Strategy and Transactions (SaT) Senior Manager Lester Jeff D. Pawid passed the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Level 3 examination. Lester took the Level 3 exam on 6 September 2022 and received the positive news in the first week of November. CFA Level 3 passer, SaT Senior Manager Lester Jeff D. Pawid 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 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 of the exam may seek to earn the CFA Charter after meeting the required professional work experience.  Lester took the Level 3 exam a week before he reported for his first day of work at SGV. 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 so that he could concentrate on his preparation for the exam.  Congratulations, Lester!
SGV’s Indirect Tax (IDT) team conducted a virtual Strategic Trade Management Act (STMA) Awareness Forum for clients on 27 October 2022 via MS Teams. The forum aimed to provide valuable insights into Republic Act (RA) No. 10697, “An Act Preventing the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction by Managing the Trade in Strategic Goods, the Provision of Related Services, and for other purposes.” More than 100 clients from various industries engaged in importation and exportation, logistics, and freight forwarding services attended the event. SGV Tax Leader Fabian K. Delos Santos (FKS) delivers his opening remarks IDT Manager Erika Ruiz gives a brief background on the STMA The SGV IDT team led by IDT Principal Arlyn A. Sarmiento-Sy (fourth from left) awards a Certificate of Appreciation to DTI representative Atty. Dimayacyac SGV Tax Leader Fabian K. Delos Santos (FKS) kicked off the event by delivering his opening remarks. IDT Manager Erika Joy S. Ruiz served as one of the resource speakers. She discussed the relevant implementing rules and regulations (IRRs) of STMA including a brief background of the law, its implementation by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), relevant STMA issuances and common issues, and practical tips. DTI–Strategic Trade Management Office (STMO) Senior Trade Specialist John Derrick C. Anchinges and OIC-Director Atty. Janice S. Dimayacyac were also speakers at the event. Mr. Anchinges discussed the recent developments and implementation of STMA, DTI-STMO-conducted audits, the number of ongoing, registered, or licensed applicants, and other relevant topics, while Atty. Dimayacyac served as one of the panelists and moderators during the open forum session.  SGV IDT Leader Lucil Q. Vicerra (LQV) delivered the closing remarks and thanked the IDT team for organizing the event and the DTI–STMO representatives for sharing their knowledge and expertise on the subject matter. The STMA forum was led by IDT Principals Arlyn A. Sarmiento-Sy (AAS) and Victor C. de Dios (VCD) as Project Head and Co-Project Head, respectively. They were supported by IDT Senior Associate Gabriel B. Carumba as the Project Lead, and IDT Managers Erika Joy S. Ruiz and Edwin M. Sulit as the Co-Project Leads. IDT Senior Associate Jerry M. Santos acted as the event host. The IDT team paid a courtesy visit at the DTI-STMO on 17 November 2022 to physically award the Certificate of Appreciation to Mr. Anchinges and Atty. Dimayacyac. Programs and activities of the DTI-STMO were also briefly discussed during the visit.
SGV International Tax and Transaction Services (ITTS) Leader Atty. Romulo S. Danao Jr. (RSD) was one of the resource speakers at the Philippine Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (PH-EITI) Beneficial Ownership Forum organized by PH-EITI [JDT1] at the Marco Polo Ortigas Manila on 7 November 2022. Atty. Danao talks about transfer pricing Atty. Danao shared his expertise on transfer pricing and its interface with beneficial ownership. He addressed questions on beneficial ownership's relevance to issues in transfer pricing particularly in the extractive industries. He also discussed how beneficial ownership disclosure or transparency can help address these issues. Atty. Danao received positive feedback and appreciation from various sector participants after the session.  The Beneficial Ownership Forum is part of PH-EITI’s Extractives Transparency Week (ETW) which is an annual series of fora and learning sessions on extractives resource governance and revenue management. For 2022, the ETW provided a space for the development of actionable recommendations to address extractive-industries-related priority issues of mining, oil, gas, and coal stakeholders.
SGV Clark launched the inaugural edition of the Doing Business in Clark publication on 7 November 2022 at the SGV Clark office. Over 100 SGV partners and alumni, key government officials, and representatives from different foreign embassies attended the launch. SGV partners and leaders pose with the DBC brochure Developed by SGV in close collaboration with the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA), Clark Development Corporation (CDC), and Clark International Airport Corporation (CIAC), the publication is a brief guide for potential foreign and local investors looking to set up business operations in Clark. The publication aims to promote and highlight the developments in Clark, Pampanga, as well as the reforms and initiatives set forth by the government and the private sector that would benefit locators and investors alike. SGV Chairman and Country Managing Partner Wilson P. Tan (WPT) gave the opening remarks. Keynote speakers SGV Vice Chairman and Deputy Managing Partner Maria Vivian C. Ruiz (VCR), SGV Senior Policy Adviser and Former Ambassador Delia Domingo Albert (DDA), BCDA Chairman Delfin N. Lorenzana, BCDA President and CEO Aileen Zosa, CDC President and CEO Atty. Agnes Devanadera, CIAC OIC President and CEO Darwin Cunanan, and Philippine Ambassador to Korea Maria Theresa B. Dizon-De Vega also delivered their respective messages. SGV Clark Partner-in-Charge and Head Margaux A. Advincula (MAA), Market Group 7 leader Jose Pepito E. Zabat III (JEZ), and SGV Clark Tax Partner Hentje Leo L. Leaño (LLL) organized the event. The Doing Business in Clark publication is the latest edition in SGV’s Doing Business in the Philippines series. The brochure presents an economic overview of Clark, its taxation rules, investment policies, incentives for investors, and essential information on Clark’s assets.
Financial Services Organization (FSO) Director Christopher G. Yu passed the 2022 Sustainability and Climate Risk (SCR®) certification exam administered by the Global Association of Risk Professionals (GARP). He received his certification on 22 November 2022. GARP-certified SCR professional Christopher G. Yu The GARP SCR certification formally recognizes proficiency in the following subject matters: Foundations of Climate Change; Sustainability; Climate Change Risk; Sustainability and Climate Policy, Culture, and Governance; Green and Sustainable Finance: Markets and Instruments; Climate Risk Measurement and Management; and Climate Models and Scenario Analysis. It also demonstrates one’s ability to assess and manage the sustainability and climate risk challenges that many industries face. Congratulations, Christopher!
SGV International Tax and Transaction Services Principal Atty. Veronica A. Santos (VAS) was a resource speaker at the Philippines-France Business Forum: Celebrating 75 Years of Bilateral Relations conducted by the Makati Business Club (MBC) and the Philippines-France Business Council on 24 October 2022 at the Discovery Primea, Makati City. About 60 guests, including both French and Philippine executives from the infrastructure, transportation, energy, water management, and banking industries attended the forum. SGV ITTS Principal Veronica A. Santos (second from right) with the other panelists during the panel discussion Atty. Santos served as one of the panelists in the Panel Discussion: Fireside Chat session, where they exchanged ideas and feedback, and provided a private-sector perspective on the keynote presentations. They also raised questions to fellow panelists, keynote speakers, and audience members and encouraged a lively exchange of ideas before proceeding to the Q&A session. Indirect Tax Principal Atty. Lucil Q. Vicerra (LQV) and Indirect Tax Associate Director Benedict B. Magat were part of the forum’s organizing team. The Philippines-France Business Forum highlighted key industry priorities and challenges, as well as strengthened bilateral ties between France and the Philippines to address these. It also explored bilateral infrastructure, transportation, and energy opportunities under the Marcos and Macron administrations. The event featured government presentations, panel discussions, open Q&As, and networking opportunities.
Members of the SGV Indirect Tax (IDT) team conducted a webinar entitled Exploring Trade Opportunities Through the Lens of Logistical Challenges with the British Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (BCCP) on 17 November 2022. Representatives from the BCCP and the Bureau of Customs (BOC) participated in the joint event, which was held online via Zoom. Speakers at the Exploring Trade Opportunities Through the Lens of Logistical Challenges webinar SGV IDT Senior Director Atty. Alden Patrick C. Labaguis and Ms. Genilyn D. Minardo, Customs Operations Officer V of the BOC, led the webinar. Atty. Alden commenced the webinar by giving a brief update about the Bureau of Customs’ collections as of 31 October 2022, and the factors contributing to the BOC’s revenue and collections. He shared his extensive knowledge on common customs issues and possible workarounds to help clients address these issues and, consequently, help the government to collect the proper taxes on importation. He discussed major customs issues relating to port congestion, logistical delays resulting in demurrage and detention fees, concerns on the issuance of import permits and government approval, and lengthy customs procedures.  Atty. Alden also discussed the governing customs laws in the Philippines, new rules on importation accreditation, Super Green Lane (SGL) accreditation and its benefits, lodgment procedures, post-clearance audit (PCA), the importance of the Prior Disclosure Program (PDP), advance rulings, and the computation of duties, taxes, freight, penalties, and interests. Meanwhile, Ms. Genilyn discussed the Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) Program.  Both speakers addressed questions from the participants during the open forum. SGV IDT Associate Director Atty. Gracia Mae A. Beronilla, and Senior Associates Attys. Michelle V. Alvaro, Charlene Joy W. Millares, Andrea Nicole C. Loreno, and Natividad G. Busa were part of the webinar's organizing team. 
SGV Assurance Partner and DIWATA President Eleanore A. Layug (EAL) was a speaker at the 2022 Philippine Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (PH-EITI) Extractives Transparency Week – Women Leaders Forum at the Marco Polo Ortigas on 7 November 2022. The event was organized by PH-EITI and Angat Bayi[JDT1]  (Bayi Inc.) to facilitate an exchange of perspectives on building the capacity of women to reshape initiatives in extractives and natural resources governance. SGV Assurance Partner and DIWATA President Eleanore A. Layug (far right) with PH-EITI officials  Eleanore and Prof. Ladylyn Mangada, Chair of the PH-EITI Technical Working Group (TWG) on Gender, talked about PH-EITI and its gender initiatives. There was also a mentoring session on the role of subnational women leaders on resource management governance and furthering Open Government Partnership (OGP) with PH-EITI’s first global mentor, Former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark. Key messages in the exchange were shared with other stakeholders in the PH-EITI National Conference.  The forum aimed to help women stakeholders define the concept of women empowerment in natural-resource management from the perspective of subnational women leaders, articulate comments on the framework for gender-principled initiatives in natural-resources governance, list key roles of women leaders for furthering open government partnership at the subnational level, and identify areas for collaboration between PH-EITI, Bayi Inc., and other resource governance advocate women’s groups. Bayi Inc.[JDT2]  is a non-profit organization that works to contribute to the full meaningful participation of women in decision-making in all spaces: home, community, educational institutions, workplaces, media, public sector, and regional/international formations.  PH-EITI website: https://pheiti.dof.gov.ph/Angat Bayi website: https://angatbayi.com/Angat Bayi Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/bayiinc
SGV Financial Accounting Advisory Services (FAAS) and Climate Change and Sustainability Services (CCaSS) Partner Benjamin N. Villacorte (BNV) and CCaSS Senior Director Crystal Aleli R. Cornell were resource speakers in the Sustainability and Integrated Reporting: Leading Beyond the Numbers webinar organized by the Philippine Institute of Certified Public Accountants (PICPA) Quezon Province Chapter on 11 November 2022. Benjamin and Crystal accept their virtual certificates Benjamin talked about sustainability reporting and assurance and creating long-term value with sustainability, specifically the concept of sustainability and its four pillars (economic, environment, social, and governance), the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, the relevance of sustainability, and the drivers of long-term value creation such as institutional investors; standard setters, regulators, and government; and employees, consumers, and society.  Benjamin also shared the long-term value framework based on the premise that long-term shareholder value is driven by meeting the demands of stakeholders. He quoted Steve Varley and Steven Lewis saying that there is a need to have a stronger connection between the financial and non-financial aspects of the business – otherwise the true costs and opportunities are not properly measured. Other topics covered during Benjamin’s discussion were the global sustainability reporting ecosystem, journey towards reliable sustainability reporting, and the benefits of sustainability reporting assurance.  Crystal, on the other hand, discussed the global developments and regulatory landscape of sustainability reporting, as well as sustainability reporting in the Philippines. She also shared highlights from SGV’s publication titled “Beyond the Bottom Line: Sustainability Reporting in the Philippines,” where SGV's CCaSS team reviewed how listed companies responded to the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC’s) call to publish sustainability reports since 2019. She concluded the presentation by highlighting how accountants can lead sustainability and climate action and encouraged the participants to start their companies’ sustainability journey.
SGV Clark Partner-in-Charge and Head Atty. Margaux A. Advincula (MAA), Market Group Leader Jose Pepito E. Zabat III (JEZ), SGV Clark Tax Partner Hentje Leo L. Leaño (LLL), and SGV Assurance Partner Eleanore A. Layug (EAL) attended the grand opening of the new passenger terminal at the Clark International Airport (CRK) hosted and organized by the Luzon International Premiere Airport Development Corp. (LIPAD) in September 2022 at Mabalacat, Pampanga. They were joined by national and local government officials, as well as other guests from the private sector. SGV Partners Jose Pepito E. Zabat III, Atty. Margaux A. Advincula, Eleanore A. Layug, and Hentje Leo L. Leaño at the CRK new passenger terminal grand opening In his keynote speech, President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. said that the new facility will encourage tourism and demonstrate that Clark and the Philippines are open to more domestic and international businesses. LIPAD and Filinvest Development Corp. Director Francis D. Gotianun also emphasized this mission to connect businesses both locally and internationally. SGV Partners with LIPAD representatives Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Jaime Bautista thanked the public and private sectors for their support. The New Terminal building is the first infrastructure project made through a public-private partnership under the former administration’s “Build, Build, Build” program.  Officials of the provinces and cities in Pampanga and Tarlac, the Bases Conversion and Development Authority, Clark Development Corporation, Clark International Airport Corporation and CRK community partners also attended the grand opening.