President's Message
Atty. Benedicta Du-Baladad Message from the President:

Benedicta Du-Baladad

To FINEX members and friends,

November 2017 Issue

We are now on the final stretch of 2017. This year has been one of the busiest and exciting for both FINEX and the country.

Earlier this month, our country was once again placed in the limelight as we hosted this year’s ASEAN Summit. The summit provided us to showcase what our country can share to the world and the creativity of the Filipino people. Indeed, the recent hosting of the ASEAN summit placed our country

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Breaking barriers to competitiveness
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J. Albert GamboaBy J. Albert Gamboa

September 15, 2017

Breaking barriers to competitiveness

FINEX Folio is a rotating column of members of the Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines appearing every Friday in BusinessWorld, opinion section.

The Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines (FINEX) will hold its 49th Annual Conference at the Fairmont Hotel in Makati City on Oct.13. Organized by the FINEX Week Committee, its theme is “Breaking Barriers to Competitiveness in the ASEAN Financial Sector” with the following rationale:

In between the establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community at the end of 2015 as well as the Philippines’ Chairmanship of the ASEAN this year, the ASEAN has consistently been at the forefront of the Filipino business community’s concerns in the past years. Much has already been discussed about the entailed risks and opportunities – discussions that have prompted companies to work toward future-proofing their own organizations.

However, the approach to the deadline of the ASEAN Financial Integration in 2020 brings to light the fact that there is still much more to be said and done, especially within the financial sector: from raising our securities regulation to match global standards, to the necessary preparations for taking part in an ASEAN Capital Market, to even understanding the behavior and preferences of the ASEAN consumer of today.

It is this conversation that the 2017 FINEX Annual Conference aims to spark with the wider goal of spurring action to improve the Philippine financial sector’s position in the regional and global stage. This year’s conference will tackle the hard-hitting questions on the Philippine public and private sectors’ readiness for the financial integration, all in the context of a world that continues to blindside us with one critical juncture after another.


Keynoting the FINEX conference is Tun Dato’ Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad, the Prime Minister of Malaysia from 1981 to 2003, and currently the President Emeritus of Perdana Leadership Foundation.

At the age of 92, Mr. Mahathir has made a stunning comeback in Malaysian politics by forming a new party called Bersatu, meaning “unite” in Bahasa. This development opens up the possibility of his becoming Prime Minister again should the opposition win the parliamentary election due by mid-2018.

Incumbent Prime Minister Najib Razak of the ruling United Malay National Organization (UMNO) won the last general elections in 2013 despite losing the popular vote. Since then, he has been embroiled in a corruption scandal involving the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) strategic fund that he founded upon gaining power in 2009. Subsequently, he had a falling out with his political mentor, Mr. Mahathir.

After breaking away from the UMNO coalition, which has a 60-year record of unbroken rule since Malaysia’s independence from Britain in 1957, Mr. Mahathir formed the Bersatu party together with Mr. Najib’s former deputy, Muhyiddin Yassin, who was fired in 2016 for questioning his boss about the 1MDB scandal.

Bersatu, also known as the Malaysian United Indigenous Party, now has branches in 165 out of the 222 parliamentary constituencies in the federal country. According to Mr. Muhyiddin, this is a feat few opposition parties have managed, having achieved it in less than a year from Bersatu’s founding in late 2016.

Last March, Malaysia’s opposition alliance Pakatan Harapan accepted Bersatu as its fourth member to strengthen the opposition’s chances of winning more seats in the 2018 elections. Anwar Ibrahim, Mr. Mahathir’s erstwhile Deputy Prime Minister, heads the opposition coalition, and their new alliance represents a real threat to UMNO.

According to Yang Razali Kassim of the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore, “if the two leaders can revive a reversed role of their previous partnership displayed so effectively when they were in national leadership in the 1990s, the opposition could have a winning formula. Mahathir supporting Anwar, in a spirit of genuine reconciliation, will be a powerful combination.”


FINEX has teamed up with BDB Law to co-present a series of breakfast forums dubbed as “Top Agenda.” These informal sessions provide opportunities for FINEX members to get together with distinguished government officials in a closed-door setting to discuss relevant business and regulatory matters as well as to identify areas where FINEX can collaborate with and assist the government.

This month’s resource persons are Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Deputy Governor Chuchi G. Fonacier about the BSP’s financial inclusion advocacy on Sept. 18, and Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio T. Carpio about the West Philippine Sea dispute on Sept. 21. Both forums will be staged at the Tower Club, Philam Tower, Paseo de Roxas, Makati City.

Managing Millenials
Mr. Ronald S. GosecoBy Ronald S. Goseco

December 14, 2017

Managing Millenials

I was recently asked by our principal how different it is to manage today’s millenials as compared to a similar group of individuals twenty years ago. They asked me this since I previously managed auto dealerships twenty years ago with individuals with the same age profile.

Will RP Fit in the Integrated ASEAN Mold?
Zoilo By: Zoilo "Bingo" P. Dejaresco III

December 13, 2017

Will RP Fit in the Integrated ASEAN Mold?

THERE HAVE BEEN REAL TRIUMPHS during the ASEAN Meeting in Manila. Sometimes, Filipinos pinch themselves if these are indeed sustainable?

The ASEAN with 600 million people and with the highest regional GDP growth rate-necessarily- attracts many seller-nations and investors. But with the ASEAN integration- with tariffs down among the ASEAN nations- this would ensure ASEAN should be for ASEANs, first.

Asian economic integration
By Mercedes B. SuleikBy Mercedes B. Suleik

Business Mirror (FINEX Free Enterprise)
December 05, 2017

Asian economic integration

On October 25 the Asian Development Bank (ADB) released a report on Asian Economic Integration and commented on the lessons learned after the Asian financial crisis 20 years ago. It stated that growing trade and investment linkages in Asia and the Pacific have helped to improve the region’s economic resilience to uncertainties in the global economic environment. Asia’s intraregional trade rose in 2016 and acted as a buffer against headwinds from uncertainties in global trade and policy. Subregional trade integration was strongest in East Asia, followed by Southeast Asia and Central Asia.

Flor G. TarrielaBy Flor G. Tarriela

Business World (FINEX Folio)
November 24, 2017


Philippine Gross Domestic Product (GDP) increased by 6.9% in the 3rd quarter but agriculture grew at a slower pace at 2.5% vs 3.0% in 3rd quarter 2016. Still, agriculture showed better growth of 4.6% YTD 2017 vs -1.3% in 2016.

Mr. George S. ChuaBy Mr. George S. Chua

BUSINESS MIRROR (Free Enterprise)
November 22, 2017


A number of months ago, I saw a Bloomberg interview of two young enthusiastic gentlemen who were the co-country directors of this relatively new multinational company called Transportify. As I was listening to the interview of Noel Abelardo and Paulo Bengson, of what Transportify was all about, I thought it was a great idea. The easiest way to explain it is if you have Uber and Grab as an app to transport passengers, you have Transportify to transport goods and packages.

The Importance of Development Finance
Mr. Benel D. LaguaManila Bulletin
MANILA BULLETIN (Business Option)
October 30, 2017

The Importance of Development Finance

Access to finance is always a daunting topic as it addresses two basic issues. Financial exclusion occurs when those denied access have economic and social return on investment better than those with regular access. The second issue is the response to concerns of inequality and the need for better redistribution of wealth.