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Archive for July, 2012





Mariwasa to complete the Innovative Solutions 2012 Tile Collection with a bang
Read 417 times | Posted on July 31, 2012 @ 5 years ago

Mariwasa to complete the Innovative Solutions 2012 Tile Collection with a bang

During the 17th WorldBEX at The World Trade Center last March 16-18, 2012, Mariwasa launched its latest Tile Collection, Innovative Solutions. This collection offers an avant-garde ceramic tile series that answers the unmet needs of customers such as; Scratch Free and Safety Tiles.

“Whenever we display these innovative tile series at exhibitions and trade shows, we would always receive favorable feedback. People seem to be so excited to buy them right away” says Jakkrit Suwansilp, VP-Sales & Marketing of Mariwasa Siam Ceramics, Inc.

As the country’s leader in the ceramic tile industry, Mariwasa is very fervent in giving out what’s best for the society. This month, to complete the Innovative Solutions 2012 Tile Collection, Mariwasa is proud to introduce the additional set of techno-enhanced, eco-driven and alter-motif tiles that will surely give its customers the quality and superior living that they ought to have.

On this additional set of Innovative Solutions designs, Mariwasa unveils its latest wall tile size 20 x 40 cm. The company is the very first local manufacturer to introduce this size in the domestic market. This unique wall tile size can help heighten up the conventional and fanciful corners of every Filipino home.

Furthermore, this collection also includes the Modern Celadon, Mariwasa brought into tiles the cracked porcelain effect that a lot of customers are drooling about. This series comes out in five vibrant colors. Modern Celadon is recommended for bathroom, countertop, kitchen, and as decorative tiles for resorts, spas and the like.

Mariwasa also has this new innovative design called the Slim Tiles, available in rectified 60 x 60 cm. This tile series is made lighter and its thickness is reduced from the conventional 10mm to 5mm without compromising its durability. This is perfect for renovation and tile over tile installation.

Added in the collection is the 2nd generation of Scratch Free and Safety Tiles. Scratch-free tiles have high resistance to scratch, making them suitable for medium to high traffic areas such as office work stations and lobbies. On the other hand, Safety Tiles have anti-slip technology which reduces the risk of accidents and falls. Customers can benefit from this newly improved and enhanced tile feature without additional cost.

And to finally complete the collection, Mariwasa offers the one-of-a-kind High-Definition Tiles. Initially offered in wood and stone-themed designs where you can actually experience the sharpness of every detail in the design. This tile series underwent random printing rather than the traditional pattern printing of tiles which resembles the natural beauty of real wood and stone albeit integrated in the tile design. This will surely give a wide array of distinctive designs to serve every market segment’s needs and specifications.

“We believe that Filipino craftsmanship is world class. We don’t just offer products. We offer better living solutions to serve the growing demands of the market. To increase our competitive advantage over other imported tiles, we invest in continuous research and development to offer world-class innovative and quality ceramic tiles,” adds Anukul Kongrit, President of Mariwasa Siam Ceramics, Inc.

Mariwasa’s Innovative Solutions 2012 Tile Collection is a proof that the company is dedicated on its commitment to serve uncompromising quality products to every Filipino family.



Travel a great distance with Nokia
Read 388 times | Posted on July 25, 2012 @ 5 years ago

Travel a great distance with Nokia

How far can a mobile phone go? From just being a means of communication, mobile phones have evolved to a multi-functional device that provides information, entertainment, business-related apps, and social networking. But, Nokia took its smartphones to a higher level as these can be your personal navigation whenever and wherever you go with its preloaded maps that are available offline!

Nokia has been using vector maps since 2006, and for the past six years the brand has been developing its navigation offering. At the core of this service innovation are the offline maps and Nokia Drive, which aim to deliver a complete navigation experience.

The Nokia Maps are preloaded on Nokia smartphones to give users a great out-of-the-box experience. An easy first-use process will walk you through on how to make your favorite countries and regions available offline. Manage your offline maps that you can always go back to, regardless of service provider coverage.

Aside from street maps, Nokia Maps enables offline search with its available points of interest (POIs). It also offers offline rerouting and on-device navigation voices. Plus, these voice-guided turn-by-turn navigations are available for over 110 countries and in 70 languages!

On top of this, you can customize your maps since the Nokia Maps are locally saved on your device. Download an entire country or specific regions, depending on your preference and needs. This way, you can definitely find your way to your destination and enjoy your vacation.

To date, Nokia Drive, with a full offline experience, is available for Nokia Lumia, Nokia N9, and Nokia Belle smartphones. Even the Nokia N95, introduced in 2007 has offline navigation.

Nokia Asha smartphones also come with preloaded maps and preloaded POIs to make sure location-based services are affordable. Non-Nokia users can also visit http://maps.nokia.com from their mobile browser and discover cached maps available offline for their phones.

Indeed, Nokia has gone a great leap to make their smartphones more functional by allowing users to travel leisurely with its offline maps.



Phoenix Petroleum, BDO sign P500-million convertible notes
Read 345 times | Posted on July 25, 2012 @ 5 years ago

Phoenix Petroleum, BDO sign P500-million convertible notes

Leading independent Phoenix Petroleum Philippines, Inc. and the country’s largest bank BDO Unibank, Inc. have signed a Php500-million SEC registration-exempt Convertible Corporate Note with Warrant Offering amounting to Php180 million. The signing was held on July 11, 2012 at the Anvil, BDO Corporate Center in Makati.

“We are proud to partner with BDO, which has always supported us,” said Phoenix Petroleum President and CEO Dennis Uy. “The issuance is part of our plan to raise long-term capital, finance capital expenditures for 2012, and refinance short term debt.”

“We continue to see a vast potential in Phoenix Petroleum given its strong fundamentals and good business sense,” said BDO Senior Executive Vice President Walter Wassmer. “BDO supports worthy endeavors, especially those that would yield growth for the economy as a whole.”

BDO Capital was sole arranger for the convertible debt with warrants issue. Acting as financial adviser for Phoenix Petroleum was Evercore Partners, a leading investment bank.

The warrants will be subject to the approval of Phoenix Petroleum stockholders during the Special Stockholders’ Meeting on September 6.

BDO is a full-service universal bank that provides a complete array of industry-leading products and services to the retail and corporate markets. It is the country’s largest bank in terms of total assets, customer loans, total deposits and assets under management as of end December 2011.

Phoenix Petroleum Philippines is the leading independent oil company with an expanding network of operations nationwide. It is engaged in the business of trading refined petroleum products and lubricants, operation of oil depots and storage facilities, and allied services. It was recently named one of the best managed small-cap companies in the Philippines in a poll by FinanceAsia magazine.



Connect to the 3 big networks and more with your Sun postpaid line
Read 444 times | Posted on July 25, 2012 @ 5 years ago

Connect to the 3 big networks and more with your Sun postpaid line

Here’s great news to Sun Cellular postpaid subscribers who have friends in Smart, Talk ‘N Text, and other networks! Enjoy inter-network connection minus the high cost with Sun Text All Power Up and Sun Trio Power Up. With these great offers from Sun Cellular, you can text all you want and enjoy longer talk time with your friends and family regardless which network they belong to.

With Sun Text All Power Up, enjoy 1,000 text messages to other networks for only P199 per month. Sun Text All Power Up also protects you from high monthly bills with Anti-Bill Shock: subscribers will be charged only P1 per text to other networks in excess of 1,000 text allotment, up to the maximum text charges of P549 per month, every text after is completely FREE. So with Sun Text All Power Up with Anti-Bill Shock, text all you want to all networks and pay a maximum of only P549 per month

With Sun Trio Power Up, enjoy both calls and texts to your contacts in Smart and Talk N’ Text networks! Choose from any of these available Trio Power Ups – Trio Calls, Trio Texts, or Trio Combo. Trio Calls give you 50 minutes of calls to Smart and Talk ‘N Text for only P99 per month, while Trio Texts allows you to send 1,000 texts messages to Smart and Talk ‘N Text for only P99 per month. To give you that perfect combination, choose Trio Combo, with 50 minutes of calls and 1,250 text messages to Smart and Talk ‘N Text for only P199 per month.

Sun Text All Power Up and Sun Trio Power Up are just two of Sun Cellular’s Power Up offers that, apart from the easy access and convenience, give subscribers the best value for their money, down to the last centavo. Other Power Ups available are Sun iPlan Power Up, Sun BlackBerry Power Up, Sun Mobile Landline Power Up, and Sun IDD 50 Power Up.
Forget all the keywords and numbers you used to memorize to avail of Sun “add-ons”. With Sun Power Up, you can view information and activate postpaid services easily, anytime, anywhere from your phone.

Simply dial *247# and an interactive menu will appear. View information and activate all the postpaid services you want including add-ons, special promos, value-added services, mobile internet, domestic roaming, and text hotline – right at your fingertips. Now you can take control of your postpaid line in just a few clicks.

Sun Power Up is available to all Sun Regular Postpaid Plans, Group Plans, Call and Surf Plans, and Sun Elite Series subscribers. Activate your choice of Sun Power Up offer, dial *247# now!



US-based tech council to help local technopreneurs: Techtalks
Read 430 times | Posted on July 25, 2012 @ 5 years ago

US-based tech council to help local technopreneurs: Techtalks

Science & Technology Advisory Council – Silicon Valley’s ON3 Program launched in 2011 is expected to help local technopreneurs realize their goals.

Tina Amper of Techtalks.ph said the involvement of the council, which recently announced a partnership with the Global Entrepreneurship Program (GEP) of the United States State Department, will provide “exciting opportunities to the Filipinos.”

“This partnership will provide Filipino entrepreneurs, not just the technopreneurs, access to a network of global resources. GEP Partners include international groups that can offer Filipino entrepreneurs mentoring which is experiencing increasing demand” said the Silicon Valley-based Amper.

Early this month, the Silicon Valley-based council, which has identified Techtalks as among its partners, has announced its partnership with the US State Department’s GEP in promoting entrepreneurship around the world.

Christina R. Laskowski, STAC President, said the entry of her group in the Philippine technology community signifies its interest to work with local technopreneurs to help accelerate the growth of their companies and to provide access to the tools and resources to compete globally effectively and efficiently.

“We recognize the potentials of the country and we believe that with access to tools, resources and training, that there is so much that can be achieved by these technopreneurs. We are here to provide them with whatever assistance we can in order to increase the probability of their success,” Laskowski said.

Amper added that one additional incentive to Filipino entrepreneurs is that STAC SV is committed to provide them access to angel investors, many of them based in Silicon Valley.

Amper made the comment after the Silicon Valley-based council recognized the efforts of TeckTalks.ph (techtalks.ph) in promoting technopreneurship in the grassroots level in the country.

Techtalks.ph successfully held the “Startup Weekend Cebu” last May where the most successful Filipino Silicon Valley Entrepreneur and Venture Capitalist Diosdado Banatao served as one of the judges. A second Startup Weekend in Cebu is scheduled this October 2012.

Banatao is an entrepreneur and engineer who have made his mark in the technology industry being a veteran startup technopreneur. He is even considered a visionary Silicon Valley.

Startup Weekend, which is also held in other countries, is a 54-hour event that provides participants a venue for building Internet-based or mobile applications that can become viable enterprises. Startup Weekend is a registered 501 © (3) non profit charitable organization funded by Global & Regional Sponsors and Grants, first and foremost among those being The Kauffman Foundation.



Rotary Club of CDO partners with ILO and Ausaid for livelihood and shelter of Sendong Survivors
Read 484 times | Posted on July 25, 2012 @ 5 years ago

Rotary Club of CDO partners with ILO and Ausaid for livelihood and shelter of Sendong Survivors

The Rotary Club of Cagayan de Oro (Mother Club) has entered into a service contract with the International Labor Organization (ILO) and Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) for Community-Based Emergency Employment (Cash-for-Work) and livelihood skills training of Tropical Storm Sendong survivors through the construction of permanent shelters for their homes.

Engr. Marillo S. Paano, President, Rotary Club of Cagayan de Oro (RCCDO) signed the service contract on July 18, 2012 at a local hotel with Lawrence Jeff Johnson, ILO Manila Office Director and Erika M. Geronimo, portfolio manager of AusAID.

Under the terms of the contract, the ILO through AusAID will provide US $10,532 (PhP 446, 134.20) to be used for the emergency employment and transfer of skills for Sendong survivors by employing them while they are trained on-site through mentoring by skilled workers for the construction of five quadruplex units and the completion of another five units

As fund administrator, RCCDO will be responsible for the disbursements and liquidation of expenses and compliance with the Terms of Reference set by the ILO.

“The project will benefit 60 survivors as trainees/workers and 40 survivor families who will occupy the compelted permanent shelters,” Mr. Paano said. “The 60 unskilled workers are all survivors Tropical Storm Sendong (International name: Washi) on December 16/17, 2011. The 40 qualified survivor-families awaiting the completion of the 40 permanent shelter units are still living in tents and temporary shelters in transitional relocation sites.”

“Most of the affected families that lost their means of income are now in search of alternative livelihood,” Mr. Paano said. “One of the identified job opportunities available is the construction of permanent shelters and support infrastructure such as drainage, slope protection, road maintenance or reforestation where the survivors can work, acquire new knowledge and skills, learn construction techniques or become skilled workers.”

After working on a few units, the unskilled workers will be field tested by constructing the same type of units by themselves. If they pass their tests, they can find employment in similar projects in the future.

Ground breaking for the project was made last February 17, 2011 under the leadership of immediate past president Ian Mark Q. Nacaya in partnership with Habitat for Humanity Philippines Director Tots Escalada for the construction of 10 safe and permanent quadruplex housing units in Barangay Indahag.

“This housing project is one of the relocation sites identified by the city government of Cagayan de Oro,” said Rtn. Nacaya. “It falls within a 10-hectare lot intended for some 1,597 permanent shelters for Sendong survivors.”

The city government owns the land where the houses will be constructed. DPWH and the LGU are collaborating in the construction of the roads and other amenities in the Indahag relocation site. Other private organizations are also involved in the construction of a thousand similar houses in the area.

The RCCDO Foundation under the stewardship of Past RC District 3870 Governor and former CdO City Mayor Constantino G. Jaraula initially undertook the project with funds donated by

Norfolk Sisterhood Cities of Norfolk, Virginia, U.S.A. which donated P263,642 and the Orthodontists Association of the Philippines through Dr. Arnold Duterte which donated P80,000.

However, the huge amount needed to complete the project constrained the RCCDO to turn to the ILO for funding support, especially for the labor component.

“With AusAid support, the ILO brings into the relief, recovery and reconstruction efforts its core messages of 1. Social dialogue through the series of consultations with stakeholders, beneficiaries and other parties; 2. Social protection, through the provision of personal protective gear and insurance coverage; 3. Worker’s rights, by observing 8-hour daily and 40-hour weekly work, and 4. Paid labor, by ensuring equal pay for equal work applies,” said Honorio T. Palarca, national program officer, ILO-Employment Intensive Investment Program (EIIP).

With its traditional partner, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), the project brings cash-for-work to the survivors in affected barangays through clearing and cleaning of surroundings of the tons of mud and debris left by the floodwaters, and lately through the de-clogging of drainage canals as the rainy season has set in.

The collaboration with the city governments of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan led to the construction of transitional shelters, to addressing the threats posed by environmental degradation through slope and riverbank protection and erosion control.

“The collaboration with Rotary Club of Cagayan de Oro District 3870 is another facet of the ILO-AusAid assistance through the construction of permanent shelters for the victims.,” Mr. Palarca added. “Working with the Rotary Club of CdO is a privilege as this showcases an opportunity to work with a civic organization that genereously shares its resources, expertise and time for the survivors of the calamity.”



Sun Cellular opens Facebook registration for its pro-environment billing service
Read 436 times | Posted on July 25, 2012 @ 5 years ago

Sun Cellular opens Facebook registration for its pro-environment billing service

In line with its ongoing service modernization and environment preservation efforts, Sun Cellular opens up registration to its electronic billing service through its official Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/suncellularph.

Known as the “Sun Online Bill”, this electronic billing service provides Sun Postpaid subscribers access to their monthly billing statements via email. As such system does away with printed copies sent through postal mailing, Sun eyes on significantly reducing its paper consumption and on fostering an environment preservation means, especially through the cooperation of its more than a million postpaid subscribers.

The Sun Online Bill also allows customers to keep electronic copies of their billing statements in their laptops, tablets, computers, even in their smartphones which they can easily refer to as needed. Lost billing statements will no longer be an issue once they subscribe to this service.

“It’s a win-win situation. Our internet-savvy customers get to enjoy a faster and a more convenient way of viewing and keeping their bills. At the same time, they get to help preserve the environment by going paperless. Just imagine the amount of paper that we all get to save for every 24 or 30 months of subscription,” says Reuben Pangan, Sun Cellular’s Vice President for Customer Relationship Management.

Aside from the conventional channels like the hotline and business center, Sun Postpaid subscribers may now choose to register their accounts through Facebook. They would just need to log-on to their Facebook accounts, “Like” the Sun Cellular page and complete the Sun Online Bill registration form embedded on the upper right portion of the Timeline Menu of the page.

Given the mediated nature of this service, Sun Cellular further safeguards the privacy of customer accounts through the mandatory requirement of a password to access these electronic billing statements.

“We recognize that social networking sites have already become an integral part of our customers’ lifestyles. As such, we think it’s high time to explore on the integration of access of some of our services through these channels and allow our ‘netizens’ to reach us easily while online,” Pangan adds.

Aside from this electronic billing service, Sun Cellular is also keen on maximizing social media channels to augment its overall customer support and communications. Currently, the mobile provider maintains 24/7 customer service pages on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/suncellularph and on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/suncelltweets.

Sun Cellular is a member of the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company Group.
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2GO Travel Offers Special Ramadan Fares
Read 481 times | Posted on July 24, 2012 @ 5 years ago

Special Ramadan fares to all destinations of 2GO travel are now available until August 31, 2012.
2GO Travel Chief Commercial Officer Stephen Rey Tagud said: “Many Filipino Muslims travel during Ramadan to join their families in observing a month of fasting, which is why, in solidarity, we introduced promotional fares to all our destinations in Mindanao.”

Travelers from Manila to Butuan, Cagayan De Oro, Dipolog, General Santos, Iligan, Ozamiz, Surigao, and Zamboanga City can book tickets for as low as P750. Passengers can also take advantage of the P450 economy class fares from Manila to any 2GO destination in the Visayas namely: Bacolod, Cebu, Dumaguete, Iloilo, and Tagbilaran.

The promo fare, exclusive of applicable taxes, surcharges and service fees, are all for economy class accommodations and valid for travel until August 31, 2012. Tickets are available at any 2GO Travel Ticket office or any accredited 2GO Travel agent nationwide.

For more details, call (02) 528-7000 or log on to www. 2GO.com.ph



Essay tilt zeroes in on gender issues, Winning piece wins P30,000
Read 420 times | Posted on July 24, 2012 @ 5 years ago

The country’s population is almost equally distributed among men and women. Despite this fact, various forms of gender inequality and stereotyping still abound, with women commonly at the losing end.

While gender inequality remains to be everyone’s concern, civil servants, being policy makers and implementers, can be influential agents of change. Thus, they are given the chance to share their opinions on this issue by joining the 2012 Philippine Civil Service Anniversary (PCSA) Essay Writing Contest.

The contest, with the theme “Lingkod Bayani Working for Gender Responsive, Accessible, Courteous, and Effective Public Service”, fosters an understanding of how gender inequalities are compounded in the Philippine society. It also encourages an appreciation of a public servant’s role in identifying the barriers women and men face in accessing public services and developing strategies to overcome them.

The contest is open to all government employees. Those who are employed under job order or contract of service, as well as CSC employees and their relatives within the 3rd degree of consanguinity or affinity, are not qualified to join.

The participants must answer the question, “As a lingkod bayani (servant hero), how can you contribute to and ensure a gender responsive, accessible, courteous and effective public service?” The essay may be written in English or in Filipino and must not exceed 900 words. It must be written on A4-sized paper, double-spaced using Arial size 12 font.

Entries must be original. Thus, they must not have been included as an entry in any government–sponsored/administered essay writing contest nor published in any medium, either in printed material or posted in websites. Any form of plagiarism will result in the disqualification of an entry. Hence, all quotes and references throughout the essay must be properly cited and clearly marked.

Essays may be submitted either in printed or electronic form. Printed entries must be sent via registered mail, courier, or personally delivered to the Gender and Development Secretariat c/o Office for Personnel Management and Development, Civil Service Commission, Batasang Pambansa Complex, Constitution Hills, Diliman, Quezon City.

On the other hand, electronic entries should be submitted in portable data format (PDF) and sent via e-mail to [email protected] Only one entry per person shall be allowed.

Submission of entries is until August 3, 2012.

Entries will be judged according to appropriateness to contest theme, originality and creativity, style and organization, and language proficiency. The author of the winning essay will receive P30,000 while the second and third placers will bag P20,000 and P15,000, respectively.

The full contest guidelines may be accessed through the PCSA website at celebratepcsa.wordpress.com.

Every year, the bureaucracy celebrates PCSA to commemorate the birth of the Philippine civil service in September 1900. Through various activities, the PCSA aims to promote public service excellence and to highlight the contributions of state workers to national development.



DSWD ADDRESSES COA FINDINGS ON CCT IMPLEMENTATION
Read 426 times | Posted on July 24, 2012 @ 5 years ago

By Social Marketing Service

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) reiterates that the findings on the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) or the Pantawid Pamilya program cited by the 2010 Commission on Audit (COA) report, covering the implementation period of 2007-2009), have been addressed and that the Department has institutionalized stringent rules to minimize operational errors. The COA has in fact accepted the steps taken by the Department to resolve the issues.

DSWD Secretary Dinky Soliman explained that through the Grievance Redress System (GRS) of the Department, validation and assessment are being undertaken regularly to address complaints regarding having non-poor individuals to the program. Complaints desks are set up during community assemblies, re-assessment and validation surveys are also being undertaken by the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR). A dedicated hotline, 0918-912-2813, has been setup to continually receive complaints from the citizenry. All these on-going processes are designed to fine tune the identification of beneficiaries. DSWD had already delisted 6,157 non-poor households as of June 27, 2012.

It was also clarified that the P6.6 billion claimed by the COA as unliquidated funds includes P3 billion undisbursed funds; only P3.6 billion were actually unliquidated as of December 31, 2010. Of the P3 billion undisbursed, some P2.5 billion were already liquidated as of December 5, 2011 while the balance of P593 million was already remitted to the National Treasury. Of the remaining P3.6 billion actually unliquidated as of December 31, 2010, more than P3 billion had already been liquidated while P570 million were awaiting liquidation reports as of June 2012.

The discrepancies in the entries of grantee names in the database are the result of the inadvertent collection of data during initial household enumeration and survey done by the NHTS-PR and adopted by the Pantawid Pamilya. The idle funds generated from the double entries have since been deposited back to the Bureau of Treasury. The Payroll System for the Pantawid Pamilya cash grant distribution has likewise been enhanced to hasten generation of data, avert data duplication and strengthen accountability and security. As a result of this enhanced system, a total of 1,538 duplicated households have been delisted from the System as of June 27, 2012.

On the P9.7 million alleged overpayment for education grants, the amount represents children enrolled in the program whose age were 14 years at the start of the school year but turned 15 during the school year. Per existing policy, these children are only paid assistance for the remainder of the school year. Children who were enrolled but are not attending school are paid the initial grant to encourage them to attend school. However, succeeding payments are based on compliance to the conditionalities.

Presently, the DSWD is conducting a Massive Updating to facilitate immediate adjustments of the households’ records particularly in education. As of June 27, 2012, the records of 346,654 children have been updated.

On the P367.6 million allegedly released to 60,433 non-complying beneficiaries, the Department is implementing the Compliance Verification System (CVS) in all Pantawid Pamilya areas. This monitors households fulfilment of their co-responsibilities set forth by the program. The system is implemented jointly by the DSWD, the Department of Education and the Department of Health as well as the local government units. Attendance sheets and family booklets, likewise, continue to be used by school principals and health personnel for documenting compliance.

Secretary Soliman said that “These concerns about the CCT have been raised in the past. Again, we would like to assure the public that the DSWD has already adopted mechanisms to improve on and ensure the smooth implementation of the Pantawid Pamilya program.”

“Apart from continuously reviewing and improving policies and systems, the DSWD has adopted key strategic measures, which includes setting up partnerships with 364 civil society organizations (CSOs) as third party monitors to ensure transparency and judicious management of funds,” Secretary Soliman concluded.
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