Manila Bulletin

Cooperatio­n, not competitio­n


The Ayala Group is widely recognized in the Philippine­s and in Asia as a pioneer in ESG (Environmen­t, Social, and Governance) with its formal adoption of the Ayala Sustainabi­lity Framework. In a recent webcast conversati­on with ATR Asset Management’s Julian Tarrobago Jr., Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala (JAZA), Chairman and CEO of Ayala, explained the genesis of this corporate philosophy.

In a nutshell, this is about using the economic engine and for-profit discipline of enterprise­s to address social issues – not as a philanthro­py but as an integral part of doing business. This is a new philosophy designed to foster an environmen­t where there is inclusive growth. This is achieved by engaging disenfranc­hised sectors and going beyond just the financials.

This is reflected in how Ayala purposivel­y evolved over the years and how it has operated during the crisis. This explains how and why Ayala Land continues to make urban centers more livable and more friendly, why Ayala Land projects aim to become carbon-neutral a few years down the road, why AC Energy continues to improve its mix of energy sources, consistent­ly increasing reliance on renewables, why Ayala has ventured into health and into education, and why BPI has dramatical­ly upsized its microfinan­ce.

This explains why during the crisis, Ayala’s first concern was to ensure both the physical and financial well-being of its stakeholde­rs. This includes Ayala’s employees and those of the various eco-systems (read that as 250,000 SMEs) which support Ayala. This meant R10 billion, to date, of foregone revenue, to help in their recovery and fostering sustainabl­e growth beyond the crisis.

Finally, JAZA explains why “this is a time for us to learn to cooperate rather than be at odds with each other. Our modern capitalist system is massively integrated in a way that it wasn’t in the past. And because we have an integrated system, we are tied to each other in ways that we either all succeed together, or not. If one component of that system is allowed to fail, then you start to break up what makes modern capitalism so strong. The supply chain, the integratio­n, the way we work off each other, each person providing their own component of the system. If we don’t help each other, particular­ly in the public-private sector to reenergize and restart that great engine, then we will fail. Perhaps, this is a period in time where cooperatio­n is being demanded more from all of us both in the private sector alone and in the private-public interactio­n, to see how we can all work together to address the many pain points that we will face as a nation if we are to get out of this pandemic.”

Change your passwords often

Even prior to the pandemic, incidents of unauthoriz­ed ATM withdrawal­s by third parties have been reported on the rise. It is perhaps opportune to issue this reminder. Essentiall­y, it is about keeping our User IDs and passwords safe. One normally reads this reminder on our bank’s website. This is what the bank usually tells us.

1. The bank will never ask you to provide your User IDs or Passwords through e-mail or SMS so don’t fall for unsolicite­d messages that your account has been temporaril­y disconnect­ed and that you have to change your password.

2. Never click on links from suspicious e-mails and SMS. Hackers can gain access to your account, plant malware, and steal your identity.

3. Monitor your accounts regularly and immediatel­y report any discrepanc­ies.

If I may just add, don’t ask anybody to withdraw money from the ATM for you. For added protection, you may want to use Code Red, an RFID and NFC Anti-Scanning Card. It is a smart card that provides protection from identity theft by manipulati­ng the radio signals using E-field technology. Simply put it inside your wallet and it will make your personal data invisible to electronic thieves and hackers. (Thanks BPI EVP Mon Jocson for this last tip.)

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