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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From trams to trains?
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J. Albert GamboaBy J. Albert Gamboa

October 6, 2017

From trams to trains?

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

During a visit to the magnificent city of Prague in the Czech Republic, I stumbled upon a startling piece of information that may provide a clue to the problems plaguing our own Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3) plying Epifanio Delos Santos Avenue (EDSA), the country’s busiest thoroughfare.

The extensive tramway network of the Czech capital consists of 21 daytime routes that run between 4:30 AM and 1:00 AM the following day, and nine nighttime routes operating between midnight and 6:00 AM. Prague’s first electric tram line opened in 1891, using two-axle railcars. Since 1951, these railcars have been replaced by the Tatra tramcar series produced by the then Czechoslovakian company known as CKD Dopravny Systemy.

CKD was the very same firm that supplied the trains for Metro Manila’s MRT-3. The supply agreement was signed toward the tailend of the Ramos administration in 1997. Full operations started in 2000 during the Estrada administration, with a 16.9-kilometer single line traversing between Taft Avenue in Pasay City and North Avenue in Quezon City. A total of thirteen stations serve the National Capital Region’s commuters, with several stops in the cities of Makati and Mandaluyong.

Over the last decade and a half, MRT ridership has grown to more than half a million passengers daily. It has the characteristics of a light rail transit network especially because of the type of rolling stock used, but functions more like a rapid transit system due to its high passenger throughput and total grade separation.

I found out in Prague that CKD Dopravny Systemy is no longer in existence as a state-owned enterprise. It has since been acquired by Siemens Mobility of Germany and uses the brand name CKD Tatra, which still manufactures trams or streetcars.

In concept, a tram is similar to a train as it also runs on iron tracks. The difference is that trams run on rails that are on the same level as normal roads to which they are embedded. Filipinos are familiar with the trams of Hong Kong and San Francisco, which are mainly built to transport people between short distances.

Trams are lighter than trains and rarely transport cargo since they are designed to help commuters reach nearby destinations within city centers. On the other hand, trains cover long distances outside city limits and use their own tracks without any traffic since they do not occupy anyone else’s road space.

A reliable source told me that the MRT-3’s light rail vehicles were originally trams that had been converted into trains. Is this the reason they have been breaking down the past five years? Why did transportation officials in four previous administrations allow this to happen at the expense of the commuting public?


A new advocacy group has been formed to address the Philippines’ housing backlog that is estimated to reach 10 million by 2030.

Known as the Solid Ground Advocacy Campaign (SGAC), its mission is to change policies, systems, and attitudes to ensure that every Filipino has access to land for shelter. The country’s poor are usually left behind despite the numerous housing projects being developed in the major urban areas.

SGAC’s working group is composed of representatives from the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council, the Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor, the Department of the Interior and Local Government, the Department of the Environment and Natural Resources, the Department of Public Works and Highways, and the National Housing Authority.

Spearheading this movement is Habitat for Humanity Philippines, which has been involved in building houses and working with communities for the longest time. Now it has decided to focus on asset formation in the belief that unlocking assets like land is key to solving the country’s housing problems.

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.