Webinar Series 3 The Philippines: Here's What You Missed

In the Philippines’s addition of our interactive webinar series, the CEO & Founder of AYP Group, Ms Annie Yap, and Executive Vice President, HR and Corporate Social Responsibility of Union Bank, Ms Michelle Rubio will share how they have successfully digitalized their businesses, transformed their business processes, supported their employees and sustained business continuity during the circuit breaker period while adapting to the changing business dynamics amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

Guest Speaker, Michelle Rubio, is the Executive Vice President, HR and Corporate Social Responsibility – Chief Human Resource Officer at Union Bank of the Philippines. Prior to this, she was the Vice President and the Philippine Country Human Resource, Quality and Corporate Communications Head of the global electrical engineering and power company, Asea Brown Boveri. Michelle also received the Silver CHRO of the Year from the Stevie Awards for Great Employers in New York in 2018.

How Did Your Organisation Cope with Covid?

We immediately gathered everyone including internal stakeholders to review the situation. We prepared for our contingency to ensure business continuity. We had buddy systems for our front-liners and a work for home setup for 70-80% of our workforce. We also had a certification program for workers to understand standard safety protocols. We conducted contact tracing and quarantined anyone who was exposed to the virus. Banking was an essential service so we had to continue working still. We provided counselling programs to address mental health and anxiety issues, as well as carry out surveys to find out what our employees were going through so we could address these immediately.

How did your company adjust to working from home?

It’s important to consider that work is no longer just time-based. The mindset shift has to happen and organisations need to focus more on output. Many working employees with children have to deal with juggling work and maintaining the household. It may not always be great to be strictly about timing, as this is not ideal for everyone. Delivering on the results is what is most important. Leaders have to be trained to not just do check-ups, but check-in on employees as well. How can we collaborate better? How do we provide you better support? Be clear about expectations and provide employees with the needed tools and support.


Customer Service

There are several branches of this, but our digital branch is the most useful these days. We have to educate our customers to transferring data to our mobile app where they can transfer money and accept cheques. This has kept our customers safe as well as they do not have to leave the house for this. We were known as the second most helpful bank in Asia Pacific. Our effort to keep customers safe and educate them on the app has been a key to this. Agility and constant adaptation to changes have been so important.

New BCPs

Started working from home, employees were already trained on handling data a few weeks prior to this. Secure access to our system was provided, as well as ensuring we know how to handle data and ensure that we are securely performing our work at the backend as well.

Any New Realisations?

People worry about the COVID-19 Pandemic a lot. This has been one of the top issues during a survey we conducted for our employees. We try our best to talk to them and boost their morale, we don’t want employees feeling isolated during this time.

The problem with working remotely is that you are always on. You have to be conscious of this as it can result in burnout. Team members need space to breathe and have a balance as well. Rest and space are so important to employees.

New Services Your Bank Has?

Our application enables you to deposit cheques by taking photos of them. Our app is also able to transfer and receive money.

Any Financial Assistance Plans the Bank Has to Help With?

Even before the pandemic, we already had products for SMEs and have been providing loans to those who might need them. We constantly look out and reach out to any organisations who may need our assistance.


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