January 2022

Sonia D. Segovia (SDS), Tax Partner and Global Compliance and Reporting (GCR) Group Leader, was recognized as the 2021 Outstanding CPA in Public Practice in the virtual 76th Annual National Convention organized by the Philippine Institute of Certified Public Accountants (PICPA) on 25 November 2021.  2021 Outstanding CPA in Public Practice This recognition celebrates SDS’s exemplary and remarkable professional achievements in public practice as a Partner in SGV & Co., particularly in the field of Taxation. Her active involvement in PICPA as a resource speaker and leader in various worthy projects and programs of the Institute has extensively promoted the professional development of the members. Her leadership style as President of PICPA Western Metro Manila Chapter contributed greatly to achieving milestones for the Chapter. Her impressive academic achievements, professional experience, and collaboration with various institutions have greatly enhanced the prestige of and given honor to the accountancy profession.
The Philippine Institute of Certified Public Accountants (PICPA) celebrated its 76th Annual National Convention on 24 – 27 November 2021.  The four-day hybrid event consisted of virtual learning workshops and live ceremonies held at the Philippine International Convention Center. SGV MG 2 Leader and PICPA National President Marydith C. Miguel (MCM) delivered the President’s message. MG 3 Leader Henry M. Tan (HMT) and SGV Clark GCR Partner Hentje Leo L Leaño (LLL) formally opened the program as Overall Committee Chair and Committee Co-Chair, respectively. PICPA National President Marydith Miguel with 76th ANC Committee Chair Henry Tan and Committee Co-Chair Hentje Leo Leaño and celebrity host Edward Barber SGV Tax Leader Atty. Fabian K. Delos Santos (FKS) discussed Pending Tax Bills as one of the speakers during the special-interest session. Consulting Leader Rossana A. Fajardo (RAF), Sector and Account Representative Christian Lauron (CGL), Consulting Partners Maria Kathrina Macaisa-Peña (KSM) and Carlo Dimarucut (CGD) served as moderators for technical and special-interest sessions. Assurance Partner Shane Dave D. Tanguin (SDT) hosted two special-interest sessions and LLL hosted four technical sessions.  GCR Partner Maricris U. See (MUS) served as the Technical Session Chair. MUS also accepted the Continuing Excellence Award for the Southern Metro Manila Chapter, in her capacity as the President of the Southern Metro Manila Chapter. GCR Partner Michael A. Madlangbayan (MAM) served as the IT & Logistics Chair, with GCR Senior Manager Meynard Sardalla as the Co-Chair. GCR Senior Director Joanne Marie D. Macainag-Cobacha served as the Ways & Means Co-Chair. Brand, Marketing & Communications (BMC) Supervisor Karol Mae D. Villaluna and BMC Associate James Patrick Renn G. Jumawan were part of the Project Management team.
The Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) celebrated its 20th anniversary on 19 October 2021. SGV Financial Services Organization Leader Vicky L. Salas (VLS) received a Plaque of Appreciation from the AMLC and its Secretariat for the contribution and support of the Financial Services Organization in fulfilling the mandate of the AMLC. She received the award virtually and spoke on how the AMLC helped her team perform its mandate.  AMLC celebrates its 20th Anniversary with donations to various charities Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor and AMLC Chairman Benjamin E. Diokno gave the keynote message and AMLC Secretariat Executive Director Atty. Mel Georgie B. Racela gave the closing remarks.  SGV is the first local professional services firm accredited by the AMLC as an Institutional Training Provider (ITP). SGV has relevant experiences in anti-money laundering (AML) and counter terrorist and proliferation financing (CTPF) engagements such as policy gap analyses, independent assessments of AML/CTPF risk management frameworks, institutional risk assessments, transaction monitoring scenarios tuning, and remediations. VLS and SGV FSO Partner Veronica Arce Balisi are also AMLC accredited trainers.
Financial Services Organization (FSO) Partner Veronica Mae Arce Balisi (VAB) conducted an Anti-Money Laundering (AML)/Counter Terrorism and Proliferation Financing (CTPF) training session for the Philippine Institute of Certified Public Accountants (PICPA) Western Metro Manila Chapter (WMCC) via Zoom on 6 November 2021.  VAB and Rubin presenting at the training session VAB gave an overview of Money Laundering, and Terrorist and Proliferation Financing (ML/TPF), including how accountants can be used on money laundering, followed by relevant AML/CTPF updates.  VAB also shared relevant typologies and cases including AML/CTPF preventive measures in relation to accountants in preventing and combatting financial crimes. FSO associate Rubin II S. Hollero facilitated quick polls of the participants during the training session. The training session ended with PICPA WWMC President and Assurance Partner, Meynard A. Bonoen (MAB), and Froilan Labausa, former President of PICPA WWMC and host, giving a Certificate of Appreciation to VAB for having served as resource speaker. The training session is PRC-accredited and 1.5 CPD Units which can be used for PRC License Renewal and/or BOA Accreditation were given to the participants.
Tax Partner Margaux A. Advincula (MAA) was invited by the Philippine Trade and Investment Center – Kuala Lumpur (PTIC - Kuala Lumpur) to join the panel of experts in the Open Forum during the Second Philippine Investment Forum for Malaysia on 14 October 2021. The virtual event aimed to promote the Philippines as an ideal investment destination and partner for companies in Malaysia. During the Open Forum, MAA led a discussion on recent developments in the tax and incentives regime in the Philippines, particularly on the relevant and salient provisions of Republic Act No. 11534 or the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises Act (CREATE Act), and the potential impact on communities and businesses in the Philippines as well as the possible implications on foreign investors, particularly those from Malaysia. The forum was organized by the PTIC - Kuala Lumpur and the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) in collaboration with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the Embassy of the Republic of the Philippines in Kuala Lumpur, and the Embassy of Malaysia in Manila, and was supported by the Board of Investments (BOI), the Department of Agriculture (DA), BDO Unibank, Inc., SGV & Co., the Malaysia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Philippines), Inc., the IT Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP), Semiconductor and Electronics Industries in the Philippines, Inc. (SEIPI), and the Asian Institute of Management. MAA serving as a panelist during the 2nd Philippine Investment Forum for Malaysia Participants included potential investors and strategic partners, such as government officials, C-level and other company executives, and private sector representatives from Malaysia and other countries in the ASEAN. MAA joined the panel, which included Hon. Felix William B. Fuentebella, Undersecretary of the Department of Energy; Atty. Elyjean DC Portoza, Director, Legal and Compliance Service of the BOI; Ms. Nolet M. Fulgencio, Special Agriculture Representative to ASEAN of the DA; Dr. Danilo C. Lachica, President of SEIPI; and Atty. Luis Enrico E. Salvador, Executive Director, External Affairs and Investor Relations of the IBPAP. The Open Forum was moderated by Ms. Katrina V. Banzon, Commercial Attaché of the PTIC – Kuala Lumpur, 
SGV Logistics Leader and IDT Principal Stephanie V. Nava (SVN), Senior Director Alden Patrick C. Labaguis, and Associate Director Gracia Mae A. Beronilla led a webinar titled Customs Audit (Overview, Post Clearance Audit, Common Issues and Controversy Management) for member companies of the Super Green Lane (SGL) Association on 22 October 2021. Participants included representatives of the SGL Association from all over the Philippines.   SVN, Atty. Labaguis, and Atty. Beronilla with SGL Association President CJ Garcia addressing questions at the webinar SGL Association President CJ Garcia welcomed participants to the webinar. He was followed by SVN, who began her session with an overview of the Bureau of Customs (BoC), particularly updates on the collection efforts of the Bureau in relation to its Post Clearance Audit (PCA) and Prior Disclosure Program (PDP).   Alden covered PCA and Common Issues. He discussed the important provisions and procedures to be taken when a client receives an Audit Notification Letter as stated under the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act and various BoC regulations. He also provided reminders regarding the Common Issues that importers encounter with the BoC. Lasty, Gracia discussed the importance of conducting a Customs Compliance Review and its relation to the availment of the PDP.  The session was followed by an open forum where the speakers addressed participants’ questions. The webinar’s organizing team included Tax Senior Associates Lauren Mendoza and Francis Escala. 
Through the initiative of SGV Logistics Leader and IDT Principal Stephanie V. Nava (SVN), and in collaboration with the Philippine Multimodal Transport and Logistics Association, Inc. (PMTLAI), SGV Strategy and Transaction (SaT) & MG 6 Leader Noel P. Rabaja (NPR) and IDT Senior Director Alden Patrick C. Labaguis led a webinar on "Common BIR Tax Issues for Logistics Industry Players and How to Handle Audits” and “Key Trends to Reposition Companies for Growth Beyond the Pandemic” on Monday, 15 November 2021 via Zoom. Over 160 participants from several logistics companies were present at the event. PMTLAI webinar speakers To open the event, Mariel KIiatchko from the event’s media partner PortCalls introduced IDT Senior Director Alden Patrick C. Labaguis, who then discussed common BIR tax issues encountered by logistics industry players. This was followed bya discussion on how to prepare for and handle BIR tax audits.  NPR discussed Key Trends to Reposition Companies for Growth Beyond the Pandemic. This focused on macroeconomic and logistics industry performance and outlook, recovering from the pandemic, repositioning for growth and trends in the logistics sector. NPR ended with a reminder that digital transformation is not just yesterday’s differentiator; it is today’s necessity, and the logistics sector should be ready to embrace sustainable logistics.  The event included an open forum where the speakers addressed questions from the participants.  The webinar’s organizing team included IDT Associate Director Gracia Mae Beronilla, and IDT Senior Associates Lauren Mendoza and Franz Harvey Obay.
SGV Consulting Principal Evert de Bock (EDB) and IDT Senior Director Alden Patrick C. Labaguis conducted a webinar on “How CFOs Can Transform Finance in the Age of Disruption” and “Common Tax Issues and Handling BIR Tax Audit” on October 15, 2021. Hosted by the Semiconductor and Electronics Industries in the Philippines Foundation, Inc. (SEIPI), the webinar was attended by participants from member companies in the technology industry (including semiconductors).   SEIPI technology webinar speakers EDB’s discussion focused on adopting Agile Finance in a Digital World and on how to respond to changing markets by providing timely, accurate and efficient solutions. He discussed the disruptive forces at work and how clients can effectively address them by introducing the Four Finance Transformative Solutions, namely: Digital Finance, Value and Performance Management, Compliance & Regulatory Value Protection, and Global Business Services. EDB pointed out that the CFO role is changing as it is disrupted by a range of forces: digital acceleration, volatility, and intense scrutiny; thus, he emphasized that by using digital technologies and other enablers, finance shifts the focus to “value” vs. just “cost”. Alden discussed common tax issues encountered by PEZA-registered entities and provided insights on handling BIR tax audits. He specifically noted the common tax issues during a tax audit including incentive-related and allocation concerns, legal bases which may aid to refute the tax authorities’ allegations, as well as the necessary documents for supporting the assertions.  The webinar concluded with an open forum where the speakers addressed the participants’ questions. Participation in the virtual briefing was coordinated by Logistics Industry Leader and Tax Principal Stephanie V. Nava (SVN) and Technology Industry Leader and Assurance Partner Manolito R. Elle (MRE). The briefing’s coordination and organizing team included IDT Associate Director Gracia Mae A. Beronilla and IDT Senior Associate Roland Joseph C. Mendoza.
The European Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines (ECCP) in partnership with the Embassy of the Netherlands in Manila, the Philippine Embassy in the Hague, DTI-PTIC Brussels, the Dutch Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines, the Philippine Netherlands Business Council and the Davao City Investment Promotion Center organized a webinar titled NOW (New Opportunities Waiting) in Davao: Investment Opportunities for Dutch Businesses. The event, held on 18 November 2021, provided in-depth discussions on the growing business opportunities and advantages in Davao that Dutch businesses can explore.  ECCP webinar participants The webinar was officially opened by ECCP Executive Director Florian Gottein's opening remarks and Davao City Mayor Sara Z. Duterte's welcoming message. The Ambassador of the Netherlands to the Philippines, Her Excellency Saskia de Lang gave the keynote speech that noted the growing relationship between the Philippines and the Netherlands in development, which was noticeable in the agriculture, water management, and maritime sectors. Other propositions were also discussed, including the opening of an honorary consulate in Davao City in the future. The event ended with a Q&A forum moderated by Tony Peralta which further discussed the opportunities and possible limitations in doing business in Davao City. The Philippine Ambassador to the Netherlands, His Excellency Eduardo Malaya gave the closing remarks and addressed the potential growth of Dutch companies in the country. 
The Junior Philippine Institute of Certified Public Accountants and Auditors (JPIAA) of the Holy Angel University (HAU) organized a tax webinar for its members, to which David Jonathan “Tan” F. Manalili, GCR Associate Director, was invited as the speaker for the event entitled “Keeping up with the times: Lesson on CREATE Act.” Ednel T. Datu, Adviser of JPIAA-HAU and HAU-Accountancy Program Chairperson, welcomed the organizers, participants and the speaker in his opening remarks. Tan Manalili discussing CREATE Law Tan kicked off the discussion proper of the webinar by sharing the history of the development and the eventual passage of Republic Act (RA) No. 11534, “The Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) Law” and proceeded with discussing in detail the salient features of the CREATE Law. The event was hosted by JPIAA-HAU Academic and Membership elite officers Reigne Christine Costas and Jyra Mariel Crispin. The webinar ended with a question-and-answer portion moderated by the presenter and the speaker. SGV Clark GCR Partner Hentje Leo L Leaño (LLL) was also present in the webinar. GCR Associate Jerome C. Montoya assisted the speaker on the preparation of the webinar materials.