Skiddoo Philippines Inc

What Are The Differences Between Ponzi and Pyramid Schemes? (Infographic)

It has been several years since this blog started exposing “scams” and investment scandals here in the Philippines and abroad.

We do our very best to protect our countrymen from falling prey to these scammers and fraudsters by providing free information and education through seminars and articles such as this one.

Thankfully, an online colleague (Thanks to Eammon!) decided to produce the below visual asset on the topic. It takes you through how they both work and what the key differences are between the two. Continue reading What Are The Differences Between Ponzi and Pyramid Schemes? (Infographic)

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Why OFWs Need To Invest in P.E.R.A. While Abroad

At last, PERA is here! After half a decade of waiting and being a #Paasa to many Filipinos, especially OFWs, the government has finally launched it to help promote long-term investments.

But what is PERA?

PERA is the acronym for PERSONAL EQUITY and RETIREMENT ACCOUNT. This is a voluntary retirement account, which an individual can set up for his/her exclusive use and benefit. It is similar to the 401(K) of the United States of America that serves as a financial instrument for retirement. Continue reading Why OFWs Need To Invest in P.E.R.A. While Abroad

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A Balikbayan Box is Not Just a Box: Our First Hand Account of Corruption at the BOC

What are Balikbayan Boxes?

Per Chapter VII. Balikbayan Boxes- Bureau of Customs

Balikbayan Boxes are packages of personal effects and/or “pasalubongs” sent by Filipinos residing or working abroad to their families or relatives in the Philippines to enhance Philippine tradition and culture for the promotion and preservation of strong family ties through love and caring expressed in gift-giving.

This definition came from the Bureau of Custom’s (BOC) web page. But, this same agency seems to fail to comprehend the very meaning of this definition. A balikbayan box, specially those that are sent during the holidays, mean countless hours of hard work and sacrifice from our OFW’s (Overseas Filipino Workers) just to be able to fill these boxes. They are estranged from their loved ones and their homeland just so they can continue to provide and uplift them.

According to Rappler on BOC revised rules and regulation on balikbayan boxes, dated August 27, the customs memorandum order (COM) applies to all non-commercial inbound consolidated shipment of overseas Filipino workers and for returning OFWs bringing in personal and household effects as provided under Section 105 (f) of the Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines (TCCP), as amended.

Among the operational provisions is that the OFWs balikbayan boxes shall not be subjected to random or arbitrary physical inspection. “Instead they shall undergo mandatory X-ray scanning,” the CMO read.

Mandatory container X-ray scanning shall be conducted at the X-ray Inspection Project (XIP) Designated Examination Area (DEA) for preliminary examination of non-commercial inbound consolidated shipment. Customs Commissioner Alberto Lina is under fire from OFWs and their families for his “reminder” on balikbayan boxes. The outcry prompted President Benigno Aquino III to stop physical inspections of balikbayan boxes.

The COM takes effect immediately and repeals all existing orders, circulars, memoranda, and other issuances “inconsistent or in conflict with this order,” BOC said.

Sadly, I was personally a witness to the BOC’s and PHLPost’s (Philippine Postal Corporation) wanton disregard of this COM. We have a family friend who is an OFW in Israel. She has been there for a decade already and it was only last November that she very excitedly called my aunts about her plan of sending a balikbayan box for the family.

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Picture 1

Unfortunately, her mother passed away a week before Christmas. We weren’t able to meet with her already as she only spent 2 days in Manila because she had to go back to work. But, she reminded my aunt that she sent a Balikbayan box last November.

My aunts asked me to accompany them last January 4, 2016 to the CMEC (Central Mail Exchange Center) in Pasay to claim the Balikbayan Box. Apparently, PHLPost was claiming that they delivered the package twice to my aunt’s home but there was no one to receive it. My aunt claims that there is never a time that their home is left unattended. Be that as it may, I wasn’t prepared to see how corrupt and inefficient these agencies still are.

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Picture 2

In the CMEC, there are 2 main rooms beside each other – one houses BOC and the other houses PHLPost. My aunt went to the Customer Service of PHLPost to show her claim receipt. We were just waiting and my aunt saw from afar another family friend, a former Secretary of Finance who went inside the BOC glass room, shook hands with the examiners and left with his package without being called to the dry walled BOC “inside” room. We were about 4 people ahead of the former secretary of Finance but we were still waiting for our turn long after he has left.

After that, my aunt was called to the glass BOC room and a man from PHLPost brought out 2 boxes to this room. I didn’t accompany my aunt inside. But, another aunt and I could see her from the glass window. She was taking a long time inside and we could see that the boxes sent to us were deformed and had Philpost tapes wrapped around the boxes (as compared to the other boxes). You will see some “good” boxes and some boxes that looked like they were ransacked already). At that point, my other aunt wanted to take pictures. The guard as pictured (2nd pic) approached my aunt and said that it is not allowed to take pictures. We found this weird. If they were not guilty of anything, why can’t we take pictures?

A man from PHLPost was the one opening the boxes and it was a lady examiner from BOC (barely looking at the items) who was supposedly “checking” the items. After this harassing treatment, my aunt was told to wait outside the glass BOC room for her name to be called. The balikbayan boxes were sealed again with the PHLPost tapes. After about 15 minutes, my aunt was called to the dry walled BOC room and was given a computation to pay for P32,000+ (1st pic). My other aunt then, blurted out that she’s also with the government and she is flabbergasted because there is no corruption in her department– in fact, she holds a high position with the DOH.

The people there thought that my aunt was from the DOF and ushered us to an inner room again to “negotiate” with their boss. My aunt was getting impatient so she told the “boss” that there will be no negotiation and she would just prefer that all the items in the boxes are destroyed in front of us and she will just document this so our OFW can see what happened to the Balikbayan Box she sent – my aunt will just take responsibility on the order to destroy the items instead of these items just going to the BOC or PHLPost.

Imagine the nerve of the “boss” saying that we can only destroy the items after we have “paid” for the P32,000?!? The BOC “boss” and “examiner” were saying that they just followed what our family friend wrote on the amount of the bag – they asked what country it came from and the examiner defended herself by saying that she even gave us a “discount” without us asking because she didn’t add to the conversion to PHP.

How can 1 Nine West bag be worth 4K Israeli Sheqel (meaning P47,880?- even if they look in all Nine West stores both online and in brick and mortar stores, they cannot find a Nine West bag worth that much! It’s not even leather!). Didn’t they think that what our OFW may have wrote is 4K pesos? If you look closer in Picture 1, the BOC was claiming that the boxes’ contents were more than USD$2,200 – how can 5 non leather Nine West bags, perfumes and used (2) sunglasses be worth Php113,000++?

When we demanded that the “boss” check again, we were ushered out to the glass BOC room and the man from PhlPost started opening the boxes. At that point, the guard of Customs went inside and told my aunt to stop taking a video – my aunt denied that she’s taking any video but the guard was insisting that she was and that she had to delete it.

I then, asked the guard to give us his name, he just pointed to his uniform (all the people in BOC didn’t have ID’s including the “boss” who was now “re-examining” the contents of the box). It was then that the man from PhilPost (at that time, I still didn’t know that he was not with the BOC technically. He was with Phlpost) angrily said, that they are not allowed to give out their names. If they weren’t guilty of anything – why can’t they give out their names? For a government agency, it is not allowed to take pictures, videos, and even get the names of the people you’re dealing with? What kind of crap is this?

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Picture 3

There was a woman beside us who was complaining loudly that she came all the way from Pampanga to claim the Balikbayan Box she sent. Her box took such a long time that she was able to arrive earlier than her box to be delivered. She was being charged tax as well and she said she already paid for the taxes, insurance and shipment to the Philippines – so, why was she being charged again. We heard her examiner say, that it is the President’s mandate for the collection. She can just ask the President for the reason. At that point, she went out of the room and said she will not pay.

We then went inside again the BOC dry walled room and were told by their “boss” that the “computation” is correct and we were already given a “big discount”? Their “boss” and the lady “examiner” told us that this is the law that all Balikbayan boxes will be taxed for their collection mandate. My aunts were all aghast given that they were also from the government but have not witnessed any corruption of this sort. My aunts said that we will not get the package and we will not “negotiate”.

I then told them that the PhlPost man did not want to give his name and they just summarily dismissed me by saying that the man is not from BOC but from PhilPost and I should just talk to his boss. I went to the PhlPost room and asked for his name and again he said it’s not allowed to give out their names. I asked the reason why. He angrily shouted that he just did not want to.

Instead of being a source of joy and pride (as our OFW friend intended); that Balikbayan Box, became a source of anger and exasperation over the very agencies who were supposed to uphold the very meaning of these Balikbayan boxes.

These boxes are not just boxes. These are the blood, sweat and tears of our OFW’s who scrimp on their daily food, who lack sleep, who forego their “pamasahe” going home just for their “padala” several months before the Holidays . These boxes are the pride of our OFW’s of being able to provide and uplift their loved ones’ lives back home. These boxes are the love and hope of better lives of our OFW’s.

It seems that this BOC and PhlPost situation is rampant after all : Hands Off Our Balikbayan Boxes!

– Rock To Riches Editor

Skiddoo Philippines Inc

How Can OFWs Face The Risks of Job Losses & Mass Layoffs Abroad?

Many OFWS are not exempt from experiencing economic meltdowns in their country of work. Countries and governments in the Middle East, Asia, and even the Americas have gone through several financial downturn in the past and these can happen like a vicious cycle.

There are several reasons why many OFWs are at risk of losing their jobs overseas. Here are the most common:

1. Companies lose big contracts and projects

For several reasons, even the biggest companies experience financial setbacks due to losing demands in the market. Technology also plays a big part in the job loss of many OFWs who work in subcontracting companies. When big clients acquire better technology (e.g. robotics, new machinery, etc.), the requirement for additional contractual labor decreases.

This is one reason why many OFWs either do not get their salaries on time or worsse, lose their jobs in the process. No project to do, no money to come in, OFWs lose their jobs.

2. Oil prices become less competitive

For OFWs in the Middle East, the falling prices of oil has affected their compensation and jobs as a whole because their companies from different industries depend on it.

Countries like Saudi Arabia and Kuwait face the stiff competition from other giant nations like the United States and Russia have started to discover new oil mines and their production has affected the prices in the world market.

Harsh sandstorm to greet our Holy Thursday morning. Reminding us that from dust we came to dust we will return.

3. Recession

This is another vicious economic cycle that happens every once in a while but it really brings many OFWs and their families to tears.

When countries experience temporary economic decline, many companies put a halt in their operational or industrial activities. Therefore, many of our OFWs are left with nothing else to do but go back home.

4. Redundancy of positions

Some companies overseas lack the competency in reviewing their manpower needs that they end up hiring many people than what is really needed. This causes redundancy of job lines or positions, which means two or more people are doing the job that can be done by one or two employees only.

Another reason is that a company may have to downsize their economic activities and therefore have to reduce the number of employees in particular departments.

5. Localization of job posts

Some big economies hire expats in order to fill in positions that can not be performed by their local people. Another reason is that the number of natives qualified for the jobs are not enough to fill in the requirements of many companies.

But as time goes by, many of these natives have started to become more competitive and qualified. Plus the fact that their population are growing as well. This forces the governments to require companies to have a cap or limit in hiring a number of expats in order to give priority to locals.

6. Wars, terrorism, unrest, climate crisis

These are instances when many expats are left with no options but to stay inside their compounds or get repatriated by their respective governments.

Not surprisingly, many OFWs opt to stay in their country of work despite the risks of losing not only their jobs but their precious lives as well. They believe it is better to be earning outside the Philippines than to be back home with their loved ones and die of hunger and unemployment.

These are just some of the common reasons why many OFWs experience job losses and mass layoffs abroad. But how can they mitigate these risks? How can they prepare for these crises? Here are my suggestions:

How To Solve and Prepare for These Crises

1. Connect with authorities and support groups

Create a directory and make a list of contact numbers of the Philippine Embassy, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) or the Labor Attache, and support groups like the Truly Rich Club and other Filipino organizations, churches, and communities.

These organizations and people should be able to support you in one way or another during a crisis. Always keep your passport and residence ID with you. Keep copies of other important documents and your contract so it would be easier to facilitate or expedite any necessary process.

2. Create an emergency cash fund

Identify how much you spend and send to your family back home each month. Multiply this by 3 to 6 months and make this as your emergency fund.

For OFW’s, a separate fund for buying plane tickets and paying for visas must also be prepared separately and kept as cash on hand. We wouldn’t know what could happen in the country where you are currently working in. I call this the Emergency Airfare Fund or EAF.

3. Get a health and life insurance

During your vacation in the Philippines, prioritize to get both a health insurance and a life insurance for yourself. If you lose your job and get sick, you health insurance will be able to cover the medical and hospital expenses. If you pass away while working abroad or when you get back in the Philippines, your loved ones will be able to survive financially because of the proceeds that they will get from your life insurance.

If it will take some more time for you to be back in the Philippines for vacation or for good, then get a term life insurance instead in the country where you are working. This is a cheaper options and a temporary protection for you until you come back home.

4. Look for passive sources of income

While working abroad, study and look for opportunies in the internet. Learn more about online internet business or ways to earn like setting up an online store, blogging, or running a website.

If you have the money and the chance, score a copy of our Cyberpreneur Philippines book online and be guided on how to start your online business. However, always take precautions as there are scams and frauds online.

5. Start a small business abroad or back home

Many OFWs are challenged or are discouraged to start a business in the Philippines because of distance and their inability to monitor them while working abroad. But nothing is impossible these days.

We have gathered some options for our OFWs in our article “What’s The Best Business for OFWs?” which also includes a 10-point questionnaire to assess whether they are ready as an entrepreneur or not.

6. Learn how to invest and start one soon

Investing in properties or real estate is the most common option among many Filipinos abroad. This is a very solid investment that may give full earning potential for your cash as most often, land appreciates over time.

However, this do not always equate to liquidity. Which means you may not be able to sell your property at a premium when you need your cash the most. Property investing is one of the best options though for your long term goals.

We highly suggest that you learn how to invest in paper assets as this is a more affordable option for many OFWs. You can start investing in stocks, mutual funds, UITFs, retail bonds, ETF’s, money market, high yield time deposits, insurance-cum-investments, shares in cooperatives, among many other options.

7. Get into agriculture

Whether it’s your backyard or your bare land in the province, getting yourself involved in farming and agriculture will always pay you good dividends in the end. During crisis, your family will be able to be sustained by your farm proceeds from livestock and crop-bearing plants and trees.

If you have a limited space in your urban home or you don’t own any agricultural land, you can try investing in “patanim/paalaga” agri-business schemes like what my friend Krissy Domingo started. She called it Agripreneur Philippines. This is also the same scheme that me and my kumpareng Doy Alvares also started in 2014.

8. Always keep a positive and healthy outlook in life

Last but not the least, believing that whatever negative things that may come your way, there will always be a better opportunity for you.

You may lose your job today but the Lord will always open a new door of blessings for you and your family.

Always be ready!

Have a Merry Christmas and an Abundant 2016!

Follow my posts this Season by subscribing to Rock To Riches.

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P.S. 1. Are you an OFW who’s been looking for a investment placement where your money could grow higher than your time deposit accounts? Are you outside of Metro Manila and would like to start investing in mutual funds but have no personal advisors to help you out? Click here so I can help you open a mutual fund account NOW! .

P.S. 2. Due to popular demand, my good friend and business partner Jon Orana will be releasing again his online program called the Internet Business Master Class. This exciting online learning program is about creating and selling e-books in the internet. Here’s a FREE 23-page step-by-step guide on how to make money selling e-books including which topics to write. Enroll in Jon’s IBMC Class NOW until December 24 ONLY! Click here to enroll!

P.S. 3. Bro. Bo Sanchez has appointed me as a coach for our young and new investors at the TrulyRichClub social site. It’s a fun, learning family with the purpose of “helping good people become rich”. I’m inviting you to join the TrulyRichClub too and email me at burngutierrezblog@gmail.com if you have any questions. Click here to join!

P.S. 4. My co-author/illustrator Des Feliciano and I have just launched our “The Adventures of Pepot Kuripot and Dora Gastadora” comic book! It’s arguably the first and only personal finance-influenced comic book in the Philippines. You may grab your copy before Christmas at your favorite National Bookstore and Powerbooks outlets. Or you can grab your copy yourself at The Pantry at 07 in Makati City and ilovemilktea in Las Pinas City. Now available also in Australia, Saudi Arabia, and the USA! Email des_feliciano@yahoo.com for more details.
PepotCover1

P.S. 5. Yes, our Cyberpreneur Philippines book is now out in bookstores! Check out the chapters from my fellow authors Ray Calbay, Fitz Villafuerte, Ginger Arboleda, Kristel Silang, Marv de Leon, Paolo Lising, Anne Quintos, and other great online entrepreneurs and experts! Score your copy here now!

P.S. 6. Send healthcare and grocery products online to your loved ones in the Philippines via BeamandGo!

Skiddoo Philippines Inc

5 Scary Things You Should Avoid at the Ninoy Aquino Int’l Airport (NAIA)

Halloween is fast approaching. And this weekend, it’s not the zombies, manananggal, tikbalang, tiktik, multo, tiyanak, and other hair-raising elementals that will scare the hell out of us during the holidays and beyond.

Move away from your favorite Halloween TV features. Stop reading ghost stories. Take a break from watching the Walking Dead.

These five frightening, terrifying, petrifying, and grossly-alarming entities lurking the Ninoy Aquino International Airport terminals will definitely make your blood (pressure) shoot to the heavens.

 

1) Pay-Per-Paging

When I arrived at NAIA 1 from a business trip in Japan, my cellphone battery lost power. I could not find our company driver anywhere around the arrival area.

So I approached the security guard and asked a favor to radio their paging office and announce the name of our driver and that I am already at the arrival area. The security guard directed me instead to go to one of those “sari sari stores” located just around the arrival area and use their payphone to call the NAIA paging and information office.

That was Php5 in exchange for the NAIA’s service to announce your name and your “sundo”!

The NAIA management should have this service for free for all. Why commission those sari-sari stores to be your “Information Desk” agents?

 

2) Extortionist Police Security

I was asked by a businessman friend to bring a number of Swiss wrist watches to his home in Cebu City. That filled about 1/4 of my small luggage.

At the security check section of the domestic airport, the policeman asked me why I have so many expensive watches in my luggage. He said I should be charged for bringing them outside of Manila. Sinong niloko nya? Hindi naman ito international trip ah. I told him that these are gifts by a friend to his family members in Cebu.

The policeman then asked me if he could just have one of those Swiss watches instead so I won’t have to pay for the “charges”. Then I told him, “Okay, I will ask my boss first at GMA-7″.  That’s when and why he let me go.

I guess wearing that GMA-7 complimentary shirt given by a cousin helped.

Sorry and thank you, GMA-7.

 

3) Airport Taxi Scams

There has been a lot of stories of OFWs, migrants, and tourists being abused by taxi cab drivers plying all the NAIA terminal roads.

I almost got duped by one of these taxi cabs when I got back home from my Korea trip. But before I hopped into the cab, I immediately asked the driver “Metro yan, boss?” And he answered, “Depende kung san punta nyo sir.”

So I told him, “No, thank you.” I took the coaster instead that brought me to Pasay Rotonda MRT station for Php20 only if I remember it correctly.

Transferring from one terminal to another? Picking up a foreigner friend? Never step on these terminals with only a few hundred bucks in your pocket. Beware of these taxi fraudsters who victimize expatriates and tourists by charging them from $25 to $100 depending on your destination. When I say “destination” it means within 1 to 10 kilometer radius from the NAIA terminals.

Demand to get off these taxis and refuse to pay if you have the opportunity to do so. Take a photo of the license plate number and ID of the cab driver and upload these to http://taxikick.com to warn others.

**Please take note that yellow airport taxi cabs have a flag down rate of Php70 for the first two kilometers and Php2.50 for every succeeding 500 meters.

DSC_0027 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4) Visa Checkers

This is definitely one of the most ridiculous procedures I have ever encountered at NAIA Terminal 2. OFW’s and migrants who are leaving the country and are boarding the Philippine Airlines have to fall in line and have their visas checked first before entering the Terminal and do the rest of the crazy procedures inside.

This specific incident happened to us on our way back to the Middle East this year. My wife and daughter had to endure the heat outside the terminal because of the long queue for “visa-checking”. The visa checker told me that the passports of my wife and daughter have no “exit stamp” by the Saudi Arabia immigration. I told him we have an exit and re-entry visa to Saudi Arabia and that the Saudi immigration will not allow us to leave their airport if our visa is invalid!

He insisted that we will have a hard time re-entering Saudi Arabia if our passports don’t have an “exit” stamp by Saudi immigration. I told him “What do you want me to do? Go to Saudi Arabia first and have it stamped there and go back to Manila so that my family can leave the Philippines?!”

He then asked me to go to PAL’s office (inside the terminal) and request for confirmation of the Iqama (residence ID) details of my wife and daughter. Yes, I went through the security check before I enter the terminal and the PAL office. Even the PAL officer was wondering why the visa checker had to ask for that procedure.

When I got back outside the terminal and returned to that annoying visa checker, he stared at the PAL certification and our passports as if trying to look for something inserted. He asked me “Yan na yun sir?”

I stared at him and he didn’t look back. He finally stamped our passports “OK”.

 

  silver bullet

5) “Laglag/Tanim Bala” (Bullet-Planting) Scam

This is the latest scam that has victimized several local and foreign travelers.

You all have heard the stories of some of the victims like OFW Gloria Ortinez, the American missionary Michael White, a Japanese tourist, and a lot more unreported incidents.

OFW blogger PEBA suggests the following:

a. In case airport officials ask you to open your luggage, ask for a lawyer first, who will be present, or someone who can serve as a witness while your luggage is being opened.

b. Don’t ever open your luggage by yourself, to avoid your fingerprints be marked on the bullet or at the area where the bullet was seen. Instead, ask the airport officials to get it.

c. Ask the airport officials to check your fingerprints on the bullet, in front of your lawyer and police authorities. This is of course assuming that the bullet is not really yours.

d. If your fingerprint was not found on the bullet, file a case against the concerned airport officials and ask for the corresponding damage fees. They should also re-book your flight.

BONUS: On a lesser gravity, I will include the Paawa Porters. I once experienced being assisted by a porter after my trip from Singapore. He pushed the cart with my one very light backpack. And upon reaching our car, he asked me “Boss, baka pwede makahingi kahit Php50. Pang-lunch lang.” I don’t easily give in to these kinds of drama. I gave him my leftover Singapore cents instead. Bahala ka magpapalit nyan.

Are you an OFW or a Balikbayan who plans to spend the All Saint’s Day and Christmas holidays back home? Beware of these “legal scams” at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport!

Do you have other scary experience at NAIA? Comment and share below.

Get updated on the latest scams by subscribing to BurnGutierrez.Com.

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P.S. 1. Are you an OFW who’s been looking for a investment placement where your money could grow higher than your time deposit accounts? Are you outside of Metro Manila and would like to start investing in mutual funds but have no personal advisors to help you out? Click here so I can help you open a mutual fund account NOW! .

P.S. 2. Due to popular demand, my good friend and business partner Jon Orana will be releasing again his online program called the Internet Business Master Class. This exciting online learning program is about creating and selling e-books in the internet. Here’s a FREE 23-page step-by-step guide on how to make money selling e-books including which topics to write.

P.S. 3. Bro. Bo Sanchez has appointed me as a coach for our young and new investors at the TrulyRichClub social site. It’s a fun, learning family with the purpose of “helping good people become rich”. I’m inviting you to join the TrulyRichClub too and email me at burngutierrezblog@gmail.com if you have any questions. Click here to join!

P.S. 4. My co-author/illustrator Des Feliciano and I have just launched our “The Adventures of Pepot Kuripot and Dora Gastadora” comic book! It’s arguably the first and only personal finance-influenced comic book in the Philippines. Order your copy now from our website http://pepotanddora.com and have it delivered right at your doorstep. Or you can grab your copy yourself at The Pantry at 07 in Makati City and ilovemilktea in Las Pinas City. Now available also in Australia, Saudi Arabia, and the USA! Email des_feliciano@yahoo.com for more details.
PepotCover1

P.S. 5. Buy insurance products online! Visit the very first online insurance store in the Philippines: the AXA iON! Purchase your alternative savings plan, educational plan for your children, medical emergency plan, and your life insurance by clicking HERE.

—–
Photo credit: Silver Bullet, by Ed Shipul

Skiddoo Philippines Inc

#5By20: How The Program is Empowering Women Sari-Sari Store Entrepreneurs

From fruit farmers to artisans to vendors, women around the world are already pillars of Coca-Cola’s business.

That’s why the people at the Coca-Cola Company are building on that foundation by implementing programs to help women entrepreneurs.

Through #5by20, Coca-Cola is addressing the most common barriers to success women face. They do this by giving them access to business skills training courses, financial services and connections with peers or mentors.

And their goal is the empowerment of 5 million women micro-entrepreneurs by the year 2020.

Listen to the inspiring stories of Ate Nora and Ate Nida by clicking the Coca-Cola 5by20 red banner below.

philippine map

Support this advocacy and awesome project by Coca-Cola! Click here.

Kung kaya ni Ate Nida at Ate Nora, kaya nyo rin!

—-

Did you know that the Coca-Cola Company turns 123 this year, having been launched in 1892?

To mark the occasion Westways Vendings has created this infographic which explores 123 fascinating facts about the world’s favourite beverage!

The-123-of-Coca-Cola-Infographic

*This is a sponsored post.

 

 

Skiddoo Philippines Inc

For Love or Money – A Documentary from Tondo Slums

Back in the late 80’s, we left Caloocan City and looked for other places to live in. That’s when we experienced living near the slums of Tondo.

Life was hard for us but life was harder for the people living around us. They had no food. No money to buy medicine. No new clothes to wear. No jobs. Many are hopeless.

Decades later, Tondo seems to have never changed. Some of them are sincerely industrious but one thing has not progressed. They still bear the poverty mindset.

Screen Shot 2015-09-20 at 1.11.14 PM
Screengrab from Al Jazeera’s “The Slum” documentary

Are we to blame the government only? The media? Or the Church? Aren’t we all responsible for these?

Watch this video and reflect.

Will you still be part of this problem? Or will you be a solution?

Be an Angat Pilipinas volunteer. Join us in our missions for the poor by subscribing to BurnGutierrez.Com.

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Rock your way to abundance!

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P.S. 1. Are you an OFW who’s been looking for a investment placement where your money could grow higher than your time deposit accounts? Are you outside of Metro Manila and would like to start investing in mutual funds but have no personal advisors to help you out? Click here so I can help you open a mutual fund account NOW! .

P.S. 2. Due to popular demand, my good friend and business partner Jon Orana will be releasing again his online program called the Internet Business Master Class. This exciting online learning program is about creating and selling e-books in the internet. Here’s a FREE 23-page step-by-step guide on how to make money selling e-books including which topics to write.

P.S. 3. Bro. Bo Sanchez has appointed me as a coach for our young and new investors at the TrulyRichClub social site. It’s a fun, learning family with the purpose of “helping good people become rich”. I’m inviting you to join the TrulyRichClub too and email me at burngutierrezblog@gmail.com if you have any questions. Click here to join!

P.S. 4. My co-author/illustrator Des Feliciano and I have just launched our “The Adventures of Pepot Kuripot and Dora Gastadora” comic book! It’s arguably the first and only personal finance-influenced comic book in the Philippines. Order your copy now from our website http://pepotanddora.com and have it delivered right at your doorstep. Or you can grab your copy yourself at The Pantry at 07 in Makati City and ilovemilktea in Las Pinas City. Now available also in Australia, Saudi Arabia, and the USA! Email des_feliciano@yahoo.com for more details.
PepotCover1

P.S. 5. If you are based abroad or just outside of Metro Manila and has been itching to learn more on how to jumpstart your business dreams, join me and my friend, serial entrepreneur Ginger Arboleda, as we take you through a series 2-hour webinars (for 11 Saturdays) that will help you focus on the technical skills and specific things that you have always wanted to know about in order to grow your business. We have come up with 10 sessions with 11 expert lecturers (with 1 FREE session if you enroll in the full program) that will make you a stronger and better entrepreneur. Register here to join the Enter Entrepreneurship Webinar Program now!

P.S. 6. Learn How To Make Money From Foreclosed Properties! We are on our 3rd run of the Usapang Foreclosed Property Investing with Jay Castillo of ForeclosurePhilippines.com! Happening on September 26, 2015 at the SMX Aura, Bonifacio Global City. Click here to register and avail the early bird promo!

P.S. 7. Buy insurance products online! Visit the very first online insurance store in the Philippines: the AXA iON! Purchase your alternative savings plan, educational plan for your children, medical emergency plan, and your life insurance by clicking HERE.

Skiddoo Philippines Inc

5 Golden Alternatives To Balikbayan Boxes

For the past several days, our Facebook newsfeeds have been flooded with news, rants, complaints, hate posts, and protests against the not-so-new but more vulgar implementation of the Bureau of Customs policy of checking Balikbayan boxes sent by Filipinos from abroad.

You could be one of the millions of OFWs and migrant Filipinos who are really angered by this ridiculous policy of our government.

Some of our kababayans and different organizations even organized a “No Remittance Day” as a protest against this bold and unnecessary move by the Bureau of Customs.

Although this will “hurt” the government a bit, we have no other choice but to remit the money that we have anyway after the “No Remittance Day”.

Here are the 5 effective and meaningful alternative ways to send your love back home without compromising your hard-earned money from the crocodiles in our government agencies. No Balikbayan box, no problem.

5 Golden Alternatives To Balikbayan Boxes

1) Send your money to your savings account.

Build an emergency fund for you and your loved ones back home.

If you are breadwinner, you should think about the possibility of losing your job and eventually losing your source of income. How will you support yourself if you don’t have an emergency cash available for you and your loved ones when this happens?

If someone gets sick and eventually the need to spend for significant medical expenses becomes inevitable, you or your family members back home can use this emergency fund.

You can also use this cash in case a typhoon or flood ravages your home or your car and therefore will need some repairs.

Balikbayan Box Philippines

 2) Purchase an insurance product for yourself and your family members. 

You are working abroad most likely because you have loved ones who need your financial support. You wouldn’t sacrifice the physical and emotional distance just for your own desires. You love your family, that’s for sure.

But what if you die today? Or you lose both your arms and legs? How will your loved ones survive if they do not have the financial capacity because you are their only hope?

Getting a life insurance or a health insurance are two VERY necessary items to be included in your bucket list as a breadwinner.

You will never regret purchasing one today.

AXA Philippines launched the very first online insurance store, the AXA iON, so that OFWs like you can purchase the necessary insurance product for your and your family’s protection.

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3) Open a stock trading or pooled fund account.

It is understandable that you want to shower your loved ones with goods and gifts that they do not get to have often and seldom experience back home. That’s why we send Balikbayan boxes as a way of saying how we love them despite being away from them.

However, preparing for your golden years while you are working abroad should also be on top of your priorities. If you don’t plan and prepare for it, who else will?

The same thing is true for your spouse, if you are a married OFW. You should be helping your better half in investing for her retirement years.

Letting your children know that you don’t want to be a burden to them when you grow old by investing for it as early as now is one of the greatest “Balikbayan boxes” you could ever give.

You can determine here how much you need to invest to have a happy and a comfortable retirement.

Two of the best instruments to address your needs during your golden years are mutual funds and stocks. Read up the articles through the links provided to learn more how to invest in them.

 

4) Send groceries, medicine, health cards, to your loved ones via BeamAndGo.

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With BeamAndGo, no matter where you are in the world, you can purchase gift certificates that will be sent to the mobile phone of your loved ones back home.

These digital gift certificates will enable you to buy food, groceries, medicine, health care, insurance, education, and other essentials for your family in a way that is affordable, convenient, transparent, and sustainable.

Your loved ones can immediately redeem these digital certificates at any of the participating stores under their network. There is no need to wait on long lines nor handle paper coupons.

So why need a Balikbayan box when you can just do it the BeamAndGo way?

5) Sell your stuff and old but still useable items online.

Instead of sending back home your old DVD player, television, kitchen appliances, furniture, clothes, and many other things inside your closets and drawers inside your apartment abroad, why don’t you sell them via the classified ads websites in your country of work?

You may also auction them on eBay, OLX, expatriates.com, and other similar websites.

You can also sell them to your neighbors and workmates who might be needing the things that you consider sending back to the Philippines.

You can save the money you earned from selling those stuff and bring it home yourself in your next vacation. Or if you really can’t wait, then use the money to do numbers 1 to 4 that I mentioned above.

Follow my posts on managing finances well while abroad by subscribing to BurnGutierrez.Com for FREE.

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Rock your way to abundance!

#moneyliferocknroll

P.S. 1. Are you an OFW who’s been looking for a investment placement where your money could grow higher than your time deposit accounts? Are you outside of Metro Manila and would like to start investing in mutual funds but have no personal advisors to help you out? Click here so I can help you open a mutual fund account NOW! .

P.S. 2. Due to popular demand, my good friend and business partner Jon Orana will be releasing again his online program called the Internet Business Master Class. This exciting online learning program is about creating and selling e-books in the internet. Here’s a FREE 23-page step-by-step guide on how to make money selling e-books including which topics to write.

P.S. 3. Bro. Bo Sanchez has appointed me as a coach for our young and new investors at the TrulyRichClub social site. It’s a fun, learning family with the purpose of “helping good people become rich”. I’m inviting you to join the TrulyRichClub too and email me at burngutierrezblog@gmail.com if you have any questions. Click here to join!

P.S. 4. My co-author/illustrator Des Feliciano and I have just launched our “The Adventures of Pepot Kuripot and Dora Gastadora” comic book! It’s arguably the first and only personal finance-influenced comic book in the Philippines. Order your copy now from our website http://pepotanddora.com and have it delivered right at your doorstep. Or you can grab your copy yourself at The Pantry at 07 in Makati City and ilovemilktea in Las Pinas City. Now available also in Australia, Saudi Arabia, and the USA! Email des_feliciano@yahoo.com for more details.
PepotCover1

P.S. 5. If you are based abroad or just outside of Metro Manila and has been itching to learn more on how to jumpstart your business dreams, join me and my friend, serial entrepreneur Ginger Arboleda, as we take you through a series 2-hour webinars (for 11 Saturdays) that will help you focus on the technical skills and specific things that you have always wanted to know about in order to grow your business. We have come up with 10 sessions with 11 expert lecturers (with 1 FREE session if you enroll in the full program) that will make you a stronger and better entrepreneur. Register here to join the Enter Entrepreneurship Webinar Program now!

P.S. 6. Learn How To Make Money From Foreclosed Properties! We are on our 3rd run of the Usapang Foreclosed Property Investing with Jay Castillo of ForeclosurePhilippines.com! Happening on September 26, 2015 at the SMX Aura, Bonifacio Global City. Click here to register and avail the early bird promo!

P.S. 7. Buy insurance products online! Visit the very first online insurance store in the Philippines: the AXA iON! Purchase your alternative savings plan, educational plan for your children, medical emergency plan, and your life insurance by clicking HERE.

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Photo credit: Balikbayan box Philippines, Wikimedia Commons

Skiddoo Philippines Inc

The Day Aureus Died (Part 2 No More)

This is way long overdue.

But as much as we would like to give more information about the culprits, we could only do so much for now.

The investigation on Aureus Capital by the Commercial Affairs Department or CAD of the Singapore Police Force is still ongoing. However, the possibility of recovering the USD18 Million claims of victims lodged at the CAD is now almost uncertain.

Apparently, the culprits Michael Atkins and April Samson can not be located.

Meanwhile, if you are based in Singapore, you may try to reach the Chinese daily Lianhe Wanbao under Singapore Press Holdings for media support.

One of their journalists, Kerr Puay Hian, sent me an email to help the victims in whatever way they can and also to spread awareness to the public to avoid becoming victims again of these scams.

Please be aware that there are still more “managed trading forex companies” around the world that are currently recruiting clients for their schemes.

You may contact Kerr of Lianhe Wanbao, Singapore Press Holdings as they are currently working on an article regarding the Aureus Capital scam in Singapore. The media outfit has been receiving complaints from distressed victims and calling them for help and they want to help them as much as they can.

Singapore Press would be willing to listen to your part of the story, as the more information they can acquire the better they could express the situation to the community, help them to gain more traction in the case through public awareness, or at least inform the public to protect themselves from such scams.

You can either email Kerr at phkerr@sph.com.sg or call their hotline at 1800-7416388.

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We’re one with our friends who are victims of this big-time scam.

For now we can only coordinate with the police and the media and wait for any development. We hope that the case be resolved soon.

End of the series that never was.