or the ascorbic acid is the most common immunity booster and antioxidant we have in the market. It is also one of the pharmaceutical products easily out of stock right now. Taking your Vitamin C or any multivitamins can help your body have its adequate immunity booster. It will help you to avoid being a susceptible host where the virus can take advantage as a reservoir. If ever you have acquired the virus, the body can have the adequate fighting mechanism to get rid of the infection and you may be asymptomatic. In absence of the Vitamic C in the pharmacy, let the magic of calamansi do miracles. 

Fifth, HAVE ADEQUATE REST AND NUTRITION! In line with the fourth one, having an adequate rest and nutrition will help you to have a healthy body to fight against the infection. Again, a healthy body can fight the manifestation of the disease.

Sixth, WEAR YOUR PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT (PPE), when necessary! The World Health Organization emphasizes the use of PPE for the healthcare workers, especially those who are frontliners and giving care. The PPE will involve a mask, gloves, goggles, body covering and feet cover. However, for lay people, using mask can be prioritized for the sick people to have a reverse isolation approach. It will help the supply of masks be given to those much needy. But when certain protocols are in placed for the use of PPE, we shall then follow it. The use of PPE will help in the protection against the virus in entering the body.

So, there you have it. You can observe that when a part of the chain of infection is cut, the infection cycle will not continue. Those mentioned six things are only some of the things we can do against the CoViD-19 while at home or going towards our workplace. I hope it helps!

Thank you for visiting my avenue, www.ten7avenue.com.

Lifestyle | The Racing Line: Fun Experience in the Race Track!

Gents Winner on the Podium
Are you looking for a place to bond as a family or group of friends? Or you want your children to get rid of some time their attention from holding their smartphones? Maybe, it is high time to visit an activity area where kids and adults can play inside a race track and enjoy a remarkable experience. So, visit the Racing Line Karting!

GoKart at the Racing Line Karting
Recently, I have found a very good bonding place for family and friends during a Media Challenge 2020 by the Racing Line Karting. It is a place where you can eat great tasting food, conduct a special event of your life at their VIP Room and race in their race track.

Pizza
Nachos
French Fries
Cakes, Pastries and Meals
Photo credit: The Racing Line Karting
How good is the food? Pretty good! Their snack items like the pizza, french fries and nachos are good. I like also the desserts served by the Picky Eater Kitchen with variety of low carb, low sugar cheesecakes and cupcakes. I like the idea that they are using stevia on their cakes. Then, the Krazy Chicken is a very big serving for me and it’s crazy! Plus have a sip of the Partea! Partea! Then, if you like to drink some alcoholic beverages, it is also available and if you want it to be sent home, Cerveza Moto delivers it right to your doorstep.

Racers with Race Marshalls
Is it safe? That may be one of the questions you have in mind as a race will need safety for everybody inside. Of course, it is! There are trained race personnel inside and the track is designed with cushions. There’s also a briefing for every racer before going to race that will not take very long and it is very easy to understand in order to be safe during the race.

Kid's Division with the Race Marshalls
Is it affordable? Yes it is! P100 for 5 minutes in the race track among children, while P200 for 5 minutes in the race track among teens and adults. If you are not into the real thing, you can avail of a virtual race with race car simulators that is P100 for 15 minutes or use a Virtual Reality Goggles that is P150 for 15 minutes. But I suggest that you try at least the real thing because it is extremely fun!

They also have packages for those who want to avail of their party, race and food promo. There’s a lot to choose from! Go at their facebook page: The Racing Line Karting for direct inquiries or visit them at the Peak of Gaisano Mall of Davao.

If you are competitive enough, you can also try to register for their weekly competition and become one of those in the hall of fame! There's also a Time Attack Fridays (6PM-10PM) that costs you P500 and win exciting prizes.

I am so glad that the Racing Line Karting is there to let the kids and adults experience the fun of doing indoor/outdoor activities that is worth every peso you pay. Well, for me, it is really a sport that will help you develop discipline and awareness of safe driving. The karts may be not the usual cars in the roads but with this help give an individual the sense of responsibility when driving, well, in this case, racing. :D

The Racing Line Sports Arena - Race Track
I may not be a professional driver but, at least, during the Media Challenge 2020 opened by the Racing Line Karting - I got a podium finish, 2nd among the gents who participated. With so much gratitude, I would like to use this opportunity to thank all the organizers of the event and it has been a very fun experience which I wanted other people to try, especially from Davao City or nearby areas. 

It is a family business that wants to share their passion to the public as their tagline says, "Share Our Passion" in line of the motorsports.

Make that competitive spirit in you grow and show them how you race! See you at the race track!

Thank you for visiting my avenue, www.ten7avenue.com.