MOVING forward, the main challenge, aside from averting new Covid infections and ensuring proper vaccine administration, is "to ensure the re-orientation of our institutions towards sustained and inclusive economic growth."

This was the message of Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala (Jaza), chairman and CEO of the Ayala Group, during an online forum of Shareholders' Association of the Philippines (SharePHIL) which had the theme "Inclusive Growth Through Smart Investing."

Led by Ortigas Land Chairman and President/CEO Jimmy Ysmael, SharePHIL is a non-profit organization that advocates for shareholder rights and education. Organized in 2010, SharePHILis patterned after the Securities Investors Association for Singapore, another non-profit organization advocating for sustainable stakeholder relations, investor education and protection, as well as promoting fair and transparent corporate governance standards, regulations, and practices.

Jaza challenged SharePhil to use its influence 1) to share operating practices toward greater sustainability and inclusion, 2) to integrate insights on stakeholder capitalism into (your) regular programs on investor education and outreach, and 3) to analyze the tangible impact that inclusive capitalism has contributed and can further add to the Philippine economy.

Others who shared their insights during the forum were Mageo Consulting Chair/President Boots Geotina-Garcia, Maynilad President/CEO Mon Fernandez, among other industry professionals and investors from various sectors.

Ysmael assured that "(w)ith the economic and societal effects of the pandemic still here before us, SharePHIL remains committed to its purpose which is to enable Filipinos to invest wisely, achieve financial security, and contribute to the social and economic growth of the country."

Phygital" banking at BPI

In a recent fireside chat with Business World Economic Forum, Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) President Cezar "Bong" Consing, declared: "Banking that combines the best of physical and digital platforms and tools ("phygital" banking) has made it easier for Filipinos to adjust to COVID 19 lockdown restrictions and provided BPI the opportunity to develop more innovations in banking."

"If you can combine both high tech and high touch, I think that will be the answer for the future, at least for Filipinos," Consing added.

More than half of BPI's customer base, at least four million, have accounts on its website and mobile app, the latter ranked by App Annie among the most actively used apps in the first nine months of 2020 (second only to Globe's GCash.)

In a separate interview, BPI Chief Operating Officer Ramon L. Jocson disclosed: "We have been actively supporting our business clients by providing them with as much financial support as we can and through knowledge-sharing webinars aimed at enhancing their business acuity and agility."

BPI has stepped up its financial education advocacy through such programs as FinEd Unboxed, financial management training for PNP, AFP and BFP personnel (Ayala's Saludo sa Serbisyo), PinoyWise ITV for OFWs and webinars, in collaboration with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas to provide cybersecurity tips. BPI's Asset Management subsidiary, BPI AMTC, is also into investment basics webinars.

Budget Para sa Gadgets

The Kiwanis Club of Muntinlupa Rizal (KCMR), headed by President Larry Molera, recently turned over to the Muntinlupa National High School 50 units of Globe Prepaid WIFI kits to help selected students to adapt to DepEd's Modular Distance Learning Method.

The donation was received by MNHS Principal Dr. Antonio Racho in behalf of the grateful parents. This is the third donation to Muntinlupa public schools by KCMR in line with its 1st Priority Signature Project "Budget Para sa Gadgets".

Previous school recipients were Tunasan Elementary School with 150 units (thru Principal Jennifer S. Joson) and the Muntinlupa Science High School with 50 units (through Principal Jinky de la Cruz Santos).

"Budget Para sa Gadgets" was launched in coordination with DepEd's Muntinlupa Division Superintendent, Dr. Dominico C. Idanan, and the City Government of Muntinlupa, headed by Mayor Jaime R. Fresnedi.

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