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5th CUTTING EDGE CONFERENCE 2022 INFO PACK # 2

Updated: Oct 30, 2022




Dear IT Phils Eagles and Friends,


In less than a month, we will see each other in the beautiful city of SINGAPORE. We are so excited for this gathering.


Some additional instructions:


A. IMMIGRATION REQUIREMENTS for both PHILIPPINES & SINGAPORE


1. We will have a pre-departure briefing to best prepare you on your immigration encounters – both in the Philippines and in Singapore. The dates and time will be communicated to all of you and will be posted as announcements on our Facebook page.


2. All documents that may be asked from you by immigration officers will be provided by our office. Please … show the documents only when asked by the immigration officer!


B. CURRENT VACCINATION REQUIREMENTS


a. Departure from MANILA … the airline check in personnel may ask you about the status of your vaccination and may demand the following …

1. FOR VACCINATED INDIVIDUALS:

a) NO RESTRICTIONS ON VACCINATED INDIVIDUALS

b) SHOW VACCINATION CERTIFICATES (Vax Cert or Bureau of Quarantine Yellow Passport)

- VAX CERTIFICATES are retrieved ONLINE (Free)

- YELLOW PASSPORTS are secured from Bureau of Quarantine office or its satellite centers in malls.

2. FOR UNVACINNATED

a) RT PCR TEST taken within 48 hours prior to departure

b) INSURANCE (includes Covid Coverage)

b. Arrival in SINGAPORE… upon arrival there are ground staffs who will simply ask you if you have accomplished already Singapore E-Arrival Card. If you respond positively, they will point to the immigration counter.


1. FOR VACCINATED INDIVIDUALS:

a) NO RESTRICTIONS ON VACCINATED INDIVIDUALS

b) BRING VACCINATION CERTIFICATES (Vax Cert or Bureau of Quarantine Yellow Passport … in case yu are asked to present it to the immigration officer.

- VAX CERTIFICATES are retrieved ONLINE (Free)

- YELLOW PASSPORTS are secured from Bureau of Quarantine office or its satellite centers in malls.

c) FILL UP Singapore E-Arrival Card (Online … preferably before departure from Manila)

d) Download and fill up the TRACE TOGETHER app

2. FOR UNVACINNATED

a) RT PCR TEST

b) INSURANCE (includes Covid Coverage)

c) Fill up Singapore E-Arrival Card

d) Download and fill up TRACE TOGETHER app

LINK to SINGAPORE VACCINATION REQUIREMENTS: https://www.ica.gov.sg/enter-transit-depart/entering-singapore


c. Departure from SINGAPORE … their immigration area is fully automated which means you will just go through machines for verification of your passport and to have your picture taken. No more human interaction.


d. ARRIVAL in NAIA (Manila) … you must accomplish an E-Arrival card by downloading the application ONE HEALTH PASS and fill it up completely. You will be asked to present it upon arrival. For those unvaccinated, as of this writing, you will be placed under quarantine for several days. Let’s pray that this be lifted and no longer be required.




C. COVID PROTOCOL AT THE CONFERENCE


1. Anyone who gets feverish,37.5C and above, must undergo RT PCR test., If found positive, you will be placed in an isolation room and separate you from the rest. If the person with fever happens to share a room, all the individuals in the room must also undertake RTPCR tests. Those tested positive will be quarantined /isolated for 7 days before they are allowed to leave.


2. Since we have filled up all the rooms, we will need to reassign some missionaries to other rooms so we could contain the spread of Covid. in the event of a positive case. We will assign an isolation room for the affected missionary.


3. RT PCR or Antigen tests would be charged at the cost of SGD 5.


4. More will be discussed at our PRE-DEPARTURE BRIEFING.



D. TRAVEL FROM AIRPORT TO THE VENUE (Salvation Army @ Upper Bukit Timah)

1. You have several options: Airport Taxi or Grab car (expensive) , Bus or MRT Train. I recommend taking the train (cheaper and easier)


2. Exchange your US$ or whatever currency to the local SGD or Singaporean Dollars at any Currency Exchange Counter that you’ll see at the airport

The exchange rate as of October 25 is USD 100 = SGD 142. (Phil Pesos @ 5,879)


3. Buy an MRT CARD (New EZ LINK Card) at the MRT Station or at the Currency Exchange counter in the airport. The cost of an MRT card at the MRT Station is SGD10 with a load value of SGD 5. The MRT Card cost SGD 12 at the Currency Exchange but with a load of SGD 7. It is almost the same as the one you’ll get at the MRT Station. The cost of the card is SGD 5 and non-refundable. You may want to add a SGD 5 load for your use in your tour of the many wonderful sites in the city.

If your load goes below SGD 3, the gate will most likely reject with a “screen explanation: Insufficient Value - which means you need to reload already. You may reload at any of the Reloading Machines situated near the entry/ exit points in the Station or do it directly at the Train Station Administration Center.




MRT Cards can be used on all the MRT trains and buses.

If you possess and old EZ Link card, it is possibly invalid already for use. You may have it checked before procuring one.




4. The MRT Station at the airport is in TERMINAL 3. If you arrive in another Terminal, look for the SKYTRAIN and it will bring you to T3 (for free!) There are 4 terminals that are interconnected and served by SKYTRAIN. Please take note that CHANGI Airport besides having the distinction as the best and most beautiful airport in the world for several years, happen to be one of the biggest too. So, to walk from one terminal to the next may be somewhat challenging special to our senior missionaries.



5. You’ll see MRT maps posted in so many locations inside the train station. Get a screenshot of the MRT map which initially will look like a maze but with a few explanations, you’ll find it easier to understand and use. (Explanation on the next section) You may also download the MRT map from Google.




6. As soon as you reach the entry section with guard rails, tap your MRT card on the card reader with a small sign indicating:” please tap card here”. The machine will scan your card and indicate on the screen the value stored in the card and automatically open the guard rails to allow you to pass thru. You do the same when you exit the station.



7. From here, try to determine what train you’ll take. There are only two options – one to your left and the other train, to your right. Both running on the same line but in opposite directions. In Changi Airport, it is a Final Destination and a Starting Point station, you may take any train (left or right) and go to the next station, The EXPO STATION. As soon as the train arrives, you transfer to the DOWNTOWN LINE or BLUE LINE as shown on the map. Before you ride a train, please look at the map and check if the train you are to board on is heading in that direction. It is long train ride from the airport with around 28 station stops before you reach your destination – HILLVIEW STATION.






8. AS you exit the Hillview station, please look at the street directions and choose to go to the UPPER BUKIT TIMAH ROAD / DAIRY FARM ROAD (not the UPPER BUKIT TIMAH ROAD / HILLVIEW ROAD) . As soon your escalator reaches the street level, you’ll see in big view the SALVATION ARMY building, You have finally arrived .. congratulations!!!





9. As soon your escalator reaches the street level, you’ll see in big view the SALVATION ARMY building, You have finally arrived .. CONGRATULATIONS!!!







E. HOW TO READ THE MRT MAP & IMPORTANT THINGS TO REMEMBER WHEN TRAVELING VIA THE MRT


1. MRT LINES: Each MRT Train have an assigned route called LINES that bring passengers from point to point. The lines are usually named after the last station where the train is heading. Since, Singapore have many lines passing through several levels in the same station, the best way to identify them is through their assigned COLOR scheme. The Changi Airport Station is called GREEN Line which connects to another line on the next station (Expo). You then transferred to the BLUE Line or commonly called DOWNTOWN LINE and the train you took is in the direction of BUKIT PANJANG (the last station in the Blue Line)

Operating Lines are as follows:

a. RED LINE or North South Line

b. GREEN LINE or East West Line

c. PURPLE LINE or North East Line

d. YELLOW LINE or Circle Line

e. BLUE LINE or Downtown Line

f. GRAY LINE or Bukit Panjang, Sengkang & Pungol Line


Don’t worry, everything will make sense once you start to use the MRT’s around the city.





2. SHOES TO WEAR: Often, moving from station to station will be at great distance. Please be sure to wear comfortable walking or running rubber shoes and not the fancy leather or high heeled shoes. You are warned!


3. LEFT SIDE ALWAYS: Singaporeans walk on the left lane. They stay in the left side of the escalators. Please do not go against the flow! They drive on the left side of the road.




4. NO EATING, NO DRINKING. It is prohibited to eat or drink inside the train or even in the station, except in restaurants that are present once you have exited the gate already. There is a big fine when you are caught – kahit hindi sinasadya!





5. LINE MAPS/DIRECTIONS and SIGNAGES: Maps and signages are posted in every strategic area and will guide you to where you want to go. Please read and double read before making the final decision on the direction you would take.






6. GOOGLE: Before you use the MRT, Google the place where you want to go and take note of the closest MRT Station. Figure in your mind how you will travel and with the screenshot of the MRT map in your Smartphone try to visualize the lines you will take, and the possible line transfers you will have to make. Do not go out of the station, if you will transfer lines and could not find the other line. It is there! You just need patience and extra leg work to check where it is located. If you still could not find it, do ask any Train ground personnel to assist you.


7. RESERVED SEATS: There are designated seats for the handicapped and seniors. They are normally near the entrance /exit area of the train and are colored differently.


8. STATION ANNOUNCEMENTS: Every train have a prerecorded announcements to inform all passengers of the name of the next station. On most trains, you’ll see the names of the stations with red lighted dot on the current station that your train is in. You will be able to count the remaining stations and know where to alight.




9. MRT LOGO: If you are searching for an MRT Station close to where you are, you just need to spot the LOGO (like the IT logo) and the station is right there. (It could be inside the mall or in a regular street). It would be good to ask around. Singaporeans are friendly and will surely assist you. All of them speak English.




10. AUTOMATIC DOORS: Singapore have a unique station where they have glass doors enclosure, that opens simultaneously when the train doors open. They had it installed to prevent tragic loss of life cases. There were cases in the past where mentally disturbed individuals would just jump at the rails to face the incoming train.




11. PROPER BOARDING: Wait on the left or right side and not on the middle. The middle section is to allow the quick flow of people exiting the train and those coming in will have to slide from the side. Don’t block the flow!!


F. ACCOMODATIONS


Option 1: Salvation Army Venue: We are so sorry! All the available rooms in Salvation Army were already taken by our group. The rooms are limited and could only accommodate around 164. There are no more rooms or extra beds that could be provided.


Option 2: Dormitory type or Capsule type accommodation. Hotel rates are higher in Singapore than in most Asian countries. These types of accommodations are available in most parts of Singapore. We are negotiating with some hotels either for a volume discount or a special arrangement where they will allow two individuals to share a single size bed and 3 individuals on a King size bed.


Option 3: Geylang group of hotels. The Geylang area is known in Singapore as a red district area. But a quick visit will show you that it is far from being the typical notorious night place associated with sinful activities. It looks like most of the places around Singapore except with a big number of budget type or affordable hotels or 1 -2-star hotels. The rates though are still higher than what you’ll see across Asia with the same type of hotels. When using booking sites like Agoda or Booking.com, use Geylang as the specific location choice. The site will show you all the available hotels and their rates for the day.


Option 4: Church Facilities. We are still on the lookout for churches who would be willing to offer their doors to accommodate our missionaries. In our past conferences, churches graciously allowed us the use of their guest rooms and even their sanctuary for free to our financially challenged missionaries. We will announce right away if we find a church who will respond positively. We also requested our missionaries based in Singapore to help us in this search.



G. COVID PROTOCOL AT THE CONFERENCE


1. Anyone who gets feverish,37.5C and above, must undergo RT PCR test., If found positive, you will be placed in an isolation room and separate you from the rest. If the person with fever happens to share a room, all the individuals in the room must also undertake RTPCR tests. Those tested positive will be quarantined /isolated for 7 days before they are allowed to leave.


2. Since we have filled up all the rooms, we would have to move some to other rooms in the event of a positive case. We will assign an isolation room for the affected missionary.

3. RT PCR or Antigen tests would be charged at the cost of SGD 5.

4. More will be discussed at our PRE-DEPARTURE BRIEFING.


H. SINGAPORE CITY TOUR


1. We will be discussing at the next Info Pack the Pre and Post Conference activities – optional tours to special sites. Missionaries in Training who signed up for ACCESS 2 will follow an itinerary set by our SEA WORSKSOPS TEAM and will have to go to Malaysia. The rest will have their options open to any trips or activities in and out of the city. They are welcome to join the Malaysia leg as well. We will be presenting suggestions on good places to go to and activities to do while in SINGAPORE on our next posting.



I. REMINDERS:


1. ALWAYS …. Throw trash in the garbage or trash bin. Cross streets only on pedestrian lanes. When using escalators stand on the left side. Refrain from eating or drinking in MRT’s. Beware of chewing gums (Chiclets). Please take these seriously less be fined, Singapore is known as “The fine city” due to the large amount of penalty fee one needs to pay when he causes an infraction against the law.




2. COURTESY. … After meals in any restaurant, return plates and utensils to designated areas. Some have robots who will come to take the plates from you when you’re done. Just don’t leave them on the table.


3. SMARTPHONE. … everyone must bring their own smartphones. Immigration in Singapore requires every visitor to their country to complete Arrival cards and Health Declaration forms electronically. You will receive an email response from them.


4. ROAMING SERVICE: Please ask your service provider (Globe, Smart etc...) if they could activate your phone for International Roaming. When you are on roaming, your friends and loved ones can call you or text message wherever you are. Warning the cost of roaming services is high. When activated your mobile phone will be able to receive text messages and calls from the Philippines, for free. HOWEVER, once you start to answer the call or send a reply text, the cost to you is extremely high. Better purchase a local SIM card that you can use to respond to text messages.



J. PRAYERS and INTERCESSION: Please always include the conference and the organizing staffs in your prayers. Pray also for GOD’s provision for all those who will be attending the conference.


We’ll this is it for now! I’m excited and looking forward to another great East Asia Regional conference.


See you next month … much blessings!


Ptr. Gani Sison



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