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Government Really Wants to Buy the MRT3 Completely? #ViralInternetLinks

What transpired in the past for this MRT3 buyout really gave much headache to our leaders and all the Filipinos alike. Even the businessmen, workers and media people were squabbling for money that was intended for this transaction.

The 2015 budget that’s been allocated cannot conform to the whole and complete MRT3 buyout of the government, in which, the taxpayer’s money could be extended for it’s not enough even though the government’s trying its best to push through this buyout.

Transportation Secretary Joseph Abaya said that a so-called equity value buyout of the MRT-3’s operator, Metro Rail Transit Corp. (MRTC), was progressing despite thorny legal issues, including the latter’s suit filed in an arbitration court in Singapore. The buyout was ordered by President Aquino last year to end the huge rental fees guaranteed to its private operator.

It’s really known that this buyout needs the approval of MRT Holdings for any transaction by the government. But this talk never happened as what Bob Sobrepena’s expected. The government allotted P56 billion for the EVBO following Executive Order 126 issued by President Benigno Aquino III in February 2013. (An EVBO is a right given to MRTC in case the government is unable to fulfill its obligations.) But private shareholders of the MRTC insist that the value falls short from its total equity value, and pointed out that the P56 billion only accounts for the bonds controlled by the two state-run banks.

The Senate approved such fund through adding the 2015 budget for maintenance and development of MRT3 system, but not for the buyout. The DOTC wanted for the buyout to be completed, in which, they needed another 100 billion pesos for the bonds. The implementation of the equity value buyout (EVBO) of Metro Rail Transit Corp. (MRTC) could start in the first week of January, with the House of Representatives set to approve the P53.9-billion budget for the government’s takeover within the month.

But to effectiveness of the buyout, the government and MRT Corp. (MRTC), the private concessionaire of the train system, must enter into a compromise agreement first. But, through the compromise agreement with the MRTC, the Department of Transportation Commission (DOTC) Secretary Joseph Abayashould initiate such meeting to put forward of this plans. Entering into a compromise contract would effectively end the ongoing arbitration case in Singapore. The case was lodged against the government in 2008 due to its failure, as the operator of the line, to pay billions of rentals payment to the owner of the rail system.

The reason why the government really wants to buy the MRT3 completely is to have a controlled train system for the riding public. The management, operations and development of MRT3 will have a continuous effect to the government revenues than giving it to private institution. But the fact remains, the government couldn’t complete the whole MRT3 buyout because of funding. That’s why they practiced the delaying tactics for the last 6 months until the 2015 budget will save them. The projected budget came short that they needed money for complete buyout. Likewise, the government has not even consulted with Metro Rail Transit Holdings and formally to talk about the buyout.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: A freelance writer who meticulously structured and maintained blogs just for you:A LIFE SO FAR AWAYand my other blog:OFW: THIS IS MY LIFE AND STORY Thank you for your valuable time. Follow my business & writings and you'll find what life's meant to be.


Social Listening and the Art of Conversation #ViralInternetLinks

To know what is being said about your brand everyday in the social sphere, marketers are harnessing the power of social listening to identify newer business opportunities. If you do social listening, you can tell your brand’s story effectively on various social media platforms and see it expanding. The social media metrics help you:

1. Determine whether or not your brand is heard successfully across multiple platforms
2. Get acquainted with your customers and ensure customer satisfaction
3. Evaluate your marketing efforts and their performance/non-performance
4. Schematize better activities in social sphere to enhance your brand’s presence
5. Lend an ear to what you should know about social listening and how it can be made profitable for your brand.

“The art of conversation lies in listening.” –Malcom Forbes

What is Social Listening

Social listening helps to know how users perceive your brand and also if they are avoiding it.

Social listening is one of the few effective techniques to get insights into your brand’s presence in the market. There are many repeated conversations on social networks that can be significant to evaluate a brand’s performance/non-performance/under-performance in social sphere. Customers share their understanding of brand(s), reveal about their buying experience and the utility of the products/services with other online users.

It’s here where the brands and marketers can derive maximum value from their existing or future customers’ two-way conversations. Brands can understand what is being said in their absence and devise new product or marketing strategies/policies to deliver a better experience for their customers.

Here are some direct benefits you can expect from social listening.

1. Get real time insights into customers’ opinions.
2. Measure brand sentiments.
3. Get early opinions on changing customer trends.
4. Get product insights and integrate them with sales strategy.
5. Reach out proactively to customers and address their issues.
6. Join real time conversations and expand your reach.
7. Make social engagement strong and efficient.
8. Keep tabs on the competition.
9. Re-formulate your efforts to improve.
10. Why Social Listening is Important

It may perhaps sound comic, but isn’t really. Dissatisfied customers are coming to social media to voice their views and annoyance on a product/service. It can be damaging for a brand to ignore it. What can be done for this? Probably, “pay attention to what is all being said on social networks,” recommends Brad Shimmin, principal analyst at Current Analysis Inc.

Social listening integrates both social media monitoring and unified communications. Social media monitoring means keeping tabs on market insights, tracking customer conversations, their feedback and criticism. According to Shimmin, “Social listening is important for understanding deeper customer insights, and is considered helpful for effective engagement with them.”

Social Listening: It’s Now Or Never

Customers have a voice on social networks. You should be listening to them, without fail.

Brands should pay heed to their customers’ voices and be able to mediate and take suitable measures. Twitter and Facebook offer several options to measure customer feedback in real time. You can monitor customer support forums and analyze conversations about your brand, as well as of your competitors. The new insights can be helpful to improve your business and deliver good customer services.

The following five steps tell you about how to get real social insights.

1. Stop, Look & Listen

Don’t miss out on this! Listen to all conversations. Gaze carefully at what your customers are saying on major social networks and use them for your brand and product development. For example, give information to your customers when they are seeking to know more about a product.

2. Reach Out & Connect

Join up online conversations and connect with your customers. Share your thoughts to establish faith between your brand and customers.

3. Foster Customer Satisfaction

You should be able to respond to diverse customer reactions. Transform their experiences into reality by addressing their concerns. If possible, set up a social customer service program.

4. Drive Conversions

Use right content to raise sales prospects. Assess the impact of your campaigns by knowing the audience response. You should understand customers’ buying indications and reach out to them.

5.Create Helpful Content

Consider preparing helpful content for your audience. This should aim at helping them at various stages of buying, such as general instructions, guidance, product launch, repeat purchase, special offers, advocacy, testimonials, etc.

Simple Ways to Make Social Listening Better

You know how important social listening is to run two-way conversations to promote online presence of your brand. Consider the following ways to make social listening a better technique to capture mentions of your brand.

Identify Online Communities: It is not easy to monitor your accounts on different social channels and keep a track of all conversations. Therefore, locate communities — such as your competitors, industry, etc. — where people are talking about similar products and services. You should join them and interact with them by talking about their product needs.

Identify Online Volunteers: You can identify your online brand admirers who can help in your endeavor. They can share your brand information in the online communities on Twitter, Facebook, blogs, etc.

Make Improvements: It is important that you not just do social listening, but also improve strategies for your product development. Your customers can say a lot of not-so-nice things about your brand. You got to listen up and make necessary changes. This helps to improve brand loyalty and boost ROI.

Tools for Social Listening

Google Alerts: It is the most inexpensive social listening tool to get real time insights into web, news, etc., based on your queries. It notifies you each time your brand name gets a mention.

HootSuite: More than a social relationship platform, HootSuite is a popular user-friendly social media listening tool, where you can monitor and measure multiple social media accounts to get real time analytics. It informs you about someone even mentioning your brand.

Salesforce: Earlier known as Radian6, Salesforce is a useful tool for marketing professionals in getting real time charts and helpful data to drive business results.

Social Mention: This is a fast real-time social media search and analysis tool to monitor latest online comments, blogs, videos, and other updates about your brand.

The Takeaway

The social networks are becoming a hub of customers’ continuous communication. Customers share their online viewpoints via comments, likes, reviews, blogs, videos, pictures, etc., and rate brands and their products. Listen to real-time customer conversations on social networks for business promotion and hone-in on sales opps.

Source: Alan Smith @SpinxWebDesign and Clickfire


The one-month extended maintenance contract of Autre Potre Technique Global Inc. (APT) would likely be extended until a new maintenance contract is awarded because no bidders showed up last October 28, 2014. The DOTC announced that the rebidding will take place next month after reviewing some of the rules to be considered.

In the first place, why the interested bidders are not totally inclined to the DOTC rules? The main concerns of the bidders are on the contract’s provisions on penalties and performance inductors which could not be realistically follow by them. Bidders have the right of not showing up because of the fact it’s not at all quality-wise rules. The penalty could not sustain the revenue and responsibilities of a maintenance provider when worst-comes-to-worst.

What more can maintenance provider could suffice to gain the dilapidated situation of MRT3 train system? It’s like working with the government with no monetary value whatsoever.

The five prospective bidders were Busan Transport Corp., Mosan-Inekon Phils Ltd. Co., SMRT International Pte Ltd., Miescorrail ,Inc., and D.M. Consunji, Inc. These bidders are interested and willing to be a government partner as long as, the company’s increasing its revenues. Likewise, they are businessmen who for some reason or the other, wanted to be awarded.

Controversies in the past deformed the very essence of MRT3 maintenance image. Some political watchers questioned the delay in the awarding of the contract because of the following negative action before.

(1) The alleged $30-million extortion try of former MRT-3 General Manager Al S. Vitangcol III with Czech firm Inekon Group for the purchase of new trains.

(2) The PH Trams Corp. involved in a pending case before the Office of the Ombudsman did not buy the bid documents for the new contract. But Filipinos didn’t believe for this reason.

The government is now reviewing the terms of reference of the three-year maintenance contract due to the issues raised by prospective bidders and set to republish the new terms and conditions by next month to pave the way for the rebidding.

The rebidding could be determined by which the DOTC can instill new rules that could be applicable to all bidders. Interested bidders could imply such notion to the DOTC terms and conditions, but with the review process at hand. Each bidder wants to be awarded and the willingness to cooperate with the government through the initiative of The Department of Transportation and Communications DOTC Secretary Jun Abaya. He should focus for the upcoming rebidding next month, not for early campaigning in 2016 election of Mar Roxas.

Another reason could be that the contract price was not competitive for the bidders. The government must reconfigure the risk profile to make it more attractive to bidders.

Looking forward for the next bidding and hoping for bidders to show their worth.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: A freelance writer who meticulously structured and maintained blogs just for you:A LIFE SO FAR AWAYand my other blog:OFW: THIS IS MY LIFE AND STORY Thank you for your valuable time. Follow my business & writings and you'll find what life's meant to be.