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Here’s where you can donate to the COVID-19 outbreak efforts

Donate from the safety of your own home

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With the World Health Organization declaring the COVID-19 a pandemic, medical workers around the world have been busy fighting the outbreak. One way to help them is to lend donations and financial assistance. Many organizations around the world have set up a donation drive to aid the efforts in combating the outbreak.

Here’s a few of them where you can also donate:

We will update this article for new donation sites. Hit refresh from time to time to see these updates.

World Health Organization

The World Health Organization has its own donation drive that you can participate in by visiting their website.  The COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund facilitates easy donations from individuals, businesses, and organizations. They can choose to donate from USD 25 up to USD 2,500. If they’re feeling generous, they can donate a custom amount of money that will go a long way in combating the pandemic.

GCash

GCash is also holding a voluntary cash donation within its app. All of the money raised from the app shall go to seven partner organizations that help medical workers in combating the outbreak. The company has already raised approximately PhP 2.2 million as of March 20. To donate, simply download the GCash app or go to this site.

PayMaya

People who use the alternative to GCash — Paymaya — can also donate to select partner organizations. The company has partnered with the Philippine Red Cross, UNICEF, Caritas Manila, Oxfam, and others for this donation drive. Anyone willing to donate must head over to this website, select their preferred organization, choose the type of donation, and pay online via card or mobile number linked to their account.

Lazada


As part of their Lazada for Good campaign, the company has spearheaded a donation drive that can be accessed here. The donation drive is up and running for all the countries where Lazada operates — that includes the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, among others. Clicking over the link will take people to a country-specific Lazada site where they can donate to country-specific organizations.

Help from Home

This website provides a centralized hub for websites where you can donate to vulnerable people. The websites are arranged according to the group of people you wanted to help or give a donation to. Anyone can donate to medical workers or families affected by the ongoing lockdown on various parts of the Philippines by going over the site.

UNICEF

UNICEF — the UN-attached agency responsible for initiatives aimed towards children worldwide — also its own donation site where you can donate a certain amount of money. The donated money will go towards providing protective equipment to health workers in partner hospitals. Those donating can opt to pay with PayPal, GCash, or through their online banking providers.

SEE ALSO:

5 things to do while stuck indoors


As general rules, the CDC or The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention listed these to help with preventing the spread of COVID-19:

  • Stay home when sick
  • Cover coughs and sneezes
  • Frequently wash hands with soap and water
  • Clean frequently touched surfaces

Finance

India’s new SMS regulation creates havoc for banks, essential services

SMS deliveries have been down for days

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Indian telecom service providers started implementing the second phase of a new SMS regulation, disrupting essential services like OTP (one-time passwords), bank updates, and e-commerce messages. This is an industry-wide issue affecting everything, including India’s identity verification program called Aadhaar and the Coronavirus vaccination portal called CoWIN.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recently issued a guideline that mandated verifying every SMS and its content before delivery. The process is technically called scrubbing and was implemented on March 8, 2021. As a result, unverified and unregistered SMS messages were blocked by telcos.

TRAI says that scrubbing helps reduce spam or misleading messages that pretend to be from a financial institution. The process helps in differentiating between promotional and transactional messages. To control fraud, a blockchain-based solution is used by telcos to check every SMS’ header and content. If the source isn’t registered, the message won’t go through.

Telcos say that they simply followed the upgrade regulations and that telemarketers and companies are yet to join the formal registration process. Unfortunately, neither the telcos nor the banks have issued a statement to address public outrage.

Every transaction done by a credit or debit card is authenticated on the spot via a preset PIN or SMS OTP in India. For online transactions, a vast majority of users rely on OTPs, and these just aren’t getting delivered. Even SMS updates about a transaction aren’t able to go through. Telcos pushed back and pinned the blame on companies and their lax adoption, which have failed to comply with regulatory standards.

According to BloombergQuint, Axis Bank, one of India’s largest private banks, can deliver only 25 to 30 percent of the total messages. In the meantime, users are suggested to rely on alternative authentication services like Verified by Visa.

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Huawei P50 will launch with HarmonyOS out of the box

Bye Android

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Because of the ongoing American ban, Huawei is rapidly plummeting down the ranks. Though the company is already struggling to replace multiple components across the board, everything started with the loss of Google. Fortunately, they are already developing an Android alternative called HarmonyOS. However, the supposedly independent operating system is still nowhere to be found. Reportedly, its time has come. According to a Weibo source, the Huawei P50 series will come with HarmonyOS out of the box.

In the now-deleted source (captured by GSMArena), Huawei has already completed the second beta testing phase of its upcoming HarmonyOS and is readying for its third phase. Further, a final release is impending. According to the source, the upcoming P50 series will already come with the system from the get-go.

For existing Huawei users, though, the HarmonyOS beta is already available for anyone who wants to opt in. Naturally, doing so might not be the best decision yet, especially since it’s still in beta. Further, the ecosystem is still building itself into a thriving one.

Despite the software’s continuous development, it hasn’t been free from controversy. According to past rumors, HarmonyOS is apparently still based on Android’s software, specifically AOSP. If it’s true by the final release, the company hasn’t strayed away from its Android roots.

The Huawei P50 series is set to launch sometime this month.

SEE ALSO: Huawei P50 series still coming in March

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Huawei Mate 40 Pro now available with Smart postpaid plans

Starting at PhP 2,899 per month

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Huawei’s latest flagship, the Mate 40 Pro, can now be had on Smart’s Signature postpaid plans. For as low as PhP 2,899 per month, you can have the latest and the greatest from Huawei plus all the perks from Smart.

The perks include 15GB of data with rollover, unlimited texts and calls to all networks, and free 150 minutes of calls to local PLDT numbers. You will need to pay a PhP 9,800 one-time cashout.

If you want to make the most out of your device plan, apply now until March 31 to get a free, exclusive ring light case worth PhP 3,999. Physical store applications will net you a free wireless table lamp worth PhP 2,499 from March 12 to April 30.

Freebies for Huawei devices

Now is the best time also to check out Smart’s postpaid plans for Huawei devices. Every Huawei P40 Pro+, Nova series, and Y series postpaid plans now come with freebies worth up to PhP 20,990. You can grab this amazing deal only at Smart stores nationwide until March 31, 2021.

To know more about this offer, visit Smart’s website today.

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