SGV Tax Principal Atty. Alden C. Labaguis assumed the position of Vice Chairperson of the Tax and Financial Services (TFS) Committee of The European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP) effective 8 January 2024. ECCP Executive Director Florian Gottein confirmed Atty. Alden’s appointment on the same date through official correspondence.ECCP TFSC Chair Atty. Con Simundac (left) and ECCP TFSC Vice Chair Atty. Alden C. Labaguis (right) Atty. Alden works together with ECCP TFSC Chair Atty. Con Simundac, Lead Legal Counsel of ING Bank Philippines. The ECCP is a bilateral foreign chamber that promotes European interests in the Philippines and vice versa. As an organization with close to 800 members and a strong partnership with the government, the ECCP offers a strong business network that holds great potential in translating to tangible business opportunities. The Chamber strives to make its members’ viewpoints heard on economic and business issues, legislative measures, and administrative regulations. The ECCP recognizes that the financial and fiscal sectors play a key role in helping ensure inclusive and sustainable economic growth and development. Subsequently, the implementation of suitable policies can help facilitate improved generation of funds as well as adequate allocation of resources. The ECCP TFSC engages with relevant stakeholders in initiatives towards improving fiscal and monetary policies including tax reform measures, as well as on improving inclusivity and security in the financial sector.
SGV Partners Hentje Leo L. Leaño, Margaux A. Advincula, Deonah L. Marco-Go, Jose Pepito “Peps” E. Zabat III, and Victor C. De Dios facilitated a seminar on the Ease of Paying Taxes (EOPT) Act, the CREATE to Maximize Opportunities for Reinvigorating the Economy (CREATE MORE) Bill, and the Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS 2.0) Action Plan. The seminar organized by the Subic Bay Freeport Chamber of Commerce (SBFCC) was held at the Subic Bay Peninsular Hotel on 18 January 2024. Victor, Margaux, Peps, SBFCC President Benjamin Antonio III, Deonah, Leo, and SBFCC Director Peter Tumanda at the SBFCC seminar Assurance Senior Director Leo Niño Canlas, Global Tax Compliance Director David Jonathan Manalili, Global Tax Compliance Associate Director Mica Alyanna Rivera, Business Tax Associate Director Atty. Ma. Jeanne Therese Marasigan, Business Tax Senior Associate Atty. Illysa Abquiren, and Atty. Jessica Ella Lagman provided assistance to the Partners throughout the event. About 143 locators and SBFCC members attended the seminar, including SBFCC President Benjamin Antonio III and SBFCC Director Peter Tumanda.
SGV Davao hosted the “Symposium for Business Owners: Bringing your Business to the Next Level” at the SGV Davao office. The symposium featured SGV Partners and was attended by family business owners. SGV Davao Partner-in-Charge Jose Raoul J. Balisalisa hosted the event.  SGV Davao symposium participants SGV Financial Accounting Advisory Services (FAAS) Partner Anna Maria Rubi B. Diaz talked about Finance Remediation while Philippine FAAS Leader Aris C. Malantic and MG4 Leader Veronica R. Pore (VRP) served as panelists for the event. SGV Business Tax Services (BTS) Partner Karen Kaye M. Sta. Maria-Constantino, Global Compliance & Reporting (GCR) Partner Saha A. Bulagsak, Business Consulting Partner Maria Kathrina S. Macaisa-Peña and Assurance Partner Benjamin N. Villacorte talked about Corporate Restructuring, Tax Health Check, Process Improvement and Sustainability Reporting, respectively. The event included business consultations with the key speakers to address the participants’ business concerns.
SGV Financial Services Organization (FSO) Partner Veronica Mae “Nica” Arce Balisi was a resource speaker at the Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines (FINEX) Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Terrorist and Proliferation Financing (AML/CTPF) training held via Zoom. This was Nica’s 10th time conducting this session for FINEX Academy.  Nica (upper left) and FINEX Director Ned Goseco (upper right) during the webinar FINEX Director Ronald Luis "Ned" Goseco delivered the welcome remarks and introduced Nica as the resource speaker. Nica gave an overview of money laundering (ML) and terrorist and proliferation financing (TPF). Nica also discussed different concepts of predicate crimes and unlawful activities, Philippine legislation and updates on the regulatory landscape, and the primary duties of covered persons or institutions in combatting ML/TPF. FSO Director Anne Mariel Lagao facilitated knowledge checks via poll questions given in between discussions to maintain interaction with the participants and to gauge their understanding of the topics. To wrap up the session, Nica emphasized that, “As covered persons, we have our own roles that can mitigate ML/TPF risks, if we’ll just use our power or authority for the right purposes then together, we can build a better working world.” 
The SGV Tax Markets Pillar held an Executive Briefing for client executives on the Ease of Paying Taxes (EOPT) Act and the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises to Maximize Opportunities for Reinvigorating the Economy (CREATE MORE) Bill at the WSDC Training Rooms on 15 January 2024. More than 120 executives and officers from various industries attended the event. Atty. Fame (right) talks about the EOPT Act SGV Chairman and Managing Partner Wilson P. Tan delivered the opening remarks. SGV Tax Leader Atty. Fabian “Fame” K. Delos Santos and Philippine Quantitative Services Leader and Asean Tax Transformation Leader Atty. Cheryl Edeline C. Ong were the key speakers for the event. They talked about the EOPT Act and CREATE MORE Bill, respectively. Cheryl talks about the CREATE MORE Bill SGV Vice Chair and Deputy Managing Partner Maria Vivian C. Ruiz gave the closing remarks. Cocktails with the clients were held after the event. The event provided an avenue for the SGV Tax team to reconnect with C-Suite executives and to share their insights on tax developments and the relevant business impacts.  The SGV Tax Markets Pillar, led by SGV Clark Partner-in-Charge Tax Partner Margaux A. Advincula, organized the executive briefing. The following Tax Partners and Principals also form part of the team: Frances Rose J. Villamayor, Lee Celso R. Vivas, Arlyn A. Sarmiento-Sy, Karen Kaye M. Sta. Maria-Constantino, Ana Katrina C. de Jesus, Donna Frances G. Ylade-Torres, and Cecille M. Santillan-Visto.  Tax Senior Managers Earvin Darren L. Lee, Joan Rouella P. Corrales, Anne E. Momongan-Lim, Gerardo C. Caiga, and Yzrael Edwin V. Pineda, Tax Managers Ma. Alexandria M. Daileg, Grace Lilac S. Desuasido, and Abegaile Marie L. Lebiga, and Tax Senior Nino Louis M. Belarma helped organize the briefing. In view of overwhelming interest from clients, the SGV Tax Markets Pillar will conduct additional executive briefings that will run in February and March 2024.
SGV Partners, Principals, and staff attended the 1st Central Luzon Year-end Briefing: Outlook for 2024 and Beyond held on 18 December 2023 at the SGV Clark Office. The event was organized by SGV Clark and was attended by C-suite locator-clients and potential Philippine investors, various Chambers of Commerce and Business Organizations within Central Luzon. BCDA Chairman Delfin N. Lorenzana at the 1st Central Luzon Year-end Briefing The featured guests from the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), Clark Development Corporation (CDC), Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) and Clark International Airport Corporation (CIAC) presented highlights on the 2023 developments in Central Luzon, particularly in Pampanga, Clark, Tarlac, and Subic, as well as the economic outlook for 2024, including expectations for economic growth, investment climate and any potential challenges or opportunities. BCDA also shared their most important projects and accomplishments for 2023 which included projects that locators and investors should look forward to in 2024. Present at the event were BCDA Chairman Delfin N. Lorenzana, BCDA Investment Promotion and Marketing Department Head Michelle De Vera, CDC President and Chief Executive Officer Atty. Agnes VST Devanadera, CIAC President and Chief Executive Officer Arrey A Perez, SBMA Business and Investment for Manufacturing and Maritime Department Manager Karen Magno, and NEDA Region III Assistant Regional Director Evelyn Nacario-Castro. 
SGV was recognized by the Chinese Enterprises Philippine Association (CEPA) as Outstanding Partner during CEPA’s 2023 annual meeting and new year reception held at the Bonifacio Hall of Shangri-la the Fort, Manila on 16 December 2023. SGV Chinese Overseas Investment Network (COIN) Leader Fidela T. Isip-Reyes and SGV Assurance Partner Jonathan T. Bino received the award certificate on behalf of the Firm. SGV Assurance Partner Jonathan T. Bino and SGV COIN Leader Fidela T. Isip-Reyes (third and fourth from left) with the other CEPA awardees SGV Certificate of Award from CEPA Representatives from the Philippine government, including the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), Office of the Special Presidential Envoy to China, Office of the Presidential Adviser on Economic Affairs, and Philippine National Police, among others, attended the event. Also present were Embassy of the Peoples’ Republic of China in the Republic of the Philippines representatives Ambassador Huang Xilian and Minister Counsellor Yang Guoliang, Filipino-Chinese business community representatives and more than a hundred members of the CEPA.
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 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.
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.
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