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WARNING: FAKE MONEY ON THE LOOSE

  In view of the amount of fake paper bills circulating in the economy, PAGASA sends this advisory on how to tell what is fake from what is real:  

WARNING: FAKE MONEY ON THE LOOSE

  In view of the amount of fake paper bills circulating in the economy, PAGASA sends this advisory on how to tell what is fake from what is real:  

PINHOLES IN POWDERY PACKAGES AT A TIME OF COVID-19

A vigilant shopper sent this video to a social media platform and it went viral. Her observation that the health-hazardous puncturing of minute holes on powdery products packaged in plastic bags (like sugar, salt and the like) to let air out and make displays in supermarkets even and easier for stocking is very valid in view of the uncontained spread of COVID-19.  PAGASA members were advised to refrain from this practice.

PAGASA AS CONSULTANT OF PHIL. GOV’T. FOR WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM

PAGASA was honored to be included as one of 10 consultant-agencies for the formulation of a Strategic Statement for the pillar Product Market (there are 12 pillars/FGD's incl. Infrastructure, Labor Market, ICT, Financial System, etc.) for presentation to the World Economic Forum (at a Zoom Meeting that took the whole morning). With STC on 16 September 2020 were Messrs. Ruben J. Pascual/PCCI, George Chua/FPI, George Siy/FFCCCII, Paul Santos/PRA, Carlos Cabochan/PCCTA, Ms. Ma. Flordeliza Leong/ PhilExport, Ms. Marinella Gilda Gamboa/Phil. Competition Commission, Dir. Sandra Marie Recolizado/Bureau of Investments and Atty. Ma. Liza Sebastian/Bureau of Customs. Next level of discussions is the National Level where the output is 12 Strategic Statements to be presented at the World Economic Forum in showcasing the Philippines as a competitive economy.  

GUESTING ON TV5’s TALK SHOW LIVE DURING LOCKDOWN

PAGASA’s STC was a virtual guest done live on 6 August 2020 over Ch.5's talk show on issues "Sa Totoo Lang" w/hosts (Top Left,clockwise) Chiqui Vergel, Joee Francisco and Cheryl Cosim on the state of Supermarkets during the new Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) in Metro Manila.

PAGASA HOLDS ITS 3Q GENMEET AMIDST PANDEMIC

On 29 July 2020, PAGASA used Google Meet to assess the general recession experienced during the months of June & July 2020 by most supermarkets as customers feared leaving their homes and as cash inside the pockets of consumers dry up awaiting government’s Social Amelioration Program (SAP). The smiling faces here show the good disposition of Filipino retailers even in challenging times.

PRA’s 8th VIRTUAL LEARNING SERIES FEATURES STC

The 8th PRA Virtual Learning Series with the topic “Futureproofing RETAIL: Strategies to Navigate the New Normal" on 21 May 2020 featured PAGASA President STC. SAP Southeast Asia's Industry Business Architect - Retail, Aditya Utama went deep into strategic priorities for retailers to navigate the new normal and futureproof their business. He was joined by Atty. Paul A. Santos (Chairman, PRA), Rosemarie B. Ong (President, PRA) and Steven Cua (President, Philippine Amalgamated Supermarkets Association) in a panel discussion sharing their insights and experiences in this new normal. The webinar was moderated by Raphael Layosa, CEO of Retailgate.  

PAGASA's SECOND QUARTER GENERAL MEETING FOR 2020

PAGASA held its first virtual GenMeet using Google Meet  on 6 May 2020. Assessing the situation seven weeks into quarantine and the potential of digital/online selling for those new and abruptly thrust into selling in this format. PAGASA President Steven T. Cua was continuously invited to various online programs discussing the shift from offline shopping to online sourcing for food by consumers as they avoid contact with the general public amidst this pandemic.

INTERVIEW DURING LOCKDOWN BY ABS-CBN

On 15 April 2020, PAGASA’s STC was Interviewed by the ABS CBN News Channel (ANC) regarding the impending opening of malls the following day to the public. “What does PAGASA think will be the turn-out?”

VIDEO ON THE RETAIL FRONTLINERS

  Posted online on 8 April 2020, the Dept. of Trade & Industry produced a video showing the courage and cooperation of supermarket operators in serving the buying public. In spite of the risk of their officers/personnel catching COVID-19 as food retail outlets are places where people congregate, supermarket operators face the challenges head-on with health protocols like disinfecting the store and equipment, requiring customers and staff to wear masks and shields at all times and practicing social distancing.  DTI is in constant touch with PAGASA and all major stores since Day 1 of lockdown to ensure proper coordination as health safety requirements worldwide keep changing.

SOME SUPERMARKETS CLOSE DOWN DUE TO DWINDLING SUPPLIES

Shelves of some PAGASA Member-stores as of 1 April 2020 were empty as a result of panic buying which started on 10 March. Some closed for as long as a week to source for stocks to fill up their gondola and shelves.

EMERGENCY ZOOM MEETING CALLED BY DTI

On 19 March 2020, DTI Sec. Ramon Lopez called an emergency digital meeting with the top food retailers (top left, clockwise) Robinsons, Ayala Malls, Metro Gaisano, Mercury Drug, (not in pic) PAGASA, et.al. to assess the supply situation amidst panic buying especially for disinfectants rubbing alcohol, face masks, soaps and the like. It did not help that LGUs, factories kept open (and housing/feeding their employees in their quarters), charitable institutions and civic foundations were licking the supermarkets dry of food and hygienic sanitizers.

Session on Single-Use Plastic Bags

Session on Single-Use Plastic Bags in Congress' Comm.on Ecology in progress. PAGASA is invited in aid of legislation. Rep.Lord Villanueva/Marinduque, Rep.Ace Barbers/Surigao del Norte & Rep.Ruffy Biazon/Muntinlupa handles this TWG.

MEETING OF CORE GROUP FOR NRCE 2020

On 28 February 2020, the Chairman for PRA’s National Retail Conference and Exhibition (NRCE) 2020> Rustan’s Bienvenido “Donnie” Tantoco III called for a Meeting at his Makati Office to set the tone for this year’s NRCE. This initial meeting on themes and names for the Conference were deliberated on by the Core Organizers which included PAGASA’s STC.  Speakers were selected to match the relevant topics intended for the Summit come August.

2nd TWG MEETING ON PLASTIC PRODUCTS/MATERIALS

Following the TWG Meeting last 26 February, the House Committee on Ecology quickly called a follow-up Meeting on 5 March 2020.  (This was to be PAGASA’s last physical meeting for a long time in view of the upcoming but unexpected lockdown due to COVID-19.  The next TWG Meet for this purpose was held on 30 June 2020 but was virtual in nature.  PAGASA failed to attend that one.)

TWG MEETING ON SINGLE-USE PLASTIC BAG IN CONGRESS

PAGASA attended a Technical Working Group Meeting on 26 February 2020 at the Lower House for the Committee on Ecology chaired by House Speaker-elect Rep. Lord Allan Jay Quinto Velasco of the lone district of Marinduque who sponsored the latest bill on plastic bags.  This Meeting was supposed to consolidate all bills related to Single-Use Plastic Products/Materials.  It was going to be a quick succession of  TWG Meetings to swiftly solve the issue on plastics.  

Food & Hotel Expo Manila 2020

Opening of Food & Hotel Expo Mla (FHEM) at the SMX in Pasay. Early visitor to our Booth Rolly Pagaspas of V81 Radio.

FOOD AND HOTEL ASIA 2020

PAGASA was invited to be an Exhibitor at the Food & Hotel Asia, a trade show held at the SMX on 21-23 February 2020.  Visitors entered the booth of PAGASA to acquaint themselves with the Association and offer products and services to its members.

Congressional hearing on Productivity Incentive Programs

Congressional hearing on Productivity Incentive Programs. The event was attended primarily by  DOLE officers and PALSCON, handling contractual disers.  Security of Tenure Bill on Endo was also discussed.  Congress is proposing a uniform National Mininum Wage regardless of region at P750/day!  DOLE says to take the employer's perspective too as that translates to P890/day/employee when all benefits are imputed. Another proposal was to declare the minimum wage on a per industry basis. NWCP says d living wage should be P700/day in MM in 2015 given two working members/family to live comfortably incl.some R&R.

Senate TWG on Amending Retail Liberalization Act

In the Senate for TWG Mtg on Amendments for Retail Liberalization Act. Senate wants to decrease min.cap.to $500k. Philippine Retailers Aassociation bats for $1M min.cap.while PAGASA is batting for $1.5M. Current min.cap.since d year 2000 is $2.5M but there are only a few takers.

SIMULTANEOUS HEARING ON RETAIL LIBERALIZATION

On the same afternoon of 19 February 2020, Congress held a Hearing on relaxing the conditions for foreign retailers to invest in our country. The American Chamber of Commerce as well as a few other foreign Chambers in the country cited their reasons why conditions must be relaxed. These were opposed by local retailers headed by PAGASA and the PRA.

BUSY AFTERNOON IN CONGRESS

PAGASA Pres. Steven T. Cua paid "Ang Probinsiyano" Partylist Rep. Ronnie Ong a visit at his office in Congress on the same afternoon of 19 Feb. 2020 upon the latter’s invitation to discuss his proposed bills re. Fraudulent Senior Citizens/ PWD Cards & the possibility of retailers employing productive senior citizens in their stores.  

CONGRESSIONAL HEARING ON WAGE INCREASE

A well-attended Hearing in Congress on the 19 th of February 2020 delved on the proposed increase in wages as chaired by Partylist Representative Enrico A. Pi ñeda.  Much discussion on the timeliness and affordability of employers to absorb another round of wage increase came to fore.

SENATE HEARING ON SINGLE-USE PLASTIC BAGS

The Senate’s Committee on Environment and Natural Resources called for a Joint Meet with the Committees on Trade, Commerce & Entrepreneurship, on Ways & Means and on Finance regarding Single-Use Plastic Bags on 18 February 2020 at the Sen. Geronima T. Pecson Room.  Introduced was the concept on Expanded Producers Responsibility (EPR). Producers are supposed to device a way to retrieve and recycle the goods that they produce to minimize the harm that these products do to our environment.  The Meeting was chaired by Sen. Cynthia Villar and attended by Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian.

TWG ON PROLIFERATION OF FAKE PWD I.D. CARDS

The afternoon of 13 February 2020 had PAGASA meeting in Congress with a Technical Working Group on the proliferation of fraudulent I.D.s issued out to People With Disability (PWD) or the specially-abled.  Of course those who represented the sector (PWDs) at this Meet vehemently denied that their Associations were Involved or in cahoots with any syndicate in the Issuance of said fake IDs. Clarifications had to be made by STC regarding how retailers can spot people with real disabilities as those hard-of-hearing and the like are very difficult to spot by our personnel in the selling area. Also, the different modus operandi of syndicates involved in fake IDs were tackled.

DTI MEETING ON DISASTER FOOD PROVISION

In the morning of 13 February 2020, PAGASA was invited to a Meeting called by DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez to discuss a proposal for a Memo of Understanding between manufacturers and retailers to provide for food especially in Metro Manila in the case of disaster like The Big One. Aside from PAGASA, invited were the major manufacturers of FMCGs/supermarket items.