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SEAsia’s financial health platform, Gigacover, expands into Phl

Gigacover’s Philippines operations will be managed by a team of 20, and will be headed by Sebastian San as Country Manager. Sebastian brings with him a track record of success and a clear understanding of the needs of the gig workforce, being personally involved in driving sustained growth for Gigacover Singapore.

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Gigacover, Southeast Asia’s financial health platform, announced its expansion into the Philippines. The market entry is aimed at empowering, protecting, and supporting the Filipino informal workforce with more tailored, comprehensive and inclusive benefits through enhanced finance and insurance options tailored for the informal workers. 

With an office located in Makati, Metro Manila, Gigacover’s Philippines operations will be managed by a team of 20, and will be headed by Sebastian San as Country Manager. Sebastian brings with him a track record of success and a clear understanding of the needs of the gig workforce, being personally involved in driving sustained growth for Gigacover Singapore. He will oversee all aspects of the business for Gigacover Philippines, and will also work towards doubling local headcount by the end of 2022 to support its in-country expansion efforts.

Despite the sizable gig workforce in the Philippines, support for these workers remains limited, similar to other economies in Southeast Asia. Gigacover starts its market entry on a strong food with logistics platform Gogo Xpress powered by QuadX as well as entrepreneurship and freelancing group Filipina Homebased Moms (FHMoms) as its first customers, collectively representing 20,500 workers and aiming to serve 100,000 informal workers in the Philippines by Q2 2022.

According to research conducted by Google, Temasek Holdings and Bain & Co., the Philippines is home to the third largest unbanked and underbanked population in Southeast Asia. The informal economy, particularly gig work provided by digital platforms, currently comprises over 1.5 million Filipinos. Beyond flexible working hours and income opportunities, measures around financial and welfare protection as well as other institutionalised mechanisms to support these workers remain limited.

Working in partnership with Etiqa and Aventus Medical, Gigacover will be able to offer more inclusive insurance and healthcare options tailored for the informal work. For instance, Gigacover’s Freelancer Earnings Protection (FLEP) provides informal workers with access to paid medical and sick leaves. It covers both major and minor accidents or illnesses, aiming to provide better coverage, stability and benefits that are often associated only with regular employment.   

Flexible and cost-effective group insurance and healthcare options will also be offered to employers, demonstrating how safety nets can be inclusive, flexible, comprehensive, and yet still remain affordable. In addition to its existing suite of products, Gigacover will also be launching financial services products in the Philippines in Q1 2022, aiming to increase access to capital and banking services to an often underserved yet essential segment of the workforce. 

“We are excited to play a leading role in providing inclusive benefits and improving the social security of the Philippines’ gig workforce. Beyond just a typical insurance provider, Gigacover is a financial platform that works with insurance companies and financial institutions to provide benefits tailored to the gig workforce in Southeast Asia. We are honoured at the trust that Gogo Xpress powered by QuadX and FHMoms has placed in Gigacover, and will continue to work towards enhancing social protection for Southeast Asia’s gig workforce,” said Amerson Lin, Co-Founder and CEO of Gigacover. 

“We are happy to partner with Gigacover and provide access to their members and policyholders medical services in our outpatient clinics. We will continue to work with Gigacover on relevant new and affordable services,” shared Racquel Cagurangan, SVP and COO of Aventus Medical Care, Inc.

Bea Mantecon, Head of Customer Success of QuadX, also added, “At Gogo Xpress, we pride ourselves in treating our rider partners as our third customer, apart from our sellers and buyers. It has been our mission to ensure that we don’t just equip our riders with the tools they need for their livelihood, but to motivate them to succeed as well by providing desired perks for their excellent performance. That is why we were so delighted to partner with Gigacover, the first company we’ve worked with that focuses primarily on perks relevant to gig workers.”

Based on the World Bank’s 2019 estimates, Southeast Asia’s informal workforce has seen a consistent 30 per cent annual growth – which was further accelerated in 2020 by the pandemic. As compared to other countries in the region, Gigacover is seeing different occupations, age groups and a diverse gender distribution in the Philippines’ gig workforce, which is made up of 30 per cent females and majority aged 65 and above. Latest data from the Philippines’ Insurance Commission indicated that the insurance industry contributed just 1.58 per cent to national GDP as of June 2021, suggesting that the overall insurance penetration rate among the population remains low. This places gig workers at financial risk – reaffirming Gigacover’s timely market entry to support this underserved segment with right-sized service offerings.

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Garmin Forerunner 255 series helps you find more reasons to run

Garmin Philippines launched the new Forerunner 255 series, which builds upon the popular Forerunner 245 series, now providing full triathlon support, new training metrics, enhanced smartwatch features (when paired with a smartphone) and more, while introducing the Forerunner 255S and Forerunner 255S Music in a more compact 41mm sized case.

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Garmin Philippines launched the new Forerunner 255 series, which builds upon the popular Forerunner 245 series, now providing full triathlon support, new training metrics, enhanced smartwatch features (when paired with a smartphone) and more, while introducing the Forerunner 255S and Forerunner 255S Music in a more compact 41mm sized case. 

“Garmin always innovates with the athlete in mind,”  says Mr. Scoppen Lin, Assistant General Manager, Garmin Asia. “With the Forerunner 255 series, we have always wanted to ensure that our customers are provided with the best tools that will help them improve their performance and achieve their goals.” 

“What makes this series special is that the Forerunner 255 was designed by runners for runners, providing our customers– our athletes with everything they need right on their wrist,” says Sheena Sim, Regional Marketing Manager for Garmin Philippines. “So instead of you figuring out how to analyze the data on your own, you’ll have your smartwatch, providing the insights for you.”

Here’s what’s new:

  • Full triathlon support: Switch up a workout routine with triathlon and multisport activity profiles. During races and brick workouts, easily toggle between sports with a single button press.
  • Morning report: Receive the day’s weather and daily workout suggestion, as well as information about last night’s sleep and HRV status.1 The report can even be customized so athletes can view only the details they want to see.
  • Race widget: View race prep information – including a race day-specific performance prediction, race day weather and a countdown clock – all in one widget. Once a race is scheduled, daily suggested workouts will adapt based on an athlete’s race plans.
  • HRV status: Track heart rate variability while sleeping to get a better handle on recovery and an overall wellness picture. 
  • Daily workout suggestions: Provides an entire week of day-to-day training guidance on what workout is most effective for overall wellness and will adapt based on race plans that are set up using the new race widget. 
  • Garmin Coach: Train for a 5K, 10K or half-marathon with free training plans that adapt based on a runner’s goals and performance. 
  • Multi-band GPS: Garmin’s reliable GPS accuracy just got better. By enabling multi-band, multi-satellite-system tracking on the watch, athletes can receive more accuracy in their run data, even in the most challenging environments.
  • Native running power: When using a Running Dynamics Pod (sold separately), receive real-time metrics of how much power is being exerted on a run, built into the watch – no app required.

Offering personalized training and recovery insights, the Forerunner 255 series includes performance monitoring tools to help athletes push the limits. Athletes can also switch up workouts with dozens of built-in sports apps, including triathlon, cycling, pool and open-water swimming, track run, and more. The series also features a Wrist-based Pulse Ox3 and the Body Battery™ which shows current energy levels to help athletes find the best times for activity and rest. It also aids women by featuring menstrual cycle tracking and pregnancy tracking, helping them adjust their training to plan for upcoming races.

Whether working out alone or with friends, built-in safety and tracking features include incident detection, assistance and LiveTrack to let loved ones follow along on a run or ride. Following a workout, the Forerunner 255 series will automatically upload activities to Garmin Connect, a no-cost, subscription-free platform where athletes can view all of their health and fitness data, connect and compete with friends, sign up for challenges and more.

Packed with connected features, the Forerunner 255 series lets users get the most out of their smartwatch with smart social and SMS notifications, as well as built-in music that can store up to 500 songs from Spotify®.

The Forerunner 255 and Forerunner 255S is now available at Garmin Brand Stores, kinetic.com.ph, Lazada, Shopee and the Garmin PH Viber Community, and retails for P21,975 while the Forerunner 255 Music is also available for P25,115. With any purchase of the Forerunner 255 series from any official Garmin store, customers can avail of a 20% discount voucher for ASICS. Terms and conditions apply while stocks last.

For more information on the Forerunner 255 series, visit Garmin’s virtual pressroom at ph.garmin.com/news/pressroom and on our blog at garmin.com/en-PH/blog. For other promos, follow us at Facebook, Instagram, YouTube.

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Pru Life UK opens new agency offices in Metro Manila

Universal One Life Insurance Agency unveiled its office at the ground floor of Five E-Com Center in Harbor Drive, Pasay City spearheaded by its president John Ronnel Sales.

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Pru Life UK continues to widen its reach as it recently opened the doors of its new general agency offices across Metro Manila to make life and health insurance more accessible to Filipinos.

Universal One Life Insurance Agency unveiled its office at the ground floor of Five E-Com Center in Harbor Drive, Pasay City spearheaded by its president John Ronnel Sales.

A new general office also welcomed Pru Life UK customers in Quezon City with the opening of Lazurite Dragon Empire Life Insurance Agency Inc. located at Units 328 and 329 of Spark Building in Cubao, Quezon City led by its president Martin Gantioqui.

Radiant Amber Life Insurance Agency Inc. also started its operations at 2708, 27th Floor of the Tycoon Center Office Condominium in Pearl Drive, Ortigas Center, Pasig with its president and CEO Mark Anthony Santos leading the way.

As it remains steadfast in its goal to serve more Filipinos who are looking to protect themselves and their loved ones with life and health insurance products, Pru Life UK is committed to providing its salesforce with holistic support including training, digital tools, wisdom and experience from its leaders. Since it started in 1996, Pru Life UK has the biggest life insurance agency force in the Philippines with more than 33,000 agents.

Pru Life UK continues to be the country’s leading insurance firm in terms of 2021 New Business Annual Premium Equivalent (NBAPE)[1], according to the Insurance Commission’s latest ranking. The company also launched PRUHealth FamLove, a pioneering product which covers up to four members of Filipino families of different types and sizes under one plan.


[1] Pru Life UK retains number one position in life insurance industry ranking for 2021. It recorded a total NBAPE of Php 8.83 billion for 2021.

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NewsMakers

AXA PH volunteers join forces for good

In the Philippines, the volunteer activities kicked off with two simultaneous events: a meal packing session for the benefit of Rise Against Hunger Philippines, and solar light building in partnership with Liter of Light.

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Annually, insurance company AXA organizes one full week dedicated to sustainability. The AXA Week for Good, the highlight of the purpose-led company’s year-long corporate responsibility activities, aims to celebrate the ability of AXA employees to take positive action by offering their time and skills to support our two sustainability pillars: climate change & biodiversity and inclusive protection.

In the Philippines, the volunteer activities kicked off with two simultaneous events: a meal packing session for the benefit of Rise Against Hunger Philippines, and solar light building in partnership with Liter of Light. Rise Against Hunger is an organization committed to ending hunger and malnutrition, while Liter of Light is a global non-profit organization that provides sustainable and affordable lights to people with limited or no access to electricity.

Employees also volunteered for Rise Against Hunger’s mobile soup kitchen activity in communities around Taguig. These soup kitchens serve Filipinos that are especially in need of nutrition, including pregnant mothers, the elderly, and children.

Through the combined efforts of these activities, volunteers were able to pack a total of 5,400 meals, assemble 250 solar lamps, and feed 1,500 children.

The company also organized a blood donation drive, which served as their response to the current blood shortage in the country due to the ongoing pandemic. A total of 44 bags of blood were collected from this initiative.

AXA Philippines employees also participated in mangrove planting activities held in Batangas and La Union, with volunteers working together to plant a total of 550 mangrove seedlings to help maintain the ecological health of the area.

In addition to the multitude of activities arranged by AXA entities locally, the Paris-based AXA Group also organizes a ‘Global Challenge’ with all members of its volunteer program, AXA Hearts in Action.

AXA entities worldwide celebrated Week for Good via special activities in partnership with The Good Planet Foundation. These include climate- and biodiversity-themed workshops that help raise employees’ awareness on climate change issues.

In the Philippines, employees volunteered at the Rise Against Hunger Good Food Farm to learn about sustainable agriculture practices and help harvest produce from vegetable and fruit gardens. Volunteers harvested 35kg worth of vegetables with the local farmers, which will be used in meals for the adopted communities of AXA Philippines and Rise Against Hunger.

“AXA has always been committed towards leaving a positive impact on the planet, which is why we are glad that we are able to once again gather together as a team to participate in our sustainability efforts as we celebrate Week for Good. We take pride in our employees’ passion and enthusiasm in dedicating their time and skills to do good for society and for the environment,” said Gael Lapie, CEO In-Charge and Chief Financial Officer of AXA Philippines.

To know more about AXA Week for Good, visit https://www.axa.com/en/about-us/community-corporate-responsibility-week.

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