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Ma. Victoria C. Españo Message from the President:

Ma. Victoria C. Españo


Year 2018 is indeed a special year for FINEX: it marks our 50th anniversary as a leading organization of finance professionals. Through the able leadership of our past presidents and the multitude of members who have actively participated in and supported our different initiatives, we have made significant achievements in supporting the professional development of finance executives,

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PH-OGP, The Philippine Open Government Partnership. Part 1.
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Santiago F. Dumlao Jr.By Santiago F. Dumlao Jr.

BUSINESS MIRROR (Free Enterprise)
September 20, 2017

PH-OGP, The Philippine Open Government Partnership. Part 1.

Finex Free Enterprise is a rotating column of members of the Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines appearing every Wednesday & Friday in BusinessMirror, banking & finance Section.

Simply, we wish to bring to greater awareness this ongoing program that promises long-lasting positive influence to good governance in government, with the strong engagement of the private sector. Let the PH-OGP brochure say it in a capsule:

“The Philippines is one of the eight founding countries of the Open Government Partnership, a multi-lateral initiative that aims to secure concrete commitments from governments to promote transparency, empower citizens, fight corruption, and harness new technologies to strengthen governance. On September 20, 2011, during the formal launching of the OGP, the country’s leaders endorsed the Open Government Declaration and announced its country action plan in a formal ceremony at the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, USA.

“Today, the new administration under President Rodrigo Duterte remains committed to expand, deepen, and institutionalize on-going governance reform initiatives. Part of this commitment is the implementation of the 3rd Philippine OGP National Action Plan.

“Moving forward, the Philippines aims to develop a new PH-OGP Action Plan that is in line with the reform and partnership for change agenda of the new government. The plan is to deepen the consultation process further, include more branches in government, and give the citizens a proactive role in the PH-OGP process.”

A distinctive characterization of PH-OGP is the wide participatory engagement of public and private sectors – in the formulation of National Action Plans (NAP); in their implementation; in their monitoring; and in the evaluation of performance. The NAP consists of very specific projects as prioritized, identifying implementers in both government and private sectors, establishing 2-year cycle achievement goals, requiring performance documentation and reports not just to national but to international review boards or monitoring entities.

There is a national PH-OGP Steering Committee that exercises oversight functions over the development and implementation of the NAP, half of the membership from government and half from the private sector, emphasizing the multi-stakeholder cooperation. A participative structure of collaborative work is in place.

The PH-OGP has a Technical Working Group composed of technical representatives from DBM, DILG, NEDA, Office of the Cabinet Secretary and non-government Steering Committee members. All decisions, agreements and action items are documented and posted online through the OGP website.

Membership of non-government representatives in the Steering Committee is distributed by sector: 4 from Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in turn representing NCR, Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao; 2 from Academe; 1 from Business (currently FINEX); and 1 from a Public Sector Union.

The international development partners of OGP include USAID, UNDP, ADB, World Bank, Make All Voices Count (MAVC) Global Initiative for Fiscal Transparency.

In the 2015-2017 PH-OGP Plan, there were identified 13 Programs/Initiatives, most of which, by self-evaluation, were rated satisfactory in their fulfillment of commitments/targets. These programs are ongoing.

Let us choose one example from the PH-OGP Status Report Summary as of December 2016, to appreciate the value of this Partnership.

In the 2015-2017, PH-OGP Plan, the first Program/Initiative identified was the “Full Disclosure Policy” (FDP) under which there would be –

“Mandatory disclosure of key financial documents of LGUs (e.g. budget, procurement, and special purpose fund reports, such as Internal Revenue Allotments) in the FDP Portal and in at least 3 conspicuous places.”

The Commitments of the National Government through DILG, and of the Local Governments, through the Union of Local Authorities in the Philippines (ULAP), was for Provinces, Cities and Municipalities to be fully complying to the FDP at 75% participation by 2015, 80% by 2016 and 85% by 2017.

On the part of the private sector, through the Budget Advocacy Group (BAG), the Commitment was to use the uploaded data in the FDP portal in at least 5 regions and produce reports or data visualization.

As of 3rd Quarter 2016, the DILG and ULAP commitments had been fulfilled (80% full compliance). As to BAG’s commitment, local civil society organizations (CSOs) in 15 LGUs in 5 regions have been trained in analyzing selected FDP data. Development of one visualization is ongoing, as of year-end 2016.

In other words, commitments are being accomplished. The openness in reporting performance by LGUs is taking root, and as this openness creates its own momentum of compliance, in nation-wide observance, with national government support, and private sector continuing engagement and encouragement, an open government culture gets progressive traction. This is significant to allow citizen constituents to participate proactively in their own local government affairs – intelligently, and positively on a well-informed basis.

That’s grass roots democracy exemplified. Change is coming! Believe that.

Chinese influence in business
Ms. Wilma Inventor MirandaMs. Wilma Inventor Miranda

February 16, 2018

Chinese influence in business

With the celebration of Chinese New Year, it is a perfect time to look deeper into how the Chinese greatly influence our economy. When we see “made in China” nowadays, we usually relate that to cheap items, low quality, fake goods and imitations. But this article will not focus on the Chinese from the mainland but the Chinese who began their businesses generations ago and have children who are now Filipino-Chinese and successful businessmen themselves.

Dr. Jose Pardo – Just Think Positive!
Flor G. TarrielaBy Flor G. Tarriela

Business World (FINEX Folio)
February 16, 2018

Dr. Jose Pardo – Just Think Positive!s

Last Saturday Jose “Titoy” Pardo, PSE Chairman and former Secretary of Trade/Finance was conferred the Degree of Doctor of Science in Finance by De La Salle University headed by Br. Raymundo Suplido.

At the luncheon celebration, the “new Doctor” was asked to dispense a cure to problems at hand, he shared how to cope with emerging VUCA (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity) related problems. Dr. Pardo picked up from Dr. Charles Handy, author of The Age of Unreason, who said “All businesses or any economic activity are vulnerable to shock and inevitably will experience tremors in the market place. The important thing is to be quick in responding to change and to never succumb to the status quo style of management. If it ain’t broke, fix it.”

PSE: Unified at last
J. Albert GamboaBy J. Albert Gamboa

February 16, 2018

PSE: Unified at last

More than 25 years after the merger of the Manila Stock Exchange (MSE) and the Makati Stock Exchange (MKSE) into the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE), the country’s securities industry is set to be finally unified in a single trading floor.

Ethical challenges in today’s world
By Mercedes B. SuleikBy Mercedes B. Suleik

February 14, 2018

Ethical challenges in today’s world

Pundits sometimes quip that “business ethics” is an oxymoron, a contradiction in terms because it is said that there is an inherent conflict between ethics and the pursuit of profit. But more and more, as we see the effects of such unmitigated self-interest, we begin to wonder whether the mantra of the 1980s, “Greed is good” has not visited disaster on so many people today. Today we find ourselves in a quandary—is our world spinning out of control? Has evil taken root in every sphere of our lives, so that even the very means of our efforts to sustain our existence are now suspect?.

A La Juventud Filipina
By Mercedes B. SuleikBy Mercedes B. Suleik

September 13, 2017

Faith in the workplace

It has often been considered that faith and the ordinary life of a person, that is his work, his daily activities, are not compatible. That, for instance, being ethical and being guided by morals in business or in the workplace, must be dichotomized from religious belief.

Swedish death cleaning and Lagom

Swedish death cleaning and Lagom (Business Option)
Feb.15, 2018

Swedish death cleaning and Lagom

Mafe, my beloved spouse, has been asking me recently to start disposing some of the old stuff that have been untouched in our attic. After all, I’ve accumulated quite a ton of books, magazine and school stuff from studying and teaching all these years. And even my clothes and gadget collection (men stuff) have remained to pile up. It all came to head recently when she shared Margarita Magnusson’s new book, “The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning.”.