UnionBank partners with T1 to inspire, innovate amid COVID-19

The UnionBank of the Philippines strengthens its position as a leader in technology and banking in the country. Inspired by their commitment to bringing excellence and honing talent, the Aboitiz-led company has successfully inaugurated The UnionBank Innovation Campus, the first in the Philippines.

Designed to be the organization’s bedrock for the creation and incubation of solutions for banking, financial technology, and other industries, the one-hectare facility held its digital groundbreaking ceremony last May 26, Wednesday.

“We’re excited for the campus because it’s a dream come true for the entire organization and it’s also a testament to the commitment of management and the board of directors to innovation as a major strategic thrust,” UnionBank president Edwin Bautista said during the virtual groundbreaking ceremony. “This is also consistent with the Aboitiz group’s focus on innovation as a pillar for growth moving forward,” he added.

T1 was tapped to collaborate and partner with UnionBank as the official project management and quantity surveying firm. With the shared vision of pushing forward development, sustainability, and innovation, the Philippines’ leading project services company was successful in delivering excellent results in time for the groundbreaking ceremony.

According to UnionBank, this innovation campus is expected to be completed by the middle or third quarter of next year. It will also operate as a hub for blockchain, artificial intelligence and other new technologies that will revolutionize the Filipino’s way of life.

“Working with UnionBank was a pleasure and a boost for T1. “We are very proud to be a part of this milestone. T1 aims to collaborate with companies who stand for positive change and innovation in development in all sectors, not just construction. Working with UnionBank is inspiring,” Ivan Deinla, Senior Project Manager expressed.

Bautista added that this innovation campus is a testament and affirmation for the Filipinos who are going through a hard time because of the pandemic. He expressed that companies like UnionBank continue to invest and vet for a brighter future for the Philippines. Despite the current lockdown restrictions, Bautista said the bank was starting to build the campus for the future when it would be safe again to interact with more people in the new normal.

How T1 Women are changing the construction business

T1 Project Management’s attitude towards Women in Construction ensures a progressive mindset in the industry. T1 is a firm ally and supporter of eliminating gender inequality in the workplace, as women make up 48% of the team. T1’s women inspire and serve as role models in encouraging Filipinas to see that construction is not “a man’s world.”

Confidence and Empowerment

“I feel empowered because being a female professional in what was a traditionally male-dominated industry gives me a sense of satisfaction and strength that no matter where I am, I can always say that I made it,” Jessa Marie Cabajug, Data Controller, shared.

Kat Sarayba, T1’s Assistant Manager for Design, challenged herself to be confident and happy in her career. “It honestly took me some time to build confidence. All-in-all though, I do really enjoy the career path I chose and the industry I’m in. At the end of the day, I think that matters most.”

“I feel empowered to be living in an age where you can find women excelling in previously male-dominated industries. Proving that women belong in the boardroom, on construction sites, in I.T. – in whatever career they choose,” Lana Kier, the company’s Business Development Manager added.

In the Philippines, the idea of women working in the construction industry is becoming normalized. More and more fit-out companies, contractors, design and architectural firms are made up of highly skilled and driven women employees who work on-site and behind the scenes. While the construction industry is moving in the right direction, women share that there is still a need to address the challenges in eradicating stereotypes.

T1’s Interior Designer Rose Ruelan shared, “Especially in the field of architecture, some underestimate us, that we know less about technicalities, and focus more on the aesthetics. Though women access the same education and training available to men, so we deserve to be respected as equal.”

Working Together

Women in the construction industry take on many challenges as individuals as an opportunity to excel and mark milestones in their career and in their field. Cyrelle Brillante, one of T1’s Project Managers, focuses on communication and coordination. She said, “working in harmony with the rest of the team creates a much better environment, especially in construction.”

Though it may seem difficult at first, every challenge can be overcome. Angel Falquerabao T1s Business Assistant shares, “After overcoming all the things that I thought I couldn’t do, I realized it wasn’t as daunting as I imagined it would be.”

Richelle Reyes another of T1’s Project Managers added, “I realized that in order to change the pace, you have to be amenable to endure what is beyond your comfort zone. Embrace what you are passionate about, even if it’s not what the norm dictates.”

A Cultivating Space for Women

T1 is a progressive design, construction and project management company in the Philippines. By providing equal opportunities for men and women and hiring based on skills, talents, and dedication, the company creates a safe space where gender-based prejudice and discrimination do not exist, whilst building the most dynamic, professional and skilled team in the market.

“I feel extremely lucky just to be a part of a strong, determined, passionate, flexible, and talented team, gender is not even a consideration,” Jen Panganiban, the company’s Business Manager expressed. “I think what I feel is very much similar to all of my hard-working colleagues regardless of the gender.”

The business landscape, no matter what industry, is ripe for a change. It takes movers and visionaries to ensure the development and evolution of these fields will continue. As proven by every successful leader, it is important to foster a working environment that allows for equality and celebrates competence beyond the discussion of gender.

Join the T1 team and be a leader in the industry. For job vacancies, visit https://t1projectmanagement.com/careers or send us an email at info@tone.management.

Meet the Team Heads: Jen Panganiban, Office Manager

For years, Jen’s work routine has revolved around putting everything in place for T1 Project Management. Handling the day-to-day operations of a dynamic company like T1 is as exciting as it is challenging. Coming from a different walk of life, she admits that doing something you are not familiar with can be scary at first, but with the right people, motivation, and training, you’ll get there.

“It was not smooth at first,” Jen shared. “But T1 has become a home and learning institution for me. They train you how to think. They challenge you to be better. They provide a role model for you,” she added.

Being one of the pioneer employees when T1 started in 2016, Jen describes her relationship with the company as mutually beneficial – she watched the company grow and the company molded the person she is today in return. Being the “fixer” and the “go-to” person of everyone in the team made Jen realize how essential her role is in the company. However, she admits at times, the pressure can get to her.

“I had doubtsabout coming to the construction sector, as I came from a different industry, and I had heard construction can be fast paced and high pressure, but as I strived to learn and familiarized myself with how things work, I found my place within the company.”

For Jen, getting her work done is not only about completing operational tasks or overseeing processes, it is building a connection with each of her team members to gain their trust and confidence. “I have gotten to know each individual that comprises the team and learned how they would help in making a project successful. I have learned to adapt to all sorts of people. I try my very best to connect with each of them, thankfully, the management is supportive enough to provide us a good working atmosphere by having our team lunches, seminars, team building, and virtual parties.”

Office Manager and Home Maker

More than just a company, T1 serves as family for Jen. “We created a strong bond which was paramount for me. Through the years the management has made me feel that I am a trusted to represent the company and make decisions, and I am very much thankful for that.” To her, the whole team and the management is a whole support system that will always have her back.

Moreover, the company is Jen’s home – a happy place where she works, laughs, and learns. “It’s somewhere where you are valued, respected, and cared for. Most importantly, I believe that home means a secure, cheerful place where you are respected and loved.”

“I help fix almost all of the issues in the office from simple attendance glitch to basically project closing. I can say that I’m the go-to person of everyone who needs advice or directions on their current professional and sometimes personal matters.” She compares her role as the office manager and as a home maker and realize it’s essentially the same. “As a mom of 2 boys with different personalities and preferences, you can only imagine how I am able to handle dealing with lots of different persons in one go. It’s initially challenging but eventually satisfying seeing them overcome their problems.”

What makes her stay

It’s the little things that matter to Jen, and not surprisingly, with the company that has been her home for the past years. “They value the smallest view or opinion you contribute to the team. It breaks down the wall that makes people hesitate to share what they know because of fear of being judged,” she shared. What makes it more rewarding are the benefits and perks T1 offers its people – from wellness programs to activities that foster collaboration and team bond. “They will let you see that you must have a work-life balance by providing activities that would let us have fun and enjoy work at the same time. Who would not stay for that?

Meet the Team Heads: John Fiel Almosara, General Manager

John’s day typically starts with his teammates in mind. As the General Manager of T1, his role within the team is more crucial than ever as the world adapts to the far-reaching effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. As the main overseer of the tasks, projects, deliverables, and the overall day-to-day operations of the whole company, he admits that he makes it a point to manage each workday properly by touching base as much as he could.

“I’ve always made it a point to catch up with the team on the projects they are handling. Given the pandemic, my day typically starts with conference calls for each project, which goes throughout the day. In between, I go through my emails, check our financials, HR matters, and other project deliverables,” he shared.

T1’s General Manager believes that how a company treats its people reflects on the company’s reputation, and directly translated to the quality of its output. Aiming to always be on top of everything, John shares he always goes back to one of the main principles of the company. He focuses on prioritizing what to do first by keeping its employees in mind. “The welfare of our staff comes first. As we are a manpower-based company, we must make sure that our people have all the tools they need to perform their tasks,” he added.

More than keeping all the projects in line and successfully delivered, John said that the challenge is making sure T1 employees feel happy with their work. “I have been with T1 from the very beginning, and for the past several years I have witnessed how far we have come,” he shared. “The most challenging part of being a General Manager is keeping everyone in the company happy and keeping employee morale high especially during the pandemic.”

John noted that the COVID-19 pandemic and its consequent lockdowns and quarantines are something nobody has foreseen and prepared for, but he is grateful to have a team that is very supportive and thinks of the company’s benefit as a whole. “There have been some sacrifices that needed to be taken, and I am just glad that the team has been supportive and understanding. Thanks to them we have kept everyone and have avoided retrenchment of our employees. , ”

Transitioning into the new normal has been quite the adjustment to everyone, including the construction industry.. “We hold virtual meetings, implement adaptive ways of conducting inspections, ensure stricter implementation of safety protocols, and extend programs of work, among others,” John said. “We also had to modify some of our systems to make sure we are practicing the protocols set by the government for the safety of the project team while ensuring our client’s expectations are well managed. ” For John, the pandemic has opened other opportunities in the industry, and sees a bright future ahead for the business “We still have a long journey ahead of us, but I see T1 being one of the top construction consultancy firms in the country with the help of our dedicated staff and the values we live by as a company.”

On the subject of managing projects, John adds, “The most exciting part of the job is when we get through a major hurdle on the project. This is mainly because the team has come together, and each made every effort to resolve the issue. This boosts the morale of everyone and inspires us to be better.”

As a General Manager, he always ensures that the team members of T1 get the support that they need, especially given the current work set up. “The staff is our top priority. They are the reason T1 Project Management is where it is today.”