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Texas Instruments invests $10 million to expand Philippines facility

Wed, 09/02/2015 - 02:24

Texas Instruments is a world leading manufacturer of Integrated Circuits (IC) used for mobiles phones and other electronic gadgets. Image:

Texas Instruments Inc. has confirmed that it’s investing $10 million to expand its product distribution center in Clark Freeport, the Philippines.

A groundbreaking ceremony took place there last week, according to news reports from the Philippines.

It’s part of an overall $1 billion TI said in 2007 that it would invest in its Clark Freeport facilities through 2017, but it has been increased to $1.3 billion, according to a company spokeswoman.

“Our current product distribution center is overflowing; we do not have enough space do an efficient job on distributing,” Mohammad Yunus, president of TI Philippines, told the Pampanga Sun Times in the Philippines. Last quarter, TI shipped 1.5 billion semiconductor units from the Clark Freeport facility and plans to ship 1.9 billion units this quarter, he said.

“We are currently looking on the 2 billion units which could be a new record for any Texas Instrument site anywhere in the world,” Yunus said in the Sun Times.

TI built its first assembly and test site in the Philippines in Baguio City in 1979. In 2009, it opened a second facility in the Clark Freeport Zone,  doubling the company’s capacity in the Philippines. - The Dallas Morning News

Philippine natural and organic products to be featured in Maryland, USA trade show September

Wed, 09/02/2015 - 02:00

Nine Philippine companies will be joining the Natural Products Expo East, the largest natural, organic, and healthy products event in the US East Coast, from September 17 to 19 at the Baltimore Convention Center in Maryland. STAR/File photo

MANILA, Philippines — Nine Philippine companies will be joining the Natural Products Expo East, the largest natural, organic, and healthy products event in the US East Coast, from September 17 to 19 at the Baltimore Convention Center in Maryland.

The Philippine Department of Agriculture (DA) through the DA-Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Service (AMAS) organized the following natural product exporters to participate in this event—Brandexports Philippines, Inc., Elemie Naturals Inc., GreenLife Coconut Products Philippines Inc., Nutramedica, Inc., Orich International Traders, Inc., Prime Fruits International, Incorporated, Sweet Pacific Foodfarms Product, Team Asia Corporation, and Tropicana Food Products Inc.

A variety of coconut products will be available to the American public such as coconut water, milk, milk powder, flour, cider vinegar, coconut nutraceutical products, desiccated coconut, coconut sugar, organic extra virgin coconut oil and virgin coconut oil beauty pearls. The coconut is known as the tree of life in the Philippines because of the seemingly endless list of products and by-products derived from all its parts.

Other Philippine products to be featured in the trade show are body products made from pili, handcrafted bath soaps, topical scalp products, vinegar, dried mangoes, noodles, juices and fruit juice drinks, camote (sweet potato) and banana chips, condiments and sauces.

Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose L. Cuisia, Jr. expressed optimism in the growing share of the Philippines in the natural products market and encouraged US buyers to take advantage of the growing demand for such products.

“The Philippines has long been producing natural, organic, and healthy agricultural products as well as nutritionally-dense foods considered ‘superfoods’ abroad. The Natural Products Expo East is the perfect venue for sellers to bring their products to the attention of the US buyers. I am glad Philippine companies, with the help of the Department of Agriculture and our Agricultural Attaché, have penetrated this market. I hope more Philippine businesses will follow soon,” said Ambassador Cuisia.

The 2014 Market Overview of Natural Foods Merchandiser, a leading media source and information provider for the healthy products industry, showed that US nationwide sales of all natural and organic products jumped 9 percent to nearly $99 billion last year.

According to Philippine Agriculture Attaché to the US Dr. Josyline C. Javelosa, this has also led to a growth in the Natural Products Expo.

“More retail buyers are walking the show floor at Expo East than ever before, looking for the newest quality products to bring back to their stores,” Dr. Javelosa said.

The trade show will reportedly bring over 22,000 attendees and more than 1,800 exhibitors, with approximately 30 percent of those exhibiting for the first time and new to the marketplace, according to Natural Product Expo East.

This year, the expo will include for the first time a Farm-to-Market Tour where attendees will have the opportunity to visit some of Baltimore’s nearby farms and retail stores that source from them. - philSTAR

New Malware Breaks 'Impenetrable' Corporate Defenses, Strikes First In Philippines

Wed, 09/02/2015 - 01:40

Quick Heal Technologies has discovered a new form of malware that can bypass sandbox-based gateway appliances. Image: IB Times / Reuters

An antivirus firm has uncovered a new strain of malware that can break through highly secure enterprise networks. This malware is capable of getting past sandbox-based gateway appliances, sold by companies like Fireeye and Fortinet, to land in unsuspecting email inboxes. Its discovery by security firm Quick Heal Technologies is set to kickstart a cat-and-mouse game between appliance vendors and malware makers.

That's bad news for companies depending solely on these appliances to keep their network secure. These solutions can run up to $500,000, and have so far been impenetrable. Farokh Karani, a director at Quick Heal, explained that these appliances are a new trend in a world looking to find the one solution to all security problems. "The latest magic bullet being touted is these sandboxing appliances," he said.

These appliances run virtual machines (VMs) with a variety of different browsers, operating systems, and configurations. VMs are sometimes used by consumers with apps like Parallels to run Mac on Windows. In this situation, VMs are used when an email arrives at the company. The appliance executes the code in these VMs to make sure there's nothing nasty hiding inside.

This new malware, known as APT-QH-4AG15, was able to find its way around the appliance, and analysis reveals that it contained several schemes to get around virtual machines and sandboxes. The malware was first picked up in the Philippines, targeting local financial institutions, but Karani warns that all sandbox-based gateway appliances are effected.

"Our initial findings have taught us that even the most advanced sandbox-based appliance protection can be breached," said Sanjay Katkar, CTO at Quick Heal. "As a result, enterprises need to consider and implement multiple layers of protection to safeguard their networks."

Karani explained that antivirus software inside the network was able to detect the malware, but this spells trouble for companies depending on the appliances for their complete security solution. "It's the flaw in approach of sandboxed appliances, if you're taking it to be the magic bullet to stop all malware from coming in," said Karani.

The reason why these appliances have been secure until now, Karani said, is because malware makers weren't targeting them. Instead, developers focused on attacking traditional servers and PCs, bypassing regular antivirus software.

"The best defense is layers of robust protection – from the network to the endpoints and across all mobile devices, with continuous updates made to ensure that all levels of protection are current," said Karani.

The company's report reveals that the file creation date is just over 10 days old. That means the starting pistol has been fired, appliance developers will need to keep up to date, and the myth that these appliances are a "magic bullet" solution is now suspect. - International Business Times

Silverpack investing ₱500 Million for Philippine plant

Wed, 09/02/2015 - 01:05

In an interview, a Silverpack official said the company plans to conquer Southeast Asia over the next decade through aggressive expansion of its manufacturing facilities and sales office across the region. image: philSTAR

MANILA, Philippines - Multinational packaging firm Silverpack Sdn Bhd is looking to invest ₱500 million to put up its first manufacturing plant in the country in the next two to three years.

In an interview, a Silverpack official said the company plans to conquer Southeast Asia over the next decade through aggressive expansion of its manufacturing facilities and sales office across the region.

"Our plan is to set up manufacturing plants in Asean in 10 years' time. We already have a factory in Malaysia and China. We have sales offices in Singapore, Sri Lanka and Thailand. We also need to set up sales offices in the entire Southeast Asia," Silverpack regional sales director Jeffrey Ng said.

In the Philippines, Ng said the company intends to gather a sizable market share initially before putting up a manufacturing plant in two to three years.

Ng said Silverpack is currently in talks with large food manufacturing companies in the Philippines for the export of its products.

"We are expanding because companies are also expanding. When they do well, we will do well as well," he said.

Silverpack's clients in Philippines are still mostly small and medium enterprises which import about ₱3 million to ₱4 million worth of products a month.

The company is looking to tap large Filipino conglomerates which invest in their own packaging plants for their businesses.

Ng said a candy manufacturer, for instance, spends 10 percent of its total cost for packaging alone while a high value goods manufacturer spends five to seven percent.

Silverpack's packaging materials are used by a wide range of food industries such as coffee, tea, confectionery, milk products, snacks, biscuits, instant food items, oil, seafood, pet food, sweets, jelly top seal, fruit drinks, personal care series, and moon cakes.

The Embassy of Malaysia Trade Office (Matrade) Manila said Silverpack is among the top five packaging companies in Malaysia at present.

Matrade commissioner Nyaee Ayup said Silverpack's expertise in packaging would help support a wide range of food industries in the Philippines.

"Instead of setting up their own packaging division, the food manufacturers in the Philippines can focus on their main line of business, if they will tap Silverpack for their packaging needs," Ayup said. - With Pia Lee Brago @philSTAR

Lakers News: Jordan Clarkson Will Not Play For The Philippines

Wed, 09/02/2015 - 00:40

Jordan Clarkson, a Filipino-American professional basketball player who currently plays for the Los Angeles Lakers. image:

There’s been a lot of talk over the summer about second-year guard Jordan Clarkson, a Filipino-American professional basketball player who currently plays for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association for potentially playing for the Philippines' national team. Clarkson has expressed an interest in representing his country, but didn’t want it interfering with his commitment to the Los Angeles Lakers.

According to The Philippine Star, Clarkson will not be playing for the national team at this point in time because of his current commitment:

            "In an email to US-based contributor Homer Sayson, Mike Clarkson, Jordan’s father, cited timing as a factor in his son’s decision to pass on the  chance to don the           country’s colors, emphasizing Jordan’s  current commitment  with the Lakers in the NBA. Jordan is in town and has  started working out with the nationals."

Clarkson was initially put on the 24-man preliminary roster for the Filipino squad after being deemed eligible as a natural-born player earlier this month, via Naveen Ganglani of Rappler:

            "The state of the Philippine national basketball team took an unexpected turn on  Monday, August 24, when it was revealed that Los Angeles Lakers guard Jordan  Clarkson actually       acquired a Philippine passport before turning 16-years-old, making him eligible to suit up for Gilas Pilipinas."

Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas Director Sonny Barrios told Rappler on Monday in a phone call that reports of Clarkson’s eligibility to play as a “natural born” Filipino player were true.

With Clarkson not playing for the Philippines in international competition this summer, the up-and-comer will get back to focusing on being ready for training camp with the Lakers. The NBA preseason won’t get underway for the Lakers until Oct. 4 against the Utah Jazz in Honolulu, Hawaii. Training camp should get started during the final week of September.

Clarkson will join D’Angelo Russell and Julius Randle as the focal point on a talented young squad with a lot of prove during the upcoming season. Kobe Bryant will lead the pack as usual along with veterans newcomers Lou Williams, Brandon Bass and Roy Hibbert.- Lakers Nation

#AkoSiDaniel Campaign Aims to Empower Children in the Philippines Through Education

Tue, 09/01/2015 - 20:06
#AkoSiDaniel Campaign Aims to Empower Children in the Philippines Through EducationAs another academic year gets into full swing in many countries in the Northern Hemisphere and some parts of the Southern Hemisphere, so too does an education campaign called #AkoSiDaniel in the Philippines. With the aim of getting 1.2 million primary-age out-of-school children in the country into schools and learning, the cause is making headlines with the support of local and international youth leaders, nonprofit organizations, and celebrities united to bring hope to young Filipinos living in poverty.Inspired by nine-year old Daniel Cabrera of Cebu and the global Up For School movement, #AkoSiDaniel, meaning "I am Daniel," was launched in July 2015 by The Philippines Foundation in partnership with international initiative A World at School and American crowdfunding company Crowdrise.A few weeks before, the photo of Daniel studying on a makeshift desk by a McDonald's underneath a lamp post went viral, drawing the attention of online and on-the-ground communities who mobilized to support him and his mother. As a result of their collaboration, they raised over 230,000 Philippine pesos, equivalent to approximately 5,300 U.S. dollars, as well as scholarships that will be financial assistance for his living expenses and schooling.In the spirit of their crowdfunding project, #AkoSiDaniel is anchored to a digital platform, Through this microsite, people across the world can sign the Up For School Philippines petition and donate to The Philippines Foundation, which will support programs devoted to increasing access to quality education for children in the Philippines. At a forum this past May 2015, Min Jeong Kim, Head of the Global Education First Initiative Secretariat, stressed the importance of innovative funding to education. Therefore, partnerships such as are imperative for making a positive difference in the lives of youth like Daniel, because, unfortunately, Daniel's plight is only one among many. In the Philippines, poverty, natural disasters, conflict, and shortages in education resources hinder children and their family from pursuing and persisting in school.These challenges have placed the Philippines on a list of nations yet to achieve United Nations Millennium Development Goal 2, which, in 2000, set a global mission to achieve universal primary education by the end of 2015. Today, there are around 59 million primary-age children who are unable to realize their potential through education. As a result, governments have been mobilizing talent and treasure to set an agenda that will afford their young populations an education.To this end, the Philippine government released its own framework for action to accelerate and sustain its efforts in expanding access to primary schooling, in time for approval of the Sustainable Development Goals at the upcoming United Nations Summit in late September 2015, which will call for inclusive and equitable quality education and lifelong learning opportunities for all.With only a month left until the historic conference, #AkoSiDaniel joins the global Up For School coalition bringing hope to children living in difficult conditions, deprived of pencils, books, teachers, and schools. Supporters and strangers alike can join in solidarity by going to, signing the petition, donating, and raising awareness among family and friends on social media and in-person. Now is the time to empower current and future generations through education.Benedict Joson is A World at School Global Youth Ambassador for education supporting The Philippines Foundation and #AkoSiDaniel campaign. - Huffing post


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