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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Zoilo By: Zoilo "Bingo" P. Dejaresco III

September 27, 2017


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.

BOTH THE WWF AND THE UNITED NATIONS agree that the 70% of the world's fish stock has been fished to its limit or overfished. The World Fish Center concurs fish has been hunted 30% above its ability to replenish.

Fishing is almost done in wanton abandon everywhere -with little protection of the fish habitat and the absence of very few "no fish zones". There is so much demand for fish that countries have subsidized their fishing fleet- as they say, too many boats chasing a dwindling fish population. Do we have a reducing supply of fish in the world?

In the Philippines, the BFAR ( Bureau of Fisheries and Aquacultural Resources) confirm that 10 of the 13 so-called fishing grounds in the Philippines have been "overfished".

Often less discussed are the "silent" competition for fish as their meals: whales, dolphins, and porpoises. And lest we forget the giant China with billions of mouths to feed.

You see, the tussle at the South China Sea area is not just about oil underneath the sand-though there are tons upon tons there. But fish. In that area alone, China has 3.7 million Chinese workers in the fish industry -and driving many other nation claimant-citizens scampering for safety -for fear of China.

The worst thing about it, according to the University of Miami findings, is that the man-made islands installed by China in the area have resulted in the destruction of 16,200 hectares of coral reefs, the natural sanctuary of fish and other marine life.

But the humongous need of the Chinese for fish protein can be exemplified by the fact that its overseas fishing fleet has 2,600 vehicles -employing 14 million Chinese- and reach as far as the seawaters of Africa.

This is not surprising as China as bruted to consume about 34% of the world's fish supply.

The growing scarcity- and thus the increasing price of fish, is true in many Asian nations wherein having fish on the table is already a "luxury" for many of their poor. Many times, even meat has become less expensive than fish.

So severe is the lack of fresh fish, that in highly-populated countries like Indonesia and the Philippines- the canned sardines and tuna are a daily fare on many dining tables of the people.

According to BFAR, as early as 2011, there were already close to 69,000 fishing boats here, mostly of the small fisher folks type- which weighs 3 gross tons and less. The popular catch has been the tulingan, dilis, galunggong, tamban and tambakon.

The dwindling fish supply punishes the poor fisher folks the most. Their 15-kilometer allowable fishing grounds have often been taken over by big-time trawl fishers, who bribe local LGUs to grant them permits to fish in abandon in those restricted areas.

Thus half of the fish supply is cornered by 1% of the big-time fish operators. It used to be in the 1970's that the fisherfolks could easily fetch 20 kilograms of fish per day which has been reduced today to a mere 4.76 kilograms a day.

Ten years back, a father-and-son fish team could earn P1,000 a day and still have some fish for home. Today, he does not only borrow for his working capital daily- but it takes longer and they bring in less fish compared to per day a decade ago.

There are a lot of villains in this tragedy. The illegal forms of fishing like using dynamite, payao (light to attract fish), trawlers, and fishnets with holes that are less than 2 centimeters (capturing even the young fish). Other Filipinos live in dwellings above the sea and throw their garbage alongside many tourists and coastal area folks. Waste absorb by the sea makes it more acidic.

An early 1998 study already showed that only 5% of our corals are totally free from bottles, plastics, and other wrappers. Such a tragedy. Man is its own worst enemy, in this regard.

Imagine that while the Philippines only has 10 million hectares of land suitable for agriculture, we have 220 million hectares of territorial waters and 17,000 kilometers of coastline. That should have made out country a "fish country" and with a developed aquaculture.

Statistics disprove this. Consider that as of 2015, the Philippines only exported US$473-M of fish compared to Vietnam's $4.3B, Indonesia's $2.7-B and Thailand's $1.7-B. Why?

And even with that fish export numbers, why are the fisherfolks one of the poorest of the poor in the country earning only P178/day even those along the coastal towns? And there are 1.7 million of them, laments senator-gentleman farmer Kiko Pangilinan.

He says we have the capability to become a "superpower" in the fishing and marine life industry. He cannot understand the Philippines' pervasive poverty when one sees that France has developed its Oyster mollusks industry alone into a P32-B business affair, the US lobster industry at P42-B and even lowly Bangladesh shrimps fetch $476-M in the export market.

How come, once again, we are laggards in an environment so vast and rich in marine resources.

Lack of financing, storage facilities, manufacturing capabilities, packing prowess, environmental abuse. Illegal fishing and general lack of managerial direction from the Government have been cited as few of the many drawbacks we face.

Until we get our act together and government teams up with the private sector, every year we will still tell the same sad fish story even as the foreigners -ask us with raised eyebrows how -with so many natural resources -can we justify our "unexplained poverty."

(Bingo Dejaresco, a former banker, is a financial consultant media practitioner and book author. A Life Member of FINEX, he is also the chair of both the Professional Development and Broadcast Media committees, His views here, however, are personal and do not necessarily reflect those of FINEX. This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ).

Forecast and prediction

Manila Times(FINEX FILES)
January 05, 2018

Forecast and prediction

'Forecasts may tell you a great deal about the forecaster; they tell you nothing about the future.'Warren Buffett

People often ask me – “What’s going to be the price of bitcoin at the end on 2018”. Without any statistical basis, my unremitting retort is – “I don’t know”.

Golden FINEX rising
J. Albert GamboaBy J. Albert Gamboa

January 5, 2018

Golden FINEX rising

1968 was the year that changed the world, according to Time magazine. Civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. and US presidential candidate Robert Kennedy were assassinated. A youth rebellion paralyzed France and students took over Columbia University in New York. Czechoslovakia tasted freedom for a brief moment in the Prague Spring; Mexico City hosted the Olympics; and the Tet Offensive became the turning point of the Vietnam War.

The Philippine Basketball Association will not die
Zoilo By: Zoilo "Bingo" P. Dejaresco III

January 3, 2018

The Philippine Basketball Association will not die

There were fears politics would put an end to the highly popular Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) tournaments a few weeks ago over a controversial trade involving franchise player Christian Standhardinger.

What to expect in 2018
Mr. George S. ChuaBy Mr. George S. Chua

MANILA BULLETIN (Business Option)
January 2, 2018

What to expect in 2018

My crystal ball tells me that the letter T will loom large in 2018, actually 4 of them, Taxes, Trans portation, Telecommunications, and Tourism. With the recent signing into law of the first phase of the tax reform package, we can see a mixed bag of results that will benefit certain sectors and be disadvantageous to others. Low income earners with an annual income of not more than R250,000 will no longer have to pay any taxes. That is certainly good news for them,

Ethics in media
By Mercedes B. SuleikBy Mercedes B. Suleik

MANILA BULETTIN (Business Option)
December 26, 2017

Ethics in media

The use that people make of the media of social communications can bring about great good or great evil. Today we move in an “information age” wherein all sorts of images, messages, perceptions, and ideas assault our senses every day. Not only is media able to influence society, but they can actually propose ideas and models of behavior that impinge on the whole world.

A Christmas Message
By Dr. Conchita L. ManabatBy Dr. Conchita L. Manabat

December 22, 2017

A Christmas Message

Christmas is one day in a year where most Filipinos take the time and effort to prepare. To some, the preparation commences once the “ber” months start. And of course, there is the usual last minute rush to gear up for it.