SGV Baguio hosts comprehensive tax seminar

The SGV Global Compliance and Reporting (GCR) Team conducted a one-day tax seminar recently at the Venus Parkview Hotel, Baguio City. The seminar was divided into a morning session led by GCR Partner Leo Leaño (LLL) and an afternoon session led by Business Tax Services Partner Rubina Aquino (RBA). Over 50 participants from various sectors attended the seminar.

LLL’s session titled Closing the Taxable Year: A comprehensive seminar on year-end tax requirements and reconciliation procedures discussed year-end Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) filing, reporting and administrative requirements and tax-related financial statements disclosures, as well as the Tax Reform for Attracting Better and High-quality Opportunities (TRABAHO) Bill and other draft bills on tax amnesty.

RBA led a session titled How to Survive a BIR Audit, where she described the conduct of BIR audit and how taxpayers must respond accordingly to the audit investigation. She also discussed the rights and remedies of taxpayers according to the Tax Code and other laws and recent BIR issuances.

WRB talks at security trends conference

SGV Advisory Partner Warren Bituin (WRB) was a keynote speaker at the recently-concluded Security Trends 2018: Data Breach held in Makati Shangri-La, Makati City. The conference, organized by Trend Micro, brought together various security professionals to discuss about building cyber resiliency against emerging threats.

WRB discussed one of the challenges which organizations contend with when facing a potential cyber-attack: the increasing sophistication of threats and a shortage in cybersecurity talent. He presented use cases of organizations that invested heavily in preventive countermeasures, but still fail to detect and respond accurately and appropriately to cyberattacks. He also introduced the viability of managed threat detection and response models to discover and contain cyber-attacks with greater accuracy and efficiency.

The Department of Information and Communications Technology-Cybersecurity Bureau OIC George Tardio also presented the Philippine National Cybersecurity Plan and its implementation milestones. Other cybersecurity experts presented the latest cybersecurity trends, technology how-to’s and capacity building strategies. WRB was accompanied by SGV Associate Kelvin Rey Angeles during the conference.

SGV Purpose Photo Challenge concludes with winners!

The SGV Purpose Photo Challenge ended last 7 December at the SGV eCafé. Global Compliance and Reporting Senior Associate Jeffrey De Silva bagged the first prize and was awarded PHP 20,000 for his winning entry. Other finalists include Diane Manabat, Rich Ragragio, Joy Dongon and Japoy Hernandez.

The contest aimed to challenge SGVeans to articulate SGV’s Purpose through photographs that represent how our Purpose has inspired them on their own personal journeys. The winning entry was decided by votes via the SGV Purpose Facebook Group, and all SGVeans were allowed to vote. The photo challenge ran for a total of five weeks, with a weekly winner selected by the Purpose committee.

Selected photo entries are featured in the 2019 SGV Tax Calendar and the 2019 SGV Planner.

Congratulations to Jeffrey and all our finalists!

Unlocking Blockchain for business and government

The SGV Advisory team, led by Partners Ian Lauron, Ian Canlas and Kaye Macaisa, hosted a roundtable discussion on blockchain titled Identifying Potential Applications of Blockchain Technology last 14 November at the Shang Grand Tower, Makati City. The primary speaker during the session was EY Principal and Global Blockchain Innovation Leader Paul Brody.

Mr. Brody discussed how the use of blockchain technology, as a solution to existing problems across several industries, has steadily increased in this era of disruption. He discussed the industrialization of blockchain technology, calling it the biggest IT revolution in 50 years. He discussed various use cases in an enterprise and the technology’s transition as it continues to develop as a standard tool for enterprise interaction. He also presented the potential challenges in implementing blockchain and where and how businesses can begin. An open forum session followed.

Also present during the event were SGV Advisory Services Leader Rossana Fajardo and other Advisory Partners Warren Bituin, Francis Lumbres and Marnelli Fullon. Over 30 representatives from government, academe, and the banking and telco sectors participated in the event.

SD speaks at ASEAN Energy Congress 2018

EY-SGV Senior Director, Hemant Nandanpawar, participated in the panel discussion on De-risking Solar Project Financing in ASEAN as a session moderator during the ASEAN Solar and Energy Storage Congress and Expo held last
14-15 November at The Bellevue Manila in Alabang, Muntinlupa City. Panelists included: Adrian Koh, Associate Director of Macquarie Capital, HK; Jo Ann Eala, Vice President of the Bank of the Philippine Islands; Boo Hock Khoo, Vice President for Operations of Credit Guarantee and Investment Facility; and Baoqing Miao, Director of Voltiq – Renewable Energy Finance in Utrecht, The Netherlands.

Hemant is a Certified International Expert on Renewable Energy and Climate Finance and has a triple post graduate qualification in Energy Management, Financial Management and Sustainable Business (Cambridge University, UK). He has extensive international work experience in the areas of Clean Energy, Climate Change and Sustainability . In addition to earlier prestigious awards and appreciations, Hemant was also recently conferred with the Best Green Leader Award by the Global CSR Excellence and Leadership panel for his valuable contributions to the clean energy and sustainability sectors.

This year’s congress marks the 3rd year of the Leader Associates’ initiative to host the largest conference in the ASEAN region that focuses on the solar and energy storage market. It was officially endorsed by the Philippine Department of Energy and the Philippine Energy Regulatory Commission. More than 300 leaders and specialists from the clean energy sector across the Asia Pacific region attended the congress.

For more details, log on to the official website of the ASEAN Solar and Energy Storage Congress and Expo at Click Here

SGV participates in CIFI APAC Security Summit

SGV Advisory Partner Warren Bituin (WRB) moderated a panel discussion on addressing the cybersecurity skills gap in an evolving cyber threat environment in the recently-held CIFI Security Summit 2018 – Manila Series at the Makati Shangri-La Hotel, Makati City. The conference brought together cybersecurity professionals to discuss challenges that organizations are facing in the areas of cybersecurity, digital forensics, investigations and advanced threat intelligence capabilities, as well as possible solutions and improvements regarding these challenges .

The panel discussion revolved on the cybersecurity skills gap in the country in light of recent reported breaches in some organizations, and focused on some ways to mitigate cybersecurity risks. The panel consisted of Jay Gomez, Assistant Vice President (AVP) and Head of Information Security, ABS-CBN; Daniel Vizcayno, AVP for Information Security, BDO Unibank; Charles Yap II, Director of the Infrastructure Data Center Services Command Center and Information Security Manila Service Delivery Head, Albertsons; and Michael Ignacio, Associate Vice President for Information Security and Corporate IT Support Services, SPi CRM.

With WRB at the conference were SGV Senior Director Alvin Manuel, Senior Associate Lennie Habon, and Associates Danielle Rose Castillo and Rhona Nalagan (not in photo).

We’ve been EDGEd!

SGV & Co. was recently presented with the Economic Dividends for Gender Equality (EDGE) Assess-level certification, making it the first professional services firm in the Philippines and the Southeast Asian region to receive an EDGE certification.


SGV & Co. Chairman and Managing Partner Itos Cruz holds SGV’s EDGE certification with (from left): SGV Learning & Development Head Clair Mangangey; SGV Assurance Head Vivian Ruiz; SGV Brand, Marketing & Communications Head Marlu Balmaceda; Investing in Women CEO Dr. Julia Newton-Howes; Australian Embassy Counsellor Nardia Simpson; PhilWEN Chairperson & PBCWE Co-Chairperson Boots Garcia; Karol Villaluna and Duane Sabado of the SGV EDGE Core Team.

EDGE Certification was developed by the EDGE Certification Foundation based in Switzerland. It is the world’s leading assessment methodology and business certification standard for gender equality. It is an evidence-based process designed to help organizations identify problems, set benchmarks and develop solutions to create an optimal workplace that will benefit both men and women. It is currently working with more than 170 organizations, in over 48 countries and 23 industries.

SGV & Co. Chairman and Managing Partner J. Carlitos G. Cruz says, “SGV has always supported empowering women and institutionalizing gender equality in the workplace. However, we need clear numbers to properly track our status in achieving gender parity and to measure our progress.”

The certification documents SGV & Co.’s long-standing policy on meritocracy, diversity and inclusiveness. As early as 57 years ago, SGV already admitted women into partnership. Today there is a strong-gender balance across the talent pipeline with women comprising 48% of SGV’s leadership.

SGV & Co.’s EDGE certification involved a rigorous review and process that took five months, culminating in an EDGE certified standard audit conducted by Intertek, an independent, EDGE Foundation-approved auditing firm. The EDGE Assessment Framework was used to correctly measure the data gathered from the organizational statistics, policies and practices, and employee survey.

The SGV EDGE core team comprised members from Talent team: Duane Sabado, Gene Lorraine Cruzate and Angel Hope Cawili; Brand, Marketing & Communications: Glenn Chua and Karol Villaluna; IT Services: Neal Timple and Jonathan Giner.

The core team worked with representatives from the Philippine Business Coalition for Women’s Empowerment (PBCWE) during the various stages of the certification process. As one of the seven founding members of PBCWE, SGV & Co. is dedicated to driving positive change for women’s rights and gender equality in the workplace by closing the gender pay gap, increasing workplace female participation and helping women advance into leadership roles.

“We take pride in a multi-industry Business Coalition, who have all backed up their workplace gender equality commitment with concrete action. This is how you walk the talk,” PhilWEN Chairperson, PBCWE Co-Chairperson and SGV alumna-partner, Ma. Aurora “Boots” D. Geotina-Garcia said. “With the present need and the workplace of the future in mind, it is our hope that more Philippine companies will follow suit,” she added.

PBCWE received a grant from the “Investing in Women” initiative of the Australian Government for its founding members to undergo the EDGE certification process. The initiative aims to accelerate women empowerment and drive inclusive economic growth in the ASEAN region.

Risk Advisory participates in the 70th IIAP Annual Convention

The SGV Risk Advisory Services team spearheaded the 70th Institute of Internal Auditors Philippines (IIAP) Annual Convention held last 17-19 October at the Henann Resort Alona Beach in Panglao, Bohol. The team was led by Advisory Partner and IIAP Chairman and President Ian Canlas and Advisory Partner and IIAP Convention Committee Chairman Ryan Chua. They were joined by Senior Director Mayday Cypress and Associate Sherina Solomon of the Programs Committee, Director Laurice Kristel Suaso and Jerome Punzal and Senior Associate Julius Hernandez of the Logistics Committee, and Associate Mark Henry Barroso who hosted the event’s Facebook livestream.

Cybersecurity Services Partner Warren Bituin served as one of the panelists in the discussion about Data Privacy Compliance, while EY LA Partner Scott Porter discussed the Future Trends in Internal Auditing during a plenary session. Senior Adviser Rebecca Sarmenta headed the focus group discussion about auditing Corporate Governance. Former Advisory Services Group Head Winston Chan also discussed Robotics Process Automation and Artificial Intelligence. SGV’s Chief Risk Officer, Risk Advisory Services Head & EY’s ASEAN Regional Management Leader Leonardo Matignas, Jr. together with SGV Partner Christiane Say-Mendoza, Managers Pia Pagdanganan, Alene Bantolo and Anna Bobadilla and Senior Associate Louise Tredente were also present during the event.

The IIAP has advocated continuous learning in the internal audit profession through various initiatives, including this annual convention where people from the profession come together in fellowship to advance their learning and knowledge. With the theme “Ignite the LIGHT (Learn, Innovate, Grow, Hone and Transcend),” the event aimed to bring meaningful learning on data privacy, risk management, sustainability and IT in the internal audit profession. Some of today’s hot topics such as fake news, mental health and diversity in the workplace were also discussed. SGV was a platinum sponsor of the event.

LJM receives the first SOCIA PH Award

SGV’s Chief Risk Officer, Risk Advisory Services Head and EY’s ASEAN Risk Management Leader Leonardo Matignas, Jr. (LJM) won the first ever Search for Outstanding Contribution in Internal Auditing (SOCIA PH) during the recent IIAP Convention at the Henann Resort Alona Beach in Panglao, Bohol. He was awarded for his deep experience, his accomplishments and the significant impact he has made to advancing the internal audit profession, among others.

LJM handles numerous advisory services engagements including internal audit, and risk and process review, enterprise risk management. For his strong background in quality and risk management, he was appointed as Ernst & Young’s Far East Asia Advisory Quality & Risk Management Leader in 2008 and as ASEAN Advisory Quality & Risk Management Leader in 2010. After dedicating 15 years to audit, he pioneered two of SGV’s business practices: Risk Advisory (formerly known as Business Process Risk and Consulting) and Fraud Investigation and Dispute Services (formerly known as Business Fraud & Investigation Service).

LJM has also contributes to the Firm’s Thought Leadership initiatives and is a frequent resource speaker including being the only Filipino speaker at the World Congress of Accountants. He also served as a speaker for the Joint Asian Confederation of Institutes of Internal Auditors (ACIIA) and South Pacific Annual Conference of Internal Auditors and as a representative of IIA’s Global Advocacy Committee to discuss the Global Advocacy Platform during the IIA-ACIIA Leadership Forum in 2012.

The IIAP launched SOCIA PH as a local vehicle to select candidates for the regional search of ACIIA.

Kudos, LJM!

RGS elected Honorary Secretary of ACIIA

SGV Senior Adviser Rebecca Sarmenta (RGS) was elected as the Honorary Secretary of the Asian Confederation of Institutes of Internal Auditors (ACIIA). The election was held as part of the ACIIA Business Meeting and Annual General Meeting last 28 October at the Mandarin Oriental in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. SGV Advisory Partner Ian Canlas, the Chairperson and President of the Institute of Internal Auditors Philippines (IIAP), was also present during the meeting.

RGS will serve as the Honorary Secretary for 2018-2019 and will continuously support the confederation’s vision to be the regional voice of the internal auditing profession: advocating its values, promoting best practices, and providing exceptional service to its members.

Congratulations, RGS!