First Seeds of Hope in Sulu

March 9th, 2017

Sulu—an island province of lush greens, bountiful waters, and great potential. Yet it is also beset by conflict and poverty. Such is the irony that exists there. Last February 23, the Go Negosyo team led by Ginggay Hontiveros and representatives of our Big Kapatids visited the island of Sulu to witness the first seeds of promise being planted. This is in fulfillment of the pledges made last December 19, 2016 in the presence of our beloved President Rodrigo Duterte, DA Secretary Manny Pinol, DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez and Sulu Representative Datu Shah Sakur Tan in Malacañan Palace.

The team were welcomed by Governor Toto Tan in his office together with several mayors. Datu Sakur Tan also joined, and once more they emphasized the value of what our Kapatids are doing to help the people on the island. It was the first meeting of Sulu officials with Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce & Industry Inc. (FFCCCI), Harbest, SM Foundation, Metrobank Foundation, and Metro Pacific Hospital Holdings Inc.

Groundbreaking ceremony for classrooms and buildings in Maimbung, Sulu.

Groundbreaking ceremony for classrooms and buildings in Maimbung, Sulu.

Their first stop of the day was the launch of SM Foundation’s Kabalikat sa Kabuhayan (KSK) program, in partnership with Harbest and DA Sulu. KSK is an intensive 12 week agri-training program that would benefit 200 farmers from various municipalities and help provide them with new skills and knowledge necessary to give them a better chance at life by learning how to plant and harvest high value crops such as vegetables.

Following this, they went to visit the HBSAT site in Jolo City. Renamed in 1963 through RA3707, Sulu Trade school was changed to “Hadji Butu School of Arts and Trade”, or HBSAT to locals. It is one of projects being considered by Metrobank Foundation in its efforts to support Sulu. The school is one of the oldest institutions in the province, and shows multiple buildings in varying states of dilapidation. The façade of these structures tell the story of HSBAT’s rich history and the struggles that students of the school face day by day.

One such student, Shaina Musa, a 9th grade senior high school student, spoke to them. They spoke just outside of her handicraft’s class. At 14 years old, she displayed maturity beyond her years. In a room that could fit thirty students, less than twenty were in attendance. Our team observed that most—if not all—of them had their hands on folded arms, looking as if they would rather be someplace else. “Labas po sila [mga kaklase] ng classroom, (They [classmates] keep going in-and-out of the classroom)” she shared, and when asked for the reason why, her answer was heartbreaking; “Kasi wala silang gusto. Wala silang pangarap. (Because they don’t have anything. They don’t have dreams.)” Perhaps one of the biggest factors would be the state of their classrooms: wooden chairs that look like they came from recycled wood, ceilings with no insulation that look like it would collapse during a storm, and shadows that cover their faces because they don’t have electricity. It’s a miracle that this young girl could still dream. Shaina still dreams big. She wants to study Computer Science in Mindanao State University and one day become a teacher. Perhaps with the newly donated classrooms, our Kapatids can bring her closer to her dream.

The second site visited was the Kapatid Village in Barangay Kajatian, Indanan, Sulu, where donations from Manny Osmeña, Natividad Cheng, Manny Pangilinan, William Belo, the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce, and other Big Kapatids will fund homes for the beneficiaries. Governor Tan headed the showcase of the model house to the beneficiaries.

One of the Kapatid Villages will be in Barangay Anuling Patikul, Sulu.

One of the Kapatid Villages will be in Barangay Anuling Patikul, Sulu.

Another heartbreaking scene met them when they arrived at Sultan Jamalul Kiram School in Kulasi, Maimbung. There was a large open field where Governor Tan and Enrique Chua, representative of FFCCCI, surrounded by the school officials, broke ground for the site of new school buildings. FFCCCI donated thirty classrooms in total. Following the advice of Governor Tan to spread out new building to different barangays, eight buildings each with 2 classrooms will be built. The deepest gratitude could be felt from the school officials, and especially the teachers. One teacher approached them. She brought them to the rooms and showed them the state of their classrooms; peeling walls, incomplete shutters, and ceilings that are drooping. We are building more classroom so that more children could have a better future. It’s truly a labor of love for them to continue teaching despite these conditions. The classrooms would help elevate the quality of learning that their students will experience.

Finally, the last stop of the day was in Patikul. Known for incursions over the past months, Patikul is near the mountains, and the Kapatid Village rests just along the road which leads to Barangay Anuling. Military personnel surrounded the area but the delegation of Kapatids were welcomed by the Barangay Captain Ging Hayudini. People watched from afar. It felt like a desolate place but hopes remain for the rehabilitation of this area will bring more peace to the town.

The trip to Sulu was successful overall. For now, we’re starting with Negosyo thru the KSK Program, two Kapatid Villages and thirty-two Kapatid Classrooms in Patikul, Maimbung, Indanan, and Jolo. More will follow in the coming months.

This project brings forth another unique example of how progress can be achieved with the combined efforts of the public and the private sector. We, of the private sector, must support programs like this in places like Sulu where our help is needed the most. This is where we will start bringing peace through business and entrepreneurship that will elevate the whole country towards an age of prosperity.

Mentor Me to Launch in 16 Regions this 2017

March 8th, 2017
Menter Me Program helps micro and small business scale up thru weekly coaching sessions done by their mentors.

Menter Me Program helps micro and small business scale up thru weekly coaching sessions done by their mentors.

March 8, 2017– Today marks the launch of the Kapatid Mentor ME (Micro Entrepreneur) Program or KMME for 2017. Last year, the program gained wide success and acclaim with the program rolling-out in 11 regions with over 200 business owners benefiting from the comprehensive program on entrepreneurship.

KMME began its roll-out on August 2016, as one the of three pillars of the Kapatid program. Go Negosyo, in collaboration with the DTI, launched this program as an initiative to bolster sustainable inclusive growth across enterprises of all sizes. The program consists of 1) the Mentor ME Program 2) Adopt-an-SSF (Shared Service Facility) and, 3) Inclusive Business.

Menter Me Program helps micro and small business scale up thru weekly coaching sessions done by their mentors. Mentors are business owners or practitioners across different functional areas of entrepreneurship. The sessions are held in DTI’s Negosyo Centers across the country and are stretched over the course of 12 weeks.

This year, the program will tackle 10 modules on topics such as — but not limited to —Marketing, the Entrepreneurial Mindset and Values Formation, Product Development and Innovation, Human Resource and Organization Management, Operations Management, Taxation and even Business Law.

“The Mentor Me Program feels like “modern bayanihan,” where entrepreneurs go hand-in-hand to help each other. It greatly helped a young & enthusiastic entrepreneur like me, acting not only as a guide but also as a way for me to be connected with people who have been in the business world for years,” says Sofia Tricia Zosa, business owner of Sofia’a Home Baked Goodies and 2016 mentee from DTI Davao, Region 11.

KMME will begin its roll-out this March in Mindanao and will spread out to other regions across Luzon and Visayas and Mindanao in the following months. The complete schedule for the months of March and April are listed below:
KMME_sched

DTI Supports Women in Tech Meet in Manila

March 7th, 2017
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) together with the ASEAN Women Entrepreneurs’ Network (AWEN) will bring together women from ASEAN member states for a conference focused on Technology and Innovation. Photo courtesy of DTI Facebook page.

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) together with the ASEAN Women Entrepreneurs’ Network (AWEN) will bring together women from ASEAN member states for a conference focused on Technology and Innovation. Photo courtesy of DTI Facebook page.

In line with the celebrations for the International Women’s Month in March, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) together with the ASEAN Women Entrepreneurs’ Network (AWEN) will bring together women from ASEAN member states for a conference focused on Technology and Innovation.  The Steering Committee is composed of representatives from the DTI, Philippine Commission on Women (PCW), Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), and Women’s Business Council of the Philippines (WomenBizPH) in coordination with the ASEAN National Organizing Council (NOC).

As part of the ASEAN Business and Investment Program led by DTI, the event tagged as S.T.E.A.M. Ahead in ASEAN: A Forum for Women and Technology will be held on 16-17 March at the Microtel by Wyndham at the Mall of Asia in Manila. Delegates and speakers from the various ASEAN countries with representatives from Google and UPS are expected to be at the two-day event to give women more ideas about opportunities in careers centered on Technology and Innovation.

Studies have proven that women who pursue careers in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) are highly likely to earn 30% more income than in non-STEAM careers.

DTI, as a prime advocate of advancement of tech-driven businesses in the country, leads the conference as part of its SLINGSHOT program that aims to help the growth and development of the startup community in the Philippines.

ASEAN Women Entrepreneurs’ Network (AWEN) is a working group in ASEAN composed of women entrepreneurs and associations working to promote women’s economic empowerment in the region. The Philippines currently chairs AWEN which has a network of almost a hundred organizations in the 10 ASEAN member states.

USAID-ACTI, the co-sponsor of the Conference, supports AWEN’s policy advocacy plans to empower women through business and enterprise and to improve access to finance and markets. It also organized the network of women in 2014 and sees through its projects for sustainable action plans for regional integration through technology.

AWEN was first chaired by Vietnam until May 2016 when the leadership was turned over to the Philippines for the period 2016-2018. It also happens to be the 50th anniversary of ASEAN and Philippines as the host country. ASEAN-BAC headed by Philippines Chair Joey Concepcion,  supports AWEN in all its activities in line with its private sector engagement.

Interested parties wanting to attend the two-day conference may log on to www.womenbiz.ph or www.dti.gov.ph.

Forgive But Not Forget

March 6th, 2017

February 25, 1986 – a day of democracy for the country. 31 years after, we once again commemorated the anniversary of EDSA People Power Revolution. Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea chairs the EDSA People Power Commission and I serve as the vice chair and representative from the private sector.

With the theme, “A Day of Reflection: Celebrating People Power for Nation Building,” we are reminded of what the Philippines has become for the past years after this momentous event.

In a short message, I shared to everyone my thoughts on how we can continuously celebrate the real essence of EDSA. Without the help of Chris Carrion, this celebration would not be possible.

“… I don’t know if my father realizes that I’m up here on stage. Somehow he has lost part of his memory but he is the one who instilled the love for the country.”

“…When I was asked, do I regret what happened during those times? For all of us it was the best experience that we should never forget. When, we toppled the dictatorship, and it brought Filipinos together as brothers and sisters. Military and civilians were not shooting one another. It was a truly an admiration to see this event happen, and we were well respected all over the world.”

Presidential Adviser Joey Concepcion delivers the welcome message during the celebration in AFP Grandstand. PA Concepcion is the Vice Chairman of the Edsa People Power Commission.

Presidential Adviser Joey Concepcion delivers the welcome message during the celebration in AFP Grandstand. PA Concepcion is the Vice Chairman of the Edsa People Power Commission.

“…But, one of the reasons why we chose this day to be a day of reflection is because we really have to look back to the past and see how we can move forward. I know that sometimes, it is very hard to forgive. But, we must try to forgive but never forget. There is a big difference in forgiving and forgetting. We must move on to build and to continue the spirit of EDSA and pass it onto the next generation. Your generation is gradually moving on and my generation is entering that next phase. We will not be able to accomplish and fulfill the dream of spirit of EDSA if we will not be able to pass it to the young millennials out there to really get them to understand what has really happened on this day. Our blessed mother has truly been a miracle for all of us who has guided us all these times. Through time and today, we are very fortunate to see the Philippines in progress. The spirit of EDSA can only be achieved if we have unity, peace, and prosperity for all.”

Yearly, the Spirit of EDSA Foundation headed by its founder Chris Carrion awards members of the important groups during the EDSA revolution – the military, religious and civilians. Together with former President Fidel V. Ramos, E.S. Medialdea, and Chris, we awarded these groups who were instrumental in making the peaceful call for freedom a success. E.S. Medialdea closed the program with an endearing speech.

May we all be reminded of the true essence of EDSA. Let us not forget that the Philippines was one in fighting for our freedom. Together, let us build an brighter future for the next generation.

Former President Fidel V. Ramos arrives in the AFP Grandstand while seating on the window of his car with his an assisting aide on the side.

Former President Fidel V. Ramos arrives in the AFP Grandstand while seating on the window of his car with his an assisting aide on the side.

PCOO Secretary Martin Andanar welcomes Senator Juan Ponce Enrile.

PCOO Secretary Martin Andanar welcomes Senator Juan Ponce Enrile.

Former DTI Secretary and NAMFREL Founder Jose Concepcion Jr., and wife Marivic Concepcion.

Former DTI Secretary and NAMFREL Founder Jose Concepcion Jr., and wife Marivic Concepcion.

Former Vice President Jejomar Binay also attended the commemoration of People Power Revolution.

Former Vice President Jejomar Binay also attended the commemoration of People Power Revolution.

(Front row L-R) PA RJ Jacinto, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, President Fidel V. Ramos, and Senate President Koko Pimentel. (2nd row L-R) Bing Pimentel, PA Joey Concepcion, Gen. Hermogenes Esperon, DND Sec. Elfin Lorenzana, and Mel Bergamo.

(Front row L-R) PA RJ Jacinto, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, President Fidel V. Ramos, and Senate President Koko Pimentel. (2nd row L-R) Bing Pimentel, PA Joey Concepcion, Gen. Hermogenes Esperon, DND Sec. Elfin Lorenzana, and Mel Bergamo.

Sec. Martin Andanar, Chris Carrion, PA Joey Concepcion, President Fidel V. Ramos, and ES Salvador Medialdea awarded members of the military, religious, and civilian groups.

Sec. Martin Andanar, Chris Carrion, PA Joey Concepcion, President Fidel V. Ramos, and ES Salvador Medialdea awarded members of the military, religious, and civilian groups.

ES Salvador Medialdea delivers an endearing closing speech for President Duterte.

ES Salvador Medialdea delivers an endearing closing speech for President Duterte.

To close the program, the guests sang ‘Magkaisa’, ‘Ako’y Pilipino’, and ‘Bayan Ko’. (L-R) PA Concepcion, Sec. Lorenzana, ES Medialdea, Sen. Enrile, President Ramos, and Sen. Pimentel.

To close the program, the guests sang ‘Magkaisa’, ‘Ako’y Pilipino’, and ‘Bayan Ko’. (L-R) PA Concepcion, Sec. Lorenzana, ES Medialdea, Sen. Enrile, President Ramos, and Sen. Pimentel.

Presidential Adviser on Economic Affairs and Information Technology Communications RJ Jacinto also performed during the program.

Presidential Adviser on Economic Affairs and Information Technology Communications RJ Jacinto also performed during the program.

L-R: Atty. Wency Andanar, Marianne Hontiveros, and Cecille Alvarez hosted the program.

L-R: Atty. Wency Andanar, Marianne Hontiveros, and Cecille Alvarez hosted the program.

Former Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim .

Former Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim .

NEDA Secretary Ernesto Pernia also attended.

NEDA Secretary Ernesto Pernia also attended.

Tingting Cojuangco attended with husband Peping Cojuangco (in checkered).

Tingting Cojuangco attended with husband Peping Cojuangco (in checkered).

Sen. Gringo Honasan and former Vice President Jejomar Binay.

Sen. Gringo Honasan and former Vice President Jejomar Binay.

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez and Labor Secretary Sylvester Bello were among the attendees last February 24. 2017.

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez and Labor Secretary Sylvester Bello were among the attendees last February 24. 2017.

How Women Work, How Women Succeed

March 2nd, 2017

Radio Synthesis 06 Women A
To kick of National Women’s Month, Go Negosyo sa Radyo aired a femme-powered episode on March 1 with two phenomenal women entrepreneurs as guests. Hosts Sen. Bam Aquino & DJ Cheska San Diego-Bobadilla were joined by Emma Imperial of Imperial Homes and Rossana Llenado of AHEAD Tutorial and Review Center. Both have been previously awarded by Go Negosyo (Imperial in 2015 and Llenado in 2016) for being women entrepreneurs worth emulating.

On March 30, Go Negosyo will award another batch of women in the Inspiring Filipina Entrepreneur Awards 2017 which will be held in the prestigious Malacañan Palace. Much like Imperial and Llenado, the women who will be given recognition are those who have sparked significant progress and inspired change in the entrepreneurial community.

Sen. Bam and DJ Cheska began the episode by setting the tone for the listeners. At the end of the hour, they hoped to have uplifted the listeners and opened their eyes to the nuances of women entrepreneurs’ experiences.

Go Negosyo Inspiring Filipina Entrepreneurs Awardees Emma Imperial of Imperial Homes (left) and Rossana Llenado of AHEAD Tutorial and Review Center (right).

Go Negosyo Inspiring Filipina Entrepreneur Awardees Emma Imperial of Imperial Homes (left) and Rossana Llenado of AHEAD Tutorial and Review Center (right).

Imperial Homes Group of Companies

Emma Imperial was the first to share her story. She is a well-decorated and respected CEO in the realty industry wherein her male counterparts mostly dominate. Imperial shared that at the onset of her career, she had to prove herself as someone worth paying attention to. “Big developers are usually male and the engineers that work for me are mostly male as well.” Despite these odds, Imperial has managed to lead her company to becoming well-recognized globally. With recognitions under her name like Biz News Asia 2016 Entrepreneurship Awardee and Filipina Women Network’s 100 Most Influential Filipinas 2015, it is an understatement to say that Imperial is at the top of her game.

Likewise, her company is equally laudable and has even received international attention. Imperial Homes Group of Companies was awarded by the CEO Asia Awards 2015 as the ADEC Innovation Green Company of the Year, certified by IFC-World Bank Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies (EDGE) for Green Building, and recognized by the Financial Times in 2016 as a nominee for the Transformational Business Awards. “You don’t have to be big to be counted in the global community. It’s about innovation and how you believe you’ll help your country; it’s not about the size but the idea,” Imperial shared.

Her big idea manifested when her company decided to construct solar-powered small houses. It was for them, a way to address the backlog of housing in the country as they were low-cost and efficient. In a country where solar power is somehow relegated to more expensive projects, Imperial homes saw the potential for them to be ideal for the provinces where brownouts were frequent. The switch to solar meant that these areas would never have to suffer from power cuts and solar at scale would actually be energy and cost efficient. It was a revolutionary idea: solar power for low-income families. After her company started this project, many took notice. “Ginawa tayong poster child ng World Bank,” Imperial proudly says.

With her story, Imperial wishes to impart to other women entrepreneurs that working in a male-dominated business doesn’t have to be a struggle. Although you have to prove yourself worthy at first, she shares that strict implementation and being consistent with your policies ultimately makes others listen. She’s proud that her organization is now seeing a lot of interest from the youth because the youth she says, are intrigued by innovation (like Imperial Homes solar-powered low-cost houses)

Not to take away from the men in her industry, but Imperial shares that she believes women have more heart than men. “ I had more chances to make my business high-end, but I chose to cater to the low-end group. I can also honestly stop doing business now and I’d be okay but I can’t stop because of my employees.”

She also shares that it’s important for women in business to have camaraderie. She shares that when she was starting in her industry, it was hard to be part of bigger projects because the men would already have a so-called “boys club” and she would be left out. Today, she happily shares that women entrepreneurs have already set-up similar groups to support each other and they often meet about projects related to nation-building.

Go Negosyo sa Radyo airs every Wednesday, 2:00 Pm on DZRH 666 kHz and Radyo Natin with guests Sen. Bam Aquino and DJ Cheska San Diego-Bobadilla.

Go Negosyo sa Radyo airs every Wednesday, 2:00 Pm on DZRH 666 kHz and Radyo Natin with guests Sen. Bam Aquino and DJ Cheska San Diego-Bobadilla.

AHEAD Tutorial and Review Center

Rosanna Llenado was the second guest who shared her story and insights on what it means to be a successful woman entrepreneur. She was named as one of the 100 Most Amazing Filipinas by Summit Media in 2012 and received numerous awards from the Philippine Marketing Association, Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and Entrepreneur Magazine. Her business, AHEAD is one of the most venerated tutorial and learning centers in the country. As one of the first tutorial centers to offer college entrance exams review programs,  Llenado eventually expanded their services to offer a wide range of programs to complement students’ learning.

Recently, they’ve put a center that focuses on teaching Singapore Math— a method that she believes is more functional and practical which eventually makes student’s more proficient at the often dreaded subject. They’re also offering courses on speed reading and mind-mapping which are valuable skills for any student tackling difficult and lengthy reading materials. From a small business started at her home, AHEAD has now risen as the go-to tutorial center in the metro because of its quality and comprehensive programs that position students for excellence.

When Llenado was asked about her opinion on Filipina entrepreneurs, she says that a lot of Filipinas are still scared to enter into business. But what most Filipinas don’t know, she said, is that we’re relatively lucky compared to women from other countries. She discovered this fact when she conducted a research on women entrepreneurs across the world. She found out that the Philippines was ranked #5 on the list of women-friendly countries for business. She further shares that there are some countries wherein women aren’t allowed to have properties or businesses registered to their name and would have to put them under their father’s or husband’s.

She recognizes that there are a lot more women entrepreneurs now compared to when she first started AHEAD. But she says that despite this increase, women will still encounter struggle or discrimination, especially when they’re just starting out. “I also had an experience when I struggled with doing business as a woman; I was invited to do business with these group of guys.

I noticed one of the men was trying to pulling one over us, and I called him out. They eventually met without me and kicked me out. True enough, that man I called out did deceive all of them.”

Despite the welcome positive change of more women entering business, Llenado wishes however, that more women in our country would hold positions in different boards. She noticed that most board of directors and trustees are still predominantly male. “Women can lead. We’ve had two women presidents! And in the senate and company presidents, ang dami rin babae.” So, why should the boards be different, right?

Llenado and Imperial’s stories are just two amongst a plethora of inspiring success stories of FIlipina entrepreneurs. They are a testament to the woman’s ability to lead and succeed. So, if you’re a woman, currently aspiring to turn that business dream into reality, but afraid to start, here are choice words from our two guests yesterday:

“Do things for the greater good of the country. Imperial Homes never really intended to become a social enterprise, but because we had the heart to think of the communities that other competitors weren’t thinking of, we were able to distinguish ourselves from them. We profited of course— but that naturally follows when you do good work” – Emma Imperial

“If you don’t know where to start, ask yourself— whats the right business for me? ano ang kailangan ng kababayan ko? If you can answer these two and somehow the answer is one thing then that’s a good place to start.” – Rosanna Llenado

A Day of Reflection

March 2nd, 2017

I can clearly remember the day February 25, 1986. The series of revolutions against the dictator Ferdinand Marcos culminated in the EDSA Shrine in Ortigas. Thousands of people flocked the area, armed with only prayers and rosaries in their hands. Chanting words of freedom, singing songs of nationalism, and crying for the end of oppression. This is the People Power Revolution of 1986. The bloodless revolution that returned the democracy of the country.

Last week, we celebrated the 31st anniversary of EDSA People Power Revolution. Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea chairs the EDSA People Power Commission and I serve as the vice chair and representative from the private sector. In a simple mass and celebration in Camp Aguinaldo, we commemorated one of the significant moments in our history.

With the theme, “A Day of Reflection: Celebrating People Power for Nation Building,” we are reminded of what the Philippines has become 31 years after.

In a short message, I shared to everyone my thoughts on how we can continuously celebrate the real essence of EDSA.

Sec. Martin Andanar, Chris Carrion, PA Joey Concepcion, President Fidel V. Ramos & E.S Salvador Medialdea awarded members of the military, religious and civilian groups.

Sec. Martin Andanar, Chris Carrion, PA Joey Concepcion, President Fidel V. Ramos & E.S Salvador Medialdea awarded members of the military, religious and civilian groups.

“First of all, we welcome all of you to the 31st anniversary of People Power. It’s been 31 years, and today, we are surrounded by a lot of heroes who brought about People Power Revolution. I was assigned as a co-chair about seven days ago, and without the help of Chris Carreon this event would not be possible. So, I would like to congratulate him.”

“In a way, if we look back, I was 27 years old when EDSA happened and my father was 54 years old. I find myself in a unique position being vice chair to ES Bingbong Medialdea in this commission. I don’t know if my father realizes that I’m up here on stage. Somehow he has lost part of his memory but he is the one who instilled the love for the country.”

“Many of you here today surely loves this country. I remember when it all happened here in the EDSA, President Ramos – then General Ramos, Secretary Enrile then, Gringo Honasan and many others here. That was the beginning of the spirit of EDSA. When I was asked, do I regret what happened during those times? For all of us it was the best experience that we should never forget. When, we toppled the dictatorship, and it brought Filipinos together as brothers and sisters. Military and civilians were not shooting one another. It was a truly an admiration to see this event happen, and we were well respected all over the world.”

“But, I know, many of us still question if the spirit of EDSA is still in our hearts? It is only yourself who can answer that question. When Benigno Aquino was assassinated which then sparked the revolution, my father then started NAMFREL, who during those days, had that impossible dream that one day this country can eventually become a great nation. But, one of the reasons why we chose this day to be a day of reflection is because we really have to look back to the past and see how we can move forward. I know that sometimes, it is very hard to forgive. But, we must try to forgive but never forget. There is a big difference in forgiving and forgetting. We must move on to build and to continue the spirit of EDSA and pass it onto the next generation. Your generation is gradually moving on and my generation is entering that next phase. We will not be able to accomplish and fulfill the dream of spirit of EDSA if we will not be able to pass it to the young millennials out there to really get them to understand what has really happened on this day. Our blessed mother has truly been a miracle for all of us who has guided us all these times. Through time and today, we are very fortunate to see the Philippines in progress. The spirit of EDSA can only be achieved if we have unity, peace, and prosperity for all.”

The 31st EDSA People Power Anniversary celebration was attended by P.A. Joey Concepcion, Sec. Delfin Lorenzana, E.S. Salvador Medialdea, Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile, President Fidel V. Ramos, Senate President Koko Pimentel, Gen. Eduardo Ermita, Sen. Gringgo Honasan, Sec. Martin Andanar and many more.

The 31st EDSA People Power Anniversary celebration was attended by P.A. Joey Concepcion, Sec. Delfin Lorenzana, E.S. Salvador Medialdea, Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile, President Fidel V. Ramos, Senate President Koko Pimentel, Gen. Eduardo Ermita, Sen. Gringgo Honasan, Sec. Martin Andanar and many more.

Yearly, the Spirit of EDSA Foundation headed by its founder Chris Carrion awards members of the important groups during the EDSA revolution – the military, religious and civilians.   The military awardees that represented the Philippine Army, Navy and Airforce were DND Sec. Delfin Lorenzana, Rear Admiral Bayaui Gaenlan and Gen. Hotchkiss, respectively. The religious were represented by Sister Sarah Manapol for the Roman Catholics, Aleem Said Akmar Bashir for the Muslims, and Bishop Jonel Milan for the Christians. Lastly, the civilians who were awarded were Bobby Aquino in behalf of his late father Butz Aquino for Luzon, Ms. Ching Montinola for Visayas, and Mr. Uriel Jojo Borja for Mindanao. Together with former President Fidel V. Ramos, E.S. Medialdea, and Chris Carrion, we awarded these groups who were instrumental in making the peaceful call for freedom a success.

With performances from artists and heart-warming messages from people who have been directly involved in the past, the celebration was a recall of the good that has happened.

E.S. Medialdea closed the program with an endearing speech. He shared, “My administration has always believed in the power of the people to chart their own destiny, and establish a government to protect the people’s interest-especially of the poor, and underprivileged sectors as its top most priority. 31 years have passed since EDSA People Power Revolution, and perhaps now is the opportune time to ask ourselves; “What have we achieved after EDSA?” More than a mere commemoration. Now is the time for all of us to reflect and objectively assess what we have lost and what we have gained, as a nation, during that historic event.”

The true spirit of the People Power Revolution is the true spirit of the Filipino people. May we not forget the value of unity. That we may have different preferences or political affiliations, we are all one as a nation. Together, we are building our future together.

A Celebration for Women as Catalysts for Change

March 1st, 2017

On March 30, 2017, at the prestigious Malacañan Palace, an event will be solely dedicated to the recognition of women across the Philippines and their capacity to be catalyst for change and progress during the Inspiring Filipina Entrepreneurs Awards 2017. This event is aligned with the first national celebration of Women’s Month, held every March as part of the worldwide observance of International Women’s Day (IWD) on March 8, under President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s administration. For the celebration, the new leadership will focus on these key foundations: partnership for change and full implementation of the Magna Carta of Women (Republic Act 9710), captured through the theme: “WE Make Change Work for Women.”

Go Negosyo Inspiring Filipina Entrepreneurs 2016 Awardees – First row: Teresita Valdez, Girlie Lorenzo, Lydia Malot, Judith Versoza, Dr. Elizabeth Lahoz. Second Row: Cristina Liamzon, Adelfa Borro, Amina Alunan, Delby Bragais, Martine Cajucom, Bea Soriano-Dee, Rossana Llenado, Evelyn Lao-Yap, Rowie Matti, Yoling Sevilla, Sherill Quintana and Abba Napa.

Go Negosyo Inspiring Filipina Entrepreneurs 2016 Awardees – First row: Teresita Valdez, Girlie Lorenzo, Lydia Malot, Judith Versoza, Dr. Elizabeth Lahoz. Second Row: Cristina Liamzon, Adelfa Borro, Amina Alunan, Delby Bragais, Martine Cajucom, Bea Soriano-Dee, Rossana Llenado, Evelyn Lao-Yap, Rowie Matti, Yoling Sevilla, Sherill Quintana and Abba Napa.

The Inspiring Filipina Entrepreneurs Awards will highlight the strength and perseverance of women entrepreneurs in the ever developing landscape of entrepreneurship in our country. The awarding ceremony will celebrate the women who have greatly contributed and excelled in various ways in their respective fields. This new laudable batch of awardees are selected from an impressive pool of nominees and classified into seven categories: Youth, Inclusive Business, Women MSME Development Enabler, Micro, Small-Medium, Large, and Legacy.

“Women have been playing an active role, not just in their families, but also in their respective communities. We see more and more inspiring women who are empowered and passionate in their own respective fields and they deserve to be recognized. From conquering different industries such as food, fashion, health and wellness, to even male-dominated businesses such as construction and development. Women have truly proven themselves as catalysts for change and innovation,” Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship and ASEAN Business Advisory Council Chair Joey Concepcion said.

As the Founder of Go Negosyo and the Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship, Joey Concepcion has been at the forefront of honoring women entrepreneurs since the organization’s early years. In fact, Go Negosyo has already awarded over 200 outstanding women entrepreneurs for serving as inspirations in their respective fields. Among these women are Lifetime Achievement awardees Socorro Ramos (National Bookstore) and Esther Vibal (Vibal Publishing) and the Mother of All Mother Entrepreneurs awardee Helena Benitez (Philippine Women University).

In his first State of the Nation Address (SONA), President Duterte directed “all agencies, oversight bodies and local government units down to the barangay level to fully implement the Magna Carta of Women.” This is to ensure that man and woman will be partners in the pursuit of the country’s economic, social, cultural and political developments. This pursuit of development under the new administration is also anchored on the commitment of “Malasakit at Pagbabago” or True Compassion and Real Change.

PCE Annual Partners

ASEAN Business Awards: An Overview

March 1st, 2017

ABA 2017 Web Photo v2
The ASEAN Business Awards is fast approaching and to give an overview of what the awards are all about, we’ve prepared a primer encompassing the background and objectives.

1. Background

Since its establishment by ASEAN Leaders in 2003, the ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN-BAC) has been active in promoting public-private sector partnership and consultation to assist the integration of an ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) by 2017. In its efforts to bridge ASEAN Governments with its private sectors, the Council launched the ASEAN Business Awards (ABA) in 2007 to give recognition to enterprises that have contributed to the growth and prosperity of the ASEAN economy.

ABA was conceived to be the first of its kind in the region, with the dual objectives of recognizing outstanding ASEAN enterprises, and to serve as a platform to spread information concerning the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC). In addition, ABA also brings to the spotlight promising ASEAN small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that have the potential of becoming global economic players.

A dedicated Working Group of ‘National Gateways’ consisting of ten ASEAN-BAC Members (one representative from each Member State) forms the foundation of ABA.  The roles of the National Gateways are to promote the event in their respective countries, as well as to select ‘National Judges’ who will be responsible in selecting the recipients of ABA.

Since it was first launched in 2007, ABA has recognised more than 100 companies throughout the region that excel in the categories of: Growth, Employment, Innovation and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). In 2015, however, ASEAN-BAC expanded the categories of ABA to include the Priority Integration Sectors (PIS) of ASEAN element, as well as recognising outstanding young entrepreneurs and women entrepreneurs.

To ensure the high-quality and independency of such a prestigious event, ASEAN-BAC engages a Strategic Partner each year to administer the implementation of the ABA Framework; short listing nominations of companies; administering the Judges Meeting and assist in promoting the event throughout the ASEAN region.  This Terms of Reference (ToR) aims to briefly highlight the event’s objectives, categories and criteria, and tentative plan in carrying out ABA 2017.


2. Objectives

Aside from recognising outstanding ASEAN enterprises, ABA also has the objectives of serving as a platform to disseminate AEC-related information, as well as to bring to the spotlight SMEs that have the potential of becoming global economic players in their respective industries.


3. Categories

A. ASEAN 12 PRIORITY INTEGRATION SECTORS
Outstanding performance and presence in the ASEAN Economic Community Priority Integration Sectors. Includes the recognition of integration and connectivity between ASEAN businesses owned and operated by the applicant. Submissions should demonstrate exemplary track records in Growth, Employment, Innovation and CSR.
1. Fisheries
2.Electronic
3. E-ASEAN/ICT
4. Textiles
5. Logistics
6. Wood-Based
7. Rubber
8. Agri-Food
9. Healthcare
10. Tourism
11. Automotive
12. Retail

B. SPECIAL AWARDS

  1. Inclusive Business – Outstanding business models that sustainably create social impact through the company’s core business operations. Nominated business models should demonstrate financial viability, positive impact on poor and low-income people and communities, innovation within the value chain, and scale and replicability of the business model to alleviate the poverty and inclusion problem.
  1. Friends of ASEAN  A non-ASEAN owned enterprise that demonstrates a continuous and increased commitment in growing its presence within ASEAN

C. 2017 SMEs EXCELLENCE AWARD 

  1. Young Entrepreneur – Outstanding business owner below the age of 45 who have demonstrated significant success through leadership, market positioning and company performance. 
  1. Women – Female business owner who have demonstrated significant success through leadership, market positioning and company performance. 
  2. SMEs in 4 Categories
    – Growth
     – Have achieved outstanding commercial success and sustainable growth will be honoured with this award. Submissions should demonstrate initiative and a willingness to undertake bold new ventures and include evidence of sustainable growth and commercial success to levels that are outstanding for the size of the applicant’s operations. 

    – CSR  Demonstrate a high standard of commitment in the way they organise and integrate their responsible business practices will receive this prestigious endorsement. Submissions should provide evidence of a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategy that integrates responsible business practice into their mainstream operations resulting in a positive impact in the workplace, the marketplace, the environment or the community. 

    – Employment – Demonstrate the provision of a stimulating and supportive workplace. Qualifiers of this award are required to demonstrate how its people development strategies have created a committed, motivated and effective workforce. 

    – Innovation – Demonstrate a proven ability to create, nurture and develop new products or services. Qualifiers of this award are required to demonstrate how they have differentiated themselves from others in their industry. Achievements can include, but are not limited to the invention, design, production, performance, marketing and distribution of their product or service. 


4PROCEDURE FOR NOMINATIONS / SELECTIONS FOR ABA 2017

The nominations or selections for ABA 2017 can be made via one the following channels:

* Automatic nominations from national level ABAs;
* Application through national gateways; and
* Online applications, either through the website of ABIS or ASEAN-BAC

With regard to application to be made through national gateways, auditors in respective countries are expected to work with national gateways in determining the nominations or selections for ABA. In terms of online applications, appointed auditors’ office in Philippines will take the coordinating role to vet online applications. Auditors are also expected to formulate simple application process, preferably based on the standard of evaluation already accepted in ASEAN.


ASEAN BAC Sponsors

Inspiring Filipina Entrepreneurs Across the Years (Part 1)

February 27th, 2017

We honor the Filipinas who have been constant inspirations in the entrepreneurial journeys of women from all walks life in our country. This coming March, Go Negosyo will hail a new set of women entrepreneurs as the Inspiring Filipina Awardees of 2017. This is done yearly aligned with the National Women’s Month and the International Women’s Day. As we honor a new batch of women for fiercely conquering the entrepreneurial world with their own brand of strength and bravery, let us remember those who have inspired us in the past:

THE LEGENDS

Soccoro Ramos — National Bookstore (Retail)

Socorro Ramos of National Bookstore receives Lifetime Achievement Award for Entrepreneurship in the field of Education during the 7th Go Negosyo Filipina Entrepreneurship Summit (March 2015).

Socorro Ramos of National Bookstore receives Lifetime Achievement Award for Entrepreneurship in the field of Education during the 7th Go Negosyo Filipina Entrepreneurship Summit (March 2015).

Soccoro Ramos, fondly called Nanay Coring, is considered an institution within the Philippine entrepreneurial community. She was featured in the original Joey Concepcion’s 50 Inspiring Entrepreneurial Stories and one of the first to be awarded as an Inspiring Filipina Entrepreneur by Go Negosyo back in 2009. As one of the first who supported our advocacy of spreading the spirit of entrepreneurship, we recognize her role in inspiring a whole new generation of aspiring entrepreneurs through her story of perseverance and hardwork.

Today, Nanay Coring’s story of rebuilding her business three times still touches many hearts. When a lot of factors in the entrepreneurial landscape have already changed, such as technology, venture capitalists, start-up incubators, and mentoring programs, Nanay Coring has been a testament to the timeless adagé that hard work and perseverance still pays off.

Rosalind Wee – Marine Resources Development Corporation (Agribusiness)

Rosalind Wee

Rosalind Wee

 Rosalind Wee was awarded as an Inspiring Filipina Entrepreneur in 2010 due to her pioneering venture into the agri-food business sector. Wee founded Marine Resources Development Corporation – the country’s biggest producer of carrageenan (seaweed powder), which is used for food stabilizers and emulsifiers. Known for her efforts in various social causes, she is a member of the board of governors of the Philippine Red Cross (PRC), treasurer for the PRC-Quezon City chapter, President of the Philippine Federation of Local Councils of Women, President of the Pearl S. Buck Foundation Philippine and is the Third Filipino woman to have received the Pearl S. Buck International Woman of the Year Award.

Myrna Yao – Richprime Global (Retail)

Myrna YaoMyrna Yao was amongst the inspiring Filipinas awarded in 2011, and has since become a force to be reckoned with in the entrepreneurial community. She is the current President of Richprime Global Inc. which concerns itself with children’s products such as toys, shoes, apparel, baby products, juvenile, clothes and accessories. Her company is the exclusive Distributor of Mattel Toys, Fisher Price, Video Technology Inc., Safety First, Shelcore, Pigeon Baby Products, Cosco, Goodyear Tires and Shoes (5 Brands) in the Philippines and is a licensing agent for Barbie & Garfield, Hotwheels & Carebears.

Yao is the founding president of the Filipino-Chinese Federation of Business and Professional Women of the Philippines and the founding chairperson of Philippine Federation of Local Councils of Women (PFLCW). These are among the biggest non-government organization in the country.  Recently, she has been lauded for her efforts to empower more women as entrepreneurs through the direct selling of Grace Aloe Vera Organic Skin Care from Australia.

Esther Vibal – Vibal Publishing (Education)

Esther Vibal receives Lifetime Achievement Award for Entrepreneurship in the field of Education during the 7th Go Negosyo Filipina Entrepreneurship Summit on March 2015.

Esther Vibal receives Lifetime Achievement Award for Entrepreneurship in the field of Education during the 7th Go Negosyo Filipina Entrepreneurship Summit on March 2015.

Esther Vibal was awarded by Go Negosyo with a Lifetime Achievement Award for her exceptional leadership for many decades in Vibal Publishing House Inc., the country’s leading and most reputable publisher of textbooks and other educational materials. Vibal Publishing is instrumental to the education of Filipinos everywhere, with their textbooks being distributed in thousands of schools nationwide. With her experience and passion in writing, Esther Vibal steered the company to greater heights and has conquered the publishing industry. As the head of Vibal Group, Mrs. Vibal continues to lead the company towards innovation and change with the development of technology.

THE SOCIAL INNOVATORS

Girlie Lorenzo – Kythe (Social Entrepreneur)

Girlie Lorenzo of Kythe.

Girlie Lorenzo of Kythe.

Girlie Lorenzo is an Inspiring Filipina Awardee who was also featured as one of the 55 Inspiring Women in Go Negosyo’s latest publication. Her foundation Kythe celebrates its 25th year of bringing hope and service to the lives of many children. Providing the much needed psycho-social support for children with chronic illnesses, Girlie imparts that Kythe will always be about spreading the message of love. She wants others people to know that the best way to get involved with Kythe is to volunteer and meet the kids themselves. She is truly proud that throughout the years, Kythe has continuously transformed lives— not just of the children but of her volunteers as well.

Nanette Po – Friends of Hope (Social Entrepreneur)

Nanette Medved-Po of Friends of Hope. Photo courtesy of zcoop.zalora.com.ph

Nanette Medved-Po of Friends of Hope. Photo courtesy of zcoop.zalora.com.ph

Nanette Po is an Inspiring Filipina Awardee whose social enterprise has built classrooms through its efforts of selling Hope in A Bottle. Before founding Friends of Hope, Nanette was more popularly know as the star of Darna. Today, she acts as a real life hero through building a brand centered on hope getting respect and backing of the entrepreneurial community who also continue to rally behind her cause of making education more accessible to all.

PCE Annual Partners

Manila Hosts ASEAN-EU Business Summit 2017

February 24th, 2017

The Philippines is all set to host the upcoming 2017 ASEAN-EU Business Summit happening on March 10 at The Conrad Manila in Pasay City. This is the country’s first big business event following its appointment to the ASEAN Chairmanship in September of last year. The fifth staging of the ASEAN-EU Business Summit coincides with the momentous occasion of the 50th Anniversary of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the 40th Anniversary of the ASEAN-EU relations. 2017 also serves as a banner year thanks to the on-going negotiations for EU-Philippines Free Trade Agreement (FTA).

asean eu presscon

ASEAN BAC Chair Joey Concepcion during the ASEAN EU press conference.

This year’s Business Summit aims to establish an even stronger relationship between the European Union and ASEAN, as well as strengthen the existing trade partnerships between the Philippines and the European Union. Since its inception in Indonesia in 2011, the Business Summit has become a formidable platform for business leaders, thought-leaders and policy makers to interact and discuss the key business and trade issues between the two regions. At the forefront of this year’s ASEAN-EU Business Summit is a distinguished panel of notable names, led by EU Trade Commissioner, Cecilia Malmström, DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez, ASEAN Secretary General Le Luong Minh, EU Ambassador to the Philippines Franz Jessen, BSP Governor Amando Tentangco Jr. and several other ASEAN Trade Ministers, together with some of the notable names in business, trade and government from around the ASEAN region. The Summit will consist of a number of panel discussions focused on diverse topics such as finance in ASEAN, sustainable economic development and boosting regional trade

Topics that will be discussed during the summit include Financing the ASEAN’s prosperity: Sustaining economic development and protecting it; Developing a world class automotive industry in the ASEAN and enhancing road safety; CSR and role of business in achieving sustainable development; Making the ASEAN more competitive – tackling NTBs and boosting regional trade; and The AEC – How can governments and businesses work together in bringing economic prosperity to all. The 2017 ASEAN- EU Business Summit is jointly organized by the EU-ASEAN Business Council, the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP) and the ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN-BAC), with the support of the EU-Philippines Business Network and co-funding from the European Union.

EU Ambassador Franz Jessen.

EU Ambassador Franz Jessen.

The summit is expected to gather over 200 attendees representing EU and ASEAN countries, local and regional heads of multinational corporations and businesses and NGOs for the Summit. Speaking at the public launch of the Summit, the EU-ASEAN Business Council Executive Director, Chris Humphrey, said: “The EU remains the number one source of FDI to ASEAN and the region’s second largest trading partner. As a result, this Summit takes on added significance as a platform for the exchange of ideas on how to further deepen and extend the trading and investment relationship between these two complimentary regions.”

Florian Gottein, the Executive Director of ECCP, added: “2017 is an important and key year both for EU-ASEAN relations and EU-Philippine relations. We expect good progress to be made on the FTA this year, being the 40th Anniversary of EU-ASEAN dialogues. Progressing on FTAs between the EU and the ASEAN region will be key to expanding trade and investment.”

Meanwhile EU Ambassador Franz Jessen said: “This is an important anniversary year for the EU and ASEAN. The strength of our institutions is sometimes taken for granted: The EU is the world’s largest economy and trading partner and we benefit a great deal from our trade. But we also realize that trade is more than that, it is also a vehicle for promoting values: We can shape globalization, rather than merely submitting to it, or letting others shape it for us. This Summit is an example of EU-ASEAN partnership and leadership in the world.”

Joey Concepcion, Chairman of the ASEAN Business Advisory Council also adds: “As we celebrate a milestone year for ASEAN, the ASEAN-EU Summit will be a good platform to discuss and share the progressive business and investment relationship of ASEAN & EU regions. Moving forward, the program can serve as an opportunity to further widen and deepen our economic engagement with the EU community. This year’s Business Summit is also kindly supported by PRU Life UK, JTI, Swift Financial Messaging Services, Bosch, DHL and Invest KL Malaysia.