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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Overstepping authority
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J. Albert GamboaBy J. Albert Gamboa

MANILA BULLETIN(Business Option)
September 19, 2017

Overstepping authority

Business Option is a rotating column of members of the Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines appearing every Tuesday & Thursday in Manila Bulletin, business section.

Business owners in major Philippine cities are in a quandary about the way their local government units (LGUs) are implementing President Rodrigo R. Duterte's Executive Order 26 that regulates smoking in enclosed public places and conveyances.

Two of the most affected areas are the cities of Makati and Taguig, where the biggest concentration of retail and hospitality establishments in the country can be found. Hundreds of entrepreneurs have petitioned Makati City Mayor Abigail Binay and Taguig City Mayor Lani Cayetano to stop local authorities from imposing a harsh interpretation of EO 26.

Among those seeking help from their LGU officials are bar and restaurant owners whose businesses provide venues for consumers of legal age to drink and smoke. These establishments do not allow minors as customers and strictly restrict their premises to adults only. Even before EO 26 was issued, they already complied with provisions of Republic Act 9211 – the prevailing national law on tobacco regulation passed in 2003.

Many of these complainants operate in Bonifacio Global City (BGC), which was developed at the turn of the millennium by Fort Bonifacio Development Corporation (FBDC), a joint venture between a private consortium led by Ayala Land Inc. and Greenfield Development Corp. in partnership with the national government's Bases Conversion and Development Authority.

These Taguig-based entrepreneurs understand that EO 26 has not rendered smoking illegal but instead provides for the setting up of designated smoking areas (DSAs) in each store or club. Their customers are fully aware that should they enter these establishments, they would encounter people who are drinking or smoking. If they're not comfortable mingling with smokers, they reserve the option to go elsewhere.

However, they were informed at a town hall meeting organized by FBDC last month that smoking is banned in all open public spaces such as parking lots and sidewalks. They were also told that food and drinks may not be served inside the DSAs, although such a prohibition is not stated in both RA 9211 and EO 26.

In reality, majority of small establishments do not have enough physical space and resources to set up DSAs under the stringent standards that are operationally too difficult to follow. Upon practical application, it seems that these DSA requirements are too onerous and were crafted in such a way that only the large establishments could comply with them. This is confiscatory in nature and creates a de facto ban that was not the original intent of E0 26.

From my experience, the implementation of EO 26 has not been consistent. Take for example BGC, where the regulation is being enforced more harshly at Uptown Bonifacio than at the Forbestown Center despite the fact that Megaworld Corp. owns both estates.

On the other hand, sari-sari store owners in three Makati barangays are complaining that their patrons are being fined P500 to P1,000 when caught smoking at open sidewalks. This has driven away some clients, thereby reducing their sales revenue by at least 20%

Barangay officials in Taguig are likewise going beyond regulation in enforcing EO 26, to the extent of forcibly removing store signage donated by tobacco manufacturers that contain their brand names or logos. Owners of sari-sari stores have also been warned against selling cigarettes and allowing people to smoke in the vicinity.

Store owners in these two progressive cities emphasized that they do not oppose smoking regulations. As entrepreneurs, they have to look after the interests of their customers – smokers and non-smokers alike. All they ask is that the measures to regulate smoking must be practical, reasonable, and responsive to the nature of their businesses.

How then could overzealous and overeager LGU officials have the gall to deprive ordinary citizens of the right to earn a decent living? Why are retailers and bar owners being legislated out of business? Can local ordinances supersede national laws?

J. Albert Gamboa is chief financial officer of Asian Center for Legal Excellence and Senior Advisor of KSearch Asia Consulting, Inc. and co-chairs for FINEX Media Affairs Committee. This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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.