Dandreb James Arro
Freelancing has been a viable option for many Filipinos. In fact, there are more than 2 million Filipino freelancers despite slower internet in the country, with these freelancers earning an estimated $10 to $50 per hour, depending on the job. Apart from having to earn above daily minimum wage, freelancers are not tied to a desk in a clock in-clock out, eight-to-five corporate setup. This gives them more time to pursue other passions.
While most freelancers opt to work in the comforts of their own home, oftentimes, the cabin fever kicks in and a new working environment becomes a necessity. This is when other go-to work options come in handy, like coffee shops. But expenses can balloon with every fill of coffee and there will be days when a barkada conversation can be loud and distracting.
This is when co-working space came to the scene. A co-working space is a shared workplace where freelancers and startup entrepreneurs can rent a table or room for a fee. These digital nomads can bank on the high-speed internet provided by co-working space while enjoying a new scenery and free coffee. Moreover, these co-working space provide avenues for these individuals to build a community where they can share ideas and collaborate on projects.
Co-working spaces have sprouted in some of the country’s busiest business hotbeds like Makati and Cebu City. Recently, a co-working space venture has found its way into the thriving Tagbilaran City.
D’ Courtyard Technology Hub is a co-working space located at CPG North Avenue fronting Dr. Cecilio Putong National High School (affectionately called Bohol High). It provides a private workstation amidst the bustling Tagbilaran City business scene where teams and individuals can transform ideas into realities.
D’ Courtyard Technology Hub workspaces can accommodate teams of up to 20 members. There are workspaces within glass walls surrounded by garden views, stimulating the senses for the free flow of ideas. The meeting room can accommodate groups to discuss, analyze, and synthesize ideas, the first step in creating a new innovative venture.
Apart from that, D’ Courtyard Technology Hub provides fast and reliable internet up to 200 mbps that allow businesses, freelances, and other players to thrive in the digital economy. Food and beverages are made readily available for a quick bite or refreshment, making sure that the flow of ideas will be uninterrupted by hunger or thirst. The best part is that D’ Courtyard Technology Hub aims to help build communities that explore possibilities through sharing and collaboration.
For those who wish to work in a warm collaborative space that thrives on inspiration and imagination,
D’ Courtyard Technology Hub can be their home. With amenities that suit the life of anyone whose opportunities are sought in freelancing, going online has just been much more enticing.
For more information visit our website www.courtyardtechhub.com or you may contact us directly:
Smart – 09292497628
Globe – 09456047258
Pldt Landline – (038) 427 – 1907
Email – email@example.com
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is pushing for automated government frontline services through mobile applications and the use of electronic payment scheme to enhance the ease of doing business in the country.
Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, chair of Inter-agency Ease of Doing Business Task Force, said that the ultimate goal of all the reforms is to make all frontline services online literally at your fingertips, providing a convenient and efficient means for public to transact with the government.
Lopez cited the Quezon City (QC) government’s Online Business Registration, where applicants can file for business permits online. This allows businesses to easily register their firms in the comforts of their home/businesses.
During the joint visit of the DTI, DILG and NCC, the QC government reported on the ePayment facility for business taxes and real property taxes. Payment of these charges can be made thru Landbank, Bancnet, or GCash. These reforms significantly improved doing business in Quezon City.
“As we continue to cut red tape and streamline procedures, we are now moving towards automation of government transactions. In the age of smartphones, we intend to harness its potential to ease of doing business. With the support of DICT, we are looking at developing a fully electronic registration process using smartphone apps.” Lopez said
Secretary Lopez also stated that with the enactment of the proposed Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act, nationwide automation will soon become a reality. The proposed law mandates a central business portal that will link the systems of national government agencies and local government units, as well as the establishment of a Philippine Business Registry databank. This portal will serve as a central system to receive applications and capture application data involving business-related transactions.
“We must make doing business easier. A complicated business registration process is a huge turn off particularly to young entrepreneurs or millennials who would want to start their business. Our current business registration practices are not aligned with the preferences of this demographic who are totally dependent on their mobile devices,” Lopez said
The Department of Trade and Industry lauds the efforts and strong commitment of the Quezon City Government in streamlining its operations to speed up the processing of business registration and construction-related permits.
DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez, Chair of the government’s Inter-agency Task Force on Ease of Doing Business, explained that the drastic process re-engineering in Quezon City, the LGU with the most number of businesses, is critical because it is the sample city included in the Doing Business Survey, conducted yearly by the World Bank, to gauge the overall competitiveness of the Philippines as a nation, using the cost and ease of doing business as a criterion.
QC Mayor Herbert Bautista issued Executive Order 11 on December 22, 2017 mandating the creation of One-stop Shops, where new businesses can file and pay their application for business permits, including Fire Safety Inspection Certificates, following a 2-step procedure where applicants can get their permit in less than two hours. Applicants need not to go to different offices to obtain business permit and other clearances and but instead transact in a single location.
“The EO signed by the Local Chief Executive provides for reduction in the steps and requirements, and the use of automation. But we need to leapfrog. The effort of the QC shall be complemented by efforts in the national level. Together with the DICT, we are looking at developing a fully electronic registration process using Smartphone App. This is an excellent opportunity for the Philippines to become one of the first countries to adopt a business registration process that can be completed (end to end) on a smart phone”, Lopez said.
Similar with business permits, a one-stop shop dedicated for construction-related permits is also being established, which will co-locate the different city/municipal offices that process building permits and certificates of occupancy, headed by the Office of the Building Official, and the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) in one place. This is expected to be operational by end of February 2018.
These reforms are seen to significantly improve Philippines’ ranking in Doing Business (DB) Report, where the country dropped 14 notches to No. 113 last year. For Starting a Business indicator, Philippines recorded a dismal No. 173. Quezon City, with an estimated 74,000 registered establishments, represents the country in the survey.
Globe Telecom’s international connectivity capacity provides the leading telecommunications provider with the ability to activate more than 16 Terabits per second (Tbps), sufficient to service the bandwidth demand in the country and satisfy the market’s hunger for faster internet services. Globe seeks to correct the separate public pronouncements made by the DICT Undersecretary Eliseo Rio and BCDA President Vince Dizon who placed the industry’s combined capacity at 2 Tbps.
While Globe has enough capacity to provide world class internet service, right-of-way access and unreasonable permit issues hamper the connectivity of many Filipinos.
“Our biggest hurdle in delivering consistently good internet (service) is the cumbersome number of permits and right of way issues that prevent us from building the last mile connectivity that would allow world class internet services to be enjoyed by the ordinary household or any person using a mobile phone. We have repeatedly called on the government to help address these issues that are prevalent at the local government level. Now with more people adopting to internet use much faster than the infrastructure can be built, then the problem gets exacerbated,” said Globe President & CEO Ernest Cu.
Out of the Globe Telecom’s current bandwidth capacity of more than 16 Tbps, the company’s “lit-up” capacity is less than 3 Tbps as the rest of the bandwidth remain unused owing to insufficient last mile infrastructure. Aside from permitting and right of way issues, other last mile concerns are the non-standardized tower fees across LGUs and real property tax challenges, explained Cu.
For years now, Globe has been struggling with permitting challenges at the local government levels. To build one cell site alone, the telco has to secure 25 permits from local government units. Processing the permits, meanwhile, takes at least eight months to complete. Laying down the fiber optic cable to reach homes is another tedious process altogether.
Constructing more cell sites is necessary for the Philippines to match and even surpass its Asian neighbors in cell site density, emphasized Cu. “We keep comparing ourselves with developed countries and our highly developed Asian neighbors on internet speed. What we don’t realize is that we are facing problems unique to the Philippines,” added Cu.
User-per-cell site density in the Philippines is 2,244, based on estimates of 21,000 total cell sites in the country against internet users of around 47.1 million. This statistic only underscores the urgency to build the necessary infrastructure that the country needs.
With the country growing in step with the rest of Asia, a digital economy will require more bandwidth and better internet services. It is imperative to look at the issues squarely with both government and industry working together to deliver a better internet experience.
Globe in recent years invested heavily in expanding its international cable connectivity, to stay ahead of the demand curve in terms of bandwidth capacity. This is in recognition of the growing demand for much-improved internet services in the country to fuel the engines of the booming economy.
Just last August, Globe launched the Southeast Asia-United States (SEA-US) cable system that has a design capacity of 20 Tbps capacity and directly links Asia to the US. The system boosts the speed of data transmission and improves the efficiency of connectivity, among other benefits to the public.
Startup Weekend Bohol Tourism hopes to be one of the many initiatives by local volunteers and the Bohol ICT Council.
It is a 54-hour event where participants get to enjoy and experience how to build a business or a project in just three days.
The organizers have held a couple of pre-activities before the big Startup Weekend Bohol Tourism event this coming September 29 to help introduce the idea and get them to experience a little bit of what the activity is all about – creating innovations and working on them.
Mentors and a couple of participants underwent a fire pitching game where they got to create ideas out of some random words. They got subjected to a barrage of questions to test if their ideas could stand on its own.
The event is in partnership with the Department of Tourism, Provincial Government of Bohol, and the Bohol Investment Promotion Center. It is sponsored by Uniform Solutions, PrintBit, Gwion, Sea Drake Island Cruises, and Just Sizzlin’ (we are still open for sponsorships!). The participants at the event will also be mentored by Michael de Vincent Edwards, Jerome Auza, Aimee Lim, Nelson Buena and Gina Kapirig. With them are judges Mark Phillips, Vicky Wallace, and many more startup ecosystem supporters.
Startup Weekend Bohol Tourism Edition will be on September 29-October 1, 2017 at the Bohol Bee Farm Panglao. If you’d like to register and stay updated, text Zion at 09084213938 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org and find us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/StartupWeekendBohol/
Startup Weekend is an environment that aims to provide all the necessities the participant needs so that he or she can focus purely on developing his or her idea. Registering to Startup Weekend Tourism Edition entitles a participant to three days of meals, an event shirt, a goodie bag, and the event experience; and the registration fee is just seven hundred fifty pesos (PHP750.00) per participant! Ain’t that a good deal? We also understand that there are students that would like to participate so we’ve set up a student discount of just five hundred pesos (PHP500.00), just please bring your student IDs when you make your purchase.
The reason why the organizers have pulled in so much resources to pull this off at an affordable rate is so that local entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs that would like to join the event and try their hand at testing their new business idea can rest assured that everything will be provided for them as they prioritize developing their business idea.
The event is in partnership with the Department of Tourism, Provincial Government of Bohol, and the Bohol Investment Promotion Center. It is sponsored by Uniform Solutions, PrintBit, Gwion, Sea Drake Island Cruises, and Just Sizzlin’ (we are still open for sponsorships!) . The participants at the event will also be mentored by Michael de Vincent Edwards, Aimee Lim, Nelson Buena, Ben Skelton, and Peter Watkins. With them are judges Mark Phillips, Vicky Wallace, and many more startup ecosystem supporters.