Quotable comments from the Reactors

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MR. GREG NAVARRO, Managing Partner & CEO Deloitte Phils./Navarro Amper & Co.

MR. GREG NAVARRO, Managing Partner & CEO Deloitte Phils./Navarro Amper & Co.

GREG NAVARRO is the managing partner & CEO of Deloitte Philippines/Navarro Amper& Co., and president of Deloitte Philippines Outreach, Inc. He is also the president of the Philippine Dispute Resolution Center Inc. (PDRCI), a member of the Board of Visitors of the Philippine Military Academy and a Fellow of both the Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD) and the Institute for Solidarity in Asia (ISA), where he also serves as trustee. He is a trustee of the CIBI Foundation and former member of the Philippine Financial Reporting Standards Council and previously the president of The Carl Jung Circle Center Inc. where he continues to serve as a Board Member. He was also the 2014 President of the Management Association of the Philippines (MAP). Greg was the Vice-chairman of the Integrity Initiative in 2014-15, Inc. and also served in the 2014 Advi- sory Council of the Philippine Disaster Recovery Foundation, Inc. He was the 2010 President of the Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines (FINEX), 2011 Chairman of the FINEX Research & Development Foundation, former treasurer of PDRCI, past president of the Rotary Club of Makati Salcedo and the former managing partner & chief executive officer of Punongbayan&Araullo. He earlier started his career at SGV & Co. He has some 40 years of experience in accounting, auditing, management consulting and corporate finance. His expertise in public accounting is augmented by ten years as a senior executive at Atlantic, Gulf & Pacific Company of Manila, Inc., where he handled engineering and estimating, business development, procurement and international marketing. Navarro is a recipient of the Young PICPA Achiever Award from the Philippine Institute of CPAs (PICPA) and an outstanding alumnus award from the University of the East, as well as the 2010 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association of CPAs in Public Practice (ACPAPP).

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Navarro has an accounting degree from the University of the East and obtained the second highest overall rating in the CPA licensure examinations of October 1976. In 1992, he participated in the Ernst & Young Partner Development Program at the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University in the United States. He also completed the Senior Executive Program of the Columbia Business School in New York in 2003.

“We are in a demographic ‘sweet spot’ — the average Filipinos are 22, 23 years old, and because of the very young population and continued growth, I believe, we will lead the demographic ‘sweet spot’ up to 2018. Therefore, financial literacy becomes at the forefront of [ what should be the priorities of ] this country.”

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MS. MA. VICTORIA ESPAÑO, Chairman & CEO, Punongbayan & Araullo (P&A Grant Thornton

MS. MA. VICTORIA ESPAÑO, Chairman & CEO, Punongbayan & Araullo (P&A Grant Thornton

MA. VICTORIA C. ESPAÑO succeeded P&A founder Benjamin R. Punongbayan as chairperson of the Firm, even as she continues her role as chief executive officer. Marivic brings to her post extensive experience in taxation and organizational management. Marivic has been recently elected to the global Board of Governors of Grant Thornton International Ltd (GTIL), one of the world’s leading organizations of independent assurance, tax and advisory firms. As a member of the Board, which has oversight responsibilities on the strategic development of GTIL and its member firms, Marivic is part of discussions on the competitive landscape and other matters of strategic relevance.

Marivic earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics for Teachers, cum laude, Philippine Normal University and her Master’s Degree in Accountancy, Polytechnic University of the Philippines. She also joined various programs for continuous education such as Top Management Program at the Asian Institute of Management; Leadership Program at Harvard University, Boston, USA; Advanced Management Program at Wharton Business School of the University of Pennsylvania, USA; and GT Strategic Leadership Program at Said School of Business, Oxford University, U.K.

As a practitioner, Marivic has wide-range experience in the field of taxation. She has provided comprehensive tax services to local and multinational clients, covering tax consultancy, outsourcing, expatriate tax services, tax compliance reviews and assessments. She has also conducted tax due diligence reviews for significant acquisitions and provided tax advisory services in the government’s privatization projects.

Before joining P&A, Marivic served as chief legislative staff officer of the Senate Tax Study & Research Office, and Legislative Liaison Specialist of the Department of Finance, where she was actively involved in the formulation of significant tax legislations such as the expanded value-added tax and the comprehensive tax reform program.

“We are, indeed, living in interesting times, as the Chinese curse would have it – complex, challenging and connected. To stay afloat, we need a leader who can appreciate these complexities and have the ability to frame properly the challenges that we have as a country in light of these global developments.”

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ATTY. ALEX CABRERA, PwC Philippines (Isla Lipana& Co.) PWC Chairman & Sr. Partner

ATTY. ALEX CABRERA, PwC Philippines (Isla Lipana& Co.) PWC Chairman & Sr. Partner

Alex, both a certified public accountant and lawyer, is the chairman and senior partner of PwC Philippines since 2013. His exposure in public practice lies in audit, tax, business advisory and legal services.

He specializes in tax planning and business mergers and acquisitions. He is currently a board member in PwC’s Southeast Asia Regional Consulting practice.

Under his helm, PwC Philippines was recognized with an advanced rating in Integrity by Integrity Initiative, organized by the Makati business Club and European Chamber of Commerce.

The Philippine Institute of Certified Public Accountants recognized him twice with an Outstanding CPA inPublic Practice Award in 2015 and a Young Achiever in Public Practice Award in 1998.

He holds a Bachelor of Science in Accountancy from the Philippine School of Business Administration, which in 2006 named him as one of its outstanding alumni. He earned his Juris Doctor at the Ateneo de Manila University in 1994 and became a lawyer in 1995. Alex attended a leadership and management program at Harvard Business School in 2006.He is currently completing Wharton University’s CEO Global Transformation program.

Alex launched the Developmental Social Enterprise Awards in 2014 in partnership with BCYF that recognize, award and support developmental social enterprises.

He currently chairs the Educated Marginalized Entrepreneurs Resource Generation (Emerge) program,an initiative of the Management Association of the Philippines (MAP) to fund and help selected entrepreneurs become successful.

“It’s not really Philippine businesses that need protection… it is the consuming public who needs to be protected from the inefficient goods and services that they receive.”

“The SMEs have bigger problems than just registration. The problem with the micro and small businesses is that regardless of how much banks post about lending and all, collateral is still the key and these people don’t have collateral. What’s worse is that these people can’t prepare their financial statements. That is the type of support that they need— help them improve their governance so that they can have financial statements, and can at least have some form of collateral.”

(On inclusive growth): “You’re walking on the streets and you see families, babies tucked on their mothers’ chests, or lying on the ground, shelterless. Why do I even say this? Because I think that as long as people say that’s their problem, we won’t get to the solution. However, the minute we say their problem is our problem, then maybe that would be the first important step we take toward real inclusive growth.”

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MR. EDUARDO FRANCISCO, President BDO Capital and Investment Corp.

MR. EDUARDO FRANCISCO, President BDO Capital and Investment Corp.

APART from his position as president of BDO Capital & Investment Corporation, the investment banking arm of BDO Unibank, Inc., Francisco is also the co-chairman of the Capital Market Development Council (CMDC) of the Philippines, vice chairman for International Association of Financial Executives Institutes (IAFEI), treasurer/trading nominee of BDO Securities Corp, and chairman of Averon Holdings Corp.

He also sits on the boards of the Management Association of the Philippines (MAP), UP-Development Center for Finance (UPDCF), FINEX Research & Development Foundation, Inc. AFC Merchant Bank, CIBI Foundation, Valle Verde Country Club, Inc. (VVCC), Makati Sports Club, Inc. (MSCI), Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD) and the International School of Manila. He is also a fellow of the Shareholders Association of the Philippines (SharePhil), and a member of the Makati Business Club (MBC), Rotary Makati West and the PLDT Bike King Triathlon Team.

He was formerly president of the Management Association of the Philippines (MAP), the Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines (FINEX) and the Wharton-Penn Club.

Francisco has worked with other financial institutions in New York and Hong Kong. He holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of the Philippines. He is also a recipient of the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the U.P. College of Business Administration.

“The overall number of seafarers in the world is not increasing, but the percentage of higher-skilled Filipinos, hopefully, is increasing because Filipinos are matyaga and masipag (patient and hardworking).”

“On SMEs, the challenge really is credit. No matter how much we try to increase the SMEs, the government is not able to provide some sort of a credit enhancement system with partial guarantee, which makes it really hard to talk to them. How can we lend to somebody with no financial statement and no business plan? It’s nice to save but in reality, nothing will happen without credit enhancement.”

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MR. HANS SICAT, Philippine Stock Exchange President & CEO

MR. HANS SICAT, Philippine Stock Exchange President & CEO

HANS B. SICAT was named president and CEO of The Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) in January 2011. He also served as chairman and independent director of the PSE from May 2009 to January 2011. He is concurrent president and CEO of the Securities Clearing Corporation of the Philippines (SCCP). Currently, he is non-executive vice chairman and Director of LegisPro Corporation (a Knowledge Process Outsourcing firm). Sicat also holds positions in various business entities such as the independent director of Serica Balanced Fund and Master Fund (a hedge fund), Member of Euromoney Institutional Investor Asia Advisory Board; Independent Director of the Philippine Dealing System Holdings Corporation; and Board of Trustee of Securities Investors Protection Fund.

Sicat has more than two decades of experience as an investment banker. During this period, he worked for Citigroup and its predecessor firms Citicorp and Salomon Brothers in the Philippines, Hong Kong and New York City. [He was chief representative of Citigroup Global Markets Asia Pacific Limited in the Philippines from July 2000 to September 2008; director and Head for Philippine Investment Banking at Salomon Smith Barney Asia Pacific Limited from April 1996 to June 2000; and managing director for Asian Fixed Income (Emerging Markets) at Citicorp International from December 1993 to March 1996. He was also vice president and Capital Markets Asia Head of Citicorp Securities, Inc. in New York City.

Sicat is a recipient of the first Stock Exchange Innovation Award by the International Stock Exchange Executives Emeriti (ISEEE) Lennar International Award given in March 2015, an awardee of the 2014 CEO Excel Award by the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) Philippines and the Asia’s Best CEO (Investor Relations) at the 4th Asian Excellence Recognition Awards 2014, given by the Corporate Governance Asia.

He finished his coursework for Ph.D. Economics Program at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA and earned his Master of Arts in Economics and Bachelor of Science in Mathematics at the University of the Philippines. Sicat was conferred an Honorary Doctorate Degree in Business Administration by the Western University.

“Nominally, cost competitiveness is the entry point toward looking at the Philippines, but sustaining this requires a huge interaction of various policy makers.”

“One of the things that we keep on pushing when we talk about growth in the economy is the theme of the multiplier effect —infrastructure.”

And in a wrap:

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MR. BENJAMIN KRITZ, The Manila Times Business Columnist and World News Editor

MR. BENJAMIN KRITZ, The Manila Times Business Columnist and World News Editor

BEN KRITZ is currently a business columnist and the World News editor for The Manila Times. Prior to joining the newspaper, he worked as an independent management consultant specializing in operations management and fi nance, counting among his clients such noteworthy companies as Starbucks Corporation, Pepsico International, Sanofi -Aventis Pharmaceuticals, Saudi Arabian Airlines, and the Saudi stock exchange, among others. Kritz is a veteran of the automotive industry, having spent more than 12 years with BMW AG and BMW of North America, primarily in logistics and fi xed operations management. He holds Master’s degrees in Economics and Business Administration from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, where he also earned his undergraduate degrees, and a Master’s degree in American History from the University of Utah. A native of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, he has been a resident of the Philippines for more than 10 years. He lives in Cavite with his wife Julie, and their two children, Ilona and David.

“The overall message was that the Philippine economy is doing well, within a certain context, and will continue to do well for some time to come, but that it is falling well short of its potential. Consequently, if economic growth is to expand, or even just maintain its present path beyond the next couple of years, a number of fundamental changes will have to be made. Chief among these is infrastructure development, which was addressed at some length by all four of the forum’s main speakers representing the BSP, IMF, World Bank and BPO giant Convergys, the several other experts reacting to their speeches.”

“Another area that received a great deal of scrutiny was the Philippines’ tax system, and it would probably not be an exaggeration to say that most of the sharp minds in the room regard it as a crisis.”

“Despite some poverty gains and job growth in some areas, the overall shape of the Philippines’ socioeconomic edifice is almost exactly the same as it was six years ago, or 30, or 300. The government perspective toward what it thinks is ‘inclusiveness’ is still very much geared toward giving a man a fish instead of teaching him how to catch his own, and it’s not working. It will require a great deal more imagination than is displayed by the current or any aspiring leaders to shift the focus toward real capacity-building and empowerment.”

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