February 2023

The SGV Tax team led by EY Asean Tax Diversity, Equity, and Inclusiveness (DE&I) Lead Victor C. De Dios (VCD), together with Indirect Tax (IDT) Senior Director Atty. Alden Patrick C. Labaguis, was represented by IDT Senior Associate Atty. Andrea Nicole Loreno in SPARK! Philippines’ #RightsforAllRightsforEquality human rights forum on 9 December 2022 at the Ateneo Law School, Rockwell Center in Makati City. Atty. Nicole with SPARK! Philippines President Imelda Nicolas and Executive Director Maica Teves, and International Association for Human Values Foundation (IAHV Philippines) Director Suzanne Faelnar at the forum U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines MaryKay L. Carlson gave the opening remarks, followed by Makati City Mayor Abigail Binay who delivered the keynote address. Panelists Ann Dumaliang, Kaye Brier, Princess Jacel Kiram, and Police Lieutenant Colonel Mary Grace Riego Madayag tackled topics on women’s involvement in environmental advocacy and climate change, LGBTQIA+ inclusion, the participation of women in the peace process, and violence against all genders during the panel discussion. Former Commissioner of the Commission on Human Rights Karen Lucia Gomez-Dumpit served as the moderator. Atty. Nicole asked the panelists to share their insights on how to advocate for diversity, inclusivity, and equality (DE&I) in workplaces during the Q&A session. The panelists shared their firsthand experiences, suggestions on how to raise awareness, and examples of their own programs that could help further develop the participants’ own DE&I programs. Author of gender-responsive ordinances and gender equality advocate Mayen Juico delivered the discussion synthesis. SPARK! Philippines President Imelda Nicolas gave the closing remarks. The #RightsforAllRightsforEquality human rights forum aimed to raise awareness on how the advancement and security of respecting human rights for all is forging mechanisms and tools which contribute to gender equality.
SGV International Tax and Transaction Services (ITTS) Partner Atty. Auresana “Rhena” B. Ines (ABI) and Indirect Tax (IDT) Senior Director Atty. Jo Ann Marie O. Casio were speakers in the Q4 General Membership Meeting organized by the Association of Semiconductor and Electronics Industries in the Philippines Foundation, Inc. (SEIPI) Finance Executives (ASEFEX) on 22 December 2022. Event poster Atty. Jo Ann opened the session with a discussion on VAT and Customs updates. She highlighted the BIR and Customs issuances from October 2022 to December 2022 such as the guidelines for the proper income tax treatment of equity-based compensation and the extension of work-from-home (WFH) arrangements for Registered Business Enterprises (RBEs) in the Information Technology Business Process Management (IT-BPM) Sector. She presented clarifications issued by the Office of the Commissioner of Customs regarding the posting of bonds for the RBEs in IT-BPM in connection with the WFH arrangement.  Atty. Rhena discussed Transfer Pricing updates and emphasized the two-tiered transfer pricing requirements for submission of BIR Form 1709 and preparation of transfer pricing documentation. In discussing recent compliance and audit developments, she talked about matters relating to the preparation and submission of documents provided for in Revenue Audit Memorandum Order No. 1-2019, which includes, among others, the Functions, Assets, and Risks Analysis. Atty. Rhena, along with Atty. Jo Ann, addressed questions and requests for clarifications from the participants in the open forum. About 90 ASEFEX members, including SEIPI partners and stakeholders attended the event. Logistics Market Sector Leader and Tax Principal Stephanie V. Nava (SVN) and Technology Market Sector Leader and Assurance Partner Manolito R. Elle (MRE) coordinated participation in the virtual meeting. Indirect Tax (IDT) Senior Director Atty. Alden Patrick C. Labaguis, Associate Director Atty. Dawna Fya O. Bandiola and Senior Associate Kierk Robin M. Ret were part of the SGV organizing team.
SGV Financial Accounting Advisory Services (FAAS) and Climate Change and Sustainability Services (CCaSS) Partner Benjamin N. Villacorte (BNV) was a panelist in the session on “Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) as a Value Driver for Real Estate” at the Net Zero Building & Net Zero City Summit Philippines 2023 held on 10 January 2023 at the Dusit Thani Hotel Manila. The session dissected the impact of social good on real estate projects, including why ESG reporting is vital for investors and what impact it has on the community. Benjamin talks about ESG Benjamin with the other panelists Benjamin emphasized the importance and advantages of ESG in doing business, especially in the real estate industry. As investors pay more attention to ESG performance, companies are now integrating sustainability in their business models and plans to access more financing for their business operations and future expansion. He said that companies are realizing that solely aiming for profit is no longer enough to sustain businesses and that creating positive impacts on the environment and society are now gaining momentum as more businesses around the world work toward more sustainable operations.   Given the current trend in the industry on sustainability and “greenwashing,” Benjamin encouraged everyone to act now, aside from just pledging. He also emphasized that when investing in ESG strategies, even though the returns may only manifest in 5-10 years, priority should be given to creating long-term value.  
SGV Tax Partners participated in the 2022 Philippine Institute of Certified Public Accountants (PICPA) Metro Manila Region (MMR) and Geographical Area Office (GAO) Tax Conference held on 14 December 2022 at the Century Park Hotel, Manila City. The theme for this conference was “Play It Forward: Hot Tax Topics for Responsible Taxation.” SGV Tax Partner Aaron C. Escartin talks about e-commerce taxation SGV Tax Partner Aaron C. Escartin receives token of appreciation PICPA MMR Professional Development Committee and Regional Sectoral Representative for Public Practice Chair Maricris U. See (MUS) was one of the lead organizers of the event and SGV Tax Partner Aaron C. Escartin (ACE) was the speaker for Tax on E-commerce. Aaron was introduced by PICPA Eastern Metro Manila Chapter President Michael A. Madlangbayan (MAM).  PICPA MMR Professional Development Committee and Regional Sectoral Representative for Public Practice Chair Maricris U. See (second from right) with BIR Director II Beverly Milo (second from left), BIR Assistant Commissioner for Planning & Management Services Hon. Marietta U. Lorenzo (third from left) and other participants at the event Among the topics covered in the Summit aside from Tax on E-Commerce (online transactions business) were Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) Priorities Plans and Program for 2023 onwards, Hot Year-end Tax Reminders and Updates, and Tax vs. Philippine Financial Reporting Standards (PFRS). BIR Assistant Commissioner for Planning & Management Services Hon. Marietta U. Lorenzo was also one of the resource speakers. She was assisted by BIR Director II Beverly Milo. 
SGV Tax Principal and EY Asean Business Tax Services Leader Atty. Jules E. Riego (JER) was one of the guest speakers at the German-Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GPCCI) Economic Forum 2023 entitled Philippine Outlook: The Road to Re-Emergence, Recovery, and Rebuilding.The forum was held on 19 January 2023 at the German Club Manila in Makati City. Jules at the GPCCI Economic Forum 2023 Jules shared his knowledge and expertise on the impact of the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) Act and recent regulatory updates for 2023. He also shared his insights on upcoming local legislation such as the Real Property Valuation and Assessment Reform Act, the Comprehensive Tax Reform Program, Tax on Digital Transactions, and the Ease of Payment of Taxes Act. SGV Assurance Leader Martin C. Guantes (MCG) and SGV Market Group 3 Leader Henry M. Tan (HMT) also attended the event. 
SGV Climate Change and Sustainability Services (CCaSS) Partner Katrina F. Francisco (KFF) and SGV Business Consulting Leader and Institute of Internal Auditors Philippines (IIAP) 2022 Chairman Ryan Gilbert K. Chua (RKC) joined the IIAP Chief Audit Executives (CAE) Forum titled Risks that Matter: Focus on Cybersecurity, Privacy and Sustainability Risks in November 2022 via Zoom. Katrina with the moderators and other speakers The session solicited and drove an exchange of views, insights, and best practices from the panelists, moderators, CAEs, and other attendees in addressing or navigating through cybersecurity, privacy and sustainability risk areas which may have led many companies to rethink or change their business models.  Ryan presents a summary of the session Ryan opened the session and presented a summary of Risks that Matter, gave a recap of the previous sessions that focused on the overall changes brought about by the last two years of immense disruption which impacted government policies, consumer behavior, and organizations’ business models, and the potential of people as the main drivers of disruptive innovations, and set the tone for the panel discussion. This was followed by the panelists’ respective talks and a Q&A session.
Strategy and Transactions (SaT) Senior Manager Lester Jeff D. Pawid is now a fully-fledged Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Charterholder. Lester received confirmation from the CFA Institute on 31 January 2023 that after completing the CFA Program, he has now met the work experience requirements for the CFA designation. SaT Senior Manager Lester Jeff D. Pawid, CFA Offered by the CFA Institute, the CFA credential is the standard of choice for investment professionals with real-world analytical skills, technical competence, and high ethical and professional standards. Level 1 of the CFA Program tests a candidate’s knowledge and comprehension of investment tools, while Level 2 focuses on the application of these tools and analysis for asset valuation. Finally, Level 3 synthesizes all learnings in the portfolio management context and incorporates a constructed response component. Candidates who have completed all three levels may seek to earn the CFA Charter after acquiring the required professional work experience.  Lester passed the CFA Level 3 exam in 2022. He says that he is grateful for the support of SaT Partner Marie Stephanie T. Hamed (MTH) who allowed him to start at a later date in SGV so that he could concentrate on his preparation for the exam.  Congratulations, Lester!
The SGV Cebu team led by SGV Cebu Partner-in-Charge Margem Tagalog (MAT) was the official tabulator of the municipality of Carmen, Cebu’s 50th Sinulog anniversary Festival Queen and Ritual Showdown event highlights on 22 January 2023. The Sinulog sa Carmen 2023 tabulators SGV Cebu Assurance Managers Ian Jayme, Frecy Catadman and Jayvee Anga were part of the tabulating team. They were assisted by Senior Associates Kitz Genobesa, Jeyson Tugonon and JP Castro and Associates Stella Abayhon, Sybille Dublico, Vince Miramon, and Rodelio Rodrigo.  The Sinulog Festival or Sto. Niño Festival in Carmen, Cebu is an annual religious and cultural festival held in celebration of one of the country’s most famous historic relics, the Santo Niño de Cebú. SGV Cebu was also the tabulator for similar festivities organized by the Cebu Provincial Government in the past such as the Pasigarbo sa Sugbo (“Pride of Cebu”) 2022 Festival Queen and Festival of Festivals.