Ayala's Zobel says embrace science and tech for 'better, more resilient normal'

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 10 2020 01:01 PM | Updated as of Jul 10 2020 01:26 PM

Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala during Ayala Corporation's annual stockholders meeting on April 10, 2015. File / Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA -- Embracing science and technology will be key to a "better and more resilient normal" said Ayala Corp chairman and CEO Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala, as the world reels from the socio-economic impact of the pandemic.

Speaking before the 42nd Annual Scientific Meeting of the National Academy of Science and Technology on Friday, Zobel emphasized the importance of strengthening ties among science, industry, and government in finding long-term solutions to address the country's most pressing challenges, citing the "test-trace-treat" as a highly successful public–private partnership model. 

“I am a firm believer in the power of co-creation and collaboration. Let’s reimagine the world we live in and the way things are using this crisis as a way of refashioning the way we live. I believe that the sciences and the science-based approach has a lot to teach us in that regard,” said Zobel.

The Ayala Group which has interests in banking, power generation, telecommunications, automotive, property and healthcare, among others, said it practices gathering data from across business units that allows it to gain insights and understand evolving consumer behaviors and needs. 

These pave the way for the conglomerate to provide and execute improved services and relevant products, Zobel said.

In the telemedicine space for example, Ayala's AC Healthcare through an all-in-one digital platform was able to provide access to primary healthcare for patients who prefer to stay in their homes. 

Digital financial apps through BPI mobile banking and Globe's GCash saw a rise in consumer engagement as the lockdowns restricted physical movement of goods and services. This also enabled financial inclusion, reaching the unserved and underserved segments of the population, he said.

E-learning initiatives through online education platforms Coursera and Degreed were also tapped to maintain a high level of productivity and engagement for its work from home employees, he added.

The Ayala Group earlier converted portions of the World Trade Center in Pasay City into a 502-bed quarantine healthcare facility for COVID-19 patients. It also donated swabbing booths.

The conglomerate earlier provided a P2.4-billion relief package for its employees and partners affected by the lockdowns. 

Ayala also collaborated with other private firms to augment the national testing capacity, which has reached almost 75,000 tests per day, it added.

The government has geared its coronavirus response to resuscitating the economy which shrank for the first time in 22 years, as it looks for a "reasonable balance" between protecting public health and livelihood.