President's Message
Ma. Victoria C. Españo Message from the President:

Ma. Victoria C. Españo


PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE

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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WHO WILL FEED US? START THEM YOUNG!
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Flor G. TarrielaBy Flor G. Tarriela

MANILA BULLETIN(Business Option)
October 3, 2017

WHO WILL FEED US? START THEM YOUNG!

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.

The AgriGo Negosyo was started October last year by Presidential Adviser on Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion with the help of Toto Barcelona of Harbest who invited his agri friends. Former Agriculture Secretary William Dar, the group adviser presented the current state of agriculture. Do you know that Agriculture employs 30 % of the Philippine workforce but contributes only 7-8% of GDP? And that the average age of the Filipino farmer is 57 and that their children don't want to go into farming because it is a lowly job and there are no profits in it?

“Oh NO! So, who will feed us?“ Asked cousins Miguel (14) and Trish (16) who were brought to the second meeting by their grandma Babie and their dads Eric and Emer Atanacio of Terra Verde Farms. Trish and Miguel were so alarmed with what they heard they started talking about it to their other cousins and friends. Being city kids who love the farm, they also want to share this wonderful experience with other kids who don't know what they are missing.

Thus, the Batang Filipino Farmer (BFF) a movement of kids, by kids and for kids was formed. It was formally launched during the first National Small and Family Farmer: New and Beginning Farmers Conference last March. BFF’s main goal is to encourage the Filipino youth to be involved in agriculture by redefining and glamorizing farming. Its subgoal is to integrate fun and play in farming. They believe that the best way to teach agriculture is not just in schools but to bring them to actual farms. In July, BFF presented the movement at the Educational Tour Summit of the Department of Tourism (DOT). They encouraged schools and tour operators to bring out their students to DOT - accredited Agritourism farms for a one-of- a-kind experience and BFF also presented the movement to the Department of Education of Calabarzon to encourage basic agricultural education. The objective is to promote farming to the Filipino youth nationwide. We hope that Education Secretary Leonor Briones see and appreciate this.

At the recent get together of Agri Go Negosyo, very able Ginggay Hontiveros said so many things have happened. The Kapatid Agri Mentor Me Program (KAMMP) was signed in April 2017, a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between Secretary Manny Piñol of the Department of Agriculture and Joey Concepcion of Go Negosyo. This mentoring program especially for farmers is patterned after the Kapatid Mentor Me program for Small and Medium Businesses with the Department of Trade. Jas Nito reported that KAMMP with the battle cry “Angat Lahat “ was first launched in Tacloban, Leyte in July and 10 regions have been launched to date, with four (4) more to go in 2017.

Teach the farmer to be a businessman. To have a mindset of an agripreneur. Topics include how to read financial statements, contracts and obligations, and even writing a business plan etc. Mentors are successful agripreneurs, all volunteers: Mat Maderazo,

Paps Villegas, Glen Villaroman, Ed Canuto, Eric Atanacio, Nonong Velasco, Sonya Garcia, among others, supported by Vix Madlangbayan and Willy Arcilla. By the end of 2017, fourteen (14) regions would have been launched. With an average of 170 farmers per launch, that’s a total of 2380 mentees in 2017. What a great start!

Cherrie Atilano of AGREA (a millennial) also shared what she's doing, which is a LOT. She definitely is an “invigorating ray of hope”. She is such a bundle of energy and an “ANGeL” (ASEAN’s Next Generation Leaders). A TOWN’s awardee, she won the Earth Mover award for her efforts in making farming a “cool, smart and humane profession” if not sexy too. She is organizing and looking forward to the first Youth Summit on Agriculture to be held in the Philippines next year!

The government is also very supportive for farmers to be agripreneurs. With the Farm Tourism Act, each farm has the potential to be a tourist destination. Sen. Cynthia Villar’s advocacy is that each municipality have a farm tourist site and a farm learning site too to add to the farmers income. Thanks also to Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) and TESDA.

IMPORTANT AGRI events, DON’T miss this October :

Oct 4 The FIRST ASEAN AGRI SUMMIT at the SMX Convention Center to craft an integrated framework for Agripreneurship, to inspire and connect the ASEAN agriculture ecosystem.

Oct. 5-7 AGRILINK at WORLD TRADE CENTER

The JADAM Natural Farming wth ReiYoon! A Revolutionary Farming method on Natural Technology. SAVE BIG! Learn to MAKE your own Natural Fertilizer, Pesticide Enhance the Microorganism Inputs .

Oct 5-7 Tribal Mission Foundation DAVAO Oct 9-11 Bohol Island State University BOHOL Oct 12-14 Terra Verde Maragondon CAVITE Oct 17-19 Flor’s Garden Antipolo RIZAL

I salute the young people Miguel, Trish, Ginggay, Jas, Cherrie and many others like them. With Government, Private Sector and the YOUTH working together, there is No need to fear as to Who will feed us. We will not be hungry. In fact we will be eating healthy nutritious food. “Let Food be thy Medicine and NOT Medicine thy Food.” There is HOPE!

***

Ms. Tarriela is Chairman of Philippine National Bank. She was formerly Undersecretary of Finance and the First Filipina Vice President of Citibank N.A. She is a natural farmer and an environmentalist.

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