11 Filipino startups join tech exhibition in Taiwan

Marje Pelayo   •   May 30, 2019   •   2389

TAIPEI, Taiwan – Twenty-five (25) countries showcase their respective innovations in the biggest tech exhibit in Asia – InnoVEX 2019 – happening at Taipei World Trade Center from May 29 to May 31.

A total of 11 startup companies represent the Philippines in the three-day event specifically utilizing Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning, Cyber Security, Smart Advertising and eCommerce, Education, and Housing solution among others.

In cooperation with the Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO) and the Philippine Trade and Investment Center – Taipei, startup companies in the Philippines were given the opportunity to introduce their products to the international market and promote Filipino capability and strength in the field of Information Technology (IT).

“Dito kasi napapakita natin hindi lang sa Taiwan industry kundi sa buong mundo ang kagalingan ng Pilipino sa IT,” noted MECO Chairman Angelito Banayo.

“Mga startups ito. Ibig sabihin karamihan ng makikita mo ay puro bata, mga naguumpisa ng negosyo pero ang puhunan talaga nila ay ang kanilang talino, ang kanilang galing at ang creativity, Doon naman napakagaling ng Pilipino,” he added.

Jonathan de Luzuriaga, president of the Philippine Software Industry Association, said such an event provides an opportunity for the Philippine IT industry to broaden its understanding and appreciation of the startup ecosystem which will help bolster the country’s IT capability.

“Hopefully we’ll learn to create our own products for the rest of the world to actually use,” he said.

Meanwhile, MECO Director for Commercial Affairs Michael Alfred Ignacio explained that the participation of Filipino startup companies in the said tech competition will “show that the Philippines is also a hub of technology, innovation, and startups that can really succeed” through Filipinos’ immense talent and innovation.

The Philippines first joined the annual InnoVEX competition in 2018 when its representative brought home $70,000USD in price.

The competition will proceed to the next level on Friday (May 31) when the Philippines will take the center stage along with France, Poland and Canada for the Global Demo Day.

The event also serves as a gathering of international investors and corporations who are potential sponsors for startups to take their innovations to a greater height. – (with reports from Amiel Pascual)

PAL, Cebu Pacific resume PH-Taiwan flights

Marje Pelayo   •   February 17, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Philippine Airlines (PAL) and Cebu Pacific announced the resumption of their respective flights to Taiwan.

The decision came after the Philippine government lifted its travel ban imposed on the island nation due to the outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Flag carrier PAL said they will operate the following flight schedule going to and from Taipei Taoyuan International Airport:

February 21 to February 29 (Monday, Wednesday, Friday)

  • PR 890 Manila-Taipei
  • PR 891 Taipei-Manila

March 1 (onwards)

  • PR890 – Manila (6:05 AM) to Taipei (8:30 AM)
  • PR891 – Taipei (9:30 AM) to Manila (11:40 AM)

March 29 (onwards)

  • Standard regular schedule of twice-daily flights
    • (PR890/PR891 and PR894/PR 895)

Meanwhile, Cebu Pacific also announced resumption of the following flights:

February 17 (until further notice)

  • 5J310 Manila-Taipei  (Departs 10:40 pm)

February 18 (until further notice)

  • 5J311 Taipei-Manila  (Departs 1:45am Mon/Wed/Sat; 2:15am Tue/Thu/Fri/Sun)

February 21 (until further notice)

Manila-Taipei

  • 5J 312 (Departs 7:05 am)
  • 5J 310 (Departs 10:40 pm)

Taipei-Manila

  • 5J311 (Departs 1:45 am)
  • 5J313 (Departs 10:45 am)

For passengers who booked the said flights but have not availed for refund will depart as scheduled.

Passengers may also check the status of their flights through Cebu Pacific’s website on the Manage Booking menu.

Taiwan reports first death due to coronavirus disease

Marje Pelayo   •   February 17, 2020

TAIPEI, Taiwan – The country’s Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) reported on Sunday (February 16) the nation’s first death of coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

According to Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chun, the patient was a 61-year-old male living in central Taiwan.

He had Hepatitis B and diabetes prior to contracting the virus.

He, however, had no record of overseas travel, according to Minister Chen.

“This could be Taiwan’s first community transmitted case,” Chen noted in a press briefing.

The man is the country’s 19th confirmed case of COVID-19.

Health officials are still working to determine how he contracted the disease as he worked as a taxi driver who had customers who regularly travels from China, Macau and Hong Kong.

Investigations are being worked out on the man’s medical records, phone records and history of his travel within the country.

Chen said the patient first developed cough on January 27 and he was admitted to the hospital of February 3 due to shortness of breath.

He passed away on February 15 due to pneumonia and sepsis after being confirmed to have COVID-19, according to the Health Minister.

Meanwhile, Minister Chen announced the country’s 20th confirmed case, a 51-year-old male, identified as the younger brother of the 19th patient.

Despite these, Chen reiterated that healthy individuals need not to wear mask but advised the public to constantly wash hands for prevention.

PH lifts COVID-19-related travel ban on Taiwan

Robie de Guzman   •   February 14, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine government has lifted the travel restrictions it imposed on Taiwan due to the outbreak of novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), Malacañang announced Friday.

In a statement, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases has resolved to lift the travel restrictions imposed upon Taiwan because of strict measures being undertaken by the Taiwanese government to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Panelo said the lifting of the ban is effective immediately.

“Accordingly, travel may now be made by any national to Taiwan from the Philippines and vice versa,” he said.

The Philippines this week included Taiwan in its travel restrictions initially imposed on China and its special administrative regions affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.

A Philippine health official explained that Taiwan was included in the ban as the World Health Organization recognizes it as a part of China.

Malacañang later on said the temporary ban was imposed for the safety of the Filipino people and not due to politics.

The travel restriction was criticized by Taiwan, stressing that it had only 18 cases of the virus compared to some 60,000 in China.

Taiwan threatened to implement countermeasures against the Philippines, including scrapping visa-free privileges for Filipinos if it keeps the entry ban.

Several Filipinos currently working and those en route to Taiwan also appealed to President Rodrigo Duterte to lift the ban, expressing fears of losing their jobs.

Panelo also said the task force would also evaluate on whether to lift the ban on other Chinese jurisdictions given preventive protocols implemented against the deadly virus.

“The Office of the President likewise stresses that any resolution relative to travel restrictions in connection with the COVID-19 shall be subjected to regular review by the IATF,” he said.

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