January 2024

SGV Consulting Partner and EY Asean Core Consulting Quality Leader Joseph Ian M. Canlas received the 2023 Most Outstanding Kapampangan Award (MOKA) Emerging Category for Finance. Ian was recognized for his exemplary achievements and contributions and for continuing to embody the ideals of a true Kapampangan. He received the award during the 452nd founding anniversary of the province of Pampanga on 11 December 2023. 2023 Most Outstanding Kapampangan Awardee for Finance Joseph Ian M. Canlas (center) “Beyond being a CPA, I strived and became the professional I am today — an external and internal auditor, consultant in risk/compliance management, internal controls, and corporate governance, among others, for both public and private sectors. It is my passion and I advocate for initiatives related to ESG or Sustainability. I hope to be an example that you can do more beyond your original profession,” Ian said. Ian (center) with Assurance Senior Manager Leo Niño R. Canlas (left) and SGV Clark Head and Partner-in-Charge Margaux A. Advincula Ian believes that companies should be mindful of people being the heart of organizations; their clear purpose, initiatives on environment, and social and governance should be given more of a spotlight through non-financial reports such as sustainability reports. Ian was honored alongside 12 other MOKA awardees. The MOKA is an annual search for Kapampangans who excel in their respective endeavors or professions. The MOKA Award is perceived as the pinnacle of all awards conferred by the Province of Pampanga to its outstanding sons and daughters. Congratulations, Ian!
The SGV Climate Change and Sustainability Services (CCaSS) team and Philippine Sustainability Reporting Committee (PSRC) Secretariat organized and hosted International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) meetings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), and the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) and a joint meeting with the Financial and Sustainability Reporting Standards Council (FSRSC) and the PSRC at the SGV Makati office.  SGV, ISSB, SEC, and PSE meeting participants The meetings aimed to engage the PSE, SEC, and local stakeholders regarding the ISSB Standards and the Philippines’ roadmap for adoption. Topics covered during the meetings were the perspectives on Philippines’ jurisdictional roadmap towards adoption of the ISSB Standards, the status and possible future development of SEC ESG Guidance for sustainability reporting, organizational perspectives on ISSB’s future agenda, and capacity building needs. Speakers and participants during the Joint FSRSC and PSRC Meeting with ISSB CCaSS Partner Benjamin N. Villacorte, CCaSS Directors Ricardo Maulion Jr. and Diana Sadili-Chu, and CCaSS Associate Director Jouelle Nerveza-Sumile formed part of the CCaSS team.  ISSB guests during the meeting were Vice Chair Jingdong Hua, Director of Regulatory Affairs Jonathan Bravo, Strategic Affairs and Capacity Building Manager Evie Robertson. PSE and SEC Officers, as well as FSRSC and PSRC members also attended the meetings.
SGV’s Climate Change and Sustainability Services (CCaSS) team hosted a webinar titled “Navigating the new frontier of sustainability standards: SGV Insight Session on the ISSB Standards.” The session aimed to impart key insights about the recently published International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) Sustainability Disclosure Standards or International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) Standards. ISSB Member Bing Leng and SGV CCaSS Partner Benjamin N. Villacorte during the fireside chat Speakers and panelists shared their insights on the ISSB Standards, sustainability disclosures, and their impact on the sustainability reporting landscape from the viewpoint of a regulator, corporate reporter, a standard-setting body, and a professional services firm. ISSB Member Bing Leng discusses the IFRS Sustainability Disclosure Standards The session’s keynote speaker was ISSB Member Bing Leng. He talked about the development journey of the ISSB Standards and reliefs to support adoption. He also participated in a fireside chat moderated by SGV CCaSS Partner Benjamin N. Villacorte on ISSB key consultation results and support to jurisdictional adoption of ISSB Standards. (First row L–R) GRI Country Manager – Philippines Katreen Pillejera, AEV First Vice President – Chief Reputation and Sustainability Officer Ginggay Hontiveros-Malvar, and SGV Consulting Partner Joseph Ian M. Canlas; (Second row L–R) Gokongwei Group Sustainability Head Yvonne Purisima, FSO Leader Christian G. Lauron, and PH SEC Atty. Rachel Remalante The panelists for the forum were Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Philippines Country Manager Ma. Katreena Pillejera, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Corporate Governance and Finance Department Director Atty. Rachel Esther J. Gumtang-Remalante, Aboitiz Equity Ventures, Inc. (AEV) First Vice President - Chief Reputation and Sustainability Officer Ana Margarita “Ginggay” Hontiveros-Malvar, Gokongwei Group Head of Sustainability Yvonne Flores, and SGV Financial Services Organization (FSO) Leader Christian G. Lauron. SGV Consulting Partner Joseph Ian M. Canlas moderated the fireside chat. CCaSS Manager Jouelle M. Nerveza led the organizing team composed of Manager Ricardo S. Maulion, Senior Associates Marsha P. Batusbatusan and Goldianne M. Madriaga, and Associates Emmanuel D. Regondola and Caryll Joy C. Franco. CCaSS Senior Manager Crystal Aleli R. Cornell served as the session’s host and was also part of the organizing team.
SGV Climate Change and Sustainability Services (CCaSS) Partner and Philippine Sustainability Reporting Committee (PSRC) Chair Benjamin “Benjie” N. Villacorte participated in the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) Global Roundtable on the Exposure Draft of the Proposed International Standard on Sustainability Assurance (ISSA) 5000. The roundtable was held at the Securities Commission office in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Benjie at the IAASB Global Roundtable As the PSRC Chair and Philippine representative, Benjie provided insights on the topics covered by the roundtable, such as the Proposed ISSA 5000 as the overarching standard for sustainability assurance, fundamental premises in the Exposure Draft of ISSA 5000, sustainability information reported, and communication and reporting. IAASB Global Roundtable Benjie was joined by sustainability reporting standard-setters, users of sustainability information, policy makers and regulators for reporting, and preparers of sustainability information. The roundtable aimed to gain insights from users of sustainability information reported externally by entities, preparers of such sustainability information, those charged with governance of entities, public officials, and other interested parties, along with their representative bodies and advisors on the proposed International Standard on Sustainability Assurance ISSA 5000 General Requirements for Sustainability Assurance Engagements.
SGV Partners Jose Pepito E. Zabat, Eleanore A. Layug, Hentje Leo L. Leaño, and Peter John R. Ventura, and Market Group (MG) 7 Assurance and Tax Managers participated in the 69th Annual National Mine Safety and Environment Conference (ANMSEC) at the CAP–John Hay Trade and Cultural Center in Baguio City.  SGV Partners Jose Pepito E. Zabat, Eleanore A. Layug, and Peter John R. Ventura, and MG7 Senior Managers with PMSEA President and ASEAN Eng. Luis R. Sarmiento The conference featured mining exhibits, a youth congress, mine safety field demonstrations and competitions, and mining, metallurgical, geological, and environmental symposia. The Presidential Mineral Industry Environmental Award for the best mining practices in the Philippines was also conferred during the event. SGV Partners Jose Pepito E. Zabat, Eleanore A. Layug, and Hentje Leo L. Leaño, and MG7 Assurance and Tax Managers The Philippine Mine and Safety and Environment Association (PMSEA) in cooperation with the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) organized the conference, which was attended by representatives from mining companies, regulators and local government units, and other industry stakeholders. PMSEA is a volunteer organization that promotes best practices in the areas of occupational health and safety, sound environmental management, and social development among mining companies operating in the Philippines.
SGV Climate Change and Sustainability Services (CCaSS) Partner and Philippine Sustainability Reporting Committee (PSRC) Chair Benjamin “Benjie” N. Villacorte, CCaSS Principal and PSRC Technical Working Group (TWG) member Bonar A. Laureto, and CCaSS Manager and PSRC TWG member Ricardo “Ricky” S. Maulion Jr. participated in the 10th Annual Securities and Exchange Commission - Philippine Stock Exchange (SEC-PSE) Corporate Governance Forum at the SEC Headquarters in Makati City. Benjie during the panel discussion Benjie was a panelist in the panel discussion on Interoperability of Global Sustainability Reporting Frameworks. He discussed the key features of the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) Standards and updates on the jurisdictions that have adopted the standards. Benjie also gave an introduction of the PSRC, which is a relatively new organization that enables opportunities and solutions to advance sustainable development in the country. Bonar during the SuRe Workshop Briefer Bonar co-facilitated the Sustainability Reporting (SuRe) Workshop Briefer together with SEC Director for Corporate Governance and Finance Department Atty. Rachel Esther Gumtang-Remalante. Ricky was one of the workshop trainers during the simulating sustainability/climate risk assessment for SuRe Form activity. The forum was organized by the SEC and PSE in collaboration with Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), PSRC, and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The participants came from publicly listed companies. 
SGV Climate Change and Sustainability Services (CCaSS) Partners and Chamber of Mines of the Philippines (COMP) accredited Verification Service Providers (VSPs) Benjamin “Benjie” Villacorte and Katrina Francisco participated in a walkthrough audit and documentary verification of two mining operations. Benjie (first row, second from left) with other VSPs and representatives of Padcal Mine The audit of Padcal Mine and Rio Tuba Mine covered the assessment of various indicators under the Towards Sustainable Mining (TSM) program, aiming to review performance ratings of the reporting members to the COMP. This is a mandatory undertaking for existing and upcoming members of the organization, which subjects them to annually submit a self-assessment report. Katrina (first row, third from right) with Rio Tuba Representatives The TSM also aims to enable mining companies to meet society’s needs for minerals, metals, and energy products in the most socially, economically, and environmentally responsible way. With core pillar values grouping the protocols under: (1) Communities and People; (2) Environmental Stewardship; (3) Energy Efficiency, each protocol is made up of a set of indicators that help mining facilities build, measure, and publicly report on the quality of their management systems and their performance.The COMP adopted the TSM in 2017. In 2022, the first batch of VSPs, including Katrina and Benjie, underwent training and were accredited.
SGV Climate Change and Sustainability Services (CCaSS) Partners Benjamin “Benjie” N. Villacorte and Katrina F. Francisco were resource speakers at the Association of Certified Public Accountants in Public Practice (ACPAPP) Professional Development Committee Seminar and General Membership Meeting. The event aimed to impart knowledge on key sustainability topics and how these may affect the accounting profession. Sixty-one ACPAPP members attended the seminar and meeting at the Washington SyCip Development Center (WSDC) in Makati City.  Benjie (left) and Katrina (right) discuss key sustainability topics Benjie talked about circular economy and the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) Law. He gave an overview of circular economy and the plastic problem. He also discussed the EPR Law and its impacts on accountants and the EPR reporting audit requirements.  Benjie (left) and Katrina (right) receive their certificates of appreciation Katrina provided sustainability reporting updates. She gave an introduction of the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) Standards, discussed the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) S1 and S2 requirements, and recommended next steps for Philippine businesses.
SGV Climate Change and Sustainability Services (CCaSS) Principal Bonar A. Laureto was a guest speaker at the 66th Charter Anniversary Symposium and Special General Membership Meeting organized by the Rural Bankers Association of the Philippines (RBAP) at the Rizal Park Hotel.  Bonar talks about Environmental and Social Risks for Rural Banks Bonar shared his insights on setting up the Environment and Social Risk Management Framework for Rural Banks, as well as the opportunities, advantages, and overall impact on climate investment. He spoke alongside Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Assistant Governor Lyn Javier, who talked about BSP policies and recommended that banks seek technical assistance from sustainability experts and organizations. The event aimed to provide relevant and noteworthy inputs for new opportunities to engage in and develop more collaborations with other private entities supportive of rural banking. It also provided a platform to share the latest industry updates that will be useful in day-to-day operations. Rural and cooperative bank owners, shareholders, directors, and senior officers from across the country attended the event.
SGV Climate Change and Sustainability Services (CCaSS) Partner Benjamin “Benjie” N. Villacorte was a resource speaker at the De La Salle University (DLSU) Sustainability Forum organized by the DLSU Department of Accountancy at the DLSU Verdure, 4F Henry Sy Sr. Hall in DLSU Manila. Ninety-seven DLSU students attended the forum, which aimed to impart knowledge on the trends, challenges, and opportunities in sustainability reporting for both business and career. Benjie at the DLSU Sustainability Forum Benjie covered topics such as sustainability reporting trends, challenges, and opportunities for business and career, the business landscape of sustainability reporting, and considerations when pursuing a career in sustainability.