Archive for February, 2017

TOSP Foundation Recognizes the Ten Outstanding Students of the Philippines

Saturday, February 11th, 2017

After months of rigorous search process, the Ten Outstanding Student of the Philippines (TOSP) 2016 has been named last February 9, 2017 in Malacañan Palace.

The Ten Outstanding Students of the Philippines are Anne Malazarte of the University of San Agustin, Arizza Nocum of University of the Philippines Diliman, Nafieza Mohammad of the Universidad de Zamboanga, Ronalyn Pordan of the Far Eastern University, Andrienne Boado of the University of Northern Philippines, Janssen Ramos of the University of the East, Gimar Reyes of Xavier University, Ladielyn Fuderanan of the University of Bohol, Vryxonval Del Valle of First Asia Institute of Technology and Humanities, and Riego Garcia of the Central Philippine University.

The awarding ceremony has been attended by Science and Technology Secretary Fortunato De la Pena, Presidential Adviser Joey Concepcion, TOSP Founder Jose Concepcion Jr., TOSP President Marie Concepcion-Young, and TOSP Head of the Board of Judges Dr. Ryan Guinaran.

The Ten Outstanding Students of the Philippines (TOSP) 2016 have been recognized last February 9, 2017 in Malacanang. The TOSP 2016 are Anne Malazarte of the University of San Agustin, Arizza Nocum of University of the Philippines Diliman, Nafieza Mohammad of the Universidad de Zamboanga, Ronalyn Pordan of the Far Eastern University, Andrienne Boado of the University of Northern Philippines, Janssen Ramos of the University of the East, Gimar Reyes of Xavier University, Ladielyn Fuderanan of the University of Bohol, Vryxonval Del Valle of First Asia Institute of Technology and Humanities, and Riego Garcia of the Central Philippine University. The awarding ceremony was graced by Department of Science and Technology Secretary Fortunato De la Pena, Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion, TOSP Founder Jose Concepcion Jr., TOSP President Marie Concepcion-Young, TOSP Head of the Board of Judges Dr. Ryan Guinaran, TOSP Alumni Community President Pamela Asis-Layugan, Marivic Concepcion, and sponsors Michael Tan (LT Group) and Alice Eduardo (Sta. Elena Construction and Development Corporation).

The Ten Outstanding Students of the Philippines (TOSP) 2016 together with Department of Science and Technology Secretary Fortunato De la Pena, Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion, TOSP Founder Jose Concepcion Jr., TOSP President Marie Concepcion-Young, TOSP Head of the Board of Judges Dr. Ryan Guinaran, TOSP Alumni Community President Pamela Asis-Layugan, Marivic Concepcion, and sponsors Michael Tan (LT Group) and Alice Eduardo (Sta. Elena Construction and Development Corporation).

Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion shared thoughts on his role as an adviser to the President, the President’s mission of helping Filipinos move up in life, mentorship, and on helping micro and small entrepreneurs.

PA Concepcion advised the students, “You have a bright future. Only ten will be chosen but nevertheless among the millions of students out there, you are part of the brightest students of the country… But in the end, with all of these, it’s all up to you… Many of you will be part of the government one day. Maybe one of you will be a president someday. Nothing is impossible. It all starts with a dream. You cannot wait for destiny. You will have to work hard for that. And if it’s meant to be, it will happen.”

Secretary De la Pena represented President Duterte in the ceremony. In an inspiring message, he mentioned, “The recognitions serve as a reminder to the youth of today that learning is as much as a right of every young Filipino as much as it is a responsibility for those who have received it not only to oneself or the family but also to our nation.”

“Eventually, the torch of our nation will be passed on to you. I trust that you will all keep the fire burning and shape a magnificent future for the country and its people. In this journey, the government will always stand with you as an ally. But for now, we celebrate your achievements. We share in your pride and happiness today and promise that we will continue to support you in your journey to greater heights,” said Sec. De la Pena.

Sta. Elena Construction and Development Corporation President and CEO Alice Eduardo, and LT Group President Michael Tan also graced the event.

The Search for the Ten Outstanding Students of the Philippines (TOSP) is the Awards and Formation Program established by businessman Jose Concepcion Jr. as a way of galvanizing the youth into action for social progress. It honors graduating college students who have not only excelled academically, but have also dedicated themselves to serve their respective communities, organizations, and other spheres of interaction. It is the domain of dedicated servant-leaders who have heeded the call of life-long learning, leading and serving.

The 30 finalists include Jan Kenneth Antenero (Ateneo de Zamboanga University), Cherson Bariuan (St. Paul University Philippines), Michelle Binwag (Ifugao State University), Kristan Ian Cabana (Cebu Institute of Technology – University), Piny Ellaeine Cesar (St. Paul University Philippines), Harold Henryson Chiu (University of the Philippines Manila), Derick De Guzman (Lyceum of the Philippines Batangas), Amyrrha Estollio (Siliman University), Karina Jimenea (Colegio de San Agustin Bacolod), Kate Meisel Annecko Lemoncito (Colegio de San Agustin Bacolod), Mark Anthony Lim (Tarlac State University), Alyanna Therese Pangilinan (University of St. La Salle), Orly Primo (Benguet State University), Ron Ephraim Roluna (Ateneo de Naga University), Charles Janzen Rosario (University of Northern Philippines), Carmegie Saliba (Ateneo de Manila University-School of Medicine and Public Health), Jeck Sto. Tomas (Baliwag University), Ea Kristine Clarisse Tulin (Visayas State University), Chatelaine Wansi (Benguet State University), and Katrina Pauline Yap (De La Salle University-Manila).

Go Negosyo Inspiring Filipina Entrepreneurs 2017

Friday, February 10th, 2017

IFE 2017 Web Article Photo

The Search for the Inspiring Filipina Entrepreneurs is a campaign spearheaded by Go Negosyo. This annual tradition aims to recognize women and their capacity to be catalysts for change and progress. The award will be presented at the Malacanang Palace on March 2017 (date to be confirmed) in line with Go Negosyo’s celebration of International Women’s Month.

Qualifications:
(The nominator must write a supporting statement or a short essay highlighting each of the qualifications below. See Official Nomination Form for the format.)

1. May or may not have come from humble beginnings.
2. A Filipino who embodies the following traits: PASSIONATEPOSITIVE and PANALO (‘can do’) attitude.
3. Must have an innovative business model (products/ processes).
4. Must show the ability to genuinely care for the community and stakeholders and must have the potential to share time and talent to help spread the entrepreneurship advocacy.
5. Must be well-respected by their peers.

Mechanics & Requirements
Nominators must submit the following requirements or before February 21 2017.

  1. Duly accomplished Nomination Form
  2. Short essay/ supporting statement (Please see attached Nomination Form for the format)
  3. Supporting documents:
    – Certificate of Business Registration or SEC Registration
    – Pictures of products and/or business establishment/s
    – Feature articles/press releases (if any)

Submission and Queries:
Via Email:
Completed Nomination Form and Requirements must be sent to gnfilipina2017@gmail.com and put “Go Negosyo Inspiring Filipina Entrepreneurs of 2017” as the subject.

Via Mail:
Completed Nomination Form and Requirements can be mailed directly to:

Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship
5/F RFM Corporate Center, Pioneer corner Sheridan Streets,
Mandaluyong Metro Manila 1552

DOWNLOAD Official Nomination Form HERE

ASEAN Brotherhood

Thursday, February 9th, 2017

Whenever ASEAN is being raised in discussions and conversations, we can only think of the brotherhood of the 10 countries involved. Since its establishment in 2003, the council has focused on having a stronger economic development for the region. Today, on its 14th anniversary and ASEAN’s 50th anniversary, we are bringing inclusive prosperity for all.

During the ASEAN Business Advisory Council Welcome Dinner last January 25, I shared the importance of having the same vision with President Duterte. For the past months and even before being elected, the President has been vocal in his plans to improve the lives of the Filipinos. And in ASEAN BAC, that is also our goal: to improve the lives of all members of the ASEAN community.

It is indeed a great challenge to help those at the bottom of the pyramid. As I said during the dinner, “Without the private and public sectors working together, the challenge of creating work for others is close to impossible.” But with the help of the key players such as the conglomerates, we can start the work towards prosperity.

When we launched the Go Negosyo Mentor Me program, the plan is to implement it to all the Negosyo Centers of the Department of Trade and Industry. Now, the Department of Agriculture has also adopted the program which aims to empower the farmers, fishermen and other agri-entrepreneurs. Moving forward with ASEAN, the ASEAN BAC has also established a mentoring program entitled ASEAN Mentors-Entrepreneurs Network (AMEN) which will create a greater mentorship in the region. Former awardees of the ASEAN Business Awards will form part of the network as a start.

Aside from these, we are also banking on the potential of agriculture as the game changer. We always say that the Philippines is a land of agricultural treasures. We also have our neighboring countries who have banked on their agriculture sector such as Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam. With the help of the agri-mentors from these countries, we can help alleviate this sector in our country, applying the techniques and establishing the infrastructure of other countries.

“If we want to help those in the bottom of the pyramid, this is our chance of helping the President. We have six years with the President and our friends in ASEAN to bring about greater change in the region”, I shared.

 Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala, Presidential Adviser and ASEAN BAC Chairman Joey Concepcion, George Barcelon, and Erramon Aboitiz during the ASEAN BAC Welcome Dinner.

Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala, Presidential Adviser and ASEAN BAC Chairman Joey Concepcion, George Barcelon, and Erramon Aboitiz during the ASEAN BAC Welcome Dinner.

Presidential Spokesperson Ernie Abella also attended the ASEAN BAC Welcome Dinner to talk in behalf of the President. He shared the expanded mandate which are: highly integrated and cohesive economy; comprehensive, innovative, and dynamic ASEAN; enhanced connectivity and sectoral cooperation; and a resilient, inclusive, people-oriented, and people-centered ASEAN.

When ASEAN Philippine Chairmanship was launched in Davao last January 15, President Duterte mentioned the importance of giving “a truly better life” for all ASEAN citizens. Sec. Abella reiterated this by saying that the true agenda of the President is “the well being of people, which can only be achieved if everyone acts for the common good.”

Sec. Abella said, “It takes more than just power, wealth, or ethics. It takes all three working together to create a nation we can all believe in.”

He also shared that the president is not just about law and order but also about inclusive prosperity which includes giving people an access to the services such as housing, education, health care, social welfare, transport, electricity and energy, water, and sanitation and refuse and waste removal.

In addition, the concept of social enterprises was also raised to which Sec. Abella said, “what works for people is good for business, and what is good for business is what works for the people.”

Lastly, Sec. Abella said, “We all build our nations and region worthy of our people and our people worthy of our nations and ASEAN.”

Aside from Sec. Abella, DTI Undersecretary Nora Terrado who chairs the committee on business and investment promotions enumerated the programs of DTI for the ASEAN chairmanship this year. These programs include ASEAN MSME Mentorship Summit, ASEAN Inclusive Business Summit, ASEAN Young Entrepreneurs Carnival, Slingshot, ASEAN Women Summit and many more. These are just few of the exciting programs for this year.

Jayant Menon, Lead Economist (Trade and Regional Cooperation) of the Economic Research and Regional Cooperation Department of Asian Development Bank presented the ASEAN Economic Community and the Evolving Regional Architecture which discusses the major progress, promising developments, challenges, and the critical steps for ASEAN.

Dr. Enrico L. Basilio Chief of Party of the USAID COMPETE Project Advisor talked about the ASEAN RORO Initiative which is a Philippine initiative program and a legacy project of ASEAN. The first RORO link of this network will be between the Philippines and Indonesia.

The ASEAN Young Entrepreneurs Council led by Rommel Gerodias also had their Manila declaration during the dinner.

The dinner was attended by many of our entrepreneurs and advocates which include Sen. Cynthia Villar, Sen. Miguel Zubiri, Sen. Sonny Angara, Cong. John Bertiz, Manny Pangilinan, Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala, Washington Sycip, Tony Meloto, Erramon Aboitiz, and many more.

We look forward to another insightful events in this year’s ASEAN Philippine chairmanship.

 

Fashion Tips for your Business (not your wardrobe)

Tuesday, February 7th, 2017

Radio Synthesis Fashion
For the Go Negosyo sa Radyo (GNSR) episode aired last February 3, 2017, regular hosts Sen. Bam Aquino and DJ Cheska San Diego-Bobadilla were joined by two of Philippine fashion’s revolutionary fashion entrepreneurs Delby Bragais and Pamela Mejia.

Our first guest was internationally renowned fashion designer, Certified Image Professional, and Go Negosyo Inspiring Filipina Awardee, Ms. Delby Bragais. During the show Bragais shared about her story of perseverance. When she was starting out, she remembered selling her first product for only 250 pesos. Today, her designs reach six-digit figures and are the focal pieces of editorials and international fashion shows.

“You have to open yourself up to possibilities,” Bragais said. At the start of her venture into fashion, she shared that she didn’t know anything and anyone. What contributed significantly to the development of her business was joining associations and being connected with other designers. The environment of mentorship and support proved to be an invaluable resource to the Delby Bragais’ brand.

Our second guest was Youth Entrepreneurship Development Workshop (YEDW) fellow, Pamela Mejia. Mejia’s brand Phinix is a start-up fashion social enterprise that collects textile wastes and upcycles them into shoes and accessories. Mejia shared that while fashion and entrepreneurship was something she delved into at an early age (she started selling t-shirts to her classmate when she was in high school) it wasn’t the path she was supposed to pursue full-time. With only a year left before Mejia was supposed to graduate from pre-med, she decided to transfer to UP Diliman to pursue fashion technology.

Her concept for Phinix only emerged fairly recently — frustrations with fashion entrepreneurship being looked down upon as compared to their health or education counterpart propelled Mejia to take one of the industry’s biggest problems head-on: its monumental waste rates.

Sen. Bam Aquino, Pamela Mejia, Delby Bragais and DJ Cheska San Diego-Bobadilla.

Sen. Bam Aquino, Pamela Mejia, Delby Bragais and DJ Cheska San Diego-Bobadilla.

“Fashion is the second dirtiest industry in the world,” Mejia exclaimed. “Here in the Philippines, we don’t have a textile recycling industry.”

With Phinix being Mejia’s fifth fashion enterprise, she wants other aspiring fashion entrepreneurs to know that in the competitive fashion industry, you have to know where to draw inspiration from. For Mejia, it’s her advocacy for an eco-friendly fashion industry while for Bragais, it’s her pride and confidence in the potential of the Philippines’ for creative enterprises.

“Sadyang malikhain tayo. I wish that there would be more institutions that would support the creative business industry,” Bragias said.

Mejia shared Bragais sentiments and added that she had to join competitions abroad to receive support for her project.

Even though the fashion industry is a tough and competitive one, the two designers share that it is not impossible to succeed in it. Here are 3 important takeaways from Delby Bragais and Pamela Mejia for aspiring fashion entrepreneurs.

1) Invest in both creativity and management
In Bragais’ opinion, if you don’t have the background in business to back your creativity up, you will not be able to move your product. Creativity is important in creating good designs but not knowing how to staff your business, how to sell you products, will leave your brand behind in this very competitive industry.

2) Develop an eye for good design
Mejia tells other aspiring fashion entrepreneurs not to be discouraged if they aren’t the best in fashion illustration or sewing. She says that as long as you have a good eye for design you can go far (and you can always hire a designer or mananahi to execute your ideas!)

3) Tell the story of your brand/design
Bragais shares that when foreigners would be interested in her designs she would always share how a piece is handwoven or sourced from local communities in the Philippines. Telling the story of how your design came to be could actually convince potential buyers to pay a hefty sum for your design. For Mejia, telling her customer’s about the advocacy of Phinix opens people up to the idea of upcycling and eventually become supporters of her brand.

ASEAN@50 Initiatives for Inclusive Growth

Monday, February 6th, 2017
The ASEAN Business and Advisory Council members had their 69th ASEAN Business Advisory Council Meeting last January 25-26, 2017. (In photo: Front row: Lisa Ibrahim, Anangga Roosdiono, Tan Sri Dr. Mohd Munir Bin Adbul Majid, Dr. Robert Yap, Joey Concepcion, Oudet Souvannavong, Tessie Sy-Coson, George Barcelon, Petcharat Eaksangkul, Rozaimeriyanty Rahman, and Kobsak Duangdee. Back row: Moe Kyaw, Dato Ramesh Kodammal, Phairush Burapachaisri, Robert Yap Min Choy, Jay Yuvallos, and Gil Gonzales).

The ASEAN Business and Advisory Council members had their 69th ASEAN Business Advisory Council Meeting last January 25-26, 2017. (In photo: Front row: Lisa Ibrahim, Anangga Roosdiono, Tan Sri Dr. Mohd Munir Bin Adbul Majid, Dr. Robert Yap, Joey Concepcion, Oudet Souvannavong, Tessie Sy-Coson, George Barcelon, Petcharat Eaksangkul, Rozaimeriyanty Rahman, and Kobsak Duangdee. Back row: Moe Kyaw, Dato Ramesh Kodammal, Phairush Burapachaisri, Robert Yap Min Choy, Jay Yuvallos, and Gil Gonzales).

Last January 25-26, the ASEAN Business Advisory Council held its 69th ASEAN BAC Meeting in Manila. As ASEAN BAC Chairman, I led the discussion of priorities and programs for the Philippines’ chairmanship this year which coincides with ASEAN’s 50th Anniversary.

Prior to the meeting, the ASEAN BAC members were invited to the Department of Trade and Industry’s launch of the ASEAN 2017 Business and Investment Program held in Malacanang. The launch was led by President Rodrigo Duterte and DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez. Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, government officials, foreign ambassadors and dignitaries, and entrepreneurs were also present in the program.

Secretary Ramon Lopez and President Duterte pressed a ceremonial pillar to commence the presentation of business programs. Sec. Lopez shared the list of programs organized for ASEAN’s 50th year. These programs include ASEAN MSMEs-Mentors Conference, ASEAN Women’s Business Conference, Inclusive Business Summit, ASEAN Young Entrepreneurs Carnival, Slingshot ASEAN, ASEAN MSME Summit and many more.

The 69th ASEAN BAC Meeting was joined by members of the council, heads of the ASEAN Working Groups on women, youth, MSME, inclusive business, and business chambers. ASEAN Working Group Heads Chit Juan (Women), DTI-BSMED Dir. Jerry Clavesillas (MSME), Rommel Juan (Youth), and DTI-BOI ASec. Fe Reyes (Inclusive Business) presented their programs for 2017. All these working committees will have their summits highlighting their respective sectors which will all be in partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry and ASEAN BAC.

I also hosted a Welcome Dinner for ASEAN BAC members. Aside from them, the dinner was attended by government officials, ambassadors, enablers, business orgs, the different chambers of commerce, and the entrepreneur community. Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella also attended the dinner and gave a short message. Department of Trade and Industry Undersecretary Nora Terrado delivered a presentation on the Philippine Business Agenda for ASEAN 2017. Other presentations during the dinner included the Manila Declaration of ASEAN Young Entrepreneurs Association, Asian Development Bank Lead Economist for Trade and Regional Cooperation Mr. Jay Menon’s “ASEAN Economic Community: Challenge and Opportunities”, and USAID Philippine Competitiveness (COMPETE) Project Chief of Party, Dr. Enrico Basilio.

Atty. Gianna Montinola, Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala, and Felix Ang.

Atty. Gianna Montinola, Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala, and Felix Ang.

Wilfred Gui, Manny Osmena, Tessie Sy-Coson, William Belo, Tony Melato, Amado Honrado, and Charlie Villasenor.

Wilfred Gui, Manny Osmena, Tessie Sy-Coson, William Belo, Tony Melato, Amado Honrado, and Charlie Villasenor.

Johnlu Koa, Marilou Koa, Marissa Concepcion, Agnes Roscigno, and Italian Ambassador Massimo Roscigno.

Johnlu Koa, Marilou Koa, Marissa Concepcion, Agnes Roscigno, and Italian Ambassador Massimo Roscigno.

Rikki Dee, Chris Chilip, and Eric Yu.

Rikki Dee, Chris Chilip, and Eric Yu.

Association of Filipino Franchisers Inc. (AFFI) members and officers: Jean Uvero, Josie See, Anne Francisco, Sonny Francisco, and Richie Cuna.

Association of Filipino Franchisers Inc. (AFFI) members and officers: Jean Uvero, Josie See, Anne Francisco, Sonny Francisco, and Richie Cuna.

Philippine Franchise Association (PFA) officers Yvette Orbeta and Rebecca Bucad.

Philippine Franchise Association (PFA) officers Yvette Orbeta and Rebecca Bucad.

Pacita Juan, Chair of ASEAN Women Entrepreneurs Network; Rommel Gerodias, Chair of the ASEAN Young Entrepreneurs Council; DTI-BSMED Council Director Jerry Clavesillas also presented on MSME development; DTI Investment Promotion Group Assistant Secretary Felicitas Reyes presented about inclusive business.

Pacita Juan, Chair of ASEAN Women Entrepreneurs Network; Rommel Gerodias, Chair of the ASEAN Young Entrepreneurs Council; DTI-BSMED Council Director Jerry Clavesillas also presented on MSME development; DTI Investment Promotion Group Assistant Secretary Felicitas Reyes presented about inclusive business.

Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala, Joey Concepcion, George Barcelona, and Erramon Aboitiz.

Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala, Joey Concepcion, George Barcelona, and Erramon Aboitiz.

Richard Sanz, Fro Oliva, and Manuel Igual.

Richard Sanz, Fro Oliva, and Manuel Igual.

Babe Romualdez and Sen. Miguel Zubiri; Sen. Sonny Angara with Rommel Sytin.

Babe Romualdez and Sen. Miguel Zubiri; Sen. Sonny Angara with Rommel Sytin.

Marissa Concepcion, Sen. Cynthia Villar, and Cong. John Bertiz.

Marissa Concepcion, Sen. Cynthia Villar, and Cong. John Bertiz.

 EU-ASEAN Business Council President Donald Kanak and Executive Director Chris Humphrey.

EU-ASEAN Business Council President Donald Kanak and Executive Director Chris Humphrey.

Myrna Yao, Emelita Alvarez, Emma Imperial, Marife Zamora, and Sandy Montano.

Myrna Yao, Emelita Alvarez, Emma Imperial, Marife Zamora, and Sandy Montano.

Uratex’s Natividad Cheng and Pinky Cheng-Rosagas.

Uratex’s Natividad Cheng and Pinky Cheng-Rosagas.

DTI Undersecretary Nora Terrado; Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella delivered a message in behalf of President Duterte; Asian Development Bank’s Lead Economist for Trade and Regional Cooperation Jay Menon presented the challenges and opportunities in the ASEAN economic community and Dr. Henry Basilio, Chief of Party Advancing Philippine Competitiveness Project discussed the ASEAN RORO (Roll On - Roll Off) initiative.

DTI Undersecretary Nora Terrado; Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella delivered a message in behalf of President Duterte; Asian Development Bank’s Lead Economist for Trade and Regional Cooperation Jay Menon presented the challenges and opportunities in the ASEAN economic community and Dr. Henry Basilio, Chief of Party Advancing Philippine Competitiveness
Project discussed the ASEAN RORO (Roll On – Roll Off) initiative.

Oudet Souvannavong; uenter Taus, President of European Chamber of Commerce and Industry; David Catty of ASEAN-New Zealand Business Council; Jonny Chotrani of ASEAN-India Business Council.

Oudet Souvannavong; uenter Taus, President of European Chamber of Commerce and Industry; David Catty of ASEAN-New Zealand Business Council; Jonny Chotrani of ASEAN-India Business Council.

EU-ASEAN Business Council Chris Humphrey and Donald Kanak.

EU-ASEAN Business Council Chris Humphrey and Donald Kanak.

UPS Asia Pacific Region Vice President of Public Affairs and Sustainability Shiumei Lin; Ryohei Gamada of Japan External Trade Organization; Maximilian Coleman of UK-ASEAN Business Council; Eleanor Mak of Australia-ASEAN Business Council.

UPS Asia Pacific Region Vice President of Public Affairs and Sustainability Shiumei Lin; Ryohei Gamada of Japan External Trade Organization; Maximilian Coleman of UK-ASEAN Business Council; Eleanor Mak of Australia-ASEAN Business Council.

 

 

 

DTI bares year-long plans as Chair of ASEAN’s Business and Investment Promotion Committee

Saturday, February 4th, 2017

MALACAÑAN—Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez revealed year-long plans that aim to complement and heighten the impact of the country’s strategic priorities and deliverables for the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), following DTI’s chairmanship of the ASEAN Economic Ministers (AEM) meeting and the ASEAN’s Committee on Business and Investment Promotion (CBIP).

Speaking at the formal launch of the ASEAN 2017 Business and Investment Program on 24 January, Sec. Lopez expressed confidence on ASEAN as an economic powerhouse, citing that the region is now the third largest market in the world with over 620 million people, the third largest economy in Asia, and the seventh largest economy in the world with a combined Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of 2.3 trillion dollars.

He also called on maximizing the opportunities and benefits from the AEC, and reiterated the four pillars of AEC as landscape for the dialogue with ASEAN partners in realizing the ASEAN 2025, starting with the 23rd AEM Retreat.AEC’s four pillars are the establishment of a single market and production base, a highly competitive economic region, a region of equitable economic development, and a region fully integrated into global economy.

Department of Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez.

Department of Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez.

This will solidify our priorities for the 50th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting (AMM), the 49th AEM Meeting and the Leaders’ Summit, to be chaired by President Rodrigo Duterte, according to him.

“As we host the ASEAN 2017 Summit, the Philippines is one with the ASEAN in increasing trade and investments in the region; in integrating micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the digital economy for greater access to trade information, global market and value chain, and finance, promoting youth and women entrepreneurship; and in increasing cooperation within the region and connectivity to the rest of the world,” Sec. Lopez said.

The trade chief said that coinciding with the Leaders’ Summit in April is the holding of an ASEAN MSMEs-Mentors Conference, bringing together ASEAN mentors who can equip ASEAN local community enablers with the necessary information on access to capital, markets, ASEAN industries and innovation.

An ASEAN Creative Cities Forum and Exhibit will also be held, showcasing initiatives of 10 ASEAN Member States (AMS) in making culture and creativity a driving force for sustainable development and urban regeneration, according to Sec. Lopez.

“Taste ASEAN as the Philippines holds International Food Exposition (IFEX) in May. IFEX will showcase the best food brands from Southeast Asia and its partner countries,” he said, adding that DTI’s aim is to increase ASEAN SME participation in the global production and value chains, through participation of 10 AMS and ASEAN Dialogue Partners (DPs) in the country’s biggest international trade exhibition on food and food-related products.

Aside from these, an ASEAN Women’s Business Conference in August will be held to provide strategic dialogue among ASEAN, the private sector and DPs in addressing issues and concerns on women entrepreneurship, focusing on market access and finance and the identification of innovative business models which supports the ASEAN’s vision of a stronger, more inclusive, and integrated economic community.

In September, Sec. Lopez said that an Inclusive Business Summit, emphasizing the role of the government in sharing best practices on implementing inclusive business strategies and in recognizing exemplary inclusive business models through the ASEAN Inclusive Business Awards.

Meanwhile, the 2nd  ASEAN Young Entrepreneurs Carnival will strengthen the network among young entrepreneurs from ASEAN and other countries capturing the fast-paced developments on key sectors such as food, agriculture, information technology, logistics, business process outsourcing, start-ups, and Internet of Things (IOT).  Through the formal launch of ASEAN Young Entrepreneurs Association (AYEA) Charter, Sec. Lopez hoped to commit young entrepreneur towards strengthened ties, cooperation and linkages.

In October, driven by the goal to promote innovation across the ASEAN region, DTI will spearhead the annual Slingshot event, helping create a regional network of ASEAN ecosystem players including startups, investors, incubators, mentors, academe, co-working spaces, and industry experts.

“It shall showcase investment-ready startups for potential local and international investors as well as facilitate easy access of information between governments running start-up development programs in the region,” he said.

Before the year closes, another MSME Summit will be held, featuring inspiring MSMEs including those that have benefited from the mentoring program of the Philippines and other AMS. The Summit, which is in conjunction with the concluding ASEAN Leader’s Summit, will be an occasion to formally introduce the establishment of the ASEAN Mentors Network, an organization of mentors from AMS.

“We shall work hand-in-hand in creating paths that will lead our people and our communities towards a truly inclusive, innovation-led shared prosperity,” Sec. Lopez concluded.

Tax 101 with the Tax Whiz

Friday, February 3rd, 2017

Tax Whiz

Last January 27, Go Negosyo sa Radyo (GNSR) hosts Sen. Bam Aquino & DJ Cheska San Diego-Bobadilla were joined by Go Negosyo angelpreneur Mon “The Tax Whiz” Abrea, the Founding President of the Center for Strategic Reforms of the Philippines and Chief Strategic Officer of the Abrea Consulting Group, Inc.

Besides answering frequently asked questions by the Filipino taxpayer, the three discussed the relevant tax reforms underway to help ease the burden of the difficult Philippine taxation process. Here are some important highlights from the discussion:

1. Streamlined tax processes and requirements
The reason why so many Filipino taxpayers fail at compliance is due to the complicated and redundant tax system which would stack penalties on penalties upon the people. Mon Abrea shares that Commissioner Billy Dulay and the people at BIR are now assessing the current system to check which requirements could be scrapped or improved. Abrea says that genuine tax reform should be centered on making tax requirements more convenient for Filipinos.

2. Flat rate tax for small businesses
This is good news for our MSMEs! In a move to make tax more convenient for small businesses and increase tax compliance, Sen. Bam Aquino proposed a flat rate of 10%. In making tax compliance flat and fair for MSMEs, it reduces the chance of MSMEs incurring penalties and eases the process of tax collection for the BIR.

3. Further improvement and transition into automation
The movement towards automating processes like business registration, tax compliance, and risk based audit doesn’t only make it more convenient for the taxpayer, but it’s also a way to battle corruption in the BIR’s system.

4. Bracketing system
The bracketing system will allow for fairer taxes for everyone involved. Currently, small businesses and regular employees suffer the most. Bracketing would help make the tax rates fairer between large businesses versus small businesses and professionals versus employees.

5. Taxes and Start-ups
In the program, the three hosts answered plenty of question regarding tax in the perspective of negosyantes. Due to time constraints however, they were only able to discuss the yearly renewal of all businesses by January and income tax returns to be filed by April.

For a more comprehensive guide to tax and start-ups, read the article #AskTheTaxWhiz: Top 10 frequently asked tax questions by start-ups or visit your nearest negosyo center and inquire about the FREE Tax Komiks entitled “VAT Ganun? Bakit Ako May Tax?”— a Tagalog comic that acts as your guide to business registration and taxes.

For further help and information regarding taxes, we’ve listed the organizations/institutions you can address your questions to:
CSR Philippines (+63) 2 372 5727 | Abrea Consulting Group: Tweet @askthetaxwhiz | DTI’s Negosyo Centers: www.bamaquino.com/gonegosyoact/negosyocenters/


Mon Abrea

Mon Abrea, popularly known as the “Tax Whiz,” is a Go Negosyo Angelpreneur, an Ayala Young Leader Alumnus, a Gerry Roxas Leadership Awardee and the author of the bestselling tax handbook, “Got a Question About Taxes? Ask The Tax Whiz! Most Frequently Asked Tax Questions in the Philippines.” Awarded as the Outstanding Young Men of the Philippines (TOYM), Asia CEO Young Leader of the Year and Distinguished Bedan in the field of Accounting and Taxation for 2015, Mon Abrea is a former BIR Examiner and is considered the most prominent advocate of genuine tax reform.

 

 

Inclusive Prosperity

Thursday, February 2nd, 2017
Kapatid conglomerates met with Finance Secretary Sonny Dominguez last February 1, 2017.

Kapatid conglomerates met with Finance Secretary Sonny Dominguez last February 1, 2017.

Following the successful consultation dinner of the Kapatid conglomerates with President Duterte two weeks ago, I arranged a meeting with Department of Finance Secretary, Carlos Dominguez, together with the big brother conglomerates.  The meeting happened yesterday early morning. It was an insightful meeting which focused on a number of things including taxes, budget allocations, investments, and most importantly, the projects concerning areas of extreme poverty.

Prior to the meeting, Agriculture Secretary Manny Pinol and his team have identified their top 10 areas in the country experiencing extreme poverty. [Through the Special Areas of Agricultural Development Program (SAAD)], the areas chosen for 2018 will follow 4-3-3 scheme wherein 4 identified places will be from Mindanao, 3 from Visayas, and 3 from Luzon. These are: in Mindanao – Sulu, Bukidnon, Compostela Valley, and Sultan Kudarat; in Visayas – Siquijor, Southern Leyte, and Leyte; and in Luzon – Masbate, Catanduanes, and Sorsogon. The mission of Go Negosyo’s Kapatid program is to bring socio-economic development in these areas through infrastructure, food and income security, and capacity building. Secretary Dominguez has assured that the government will be in full support of these programs. He also mentioned that there will be a budget supporting programs for the development of ARMM.

Secretary Dominguez also asked for the support and cooperation of Kapatid conglomerates for his tax reform bill. There are many proposed developments on our country’s tax system. This includes the adjustment of personal income tax bracket, and lowering the donor’s tax rate and estate tax rate to 6%. The Kapatid conglomerates asked for more information and clarification on these tax reforms to which he gladly discussed in detail.

One of the proposals for tax is to have a flat tax. According to him, this proposal is good; however, unconstitutional. In the 1987 Constitution article VI, section 28, paragraph 1 states that “The rule of taxation shall be uniform and equitable. The congress shall evolve a progressive system of taxation.”

Department of Finance Secretary Sonny Dominguez.

Department of Finance Secretary Sonny Dominguez.

There are a lot of economic developments under President Duterte’s administration. He has created an exemplary economic team composed of Secretary Ramon Lopez, Secretary Carlos Dominguez, National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Secretary Ernesto Pernia, and Department of Budget and Management Secretary Benjamin Diokno. Together with the rest of the cabinet secretaries, they are doing a great job in boosting the economy. Even the Kapatid conglomerates applaud these men for their work on completing the 10-point economic agenda of the government. Tessie Sy-Coson, SM vice-chairperson, even suggested to boost these good business and investment updates so that we will attract more international attention that can lead to more investments.

There are also upcoming projects which will be implemented in the coming years. Investments and foreign trade partnerships are being fostered as well. The government have established an investment coordinating committee composed of Department of Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar, Secretary Benjamin Diokno, Transportation Secretary Tugade, Secretary Ernesto Pernia, and Secretary Carlos Dominguez for all transactions and negotiations with investors which includes China.

The meeting was attended by Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala (Ayala Corporation), Teresita Sy-Coson (SM Investments Corporation), George Barcelon (Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry), Erramon Aboitiz (Aboitiz Equity Ventures), Doris Magsaysay Ho (Magsaysay Group), Alfred Ty (GT Capital Holdings), Cong. Arthur Yap, Ernest Tan Mantiong (Jollibee Food Corporation), Federico Lopez (First Philippine Holdings), Lance Gokongwei (JG Summit Group), Josephine Gotianun-Yap (Filinvest Corporation), Michael Tan (LT Group), and Merly Cruz (Go Negosyo).

We are only seven months in this administration and we are experiencing great developments. We are currently one of the fastest growing economies in the world and have actively played in the global economic arena. As we host this year’s ASEAN, we look forward to a more active business progress in the region. Indeed, positive change has come!

These Kapatid conglomerates are now part of the movement to bring about inclusive growth in the country. We are one in the mission of providing prosperity for all. Our constant communication and close coordination with the President and his government officials strengthen the private-public partnership that we have established since the beginning of his term.

***

Yesterday, the Commission on Appointments confirmed the appointment of Sec. Ramon Lopez for Department of Trade and Industry and Sec. Manny Pinol for Department of Agriculture. Both secretaries are partners of Go Negosyo in the mission of Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprise Development.