Tagbilaran City’s micro-retailers receive safe store kits

The ceremonial turn-over of the safe store kits in Tagbilaran City with (from left) USAID’s SURGE Project Coordinator Dr. Rosalinda Paredes, City Mayor John Geesnell “BABA” Yap, Tagbilaran City’s First Lady Jane Yap, and Coca-Cola’s Region Sales Manager Edmar Ibero.

According to the rapid retailer’s assessment conducted by the Philippine Association of Stores and Carinderia Owners (PASCO) from March to April 2020, some 42 percent of sari-sari stores and 75 percent of carinderias were forced to close when the hard lockdown was imposed in the country due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The micro-retailers in Tagbilaran City were not exempted. The strict health protocols limited their day-to-day transactions resulting to decreased sales. 

To help these enterprises, the USAID’s Strengthening Urban Resilience for Growth with Equity (SURGE) Project, Coca-Cola Philippines, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) launched the Safe Store Project (SSP). SSP aims to support the reopening of the sari-sari store in a safe and sustainable manner despite the continuing COVID-19 pandemic. City Mayor John Geesnell “BABA” Yap emphasized the critical role of the sari-sari store in supplying the basic goods in the community, “We need to find practical solutions to help our micro-retailers become more resilient both for the owners themselves and customers. We need pro-active efforts to combat the negative effects of this pandemic and seek ways to adopt to the new normal”, Yap said.

With this plastic barriers, sari-sari store owners can continue with their livelihood in this new normal business environment. USAID’s SURGE Project Component Lead 3 Celso Enriquez stressed that reviving the economy by pushing for the recovery of the micro-enterprises is crucial, “Most sari-sari store owners are run by women entrepreneurs. SSP is part of the Women’s Development and Global Initiative (WGDP) that is implemented in many countries including the Philippines which fosters women empowerment through capacity building and enhancing entrepreneurial capabilities. Helping these women entrepreneurs through the provision of the safe store kits is a much-needed boost”, Enriquez said.

Tagbilaran City’s First Lady Jane Yap also commended the initiative. Yap being the founder of Mutya Cares Foundation and Gugma Tagbilaran is also a major advocate of women empowerment, “As they re-open their sari-sari store, owners have to ensure their safety and that of their customers through the strict observance of strict health protocols. The safe store project is a unique opportunity to resume their businesses in a safe manner”, emphasized FL Yap.

SSP distributed the safe store kits to 200 women micro-retailers in Tagbilaran. DTI Provincial Director Ma. Soledad Balistoy also praised the initiative as it encompasses the aim of the agency in empowering entrepreneurs, “This partnership is truly a testament that we are one in restarting our recovery efforts towards building a better and resilient Philippines”, Balistoy added.   

TaskUs grows further with latest expansion in Tagbilaran City

           TaskUs, the leading tech-enabled business services company delivering Digital CX, AI Operations, and Content Security to the world’s most innovative companies, today announced the opening of its newest site in Bohol, Philippines.  The upcoming site in Tagbilaran City, Bohol will be no different. The site will offer extraordinary recreation areas with vibrant color schemes as exhibited by an indoor basketball court shown in the photo. 

         To celebrate the milestone event, TaskUs held a virtual concert which featured Filipino-Australian actor and singer James Reid. The digital event was streamed via TaskUs’s social media accounts. Ten lucky TaskUs teammates and applicants were given the chance to meet and greet James Reid virtually after the concert.

         Already operating in technology hubs globally, including the United States, European Union, Taiwan, India, and eight other cities in the Philippines, the new TaskUs site expansion in Bohol indicates the island’s significant growth in technology, innovation, and human talent.

         “We’re thrilled to expand our footprint within the Philippines where we already have many TaskUs teammates and an established company culture,” said Chin Monsale, TaskUs VP of Operations for Bohol. “Bohol is an exciting new talent market for us, and we’re looking forward to welcoming the new members of the TaskUs team.”

         The Bohol site will begin 100% work-from-home using Cirrus, TaskUs’s remote work model. Teammates from Bohol will begin their journey at TaskUs from the safety and comfort of their homes as a new workplace will soon be established to support in-person work.

         TaskUs goes to where the talent is, and Bohol’s promising pool makes it the ideal place for the company to make its mark in Visayas. By opening its newest site in Tagbilaran, the company is poised to invigorate local talent development and bring economic growth to the countryside. This move encourages the return of Bol-anons to the region brought about by the increased access to economic opportunities.

        TaskUs has a reputation for offering unrivaled amenities and benefits to attract and retain outstanding front-line talent. 

        TaskUs is an industry leader when it comes to employee benefits. Among others, teammates have access to one-on-one meetings with in-house life coaches and 24/7 psychological and psychiatric services via teleconsultation—which are free. And the system for teleconsultations is being expanded to reach teammates globally.

        Company leadership has also rolled out work-life balance commitments like meeting-free Fridays, no-chat weekends, and the requirement of a truly unplugged vacation.

        Monsale continued, “This expansion comes on the heels of other offices opening worldwide, from Cali, Colombia to Harlingen, Texas. New Bohol teammates will experience a new onboarding and hiring process that we’ve adjusted to meet the challenges of COVID-19, while maintaining the underlying supportive atmosphere TaskUs is known for.”


Tagbilaran City gas stations offer discounts

The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic led to an initial drop in prices for petroleum-based products in the world market, and then, just as abruptly, prices rose sharply as producers’ limited production and demand increased. Exorbitant patrol prices have always been a big problem to the Boholano consumers, especially during this COVID-19 pandemic. The two major problems of the province right now are the high cost of fuel and the high cost of fish. Hence, there is a request for the local governments to act on it.

As part of the City Government’s efforts to address the problem, a meeting was called attended by the gasoline station owners in the City to discuss a possible rollback of gas products. City Mayor John Geesnell “BABA” Yap wants to provide relief in this tight financial situation, “We have been extending help to our constituents in terms of health protection against the COVID-19 pandemic. Along with this, we also want to provide some relief in terms of their financial situation. Thus, with the discussions we have had with the gas station owners. We are optimistic that the gas prices will be adjusted accordingly”, Yap said.

These are just few of the initiatives launched by the City Government to help Tagbilaranons deal with the current pandemic. It should be remembered that at the onset of the health crisis, the City Government distributed relief goods in four waves. Grocery items and sacks of rice were given to all registered households in Tagbilaran City. Free vitamins were also given to the different barangay health stations. Regular disinfection to establishments were also conducted. Cash assistance to solo parents, PWDs, and nursing mothers were also provided. Mobile Mercado was set up in the barangays to minimize the crowding of people in supermarkets. Further, contactless transactions inside the City Hall premises were encouraged. The tracking system in the City Accounting Office discourages face-to-face follow-up, the same goes with the e-procurement of the General Services Office. And just recently, the application for the business permits migrated online in adherence to the strict health protocols. Mayor Yap announced that negotiations with a leading pharmaceutical company is underway for the acquisition of vaccines against COVID-19. The pandemic may have changed the way the City Government work, but it could never sidetrack public service.

Tagbilaran City supports Plantorama Exhibit 2021 in ICM

Plants have provided a relief during this pandemic. Keeping one’s sanity intact, the gardener in us provided the much-needed diversion that was plagued by worries and uncertainties of the COVID-19 health crisis. The rise of the plantitos and plantitas gave way to plant entrepreneurs. And the City Agrivet Office wasted no time and also seized this opportunity to encourage plant growers to transform the green-thumbing hobby to a more lucrative career.

In partnership with Plantorama, a group of plant growers based in Tagbilaran City, the City Agrivet forged a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) pledging promotional support to all the initiatives of the group. First in the list was the Plantorama Exhibit in the Island City Mall which ran from January 11 to 16. The plant exhibit showcased various plants from ornamentals, backyard, and landscaping. According to Dr. Genette Egos, the next batch of the exhibit would also highlight vegetables and fruit bearing plants. City Mayor John Geesnell “BABA” Yap fully supported the initiative, along with First Lady Jane Yap. FL Yap who is a certified plantita herself emphasized its value, “The peace and serenity which we get from growing plants are indeed therapeutic. Tending plants is a temporary distraction from the stress brought about by the pandemic and it allows us to focus our energy to a more fruitful endeavor”, FL Yap said. The following plant growers participated in the week-long exhibit, Boss Flower Stand & Metal Works, Hanianah Plants & Flowers, G-Bohol Plants, Garden of Eden, Desert Spawn, Rose Garden, Rinette’s Green Alley, Mel’s Beauty Garden,  Jeah’s Gardenville, Christine’s Plants, Pots & Fashion Trends, LJ Ornamental Plants, Claudia’s Mini Garden, Egee’s Garden, Cheya’s Plants, Ornamental Plants Garden Maxine, Beehive57 Gardenscape, Yadnii’s Greenery Garden, Tonet’s Garden and Landscaping, and Health Wealth International Corp.

Online business permits application in Tagbilaran is all set for 2021

          The City of Tagbilaran is on the move to go contactless this 2021. All business permits applications, whether new or renewal, will be done online. Clients are directed to log in at the official website of Tagbilaran City, www.tagbilaran.gov.ph, register an account by clicking the E-Business Permitting and Licensing Portal, fill out the necessary information, and a confirmation notice will be sent in your email. As for the payment, you can just click the link provided in the email which would be sent to you, it will redirect you to online billing. An electronic official receipt will be sent to your email after successfully completing the transaction. Then wait for 1 to 3 working days for the delivery of your business permit. The client can also inquire of the delivery status at 411-22-22 local 777.

           This new method was explained to business stakeholders in Tagbilaran City during the Online Business Forum. Joel Buena, the programmer from the Information Technology Office in the City Government gave a detailed explanation among the business owners, bookkeepers, and accountants on how to go about the system. Several panelists were also present to provide clarifications to the business community led by USAID SURGE’s Program Coordinator Dr. Rosalinda Paredes, Acting City Administrator Cathelyn Torremocha, City Legal Officer Atty. Kathy Blanche Borja-Jamila, BPLO Thea Ivory Parras, City Assessor Fe Almine, City Treasurer Christine Bitoy, City Financial Adviser Primitiva Ontong, City LEIPO Head Bebiano Inting, City Tourism Officer May Hope Arcenal, City Health Officer Dr. Jeia Pondoc, Sanitary Inspector Myla Sumampong, City Fire Chief Marlyn Macatangay, SSS Engr. Alieta Basubas, PAG-IBIG Felix Garan, DTI Ma. Soledad Balistoy, PHILHEALTH Mona Lisa De Vera, Joint Inspection Team Fermin Lumantas, Cresenciano Salvaleon, City Engineers Teodoro Estoque and Gina Inting.  “We will always be behind the welfare and safety of our business owners. Digital technology has helped us to do so. With these online transactions, the health protocols will be strictly observed without compromising our economy”, City Mayor John Geesnell “BABA” Yap emphasized.

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