June 2021

SGV Partners honored retiring former Market Group (MG) 2 Leader and Strategy and Transactions (SaT) Leader and current Transactions Diligence Head Ramon D. Dizon (RDD) with a special virtual retirement program last 11 June. Assurance Partner Mariecris N. Barbaso (MNB) and SaT Partner Marie Stephanie Tan-Hamed (MTH) hosted the program which was webcast from the SGV Development Center. Some of SGV’s leadership team were physically present at the venue and observed proper social distancing and required health and safety protocols. Other partners virtually participated in the celebration from their own offices or homes.  MNB and MTH at the retirement programChairman and Country Managing Partner Wilson P. Tan (WPT) delivered the opening remarks and recognized RDD’s outstanding contributions to strengthening client relationships and developing the skills and competencies of our people. This was followed by a special video presentation featuring RDD’s SGV journey with his colleagues, friends and staff and a fun trivia game about RDD’s career.  RDD’s family, clients, former staff, and colleagues, including several SGV Alumni Partners also prepared video messages for him, sharing stories about his inspiring work ethic and charming personality. The program also featured a special musical performance by MG 2, MG 6 and SaT Partners and staff.  RDD at the retirement programRDD then expressed his gratitude to the Firm and its people, emphasizing the lessons he gained and the wonderful memories and friendships he formed throughout his career. He then encouraged all SGV Partners to continue to diligently serve their clients and nurture their people.  RDD’s token of appreciation  In honor of his 40 years of service to the Firm, RDD was presented with a token of appreciation – a sculpture titled Beyond the Horizon. It depicts a man standing on the roots of a tree, looking out at the horizon for untapped possibilities. The sculpture symbolizes his remarkable foresight and deep understanding of the Firm’s values, culture, and Purpose. Best wishes on your retirement, RDD! 
SGV’s Climate Change and Sustainability Services (CCaSS) Team conducted a public webinar titled Reframing the War on Plastics: Solutions and Leading Practices for Businesses. The webinar discussed the life cycle of plastics and the innovative actions of some businesses that aim to alleviate plastic pollution. Chairman and Country Managing Partner Wilson P. Tan (WPT) delivered the opening remarks and introduced SGV’s Sustainable Actions for Value-creation and Enablement (SAVE) Council. Vice Chair and Deputy Managing Partner Vivian C. Ruiz (VCR) provided an overview of the agenda and the speakers of the session.  WPT, VCR and BNV presenting at the webinarCoca-Cola Philippines Director Jonah de Lumen-Pernia discussed her company’s World Without Waste vision – to collect and recycle every bottle they sell by 2030 and to use 50% recycled content in their packaging materials. Afterwards, Plastic Credit Exchange (PCX) Founder Nanette Medved-Po provided an overview of PCX and its certification services, emphasizing the organization’s goal to achieve plastic neutrality and environmental and social impact. World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Philippines Project Manager Czarina Constantino-Panopio presented the organization's No Plastics in Nature project which aims to stop plastic waste leakage by eliminating the use of unnecessary plastics in businesses and improving city-level waste management, among others. Ms. Jonah and Ms. Nanette presenting at the webinar  CCaSS Partner Benjamin N. Villacorte (BNV) led the webinar’s fourth session on considerations for plastic claims and commitments. He discussed the principles of a credible corporate plastic stewardship program and shared best practices on how participants can safeguard their organizations’ reputational risk. The webinar concluded with an open forum moderated by CCaSS Senior Associate Yna Antipala.  
Former Secretary of Foreign Affairs and SGV Senior Adviser Ambassador Delia D. Albert (DDA) joined the Philippine Women's Economic Network (PhilWEN) Meet Our Boards Socials last 27 May. The event aimed to strengthen the relationships among the PhilWEN’s member organizations and board members. All six member organizations presented an overview of their respective organizations, including their membership profiles, and relevant projects and activities.  In her keynote speech, DDA spoke about the positive developments for women and discussed the local and international laws that support women’s rights and protection. She also discussed the crucial role Filipino women play in the community, emphasizing their contributions in different aspects of society – the household, government and foreign service.  She then shared that the country’s rank in the World Economic Forum's Gender Gap Index dropped to 17th place in 2021 due to the decrease in the number of women in Congress and in the Cabinet. Since the survey was first released in 2006, the Philippines consistently ranked as one of the top ten countries in the Index. She then challenged participants to develop solutions that can further help the Philippines narrow the gender gap and regain its position in the Index. 
Tax Partner Hentje Leo L. Leaño (LLL) was a guest speaker at the Far Eastern University - Junior Philippine Institute of Accountants Manila (FEU-JPIA) Annual Convention titled The Closing Entry. With the theme Epic of Greatness: A Legacy in the Odyssey, the event recognized the accomplishments of the organization and its members who have shown outstanding performance during the past year.  LLL presenting at the conventionLLL led a session on his personal leadership journey and discussed his experiences as a student leader in FEU and a Partner at SGV. He shared the challenges he faced and how he overcame each adversity, emphasizing the value of commitment, competence, growth and holistic development. He encouraged the participants to further develop their skills and competencies beyond tax and accounting, highlighting that well-rounded individuals remain more relevant, agile, and are better able to adapt to a rapidly changing business landscape. 
Financial Services Organization (FSO) Partner Veronica Mae Arce Balisi (VAB) conducted the second run of Session 3 of the Capital Markets and Fixed Income Securities Course of the Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines (FINEX) Academy on 24 May. Over 50 sales, finance, compliance and legal professionals attended the session, some for professional development and others in preparation for their SEC certification exam. VAB and Lindza presenting at the training sessionVAB discussed the basic concepts of Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Counter Terrorist Financing (CTF) and provided an overview of global regulators. She shared updates on local AML/CTF regulations, such as the recent amendments on the RA No. 9160, as Amended and certain provisions on its 2018 Implementing Rules and Regulations. She then explained the preventive measures of covered persons/institutions for capital markets and the fixed income securities industry. FSO Associate Lindza Julao also facilitated quick knowledge checks throughout the session where the participants assessed their learning progress through pop quizzes on the topics discussed.  
SGV Tax Partners Josenilo G. Mendoza (JGM) and Cheryl C. Ong (CCO) led a public webinar titled An In-Depth Guide to the CREATE Act last 26 May. Tax Leader Fame K. delos Santos (FKS) welcomed almost 500 tax and finance professionals to the webinar.  FKS, JGM and CCO at the webinarJGM began the session with an overview of the tax reform packages of the Department of Finance and the objectives and salient features of the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises Act (CREATE Act). He then discussed its adjustments in corporate tax & other taxes for different types of corporations. Afterwards, CCO explained the Act’s rationalization of fiscal incentives and the qualified enterprises and activities. She also shared the transitory and vetoed provisions as well as the available tax incentives under the law, including VAT and customs duty incentives.  The webinar concluded with an open forum where the speakers addressed the participants’ questions. Tax Senior Director Anne Margaret Momongan, Director Virnee Joy Agot and Senior Associates Ana Rose Movido, Ala Mei Domingo and Timothy James Yambot were part of the webinar’s organizing team. 
SGV Consulting Partners Christiane Joymiel C. Say-Mendoza (CSM), Joseph Ian M. Canlas (JMC), and SGV Senior Adviser and Asian Confederation of Institutes of Internal Auditors (ACIIA) President Rebecca G. Sarmenta (RGS) were among the presenters at the Institute of Internal Auditors' (IIA) 2021 International Virtual Conference last 14-18 June. They discussed the results of the Internal Audit Transformed survey conducted by the ACIIA and SGV. The survey explored the emerging role of Internal Audit (IA) and the future of the IA profession in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region. They discussed how internal auditors from different industries across APAC perceive the role of IA in identifying and addressing risks in their respective organizations, how internal auditors adapt to new ways of working, and how organizations are focusing on employee well-being.  The poster of the IIA Conference CSM and JMC highlighted that as business operations become more complex and digitalized, internal auditors are in the best position to guide businesses in navigating the risks in their industry and organizations. To meet management’s expectations, IA needs to revisit its procedures and adapt to the rapid changes in the business landscape by recalibrating its methodology, operational model, technology and talent. They also emphasized that “IA’s role is vital and the momentum to transform should start now.” With the theme Scaling new Heights, the Conference gathered more than 1,000 IA professionals from over 100 countries to share leading practices in IA. The event’s local organizing team included CSM, JMC and RGS; Consulting Managers Eudes Joshan Dural and Ruma Cris Faltado; and Associate Cloyd Edrei Reyes. 
Tax Principal and American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, Inc. (AmCham) Financial Services Taxes and Tariffs (FSTT) Committee Co-Chair Jules E. Riego (JER) and Tax Senior Director Kate Fernandez helped organize an AmCham webinar titled Understanding Biden's Tax Agenda and Transfer Pricing Updates. AmCham Executive Director Ebb Hinchcliffe delivered the opening remarks and welcomed participants from AmCham member companies.  JER and Kate with speakers and members of the AmChamFSTT Committee Co-Chair Rombit Co introduced the session’s speakers EY US Tax Desk Executive Director Josh McKniff, Senior Manager Michael Xiang and Director Ashley Fedyshyn. Josh provided an overview of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), highlighting its key corporate provisions and potential costs and opportunities. Michael then discussed the Made in America Tax Plan, its corporate income tax incentives, priority areas, general corporate tax changes and international taxes. He also explained the Biden administration’s impact policies, including its COVID-19 legislation, jobs and economic recovery plan, social justice and equity and climate policies. Afterwards, Ashley discussed the updates on the US Transfer Pricing regulations and shared insights on the global tax risk environment based on the findings of the EY Tax Policy and Controversy Outlook report.  The discussions were followed by a Q&A portion, moderated by JER, where the speakers addressed the participants’ questions. JER then concluded the webinar by thanking the speakers for their extensive discussions and the participants for a productive session.