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20 minutes | Jan 23, 2022
Broadband for a better future
Digital infrastructure may not be a campaign talking point but it will be important for the next administration and the Philippines’ post-pandemic future. “Whether you’re talking about agriculture or housing, all these will ultimately be driven by a broadband connection,” said Mario R. Domingo, founder of deep learning solutions company Neural Mechanics, Inc. and director of the Ateneo Institute for the Digital Enterprise. “In no uncertain terms, I want to make it clear that a national broadband network is the project of the national government because the moment you privatize it, it becomes a profitability play.” In this B-Side episode, Mr. Domingo tells BusinessWorld reporter Patricia B. Mirasol about the relationship between the internet and nation-building. Recorded remotely on Dec. 15, 2021. Produced by Paolo L. Lopez, Jino D. Nicolas, and Sam L. Marcelo.
18 minutes | Jan 16, 2022
PHL digital economy: $40 billion by 2025, despite Omicron
The Omicron surge doesn’t dampen expectations that the Philippine internet economy will hit $40 billion in terms of value by 2025. “We don’t look at our estimates from an event point of view because we can’t forecast individual events like Omicron and who knows what’s going to happen next,” says Willy Chang, associate partner at Bain & Company. “It’s based on foundational views. In this B-Side episode, Mr. Chang explains the e-Conomy SEA Report released in November 2021 by Google, Temasek, and Bain & Company to BusinessWorld reporter Revin Mikhael D. Ochave. He identifies “pockets of opportunity” for small and medium enterprises and how they can become part of Southeast Asia’s fastest-growing digital economy. “The headroom for growth is tremendous.” Recorded remotely on Nov. 30, 2021. Produced by Paolo L. Lopez and Sam L. Marcelo.
15 minutes | Jan 2, 2022
Fintech and the pandemic: how COVID-19 is normalizing digital wallets
It’s 2022 and as we head into year three of this pandemic, Omicron, the latest coronavirus variant of concern, continues to surge. Due to pandemic-related restrictions, digital wallets have become the primary mode of sending and receiving money. Because of the large number of overseas Filipino workers, fintech or financial technology plays a key role in financial inclusion in the Philippines. “You can see that the market is shifting towards digital receive methods,” said Earl Allan E. Melivo, country director of cross-border digital payments service WorldRemit. “We’re already seeing that as evidence of ... a more efficient industry.” In this B-side episode, Mr. Melivo explains to BusinessWorld reporter Brontë H. Lacsamana how the pandemic is spurring the rise of digital financial services, and how internet penetration is hobbling it. Recorded remotely on Dec. 16, 2021. Produced by Brontë H. Lacsamana, Paolo L. Lopez, and Sam L. Marcelo.
15 minutes | Dec 19, 2021
Spotting online fraud, stopping it in its tracks
With the holiday season in full swing, there’s going to be a lot of opportunity for online fraud during e-commerce transactions. “Merchants are so focused on growing as quickly as possible, that they forget to put the right fraud tool,” said James L. Melon, country manager of fraud prevention services company Vesta. “The need is [only] realized when they get exposed from fraud attacks. Merchants make up for this by selling more volume, but it’s like pouring more water into a leaky bucket.” In this B-Side episode, Mr. Melon tells BusinessWorld reporter Patricia B. Mirasol about reputational risks and red flags that online merchants should watch out for. Recorded remotely on Nov. 9. Produced by Paolo L. Lopez and Sam L. Marcelo.
10 minutes | Dec 12, 2021
Long COVID: the lingering symptoms of a medical chameleon
A percentage of those who recover from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) still suffer from long COVID, a condition characterized by symptoms such as chronic fatigue, shortness of breath, and cognitive dysfunction. Initiatives such as the global AFTERCOR study, a two-year research program on the long-term outcomes of COVID-19 ICU (intensive care unit) survivors, are gathering data from its partner institutions to gain a better understanding of the medical condition’s mechanism. “What’s quite peculiar with COVID-19 is that it’s such a chameleon,” says Dr. Karin Wildi, an Australia-based ICU specialist and principal investigator of the AFTERCOR study. In this B-Side episode, Dr. Wildi tells BusinessWorld reporter Patricia B. Mirasol how the virus attacks every organ in the body. Recorded remotely before the Omicron variant (first reported to the World Health Organization from South Africa on Nov. 24) was classified as a variant of concern by the World Health Organization on Nov. 26. Produced by Paolo L. Lopez and Sam L. Marcelo.
27 minutes | Dec 5, 2021
Money Talks: Graduating to investing from saving
Money Talks is a series on personal finance sponsored by Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co. (Metrobank). Money is on the mind of many people, particularly amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Debt is a top concern, with 70% of Filipinos citing it as a challenge in financial management, according to a recent study titled “State of Banking and Financial Wellness” by US-headquartered research firm Forrester commissioned by fintech company Backbase. In this B-Side episode, Chorie R. Chan, vice president and head of the trust retail products division at Metrobank, explains how the pandemic changed how we think about money and saving. “Before we seemed to have that confidence in stability. Stability of where we are if we have businesses, if we are employed,” Ms. Chan said. “But lo and behold, the pandemic happened, and none of us are as certain as before that this could persist in the years or months to come.” Recorded remotely Nov. 4. Interview by Santiago J. Arnaiz, BusinessWorld contributor and chief operating officer of health startup Day3 Innovations. Produced by Paolo L. Lopez and Sam L. Marcelo.
15 minutes | Nov 28, 2021
At the beginning of the pandemic, the design community used digital fabrication laboratories to 3D-print face shields for emergency health workers. “The urgency to providing solutions created this kind of a design sprint to create new systems of logistics as well as new products that were not being done before,” said Maria Rita “Rhea” O. Matute, executive director of the Design Center of the Philippines (DCP). Designers are now thinking about big problems like climate change and plastic pollution. “What we wanted them [designers] to really take into account is, our future is made by the actions that are done today,” she said. In this B-Side episode, Ms. Matute talks to BusinessWorld reporter Brontë H. Lacsamana about design thinking and innovation during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) crisis and how, in the long run, design can help small businesses contribute even more to the Philippine development agenda. “The health emergency has made people bolder,” she said. Recorded remotely September 2021. Produced by Brontë H. Lacsamana, Paolo L. Lopez, and Sam L. Marcelo.
16 minutes | Nov 21, 2021
Money Talks: Know yourself, know your path
Money Talks is a series on personal finance sponsored by Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co. (Metrobank). Before investing, neophytes should first know why they’re getting into it. “You have to take a step back before you dive into the investing world,” said Sharon W. Zulueta, vice president and division head of trust retail products at Metrobank. “You have to know yourself and know what type of investor you are.” In this B-Side episode, she elaborates on how Metrobank guides first-time investors based on their purpose, their appetite for risk, their time horizon, and their hurdles. She also offers one piece of advice that applies regardless of where investors are in their journey: look beyond the local. “Diversifying your portfolio does not just mean diversifying your asset classes, it's really diversifying in terms of geography,” she said, pointing to the US, Europe, and more developed Asian countries. Recorded remotely on Oct. 15, 2021. Interview by Santiago J. Arnaiz, BusinessWorld contributor and chief operating officer of health startup Day3 Innovations. Research by BusinessWorld special features writer Bjorn Biel “JB” M. Beltran. Produced by Paolo L. Lopez and Sam L. Marcelo.
28 minutes | Nov 14, 2021
Moving to the cloud, towards sustainability and resiliency
The pandemic has pushed businesses into investing in cloud software and services as evidenced by a study released early this year by Alibaba Cloud, which found that 74% of local businesses see hybrid cloud solutions as key to their disaster recovery and business continuity efforts. In this B-Side episode, Shiju Varghese, president and country head of Tata Consultancy Services Philippines, explains what separates a successful cloud migration from a failed one. “There’s a common mistake that enterprises make: that is wanting to take the journey with their existing skillset and existing team that are not possibly ready or experienced enough to make them successful,” Mr. Varghese tells Adrian Paul B. Conoza, BusinessWorld special features assistant editor. Arnel “Bon” de Vera, chief information officer at Sky Cable Corporation, also shares how the provider grew its business by shifting to the cloud. Sponsored by Tata Consultancy Services, this B-Side episode was recorded remotely on Oct. 14, 2021.
24 minutes | Nov 7, 2021
Money Talks: Making your money work for you
Money Talks is a series on personal finance sponsored by Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co. (Metrobank). The pandemic has brought with it a newfound interest among Filipinos to participate in the stock market. Data from the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) showed that the average daily number of trades in 2020 soared by 33.7%, while retail participation surged by 47.8%. This follows an increase in online accounts by 19.7% to 936,000, while non-online accounts grew by 3.3% to 460,553. In this B-Side episode, Ruben L. Zamora, Metrobank First Vice President and Head of the Institutional Investors Coverage Division, discusses with Santiago J. Arnaiz, BusinessWorld contributor and chief operating officer of health startup Day3 Innovations, why more Filipinos are more willing to “let their money work for them,” as well as how the beginner investor can sift through their options to start their financial journey. Recorded remotely on Oct. 13. Research by BusinessWorld special features writer Bjorn Biel "JB" M. Beltran. Produced by Paolo L. Lopez and Sam L. Marcelo.
13 minutes | Oct 31, 2021
Barya lang po sa umaga: coins in a cash-lite society
Why do we need coins, which can hardly buy anything, when experts say that digitalization is pushing us toward a cash-lite society? In this B-Side episode, Eloisa T. Glindro, Director at the Currency Policy and Integrity Department of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, explains to BusinessWorld reporter Luz Wendy T. Noble the role of small change in our financial system and why we should stop hoarding coins. “The journey towards a cash-lite society will be governed by broadening the payment choices available to Filipinos and that is by maintaining a healthy mix of safe and wider array of digital payment options alongside consistently good quality, physical currency,” she said. Recorded remotely on Oct. 18. Produced by Paolo L. Lopez and Sam L. Marcelo.
18 minutes | Oct 24, 2021
Teamwork makes the dream work: a coach and his winning ways
Thrice-a-week Zoom meetings birthed Winning Still: Essays from the Philippine Sports Landscape during the Pandemic, an anthology of essays written by accomplished Filipino sports stakeholders and personalities. In this B-Side episode, Ateneo de Davao University athletics director and Winning Still project coordinator Emmanuel Rene "Noli" S. Ayo tells BusinessWorld senior reporter Michael Angelo S. Murillo the lessons he learned from wrangling a group of alpha individuals — including Olympic gold medalist and weightlifter Hidilyn F. Diaz — into achieving a "compelling common goal." "We like gathering people but sometimes we operate in silos. We have to work together. It is easier if you have someone with you on this journey," Mr. Ayo said. Recorded remotely on Sept. 17. Produced by Brontë H. Lacsamana, Paolo L. Lopez, and Sam L. Marcelo.
15 minutes | Oct 17, 2021
A room with a whiteboard: the fate of the office in a post-pandemic world
Hybrid working arrangements won't kill the traditional office, said Balder Tol, general manager for Australia and Southeast Asia of WeWork, a co-working spaces firm. "There is an absolute need for a physical space to inspire and engage employees and to drive collaboration as well," said Mr. Tol. "There is nothing more powerful than a meeting room and a whiteboard when you want to think about innovation." To transform the office into a place that people want to go to, organizations should focus on design, health, and flexibility. In this B-Side episode, Mr. Tol and BusinessWorld senior reporter Arjay L. Balinbin talk about the future of work and the fate of the workplace. Recorded remotely on Oct. 8. Produced by Paolo L. Lopez and Sam L. Marcelo.
12 minutes | Oct 10, 2021
Going bananas (and pineapples): the future of food
The pandemic changed the way we eat, said Christian Wiegele, president of the Fresh Produce Group of Dole Sunshine Company. In this B-Side episode, he tells BusinessWorld reporter Revin Mikhael D. Ochave about the future of food and how Dole is meeting the increased demand for fruits despite the logistical challenges caused by the pandemic. Mr. Wiegele, who spent 18 years with Coca-Cola, also talks about moving to an industry where the product is highly dependent on the whims of the weather. "Agriculture is exposed to natural disasters... You need long-term thinking and the ability to adjust your commercial strategy depending on the volume you have available," he said. And unlike a bottle of Coke, he added, "it takes 18 months to grow a pineapple and nine months to grow a banana." This B-Side episode was recorded remotely in July. Like a pineapple, it took several months to ripen. Produced by Sam L. Marcelo and Paolo L. Lopez.
13 minutes | Oct 3, 2021
Offline to online: winning the battle for brand loyalty in the digital space
The entire consumer journey now happens online, according to the third iteration of SYNC Southeast Asia, an annual report by Facebook and management consulting firm Bain & Company. “Before, for example, you’d be walking in the mall and maybe you’d hit a makeup stand and you’d say ‘yeah, I like that’ and try it out,” said Facebook Philippines country director John Rubio. “What’s happened is a massive shift where that now happens online.” In this B-Side episode, Mr. Rubio tells BusinessWorld reporter Brontë H. Lacsamana how brands can build an offline-to-online strategy with the help of six Rs (rewrite, rewire, reimagine, refresh, re-envision, and realign). Recorded remotely on Sept. 14. Produced by Paolo L. Lopez and Sam L. Marcelo.
20 minutes | Sep 26, 2021
Money where your mouth is: the proposed national budget and the government's priorities
Despite saying that the pandemic response is a priority, the executive department of the Duterte administration slashed the P50.4 billion allotted for healthcare workers’ allowances and other benefits from the proposed 2022 budget. "It's so important for us to know exactly what the government wants to do — and what it really wants to do is reflected in the national budget. It's not really in the public statements that officials make day in and day out during their press conferences," said Zy-za Nadine Suzara, executive director of think tank Institute for Leadership, Empowerment, and Democracy (iLead). In this B-Side episode, Ms. Suzara tells BusinessWorld reporter Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza why broader civil society should pay attention to the ongoing budget deliberations. Recorded remotely on Sept. 11. Produced by Paolo L. Lopez and Sam L. Marcelo.
13 minutes | Sep 19, 2021
'Privacy by design': data protection and the upcoming elections
Personal data can be misused and repurposed in the lead-up to the national elections next year. The National Privacy Commission earlier flagged an election-related survey website that was collecting excessive data. Companies and government institutions should be accountable, compliant, and ethical in using personal data, in accordance with the Data Privacy Law. “Practice privacy by design. We do that by taking full cognizance of the potential risks that processing involves, and try to mitigate and address these risks,” said National Privacy Commissioner Raymund E. Liboro, in a conversation on data privacy with BusinessWorld reporter Jenina P. Ibañez. This B-Side episode was recorded remotely on Aug. 27, 2021. Produced by Paolo L. Lopez and Sam L. Marcelo.
16 minutes | Sep 12, 2021
The science of sound: using music in marketing
You are what you listen to. By analyzing the songs that are on heavy rotation on your playlist, music solutions agency Homonym can give brands a picture of who you are: from the shampoo that you use on your head to the shoes that you wear on your feet. “To us, sonic branding, or the sound part of your branding, is very important because that’s the only way you can make [people] feel. ... Audio makes you feel,” said Mike L. Constantino, founder of Homonym. In this B-Side episode, he explains to BusinessWorld reporter Brontë H. Lacsamana how audio data can help brands reach their target market using as an example Nissan’s 2020 X-Trail ad campaign. Based on Homonym’s research, the marketing push for the X-Trail, described on the Nissan website as “an SUV with muscular styling,” used “Money For Food” by petite singer-songwriter Barbie Almalbis in its spots. This B-Side episode was recorded remotely on Aug. 19, 2021. Produced by Paolo L. Lopez and Sam L. Marcelo.
12 minutes | Sep 5, 2021
Building resilience among children
Children are getting ready for another round of virtual classes as the Department of Education (DepEd) announced Sept. 13 as the opening date for School Year 2021–2022. The mental health of children has been discussed by experts, who are worried about the long-term effects of lockdowns. In this B-Side episode, Jean L. Goulbourn, founder of the Natasha Goulbourn Foundation (NGF Mindstrong), talks to BusinessWorld reporter Patricia B. Mirasol about resilience among kids and Ang Katatagan, the foundation’s program with DepEd aimed at giving teachers the tools to help their students cope with the stress of remote learning. “The pandemic has changed the whole world of a child. They’re isolated. It’s not healthy,” said Ms. Goulbourn. Recorded remotely on Aug. 17. NGF Mindstrong’s crisis hotline numbers are 8804-4673, 0918-8734673, and 0917 558 4673. Individuals can donate to the foundation through BPI Makati Atrium (peso savings: 3123-7249-59) and BDO SM Makati (peso savings: 000040491889).
19 minutes | Aug 29, 2021
Public health before political games
Coronavirus cases are surging. Our nurses are not getting paid and hospitals are filling up. We’ve been locked down since the beginning of August. And our economy probably won’t recover until the end of 2022 or 2023. In this episode of B-Side, Joey Francis Hernandez, treasurer of the Philippine Society of Public Health Physicians, speaks with BusinessWorld’s Russell Louis C. Ku about the Philippine pandemic response and holding our leaders accountable. This episode was recorded remotely on Aug. 14. Produced by Paolo L. Lopez and Sam L. Marcelo.
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