President's Message
Atty. Benedicta Du-Baladad Message from the President:

Benedicta Du-Baladad

To FINEX members and friends,

June 2017 Issue

The Special Joint Testimonial Luncheon in honor of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Amando M. Tetangco, Jr. on May 24 was a huge success. FINEX, as the lead convenor, together with AMCHAM, CIBI Foundation, ECCP, MAP, MBC and PCCI, honored and celebrated Gov. Tetangco’s 12 years of successful leadership that leads to our country’s monetary stability and economic growth.


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The Urge to Build Free Enterprise
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Jose Ma J. FernandezBy Jose Ma J. Fernandez

Business Mirror (FINEX Free Enterprise)
May 17, 2017


Finex Free Enterprise is a rotating column of members of the Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines appearing every Wednesday & Friday in BusinessMirror, banking & finance Section.

For as long as Man has existed, he has felt a need to expand frontiers, build monuments, or simply master all that he surveys. Thus, we find the ill-fated attempt to build a tower reaching up to the skies, the Babel of history, remaining as a distant memory when it should, in fact, be a lesson on what not to do.

After the disastrous coup attempt of December 1989, a frustrated President Cory asked a small group for solutions. At that time, I was helping out one of my bosses in the private sector, who had transitioned into government as head of the Coordinating Council for Philippine Assistance Program (CCPAP). I got a call from a close friend, a relative of the sitting president, and got assigned to write a paper on the problem. I submitted a short memo, and it defined two possible courses of action. Before writing the memo, however, I did some research.

The first course of action suggested the promotion and putting into place a line of top military and police brass who would not be prone to supporting further coup attempts. I will not dwell into this because the proposal was followed and we were able to work out a succession plan that also promoted certain persons and PMA classes, while holding back others.

The next course of action, based on our group’s perception that many of the coups’ deadly support usually emanated from Ft Bonifacio, was to put the base into play…to convert it to commercial use. Before recommending this direction, I had sat down with many of my brods and good friends holding top positions in the military and police, and they generally agreed, especially when I suggested that the proceeds be used to buy them “new toys”, i.e., weapons programs. We also agreed then not to touch Camps Aguinaldo and Crame. Before that, I had requested a good friend to check the underlying papers of the various camps and government properties within the metro area for impediments or restrictions. Ft Bonifacio passed scrutiny, and so did the Livestock Farm property of DA in Alabang. With no government office then tasked to privatize these properties, I arranged for them to be placed under the then reclamation authority, PEA, simply because it was headed by a friend and dealt somehow with land.

But one caveat that I wrote into the memo was that we learn from the mistakes of overcrowded Makati and build a better city, preferably one that kept as many of the trees and open spaces available in the lush Fr Bonifacio area. The memo envisioned wide boulevards and and public transportation, etc, with lots of room for pedestrians and bikers. Well, take a look at the Fort area today and seen if any of these caveats in our wish list made it into reality. First of all, the Fort area shows promise to be worse than the present commercial areas of Makati. If you have doubts, go to the BCDA office and see the built-up scale plan for BCG and you will find nothing but towers and more towers, with token open spaces that conduct heat more than provide shade.

A few years back, I was with two friends, one of them then a Director of BCDA, and we tossed around a few ideas about what to do with the open areas around the Clark reservation. I was then in the Board of Clark Airport. What emerged was a rough sketch for a new city to be built in these open spaces, but one that would, hopefully, put into play many of the environmental and green plans that we had hoped for in the past. That night, I fashioned the first of a series of emails and even had a name for the new city: Clark Green City. The emails following espoused green methods and technologies, lots of urban green forests, our favorite wide avenues of about 5 to 6 lanes per side with lots of trees in the middle and the sidewalks, jogging lanes, public transportation, et al. We even said that no polluting industries or vehicles would be allowed in. The email exchange was with my friend the BCDA director and the agancy’s head then.

I mentioned the idea to a good friend, Charlie Rufino, and he immediately latched on to the idea and organized an international session with his buddies in the Urban Land Institute. Guess what? Our head of the agency then proceeded with the plan that we had hatched and made it his, and didn’t even invite me to the international session. Fortunately, my friend Charlie saw fit to invite me.

The real idea behind the Green City is to avoid the mistakes of previous attempts to urbanize, and create a very clean and green city that would also become the new administrative capital of the Philippines. A very large and well planned new government area would be a centerpiece of the project, avoiding the congestion, traffic and flooding problems besetting the metro capital. But the plan also looked at going up the nearby mountainous area, replicating the Baguio experience. In talks I had with the then heads of DND, they said they would be willing to throw in Crow Valley, which would be our new summer capital similar to Tagaytay and Baguio…minus the congestion.

There is a need to build, of course, but my earlier talks with some ODA agencies showed that such a venture will be possible if we avail of assistance like those we had from our CCPAP experience. We should eschew offers of assistance from countries that carry onerous commercial rates, which will only serve to deepen our dependence and debt problems. Furthermore, I have heard of know of certain groups that are willing to do the projects at no cost to the government and also have deep pockets that allow them more leeway.

The mantra to build is there and it is good. Just let the process be above- board and transparent. Otherwise, we will end up with questionable projects with lousy quality, high interest rates, with only the commissioners winning out.

This Market (still) has Legs
Mr. Ronald S. GosecoBy Ronald S. Goseco

July 21, 2017

This Market (still) has Legs

I recently attended the 2017 mid – year outlook of Citi. Their outlook for the reminder of the year is still cautiously optimistic, with the global recovery appearing to be on track despite the rising Chinese economy concerns. As of May, global equities have rallied 10.5 % with Emerging Market equities up 17% on a year to date basis. Bond markets have also posted positive returns of around 4% surprising a lot of investors.

A crisis cycle
J. Albert GamboaBy J. Albert Gamboa

July 21, 2017

A crisis cycle

Members of the Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines (FINEX) had been excitedly anticipating the general membership meeting last July 19, as the confirmed guest speaker was Defense Secretary Delfin N. Lorenzana.

Fringe benefits and the power of content
Ms. Wilma Inventor MirandaMs. Wilma Inventor Miranda

MANILA BULLETIN (Business Option)
July 20, 2017

Fringe benefits and the power of content

When Trump won the elections, I was in the United States last November 2016. We went to a restaurant for dinner after the election results came out and we were discussing how in the world Trump won? There were Filipinos though, who voted for Trump and I knew later there were many of them who voted for him including some Filipinos whom I met on the plane back home.

Now and then, a Contrast
By Dr. Conchita L. ManabatBy Dr. Conchita L. Manabat

July 19, 2017

Now and then, a contrast

When virtue is lost, benevolence appears; when benevolence is lost, light conduct appears; when right conduct is lost, expedience appears. Expediency is the mere shadow of right and truth; it is the beginning of disorder. —Lao Tzu

Zoilo By: Zoilo "Bingo" P. Dejaresco III

MANILA BULLETIN (Business Option)
July 18, 2017


Even newly-installed Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Nestor Espenilla Jr. has pointed at cyber-criminality as one of the major concerns of his new administration. The US$81-M hacking of the Bangladesh sovereign account and the money laundering that ensued here is still -fresh in every one's mind. The recent glitches in the Bank of the Philippine Islands system and the Banco de Oro ATM portfolio, although monetarily harmless to clients are clear signs the banking scene has been altered by technology,.

‘1 with the 99’
Flor G. TarrielaBy Flor G. Tarriela

MANILA BULLETIN (Business Option)
July 13, 2017

‘1 with the 99’

“1 with the 99”. What does it mean? asked former finance undersecretary Romy Bernardo.  So, with PNB Vice Chair Rico Alfiler and Romy, we attended the Department of Finance’s (DOF) “1 with the 99” forum last week. The forum aims to inform the public about the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Act (TRAIN).