Why Konsulta MD Seems Like a Terribly Bad Idea

Globe Telecom, through its wholly-owned subsidiary Yondu, has formed a joint venture with Salud Interactiva to launch KonsultaMD – a 24/7 health hotline service manned by skilled and licensed Filipino doctors who provide medical assessment and advice, including basic healthcare and permissible medication over the phone. – from press release at Globe website here

Konsulta MD logo
There’s a new doctor in town! Konsulta MD logo. Image from konsulta.md

 

“KonsultaMD is our response to the pain points in Philippine healthcare. The growing population puts further pressure to an already-strained healthcare landscape which is suffering from lack of experienced healthcare professionals, under-resourced public hospitals, poor health infrastructure and limited accessibility”  said Gil B. Genio, Chief Strategy Officer and Chief Operating Officer for Business and International Markets.

Though coming from good intentions, Konsulta MD seems to be a terribly bad idea. Here are the reasons why:

Continue reading Why Konsulta MD Seems Like a Terribly Bad Idea

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To Celebrate EDSA 2015, Philippine Government “Recreates” Traffic Jam Scene from World War Z

Today is the 29th Anniversary of the People’s Power Revolution (also known as EDSA I locally, there are EDSA II and III revolutions as well) in the Philippines. The government decided to close a significant and centrally located part of EDSA (it is the main and busiest thoroughfare in Metro Manila) to celebrate the anniversary. Being a regular weekday, many people going to work were stuck in traffic for hours. The pile up of cars became similar to the traffic jam scene in World War Z  or that in The Dark Knight, whichever was worse.

EDSA Traffic during the 2015 People Power Celebrations
Are these people fleeing from a Zombie apocalypse, or residents escaping from Gotham after the Joker threatened to blow up the city? Sadly. It’s the effect of someone closing EDSA. Image from @hvacajilog at Instagram

 

To celebrate the anniversary of the EDSA I revolution, somebody had the bright idea of closing up a significant stretch of EDSA – on a busy workday! Continue reading To Celebrate EDSA 2015, Philippine Government “Recreates” Traffic Jam Scene from World War Z

The ‘I Love You’ That Cost Billions

In 2000, when people were still naive enough to open email attachments from unknown sources, the ILOVEYOU virus (also known as “I Love You” or “Love Letter” virus) quickly spread and cost billions of dollars in damages and repairs.

It’s only Wednesday but it’s throwback time! Let’s go back to the year 2000, when people communicated online primarily via email. The virus originated in the Philippines, then spread to Hong Kong, to Europe and finally to the United States. The White House, Congress, the FBI and the Pentagon were all affected. The State Department was forced to disconnect its computer systems from the internet, according to a spokesman. The damages was estimated at US$ 5.5 Billion during its first week of spread alone. The final cost (including system repairs) was estimated at US$ 15 Billion.

 

I Love You Virus
“I Love You – and I won’t think you’re stupid for actually opening this attachment.” – is probably the long form of the message.  Image from people.carleton.edu

 

The author of the virus is alleged to be a Filipino Continue reading The ‘I Love You’ That Cost Billions

The Araneta Wealth

Stella Marquez Araneta is currently making headlines in the Philippines and not in a good way. See related post here.

From Filipino designers to Twitter users, it seems that many are expressing their disappointment – ok anger – with her. Will the angry netizens speak with their wallets though? Stella had married into one of the Philippines’ wealthiest families. The Aranetas are involved in many businesses in the country.

She didn’t end up as a trophy wife. She is actually now the second most famous Araneta. The most famous being the inanimate Araneta Coliseum. Stella during her wedding to Jorge Araneta. Image from Alo Magazine

 

A view of the Araneta Center’s most famous landmark, the Araneta Coliseum. The coliseum hosted the Thrilla in Manila, the 1975 boxing match between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier. Image from Ramon FVelasquez

 

Aside from the Araneta Coliseum, which is part of the 35 hectare Araneta Center complex, what are the other business holdings of the Aranetas? Continue reading The Araneta Wealth

Papal Visit Philippines 2015 Special: Investing in the Haiyan – Ravaged City of Tacloban

This is a post, a part of a series, to commemorate the Pope’s visit to the Philippines on January 15-19 2015.

 

The highlight of the Pope’s visit in the Philippines was his trip to Tacloban, otherwise known as ground-zero of the Haiyan devastation. On the day the Pope visited Tacloban, another storm hit the city. Interestingly, the storm was named locally as “Amang”, which translates to Father in English. The storm cut the Pope’s Tacloban visit short, killed a woman volunteer, and caused a plane carrying government officials to skid off the runway.

The Pope in a raincoat, as he waves to a crowd after holding a mass in an airport in Tacloban City, Philippines on January 17, 2015. Image from Damir Sagolj/Reuters

 

The Pope’s visit gives residents of Tacloban hope and inspiration as they continue to rebuild their city.

There’s another thing that Tacloban needs — Investment. As the parable goes (and I am paraphrasing here), the people of Tacloban don’t only need fish, they also need the means to fish. On the 20th of November 2014, another event gave the people in Tacloban hope. It was the opening of a large mutli-level grocery store. Continue reading Papal Visit Philippines 2015 Special: Investing in the Haiyan – Ravaged City of Tacloban

Papal Visit Philippines 2015 Special: Justified or Overboard? Smart and Globe Disrupt Mobile Services During the Pope’s Visit

This is a post, part of a series, to commemorate the Pope’s visit to the Philippines on January 15-19 2015.

 

Smart Communications (TEL:PM latest stock quote) and Globe Telecom (GLO:PM latest stock quote), the two largest telecommunications company in the Philippines, plan to disrupt mobile services during the Pope’s stay in the Philippines from January 15-19 2015.

On the morning of January 16, I personally experienced disruption of my Smart Bro mobile internet. People I know also experienced disruptions with their Smart (and Sun) mobile signals. I didn’t experience any disruptions with my Globe cellular signal during the same time period. By the way, I was located far away from the Papal activities.

According to news reports, the two companies plan to disrupt services based on the directive of the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC). The NTC, as its name suggests, is the government agency that oversees telecom companies in the Philippines. The reason given is to secure the Pope, as mobile signals may be used to detonate bombs.

Do you actually think that this action is justified or is the government going overboard? Continue reading Papal Visit Philippines 2015 Special: Justified or Overboard? Smart and Globe Disrupt Mobile Services During the Pope’s Visit