President's Message
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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Now and then, a Contrast
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By Dr. Conchita L. ManabatBy Dr. Conchita L. Manabat

July 19, 2017

Now and then, a contrast

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.

When virtue is lost, benevolence appears; when benevolence is lost, light conduct appears; when right conduct is lost, expedience appears. Expediency is the mere shadow of right and truth; it is the beginning of disorder. —Lao Tzu

Amid the enormity of information and the need to process them to achieve multifarious tasks/outputs, the use of technology and its endless evolution represent the reality of the workplace. I summarize below three recalls of situations to highlight this reality.

Situation 1

Five decades ago, taking the licensure examinations for certified public accountants required the use of fountain pens and computations were done “long hand” without the use of calculators for these were unheard of. The examinations had queries requiring written narratives as answers. It took almost a year before the results of the examinations were officially known.

Fast-forward 25 years later, the licensure examinations are “fully computerized”, meaning all the questions are in multiple-choice format—there is no need for presenting computations and no questions requiring explanations or presenting narrative replies. The examinees’ answers to the questions are registered by using ball pens to identify the correct letter corresponding to the answer.

The official results of the examinations are released a couple of days or so after the last examination day.

Situation 2

Before the 1980s, the “fastest “written communication” was through telegrams, for domestic transmittals coursed through the post office. Overseas communication, were through cable. Everything was in paper.

In the 1980s, the World Wide Web came into being. It was only in the mid-1990s that the Internet had significant global impact in culture, business and technology. Thus,  mails came about. Subsequent developments led to other configurations, like instant messaging and social networking.

Now, everything is a click away and on real time.

Situation 3

In 1987 the Dunbar Armored Robbery happened in Los Angeles, California. The largest cash robbed in the US involving $18.9 million was an inside job. The mastermind was a regional safety inspector for Dunbar who recruited five of his childhood friends to ambush the guards at a stocked cash drop vault on a Friday night. Once they gained access to the loot, they loaded up a U-Haul and escaped, nearly getting away with the whole thing until one of the perpetrators got sloppy and eventually confessed. However, more than half of the money remained unaccounted for.

Fast-forward, 29 years later, the much-talked- about Bangladeshi Central Bank heist happened. A Bangladeshi central bank’s system was attacked to make payments via SWIFT. The perpetrators sent fraudulent messages, ostensibly from the central bank in Dhaka, on the SWIFT system, to the New York Federal Reserve seeking to transfer nearly $1 billion from Bangladesh Bank’s account there. Most of the transfers were blocked but about $81 million had been sent to a bank in the Philippines. It was moved to casinos and casino agents, and much of it has been missing (adopted from press releases).

In the three situations cited above, the efficient use of resources and expedient completion of tasks were achieved through the use of technology. The efficient use of expediency provides competitive edge, but its mis-use can have devastating consequences.

The distinct differences of the now and then would make present-day students of business wonder how “Jurassic” life was not too long ago. How could things be 25 years hence?


Dr. Conchita L. Manabat is the president of the Development Center for Finance and a trustee of the Finex Development & Research Foundation. A past chairman of the International Association of Financial Executives Institutes (IAFEI), she now serves as the chairman of the Advisory Council of the said organization. She can be reached at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it then-a- contrast/

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.”.