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“The Impact of US-Philippine Defense Agreement on BPO Industry and Economic Growth”



The recently signed Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) between the United States and the Philippines has brought about unexpected economic growth for the Southeast Asian nation. The agreement, which was signed in 2014, focuses on strengthening the military alliance between the two countries, but it has also had a significant impact on the Philippine economy.

One of the key beneficiaries of the EDCA has been the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry. The Philippines has long been a hub for BPO companies, with its large English-speaking population and low labor costs making it an ideal location for call centers and other outsourced services. However, the EDCA has provided an additional incentive for American-owned BPO firms to expand their operations in the Philippines.

Under the agreement, the United States has increased its military presence in the Philippines, with American troops now able to use Philippine military bases for training and other activities. This has led to an influx of American personnel and their families, who require a range of services, including housing, transportation, and healthcare. BPO firms have been quick to capitalize on this opportunity, offering a wide range of services to American expatriates and their families.

The result has been a significant boost to the Philippine economy. According to a report by the Business Processing Association of the Philippines, the BPO industry in the country generated $26.3 billion in revenues in 2022, up from $24.6 billion in 2021. This growth has been driven in part by the increase in demand for BPO services from American expatriates.

The impact of the EDCA on the Philippine economy is not limited to the BPO industry. The agreement has also led to increased investment in the country from American companies, as well as greater cooperation between the two countries in areas such as trade and tourism. The Philippine government has welcomed these developments, seeing them as a way to boost economic growth and create jobs for its citizens.

Overall, the EDCA has had a positive impact on the Philippine economy, leading to increased investment, job creation, and economic growth. While the agreement was primarily focused on strengthening the military alliance between the United States and the Philippines, its unintended consequences have been a boon for the Southeast Asian nation.

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Business and Finance

Cheech and Chong’s Global Holding Company and WEECO Pharma GmbH Partner to Bring Iconic Cannabis Brand to European Medical Market

Empowering German Patients: Cheech and Chong’s Global Holding Co. and WEECO Pharma GmbH Unite to Deliver High-Quality Cannabis Products



brown glass bottle on white table
Photo by Nataliya Vaitkevich on

LOS ANGELES ( – Cheech and Chong’s Global Holding Co., a leading cannabis lifestyle brand, is proud to announce its exclusive partnership with WEECO, a European multi-country operator dedicated to patient safety and responsible dispensing of medical cannabis. This strategic collaboration marks Cheech & Chong’s entry into the European medical cannabis market, with WEECO serving as the sole distributor of Cheech & Chong products in Germany.

“We are excited to partner with WEECO to bring our premium cannabis products to the German market,” said Cheech Marin, co-founder of Cheech and Chong’s Global Holding Co. “Germany is a rapidly growing medical cannabis market and we are thrilled to offer our safe and innovative products to the German patients in need.”

“With Cheech and Chong’s Global Holding Co., a true cannabis legend and industry hero enters the arena of pharma grade Cannabis. We are proud to warmly welcome them to the German medical cannabis market,” said Börge Diessel, CEO of WEECO Pharma GmbH. “By combining our proven competencies, we will continue to drive growth and innovation in a developing German cannabis industry. Together, we are committed to further improving the well-being of every German patient in need.”

WEECO Pharma GmbH is the pharmaceutical arm of the WEECO Group and a leading distributor of high-quality cannabis products throughout Europe. Based on multiple years of industry experience in several U.S. states, the company has quickly established itself as a trusted source for premium cannabis products with real dedication to the plant.

“We chose WEECO as our exclusive partner in Germany because of their reputation for excellence within the industry,” said Jonathan Black, CEO of Cheech and Chong’s Global Holding Co. “Their commitment to quality aligns perfectly with ours, making them an ideal collaborator for this venture.”

The partnership between Cheech and Chong’s Global Holding Co. and WEECO represents a powerful combination of two industry leaders, united by their commitment to quality and innovation. With over 50 years of combined experience, both companies have established themselves as leaders in their respective fields. The partnership will allow patients throughout Germany to experience the unique culture and high-quality products that have made Cheech & Chong a household name.

About Cheech and Chong’s Global Holding Co.

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Cheech and Chong’s Global Holding Co. is a leading cannabis lifestyle brand that has been entertaining and educating for over 40 years. Their mission is to provide high-quality, safe, and reliable cannabis products to their customers while promoting the benefits and positive impact of the plant. At Cheech and Chong’s Global Holding Co., they believe that cannabis is more than just a plant; it is a lifestyle that brings people together and promotes well-being. Their company’s history and legacy are rooted in humor and activism, and they continue to honor those values today. Cheech and Chong’s Global Holding Co. is not just a brand; it is a cultural phenomenon that has stood the test of time. At Cheech and Chong’s Global Holding Co., they are dedicated to providing the highest quality cannabis products, promoting sustainability and responsible production practices, and maintaining their legacy as a leading brand in the industry.


Cheech & Chong’s Global Holdings.

About WEECO, GmbH

WEECO unites the world’s most outstanding EU-GMP producers and brands on one single distribution platform. The company holds all necessary approvals and licenses to distribute medical cannabis products in Germany and is permitted to export its products worldwide. Its sustaining commitment to quality made WEECO a well-known actor in shaping the early German Medical Cannabis Landscape and a trusted partner to most of the major domestic brands. The group’s pharmaceutically licensed cannabis breeding and clone-export facilities in Denmark supply L.A. heritage genetics to the world’s leading GMP-Producers and directly to tens of thousands of international Medical Cannabis patients. An active role in the roll-out of the Swiss cannabis pilot projects reflects the group’s laser focus on the forefront of European cannabis legalization and allows it to cater a unique experience into an emerging German recreational- or pilot project scenario.

Source: Cheech and Chong’s Global Holding Co.

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Business and Finance

Top 10 Risky Behaviors of Employees Uncovered by KnowBe4’s SecurityCoach

SecurityCoach delivers real-time coaching in response to risky user behavior



TAMPA BAY, Fla.  /PRNewswire/ — KnowBe4, the provider of the world’s largest security awareness training and simulated phishing platform, today announced that its newest SecurityCoach product has revealed the top 10 risky behaviors that employees have engaged in on their work devices.

SecurityCoach helps IT/security professionals to develop a strong security culture by enabling real-time security coaching of their users in response to risky security behavior. Leveraging an organization’s existing security stack, IT/security professionals can configure their real-time coaching campaigns to immediately deliver a SecurityTip to their users related to a detected event. 

The findings from the top 10 risky behaviors of employees that organizations have detected by integrating SecurityCoach with their existing security offerings include:

  1. Entertainment domain/streaming services
  2. Gaming website
  3. Greymail
  4. Adult website
  5. Unauthorized or malicious application
  6. Risky website detected
  7. Unauthorized removable media
  8. Sharing of personal identifiable information (PII)
  9. Cloud backup or cloud storage
  10. Malicious email attachment opened

The human factor is involved in 82% of data breaches, according to the 2022 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report. However, according to IDC, less than 3% of IT spending is allocated to help secure the human layer.

“With the proliferation of social engineering attacks, employees continue to be the biggest risk factor,” said Stu Sjouwerman, CEO, KnowBe4. “However, with proper training and coaching, they can become a human firewall and your last line of defense. These findings from our new SecurityCoach product are definitely concerning and reiterate the importance of developing a strong security culture.”

To download the infographic, visit

About KnowBe4
KnowBe4, the provider of the world’s largest security awareness training and simulated phishing platform, is used by more than 60,000 organizations around the globe. Founded by IT and data security specialist Stu Sjouwerman, KnowBe4 helps organizations address the human element of security by raising awareness about ransomware, CEO fraud and other social engineering tactics through a new-school approach to awareness training on security. Kevin Mitnick, an internationally recognized cybersecurity specialist and KnowBe4’s Chief Hacking Officer, helped design the KnowBe4 training based on his well-documented social engineering tactics. Tens of thousands of organizations rely on KnowBe4 to mobilize their end users as their last line of defense.

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NASA Funds 200+ Small Businesses for Innovative Tech Development

NASA invests in 200+ small businesses for developing technologies to protect astronauts’ health and reduce space collision risks. #SBIR #STTR



A portion of the International Space Station’s solar arrays caps this nighttime view of Earth with aurora as the orbital complex orbited 258 miles above Ukraine and Russia.
Credits: NASA

NASA has chosen more than 200 small business teams to receive funding for the development of technologies that will safeguard astronauts’ health, reduce spacecraft collision risks, and more. NASA’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs have awarded new funding to a diverse range of American small businesses and research institutions, in addition to eight Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs), to support NASA’s future missions.

Each team will receive $150,000 to demonstrate the feasibility and value of their innovations, for a total investment of $45 million. Small businesses are awarded Phase I SBIR contracts, which last six months, while small businesses partnered with research institutions are awarded Phase I STTR contracts, which last 13 months.

The full lists of this year’s SBIR and STTR awardees are available online. About 30% of the companies selected are first-time NASA SBIR/STTR recipients, including nou Systems Inc., a women-owned small business based in Huntsville, Alabama. Nou Systems has proposed a novel approach to automate DNA monitoring of microbes to help quickly identify those that may pose a threat to astronauts.

This technology could first find use as part of the International Space Station’s biological testing equipment. NASA’s SBIR and STTR programs support pioneering ideas from a range of innovators across the country that may not attract the initial private industry funding needed to thrive.

The program enables NASA to collaborate with small businesses and research institutions in need of government investment. Jenn Gustetic, director of early stage innovation and partnerships for Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) at the agency’s headquarters in Washington, said, “Through these early-stage small business awards, we are inviting more innovators into this growing arena and helping them mature their technologies for not only NASA’s use but for commercial impact.”

To learn more about NASA’s SBIR/STTR program and apply to future opportunities, visit:

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