SO­CIAL UP­HEAVAL?

Startup apps and web­sites that make life eas­ier in Cebu

Sun.Star Cebu Weekend - - Front Page - Text: Pa­tri­cia May P. Catan & Deneb R. Batu­can

BE­YOND SO­CIAL MEDIA, CEBU GEARS UP FOR A TECHVOLUTION

Ev­ery day, count­less in­di­vid­u­als in the tech­nol­ogy in­dus­try are try­ing to find fast and re­li­able so­lu­tions to all kinds of prob­lems, be it be a faster way to get food de­liv­ered right at your doorstop or a safer trans­porta­tion op­tion. Peo­ple who have a revo­lu­tion­ary way of think­ing use their nog­gin to make bet­ter op­tions that make life eas­ier for the or­di­nary Filipino.

Tech star­tups have been get­ting recog­ni­tion as their apps and web­sites have sig­nif­i­cantly helped a lot of peo­ple. Their rad­i­cal ideas have come into fruition, and from the seedling of an idea, it has now, in re­al­ity, helped many peo­ple in all walks of life.

SunS­tar Week­end shines light into three Filipino-made tech star­tups — two of which are the brain­child of Cebu-based vi­sion­ar­ies — that have made an im­pact in the daily lives of Ce­buanos, if not dis­rupt the sta­tus quo in a most pos­i­tive way.

NAMBAL.COM

This health in­for­ma­tion sys­tem is a project of the Univer­sity of the Philip­pines-Depart­ment of Science and Tech­nol­ogy (DOST) Tech­nol­ogy Busi­ness In­cu­ba­tor. The name was de­rived from the Ce­buano word “man­anam­bal,” which means “healer.”

At Nambal.com, pa­tients and med­i­cal pro­fes­sion­als would be con­nected in a con­ve­nient way. From the pa­tient to the med­i­cal pro­fes­sional to the phar­macy to the med­i­cal lab­o­ra­tory, all the health in­for­ma­tion needed is just at the click of a but­ton.

Mem­bers of Nambal.com would be able to record your cur­rent health con­di­tion where the web­site would lead to your med­i­cal his­tory and you get to share it with the doc­tor of your choice. It also has the data­base where you can find the right spe­cial­ist you would need and make ap­point­ments at the web­site it­self. Pa­tients would also be able to en­joy a has­sle-free elec­tronic pre­scrip­tion and lab­o­ra­tory re­sults.

Janessa Velez, one of its founders, be­lieves that hav­ing a uni­fied health­care sys­tem and ac­cess to the right health in­for­ma­tion can re­sult to a higher qual­ity of health­care for all. That is why she and her team de­cided to make this health­care start-up—to con­nect pa­tients from all classes to the right med­i­cal care that they would need. Smart­phone Home Page. At the

Nambal.com home page, you will see in­for­ma­tion on what Nambal can do for its users like have an on­line health record and med­i­cal his­tory, search for med­i­cal spe­cial­ists that fit your needs, have on­line con­sul­ta­tions and make med­i­cal ap­point­ments. Desk­top Per­sonal Dash­board. When you log in you ac­count, it di­rects you to the Pa­tient's Dash­board where you can see all your health in­for­ma­tion like med­i­cal his­tory, med­i­ca­tion taken, pre­scrip­tions, al­ler­gies, pro­ce­dures taken as well as your emer­gency con­tact. Th­ese in­for­ma­tion can be shared with a doc­tor of your choice, which you can also find at Nambal.

The mo­bile ver­sion of the web­site and app are still in de­vel­op­ment, but peo­ple can now reg­is­ter for free and build your own med­i­cal pro­file as well as look for the right kind of spe­cial­ists for your needs.

ANGKAS

Since it was launched in Cebu last July, Angkas has al­ready gained a fol­low­ing, es­pe­cially with those who need to rush safely through the de­bil­i­tat­ing traf­fic in Cebu.

Angkas started in Metro Manila and pro­vides a bet­ter op­tion for com­muters who need a fast so­lu­tion for their traf­fic woes. Al­though the cre­ators can­not mag­i­cally solve the traf­fic sit­u­a­tion in the coun­try, they do be­lieve that mo­tor taxis (or ha­bal-ha­bal) give com­muters a ver­sa­tile and flex­i­ble way to beat the rush hour that most four-wheeled ve­hi­cles can’t.

And since half the ve­hi­cle sales in the Philip­pines go to mo­tor­bikes, it was a no-brainer that mo­tor­cy­cles would be­come a trans­porta­tion ser­vice for many peo­ple. Even be­fore Angkas was made, mo­tor­cy­cles have al­ways been the top mode of trans­porta­tion in far-flung moun­tain barangays.

So how does the mo­bile app work? Angkas is sim­i­lar to Grab and Uber where it quickly matches the app user to its nearby bik­ers. The only dif­fer­ence is, you will be rid­ing a mo­tor­cy­cle that could very well man­age through the seem­ingly in­fi­nite grid­locks in the city. Sim­ply

down­load the app (Google Play or App Store), book a ride at a fixed rate, and wait for the biker to ar­rive in min­utes.

Angkas worked hand in hand with the Cebu City Gov­ern­ment be­fore it was of­fi­cially launched, dur­ing which they trained ha­bal-ha­bal drivers in the city by pro­vid­ing them with the nec­es­sary tools and skills to be safe and cour­te­ous bik­ers.

An­other great thing about Angkas is that pas­sen­gers get a face mask, hair cap and hel­met (and a rain­coat if it’s rain­ing) at each ride as well as a per­sonal ac­ci­dent in­sur­ance.

MICAB

The brain­child of Ed­die Ybañez, Micab orig­i­nated from a sim­ple re­al­iza­tion that blos­somed into an in­ter­est­ing idea, which was later brought to life in Novem­ber 2012 with the aid of Ken­neth Bay­lo­sis.

From its hum­ble be­gin­nings and con­tin­ued de­mand for an eas­ier and con­ve­nient way of hail­ing a taxi, Micab has now pro­vided re­li­able ser­vices for pas­sen­gers and in turn gave op­por­tu­ni­ties to rep­utable taxi fleet com­pa­nies and taxi drivers.

In a way, Micab has changed the char­ac­ter of th­ese com­pa­nies and drivers as it en­ables them to reach the pas­sen­gers ef­fi­ciently and ef­fec­tively while giv­ing taxi rid­ers the qual­ity ride they de­serve.

“There's a need for ac­count­abil­ity, safety and dis­ci­pline in the cur­rent pub­lic trans­port ecosys­tem aside from con­ve­nience. Micab is pro­vid­ing a work­ing sys­tem that lets pas­sen­gers and drivers rate them­selves based on their per­for­mance as well as a way to track and re­port any neg­a­tive in­ci­dents and ex­pe­ri­ences," Ybañez shared. "We sep­a­rate good taxi drivers from the bad ones and con­nect them to

good cus­tomers through our hail­ing al­go­rithm, re­sult­ing in pos­i­tive taxi ride ex­pe­ri­ence.” Chang­ing the ma­jor­ity’s views and opin­ions when speak­ing about val­ues of the taxi in­dus­try and com­mu­nity, Micab en­sures the com­muters a safer and cleaner ride through an ex­clu­sive part­ner­ship with Ken Taxi and Light of Glory Taxi com­pa­nies. The men­tioned com­pa­nies guar­an­tee to main­tain their brand and pre­mium ser­vice that they cham­pion as Micab caters to their loyal and in­creas­ing pas­sen­gers. Tim­ing wise and also for be­ing still a startup cab book­ing app, Micab didn't re­ceive all pos­i­tive feed­back from their mar­ket es­pe­cially in Metro Manila. How­ever, peo­ple are still mes­sag­ing the com­pany, say­ing that they are look­ing for­ward to its re­lease, which is in the next two months. “Cus­tomers need op­tions and this is where we come in by pro­vid­ing an af­ford­able al­ter­na­tive, but with the same ride qual­ity that the ex­ist­ing Trans­port Net­work Com­pa­nies (TNCs) of­fer,” Ybañez said. With the promise of giv­ing ev­ery pas­sen­ger a safer and cleaner ride ex­pe­ri­ence, Micab is fo­cused on cre­at­ing a strate­gic eco-sys­tem for taxi com­pa­nies, drivers and pas­sen­gers. Micab also puts em­pha­sis on safety, re­li­a­bil­ity, af­ford­abil­ity, and con­ve­nience mak­ing trav­el­ing eas­ier a re­al­ity for mil­lions of Filipinos. Fur­ther ren­der­ing prime ser­vice for its loyal users, Micab will be in­cor­po­rat­ing fixed fare pric­ing based on the Land Trans­porta­tion Fran­chis­ing and Reg­u­la­tory Board or LTFRB's for­mula. They will also be en­abling a re­port­ing fea­ture wherein rid­ers can re­port any bad be­hav­iors through the app. Micab is in­deed the new­est mo­bile ap­pli­ca­tion for book­ing your next cab ride while sig­nif­i­cantly chang­ing the way you travel and mak­ing trans­porta­tion a peace of mind for every­body bring­ing peo­ple and their cities closer. Ex­pe­ri­ence the safest and most com­fort­able ride to­day by down­load­ing Micab on Google Play or the App Store avail­able in Cebu and Iloilo. Us­ing the Micab app is a no has­sle be­cause all you have to do is en­ter your pick-up and des­ti­na­tion point and tap “Get micab”.

In Cebu, you can down­load Micab on Google Play or the App Store, then book a taxi ride with ex­clu­sive Micab part­ners.

Just down­load the Angkas app via Google Play or App Store, then book a ride with a mo­tor­cy­cle at a fixed rate.

Ed­die Ybañez, founder of Cebu-based cab-hail­ing app Micab

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Philippines

© PressReader. All rights reserved.