WS turns 96

SGV Founder, Mr. Washington SyCip, recently celebrated his 96th birthday with current and alumni SGV partners at the Makati Shangri-La.

Retiring SGV Chairman and Managing Partner Vic Noel, who also marked his last day with SGV, welcomed all the guests. In a touching message, he shared, “As a young staff, it was my dream and aspiration to meet Mr. Washington SyCip. And since the day that I met him, Mr. SyCip has been my greatest role model and inspiration. I know that the same is true for the countless generations of SGV professionals who have been a part of the Firm for the last 71 years. Even at 96, Mr. SyCip amazes everyone with his boundless enthusiasm and curiosity, keen business acumen and incredible memory.”

The Japanese-themed dinner party also featured a video presentation on the Tsuruki-En Japanese garden within the Washington SyCip Park in Makati City, followed by a birthday toast led by former Prime Minister and SGV retired partner Cesar Virata.

Happy 96th birthday, Mr. SyCip!

FSO Advisory participates in BSP-ADB Conference

The FSO Advisory group recently participated in a two-day conference on Financing Agriculture Value Chain in the Philippines led by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), in partnership with the Asian Development Bank (ADB). Various stakeholders from the public and private sectors – government agencies, FinTech startups, private companies, banking and financial institutions, academe and foundations, non-government/non-profit organizations, as well as practitioners and experts in agricultural finance – discussed issues and opportunities in the Philippine agriculture value chain.

Speaking as one of the panelists on Exploring Live Financing Opportunities in Agriculture Value Chains, FSO Advisory Partner Ian Lauron (CGL) explained how an inclusive business mindset drives growth and value, and how value chain financing fosters inclusive business. He identified value chains that are actively seeking financing support and the investment and collaboration models that can be explored to support these chains. CGL also talked about the commercial and strategic potential of financing value chains and emphasized infrastructure as an imperative towards achieving financial inclusion.

For more than three years now, the Financial Services Risk Management (FSRM) group has undertaken various development work and has been a participant-collaborator in industry and regulatory initiatives to promote agri-value chain financing and investing. Aligned with the strategic directions of the new BSP Governor, the FSRM group provides decision support as well as risk and capital assessment services for both agri-value chain and infrastructure finance.

Also present at the event were FSO Advisory Associate Director Ruben Simon, Senior Associates Lyca Regina Antonio and Russel Aaron Ailes and Associate Eduardo Emilio Montenegro.

RGM speaks to Association of SEIPI Finance Executives

Advisory Partner Jan Ray Manlapaz (RGM) presented an overview of shared service centers (SSCs) in the breakout session of the Association of Semiconductor and Electronics Industries of the Philippines, Inc. (SEIPI) Finance Executives (ASEFEX) at the SMX Convention Center.

RGM started the discussion by introducing the evolving role of SSCs, key trends in Global Business Services (GBS) and the significant contributions of SSC/GBS organizations in the IT-Business Process Management (IT-BPM) sector of the Philippines. He also briefly discussed the procedures for setting up an SSC, understanding the tax incentives options in the Philippines, and several process migration approaches including typical finance and accounting functions for centralization.

Through a video presentation, RGM also talked about robotic process automation (RPA), how it is disrupting not only the enterprises but also other external organizations (e.g., government, academe), and how it is enabling cost savings, while at the same time increasing process accuracy and speed.

SEIPI is the largest organization of semiconductor and electronics companies in the Philippines. The SEIPI event was attended by finance executives practicing in the semiconductor and electronics industry. RGM was assisted in the event by Joanna Caubalejo-Tan, Senior Director in PI. Assurance Partner Aileen Saringan and Bienvenido Rebullido II, Senior Director, coordinated with ASEFEX organizers for the event.

SGV fetes retiring partners

SGV recently hosted a dinner at the Solaire Grand Ballroom in honor of five partners whose careers have made lasting contributions to SGV, namely: Jessie Cabaluna, Winnie Chan, Lito Montes, Wash Roqueza and SGV Chairman Vic Noel.

SGV Managing Partner Itos Cruz welcomed all the guests, followed by videos prepared for each partner showcasing memorable SGV moments and well wishes from colleagues. Sculptures were presented to them, each symbolizing a personal trait of the retiring partner. They then took turns delivering responses. The SGV Glee Club closed the program by serenading the crowd.

We thank all our retiring partners for their service and dedication to SGV and wish them all the best!

VLS is now a Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist

SGV Financial Services Organization service line leader Vicky Lee-Salas (VLS) recently passed the Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (CAMS) examination. The CAMS credential is the gold standard in Anti-Money Laundering certifications and is recognized internationally by financial institutions, governments and regulators as a serious commitment to protecting the financial system against money laundering.

Congratulations, VLS!

LPF speaks at the 4th CFO Innovation Philippines Forum

SGV Tax Leader Luis Jose P. Ferrer shared regulatory and tax updates with the participants at the 4th CFO Innovation Philippines Forum held last 15 June at the Dusit Thani Manila hotel. The forum serves as a platform where the country’s finance executives and subject matter experts share their wisdom on various topics.

This year’s forum focused on challenges and opportunities arising from global changes post-elections in the US, China’s economic readjustment and ASEAN integration; managing risks around global currency fluctuations and volatility; taxation updates and developments in the Philippines; technological innovation on business models, operations and finance talent management; and the CFO’s strategic role transformation in the digital era. LPF, in particular, discussed tax reform, which is one of the salient features of the Duterte administration’s economic agenda.

CGL presents at the RBAP National Convention

FSRM Partner Ian Lauron was one of the guest speakers at the Rural Bankers Association of the Philippines (RBAP’s) 64th Annual Convention held in Baguio Country Club in Baguio City last 30 May. The event was attended by more than 400 rural bank representatives. Ian talked about capital planning, emphasizing that risk-based capital planning is an iterative process and must involve everyone from the bank’s management. It is not only a financial exercise but also a strategic discussion, he added.

Highlighting the importance of taking into consideration current industry trends and the socio-economic direction of the economy, Ian discussed the role of management in imputing such considerations into their bank’s business plans, which would ultimately influence their capital allocations. He also talked about how rural banks need to improve their capital planning skills in the face of an industry-wide push for mergers, consolidations and acquisition. He was joined at the event by SGV Senior Director Cathy Biliran and Associate Director Ben Simon.

ASG associate tops SGV’s Got Talent Year 6!

Over 3,000 SGVeans filled the World Trade Center in Pasay City last 31 May to watch amazing performances at the SGV’s Got Talent Year 6 Grand Finals. Different market groups cheered for the 17 acts that qualified from over 150 auditions, including those who auditioned from SGV Davao, Cebu and Bacolod.

Actress, singer and comedienne Marisa Sanchez hosted the event. The finalists crooned and grooved before the audience and judges composed of singer-songwriter, Marion Aunor; composer and music producer, Jungee Marcelo; singers Princess Velasco and Liezel Garcia; recording artist Ronnie Liang, and dance performer, Jascel Valencia. The scores were determined by a combination of the judges’ votes (65%) and audience votes (35%).

Out of the 17 acts, seven finalists emerged and from among them, the top three were chosen. The Grand Winner, 2nd and 3rd placers walked away with P60,000, P40,000 and P30,000, respectively, while the next four placers received P10,000. A consolation prize of P5,000 was awarded to each of the other performances.

· Grand Winner: Advisory Associate Gladys De Vera
· Second Place : MG8 Associate Revee Rozinni Saluria
· Third Place: AMDG Harmonics (MG4 Associates Glenn Balaga, Maryin Feliz Yap, Diana Ross Bedia and Al Qadir Pasawilan)
· Other finalists were: Micah Fei De La Cruz, Mon Reih Asilo, Alyssa Grace Salapate, and Kevin Jay Narvarte and Liezl Anne Empaynado.

SGV Cebu conducts seminar on BIR audit and expenditures taxation

SGV Cebu held a seminar last month on recent developments in BIR tax audits and enforcement activities, and how taxpayers could respond to these. The seminar also aimed to enhance participants’ understanding of taxes affecting their company’s local purchasing process.

Tax Senior Director, Atty. Thyrza F. Marbas, CPA, spoke on different approaches and updates about the BIR audit process. Associate Directors Iris Dawn O. Pepito and Mary Grace N. Cabalida discussed common issues involved in the local accounts payable process including updates, the computation of Expanded Withholding Taxes (EWT), Input VAT, Income Tax Deductions, as well as the substantiation and administrative requirements for each. Questions were entertained after each session.

Over 70 accounting and tax practitioners from the Visayas and Mindanao areas attended the two-day seminar. The event was organized by the Business Tax Services (BTS) and Global Compliance & Reporting (GCR) teams of SGV Cebu – Tax.

SGV is Philippines Tax Firm of the Year!

SGV was awarded the Philippines Tax Firm of the Year at the 6th International Tax Review Asia Tax Awards in Singapore last 4 May.

Overall, EY took home a total of eight country and regional tax awards: China Tax Disputes & Litigation Firm of the Year, Philippines Tax Firm of the Year, Singapore Tax Firm of the Year, Singapore Transfer Pricing Firm of the Year, Asia Tax Compliance & Reporting Firm of the Year, Asia Tax Innovator of the Year, Global Executive Mobility Team of the Year in Asia and US Corporate Tax Team of the Year.

Warmest congratulations to our inspiring Tax team!