TFC Bags Its First Philippine Anvil Award For Its Advocacy Campaign On Overseas Voting

“Boto Mo, Kinabukasan ng Bawat Pilipino” campaign of TFC under landmark partnership with DFA and COMELEC earns judges’ nod for Excellence in Public Relations


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TFCs partners fr govt represented by DFA-OVS VC Edgardo CastroOWWA ASMD Head Josephine TobiaCFO Usec Mary Grace Tirona MR
TFC’s partners from government represented by DFA-OVS Vice Chairperson Edgardo Castro (farthest left); OWWA ASMD Head Josephine Tobia (third from left) and CFO Undersecretary Mary Grace Tirona (third from right) together with Averion and the TFC team celebrate a triumph for the concerted overseas voting campaign.

April 23, 2015 (Quezon City, Philippines) –ABS-CBN The Filipino Channel (TFC) earned its first Anvil Award for Public Relations at the recently concluded 50th Anvil Awards held in Marriott Hotel, Manila for its advocacy campaign that encouraged overseas Filipinos (OFs) to exercise their right to vote in the 2013 elections.

“Boto Mo, Kinabukasan ng Bawat Pilipino,” earned a Silver Anvil under the category Outstanding Public Relations Programs Directed at Specific Stakeholders.  The campaign, developed by TFC as a result of its landmark partnership with the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) and Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), won for meeting the highest standards in terms of addressing the campaign’s defined objectives of promoting the overseas voting to Filipinos outside the homeland; defining a strategic plan that includes the engagement of our kababayans at key touchpoints, execution of communication elements with the maximization of resources; and making effective evaluation post-campaign.  

According to Anvil Awards Committee Chairperson Milen De Quiros, APR, “The Anvil is the symbol of excellence in public relations in the Philippines, conferred by a distinguished multi-sectoral jury to outstanding public relations programs and tools designed and implemented in 2013.”  

Public Relations Society of the Philippines (PRSP) President Bong Osorio, APR, says this year’s Anvil was very competitive as the PRSP recorded a total of 423 entities, the highest in years.  He says:  “TFC’s campaign won over notable finalists.  The award attests to the network’s adherence to highest standards of excellence in Public Relations.”

”Community and nation-building are embedded in ABS-CBN’s corporate culture, reflecting our organizational values and objectives. Thus, working with Philippine government agencies like COMELEC, DFA and Philippine embassies and consulates worldwide to involve overseas Filipinos in the election process is an endeavor that makes much sense.  Winning an Anvil award for our PR campaign to promote that involvement is a validation of that effort.  Our team thanks our leadership, all our partners, PRSP, and the Anvil Committee for this recognition,” said ABS-CBN Global Director of Corporate Affairs & PR Nerissa Fernandez.

Receiving the award for the TFC team were ABS-CBN Asia-Pacific Managing Director Ailene Averion and members of the Global Corporate Affairs and PR team Marianne de Vera and Somewell Aljames Gadiane; officers from prime agency partner such as DFA Overseas Voting Secretariat (DFA-OVS) represented by Vice Chairperson Edgardo Castro as well as key partners Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) represented by Undersecretary Mary Grace Ampil Tirona and Overseas Workers’ Welfare and Administration (OWWA) represented by Advocacy and Social Marketing Division (ASMD) Head Josephine Tobia.

The ANVIL is the symbol of excellence in public relations in the Philippines, awarded by a distinguished multi-sectoral jury to outstanding public relations programs and tools designed and implemented during the previous year. The Anvil Awards competition is conducted annually by the Public Relations Society of the Philippines. The awards given are Silver, Gold, Platinum and the Grand Anvil Award.  The Anvil Award is much coveted and is given only if the high standards are met.


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Volunteer Mission of Hope Educates Filipino Kids in Sabah


by: Christine O. Avendaño
March 1st, 2015

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OUT OF THE BOX   Children of undocumented Filipinos learn the 3 R’s as well as other basic skills at Stairway to Hope Learning Center at Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, an alternative learning center built through the joint effort of volunteers from the Filipino community and the Philippine Embassy in Malaysia. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines–It seems strange to hear the “Lupang Hinirang” being sung in Sabah, the state in East Malaysia to which the Philippines has a longstanding claim on behalf of the Sultanate of Sulu. 

The Philippine national anthem is being heartily sung by children of undocumented Filipinos in the disputed territory who are given free education, thanks to volunteers from the Filipino community there and the drive of the Philippine Embassy in Malaysia.

Stairway to Hope Learning Center in the capital of Kota Kinabalu is one of six alternative learning centers (ALCs) in Sabah where more than 2,000 children of undocumented Filipinos are enrolled.

Besides the Philippine national anthem, the children at the ALCs are taught “reading, arithmetic, Bahasa and like skills,” according to Philippine Ambassador to Malaysia Eduardo Malaya.

‘Rampant illiteracy’

Malaya said the ALCs were put up by members of the Filipino community in Malaysia, with the embassy’s encouragement, in response to the “rampant illiteracy” of thousands of Filipino children in Sabah who had no access to public schools because of the irregular status of their parents.

Under Malaysian laws, access to local public schools extends only to those possessing Malaysian citizenship.

Malaya said the parents of undocumented Filipinos could not afford to send their children to private schools. A way had to be found for education to be provided to these children who had nowhere to go but the streets, he said.

“These children, mostly Muslim Filipinos, would often be found in public markets in the large towns or in oil palm plantations in the interior of Sabah, loitering around or doing menial jobs,” Malaya said.

There are now six ALCs serving some 2,200 school-age children in the Sabah capital and the municipalities of Keningau, Lahad Datu, Semporna and Sandakan.

Tremendous challenges

The ALCs are run and staffed by volunteer teachers—Filipinos and Sabahans—who receive no compensation. Most of the volunteers are the parents themselves who care about the future of their kids, Malaya said.

The centers are being financed through donations from “kind-hearted individuals and some corporations.”

The challenges faced by the ALCs are “tremendous,” Malaya said.

“There is lack of almost everything that normal schools and pupils often take for granted—teachers who are qualified to teach, comfortable classrooms, proper school facilities, school supplies, adequate operating expenses,” he said.

It is a “miracle” that these centers are still running, the ambassador said.

“It is the volunteers’ resourcefulness and commitment to the children’s future that keep them going,” he said.

Malaya said the Philippine government was committed to providing this kind of alternative education to Filipino children in Sabah.

The education intervention program for the Filipino children in Sabah is the first such program undertaken by the government.

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Some 2,200 children are recipients of free education from six centers that thrive through individual and corporate donations. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

MOU on education

In February 2014, during the visit of President Aquino to Kuala Lumpur, the Philippines and Malaysia signed a memorandum of understanding on cooperation in education.

“The Philippine side has indicated that it wishes to give priority to alternative education in the implementation of the agreement,” Malaya said.

Malaya said the hope was to see more ALCs put up in Sabah, as well as for the government to work out “an appropriate recognition and accreditation of the ALCs by the Malaysian authorities in the near future.”

Last November, “at the urging of the embassy,” the Department of Education (DepEd) and the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) conducted a two-week capability workshop in Kota Kinabalu to “raise the competency of some 65 volunteer teachers,” Malaya said.

The workshop was attended by DepEd Undersecretary Mario Derequito and CFO Chair Mely Nicolas.

Beyond politics

Malaya recalled that when he first visited Stairway to Hope two years ago he found the children there to be shy. But after six months of basic literacy, he could see the children had gained much confidence. He credited those running the school, led by Marilou Salgatar-Chin, for this.

“For many of us, the issue is beyond politics. It is humanitarian, it is about children and the imperative to provide them a future brighter than the bleak one they face in the future,” Malaya said.

The ambassador said he never thought of focusing on education as a diplomat, but now he was glad that he did.


by: Christine O. Avendaño
March 1st, 2015


Filipinos Score Low On Financial Literacy


The Filipino Times
April 22, 2015

DUBAI: The financial literacy levels across the Asia Pacific region, which includes the Philippines, is decreasing with only few countries as exception, according to a latest research by MasterCard.

Besides Philippines, other markets that scored low on financial literacy included Malaysia, Bangladesh, Thailand and Singapore, Gulf News quoted MasterCard’s Financial Literacy Index as pointing out.

The index measures the progress of financial literacy in 16 countries, including India, Philippines, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Japan, China, Korea and Myanmar among others.

India, as well as Indonesia, Vietnam, and Taiwan are the only markets to improve their financial literacy scores in 2014, and 2013, the report said.

Overall, people from Taiwan are the most financially literate, followed by New Zealand and Hong Kong. Singapore’s financial literacy dropped from the second to sixth place, while Japan remains at the lowest rung, it added.

Meanwhile, Filipinos occupied the 8th spot, while Indonesians were ranked 14th and Bangladeshis 15th, it was pointed out.

These countries, where a large proportion of expatriates in the UAE come from, are considered a region of savers. While majority of these consumers finance prudently, and save regularly, many are not very sound with other financial concepts, including retirement funds, the risks associated with investment, inflation and asset diversification, Gulf News reported.

“In both developed and emerging markets, people are struggling to understand the basic financial concepts such as inflation. In addition, while Asia Pacific is a region of savers, lack of retirement plans can have particular concern,” T.V. Seshadri, MasterCard group executive, global products and solutions, Asia Pacific, reportedly said.

MasterCard’s study was conducted for the fourth time between July and August 2014. The findings were released only last week.


The Filipino Times
April 22, 2015


CSC Highlights Women’s Role in Governance


by Criselda David
Philippine News Correspondent
Bayanihan News
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QUEZON CITY, Philippines – As it joins the Women’s Month celebration this March, the Civil Service Commission (CSC) recognizes the role of women in governance and nation-building.

Women make up the majority of the bureaucracy and as such, they play a significant part in the implementation of government programs as well as in policy and decision making. The CSC said it is only fitting to ensure the welfare and raise the morale of female workers so they can continue to be productive members of the bureaucracy.

In the 2010 Inventory of Government Personnel, there are 827,157 female government employees, representing 58.7% of the workforce.

However, according to the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW), women’s participation in decision-making can still be improved as males continue to outnumber females in various top leadership posts in government.

The CSC called on government agencies to observe gender and development (GAD) laws and policies, especially those that advance women’s welfare.

Pursuant to Republic Act No. 9710 or the Magna Carta of Women, the CSC issued Memorandum Circular No. 25, s. 2010 specifying guidelines on the availment of special leave benefits for women who have undergone surgery caused by gynecological disorders.

The policy says that female government workers, regardless of age and civil status, are entitled to up to two (2) months special leave with full pay following surgery caused by gynecological disorders. The employee should have rendered six (6) months of continuous aggregate service for the last 12 months prior to surgery.

In 2005, the CSC also issued Resolution No. 05-1206 or the Guidelines on the Availment of the 10-day leave under Republic Act No. 9262 (Anti-Violence Against Women and their Children Act of 2004). The policy entitles any female employee in the government service who is a victim of violence, or any woman employee whose child is a victim of violence, to a paid leave of absence not exceeding ten days.

March is National Women’s Month and the theme for this year is “Juana, Desisyon Mo ay Mahalaga sa Kinabukasan ng Bawat Isa, Ikaw Na!” which aims to celebrate and emphasize women’s roles in leadership, power, and decision-making.


by Criselda David
Philippine News Correspondent
Bayanihan News
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