Union Bank of the Philippines (UnionBank), the country’s leading banking partner of Filipino entrepreneurs, has teamed up with Aboitiz Equity Ventures, Inc. (AEV) for an initiative to ‘tech-up’ micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the tourism sector. The drive is part of UnionBank’s efforts to help entrepreneurs thrive in the digital economy, pushing its Tech-Up Pilipinas advocacy.
A Memorandum of Understanding was recently signed between UnionBank, AEV and the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) for the launch of the “Biyaheng Digiskarte: Angat Turismo” project.
UnionBank, through its MSME platform GlobalLinker (UBGL), together with AEV, will be offering technology-focused training courses to MSMEs that are with the Tourism Promotions Board Membership Program. The said courses are designed to provide learning opportunities that will enable capacity-building and address various gaps in digital competencies for the tourism MSMEs.
“The country’s tourism sector was one of the hardest hit during this pandemic, which is why we want to offer additional training to help MSME owners in the sector hone their digital entrepreneurship skills,” UnionBank Vice President and SME & Micropreneurs Segment Head Jose Paulo Soliman said. “With this, not only will it become easier for them to acclimate to the growing digital economy, it will also help revitalize the tourism sector in general, and somehow the country’s economy,” Soliman added.
Tourism Promotions Board Chief Operating Officer Ma. Anthonette Velasco-Allones shared about the relevance and foreseen impact of the project. “There is a need on our part, in the tourism sector, in terms of building capacities for our stakeholders – to come to terms with the reality that if we don’t go digital, we will be sidelined and get left behind.”
Velasco-Allones said that close to a hundred percent of bookings and channels are being taken advantage of by those who already have online platforms. The rest who have not shifted nor adapted to the technologies have yet to leverage these opportunities.
“We are grateful to Aboitiz and UnionBank for this timely, relevant and much needed partnership,” Velasco-Allones added.
Meanwhile, AEV First Vice President for Corporate External Relations Christopher Camba said, “Partnerships like this, where the private sector and the government join forces and work together, make great impact and clear results. We are more than glad to share our expertise to the tourism industry MSMEs because we strongly believe that in order to achieve economic recovery, all stakeholders must collaborate. And in this case, building digital competencies is the way to go.”
Part of the webinar series is “Biyaheng Digiskarte: Angat Turismo Serye,” to be facilitated by experts in the field led by Eric Caeg, President and Founder of the Retail Academy Philippines (RAP).
The initiative is also part of UnionBank’s GoBeyond Communities, the Bank’s corporate social responsibility and employee volunteering program that encourages UnionBankers to support their personal advocacies through active participation in select projects benefitting chosen communities.
From left to right: UBP Marketing Manager Marga Bellosillo, UBP SVP and Chief Marketing Officer Albert Cuadrante, UBP VP – Partnerships Roanna Chua, UBP EVP and Chief Human Resources Officer Michelle Rubio, UBP VP – SME and Micropreneurs Segment Head Jose Paulo Soliman, TPB Chief Operating Officer Ma. Anthonette Velasco-Allones, AEV FVP – Corporate External Relations Christopher Camba, TPB Deputy COO Jocelyn Patrice Deco, AEV Manager for Corporate External Relations Marc Alejo, UBP CSR and Sustainability Head Angelica Justo-Ozaeta