Monday, July 28, 2008

Is There Such a Thing as Cheap Car Insurance?

I just renewed the auto insurance of my Toyota Vios 2006 model at a cost of P16578.99. Note that half of my insurance premium is shouldered by my company which makes it quite affordable. I don't know which is the best motor vehicle insurance but it's convenient to just talk to my office's admin staff who renewed it for me; same staff I speak to if I need to claim accidents or damage to my car.

My car insurance Deductible/Participation fee went P2950.00/incident from last years P3250.00/incident since it's already two years old. Last year's premium was about P19000 so there's a P1,700.00 drop in annual premium and P300 deduction in deductible/participation fee.

Next year, I will really look for another insurance company to get a better and cheaper auto insurance to replace my insurance broker who's really making me broke.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Maximum ATM Cash Withdrawal Amount per Day in Philippine ATM/Cash Machine

I usually get queries on why i advocate using your own bank's ATM for cash withdrawals and other transactions to avoid transaction charges. This time, I read about a complaint from a foreigner complaining about the P4k limit on ATM withdrawals. Note that since he's withdrawing from his account held in a foreign bank, he'll incur more charges if he needs more than P4k. I suggest he use BancNet ATMs that allow at least P10k per transaction that costs one third transaction fees (you need to transact three times in ATMs of Megalink and ExpressNet thereby incurring three times more charges.

For local bank accounts, you can withdraw your money from the ATM with the following limits:

Allied Bank 20K
Asia United Bank 100K
Banco de Oro
Banco Filipino 20K or 5x withdrawal
Banco San Juan 20K
Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) P20K
Centennial Bank 20K
China Bank 20K (combined w/ POS & IBFT)
Chinatrust Bank 50K
Citibank 150K
Citibank Savings Bank 150K
Citystate Savings Bank 20K
East West Bank 50K (combined w/ IBFT)
Export Bank 40K
Green Bank 20K
Malayan Bank 20K
Metrobank Regular - 30K Special - 50K
NationLink 20K
PBCom 20K
Philippine National Bank (PNB)
Philtrust Bank 20K
Postal Bank 20K
PSBank Gold - 50K Regular - 30K
RCBC 50K (combined w/ IBFT)
RCBC Savings Bank 50K (combined w/ POS & IBFT)
Real Bank 20K
Security Bank Reg. Card - 40K (combined w/ IBFT)
Cashlink - 40K (combined w/ IBFT)
Sterling Bank 40K
Standard Chartered Bank 100K
Tong Yang Bank 50K
Union Bank
World Partners Bank 20K


Data on other banks to follow once available

POS = Point-of-Sale

For BPI, you need to withdraw the P20k at the ATM before withdrawing over the counter.

Limits are imposed by the card issuing bank (where the account is)

BancNet currently allows at least P10k per transaction for member banks. Megalink and ExpressNet lowered this to P4k.

Should you need to withdraw more than P4k, transact at your own bank's ATM, BancNet then Megalink/ExpressNet, in that order of preference (particularly for those using VISA and Mastercard cash advances and Plus, Cirrus, Maestro ATM cash withdrawals from US or foreign banks.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Secret on How to Get a Raise and Promotion

June this year has been good to me. First I got interviewed by Analyn Jusay (AJ) for her column Blog-O-Rama in Manila Bulletin, next is my main blog hit the 100,000 unique visitors,third is that I got new of a hefty raise in my company's annual performance evaluation and lastly is the best of all that effective July 1, 2008, i will be promoted from assistant manager to a full manager with another corresponding salary increase plus increase in my car plan equity and gas allowance from the present 75 liters per month to 100 liters per month, actually more than my needs making the excess liters convertible to cash, that increases every time gas prices go up.

Promotions has been rare for me, in fact, it's only my second time to be promoted. The first one was during my second job. It's because I hopped from one job to the next with a higher level that's why I was able to reach my current rank. I'm presently the youngest member of my company's ManCom (Management Committee).

Regarding the secret on how to get promoted? Nothing really, except for sycophants hanging on to the coat tails of the powers-that-be, the best way actually is pure hard work and continuous self-improvement.

If your boss, don't notice you, there may be other opportunities outside to explore. Lots of job vacancies waiting to be filled up in the Philippines and the world, you just need to equip yourself with the proper skills to fit the job.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Wanted: Chief Information Security Officer

For the nth time this year, a headhunter called me up in the office offerring me jobs referred by my peers. This time, the "headhuntress" was referred by an IS Auditor of large commercial bank looking for a CISO: Chief Information Security Officer.

There are only a few of us Information Security Officers in the Philippines, some of my peers left the country for more lucrative jobs abroad, I'm one of the few who chose to stay put. Some ISOs of banks are also security officers on paper just to comply with BSP (Philippine Central bank) regulations requiring banks to open the information security position. The headhunter was very persuasive, saying I try to explore since the company is one of the largest commercial banks in Makati.

But I was not swayed.

I flatly said no to her offer, which made her curious and said she's actually looking for people happy wit their jobs and not unhappy, worse, disgruntled ones. She asked me why but I can't say a valid reason except I'm happy at where I am presently.

One of the strengths of my company actually is that I'm not that really pressured at work, reason why I can still blog at home. Politics and "airheads" are not present and my officemates are like a family to me.

It's not only salary and compensation at stake here, but a happy working environment. My current pay is much more than I currently need.

Someday maybe...someday...

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Nikon D700 DSLR 12.1 Megapixel Camera

So, the earlier rumors about the new Nikon D700 is true after the latest news about the new camera from Nikon

I would love to see how the ISO 6400 works and see if noise is really acceptable as claimed.

Nikon D700 Key Features

* 12.1 megapixel full-frame sensor (8.45┬Ám pixel pitch)
* Image Sensor Cleaning (vibration) *
* ISO 200 - 6400 (with boost up to ISO 25600 and down to ISO 100)
* Also supports DX lenses, viewfinder automatically masks (5.1 megapixels with DX lens)
* 14-bit A/D conversion, 12 channel readout
* Same ultra-fast startup and shutter lag as D3
* Nikon EXPEED image processor (Capture NX processing and NR algorithms, lower power)
* New Kevlar / carbon fibre composite shutter with 150,000 exposure durability *
* Multi-CAM3500FX Auto Focus sensor (51-point, 15 cross-type, more vertical coverage)
* Auto-focus tracking by color (using information from 1005-pixel AE sensor)
* 95% coverage, 0.72x magnification viewfinder *
* Auto-focus calibration (fine-tuning), fixed body or up to 20 separate lens settings
* Scene Recognition System (uses AE sensor, AF sensor)
* Picture Control image parameter presets
* 5 frames per second continuous with auto-focus tracking*
* Optional MB-D10 Battery Pack (same as D300), increases burst rate to 8 fps *
* UDMA compatible single CF card slot *
* 3.0" 922,000 pixel LCD monitor
* Live View with either phase detect (mirror up/down) or contrast detect Auto Focus
* Virtual horizon indicates if camera is level (like an aircraft cockpit display)
* HDMI HD video output
* 'Active D-Lighting' (adjusts metering as well as applying D-Lighting curve)
* Detailed 'Control Panel' type display on LCD monitor, changes color in darkness
* Magnesium alloy body with connections and buttons sealed against moisture
* Improved Info display on main screen *

I wonder how Nikon D700 prices locally on Hidalgo against Singapore and Hong Kong so I can make a nice hands-on feel and get sample pictures.