J. Albert Gamboa-125


SIXTEEN former presidents of the Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines (FINEX) have issued a joint statement of concern and commitment titled “We Choose Not To Be Silent.” Together they constitute 42% of the 39 living past presidents of the country’s premier finance organization.

“Financial executives serve as the conscience of their respective organizations. As Filipinos, we believe it is our duty to speak up,” they declared. Among the issues they are gravely concerned about are the perceived lack of transparency in the award of government assets and contracts to allied parties; the ballooning of the national debt; the unmitigated unemployment rate; delayed access to critical social and health services; the appointment of certain individuals to critical positions at the Commission on Elections, the Supreme Court, and the Commission on Audit; the compromise of our sovereignty by the defeatist attitude and non-enforcement of the Philippines’ rights to its exclusive economic zone; as well as the proliferation of disinformation and fake news that twist facts and glorify an infamous chapter of our history, referring to the martial law era.

Faced with the gravity of these concerns that curtail the country’s ability to achieve its full economic potential, the 16 FINEX leaders have endorsed the candidacies of Vice President Ma. Leonor “Leni” Robredo and Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan for the presidency and vice presidency. This came after evaluating them as having the best qualities of leadership to lead our country — character, competence, compassion, and commitment.

“We see in them what we expect of ourselves as finance professionals: to uphold high integrity; to stand for truth and probity; to maintain transparency and stewardship; to demonstrate utmost competence; and to drive and achieve excellence,” they stated.

The 16 signatories, whose terms as FINEX President collectively spanned four decades, are as follows: Arsenio M. Bartolome III (1981), Santiago F. Dumlao, Jr. (1989), Edwin V. Fernandez (1991), Dennis D. Decena (1994), Victor Y. Lim, Jr. (1995), Baltazar N. Endriga (1997), Edwin B. Villanueva (1998), Josue A. Camba, Jr. (1999), Edgardo L. Limon (2003), Franklin F. Ysaac (2004), Abelardo V. Cortez (2007), Roberto T. Borromeo (2009), Ronnie B. Alcantara (2011), Ramon G. Opulencia (2012), Judith V. Lopez (2013), and Jose Jerome R. Pascual III (2020).

For its 108th year, the University of the Philippines Alumni Association (UPAA) recently announced its Distinguished Alumni Awardees for 2021. Heading the elite group of graduates from the country’s foremost state university is National Artist Raymundo “Ryan” Cayabyab, who has been named as the year’s UPAA Most Distinguished Alumnus.

Lifetime distinguished achievement awards were given to nurse Phoebe Cabotaje-Andes, architect Antonio A. Turalba, retired Supreme Court justice Francis H. Jardeleza, and Dr. Reynaldo L. Villareal. Twenty-five other distinguished alumni received awards in different service categories.

Conceived in 1933, the UPAA Awards are based on the concept that “when the prestige of the alumni increases, the prestige of the institution is thereby increased.”


J. Albert Gamboa is the chief finance officer of Asian Center for Legal Excellence and chairman of the FINEX Media Affairs Committee. The opinion expressed herein does not necessarily reflect the views of these institutions and BusinessWorld. #FinexPhils www.finex.org.ph