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PIA Press Release

Unionbank opens 181st branch in Dumaguete

By Rachelle M. Nessia

Dumaguete City (12 February) -- Unionbank has opened the doors of its 181st branch in Dumaguete City, signaling the relentless escalation of the city's business climate.

Top officials from Unionbank led by its Chairman and CEO Justo A. Ortiz officially inaugurated its new branch located at Calle Real corner San Juan Street, this city on February 8.

In a press conference held prior to the bank's official opening, Ortiz said that Dumaguete City is one of the important cities nationwide in which they have no presence. "So at this point in time, we are beginning to be more conscious in having a nationwide presence and filling up all the different gaps in our network," he stressed.

Touting itself as one of the most technologically-oriented banks in the country, Unionbank's arrival here also acknowledges Dumaguete's budding niche in internet banking.

Edwin Bautista, Unionbank Retail Banking Head, said that Dumaguete is one the bank's important customers in terms of internet banking.

He cited a study that showed Dumaguete as one of the top three cities in the country in terms of internet penetration.

On the other hand, Unionbank's EON Cyber Card in a survey conducted among Ebay sellers in the Philippines came out as the no. 1 debit card used by Ebay sellers, while 85% of those surveyed chose Unionbank as the preferred mechanism to receive money from online transactions. "So this is one of the things we can offer Dumaguete," said Bautista.

He likewise assured that the bank has exerted efforts to ensure the security of their internet banking. "We have hired local and foreign firms to keep our technology hack-free," stressed Bautista.

This was echoed by Edliberto Bravo, a member of Unionbank Board of Directors, who stressed that Unionbank is "not just another bank as we have hired some of the best minds in the field of computer technology."

Ortiz said that their cutting edge technology-oriented services have made Unionbank a favorite among Business Process Outsourcing firms.

"In fact, we arrived right in time in Dumaguete because we have customers all over the country and we are finding out that they are also expanding to Dumaguete. We follow our customers?since they are beginning to do business here, we need to be here also," he said.

One of Unionbank's customers is Qualfon Quality Contact Services which has now started their expansion program in Dumaguete.

Qualfon is an Information Technology (IT) locator currently employing 2,100 workers inside the Asiatown IT Park in Cebu City and was one of the IT firms visited by Pres. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo on February 3 during the Visayas leg of her week-long Cyber Corridor Tour showcasing the President's IT Milestone Legacy Agenda.

Meanwhile, GSIS eCard holders are also among the reasons for Unionbank's expansion into the provinces, being the official bank issuing the GSIS eCard. "We have a lot of GSIS members who are from this area who prefer to do business with Unionbank in Dumaguete rather than do it in ATMs of other banks," said Ortiz.

Ortiz said that they purchased their branch site in the city as a demonstration of their permanent and committed presence here.

Unionbank Dumaguete Branch is located at Calle Real corner San Juan street, this city. (PIA/rmn) [top]

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