BSP, DOF chiefs commend UnionBank for first-in-industry ‘Innovation Campus’

Published June 2, 2021, 8:00 AM

by MB Business

Union Bank of the Philippines (UnionBank) recently held the virtual groundbreaking ceremony for its ‘Innovation Campus’ last May 26 via Zoom, marking a major milestone in the Bank’s digital transformation journey that started five years ago and garnering thecommendation of top figures in the country’s banking and financespace.

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Benjamin Diokno congratulated the Bank for building a facility that will help the Philippines strengthen its digital capabilities much faster especially now when the country is starting to slowly regain it’s economic footing after being held back by the pandemic.

“Indeed, this initiative is both timely and remarkable; timely because we need to harness our talents and skills to build back better and rise from adversity, and remarkable because of the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Gov. Diokno.

Meanwhile, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez is confident in the Campus’ capability to nurture the inherent ability of Filipinos to innovate, calling it a “landmark” in the country’s collective efforts to achieve inclusive digitization.

“This facility will be a breeding ground for cultivating new talent, evolving new products, and developing new ways to be competitive in the new economy. It is a landmark for the Philippines’ relentless push towards comprehensive digitization,” Sec. Dominguez said.

“UnionBank has earned a well-deserved reputation for cutting edge innovation. The Bank has also been a reliable partner of the Social Security System and the Bureau of Treasury that enabled Filipinos all over the world to participate in the government’s bond offerings despite the pandemic. The Bank has been instrumental in helping us achieve President Duterte’s goal of financial inclusion and a comfortable life for all Filipinos,” he added.

The UnionBank Innovation Campus is a real property development and a first-in-industry facility designed to help the Bank further strengthen its innovation initiatives and future-proof its digital transformation. Now being built on a one-hectare property in San Pedro, Laguna, the facility will act as a hub for research and development that will further boost the Bank’s digital capabilities.

In addition, the campus will house various centers of innovation within UnionBank, including its institutes on Data Science and Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, its digital bank EON, as well as the recently-launched Asian Institute of Digital Transformation (AIDT), which is in partnership with Global Learning Solutions Singapore.

Set as the peak of its digital transformation, the Campus provides a digital native environment which will allow research and discovery of digital initiatives.

According to UnionBank President and CEO Edwin Bautista, the facility is a dream come true and a testament to the commitment of Management and the Board to innovation as a major strategic thrust” of the Bank and its parent conglomerate, the Aboitiz Group.

“This is a major step for us and it is also an affirmation that even during this crisis times, there are companies who continue to invest in the future of the Philippines. The Philippine government, or one of the Secretaries, said that the Philippines can be a major hub for AI, maybe in Asia. We can certainly make this little corner in San Pedro, Laguna, the epicenter of AI, Blockchain and all those wonderful technologies that this Bank is harnessing in order to create the future of banking,” Bautista said.

In his closing speech on behalf of the Board of Directors, UnionBank Vice Chairman Dr. Justo A. Ortiz expressed his gratitude to all those who birthed the UnionBank Innovation Campus, “a project we can all be proud of as one more step towards attaining UnionBank’s greater purpose of co-creating, with partners, customers, and communities, a better Philippines through innovation.” “Special thanks as well to Gov. Ben Diokno and Sec. Sonny Dominguez for creating the enabling environment, the impetus and the drive to make innovation a centerpiece for inclusive prosperity.  Together, let us Tech Up Pilipinas! Maraming Salamat,” Ortiz ended.