Playing Santa has become a MicroSourcing tradition wherein every year, employees fulfill Christmas wishes of public school scholars from impoverished communities. This year, we granted 268 wishes to students from Payatas Orione Foundation and A Better Chance (ABC) Foundation.
As early as November, employees started buying gifts and Noche Buena baskets for scholars in Payatas Orione Foundation, MicroSourcing’s long-standing partner in education with more than 300 scholars. With the non-profit organization’s education program, elementary, high school, and college students are able to study in public institutions that would otherwise be inaccessible to them.
Last December 3, 43 volunteers went to Payatas, Quezon City for the gift-giving ceremony. A client from MicroSourcing also joined the event. Everyone was very enthusiastic in participating in activities, particularly the newspaper game that showed how strong and competitive the students were. Everyone was cheering for their teams and after several rounds, three teams were declared the winners. One of MicroSourcing’s accounts in the MOA site donated gifts and loot bags that served as prizes for the games.
Aside from the games, we prepared a magic show for the kids. Angelito Castro from MicroCreatives and his friend Ernest entertained the crowd with their magic tricks and witty antics.
MicroMissions would like to thank all MicroSourcing employees who played Santa this year. Your generosity was very much appreciated. We also want to thank our volunteer POCs who spent a lot of time and effort to make this event possible: Ida Mandinyenya, Joannah Kris Aguas, Celso Trinidad Jr., Jenina Cortez, and Nina Beltran. As for the program proper, we would like to extend our gratitude to Jan Cyrill Dimaranan who served as our host, and Patrick Gayanilo and JC Lalic who took photos during the event.
The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) announced last November 17 that the Philippine economy improved by 7.1% during the third quarter of this year.
Director Reynaldo Cancio of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) National Policy and Planning Staff said the bullish 7.1% growth of the Philippines could push the country to meet its targeted 6-7 percent growth for 2016.
The growth reflects the first three months of President Rodrigo Duterte in office. It is higher than the 7% GDP growth recorded in Q2 and higher than the 6% GDP growth posted during the same quarter of last year.
Cancio noted that the growth of the Philippines is higher than China’s 6.7%, Vietnam’s 6.4%, 5% of Indonesia, and Malaysia’s 4.3%.
Moreover, it was realized that the Philippines was the fastest-growing major Asian economy for the first six months of the year, even surpassing Asia’s chief player - China.
The growth data is on track with the government’s projections and has exceeded analysts’ expectations. Before data was released, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia predicted that the GDP for Q3 will probably land anywhere between 6.3% and 7.3%.
Cancio attributed the growth to the investments coming from the demand side that continued to drive economic growth. He also explained that construction investments coming from the private sector rose significantly by 16.2% this quarter from the 4% recorded last year. As for the public sector, strong investment in infrastructure was sustained with a 20% growth in the third quarter.
Other factors that contributed to the growth in private consumption are low inflation and interest rates, “better labor market conditions, and the steady, though slower growth” of remittances coming from OFWs.
However, Cancio noted that the government is keeping an eye on possible threats to the economy, even though it posted strong growth in the 3rd quarter. He cited several factors such as the effects of La Niña to the agriculture and fishery sectors of the country, vague economic policies in UK and the US, sluggish recovery in Europe, and employment challenges in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
by: Karen Cayamanda
Last November, MicroSourcing opens a new delivery center in Eastwood City to meet the expansion needs of new and existing clients.
CEO Sjoerd Krosse and VP of Operations (Eastwood and Ortigas) Maricel Salao, together with the rest of the management employees, held a blessing and ribbon-cutting ceremony to formally launch the new delivery center. Located at 9th Floor E-Commerce Plaza Building, Eastwood City Cyberpark, Bagumbayan, Quezon City, it has an area of over 2,000 sqm with a seating capacity of 400. It likewise has the standard MicroSourcing facilities including function rooms, MS Cafe, locker rooms, server rooms, a training room, clinic, as well as a nap room.
E-Commerce Plaza is a class A and PEZA-approved building which is also home to several other BPO companies.
According to CEO Sjoerd Krosse, opening a new delivery center in Eastwood City is a great move for the company. "Eastwood, having been where MicroSourcing started its original operations, is home to a lot of clients who grew with us throughout the years. We are excited to expand our capacity in Eastwood, which was urgently needed to facilitate the growth of our existing Quezon City-based clients. The site also creates new spaces for incoming clients and we hope that they, too, will grow with MicroSourcing in the years ahead."
The new delivery center at E-Commerce Plaza is the third office of MicroSourcing in Eastwood City. Overall, the company has seven delivery centers: the headquarters at Picadilly Star Building in Taguig City, while the other offices are in Mall of Asia, Ortigas, and Cebu.
by: Ida Mandinyenya
Eight 9th grade scholars from A Better Chance Foundation visited the Mind Museum last November 12.
A Better Chance Foundation is a non-profit organization that helps financially challenged children gain access to quality education. Through their Night High School Scholarship Program, MicroSourcing funds eight scholars studying at Siena College of Taytay in Rizal. The children are from neighboring communities and although they must pass an entrance exam to join the program, their economic status is also taken into consideration.
MicroSourcing Volunteers Club Leader and POCs supervised the Mind Museum visit. The scholars were also joined by Gail Pangilinan-Espinas, Melvin Gongora, and Arcel Llarena from A Better Chance Foundation.
The scholars had their hours to explore the Atom, Life, Earth, Universe, and Technology galleries. One of the favorites was the hair-raising static ball. Unfortunately, the boys were distinctly underwhelmed by this experience because of their short hair. The scholars also met a 40-foot Tyrannosaurus rex (T.Rex) in the Earth gallery. Later, they watched ‘Space Shell’ in a custom-built planetarium and learned about the stars and planets. The show detailed the Big Bang Theory and the exploration of scientists to Mars in search of answers. Scholars also learned about how our understanding of the world is constantly changing as research rewrites history and transforms our future.
Afterwards, the 9th graders sat down to discuss the morning’s exciting experience over lunch at Sunrise Buckets.
MicroMissions will continue to build a stronger partnership with A Better Chance Foundation to support financially challenged children through education by bringing young people back to school.
by: Ida Mandinyenya
Every year, MicroSourcing honors International Day of Older Persons with a visit to Kanlungan ni Maria, an aged care home for poor, abandoned, homeless, and sick older people in Antipolo, Rizal. The International Day of Older Persons takes place on October 1 and the theme this year is ‘Take a Stand against Ageism’. Ageism is the most normalized social prejudice and the goal of the outreach was to raise awareness on the negative stereotypes and misconstructions about the elderly.
In 2010, 524 million people were aged 65 or older. By 2050, the aging population is expected to increase to two billion, representing 20 percent of the world’s population. The majority of older people will be in less developed countries, with the greatest increase in Asia. For this reason, it is essential to draw our attention to the needs of the ageing population and value their contribution to society.
Kanlungan ni Maria is managed by the Diocesan Social Communications Ministry and is home to 14 lolas and nine lolos. MicroSourcing volunteers had the opportunity to interact and bond with the elderly residents over a game of Bingo last October 8. A group of volunteers was assigned to each elderly resident and would assist with the cards. There were also prizes on offer for all the winners.
The Dance and Music Club also joined MicroMissions on this social call and played different songs for the elderly. From the sing-along, it was clear that they enjoyed the performance by the Dance and Music Club and we are thankful to Stephanie Reyes for facilitating a successful collaboration with MicroMissions.
“I was part of the group that performed old songs for the elderly. I have been performing as a guitarist for the past 11 years and I must say, I have never felt such fulfillment in my performing career. It is like God gave me this talent to entertain those people who need the utmost attention and help. I would be more than happy to perform in succeeding missions.” - MicroSourcing Volunteer
MicroMissions is grateful to all MicroSourcing employees who donated various food and non-food items to Kanlungan ni Maria. The upkeep of the home is reliant on the generosity of individuals like yourselves and on behalf of Kanlungan ni Maria, we thank you for your generosity.
We are also grateful to the MicroSourcing clients who joined us on our visit to Kanlungan ni Maria. We enjoyed their company and welcome them to future outreach activities.
by: Sarah Joson
Tuesday, October 04, 2016 | Comments (0)
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) raised their 2016 growth forecasts for the Philippine economy.
The IMF recently released a statement, saying despite external risks, the outlook for the Philippine economy is still favorable. The financial institution shared its improved growth projection of 6.4 percent, from the initial six percent for this year.
On the other hand, the Duterte government is targeting a “conservative” 6-7 percent growth for the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), even if a 6.9 percent growth was recorded during the first half of this year.
The IMF even pointed out that threats to the growth forecasts are minimal, and noted that Philippine officials will be able to address challenges with the appropriate policies if there will be any as the country is backed by strong fundamentals.
In line with that, Richard Bolt, ADB Country Director for the Philippines, explained the updated Asian Development Outlook 2016, wherein it was indicated that their improved forecast of 6.4 percent from six percent for the Philippines was mainly fuelled by the Duterte administration’s plans to increase infrastructure spending, the solid foundation provided by favorable macroeconomic fundamentals, and strong, wide-ranging domestic demand.
The executive was also asked if the current leader’s debatable statements against the US and EU leaders and the continuous battle against illegal drugs which are allegedly causing extra judicial killings are rocking the nation’s economic boat. He said they haven’t seen a slowdown in investment figures and added that growth projection remains on the positive side of the spectrum.
Bolt highlighted the Duterte government’s 10-point socioeconomic agenda which seeks to cut poverty rate from 26 percent to 17 percent by 2020. He added that while poverty rate remains high, the government’s other plans are on the right track in addressing issues which include making it easier for foreign investors to do business in the Philippines, higher infrastructure spending, and strategies to further decrease red tape in the commerce segment.
Bolt stated that the key to minimizing risks to the Philippine’s growth outlook is moving forward with the reform agenda.
As for the IMF, its executive directors lauded Philippine officials for their continued efforts to carry out strong macroeconomic management, resulting to robust growth and low inflation.
“In 2012, I became a MicroSourcing scholar where I learned that sharing not only means giving something of monetary value but also time, talents, and skills. Today, I became a Careers Program Batch 5 graduate and I would like to say thank you to MicroSourcing for giving me this wonderful opportunity. As a child of a banana farmer, I am humbled by what MicroSourcing is doing in our communities.” - Careers Program Batch 5 Graduate
Last September 19, 11 youth celebrated the conclusion of the Careers Program, a flagship impact sourcing initiative that creates employment opportunities in the outsourcing sector for unemployed youth.
Graduation Day was an opportunity to celebrate this milestone and give thanks to everyone who helped make the program a success. Faidah Cayongcat, Emily Malibago, and Andréa Imbert from Virlanie Foundation; Shiela Mira and Michelle Balce from Payatas Orione Foundation; and Théodora Esanou from Life Project for Youth (LP 4Y) joined the Graduation Day. MicroSourcing Account Managers, Supervisors, and volunteer mentors also attended the event.
Liza Inciong, VP of Human Resources, opened the ceremony with an overview of MicroMissions, the CSR arm of MicroSourcing, and the successes of the Careers Program. She congratulated the graduates and gave thanks to their trainers, supervisors, and non-profit organization partners for their rewarding contributions.
The program began in June with a MicroSourcing University-designed classroom-type training course. This was facilitated by Communications Trainer Lesley Ordinario and the modules covered include Grammar and Accent Basics, Prepositions, Verb Tenses, Regular & Irregular Verbs, Rules of Subject-Verb Agreement, Effective Communication, US, Canadian, and Australian Culture, Email Writing, Customer Service, Budget Management, Dress for Success, Resume Writing, Preparing for a Job Interview, and Computer Basics (MS Word, MS PowerPoint, and MS Excel).
At the end of the training, the youth were immersed in real-life work experience with client and internal department partners for two months. During this time, they were assigned with customer service, data analyst, and administrative assistant roles.
Congratulations Careers Program Batch 5!
by: Karen Cayamanda
Last September 17, 171 management employees across all sites gathered at Balay Indang in Cavite for Restart: Leadership Camp 2016. This is an annual event that aims to inform all management employees about the current state of the company, plans, and other updates. This is also an opportunity for everyone to know their colleagues from other departments and sites, and a venue to recognize those who have shown exemplary performance in the previous fiscal year.
MicroSourcing CEO Sjoerd Krosse started the event with updates on the Salmat acquisition and the current status of the business. He also thanked everyone for a job well done and encouraged them to work even harder to help make the company more successful.
Management employees from different departments who have shown excellent performance were likewise recognized during the event. These employees, called MS Heroes, set an impressive example of how to help and influence their teams and colleagues in meeting their objectives: Kristopher Cabrera (IT), Mary Grace Manalo (FACS), Zeus Mendoza (Finance), Jonna Rose Distor (HR), Paul Riparip (OpEx), Sherwin Darilag (MicroCreatives), Maria Sophie Stella Gatab (EV - Manila), Evangeline Noval (EV - Cebu), Niña Beltran (AH), Rocel Marie Joy Resurreccion (Operations - MDC), Maria Salome Del Rosario (Operations - 1880), Albert Sugalan (Operations - MOA), and Rejessah Salinas (TA).
One of the highlights of this year’s leadership camp was the team activity that was facilitated by Breakout Interactive Theater. They feature theatrical experiences that allow participants to be immersed in various situations to solve a case or survive in a certain environment. Twelve teams had an opportunity to be detectives to figure out who the mastermind of a murder case was. After a series of interrogations and analysis, Team Light Blue, headed by VP of Operations (Eastwood and Ortigas) Maricel Salao, gave the most comprehensive answer and was declared the winner.
Another highlight of the event was the Management Duets that got the crowd cheering for the representatives of their respective departments. Seven pairs sang their hearts out amidst the deafening cheers. Some even brought various props to show their support. After much deliberation and a tie-breaker round through a videoke challenge, Maria Kristel Mercado and Christian Ferreras of MicroCreatives claimed the top spot and received a cash prize of P8,000. Team HR got the second place and P5,000, while Team Finance made it to the top three and received P3,000.
It was indeed a productive day for all management employees. A big shout-out goes to Employee Engagement Lead Melissa Matibag and the rest of the HR department for organizing this event. With stomachs full of delicious food and hearts filled with words of encouragement and new lessons learned, it is with high hopes that the entire management team will work even harder to make a positive impact to the company.
Every year, MicroSourcing replenishes the Sierra Madre forest and plants trees at the GreenEarth Heritage Foundation terrain as a Thanksgiving gift to our clients.
Last September 10, 56 MicroSourcing volunteers had the opportunity to plant 152 guava and sugar apple trees at the foothills of the Sierra Madre Mountains. 1880 Eastwood Operations also donated an additional 87 trees and we are grateful for their generosity.
Farm Manager and Site Administrator Aileen Deocampo expressed her appreciation on behalf of the GreenEarth farming community and informed the volunteers that when the trees bear fruit, the employees would be invited to purchase the first fruits of the harvest.
During the site tour, Aileen spoke to the volunteers about GreenEarth’s ongoing projects. Since our last visit, the sustainable agriculture organization has had a transformer installed on-site; they have also constructed a storage facility and dormitories for their long-stay volunteers. We also had the opportunity to see a few of the narra trees planted in previous years.
Aileen revealed that the income generated from the Moringa tea sales continues to help them strengthen the welfare of their farming communities. Annually, MicroMissions launches a Moringa tea fundraiser and it is apparent that this socially-conscious purchase made by employees is bringing change to a small farming community in San Miguel, Bulacan.
We encourage you to continue standing with us to help those once engaged in small-scale farming, illegal logging, and land grabbing operations by replenishing your stock of Moringa tea regularly. Last August, a total of 180 boxes of Moringa tea were sold to employees and this raised P67,500 for GreenEarth.
After the tree planting activity, Angelito Castro from MS Arts Club steered an activity with the children. The children learned how to make piggy banks using recycled water bottles and the staff were delighted that MicroSourcing had brought to GreenEarth a wonderful value formations activity. MicroMissions is also grateful to MS Nature Club who donated meals for all volunteers and children at GreenEarth.
If you wish to support GreenEarth, you may purchase a box of their US Department of Agriculture (USDA)- and Ecocert France-certified organic Moringa tea.
Last August 4, 34 elementary and junior high school beneficiaries from the Children of Asia (Enfants d’Asie) Scholarship Program received school kits donated by MicroSourcing Cebu employees. The non-profit organization was founded in 1991 and assists up to 10,500 orphaned and distressed children in Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, and the Philippines.
This fundraiser was in partnership with the “Happy to Help” fundraising program of Children’s Hour, a fundraising and grant-giving organization in the Philippines. The children gladly received their school kits at the Ermita Barangay Hall. Each school kit has eight notebooks, five pencils, four ballpens, two erasers, one sharpener, one pair of scissors, two writing exercise booklets, four pads of writing paper, three long folders, three short folders, one pair of black shoes, one plastic ruler, one pack of crayons, and a backpack.
Children of Asia and Children’s Hour extend their heartfelt gratitude to MicroSourcing Cebu employees for sharing their gifts. Your generous donation will be of great assistance to children under the Children of Asia Scholarship Program. A large proportion of the barangay is made up of squatters and so it has one of the highest poverty rates in Cebu City. The support we have received will help these children lead a brighter and happier life as they are now better equipped for the school year ahead.