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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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
SOME say the “CFO” of today now stands for “Chief Future Officer.” And perhaps rightfully so. The title perfectly encapsulates how the role of the modern CFO has evolved over the years — from being a bean counter, number cruncher, or tax filer, to a multi-tasker able to navigate disruptions, drive business decisions, and prepare the organization for growth.
ACCORDING to Greg Laurie, money is a very important topic in the bible. It is the subject of nearly half of the parables of Jesus Christ. It is covered in one out of every seven verses in the New Testament. The Bible offers 500 verses on prayer, fewer than 500 verses on faith and more than 2000 verses on money. And 15% of everything Jesus taught was on the topic of money and possessions — more than his teachings on heaven and hell combined.
IN celebration of the Golden Jubilee Year of Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines, FINEX launched an ethics book entitled Ethics: Black White (or Gray)? which gathered essays and actual cases from 50 well-known personalities from the government, banking and private sectors.
THE start-up scene all over the world is still flourishing. In the Philippines, there are currently more than 300 start-ups in the country and over 200 of them are actively operating, according to the first study profiling the Philippine start-up ecosystem by PwC Philippines and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).
AT THE BAIPHIL 3rd General Membership Meeting, corporate governance “guru” and guest speaker Dr. Jesus Estanislao emphasized that governance demands a focus on the long-term, realizing a great “vision” in five to ten years. Governance demands a focus on the institution and what the institution should become. Yes, people are very important, but cautioned against personalities. He said governance asks for a strategy, a set of priorities pursued across all the different facets of any business. The key focus is on priorities which must be inter-connected and mutually supportive.
ETHICS is defined as “the discipline concerned with what is morally good or bad, right or wrong, black or white.” It is the moral principle that govern a person’s behavior based on his values, conscience. We all like to be ethical, known to have integrity and be trustworthy. Who wouldn’t? Ethics is important so that what you say is believed in and is credible. When you say something or promise, do people, even your children or grandchildren, believe you, or take it with a grain of salt? Do you always tell the truth and deliver on what you promise? A good standard is “under promise and over deliver“ especially when there are dependencies beyond your control. There is a general feeling that ethics, defined as black or white, right or wrong, is now getting to be blurry or sometimes gray.
THE magazine The Economist recently conducted a debate series on “affirmative action.” Readers will find lessons from the debate considering the many policy choices being made in the Philippines today. The concerns on both sides of the issue “should affirmative action be scrapped?” are instructive and can be put to good use.
GONE are the days when the chief financial officer (CFO) was the glorified controller who makes sure the books are right and the treasury is in robust health. In recent years, the role is increasingly being redefined in order for companies around the world to survive and stay sustainable in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
ACCORDING to the United Nations Environment Programme-Finance Initiative (UNEP-FI), a sustainable bank is one that not only understands and manages the risks that arise because of sustainability issues, but also perceives the strategic dimension of these issues. This means thinking ahead about business implications and opportunities brought about by the increasingly pervasive environmental, social and developmental challenges of our time. Sustainability encompasses the business role in balancing environmental and social (human rights and labor) issues with economic issues. And sustainable development is defined as development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generation to meet their own needs.
SEATTLE — This city is the largest in the state of Washington and the entire Pacific Northwest region of North America. Its metropolitan area encompasses the state’s eight most populous counties, officially defined by the US Census Bureau as the Seattle-Tacoma-Olympia combined statistical area that is home to two-thirds of Washington’s population.
THERE is an impassioned, mostly millennial community that I accidentally discovered online. This is the FIRE community, an acronym for “financial independence, retire early.” As the acronym suggests, the goal of this movement is to gain financial independence, and this means getting away from reliance on paid employment to keep going and retiring early from corporate bondage.
What is green finance? Green finance is the financing of investment that encourage the development of a more sustainable economy. Green finance also refers to financial support for green growth. What is green growth? It is promoting economic growth and development while safeguarding the use of natural resources in a sustainable manner.
No one is safe from cyber attacks nowadays. The frequency and the leveling up in terms of sophistication are rising. In fact, it’s no longer a question if your system will be hacked but more on when it will be hacked. The important thing is, how soon do you know that your company system has been hacked? Is your company prepared?
They are some of the biggest success stories today: Tony Tan Caktiong, the poor boy from China whose small ice cream franchise turned into Jollibee, the world’s fast-rising fastfood superstar; Injap Sia II, self-made billionaire before he turned 40, courtesy of a fastfood chicken barbecue chain called Mang Inasal; and Dennis Uy, another young tycoon from Davao City who is building a vast empire out of Phoenix Petroleum and a diverse range of shipping, logistics, and real estate ventures.
Micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) are often called the “backbone of the economy.” After all, they comprised 99.57% of all Philippine establishments as of 2016 and accounted for 25% of the country’s total exports revenue, according to the Department of Trade and Industry.
THE debate on whether artificial intelligence (AI) will replace human jobs or not is heating up. While the World Economic Forum (WEF) predicts that five million jobs will be lost by 2020 because of automation, other experts prognosticate that more jobs will be created than destroyed.
Discussions about disruptive technology and digital transformation have lately been dominating the conversations inside corporate boardrooms and among the C-suites in private companies, spilling over to some government agencies and non-government organizations.
PNB’s Human Resource Head Bong Austero recently arranged a Robotics workshop attended by PNB’s Board and Senior Management Team. Yes, you read it correctly: robotics! We assembled our own robots and programmed them to move in a specific way. It was challenging at first as we familiarized ourselves with programming language, but once we moved to the testing stage when we checked if our robots were moving in the way we wanted them to, it became fun.