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Winners galore

Kudos to the Filipino athletes who achieved podium finishes in the ongoing Southeast Asian (SEA) Games. At the rate they’re winning medals, it is almost certain that Team Philippines will become the overall champion of the 30th SEA Games just like when we last hosted the biennial event in 2005.

Asia’s financial landscape

The Asian Bankers Association (ABA) celebrated its 36th annual event last Nov. 14-15 in the Philippines, hosted by Philippine National Bank (PNB), gathering a large group of top bankers and finance executives from 25 countries from Asia and key markets across the globe. ABA provides a forum for advancing the cause of the banking and financial industry in the region by promoting regional economic cooperation. ABA’s membership is composed of 100 of the leading banks and financial institutions in the Asia-Pacific region. With this year’s theme, “Reshaping the Asian Financial Landscape,” the conference tackled the relevant topics of sustainable financing, cyber-security and digitalization. The speakers were experts who shared their experiences and knowledge in the current trends of banking. Attendees discussed and shared experiences as they tackled the most relevant developments facing the Asian financial landscape today. At the forefront was the integration of digital technology into the financial landscape and how digital banking and the wave of technologies are now disrupting the banking industry.

Development, the family and technology

For this column, I will share a vision of family welfare and productivity that was penned some thirty (30) years ago in the crafting of a strategic vision for the then newly reformed Development Bank of the Philippines. I believe it is a yardstick that can be applied to any organization wanting to serve the cause of development. However, the yardstick is now confronted with new hurdles.

Mimaropa’s regional economy rising

At the turn of the millennium, the Southern Tagalog region was the country’s biggest in terms of land area and population. Designated as Region IV by the national government for administrative purposes, it consisted of six provinces in the southern part of Luzon and five island provinces adjacent to the Visayas.

Principles for Responsible Banking

Modern banks play two important roles in the financial system. One, they are at the heart of the clearing and payment system so that transactions are consummated as seamlessly as possible. Two, they are major intermediaries in the reallocation of money or credit from those with excess of funds, the savers, to those with needs or opportunities, the borrowers. Banks make money from spreads or margins as well as from fee business. Traditionally, banks who are able to handle the functions well and efficiently are able to make a lot of money for their main profit objective.

It’s about DIME

The business community should know and appreciate the efforts of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to monitor big-ticket infrastructure projects in their implementation, through its Project DIME, for Digital Information for Monitoring and Evaluation.

PHL needs to invest in knowledge capital

Parang lahat ng inyong budget puro research? Baliw na baliw kayo sa research. Aanhin niyo ba yung research” (It seems like all of your budget goes to research. You are so crazy about research. What will you do with those research?)”

Riding the next digital wave

The Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines (FINEX) will hold its 51st national conference on Oct. 11 at the Grand Hyatt Manila in Bonifacio Global City with the theme “Riding on the Opportunities of the Next Digital Wave.”

Purpose Driven Chemistry

THE Academe-Industry-Government (IAG) triangle has been touted and proven to be a very good model for progress especially in research. Academe has the intellectual power, industry produces, while government provides policies and funds.

The one person corporation

With the advent of Republic Act No. 11232, otherwise known as the “Revised Corporation Code of the Philippines,” (RCC) which became effective on Feb. 23, one need not assemble a group of at least five individuals in order to establish a Philippine domestic corporation.

Revisiting your vision and mission

“The pace of change has never been this fast, yet it will never be this slow again,” said the Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau during the World Economic Forum gathering. We have never seen a world as volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous as it is now. Technology is progressing at break-neck speeds, giving rise to new competitors that grow exponentially. Consumer preferences are changing fast due to the entry of the younger generations who voraciously purchase online, forcing many traditional retailers to close shop.

Reducing risk through tech innovation

PAJU CITY, South Korea — The threat of a nuclear conflict in the Korean Peninsula has greatly diminished with the adoption of the Panmunjom Declaration for Peace, Prosperity, and Reunification that includes a commitment to denuclearization.

Martha Stewart: Sustainable development, legacy

It was full house at the Martha Stewart Leadership event sponsored by ANC at Sofitel. Who is Martha Stewart? Why is she such a big celebrity? She is the first self-made American woman billionaire who has consistently reinvented herself. She is the icon in lifestyle, baking and gardening, among others, and has built an empire in publishing and selling many Martha Stewart home items.

Walking the talk

Dr. Jesus Estanislao of the Institute of Corporate Directors once graced a governance forum at the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) where he extolled the values of integrity, fairness and accountability in all that we do. Being a development bank, he asked DBP to remember they work not just for the themselves and the institution but for a larger community, not just for today but for the future.


“The only sustainable advantage you can have over others is agility, that’s it. Because nothing else is sustainable, everything else you create, somebody else will replicate.” — Jeff Bezos

Stimulating Fil-Am trade and tourism

ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA — Bacolod City’s award-winning MassKara Dance Troupe has invaded the happiest place on earth — Disneyland Resort — which had just opened its newest themed area known as Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. Yesterday, the MassKara dancers performed at the Disney California Adventure theme park here in Anaheim, the most populous city in Orange County just south of Los Angeles.

The CEO and the board

This writer has been privileged to have attended the full program of the Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD) and one of the key learnings from the program is the policy on board relationship with the CEO and the management team. It is a very critical policy statement that deserves universal understanding.

Making the switch, improving the quality of life

Despite successive increases in excise taxes on tobacco products, the Philippines continues to have one of the highest smoking rates in Asia, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Management theories in flux

My Asian Institute of Management-Master in Business Management alumni class has a very active Viber group and recently our exchange revolved around the debate on whether new management theory has been discovered. One view says that management theory hasn’t really changed in the past 50 years, except that framing of the theory has progressed in the elusive search for the winning management formula. This has given birth to an industry of best selling books written by experts claiming to have discovered the immutable laws of management and leadership.

Customer journey mapping

Many technology companies and start-ups are disrupting incumbent industry players by providing better customer experience, thereby capturing significant market shares. Take for example Dollar Shave Club, which disrupted the razor market in the US in 2012, grabbing 30% market share from Gillette in just a few years by offering good enough blades through a direct-to-consumer selling via internet and mail order until it was acquired by Unilever for a reported $1 billion in cash.

Feuding over fortune

MACAO — This special administrative region (SAR) on the Pearl River Delta is now accessible via the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge (HZMB), which opened to vehicular traffic in October 2018.

DoF anniversary, reunion and outlook

At the 122nd Department of Finance (DoF) anniversary hosted by Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III on May 6, it was a wonderful reunion of former DoF Secretaries: Prime Minister Cesar Virata, Ed Espiritu, Jose Pardo, Gary Teves and former Undersecretaries Romy Bernardo, Kune Gison, Chil Soriano, Ruben Fruto, among others. Present were current DoF Undersecretaries and agency heads: Karl Chua, Gil Beltran, Antonette Tionko, Bayani Agabin. Also present were Philippine Deposit Insurance Corp. President Bobby Tan, Securities and Exchange Commission Commissioner Tonette Ibe, Bureau of Internal Revenue Commissioner Caesar Dulay, National Treasurer Rosalia de Leon, Development Bank of the Philippines President Manny Herbosa, Land Bank of the Philippines’ Cecille Borromeo, and Philippine Export-Import Credit Agency head Albert Pascual, among others.

The many facets of development

DEVELOPMENT means different things to different people in different places, at different times. In broad terms however, development is progress, a change from one state to a better state. But not any change qualifies as development. Change must be reasonably rapid, visible and substantive. It must be capable of being measured, quantitatively or qualitatively.

Governance in the design and use of new technologies

Technology is becoming a key component of many organizations nowadays as a response to disruptions coming from start-ups and other emerging competitors. This is compounded by the emergence of the “true digital native consumers,” the Generation Z, who were born wielding and using only digital tools.

Stimulating growth in the regions

MANDAUE CITY — With 10 days to go before the midterm national and local elections, there is growing concern about the power situation on May 13 following the series of rotational brownouts and “red alerts” triggered by recent earthquakes that rocked Zambales, Eastern Samar, and Surigao del Norte as well as the ongoing El Niño weather phenomenon.

The need to own cars

WHENEVER I do my spiel about the product offerings of the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP), I highlight our aversion to providing car loans. In jest, I say we do not want to add to the traffic problem, especially in urban cities. Clearly, car financing is a staple of the private banking sector and it does not make development and economic sense for DBP to put its hat in the circle, even if the numbers will indicate it is probably one of the more lucrative banking/finance segments.

Sense-making — an emerging leadership skill

“The S&P 500 death rate is rising,” CLSA investment strategist Damian Kestel said in 2017. “A period of relative stability is ending. An increasing...

Achieving digital determination

When the International Data Corp. (IDC) unveiled its top predictions for the Philippine information and communications technology (ICT) industry in 2019 and beyond, it predicted that at least 30% of organizations across the country would achieve digital determination by 2020.

2019 macro outlook

IN OUR Philippine National Bank board meeting last week, we asked PNB bank economist Jun Trinidad on his economic macro outlook. What are the positive developments? And what can cause concern?

Integrity is forever

In the last episode of the Game of Thrones’ penultimate season, Cersei demands that Jon Snow remains neutral between the queens, but Jon affirms he has already sworn himself to Daenerys. This led to initial collapse of the talks. Jon was asked why he could not lie to achieve the negotiation’s objective. And Jon Snow responds about the importance of honesty and integrity.

Business sustainability through innovation

“La Mesa Dam has already dried up!” This is what a local water agency told me when we recently spoke, referring to its lowest point in over a decade because of the effects of El Niño. According to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), the dam’s current level is at 69.54 meters — less than half a meter from the very critical level of 69 meters. The standard operating level is between 78 to 80.15 meters, it is currently.

Employee engagement

EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT has become a mainstream concept throughout organizations, including corporate boardrooms. The rise of digital transformation as a strategy and the emergence of the millennial generations gave it much prominence in the recent years.

Strengthening the middle office

THE middle child syndrome is a psychological condition among children born in the middle who feel left out. The first-born received privileges and the...

Curing the 3rd telco’s defects

BEFORE adjourning for a three-month recess, the Senate approved a concurrent House of Representatives resolution that effectively paves the way for a third major telecommunications player to operate in the Philippines.

Racing to reinvent

It’s so easy to get lost in an increasingly digital world we live in nowadays. The average person is bombarded with too much data by too many influencers around us, especially with regard to information communications technology (ICT).

Permanent income

RETIRING after all those years of hard work is something to look forward to, but how can you be so sure that your financial situation is ready for it? Reality bites. Retirement planning is a financial necessity that should commence as soon as one finds some stability in his chosen career.

Working from home

On December 20, 2018, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte signed into law Republic Act No. 11165, otherwise known as the “Telecommuting Act,” which declares that it is a policy of the state “to affirm labor as a primary social economic force. To this end, it shall protect the rights of workers and promote their welfare, especially in the light of technological development that has opened up new and alternative avenues for employees to carry out their work, such as telecommuting and other flexible work arrangements.”

Cloud computing — cloudy no more

IT WAS in 2007 when I started to talk about cloud computing in public fora, company and client meetings, and articles in newspapers. It was too early during that time. I remember presenting its concepts during a management committee meeting in a global IT services company, and I either got blank stares or jokes about cloud. One executive asked, “So what is cloud?” I said, “Cloud is what you want it to be — software, hardware, security, etc.”

Bullish on Philippine stocks

2019, the Year of the Earth Pig, will be a year of abundance and positive vibes according to Oriental astrology. Its immediate predecessor was 1959, when the Philippine post-war economy was flourishing under then President Carlos P. Garcia, who pursued the “Filipino First” policy. Like 1959, 2019 is also a midterm election year in the country.

Digital transformation trends in 2019 and beyond

THE year 2018 has been marked by disruptions in the global market, evidenced by the growth of e-commerce platforms, fintechs, and start-ups that shake up traditional industries and businesses, especially the retail sector. Toys “R” Us closed its US stores in March, Nine West filed for bankruptcy in April, Sears, once the largest retailer in the world, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on October, and a host of others. An all-time high of 16 US retailers have filed for bankruptcy or announced liquidations so far in 2018.

Fifty shades of FINEX

1968 has been portrayed in many publications as the most turbulent year in the 20th century that rocked the very foundations of Planet Earth. It was the year when world history seemed to change daily — with the tumultuous 1960s reaching a political and cultural boiling point in dramatic, game-changing fashion.

Food safety

MY BROTHER Bong has just returned from the USA and immediately he made sure he had a fill of the many Filipino food that he has missed. After just a few weeks, he complained of stomach sickness which led to a discussion on comparative food safety practices.

Achieving unity through hoops

WHAT a glorious ending this week for the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) Season 81 men’s basketball tournament that drew record crowds during its last two games at Mall of Asia Arena and Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Accolades for achievers in finance

FOR MORE than a decade, the Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines (FINEX) has been giving due recognition to outstanding achievements in the financial sector. These awards are doubly significant this year, since 2018 is the golden anniversary of the country’s premier professional organization for finance practitioners.

Addressing disaster and climate risk in the financial system

ANOTHER storm is coming our way. Fortunately, we seemed to have learned our lessons as government leads the way in taking the necessary steps to be ready for whatever the typhoon will bring about. Allow me to share the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) journey in disaster and climate risk management as one of the government financial institutions (GFI) in the country.