Bits and Snippets of the Philippines

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Archive for February 2012

Alorica Philippines to Open New Center in Cebu

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U.S. outsourcer Alorica is opening a new customer service call center in the Philippine province of Cebu.

The new center represents Alorica’s growing presence in the Philippines. Alorica already employees some 3,000 people in the Philippines and plans to significantly increase that number in the next year. “Opening a new facility, offering employment and career growth opportunities is always exciting to announce,” Alorica chairman Andy Lee said.

Alorica Incorporated is a call center company with 36 facilities worldwide. Established in 1999, the company has grown to twenty-thousand employees. Currently, the company is headquartered is in Chino, California.

Read more at Fifth Quadrant

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Written by Raffy Pekson II

February 23, 2012 at 9:43 am

Midnight Food Rave for Call Center Owls at The Fort

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Scene from the Midnight Mercato

Beginning February 29, 2012 and all Wednesday nights therein, a late night food market will be open from 10:00pm to 3:00am (including every Friday and Saturday nights). Welcome to “Midnight Mercato” at the 34th Street and 8th Avenue of Bonifacio Global City (beside MC Home Depot). Free wi-fi. Live bands. What more can a call center professional ask for?

Text from Midnight Mercato:

Are you looking for a place to indulge your late night food cravings on a Wednesday night? Or you can’t wait until the weekend to visit your favorite late night food markets?

Then Midnight Mercato, Metro Manila’s premiere late night weekend food market, will be open on Wednesday nights starting February 29 to answer your foodie call!

Indulge in the Midnight Mercato experience and enjoy an extensive selection of foodie favorites – steamed cheeseburgers, crunchy pork belly, wagyu steak on a sticks, deep dish pizzas, authentic Vigan empanadas, ice-cream filled mochi balls, specialty milk teas, dark lager beer cheesecakes – straight from the kitchens of home-based and specialty chefs, while enjoying live acoustic performances and free wi-fi. Wednesday Midnight Mercato is perfect way to celebrate the middle of the week!

Midnght Mercato is open from 10:00pm to 3:00am every Friday, Saturday and Wednesday (starting February 29) and Mercato Centrale is open every Saturday and Sunday from 7:00am to 2:00pm. Midnight Mercato is located at the corner of 34th street and 8th avenue beside MC Home Depot in Bonifacio Global City.

For more information, please visit their website or their Facebook account. For vendor booth rental or venue rental inquiries, please email or text 0917-840-1152.

Source: Midnight Mercato Centrale Organizer

Photo submitted by RJ Ledesma of Mercato Centrale


Written by Raffy Pekson II

February 21, 2012 at 2:04 am

More Fil-Ams May Seek Medical Care in Philippines

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A photo of General Santos Doctors Hospital

A new bill is being drafted that will allow United States Medicare beneficiaries to travel to the Philippines for medical reasons, according to Eric Lachica, a lobbyist who is working to get the bill introduced. The new bill would allow Medicare to reimburse certain hospitals in the Philippines directly for Guam residents, thus allowing for the full export of Medicare benefits to the Philippines. Lachica said there are about 400,000 Filipino-Americans in the U.S. mainland, and about 200,000 have seriously expressed interest in retiring in their homeland to take advantage of the low cost of living.

Currently, because of proximity, Guam Medicare residents are allowed to travel to the Philippines to seek medical care for procedures not currently offered on Guam. The patient is then directly reimbursed for the medical visit.

Read more at Marianas Variety

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Written by Raffy Pekson II

February 19, 2012 at 9:12 pm

TESDA to Launch 7 New Programs This 2012

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TESDA classroom

The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) recently announced its plan to launch seven new programs this year intended to increase employability, provide more livelihood and spark the entrepreneurial skills of Filipinos. Dubbed REAL DEAL TESD (Reach the grassroots, Empower the reached. Assure quality training and Lifelong education Development. Enable, and Actively-engage Labor force members in job opportunities thru employability and livelihood skills), this initiative is a response to Philippine President Benigno Aquino III’s call for “Landas na Matuwid.”

The seven programs are:

  1. IT-BPO Talent Investment Program that will train 65,000 scholars to qualify for jobs in the business process outsourcing industry;
  2. TESDA-SEIPI (Semi-conductor and Electronics Industry of the Philippines) Partnership for the Semi-Conductor Electronics Industry that will train more than 9,000 new and existing workers to keep them geared up for the demands of the semi-conductor and electronics industry;
  3. Partnership with PLDT (Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co.) for the training of 1,300 technicians;
  4. TESDA-Holcim Partnership to train some 2,200 out-of-school-youths in construction trades such as masonry, carpentry and blueprint reading certification;
  5. Partnership with LTRFB (Land Transportation Regulation and Franchising Bureau) in PUV (Public Utility Vehicle) driver’s certification;
  6. TESDA Specialista Technopreneurship Programs that brings together stakeholders to serve the multifarious service requirements of households and small communities; and
  7. Updates on TESDA-Coke National Convergence Program on Empowering Women Retailers.

Source: News Desk,

Photo by netstreamph at