Channel: Move.PH
Mark channel Not-Safe-For-Work? cancel confirm NSFW Votes: (0 votes)
Are you the publisher? Claim or contact us about this channel.

Maring forces evacuations in Quezon, other parts of Luzon


FLOODING IN QUEZON. Houses along a street in Atimonan town in Quezon province are seen submerged in flood waters caused by Tropical Depression Maring on September 12, 2017. Photo courtesy of Leia Campomanes

MANILA, Philippines – Various local government units (LGUs) ordered mandatory evacuations in areas affected by Tropical Depression Maring on Tuesday, September 12.

The evacuations are being enforced in some towns in Quezon, Rizal, and Laguna provinces with the help of police, military, and other responders, according to Mina Marasigan, spokesperson of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC).

{source}<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p lang="es" dir="ltr">Pinsala. Infanta, Quezon <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/MaringPH?src=hash">#MaringPH</a> <a href="https://t.co/l6rxrZZwA4">pic.twitter.com/l6rxrZZwA4</a></p>&mdash; Hersie V. Sumaya (@Hersie_Official) <a href="https://twitter.com/Hersie_Official/status/907491131125940225">September 12, 2017</a></blockquote><script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>{/source}

{source}<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">My thoughts &amp; prayers are w/ everyone in the path of <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/MaringPH?src=hash">#MaringPH</a><br><br>Video of the flooding situation in Atimonan, Quezon taken by Fr <a href="https://twitter.com/warrenpuno">@warrenpuno</a> <a href="https://t.co/wVbSFnFuqi">pic.twitter.com/wVbSFnFuqi</a></p>&mdash; Jenny Tuazon (@jennytuazn) <a href="https://twitter.com/jennytuazn/status/907491995848908801">September 12, 2017</a></blockquote><script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>{/source}


At least 520 families are now staying in evacuation centers in Agdangan, Atimonan, Calauag, Gumaca, Lopez, P Burgos, and Pitogo towns in Quezon province, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)-Calabarzon said.

Evacuations are also ongoing in flood- and landslide-prone areas in Taytay in Rizal, Nasugbu in Batangas, Los Baños and Calamba in Laguna, and in some parts of Cavite, according to Marasigan.

In Rizal, 24 evacuation centers were opened for displaced families in Taytay, Morong, San Mateo, Teresa, and Angono towns, DSWD-Calabarzon reported. At least 141 families sought refuge at the Hapay na Mangga Elementary School in Taytay.

Over in Bicol, 8 families from Sitio Contod Guinacutan, Vinzons town in Camarines Norte were brought to the Vinzons Pilot High School for safety.

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) earlier advised concerned LGUs to follow measures outlined in the disaster preparedness manual Oplan Listo.

Oplan Listo provides mayors and other local disaster management agencies a checklist that enumerates what should be done before, during, and after typhoons. Minimum critical activities that LGUs should be enforcing in affected areas include preemptive and forced evacuations.

Stranded passengers

Around 450 passengers were stranded in Bicol, most of them in Tabaco City, according to local officials.

In Calauag town in Quezon, passengers of a bus were rescued after they got stranded along Maharlika Highway.

Marasigan called on passengers and residents in affected areas to stay alert and to prepare for more rain and possible flooding and landslides.

As the tropical depression battered parts of Luzon on Tuesday, two brothers – one 17 years old, the other 14 – died after a landslide hit their home in Taytay, Rizal, said Marasigan.

Maring made landfall in Mauban, Quezon at 9 am on Tuesday, and then crossed Laguna, Rizal, and Metro Manila. It is expected to exit landmass via the Zambales-Bataan area on Tuesday evening. – with reports from Rhaydz Barcia / Rappler.com

Tropical Depression Maring: Closed roads, landslides in Luzon


LANDSLIDE. A landslide occurs along Lagonoy-Presentacion Road, the Camarines Sur 3rd District Engineering Office reports on September 12, 2017. Photo by Lucy Cataneda/DPWH Region V

LANDSLIDE. A landslide occurred in Lagonoy-Presentacion Road according to the situational report of Camarines Sur 3rd District Engineering Office. Photo by DPWH Region V RPIO Lucy Cataneda

MANILA, Philippines – Some roads in Luzon have been closed to traffic due to flooding and landslide that were caused by Tropical Depression Maring. (READ: #FloodPH Alert: Flooded areas outside Metro Manila September 12)

Maring made landfall in Mauban, Quezon at 9am, on Tuesday, September 12. (READ: Tropical Depression Maring crosses Laguna after hitting Quezon

Maring hit Metro Manila, Calabarzon, Mimaropa, Central Luzon, Bicol, and the province of Pangasinan. (READ: Maring forces evacuation in Quezon, other parts of Luzon)

A landslide occurred along Lagonoy-Presentacion Road according to the Camarines Sur 3rd District Engineering Office.

Calauag National Highway in Quezon province is also not passable due to a landslide.

Another landslide occured in barangay Dambo, Panguil, Laguna. 

In the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), only one lane of the Abatan-Mankayan-Cervantes and Bakun roads is passable. There is light to heavy rain in CAR.

How to report disaster information

The public can send photos and post status updates on their Facebook and Twitter accounts using the hashtag #FloodPH. The posts should be set to public.

Reports can also be sent via SMS to 2929 for Smart and Talk N' Text subscribers.

Text Format: FLOODPH <Street, Barangay, City> <Describe Flood>

Sample Text: FLOODPH Quirino Roxas Blvd, along Taft Ave Southbound, Manila Gutter deep passable to vehicles.

Flood reports can also be posted directly on the Agos map, powered by eBayanihan. Rappler's MovePH team will monitor the map and alert the public and authorities. – Rappler.com

DSWD conducts relief operations for people displaced by Maring


#MARINGPH. Commuters and motorists brave the knee-deep flood due to heavy rains brought by TD Maring along Evacom in Las Piñas City on September 12, 2017. Photo by Ben Nabong/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – (UDPATED) The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has started providing relief assistance to families affected by storm Maring (international name: Doksuri) as of Tuesday night, September 12.

The DSWD said they have allocated a total amount of P577,772,340.94 as standby funds for those affected by the heavy rains and flooding.

Based on the data provided by the department’s Disaster Response Operations Monitoring and Information Center (DROMIC), at least 2,103 families or 8,794 persons were affected in 109 barangays in the regions of Central Luzon, Metro Manila and the Calabarzon. 

Some 1,857 families or 7,549 persons are currently staying in 116 evacuation centers, most of which are in the provinces of Laguna and Quezon.

DSWD also prepositioned a least 18,000 food packs in Laguna and Quezon, including surrounding island municipalities.

On Tuesday, the Quick Response Team of the department's field office in Central Luzon also delivered 500 family food packs for stockpile of the Deputy Program for Executive Office in Nueva Ecija. 

"We ask everyone to stay dry, safe and alert regarding Tropical Depression Maring, which is expected to exit the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) tonight or early tomorrow morning. We advise the public to get regular weather bulletin updates from the PAGASA and other official government websites or social media accounts," Abella added. 

The weather system hit the country as a tropical depression on Tuesday. As of Wednesday morning, September 13,  the storm has moved away from Luzon and is now a tropical storm over the South China Sea.

Davao incident

The department also responded to the flooding incident in Talomo-A District, Davao which displaced at least 17 families or 85 persons  on Tuesday morning, September 13.

According to DSWD, at least 8 houses were totally damaged by the flood while 3 were partially damaged.  

The heavy rains in Davao City caused rivers to swell to critical levels at around 11:30 pm on Monday, prompting village officials in affected areas to issue a forced evacuation alert.

DSWD is continuously coordinating with the DSWD field office in the region for significant reports on the status of relief efforts and assistance needed by those displaced by the flooding. – Rappler.com

Filipinos ask their representatives: How did you vote on CHR budget?


MANILA, Philippine – How did you vote on the proposed 2018 budget of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR)? 

Many Filipinos threw this question to their district or sectoral representatives in the House of Representatives after 119 lawmakers voted in favor of allocating the constitutional body a budget of only P1,000 for next year. Only 32 legislators voted against it.

In just a few hours since the news was reported, the hashtag #CHRBudgetCheaper quickly made rounds online as netizens slammed the lawmakers who voted for the measly annual budget. For the netizens, the budget reflected how lawmakers value their constituents' human rights. 

Online clamor

The online clamor did not stop there. 

In a bid to demand answers and hold their representatives accountable for their actions, citizens have also emailed and sent messages to their congressional representatives.

This, they said, was their way of showing their personal position on the controversial issue. It was also a way to check if their district or sectoral representative represents their own interests.

Here are a few posts about it:


<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Good morning! Called up my congressmen&#39;s offices today. Please call yours! Numbers here: <a href="https://t.co/Y3v1R80Zof">https://t.co/Y3v1R80Zof</a></p>&mdash; Paige Occeñola (@ohnopaige) <a href="https://twitter.com/ohnopaige/status/907788784841793536">September 13, 2017</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>



<iframe src="https://web.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fweb.facebook.com%2Fni.coi.an.apuli%2Fposts%2F10210408949595375&width=500" width="500" height="664" style="border:none;overflow:hidden" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowTransparency="true"></iframe>



<iframe src="https://web.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fweb.facebook.com%2Fphoto.php%3Ffbid%3D10212495270750451%26set%3Da.3195917250498.145713.1042951080%26type%3D3&width=500" width="500" height="608" style="border:none;overflow:hidden" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowTransparency="true"></iframe>



<iframe src="https://web.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fweb.facebook.com%2Fregzhernandez%2Fposts%2F10155872908020312&width=500" width="500" height="727" style="border:none;overflow:hidden" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowTransparency="true"></iframe>



<iframe src="https://web.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fweb.facebook.com%2Fjoel.darwin%2Fposts%2F10100714296082147&width=500" width="500" height="588" style="border:none;overflow:hidden" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowTransparency="true"></iframe>



<iframe src="https://web.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fweb.facebook.com%2Fiamhisson%2Fposts%2F10210325555631604&width=500" width="500" height="664" style="border:none;overflow:hidden" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowTransparency="true"></iframe>



<iframe src="https://web.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fweb.facebook.com%2Fyumininofranco.villadares%2Fposts%2F10155155607827098&width=500" width="500" height="606" style="border:none;overflow:hidden" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowTransparency="true"></iframe>



<iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fphoto.php%3Ffbid%3D10154956557607215%26set%3Da.10150697034332215.394192.648447214%26type%3D3&width=500" width="500" height="607" style="border:none;overflow:hidden" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowTransparency="true"></iframe>


Hold them accountable

How did your representative vote in the budget deliberations?

Hold them accountable by asking them about their vote and their motivations. Did they vote for or against? Did they choose to abstain? Why? If they were absent, why? How would they have voted if they were there? 

Here are a few ways to reach out to your respective congressional representative:

  • Call them.  As public servants, your congressmen are obligated to answer to their constituents.The House of Representatives keeps a directory of the offices of each lawmaker. Check the directory here.

  • Send a snail mail. No one is picking up your call? Send a letter to their respective offices! You can check their official address also in the same public directory published on the  House website. After, you can tap a courier to send your letter. Alternatively, a netizen also volunteered to take up the task and deliver the letters to their offices.


<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">if anyone wants to write letters to their reps, I can and will gladly bring them to their respective offices</p>&mdash; aaron (@AARONPVALDEZ) <a href="https://twitter.com/AARONPVALDEZ/status/907656830452621312">September 12, 2017</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>


  • Post on social media. If all else fails, you can go to social media. Many, if not all, lawmakers have official social media accounts on Facebook and Twitter. Look for their accounts and ask them on those platforms. You can choose to engage them publicly by tagging them or posting on their walls or by sending them a private message.

Once you've done your part as a responsible citizen of the country, the next step is to wait. 

MovePH, Rappler's civic engagement arm, is crowdsourcing the statements of congressmen regarding their vote on the CHR budget. 

If you have reached out to your representative at the Congress, fill out this form: 


<iframe id="JotFormIFrame-72560263427455" onload="window.parent.scrollTo(0,0)" allowtransparency="true" src="https://form.jotform.me/72560263427455" frameborder="0" style="width: 1px; min-width: 100%; height:539px; border:none;" scrolling="no"> </iframe> <script type="text/javascript"> var ifr = document.getElementById("JotFormIFrame-72560263427455"); if(window.location.href && window.location.href.indexOf("?") > -1) { var get = window.location.href.substr(window.location.href.indexOf("?") + 1); if(ifr && get.length > 0) { var src = ifr.src; src = src.indexOf("?") > -1 ? src + "&" + get : src + "?" + get; ifr.src = src; } } window.handleIFrameMessage = function(e) { var args = e.data.split(":"); if (args.length > 2) { iframe = document.getElementById("JotFormIFrame-" + args[2]); } else { iframe = document.getElementById("JotFormIFrame"); } if (!iframe) return; switch (args[0]) { case "scrollIntoView": iframe.scrollIntoView(); break; case "setHeight": iframe.style.height = args[1] + "px"; break; case "collapseErrorPage": if (iframe.clientHeight > window.innerHeight) { iframe.style.height = window.innerHeight + "px"; } break; case "reloadPage": window.location.reload(); break; } var isJotForm = (e.origin.indexOf("jotform") > -1) ? true : false; if(isJotForm && "contentWindow" in iframe && "postMessage" in iframe.contentWindow) { var urls = {"docurl":encodeURIComponent(document.URL),"referrer":encodeURIComponent(document.referrer)}; iframe.contentWindow.postMessage(JSON.stringify({"type":"urls","value":urls}), "*"); } }; if (window.addEventListener) { window.addEventListener("message", handleIFrameMessage, false); } else if (window.attachEvent) { window.attachEvent("onmessage", handleIFrameMessage); } </script>


The budget deliberations are far from over. After the House, the proposed national budget will be tackled at the Senate which will have its own version of the budget proposal.

After that, both chambers of the Congress will have to finalize the budget bill in a bicameral conference committee.

Until the President signs the General Appropriations Act, there are ways for Filipinos to register their position on the ongoing budget deliberations. Make your voice count.  – Rappler.com

Did you ask your district or sectoral congressman about their vote in the budget deliberations? Share your experience engaging with them on X! 


WATCH: Keeping the organic coffee farming tradition in Sagada alive


ORGANIC COFFEE. Organic arabica coffee cherries. Photo by Marti Bartolome

SAGADA, Philippines – Sagada boasts of magnificent mountain scenes and enchanting adventure trails. At over 5,000 meters above sea level, the highlands are home to breathtaking sunrise views, the country's best organic coffee, and dutiful northern land keepers. 

Travelers take home colourful experiences. Locals, however, lose their younger generation to either the cities or tourism-related jobs in the pcturesque town, leaving their aging relatives to cultivate coffee plantations and keep the tradition alive. 

The number of tourists in Sagada skyrocketed to 138,257 in 2015 from 65,000 in 2014. Coffee farmer Goad Sibayan understands this is a natural phenomenon.

“This dilemma is a mix of labor, generation, and environmental conservation gap,” he says. “Tourism is good in the pocket, but I don’t know if it makes them genuinely happy. We have lost a whole generation of coffee farmers to the cities even if Sagada is very agricultural.”

With a history degree, Sibayan fit smack in the center of tourism and dedicated 11 years of his life as a tour guide in the north. However, the culture shift pushed him to devote his life to organic coffee farming.

Today, he is one of the partner farmers of the Coffee Heritage Project led by Rich Watanabe and Butch Acop.

COFFEE FARMERS. Rich Watanabe with Sagada partner farmers. Photo by Marti Bartolome

Coffee heritage project 

Its proponents describe the CHP as “a simple movement that promotes a fruitful collaboration amongst partner farmers, scientists, soil specialists, etymologists and any person who has the heart for uplifting the value of Philippine coffee.”

How does CHP help its partner farmers? The team organizes annual coffee planting and harvesting programs with volunteer participants, and it recently recorded its highest volunteer turnout for a planting trip in June. Acop says this is part of the trust you have to keep and earn from the coffee farmers.

“Relationship is key and you need that bond unbreakable by money," he says.

Watanabe says the CHP creates something more valuable than profit.

“The socio-cultural interaction makes the process more sustainable. There’s no need for modern technology or any developer to buy land, which will destroy nature’s cycle and eventually disempower the farmers. You don’t buy the land and take over. Instead, you help them find ways to grow better coffee and distribute what they produce more efficiently," he says.

PLANTING. Coffee Heritage Project planting, June 2017. Photo by Marti Bartolome

Jun Depidep, another CHP pioneer, offers a small picturesque house for the group. Acop says it is designed to be the consolidating area for coffee farmers in the area. “This is the future of Sagada coffee," he adds.

Keeping the tradition alive

Today, it is called the Coffee Heritage House, ready to receive travelers and CHP volunteers alike.

Depidep knows it has always been CHP’s aim to elevate appreciation for culture and tradition. This is the same reason why he trusted Watanabe as a partner.

“One of the most fulfilling experiences CHP brought me was when my 10- year-old son came up to me few days ago and said he wanted to be a farmer when he grows up," he says.

Not only does the CHP inspire locals to keep their tradition and metropolitans to help out, but it also produces world-class coffee. Through Sibayan, Watanabe, and Acop’s collaboration, Sagada’s organic coffee won the Medaille Gourmet in the International Contest of Coffees Roasted in their Countries of Origin held by the Agency for the Valorization of Agricultural Products (AVPA) in June.

AVPA’s objective is “to contribute to enhancing the value of agricultural products and to recognize the excellence of some producers too often forgotten in the midst of the requirements of mass marketing.” 

Acop agrees the bayanihan process makes the coffee richer.

PROCESSING. Coffee grinding at the Coffee Heritage House. Photo by Marti Bartolome

“It is indeed a pleasant surprise to the group. We will take whatever will help our cause for as long as it doesn’t sacrifice the farmers and the bigger picture of Philippine artisanal coffee. Even my wife and her advertising agency has a digital campaign for CHP. It’s just touching lives in many different ways," he says.

The winning batch of roasted coffee came from Sibayan’s own harvest, also known as Bana’s Coffee.

He’s elated with the award but also careful not to rely on it to boost heritage conservation and coffee production.

Ayaw namin ng limelight dahil hindi iyan ang nagpapasarap ng kape (We don’t want  the limelight because it’s not the secret to better-tasting coffee). Between development and keeping tradition, we’ll always choose the latter.” – Rappler.com 

With the coffee sciences center, the CHP team is the only coffee school that has its own farm and award-winning brand. Visit them at No. 45 Maalalahanin St, Teacher’s Village, Quezon City. 

Youth groups condemn Congress for P1,000 CHR budget


MANILA, Philippines – Youth groups aired their disappointment after the House of Representatives on Tuesday, September 12, approved the allocation of only P1,000 for the Commission on Human Rights for 2018.

In an interview, Mark Angelo Roma, founding president of Young Filipino Advocates of Critical Thinking, said that this action is geared towards making the commission completely dysfunctional.

"The disappointing move from the 119 Congressmen, mostly allies of this administration, is a sign that there really is a blatant disrespect of human rights in the country," Roma said.

He also remarked that the budget approval means that the value of human rights is reduced to P1000 which shouldn't be the case for a society that claims to uphold human dignity.

"We abhor the act. We hope that the Senate will do its part to counter this at the bicam" he ended. 

Facebook page Assortedge also posted an opinion piece urging student publications to speak up against the House approval. 

"The truth is the decision was anchored on ignorance about (how) the Commission on Human Rights works. After all, its mandate is to investigate the atrocities committed by the state," the post said.

It also emphasized that one should not aim for neutrality but instead for truthfulness. 

"(W)e believe that our goal transcends beyond reporting the truth; our goal is to shape and influence opinion that uses truth into its proper context. At the end of the day, we have no one to serve but the Filipino people," the post ended. 


<iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fassortedge%2Fposts%2F1340547372738187&width=500" width="500" height="287" style="border:none;overflow:hidden" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowTransparency="true"></iframe>


In a vote of 119-32, Congress supported the motion of SAGIP Representative Rodante Marcoleta to reduce the Commission on Human Rights' budget for the next fiscal year. 

Earlier on Monday, House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez said that he wanted to give CHR only P1,000 because "they are not doing their job."

Senate Finance Committee already approved CHR's budget proposal amounting to P678 million including P28.565 million for the Human Rights Violations Victims' Memorial Commission

The CHR is not yet sure to receive P1,000-budget for 2018 as the Senate and House of Representative must reconcile in a bicameral committee composed of representatives from both houses (READ: P1,000 budget for CHR? Netizens react on House decision with #CHRBudgetCheaper) - Rappler.com

Baguio locals protest multi-level parking podiums, call for sustainable tourism


FOR PEOPLE. Civil society organizations, students, and concerned citizens walk and encircle Burnham Lake as a sign of protest to the local government unit’s decision to transform areas within Burnham Park into car-parking spaces. Photo by Alexa Yadao/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – Baguio locals, through a peaceful protest action, reiterated their calls for sustainable tourism that promotes and preserves Baguio’s unique culture and arts.

Called “Walkabout," the protest happened on Wednesday morning, September 13. Amid the gloomy weather, students, locals, and members of civil society organizations participated in the mobilization that visited 3 areas within Burnham Park where the multi-level parking podiums would be established.

The Walkabout was organized by The Baguio We Want Forum, a group of concerned citizens keen on mitigating environmental damages being done to the city with socio-cultural consequences. The group earlier petitioned the city government to stop the construction of the multi-level parking podiums.

The said construction of parking podiums was the subject of a resolution passed and approved by the city council. 

The parking podium, according to the resolution is, a response to the suggestion of tourists and residents to build a podium car parking "within the central business district area." The project proposal cited the lack of parking spaces as a reason and added that it aims to address "all issues on illegal parking."


<iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fmonin.navarro%2Fposts%2F10213873420779469&width=500" width="500" height="626" style="border:none;overflow:hidden" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowTransparency="true"></iframe>


The online petition has now garnered 9,056 signatures.

Not against development

Chancellor Raymundo Rovillos of the University of the Philippines Baguio, however, argued that Baguio City can still push for growth-oriented and income generating projects without sacrificing the city's “ local and distinct character." Rovillos is also one of the convenors of the Baguio We Want group. (READ: Baguio is in the running to become a UNESCO creative city)

“What kind of tourism are they promoting? What are they giving up? They are giving up heritage and knowledge areas and spaces for cars,” Rovillos said. 

He cited the proposed construction of a city auditorium in the area near the library instead of the said multi-level parking area.

According to him, the construction can still be considered an income-generating one since it can be rented out. He also argued that it is more beneficial to the local community since it can be used by students and institutions for academic endeavors and/or community building.

“Iba yung development na iniisip ng city government (The city government has a different way of looking at development)They always think in revenues. Like this parking lot but at the cost of the environment,” said Luchie Maranan, a member of BWW and Tongtongan ti Umili.

Preserving knowledge spaces 

Organizers of the mobilization also emphasized that the campaign is not only about the preservation of the diminishing green spaces in the city but also about the preservation of spaces of cultural and historical significance.

“By heritage we not only mean the American Colonial Heritage but also the heritage of the Ibalois who are the indigenous peoples in Baguio and Benguet,” Rovillos explained, speaking at the Ibaloi Park which is one of the areas in danger of being transformed into a parking area.

Burnham Park has been declared as a heritage site by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines in 2015.

“Baguio is known for its arts and culture. Why don’t we encourage local crafts, small enterprises instead of grandiose projects who don’t benefit the local community?” said Maranan said in mixed Filipino and English. 

According to the organizers, the event is only the start of a series of protest actions and campaigns in Baguio City. – with reports from Beatrisha Lorraine Iglesia/Rappler.com 

Alexa Yadao is a Journalism student from UP Baguio.

Ateneo Blue Babble Battalion protests EJKs, CHR budget cut in halftime show


STOP THE KILLINGS. Members of the Ateneo Blue Babble Battalion protest against extrajudicial killings at the UAAP Season 80 Men's Basketball game against University of the Philippines. Photo courtesy of @_tapsilog

MANILA, Philippines – The Ateneo Blue Babble Battalion protested against extrajudicial killings and the cut on Commission on Human Rights' (CHR) budget on Wednesday, September 13.

Members of the squad raised placards with the call "Stop the killings, Uphold human rights" during their halftime performance at the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) Season 80 Men's Basketball game against the University of the Philippines.

They also tore a replica of a P1000-bill, referring to the slashed CHR budget.

On Tuesday, September 12, the House of Representatives (HOR) voted to allocate only P1,000 to the Constitutional body that was mandated to investigate allegations of human rights abuses by state actors such as the military or police. 

Netizens and various groups slammed the lawmakers who voted for the measly annual budget. (READ: Filipinos ask their representatives: How did you vote on CHR budget?)

The CHR has been the focus of criticism, particularly from President Rodrigo Duterte, following its statements against the ongoing war on drugs which has already claimed at least 3,500 lives in police operations alone.

CHR has also been monitoring the tallies being done by human rights groups and various media organizations, such as the Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA), which had cited at least 12,000 deaths– including those allegedly killed by vigilantes. (READ: Things to know: Human rights in the Philippines).

Many members of the Ateneo academic community previously staged rallies and other forms of protest to condemn the killings.

In 2016, the squad also staged protest actions against the burial of dictator Ferdinand Marcos during the Final 4 game of Ateneo against Far Eastern University. – Rappler.com

No hungry child: Malabon’s feeding program aims to fight malnutrition


FEEDING PROGRAM. The city's nutrition office holds a 90-day feeding program, targeting severely malnourished children. All photos from Malabon Nutrition Office

MANILA, Philippines – Children should grow up to achieve their full potential, but for many Filipino children, this is not their reality.

Underfed and malnourished, millions of Filipino children go to school with empty stomachs – a barrier to their healthy development in their growing up years.

In Metro Manila, Malabon City has been waging a fight against hunger and malnutrition, and their efforts have been paying off in recent years.

From consistently ranking among the top areas in the capital region with high rates of malnutrition, Malabon has drastically cut its high rate of children who are stunted, severely wasted, or severely underweight.

For the city’s nutrition office, the goal is to make sure that Malabon kids are eating well, so that they grow up to be responsible and productive members of society.

One action being taken is the 90-day feeding program, an initiative that also brings in local businesses and the residents themselves in a community intervention effort.

Malnutrition rates

From 2012 to 2013, Malabon ranked second in Metro Manila areas with the highest rates of malnutrition, according to data from the National Nutrition Council’s Operation Timbang Plus (OPT).

But in a span of 3 years, stunting rates and other indicators of malnutrition have dropped for the city – an indication that the city’s interventions are reaping results.

As of 2016, Malabon has a total of 4,067 stunted children among 58,779 preschoolers included in the OPT survey. Of this number, 1,072 are classified as severely stunted.

For 2016, the city’s stunting rate is at 8.52% – a big drop from the 16.3% stunting rate recorded just 3 years ago in 2013.

2016 OPT Results Height-for-Age among 0-71 months old preschool children
Estimated number of preschool children58,779
Total number of preschool children measured47,717
Stunted children2,995
Severely stunted children1,072
Total stunted children4,067


Based on 2016 data, 10 cities in Metro Manila were ranked among the top 100 cities and municipalities in the country with the highest number of stunting among preschool children. 

Malabon City ranked 17th nationally, and 7th among Metro Manila cities.

Other indicators of malnutrition in Malabon also decreased over the years. The percentage of severely wasted kids is down to 3% in 2016 from 6% in 2013. The number of severely underweight kids went down to 3.17% in 2016 from 4.58% in 2013. 

Community effort 

The city has worked hard to bring its double-digit stunting rates down to single-digit figures, and it has tapped the communities to be involved in the fight against malnutrition.

The city’s 90-day feeding program is a cumulative effort among government officials, local businesses, and the residents themselves.

“We ask help from different business owners and private individuals to give us raw ingredients, so we ask for [something] as simple as sayote (chayote), ground pork, ground beef, saba (cardava banana), eggs. And then the city provides the rice, but a lot of the protein have been donated,” said city nutrition action officer Melissa Oreta.

Oreta uses her knowledge and skills as a professional chef in designing the menu, using the ingredients donated by the community.

“When I designed the menu, cost was the number one concern because we wanted to offer a meal at a lower cost but really healthy,” she said.

“We also cannot predict what the community will give us. Sometimes we'll get canned goods, sometimes we will get a different kind of meat that we didn't ask for, so we try to innovate from that and convert it into something healthy,” she added.

Oreta recalled how they had once received a donation of Hershey’s chocolate, and used that to make champorado (sweet chocolate rice porridge). A donation of macaroni ended up as macaroni soup, with vegetables and meat added to the mix to make it a healthier meal.

After implementing the program late last year in 5 barangays, there are currently 10 barangays and about 400 children taking part in the program.

Severely wasted or underweight children are given priority. This is determined after Oplan Timbang, where the city’s children are weighed and measured to identify those who are malnourished and should be given intervention.

Oreta said 90 days is the minimum period needed to rehabilitate children who are severely wasted or underweight. At the end of the 90-day program, children should have gained enough weight to be classified as “normal” upon graduation.

Changing mindsets

It’s already a challenge for the nutrition office to whip up healthy dishes from donated goods, but they have another battle to fight: the mindset that nutritious meals are costly and too bothersome to prepare.

Oreta said that money is usually not the issue. There are parents who just don't prioritize nutrition enough to allot their budget for their kids’ healthy meals.

Because of this, some parents don’t bother sending their children to the 3 pm feeding program schedule, preferring instead to play tong-its or bingo.

“They have money to spare for other things, and yet they find it bothersome to take their child every 3 pm. It's not like they don't have cash to spend, there is [money]. That's what we try to change when we give classes and when we talk to them,” Oreta said.

Over the course of the program, they also found that some parents considered the feeding program as a primary source of their children’s meals, rather than just a supplementary service.

City Mayor Antolin "Len-Len" Oreta III stressed that this should not be the case.

“They shouldn’t have their kids’ meals depend solely on the program. Many of them are like that, eating only during the program. They won't eat at home. We want them to eat at home, to eat some more,” Mayor Oreta said.


<div class="blob-full" style="position:relative;">
<bg-image style="background: url('https://assets.rappler.com/612F469A6EA84F6BAE882D2B94A4B421/img/38A3FD04E1724E3D93668EA785454BC7/20170913-feeding-program.jpg');">
<text-container class="top light half left"; color="#000000">
<blockquote style="border-left: 2px;background-color: rgba(0,0,0, 0.5);color: white;">
'We try to show them how proper nutrition will help them perform better in school.'



To address this, the nutrition office is incorporating lessons on parenting, values formation, and nutrition seminars to drive home the importance of healthy eating in the children’s growth and development.

Stunted growth, after all, affects a child's cognitive development and overall health. But there are also repercussions on the national level: it costs the Philippines at least P328 billion every year due to losses in education and workforce productivity, according to non-governmental organization Save the Children. 

With about 3.8 million stunted children in the country, this presents a worrying outlook for the country’s future.

“If you have the proper nutrition, then you'll get sick less. We try to show them how it relates to [the children’s] developmental skills…how proper nutrition will help them perform better in school,” Melissa Oreta said.

To nip the problem in the bud, the city has included pregnant women in the feeding program, to help ensure healthier Malabonians right at the onset.

Sustaining momentum

What happens after the 90-day program is over?

To keep the children from slipping back to unhealthy habits, the city nutrition office designs the program to ensure that the meals can be easily recreated, using  affordable and accessible ingredients.

Oreta said many parents have the misconception that healthy food means using expensive ingredients.

But she pointed out that this is usually not the case. The problem, she added, was not the cost, but the lack of knowledge on what healthy but affordable meals can be prepared.

This is why the nutrition office also integrates seminars and lessons to young mothers, who learn how to cook and keep a household with the help of their fellow resident mothers.

When done right, nutrition officer said the results at the end of the program are heartwarming: children who were once severely wasted and malnourished show up much healthier on graduation day. Some grew 3 inches in a matter of weeks, while one child even gained as much as 11 pounds.

One of Oreta’s favorite success stories was about one grandfather who took the effort to bring his grandchild to the feeding program every day without fail. The child ended up recording the most improvement in weight among that graduating batch.

“It’s nice every graduation day, because you see them at the start and then you see them after 90 days. You know that they’re healthier from the time that they’ve started. They’re more alert, they’re not lethargic….You see a big difference and I think every graduation makes it memorable,” she said.

Once the nutrition office finishes holding the 90-day feeding program in all 21 barangays, the cycle repeats again to include more children.

Ultimately, the city government wants to make sure that the new generation of children given these interventions will grow up to be responsible, capable, and dependable members of their families and of the larger society.

But Oreta knows that the long-term effects of the program will outlast local officials’ term in office.

“In the end, we want to create a generation of children who aren’t stunted…We would like them to be responsible citizens, and we feel that nutrition is a big part of it,” she said. – Rappler.com

The research for this case study was supported by the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom.  




The mother who sold turon to send her 4 children to college


Lorna Tambaoan told her life story to Ateneo students during the launch of the Istorya ng Pag-Asa on Wednesday, September 13. Photo by Danielle Nakpil/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – A group of eager Ateneo De Manila University students listened with rapt attention as turon vendor Lorna Tambaoan narrated her success story in one of the rooms at the university’s Rizal Library. 

Though they were laughing and nodding, the students were in awe as Nanay Lorna sprinkled with jokes and streetwise advice her tale as a small-scale entrepeneur who sent all her four children – 3 daughters and a son – through college. 

The 56-year-old Tambaoan was among the featured extraordinary Filipinos in the Istorya ng Pag-asa (Story of Hope) photo gallery that was launched in Ateneo on Wednesday, September 13.

Life story 

The mother from Quezon City was able to make ends meet for her family by selling turon (banana fritters). In fact, she even brought a basket of her products to the Ateneo event. The basket went empty in no time.

Her eldest daughter finished with a degree in political science in the University of the Philippines Diliman and was now taking up law as a working student in Ateneo. Her second daughter was a nurse, while her was a teacher.

Her youngest and only son was now a part of UP College of Medicine’s intarmed program. 

Photo by Danielle Nakpil/Rappler

“Talagang alam ko na 'yon lang ang maibibigay ko sa mga anak ko. Ako kasi 'yong nanay na hindi talaga nakapagtapos dahil sa hirap. Pero naisip ko na hindi pwedeng 'yong hirap ko, pagdadaanan din ng mga anak ko," she said. (I know that’s all I can give to my children [hardwork]. I was not able to finish my education due to poverty. My children do not have to go through the same thing.)

Tambaoan’s husband died in 2013. Life became harder but she persisted.

Life’s hard knocks did not stop her from providing for her children beyond what she was capable of. Nanay Lorna said her only dream was to send her kids to prestigious schools despite poverty.

For them, she would do everything.

"Dapat bigyan ng lakas ang anak na kaya. Huwag laging iaasa sa anak [ang kinabukasan nila]. Ikaw ang nanay. Basta ibigay mo ang best para maging mabuti sila," she added. (We should encourage our children if they want to study.  Parents should not depend on their children for their future. You are the parent. Give your best for their welfare.)

Photo exhibit

Istorya ng Pag-Asa was a photo exhibit, initiated by the Office of the Vice President. It is “an effort to present an alternative narrative to the prevailing trend of negativity and hate through stories of hope, optimism, and inspiration.” 

"In spite of differences, we can build bridges of understanding, rather than walls. And so Istorya ng Pag-asa was born," Vice President Leni Robredo said in her speech at the launch of the exhibit. 

The photo exhibit has collected inspiring stories of ordinary Filipinos in Quezon City, Baguio City, Naga City, Cebu City, Cagayan De Oro, Palawan, and Dumaguete City. The Office of the Vice President also intended to go to more places.  

"Everywhere we look, there are extraordinary stories of ordinary people," Robredo added.

Nanay Lorna was only one success story out of the probably millions of other untold stories of hope in the country. In these trying times, the photo exhibit aimed to inspire Filipinos to live and conquer the divisiveness, negativity, or hatred they face every day.  – Rappler.com


Modern-day Juan Lunas submit #MarcosARTrocities artworks


MANILA, Philippines – If there is power in voicing out opinions through social media, it is more powerful to do it through art.

This is what #MarcosARTrocities participating artist Rodrigo Acuzar believes in.

A creative community, going by the name Molotov Pilipinas, encouraged people to post their artworks online on September 11 to condemn the Marcos atrocities. (READ: On Marcos centennial, a call to post artworks about martial law atrocities)  

This crowdsourcing effort follows the declaration of September 11 as a non-working day in Ilocos Norte to celebrate the 100th birth anniversary of the late president and dictator Ferdinand Marcos. 

“It feels great to be part of a community of modern-day Juan Lunas where through digital art, we are able to express our political and socio-cultural views,” he said.

Juan Luna was a Philippine painter and revolutionist in the late 19th century.

Believing that socio-cultural and political engagement is fluid, the artists believe art is one way to speak up about national issues. (IN PHOTOS: Activists ‘celebrate’ Marcos’ 100th birth anniversary)

“There is strength in art. Art has been my tool to carry out my extreme dissent towards this celebration of tyranny and a dying democracy," Acuzar added. 

Several artists showcased their powerful masterpieces on social media.


<a class="twitter-timeline" data-partner="tweetdeck" href="https://twitter.com/MovePH/timelines/908180285908324352">#MarcosARTrocities - Curated tweets by MovePH</a> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>


 According to Molotov Pilipinas, the project was inspired by #ArtPH trend in Twitter, where hundreds of visual artists posted their creations. They said they wanted the same effect. 

“The Marcoses know and use the power of the arts very well. This is an attempt to unite and rally (anti-fascist) artists to beat the Marcoses in their own game. It’s a small step in our big battle against historical revisionism,” they said. 

Marcos was buried in the Libingan ng mga Bayani with full military honors on November 18, 2016. – Rappler.com 

HIGHLIGHTS: #HackSociety Day 1


DAY 1. #HackSociety Day 1 on September 14, 2017 kicks off the two-day ideathon. All photos by LeAnne Jazul/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – The youth is at the forefront of the next big idea that could help solve some of today's pressing real-world problems.

This year, Rappler, in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is holding #HackSociety, a two-day hackathon on September 14 and 15 that aims to crowdsource "hacks" or innovative solutions. (READ: #HackSociety 2017: Innovate with purpose, leave no one behind)

Twenty finalists are set to present their ideas to address problems in 4 key areas: media and democracy; environment and climate change; peace, governance, and local development; and public health and well-being.

This year's event aims to recognize solutions that would have a deep and lasting impact on communities to help ensure that no one is left behind. 

UNDP Philippines communications associate Jaclyn Gray recognized the immense contribution of the youth to development. Rappler's research and content strategy head Gemma Bagayaua-Mendoza said HackSociety aims to hack away at the sustainable development goals one solution at a time.

Here are the highlights from Day 1 of the event.

What's your mission?

With so many problems that need attention, how will the 20 finalists use their skills and knowledge to propose sustainable, implementable solutions?

The first part of the program involved a Venn diagram exercise with the teams, for them to identify what they are passionate about, what the world needs, and how their proposed hack can bridge these two together.

Team LawKo, for instance, is passionate about using social media to disseminate important information to the public. Combining this with the need for awareness of the law, the team wants to create a platform that will allow the public to understand legal processes better.

Team IdeaGo Philippines, meanwhile, envisions their Fashion Swapp mobile app to help solve the problem of climate change by slowing down the fashion cycle through sustainable consumption.

Meanwhile, the need to address depression and mental health problems in the Philippines prompted The Circuit Studio to work on their project, Pag-ibig Heartline.

Using technology effectively

How do you use technology for social good? 

While the Internet opens up a whole world of opportunities to implement projects benefiting marginalized sectors of society, the reality is that many Filipinos still don't have access to the Internet.

About 60 million or 58% of the total population have access to the Internet– slightly higher than the global internet penetration average of 50%.

Glen Macadaeg, business development manager of Globe Digital Ventures, said that if solutions only target those who have Internet access, many Filipinos may end up not being able to access them.

The challenge is making sure those who only have the basic call and text functions of a phone will have access to these services.

The Department of Health, for instance, is using the SMS API of Globe Labs to enable SPEED, or Surveillance in Post Extreme Emergencies and Disasters. During times of disasters, the program will enable barangay health officials to report sicknesses.

Meanwhile, there's also the challenge to help reduce waste and practice sustainable consumption. How can you close the loop in the product life cycle through human-centered design?

Watch Jen Yu, Design and User Experience at Rappler, talk about it here: 

 In one workshop, participants thought up various creative uses for old tech peripherals and accessories. Old CDs can be turned into a bike reflector, while USB cables can be used as materials for footwear and keychain holders. 

One group even proposed using earphone cords as materials for a purse.

Dare to fail

Many startups begin with the desire to implement innovative ideas that can change the world, but the reality is that many find themselves failing. But that's not necessarily a bad thing.

Part of the process involves learning from failures and unlearning concepts that don't work, said Pauline Guanzon, founder of E.A.R.S., a wearable assistive safety device for the deaf and hard of hearing.

But it's important to remember who will benefit from the projects and ideas.

"There were so many times that we had to begin again, so many time when we think what we knew was correct. We had to unlearn. There were so many times our theories were disproven. Be solid on your why, because the how and who may change," she said.

Meanwhile, Kevin Lee of A Single Drop for Safe Water advised the participants not to be afraid of failure.

"Everyone goes through failures to become successful. Don't be afraid to fail, as long as you learn from your failure. Failure is a tool to get better," he said.

"You are allowed to fail. If you are not allowed to fail, they will never take a risk," he added. – Rappler.com

A tip for startups: Dare to Fail


DARE TO FAIL. Kristina Guanzon, born with a hearing disability, wants to help other deaf people through her organization E.A.R.S. Photo by Leanne Jazul/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – "Know your 'why' because your 'how' or 'who' may change."

This is one of the messages Pauline and Kristina Guanzon, founders of Innovable Inc., told aspiring startup owners who attended the #HackSociety workshop held at the Rappler Headquarters on September 14. 

In one of the program segments called 'Dare to Fail,' the sisters shared the challenges they had to go through before reaching the success of their innovation–the Early Action Response System or E.A.R.S.

Kristina Guanzon was born with a hearing disability. Only her left ear, with a hearing aid, allows her to hear. 

Growing up with a hearing disability, she shared her struggles especially when she commutes and not knowing what's happening behind her. 

"My problem is [when I commute]. I don’t know what’s coming from behind. I can never hear what’s behind me. I was actually held up once," she shared. 

Her disability is what pushed her to invite her sister Pauline to partner with her and build a tool or device that can help fellow deaf like her.

The Early Action Response System or E.A.R.S is a wearable device for the deaf that has a sensor and vibration system that can serve as a safety assistant for the deaf in public places. 

However, the sisters shared how the road to making this dream a reality was not easy. 

"Even if we think we have such a good idea or so we thought. An idea is just an idea. Execution is a whole new matter entirely. There were so many times that we had to begin again. so many times when we thought what we knew is already right but was actually wrong," Pauline said. 

Despite the doubts they received from a lot of people, what kept them going was sticking to their "why"– to help the deaf community.

Pauline adds, "Her deafness is not a disability but more of a perspective. Deafness is a motivation to keep going," 

Their advice for aspiring startup entrepreneurs is to work with the right people and treat every failure as a learning experience. 

Kevin Lee, from Single Drop of Water, urged the participants to not be afraid to fail. 

"As long as you learn from your failure. Failure is a tool to get better." Lee said. 

Single Drop of Water is an organization that has been building water systems in the Philippines since the 1960s. One of its main goals is to capacitate development planning capacity to implement and create direction, structure, and accountability within local government and communities. 

Lee shares how they had to go through multiple failures in order to achieve their goal. 

He cites an experience when the water system they built succeeded in a community but totally failed in another.

"Often times, start-ups have initial success but [are] followed by massive failures...The culture of our organization is that we told that everyone [that] you are allowed to fail [because] if [they] are not allowed to fail, they will never take a risk or action," said the ambassador.  

While failure is inevitable, the mentors urge the participants to fail fast but fail forward. –Rappler.com

UP Cebu students: Sass’ libel threat a direct attack on freedom of expression


TRIGGERED. Blogger Sass Sassot complains over the inclusion of her picture in a poster on a forum on fake news

MANILA, Philippines – From the bigger perspective, what does Sass Sasot's threat to members of the Union of Progressive Students (UPS) imply? 

Earlier this month, Netherland-based blogger Sass Sasot threatened a political party at the University of the Philippines-Cebu with a libel suit if they fail to present substantial proof that she spreads fake news. 

This came after socio-political group UPS published her picture along with Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar and Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson in a promotional poster of an event called "What the fact," a UPS-organized event tackling fake news. 

“Since none of us were invited to the event, the inclusion of our picture is to imply that we are distributing fake news. I will let the other two in the poster speak for themselves, but I am protesting this malicious imputation that I am spreading fake news,” Sasot said in the letter.

Members of the political organization believed that the libel threat of the pro-Duterte blogger is a direct attack on their freedom of expression.

Why Sass’ face is on the poster?

Asked why they included the blogger in the poster,  Nikkai Carreon, UPS Vice Chairman for Political Affairs, cited the blogger's controversial statements on her social media account. (READ: #MagkaibaYan: 'Fake news' vs fiction trends on Twitter)

“Ms Sasot spreads fake news, and even rationalizes them. Her ‘buntis si Leni (Leni is pregnant) 'and 'international media is destabilizing' are examples,” Carreon told Rappler.

Carreon also argued that Sasot defends personalities who spread and create fake news. She said that by doing so, she legitimizes fake news which is even worse  than posting fake news itself.

In a Facebook live interview with Rappler CEO Maria Ressa, UPS Adviser Jason Baguia explained that there is enough theory and published scientific papers about fake news which include the kind of information posted on the blogger’s page, making Sasot a fake news blogger.


<iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Frapplerdotcom%2Fvideos%2F1767448233275952%2F&show_text=0&width=560" width="560" height="315" style="border:none;overflow:hidden" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowTransparency="true" allowFullScreen="true"></iframe>


Students’ security

The event pushed through but it was held in a different venue. Organizers also limited the event to a selected audience. 

After Sasot reposted the poster on her blog, her followers threatened students who were involved in the event.

“For the safety and benefit of our members, we have to refrain from engaging Sasot in social media, as her army of trolls has continued to harass and berate, even threaten, our members online,” Carreon said.

UPS reiterated that it has nothing to apologize for and will sustain and strengthen the fight for their freedom of expression and civil liberties against those who threaten to deprive them of these rights. (READ: Pro-Duterte bloggers argue for use of profane language after accreditation)

Resolving the issue

In a reply to Sassot’s letter, UP Cebu Office of Student Affairs Coordinator Ellen Grace Funesto stressed that UP Cebu Administration values academic independence and freedom of expression. She added that the school administration encourages their students to practice critical thinking and be informed about the issues within and outside the campus. 


<iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fphoto.php%3Ffbid%3D10203476384627894%26set%3Da.2523202096999.67884.1761770327%26type%3D3&width=500" width="500" height="588" style="border:none;overflow:hidden" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowTransparency="true"></iframe>


“The UP Cebu Administration does not meddle, censor, or interfere with the students’ activities for as long as it complies with the laws, rules, and guidelines,” Funesto said.

Funesto also suggested to Sasot to file a formal complaint with her office if she wished. 

Baguia, for his part, said: “Journalists and persons who engage in communication should come to a dialogue with each other. This doesn't need to be a war since everybody claims that what they’re doing online is for the country.”  – Rappler.com

Meet the speakers and guests at the 2017 Manila Social Good Summit


MANILA, Philippines – Optimism in technology comes with a disturbing question: Will intelligent machines, like robots, replace humans in the workforce?

With its theme, "Innovation with a Purpose: Leave No One Behind" the 2017 Manila Social Good Summit will explore the purpose of innovation and push back to the center stage the massive and urgent needs that the society faces. It will ask critical questions: Where are we? Where do we want to go? How do we get there?

Organized by Rappler in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the 2017 Social Good Summit will be held on Saturday, September 16, at the Samsung Hall in SM Aura, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig, Metro Manila.

These are the key activities during the Social Good Summit:

  • #HackSociety – is a 30-hour workshop with breakout sessions that will focus on 4 critical pathways to achieve the "Leave No One Behind" Agenda that includes media and democracy; peace, governance, and local initiative; environment and climate change; and public health and well-being. (Sessions are from September 14 to September 15)
  • #2030NOWChallenge – Those not part of #HackSociety can make the most of their Social Good Summit experience by joining the #2030NOW Challenge which guides participants through the ideas and learning activities featured in the XChange.
  • #InspireCourage Stories – #InspireCourage is a series of 5-minute stories told by organizations and individuals who have programs or initiatives that they are passionate about. (Session is from 10 am to 11:30 am)
  • Leave No One Behind Plenary – This is the main event where we think of big ideas shaping our world today and every person’s stake in it. The Social Good Summit celebrates human judgment and values – compassion, integrity, hope, courage – traits that distinguish us from machines. (Session is from 1 pm to 6 pm)

Tickets to the Social Good Summit are limited. You can secure yours now for free:


<div style="width:100%; text-align:left;"><iframe src="//eventbrite.com/tickets-external?eid=37233866497&ref=etckt" frameborder="0" height="340" width="100%" vspace="0" hspace="0" marginheight="5" marginwidth="5" scrolling="auto" allowtransparency="true"></iframe><div style="font-family:Helvetica, Arial; font-size:12px; padding:10px 0 5px; margin:2px; width:100%; text-align:left;" ><a class="powered-by-eb" style="color: #ADB0B6; text-decoration: none;" target="_blank" href="http://www.eventbrite.com/">Powered by Eventbrite</a></div></div>


SPEAKERS AND GUESTS (in alphabetical order)

His Excellency Ola Almgren
Resident Coordinator, United Nations in the Philippines

 Ola Almgren is the resident coordinator for the United Nations (UN) in the Philippines. He has been with the UN for 25 years, working on humanitarian affairs, development, peace and security, and disaster relief. He was director of the New York Office of the UN’s Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, an organization that worked on the removal of chemical weapons in Syria. He was also the Mission Chief of Staff of the UN Stabilization mission in the Republic of Congo, where they worked on the security, restoration of government stability, the return of displaced families to their homes, and the relaunch of community economies after years of political turmoil. Ola Almgren was recently in Leyte where he visited various projects for the families and communities affected by Typhoon Yolanda.

Assistant Secretary Kris Ablan
Philippine Communications Operations Office

  Assistant Secretary Kris Ablan leads the Office for Policy and Legislative Affairs of the Philippine Communications Operations Office. He currently heads the Freedom of Information program of the administration. Prior to his post at the PCOO, he served the Commission on Elections and the Public-Private Partnership of the Philippines. He was a Board Member of the Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte from 2007 to 2010. He has a law degree from the University of the Philippines and a Masters of Public Policy from the University of the Auckland in Australia.

Micaela Agoncillo
Operations Consultant, GenerationHope

 Micaela Agoncillo is an operations consultant for GenerationHOPE Philippines, a non-profit company that builds public school classrooms through every purchase of bottled water they call "Hope in a Bottle." She finished her undergraduate degree in Communications Technology Management in Ateneo de Manila University.

Rupert Ambil
Executive Director, Move.PH

 Rupert Ambil is the Executive Director of Rappler’s civic engagement arm, Move.PH. He studied at University of the Philippines (UP) Los Baños and UP Diliman. He began his career in the broadcast industry at the Philippines' first 24-hour news channel Sarimanok News Network, now ANC, or the ABS-CBN News Channel. In 2000, he left what could have been lucrative employment to work for an NGO in Eastern Samar. A hybrid of news-gathering, production, engineering, and eventually multimedia operations, the field eventually became his office. Telling stories using all available media is his passion.

Atom Araullo
UNHCR Advocate

 Atom Araullo is an award-winning Filipino journalist and an advocate for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. He has served long years in the media industry as a news reporter in TV Patrol and Bandila of the ABS-CBN News and Current Affairs. During his childhood years, he was part of the afternoon show 5 and Up. He has a Bachelors degree in Applied Physics from the University of the Philippines – Diliman.

John Arcilla
Actor and environmentalist

 John Arcilla is an actor and environmentalist best known for playing the role of the protagonist Antonio Luna in the historical epic film Heneral Luna. As an environmentalist, he attends different conferences to participate on different environment talks. He has also been providing art workshops, including acting workshops to kids, asking no payment in return, except for the kids' and their parents' "acts of kindness for the environment." He is also the founder of the foundation called Capable- a non-profit organization recognized by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) that conducts activities that support improving one’s self physically, mentally, artistically, and altruistically through the love of Mother Nature.

Ryan Bestre
Campaigner, #IAMHampaslupa Ecological Agriculture Movement

 Ryan Bestre is a campaigner for the #IamHampasLupa Ecological Agricultural Movement. It is a Greenpeace-supported movement that aims to elevate the stature of farming and farmers, promote ecological agriculture, and advocate mindful consumption. Members of the movement believe and fight for good, diverse, nutritious, affordable and safe food that does not harm the people and the environment.

Eunice Braga
Senior Account Manager

 Eunice Braga is a senior account manager at Ogilvy & Mather Philippines. Eunice is part of the team working on the communications campaign for the United for Healthier Kids program, an advocacy program initiated by Nestlé Philippines. For the last 6 years, she has been working on brand-building, corporate social responsibility, and advocacy projects. She was also part of the team that provided communication support for the APEC Business Advisory Council for the Dialogue with APEC Leaders during the Philippines' hosting of the APEC Summit and for the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Executive Secretary Christiana Figuerres’ visit to the Philippines.

Aliènette Coldfire
YouTube sensation and Global Citizen

 Alienette Coldfire is a singer and youtube sensation who won 3rd place in La France a un Incroyables Talent (France Got Talent) in 2016. Known to her friends and family as Katchry Jewel Golbin, she was first discovered when her video singing Mariah Carey’s 'I'll be there' went viral. As a blind singer, she attributes a huge factor of her success and where she is now today because of technology and social media.

Hon. Joey Concepcion
Secretary, Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship

 Joey Concepcion is the presidential adviser for entrepreneurship. In 2005, he held the same post for former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Prior to his post, he was the chief executive officer and President of food and beverage company RFM Corporation. Concepcion envisions a movement that advocates for a positive attitude on entreprises among Filipinos as a way to help them move up in life and as a means out of poverty.

Myles Delfin
Co-founder, BikeScouts Philippines

 Myles Delfin is the co-founder of Bike Scouts Philippines, a group of volunteer bicycle messengers who respond  to isolated areas in the aftermath of a disaster. He is a designer and creative director by training. His experience involves his work as a design principal for a small new media design office called Bloat&Ogle where he used to handle a wide range of design and creative projects including start-up businesses and multinational brands.

Atty JJ Disini
Managing Partner, Disini & Disini Law Office

 JJ Disini is one of the leading information and technology law experts in the Philippines today. He graduated with a Dean’s Medal from the UP College of Law and placed 7th in the Bar Examinations. He also has a Master’s Degree on Law from Harvard School of Law. He is the first lawyer member of the Philippine Internet Commerce Society (PICS) and was actively involved in the lobbying efforts for the passage of the eCommerce Act. He is a professor in the University of the Philippines College of Law and a professional lecturer at the Philippine Judicial Academy.

Undersecretary Rosemarie Edillon
National Economic and Development Authority

 Undersecretary Rosemarie Edillon heads the Planning and Policy of the National Economic and Development Authority. Among her major responsibilities is shepherding the formulation of the Philippine Development Plan (PDP), the blueprint of government policies, programs and projects. She also oversees the monitoring its implementation. She provides technical advice on policy issues to both the legislative and executive branches of government, especially the committees of the NEDA Board. She holds a doctorate degree in Economics from La Trobe University in Australia.

Diane Eustaquio
Executive Director, IdeaSpace

 Diane Eustaquio is the executive director of IdeaSpace – a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting innovation, technology development, and entrepreneurship as a path to nation-building. Prior to IdeaSpace, she served as executive assistant to the Head of Strategy for First Pacific Company Ltd where she gained exposure in closing deals, M&As and strategy management. She took her undergraduate studies in B. A. Organizational Communication (cum laude) from the University of the Philippines – Manila, where she focused her research papers and thesis on team cohesion.

Monday Gonzalez
Director, Sustainability, Globe Telecom

 Monday has been in the communications industry for two and half decades working in Account Management for advertising agencies – J. Romero & Associates, Harrison Communications and Aspac-DAN. In Harrison, she headed the team that launched Globe Tattoo in 2009 and saw it attain leadership in 2014. She then moved to Aspac where she headed the Globe myBusiness team and at the same, the company’s Digital Marketing team. After 7 years of handling Globe from the ad agency side, Monday decided to join Globe in 2017 as Director for Sustainability under Corporate Communications.

Natashya Gutierrez
Southeast Asia Regional Correspondent, Rappler

 Natashya Gutierrez is Rappler's Southeast Asia regional correspondent. She was the Bureau Chief of Rappler Indonesia and reported on Indonesian issues for the international audience. Before that, she was a multimedia reporter with Rappler in the Philippines, covering politics, corruption, gender, and investigative stories, among others. She was awarded several journalism fellowships including the 2015 Asian Journalism Fellowship in Singapore, and the 2014 Reporting ASEAN fellowship. She received the Hildegarde Award for outstanding women in journalism in 2015. Natashya graduated from Yale University with a degree in psychology.

Chay Hofileña
Head, Rappler Investigative Desk

 Chay Hofileña spearheaded Move.PH, Rappler's citizen journalism & community engagement arm. Before joining Rappler, she was a contributing writer of Newsbreak Magazine and was one of its founding editors. She has written extensively on media issues and authored the book, News for Sale: The Corruption and Commercialization of the Philippine Media (2004)." She co-wrote with Miriam Grace Go the top-selling book on the 2010 Philippine presidential elections, Ambition Destiny Victory: Stories from a Presidential Election (2011). She has been the recipient of awards from the Jaime V Ongpin Awards for Excellence in Journalism. She is currently head of Rappler's Investigative Reporting Desk.

Undersecretary Monchito Ibrahim
Department of Information and Communications Technology

 Before being the undersecretary of the Department of Information and Communications Technology, Monchito Ibrahim served as one of the Deputy Commissioners of the Arroyo-era Commission on Information and Communications Technology (CICT) and Deputy Executive Director of the ICT Office (ICTO), the precursor of the DICT. Ibrahim is widely regarded for his work in sustaining the development of the Philippine cyberservices industry, helping the country reach its current status of being second in global market share next to India. He was also active in organizing 32 regional ICT councils to help sustain regional ICT development projects. These councils helped establish and develop the country’s current Next Wave Cities.

Mary Imbong
Regional Director, World Youth Alliance Asia Pacific

 Mary Imbong is World Youth Alliance’s regional director since 2015. Beyond the region, Mary also completed an internship in 2013 at the WYA headquarters in New York City. Besides her dedication to development work, Mary carries a passion for the Humanities and the Arts. She graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Communication, specializing in Film production, along with a Minor degree in Philosophy, in Ateneo de Manila University. Prior to being selected as WYAAP Regional Director, Mary worked in the Advertising industry with the McCann Worldgroup Manila. 

Paul Junio
Head of Communications, LoveYourself

 Paul is a digital marketing professional who has deep interest in brand storytelling through multiple media platforms. He has more than 5 years experience working for the British business publication Financial Times where he was involved in B2B Client and Content Management. He is a certified digital marketer specializing in Social Media Marketing and Media Planning. Aside from being a social media manager, he is a volunteer for LoveYourself. An NGO that promotes HIV awareness and prevention. 

Ariel Lacsamana
President and Managing Director, 3M Philippines

Ariel B. Lacsamana was appointed President and Managing Director of 3M Philippines in October 2016. Born and raised in the Philippines but now happily rediscovering his birth country after 22 years of being away.
Prior to this appointment, he was president and director of 3M Global Services Channel (Export Operations) helping country subsidiaries accelerate growth for their businesses. He has a solid 14 years in 3M, held 9 roles, alternating strategy, business development and even marketing roles. A scientist by heart, a certified public accountant (CPA) by education, and an entrepreneur in practice. He is passionate about helping people through science and technology to elevate the lives of Filipinos in however way possible in his current capacity. He holds a Masters of Business Administration Degree from University of Texas in Austin. He received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Accountancy from the University of the Philippines – Diliman.

Laura Lehmann
Miss World Philippines 2017

 Laura Lehmann is the representative of the Philippines to the Miss World Pageant. She also placed 1st runner-up on the Binibining PIlipinas pageant last 2014 and was Ateneo de Manila University’s UAAP courtside reporter. Her personal advocacy is on improving the education situation in the country. She is part of PREP which stands for Promoting Rural Education in the Philippines. She volunteers and visits rural elementary schools and teach lessons to the kids that are not in their curriculum. 

Commissioner Raymund Liboro
National Privacy Commission

 Mon Liboro is the head of the National Privacy Commission. He is a seasoned ICT convergence and communications and public administration professional. He also served as the former assistant secretary of the Department of Science and Technology for Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction and was concurrently the OIC director of the Science and Technology Information Institute, the country’s leading Science and Technology Institute. Prior to joining government in 2010, he was involved in building multi-media platforms and IT startups. In 2005, he founded Megamobile, a mobile-IT company which was later acquired by the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

Aneth Lim
Public Affairs and Corporate Citizenship Director, Citi Philippines

Aneth Ng-Lim is the director for public affairs and corporate citizenship in Citi Philippines. She long years of experience in communications, working as Citi Philippines' public relations and communications head for 9 years prior to her post. She finished her undergraduate degree in Broadcast Communications in the University of the Philippines (magna cum laude) and received her Masters degree in Development Communications from the UP Open University.

Gemma Bagayaua-Mendoza
Social Good Summit Project Lead, Rappler

 Gemma Bagayaua-Mendoza is the Social Good Summit project lead and the head of research and content strategy in Rappler. She finished her Bachelors in History at the University of the Philippines. As editor-in-chief of ABS-CBNNews.com, she played a key role in developing the online and social media components of the highly interactive Harapan series of ANC and ABS-CBN towards the 2010 elections. At Rappler, she serves as the bridge between the editorial and the technical. She co-authored Newsbreak's latest book, "The Enemy Within," on military corruption and civilian neglect. Her stories on governance & corruption, the security sector, disasters, and other social issues have won recognition in the Jaime V. Ongpin Awards for Investigative Journalism, the UNICEF-Philippine Press Institute Awards for Child-friendly Journalists, and the Asian Development Bank Institute’s Developing Asia Journalism Awards.

Maria A. Ressa
CEO and Executive Director, Rappler

 Maria A. Ressa has been a journalist in Asia for nearly 30 years and is the author of From Bin Laden to Facebook: 10 Days of Abduction, 10 Years of Terrorism and Seeds of Terror: An Eyewitness Account of Al-Qaeda's Newest Center of Operations in Southeast Asia. She is one of the founders of independent production company, Probe Productions, before reporting for and heading CNN's Southeast Asia operations for nearly two decades (bureau chief in Manila then Jakarta). For 6 years, she was ABS-CBN's senior vice president for News & Current Affairs, handling news operations across multiple platforms. She is Rappler's CEO and executive editor.

Jane Uymatiao
Blogger, BlogWatch

 Jane T. Uymatiao is a blogger, social media practitioner (@philippinebeat), and citizen advocate (citizenjaneph). She is one of the founders of Blogwatch, a group of independent-minded bloggers, whose aim is to engage government, the private sector, and citizens on various socio-economic-political issues while using social media to push for social good. Her personal blogs reflect what she is passionate about: life, parenting, personal finance, social media (janeuymatiao.com), tech (titatechie.com), lifestyle (philippinebeat.com), yoga, and wellness (yoginifrommanila.com). Jane has a Master's degree in Business Administration with a focus on Strategic Management from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. Her past corporate experience included over 16 years in IT audit and consultancy services with an accounting firm and a couple of years as head of corporate planning at a commercial bank.

Fr Flavie Villanueva SVD
Andrew Janssen Kalinga Center

 Father Flavie Villanueva SVD is a priest who was a former drug user. After being ordained in 2006, he established Arnold Janssen Kalinga (which stands for Kain at Ligo ng Ayos) Center at the Catholic Trade Building in Manila, a holistic shelter for the homeless. The center serves as a rest place for street dwellers, ex-convicts and former addicts. It aims to help restore the the poor and wounded with a renewed sense of self and reclaimed sense of self respect and worth.


#HACKSOCIETY MENTORS (in alphabetical order)

Fam Alonto
Ventures Lead, LaunchGarage

 At the age of 19, Fam Alonto graduated from Ateneo de Manila and immediately moved to San Francisco, California to pursue graduate studies at Stanford University. Fam has extensive technology entrepreneurship experience after working as in the venture capital industry. She also ran incubators, conducted deal-flows with C-levels and senior vice presidents of Fortune 500 companies. Currently, Fam is team lead at Launchgarage, managing the companies portfolios and doing investor relations. Her hobbies include backpacking, skydiving, and traveling by herself around the world.

Jay Beltran
Department of Interior and Local Government Region IV-A

 Jay Beltran is the focal person on Local Economic Development and the managing editor of the Department of Interior and Local Government Region IV-A. He handles programs on the region's business permit and licensing system. Outside the Department, he is passionate about social issues, politics, human rights and environmental concerns.

Jed Cortes
Visayas State University

 Jed Cortes teaches development communication, journalism, and new media in Visayas State University. He was one of the first Movers for Rappler. He also leads a regional network of campus journalists in Eastern Visayas.

Noemi Dado
Blogger, BlogWatch

 Noemi is a social media practitioner with over 11 years experience in blogging, content strategy, social media engagement and online media publishing. Though Noemi has been blogging for 11 years now, she has been online since 1995, working as Robotica, the Internet Safety head for World Kids Network. She is active on social media networks as @momblogger. She also owns 4 blogs: aboutmyrecovery.com (parenting) , pinoyfoodblog.com (recipes), techiegadgets.com (gadgets) and beautyoverfifty.net (lifestyle). She is the features editor at the Philippine Online Chronicles (thepoc.net) and a co-founder & editorial board member of Blog Watch blogwatch.ph and blogwatch.tv)

Patch Dulay
Founder and CEO, The Spark Project

 Patrick “Patch” Dulay is a startup enabler. He is the founder and CEO of The Spark Project, an online crowdfunding platform for passion-driven Filipino projects. As a lifelong learner and teacher, his passion for education and entrepreneurship inspires him to serve entrepreneurs by providing them access to tools that help accelerate their business ideas to reality. As an innovation and program consultant, he has worked with Ayala Land Inc. in mounting IDEA’YALA, the flagship youth challenge of the Ayala Malls crowdsourcing innovative ideas that shape the mall of the future.

Reena Estuar
Head, Ateneo Social Computing Science Lab

 Dr. Reena Estuar is a full professor at the Department of Information Systems and Computer Science in the Ateneo de Manila University. She is the executive director of the Ateneo Java Wireless Competency Center where mobile-web and cloud R&D solutions are designed and developed for transport, health, environment and disaster. She heads the Ateneo Social Computing Science Laboratory where they study social, behavioral and organizational predictive analytics, modeling and social network development and analysis.

Rodne Galicha
Philippine Leader and Country Manager, The Climate Reality Project

 Rodne Galicha is a Filipino environmentalist and human rights activist currently involved in climate justice, biodiversity conservation and natural resources conflict management. He is the author of a pocket-sized book on emerging environment issues We Are Nature. In 2013, he received the 2013 Hero for the Environment national individual award from the Center for Environmental Concerns in collaboration with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources of the Republic of the Philippines. He now serves as Philippine manager of The Climate Reality Project while doing his voluntary work for ecological and cultural organization called Bayay Sibuyanon in his home-island of Sibuyan. 

Pamela Marie Godoy
National Program Officer – Gender / Gender-based Violence, United Nations Population Fund

 Pamela Marie Godoy has been working on addressing the issue of violence against women and children for over a decade now. It was initially part of her personal advocacy and now the focus of her work as the National Programme Officer of United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Country Office Philippines since 2008. She has been working closely with the Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Health, Department of Justice, and members of inter-agency protection mechanisms in local government units to strengthen their capacities in implementing anti-violence against women and children and anti-trafficking laws and providing survivor-centered and timely provision of life-saving services.

Joben Ilagan
Co-founder and President of Seer Technologies

 Joseph Benjamin "Joben" Ilagan is the Co-Founder and President of Seer Technologies, a 14-year old software consultancy, design, development and managed-services company focused on mobile, cloud and data technologies. Prior to founding Seer, Joben spent close to 10 years in Oracle Philippines handling various roles such as Solutions Architecture, Software Development, Education, Technology Pre-sales and Consulting for some of Oracle's largest customers in the country. He graduated from the Ateneo De Manila University with degrees in MS Computer Science and BS Management Engineering. 

Jackie Isip
Project Lead, Philippine Startup Challenge, DICT

 Jackie Isip is the project lead of the Philippine Startup Challenge – a government lead national startup competition which aims to encourage college students to create innovative solutions to real-life problems. She is a former researcher and Segment Producer in GMA News and Public Affairs and is an active volunteer in The Storytelling Project.

Nam Le
Senior Technology Advisor, Rappler

 Nam Le believes in using technology to foster the development of great user experiences. He is a user experience specialist and evangelist, speciliazing in usability modeling and buildout, rapid prototyping and bootstrapping, complete site build-outs, e-commerce integration, technical and design management, production optimization and deployment. Prior to joining Rappler, he was a Silicon Valley software engineer and serial entrepreneur, working with large companies and mentoring Y Combinator startups.

Cedric Monteiro
Regional Communications Specialist, UNDP Asia Pacific

 Cedric works for the UN Development Programme (UNDP) at its regional headquarters in Bangkok, supporting 24 UNDP country offices across Asia and the Pacific. He is one of the producers of UNDP’s Virtual Reality film: Ground Beneath Her, a story of a 14-year-old blacksmith’s daughter, who struggles to balance the everyday duties of a fractured home with her own dreams for the future, following the 2015 earthquake in Nepal. Prior to joining UNDP, Cedric, a journalist by education and passion, worked for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation as a television producer in Calgary, Toronto, Washington DC, and Vancouver. He has won several awards for his documentaries and news stories, and was producer of the highly acclaimed episode of India Reborn: Myth and Might.

Terri Jayme-Mora
Country Manager, Ashoka Philippines

 Terri Jayme-Mora is the Philippines country manager for Ashoka, the world’s largest association of social entrepreneurs with over 3,000 Ashoka Fellows in more than 70 countries. She leads Ashoka’s efforts to identify and support the most promising Filipino social innovators through a lifetime global fellowship.  With a passion for social innovation, local craft, and design, Terri is also co-founder of the local brand Biyahe. She obtained her undergraduate degree in Political Science at Wesleyan University in Connecticut and completed her Masters in Business Administration at London Business School in 2012.

Ivy Ong
Program Director, Civic Innovation Fellowship

 Ivy Ong is a development practitioner, open data advocate, and public sector innovation experimenter. She is currently leading the 2017 Metro Manila Civic Innovation Fellowship, a two-week program focused on empowering our next generation of city problem solvers: urban designers, data scientists, developers and engineers. Her past lives include leading the World Wide Web Foundation's Open Data Lab Jakarta as its Lab Director, Program Coordinator and Outreach Lead for the Open Data Philippines Task Force of the Republic of the Philippines from 2013 until 2016, as well as an Open Data Fellow of Making All Voices Count.

Obi Roco
Managing Director, Trading Room Inc

 Obi Roco has over 25 years of extensive work experience in both the public and private sectors. Raised in an entrepreneurial environment all her life, running a business is second nature to Obi. She started her own business in the early 1990s but her inclinations for social responsibility have led her to work simultaneously in the legislative and executive branches of the Philippine government. She also headed a corporate foundation and has done independent consultancies for international organisations such as the Harvard Business School and USAID. Obi studied Political Science at De La Salle University – Manila, Urban and Regional Planning at the University of the Philippines – Diliman, Disaster Risk Management at the World Bank Institute, and Development Administration and Planning at the University College London.

Jason Salvador
Ateneo School of Government

 Jason Salvador is the former Land Transportation Office spokesperson of the previous administration. He is now the manager of a global roads safety project of the Ateneo School of Government. 

Dr Achyut Shrestha
Expanded Program on Immunization Medical Officer, World Health Organization

 Achyut Shrestha is a medical officer of the World Health Organization's immunization program. He has worked in various country offices for the past 7 years supporting the program in Nepal, Uganda, Vanuatu, Laos, and the Philippines. He obtained his Masters in Public Health at the University of Western Sydney in Australia and his Bachelors degree in Medicine and Surgery from Tiankin Medical University in China.

Mia Umanos
Data Scientist, Rappler

 Mia Umanos is a 13-year veteran of the analytics community, having successfully driven clients toward digital marketing and customer intelligence maturity. She has managed end-to-end analytics solutions for digital marketing, customer/user experience and digital media buying. She's the leader you've been looking for to unify efforts of statisticians, analysts, IT, business and marketing toward a data-driven business culture. Her career has centered around digital touchpoints like content, ecommerce and adTech, but she also have project experience on multi-channel measurement and CRM.

Goldy Yancha
Associate Director for Community Development, IdeaSpace Philippines

 Goldy Yancha is the Associate Director for Business Development & Partnerships at IdeaSpace. Building a career in management across IT companies, with various roles in product, operations and P&L, she has witnessed the power that innovation can unleash in an enterprise. She is a Professional Fellow from the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative, with an immersion in MassChallenge, the largest accelerator in the world.

Jen Yu
Design and User Experience, Rappler

 Jen Yu is an award-winning multidisciplinary designer. She designs digital products and complex ecosystems in emerging and next-generation markets. Working with world-class design teams in Silicon Valley and Hollywood, she has led design and user experience groups from Disney, Adobe, Frog Design, Jawbone, Y Combinator, and DARPA. Her experience in product design ranges from media, fashion, games, wearables, telecommunications, military defense, cyber warfare, biotech, and AR/VR.– Rappler.com

#HackSociety 2017: 5 ideas for better governance in the PH


#HACKSOCIETY. Various groups present their ideas and innovations that aims to solve the country's pressing problems. Photo by Leanne Jazul/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – Simple ideas, if executed correctly, can contribute to long term solutions for the present day's common and pressing problems.

Different ideas were presented at this year's #HackSociety– an ideathon organized by Rappler and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) that aims to crowdsource different ideas and innovations that can solve the country's problems. 

On September 15, 5 groups presented their hacks that target the problem of peace, development and local governance of the country. 


BUILD is an application designed to provide an improved bidding experience and opportunity for users by merging private organization and government organization together. 

By implementing the application, it aims to break the wall that congests bidding networks in specific areas giving equal opportunities for small-scale and large-scale businesses without the limitation of distance.

To ensure credibility, a user of the application must pre-register first to filter legitimate buyers and sellers. 

Similar to buy and sell groups, it features a tracking system and feedback tool for smoother and transparent transactions.

Tuto Club

Tuto Club seeks to utilize the internet and create an alternative classroom for the 3.5 million out of school youth and children. 

By partnering with the best teachers in the country, the team proposes to record their lessons and tap local governments to help flash it on projector screens to enable out of school "students" to continue learning.

The team believes that simple solutions can solve complex problems like the lack of education. The offline school only need limited resources such as the internet, camera, white screen, and projector to leave no one uneducated. 


An application that can bind people and the government – this is what InterLinkPh seeks to achieve.

The application aims to solve the problem of every Filipino who continues to have limited access to government information. 

The proposed solution is an application-based system that has a hiereachy chart of government officials including their corresponding position, contact details and working assignments to inform the public who to consult for their particular concerns.

It hopes to create a more convenient and efficient way of accessing information without having to go through second-hand information from other people.

Instead of going back and forth in a specific government agency, the application will enable the user to directly contact the person in charge for their concern. It also aims to empower the public with a feature that allows users to rate the performance of specific government employees, holding them accountable. 


Through immersing themselves in local communities, the team behind Ugnayan hopes to help one of the most marginalized group of the community – the farmers. 

Ugnayan, which means to interconnect or to build networks, aims to literally enable farmers to engage with social service providers in the most convenient and comfortable way. 

The application will feature a simple interface using laymanized terms that can serve as a service providing a hub and offline database system for the farmers.

This project will aim to streamline current technologies and social services needed by the farmers to efficiently produce agricultural products. 

Through improving the lives of farmers by proving available and accessible farming related social services, the team believes that this will take can reach food sustainability and security. 

Ban Tai Technologies

The team behind Ban Tai Technologies hopes to provide a culture of security amidst the rising crime rates in the country. 

Utilizing technology, the project aims to tackle the problem by disrupting surveillance and increasing security access especially in places where there is limited surveillance.  

Just like Uber, users of the proposed application can 'book' a drone to connect with a drone owner user. The drone, equipped with camera and GPS, will automatically scan the surrounding environment and accompany the user during an emergency. Hotlines are immediately notified of the necessary information i.e., location, time, etc., while the drones go for immediate response. 

It also features a system using only a phone's signal. Users need to only send a message through a certain channel which is received by established posts which carry a signal-information receiver. 

When the user alerts a channel, the posts will register the timestamps of the person's signal and address. This is then uploaded and sent to hotlines of hospitals, police or depending on the service needed. 

Through maximized participation, the team aims to communicate that even when government authorities or agencies fail to protect you, they can provide the help and security every person deserves. – Rappler.com

#HackSociety 2017: Using tech to help the marginalized


HACKSOCIETY 2017. The second day of the ideathon sees 20 finalists pitch their innovative solutions to society's problems. All photos by LeAnne Jazul/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – How can we use media and new technologies to help strengthen democracy and empower the marginalized sectors of society? 

From a chatbot which makes legal processes more comprehensible to apps which help persons with disabilities (PWDs), 5 finalists pitched their ideas during the second day of #HackSociety 2017, the ideathon that aimed to crowdsource "hacks" or innovative solutions to today's pressing social problems. (READ: HIGHLIGHTS: #HackSociety Day 1)

Here are the ideas pitched during the semi-finals held on Friday, September 15.

iWill app

PWDs remain a marginalized sector in society, with many still subject to discrimination and lacking ample access to opportunities and ease of mobility. 

But compounding the problem is the lack of data on the number of PWDs in the country because the 2015 national census did not include questions on disability. Team Eleartech wants to address this gap by tapping the youth and volunteers to gather information on PWDs in the country. Through a smartphone app, users will be asked to answer a survey. The data will then go towards building up a database on the number of PWDs and the specific problems they face.

The team believes that with this data, there will be a clearer picture on how many people need help with hearing, visual aids, or mobility, for instance. Government units and private establishments can then help address PWDs' specific needs through this information.

Project Auxilium

Getting around malls, offices, and other establishments can be difficult for PWDs, especially if these places don't have wheelchair ramps, elevators, or other facilities to help ease of mobility. With about 1.4 million PWDs in the Philippines, this team of Philippine Science High School students aim to develop a platform that will share and store information about PWD-friendly places around the metro. 

Project Auxilium features an online database containing crowdsourced information about elevators, wheelchair ramps, and other PWD-friendly access facilities. With the app, those who need assistance to go around establishments can see where PWD facilities are located, and a map to help them navigate the area. The app will also have text-to-speech support for visually-impaired individuals.

"We want users to be able to take a picture of certain PWD facilities, and then the app will show it to other users so that they can be informed of the status of these facilities," said Kimberly Cabral.

The team also wants to tie up with local government units by sharing the crowdsourced database with them.

Pag-ibig Heartline 

In the Philippines, the topic of mental health remains largely an unaddressed issue. But with many Filipinos suffering from depression and other mental health problems, there is a pressing need to create interventions for this problem.

The Circuit Studio – a team composed of a Christian pastor, a nurse, and an IT expert – aims to use technology to help depressed Filipinos and connect them to a community of individuals ready and willing to help them overcome their difficulties. Through the Pag-ibig Heartline app, users can match with trained volunteer counselors who can discuss a host of problems related to concerns on love, family, friends, and hope.

"Our mission is simple: we want to help depressed individuals...We focus on how we can share our expertise and connections with the community," said Elmer Lacuesta.


Team BADHI focuses on the problem of children in conflict with the law. Their proposal bridges technology and the skills and expertise of social workers to help Filipino youth, especially those at risk of being juvenile delinquents.

Team BADHI wants to see young Filipinos being productive, engaged, and responsible members of society, instead of ending up in jail with their whole lives ahead of them. Their project features software that will consolidate national data on children in conflict with the law, collated by social welfare units in the Philippines, and to use these information to design interventions aiming to lower the number of juvenile delinquents. 

The project aims to identify the vulnerability of children early on, assess their environment, and from this generate specific recommendations to engage the child regarding education or employment.


Do you know what to do when your rights are violated, or when you face a civil case?

Filipinos are often at a loss on what to do when it comes to legal issues, but Team LawKo wants to help change that. Through a Facebook chatbot, the team wants to enlighten the public and bridge that knowledge gap between a complicated legal system and the Filipino public. 

Instead of complex terms and legalese, the chatbot will present topics on civil procedure, criminal procedure, and other pertinent law topics in a way that's more understandable to the average Filipino user. The chatbot can direct users to relevant offices and courts, answer questions on law procedures, and make this information much more accessible and comprehensible. 

"Legal processes shouldn't be this hard to understand. Through these dark times, LawKo aims to shed light for the ordinary citizen," said Alexandra Austria. – Rappler.com

#HackSociety 2017: Ideas to manage waste, sustain food production


MANILA, Philippines – Ideas to recycle waste products and promote agriculture – these were just some of the concepts pitched by finalists in the environment and climate change category of the 2017 HackSociety semi-final round held on Friday, September 15. 

Four teams pitched their ideas on the second day of the hackathon that aimed to crowdsource innovative solutions to some of the world's pressing problems.

Here are their ideas for sustainable consumption and promoting a zero-waste lifestyle among Filipinos.


Do you know that the municipal solid waste (MSW) generated by the urban population of the Philippines every day amounts to 29,315 tons? This was according to a 2012 report by the World Bank, which also warned that the amount of MSW was projected to rise due to the booming populaton.

Team Waste Warriors wants to help solve the problem of waste disposal by promoting a zero-waste lifestyle among Filipinos. Through the digital platform WasteLink, the team aims to connect regular households with small-to-medium enteprises and industries that can then make use of these different waste as raw materials for new, upcycled products.

Through the app, users can specify what particular kind of trash they generate – whether it's plastic, paper, metal cans, or tetra paks. SMEs and other interested parties can then use this data to determine if they can partner up with the user as a potential supplier of these waste products.

By linking waste suppliers and waste buyers, the team aimed to reduce trash that end up in dumpsites.

The team said WasteLink was more than just a platform for waste trading, but a smarter solution for waste reduction.

Fashion Swapp 

Did you know that the fashion industry was also a big contributor to pollution? From manufacturing to shipment to disposal, the process of creating garments can leave quite an ecological footprint.

And because fast fashion was exacerbating the problem, team IdeaGo Philippines wanted to slow this cycle down. Fashion Swapp app is an "online ukay-ukay," where users can sell, shop, trade, or donate their old clothes.

Those who don't want to sell or swap their clothes can choose to donate them, and the team can put these in upcycling facilities to create new products.

The team also said that data from users could serve as market research for retail companies, and as basis for government agencies to craft and implement regulatory policies.

Phinix Textile Recycling 

Textile waste is one of the biggest waste by-product of the fashion industry, with 11.1 million tons of textile waste in the US alone for 2014. To help reduce this waste and prevent more of it from simply being thrown into landfills, Team Phinix aims to be a pioneer textile recycling center in the country that will collect old clothes and fabric scraps and upcycle these into newer, highly valued products such as footwear and accessories.

The team hopes to scale up and have a textile recycling center in every country of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Pamela Mejia said they also planed to collaborate with local artisan designers and the shoemaking industry to promote local businesses. 

"We aim for the triple bottom line – we are for the planet, for the people, and for profit," she said.

Eco-Agro Farm 

How do you provide sustainable food sources and provide income to a small rural community in Leyte?

A team of students from the Visayas State University aims to address these two problems through a concept called rainforestation farming system. In this system, native or indigenous tree species will be planted in a farm lot, along with agricultural crops that will be suited to the chosen community.

The proposed Eco-Agro farm aims to rehabilitate the original state of the forest in the community and at the same time provide a sustainable source of food for the community.

The team said the project will help residents who depend on farming, while at the same time helping maintain the forest ecosystem.

"We believe that agriculture and the environment are the lifeblood of this country," said Hanna Joyce Macawili.

"The Eco-Agro farm is putting farming, tree growing, and environmental management in one equation," said Aura Shaznay Tumulak. – Rappler.com

#HackSociety 2017: Ways technology can improve public health


PITCH. Finalists for this year's #HackSociety pitched their ideas that can help bring the country closer to achieve UNDP's sustainable development goals. Photo by Leanne Jazul/Rappler

MANILA , Philippines – A single tap that can save a life, a platform that can feed the hungry, and an app that matches you to a mental health expert. These are just some of the public health ideas and solutions the finalists of this year's #HackSociety presented last September 15.

#HackSociety is an ideathon organized by Rappler and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) that seeks to crowdsource "ideas" and hacks that can solve the country's problems. 

Secret Shop 

Secret Shop aims to solve the problem of the alarming number of HIV cases in the country. 

The use of condoms is the second most effective way to prevent the transition of HIV.

To remove the human factor and social stigma that is tied when buying the condoms, the team created Secret Shop - an electronic vending machine that sells condoms. 

These vending machines will be installed a private space like the cubicle of restrooms and will only be accessible through a beep card to discourage younger individuals to buy. 

By removing the social stigma and sensitivity tied to buying a condom, Secret Shop aims to make condoms more accessible and, hopefully, prevent the transmission of HIV. 

Arooga Health

Arooga Health recognizes the importance of mental and emotional well being of employees. It is a technology company that works towards improving the behavioral healthcare of the emerging market workforce especially in stressful industries like advertising and BPO.

It is a personalized platform for employees, companies, and organizations who do not have on-site counselors or therapists but have a need for behavioral health services.

The platform aims to the gap between care providers or psychologists and employees by matching its users and payers with the right care providers based on their preferred budget, schedule, and medium of virtual interaction.

By doing this, the company aims to improve the user’s life, lessen the user’s potential medical expenses arising from not addressing mental health concerns, boost the user’s overall productivity, as well as help care providers, get new customers, add revenue streams, and cut costs.

One Tap Buddy

'When you're in your most depressed state, how will you feel if help is just one tap away?' This what the team behind of One Tap Buddy hopes to answer. 

One Tap Buddy is a mobile application that enables the user to overcome communication barriers by acting as a listener or a 'middleman' that connects a depressive individual with an accountability partner or a mental health professional.

Based on the participant’s emotional state, the application will link him to his trusted buddies or accountability partners, or even refer him to the nearest mental health therapist according to his location.

The team likens the app to ride hailing application Uber but for services that can comfort and help people experiencing depression.


Hapag wants to solve hunger and food waste in the country through pioneering a collaborative effort between two stakeholders –food businesses that have surplus food they need to dispose of in a cheaper manner, and charities that want more food to feed the people covered by their programs.

It is an online platform that matches the two sectors according to several parameters: distance, type, and amount of food. Through the platform, charities will be able to connect with businesses that can donate the proper amount and type of food they need while still making the process convenient for them as they pick up food from nearby establishments.

Aside from solving hunger, they believe that they will also solve food waste by creating a simple food-sharing cycle between businesses and charities in the country. – Rappler.com

Standout solutions: The winning ideas from #HackSociety 2017


WINNERS. This year's winners of HackSociety 2017. Photo by LeAnne Jazul/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – A chatbot app for legal processes, an app for mental health, solutions to learning and managing waste – these were the winning ideas in the semi-final round of HackSociety, held on Friday, September 15.

From hundreds of submissions and weeks of refining ideas, subject matter experts chose the top ideas in 4 themes representing some of today's most pressing social problems.

HackSociety is an ideathon that aims to crowdsource "hacks" or solutions to society's problems.

For this year's competition, finalists underwent a 30-hour challenge where they refined their idea with mentors and experts.

Maria Luisa Jolongbayan of the United Nations Development Programme said the Hack Society sessions are promoting advocacies and providing a platform for action.

"What started out as an advocacy platform for the sustainable development goals has turned out to be something even more productive...We really want to boil down to innovative development solutions that will make a difference, that will leave no one behind," Jolongbayan said.

She also encouraged the youth participants to continue finding ways to make a difference in their respective communities.

"We also want you to create spaces of engagement...Continue bringing together people and create opportunities to be together, to form platforms to discuss socially revelant issues,: she said.

Here are the ideas that stood out in each of the 4 themes in this year's competition.

Media and democracy


Team LawKo wants to bridge the knowledge gap between a complicated legal system and the Filipino public through a Facebook chatbot.

Instead of complex terms and legalese, the chatbot will present topics on civil procedure, criminal procedure, and other pertinent law topics in a way that's more understandable to the average Filipino user. The chatbot can direct users to relevant offices and courts, answer questions on law procedures, and make this information much more accessible and comprehensible. 

"Legal processes shouldn't be this hard to understand. Through these dark times, LawKo aims to shed light for the ordinary citizen," said Alexandra Austria.

Peace, governance and local development

Tuto Club

Tuto Club seeks to utilize the internet and create an alternative classroom for the 3.5 million out of school youth and children. 

By partnering with the best teachers in the country, the team proposes to record their lessons and tap local governments to help flash it on projector screens to enable out-of-school youth to continue learning.

The team believes that simple solutions can solve complex problems like the lack of education. The offline school only need limited resources such as the internet, camera, white screen, and projector to leave no one uneducated.

Environment and climate change

Phinix Textile Recycling

To help reduce textile waste and prevent more of it from simply being thrown into landfills, Team Phinix aims to be a pioneer textile recycling center in the country that will collect old clothes and fabric scraps and upcycle them into newer, highly valued products such as footwear and accessories.

The team hopes to scale up and have a textile recycling center in every country of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Pamela Mejia said they also plan to collaborate with local artisan designers and the shoemaking industry to promote local businesses. 

"We aim for the triple bottom line – we are for the planet, for the people, and for profit," she said.

Public health and well-being

Arooga Health

Arooga Health recognizes the importance of mental and emotional wellbeing of employees. It is a technology company that works towards improving the behavioral healthcare of employees, especially in stressful industries like advertising.

It is a personalized platform for employees, companies, and organizations who do not have on-site counselors or therapists, helping bridge the gap between care providers and employees by matching them based on their preferred budget, schedule, and medium of virtual interaction.

By doing this, the company aims to improve the user’s life, lessen potential medical expenses, and boost employees; overall productivity.

One final winner will be declared by the end of the Social Good Summit and awarded with the following:

  • P50,000 in cash
  • Access to Rappler events, workshops and trainings. These events will provide winners with opportunities to network with partners who can provide mentorship and help refine your product/service and business model.
  • Production of one social video (worth P450,0000) for their winning idea/innovation. The social video will be posted via Rappler and Move.PH social media channels on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
  • A once in a lifetime chance to represent the Philippines in the regional competition for youth-led enterprises by the United Nations Development Programme!

– Rappler.com