PH startup bags up to $500,000 in equity investments

Acudeen Technologies, a startup that helps small and medium enterprises (SMEs) overcome financial constraints, recently bagged equity investments of up to $500,000 after besting other participants from over 66 countries in the SeedStars World Summit in Switzerland.

Founded by a Filipino startup entrepreneur Mario Jordan “Magellan” Fetalino III, Acudeen Technologies is a financial-technology company that provides support for Philippine small businesses coping to make ends meet as they await payments from their clients.

Financial stability is one of the top problems faced by most micro, small, medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the country. While MSMEs acquire big contracts with larger companies, they find themselves financially disabled while they wait for their invoices to be paid that are usually in 30-60 day cycles. This scheme forces most MSMEs out of business. With this prevailing problem, Acudeen Technologies provides an innovative solution. It transforms SMEs’ invoices into cash through discounting of their receivables providing them with necessary working capital which they fail to get from banks.

“This is an outstanding work of a Filipino entrepreneur which does not just boast of the innovative capacity of Filipino startups to provide solutions to existing problems, but also reflects the bayanihan spirit among Filipinos that continue to help our small businesses in the country to thrive,” said Department of Trade and Industry’s Trade and Investment Promotion Group Undersecretary Nora K. Terrado.

“We hope to encourage more startups like this in furthering our innovative economy. We encourage them to avail various initiatives of the public and private sector such as the QBO Innovation Hub,” added Terrado.

The Philippines, with increasing collaboration between the public and private sector, continues to urge more local entrepreneurs to explore various opportunities that technology offers for businesses. Through DTI, the Philippine government forwards the development of the startup ecosystem in the Philippines through the Startup Ecosystem Development Program (SEDP).

Recently, DTI together with Departments of Science and Technology (DOST) and the Information and Communication Technology (DICT) with Ideaspace Foundation and JP Morgan launched the QBO Startup Enablement Programs that aim to cater to the needs of the growing startup ecosystem in the Philippines.

Aris: 2nd District goes techie


SCIENCE and Technology Secretary Fortunato de la Peña is slated to launch in Ubay town on Thursday, May 4, two projects that will make the internet accessible and practical to residents in Bohol’s 2nd District.

Rep. Erico Aristotle Aumentado said expected to be with de la Peña are the members of the House Committee on Science and Technology which the former chairs.

The secretary will launch “STAR Books” – an interactive research module in the internet for all high schools, initially in Ubay, the whole district and eventually, the whole Bohol.

STAR Books is a spin from the department’s Science Teacher Academy for the Regions (STAR) project that seeks to provide an organized scheme of innovative trainings in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. It braces for the country’s need for S & T capable teachers to meet the requirements for the K-12 program of the Department of Education.

The launch will be the kick off activity for the nationwide launch.

De la Peña is similarly slated to launch the “Rx Pod” to be set up initially at the Ubay town hall. It is a mechanism that allows a patient to consult – free of charge – with doctors of the Department of Health.

Should that patient’s ailment require medicines that need a doctor’s prescription, the Rx Pod prints the same out for presentation to the pharmacist.

The Rx Pod will ultimately be available in the whole district, and later, the while province and beyond.

De la Peña’s visit underscores his support for Aumentado’s branding strategy to make local products competitive even in outside-Bohol markets.

The House Committee is expected to conduct public hearings and consultations to determine if there is a need for an S & T officer in each local government unit (LGU). He or she will be mandated to, among others, assist local scientists in developing the quality, shelf life and packaging of their products to make them competitive in and outside of Bohol.


DTI Bohol and Negosyo Center Bohol conducted a Business and Consumer Education Seminar last March 30, 2017 at Bohol Investment Promotion Center. It is part of DTIs advocacy for business and consumer protection and is aimed at increasing public awareness about consumer rights and responsibilities and other trade and industry laws.

The seminar was held at the Mezzanine Floor of the Bohol Investment Promotion Center, Tagbilaran City.

Mr. Miguel Abuyabor of DTI Bohol was the resource person.


March 17, 2017 – Negosyo Center Bohol, in partnership with the Bohol Investment Promotion Center conducted an Orientation on Setting Up a Café Business intended for entrepreneurs and public enterprises who want to venture into the coffee shop business.

The seminar is one of the many entrepreneurship ideas for Bohol that have big potential for growth. Coffee shops are considered as tourist destinations with their unique ambiance, added menu and homey atmosphere.

The orientation was held at the Atty. Juanito Cambangay Conference Room, PPDO, Tagbilaran City. Mr. Paolo Rigotti, known café business enthusiast and entrepreneur was the resource speaker.

(photo: Mr. Paolo Rigotti, Resource Speaker)

Participants with Ms. Maria Fe Dominise, BIPC Head, Claire Apale, Negosyo Center Bohol Jr Business Counselor and Mr. Paolo Rigotti, Resource Person


Negosyo Center Bohol Conducts Pricing and Costing Seminar

The Bohol Investment Promotions Center and Negosyo Center Bohol jointly conducted a Pricing and Costing Seminar for micro, small and medium entrepreneurs last March 15, 2017 at Panda Tea Garden Suites, Tagbilaran City.

The activity is the first among the series of capability building initiatives of BIPC for its its Basic Entrepreneurship for Sustainable Transformation (B.E.S.T. Series. Thirty (30) MSMEs attended the said seminar and were very thankful for the opportunity given to them.

(for training/seminar schedules, please visit us at the Ground Floor, New Capitol Building, Marapao Street, Tagbilaran City)

(photo: the active participants together with Ms. Maria Fe “Ynday” Dominise, BIPC Head, Claire Apale, Jr. Business Counselor of Negosyo Center Bohol and Mr. Jess Bernasor, Resource Speaker)

End of days for traders selling  sanga disguised as pantihan



TAGBILARAN CITY, March 30 (PIA)—“Dili man ni sanga, pague man ni.” (This is not the meat of the banned manta, this is another kind.


By this thin line of excuse, traders of poached manta birostris better known in Bohol as sanga, sell the protected rare giant Atlantic manta ray meat in raw, dried or processed and easily get away with it.


Not anymore.


Starting next week, April 4, the lame excuse of selling manta meat because they are not from the biriostris kind stops as the whole country enforces a full ban on taking, possessing and transporting all big manta rays.


The Convention on International Treaties on Endangered Species (CITES), a 1973 international agreement between governments to protect endangered species of plants and animals from being extinct due to international trade and over harvest, has listed the manta ray as among its rare, endangered and species threatened to extinction.


The classification is also based on the International Union on the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), as the manta birostris (Giant Manta Ray) along with the Manta Alfredi (Reef Manta Ray) also found in Bohol are being in the red list as vulnerable to extinction.


In the Philippines, Section 97 of the RA 8550 of the Fisheries Code of the Philippines states that it is unlawful to fish or take rare, threatened or endangered species as listed in the CITES and as determined by the Department.


Meanwhile, section 2 of Fisheries Administrative Order No 193 issued by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) prohibits the taking, catching, selling, purchasing, possessing, transporting or exporting manta rays, be they dead or alive, whether raw of processed state.


In addition, the same order prohibits wounding or killing manta rays in the course of catching fish, any manta ray caught in nets shall be immediately released unharmed, dead mantas washed in shore shall be surrendered to the BFAR for proper disposition.


Incidentally, the CITES recently includes the manta rays other than the manta birostris on the Appendix 2.

Mobulids (pagi or pantihan) have been classified similarly, announces Fisheries Regulatory Officer Pedro Milana at the recent Provincial Oeace and Order Council (PPOC) meeting


As FAO 193 took effect in 1998 focusing its protection on the manta birostris, by April 4, already included in the ban are manta alfredi (Giant reef manta), the mobula eregoodootenke (Pygmy Devil Ray) commonly known in Bohol as “pilong, mobula japanica (Japanese devil ray) or binsulan, mobula tarapacana (sicklefin devil ray), mobula thurstuni (Bentfin Devil Ray) or masinaw and mobula Khuli (lesser devil ray).


This development is expected to stir anew the already troubled fisheries waters in the region.


It may be recalled that last month, elements of the Philippine Coast Guard in Panglao, on a routine patrol in Baclayon chanced upon 2 tons of manta birostris meat for transport to Pamilacan Island.


The carrier said she bought the meat from a fisherman in Jagna, which still has an unregulated manta trading industry.


According to the BFAR, violation of section 2 of RA 8550 like catching, selling, transporting and possessing aquatic species listed in the Appendix 2 and 3 of the CITES, will both have administrative and criminal liabilities.


For the Administrative liability, the culprits would be fined three times the value of the species transported or possessed or P3 million, whichever is higher.


And the government forfeits the traded or possessed specie.


For the criminal liability, a culprit can be imprisoned for 5 to 8 years, a fine twice that of the administrative fine and forfeiture of species, Milana stressed.


As the news about the capture of the illegal meat spread across social media, locals in Bohol who have been hooked to the exotic manta ray meat pointed out more issues needing resolve.


Reports also came out that there is a bustling manta ray meat trading in Jagna, and that Boholanos continue to buy the dried meat for its accordingly delectable taste.


Boholanos love to cook the manta ray meat into linabug: a coconut milk cooked spicy meat, or manta skin cooked in coconut milk and green jackfruit or humbang banggis, or coal grilled sanga.


Other Boholanos said sanga sashimi is a superb delicacy.


In several areas, sanga gills commend a high price for pharmacological use, sources said.


The ban and enforcement however is expected to force Boholanos to shirk off the exotic food offer for the steep penalties.


BFAR said while they are undermanned to implement the law, very few people know which is manta ray meat of that from simple mobulas.


The while ban now makes it easy for enforcers to apprehend, since traders will now have no more excuse to sell sanga as pague and get away with it. (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol)