Microsoft celebrates 25 years in the Philippines


Purpose-driven technology innovations are helping government, business, and Filipino consumers to build back from Covid-19

Microsoft commemorated its 25th year in the Philippines through an all-virtual celebration today for customers, partners and the Filipino public. 

More than five thousand guests from across the Philippines attended today’s virtual event. Inspiring messages were presented from representatives of Microsoft’s Philippines, Asia Pacific and global leadership. Key government and enterprise partners offered testimonials, and interactive breakout sessions were designed to engage and inspire Microsoft Philippines stakeholders for the next 25 years of growth and partnership in this high-growth market. 

Special messages were delivered by The Honorable Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta, Supreme Court of the Philippines and Mr. Lance Gokongwei, president of JG Summit Holdings. 

A special focus of the 25th Anniversary proceedings centered on how Microsoft has supported stakeholders in countries around the world during the Covid-19 pandemic and particularly, in the Philippine market. 

“Since the very start of the of the pandemic, your Microsoft Philippines team resolved to be the country’s digital first responders, supporting key government and civic functions while introducing new innovations to help Filipinos respond, recover and reimagine their reality,” said Andres Ortola, Microsoft Philippines country general manager. 

The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the need for progressive and innovative digital solutions across all sectors of Philippine society. Since March 2020, Microsoft launched significant initiatives to empower both the government and private sector to support and create sustainable impact across the country. 

Microsoft Para sa Bayan: Digital skilling, enablement and entrepreneurship initiatives 

Microsoft’s nation-building agenda for the Philippines, known as “Microsoft Para sa Bayan”, seeks to accelerate digital transformation, build coalitions for responsible innovation, and close critical digital skills gaps with increased digital literacy and improve employability for 25 million Filipinos over the next three years alone. 

Throughout the Philippines’ lockdown period, Microsoft has worked closely with the Department of Education, most recently to provide over 20 million public school children with Microsoft 365 accounts for an improved learning experience. They also continue to support the department’s efforts in training teachers to adapt to online teaching. 

The Microsoft Enabler Program was launched to foster disability inclusive workplaces across Asia Pacific, with the Philippines selected as one of this innovative program’s launch markets. People with disabilities were given the opportunity to get cloud and artificial intelligence training while employer partners received accessibility education. The program also supports inclusive hiring from non-profit organizations that help PwDs. The program is a first of its kind and was piloted in Korea, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand. 

As digital skills expand and more constituencies discover new digital employment opportunities, Microsoft launched an ambitious digital entrepreneurship innovator initiative, Highway to a 100 Unicorns, to strengthen the startup ecosystem across Southeast Asia, seeking to spur new economic growth during and after the pandemic. 

In the Philippines, the sole major Southeast Asian economy without a homegrown technology unicorn, Microsoft seeks to foster an environment that creates more proactive and engaged opportunities for Filipino digital entrepreneurs. 

“Filipinos are hugely creative and resourceful people. Enhancing their digital skills and creating inclusive opportunities for them will not only create solutions to society’s challenges today, but drive economic recovery and success for the future,” added Ortola. 

In October, in partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and together with the Makati Business Club (MBC), Infocomm Technology Association of the Philippines (ITAP), Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD), Women’s Business Council Philippines, and the US-ASEAN Business Council Inc., Microsoft Philippines announced the formation of the AI Pilipinas Coalition. 

Bringing together key organizations and leaders in government and the private sector, the Coalition seeks to empower people and organizations through the responsible use of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Across public and private sectors, industries and communities, AI will play a key role in helping the Philippines respond to, and recover from COVID-19, build resiliency, and increase its competitiveness on the global stage in the years to come. 

Microsoft’s next 25 years in the Philippines: nation-building through purpose-driven innovation 

Having been a trusted partner to the Philippine government and leading private enterprise customers and other stakeholders across the country for the past twenty-five years, Microsoft today proudly reaffirmed its commitment to this market as the Philippines (and the rest of the world) seek to build back from the Covid-19 public health and economic crisis. 

During today’s event, Microsoft Philippines recommitted to assist the Philippines in building back stronger, more prosperous, more equitably and more inclusive from the Covid-19 global pandemic. By purposely leveraging Microsoft’s digital and technology innovations, the Philippines’ government, enterprise and small and medium businesses and communities all over the country can serve all their stakeholders more efficiently, safely, and positively than ever before. 

“Microsoft’s digital innovations directly help advance Filipino nation-building in new and valuable ways and more Filipinos are empowered with the latest digital skills, increasing their employability, raising incomes and improving Filipino lives. We at Microsoft look forward to being the Philippines’ trusted technology partner for the next twenty-five years with hope, optimism, and a real sense of bayanihan as we tackle the challenges ahead and discover new and exciting opportunities for growth and partnership. Maraming salamat po to all our stakeholders and friends,” added Ortola.