October 2023

The SGV Brand, Marketing and Communications (BMC) and Climate Change and Sustainability Services (CCaSS) teams hosted the first episode of the Sustainable Actions for Value-Creation and Enablement (SAVE) Council's WebCCaSS in Fiscal Year 2024. The session, titled "Making Ripples of Positive Impact," informed SGVeans about the EY Ripples program – EY’s global corporate social responsibility initiative – and how it reflects the Firm’s commitment to creating a better and more sustainable world.  SGV teams talk about the EY Ripples program SGV’s EY Ripples Partner-in-Charge Christine G. Vallejo delivered the opening remarks. She highlighted the importance of social responsibility and making a difference that extends beyond our professional lives.  The presenters during the session were BMC Assistant Director Micah Valero-Calo and CCaSS Associates Isabella Naputo and Summer Evangelista. They introduced EY Ripples, its various programs, and micro-volunteering virtual opportunities through Zooniverse: Penguin Watch and Snapshots at Sea. They guided the attendees through a practice session, educating the participants on whale identification and encouraging them to participate in an actual activity classifying whales through the Snapshots at Sea initiative.  The session concluded with a Declaration of Commitment called “Making ripples of positive impact,” urging SGVeans to take a step toward positively impacting lives.  The SAVE Council’s WebCCaSS initiative is a quarterly one-hour webcast that covers concepts, trends, regulations, and industry practices around sustainability and climate change.  
The SGV Clark team paid a courtesy visit to Tarlac State University (TSU) on 11 October 2023. The courtesy visit aimed to express the Clark office and its leaders’ gratitude toward TSU and its faculty for producing outstanding graduates who are now accounting and tax professionals at SGV Clark and Makati.  SGV Clark team presents token of appreciation to TSU President Dr. Arnold Velasco The SGV Clark team was led by SGV Clark Partner-in-Charge Margaux A. Advincula, Market Group 7 Leader Jose Pepito E. Zabat, and Global Compliance and Reporting Partner Hentje Leo Leaño. They were joined by Tax Director David Jonathan Manalili and Assurance Associate Director Angelie Marcelo, both of whom are TSU alumni. They were welcomed by TSU Vice President for Research Development and Extension Dr. Murphy P. Mohammed and TSU Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Agnes M. Macaraeg and were formally introduced to TSU President Dr. Arnold Velasco.  SGV Clark team with the TSU CBA faculty and administration The SGV Clark team also took the opportunity to meet with the academic managers of the TSU College of Business and Accountancy (CBA) represented by Dean Dr. Jhonel Panlilio, Associate Dean Dr. Henry Rufino, Accountancy Department Chair Dr. Derick Figueroa, and Program Chairpersons Dr. Elizabeth Amurao, Prof. Maria Teresa Agustin, and Mr. Rhene Payabyab. The courtesy visit concluded with a discussion on possible collaboration on activities, such as seminars, internship programs, and company visits, among others, to help TSU students and faculty gain a better understanding of industry updates.
The SGV Climate Change and Sustainability Services (CCaSS) team held its first in-person Sustainabits session titled “Sustainable Tourism: Increase Footprints, Decrease Carbon Footprints” at the Washington SyCip Development Center. The session was also streamed via MS Teams as part of the inaugural SGV Sustainability Summit 2023. It was attended by more than 500 participants both in-person and online. The session aimed to increase awareness of coastal and marine environments and promote sustainable tourism practices among SGVeans to support marine and coastal conservation.  Executive Director and Chief Mermaid of Save Philippine Seas Anna Oposa presents SPS-developed guidance on sustainable tourism The session’s resource speaker, Executive Director and Chief Mermaid of Save Philippine Seas (SPS) Anna Oposa discussed topics on coastal and marine environments and key issues surrounding these ecosystems. She also talked about mangrove forests, coral reefs, and seagrass meadows, and described the ecological benefits of each environment, as well as the threats they face.  SGV Consulting Partner Conrad Allan M. Alviz presents a certificate of appreciation to resource speaker Anna Oposa for sharing her knowledge and insights on sustainable tourism To help SGVeans become more responsible tourists, Anna also detailed and emphasized different sustainable tourist practices. These practices include respecting the locals, leaving no trace behind, and not taking shells as souvenirs, among others. She concluded her presentation by sharing how to take part in coastal and marine conservation efforts. She then led a fun and insightful open discussion to answer questions from the participants.  As part of SGV’s commitment to sustainability, participants were encouraged to declare their commitment to sustainable tourism and to support marine and coastal conservation. The Declaration of Commitment segment was led by Sustainabits team-in-charge and CCaSS Senior Director Crystal Aleli Cornell, CCaSS Senior Associate Russel James Andrade, and CCaSS Associate Franchezka Mendoza. The SGV Sustainable Actions for Value-Creation and Enablement (SAVE) Council’s Sustainabits initiative is a series of half-hour webcasts covering ideas, movements, principles, and leading industry practices regarding sustainability, social equity, and climate change.
Global Compliance and Reporting (GCR) Partner Hentje Leo L. Leaño conducted a series of expanded withholding tax (EWT) seminars in the SGV Makati, Clark, Cebu, and Davao offices from 23 to 29 September 2023. More than 300 participants attended the seminars across the four SGV offices.  Leo at the EWT seminar in SGV Cebu   Leo provided comprehensive discussions on the nature of EWT. He highlighted the general rules on substantiation of local purchases, giving the participants guidance in determining the proper EWT base and rules in claiming income tax deductions. EWT seminar attendees in SGV Makati Other Partners who joined the sessions in the various SGV offices were SGV Clark Partner-in-Charge Margaux A. Advincula, GCR Partner Saha P. Adlawan-Bulagsak, Transfer Pricing Partner Auresana B. Ines, Business Tax Services (BTS) Partner Cheryl Edeline C. Ong, SGV GCR Leader Sonia D. Segovia, and GCR Partner Lee Celso R. Vivas.  GCR Senior Director Meynard L. Sardalla hosted the sessions in SGV Makati and Clark. The seminars also featured interactive hands-on exercises on the practical application of EWT concepts to reinforce the participants’ appreciation of these tax compliance concepts. 
SGV Financial Services Organization (FSO) Climate Change and Sustainability Services (CCaSS) Partner Glenda C. Anisco-Niño was a speaker in the “Empowering Young Professionals: Navigating Sustainable Finance for a Bright Future” sustainable finance event hosted by The American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, Inc. (AmCham). (From left to right) AmCham Young Professionals Co-Chair Atty. Alden C. Labaguis (ACL), SGV FSO CCaSS Partner Glenda C. Anisco-Niño, AmCham Financial Services, Taxes and Tariffs Co-Chair and BDO Unibank, Inc. Senior Vice President & Head of Financial Institutions Rombit Co, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Commissioner Atty. Kelvin Lester Lee, AmCham Young Professionals Co-Chair Atty. Paolo Villonco, and Sierra Madre Investment Partner Gregory Rivera Glenda talked about the economic statistics of sustainable finance on companies and consumers. She emphasized the importance and benefits of sustainable finance to meet the global goal of attaining a sustainable world. Glenda also touched on the drivers of sustainability, creating long-term value, business benefits of integrating sustainability, key drivers of sustainable finance, the Philippine sustainable-finance ecosystem, sustainable-finance products, advantages and disadvantages of purchasing sustainable-finance products, most promising sectors for green bond investments, and main obstacles preventing investment in green bonds. Glenda was joined by SEC Commissioner Atty. Kelvin Lester Lee and Sierra Madre Private Equity Investment Partner Gregory Rivera. They talked about the climate change regulatory landscape and outlook, investments, and environmental, social, and governance (ESG), respectively. AmCham’s Young Professionals (YP) and Financial Services, Taxes, and Tariffs (FSTT) Committees organized the event.
SGV Consulting Leader Rossana A. Fajardo was one of the speakers at the 8th Mindanao Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Cluster Conference, with the theme “Accelerating SMART CITY in Mindanao: Built on connectivity and cybersecurity.” The conference was held from 18 to 19 October 2023 in Butuan City. Rossana at the 8th Mindanao ICT Cluster Conference Rossana’s talk shed light on the remarkable intersection between women and technology, showcasing the invaluable role that women play in today’s innovation and digital advancement-driven technology industry. She also shared recommendations for closing gender disparities in the field of technology.  She highlighted SGV and EY initiatives to support and empower women in technology, such as the Women in Technology (WiT) program and the EY STEM app. Rossana with Caraga ICT Cluster Inc. President and Butuan City Councilor Cherry May G. Busa The WiT program is a comprehensive and inclusive endeavor aimed at supporting girls and women to explore, excel, and lead in the world of technology. It includes educational programs to promote and develop girls' interest and skills in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), incubation efforts to nurture women's leadership potential in technology, support for female tech entrepreneurs, and the innovative fostering of a diverse and empowered technical workforce. The EY STEM app is an interactive platform which aims to inspire young girls to pursue STEM professions by offering gamified content focused on science and technology. This educational tool has already been successfully deployed in New Delhi, Seattle and Atlanta, as well as in other locations in Oceania, India and the Philippines. SGV is currently in discussions with a school to roll out the EY STEM app in Mindanao. Rossana’s talk also aligned with the launch of Butuan City's SMART Gender and Development (GAD) Code, which sets the stage for a gender-responsive, inclusive, digitally resilient, and safe environment in the city.
SGV Climate Change and Sustainability Services (CCaSS) Partner Katrina F. Francisco and Director Reynaldo C. Azarcon, Jr. earned the title of Certified Building for Ecologically Responsive Design Excellence (BERDE) Professional after successfully passing the BERDE Professionals Qualifying Examination. BERDE is a tool to assess, measure, monitor, and certify the performance of projects above and beyond existing national and local building and environmental laws, regulations, and mandatory standards. Certified BERDE Professionals Rey and Katrina at the Building Green 2023 Conference Katrina and Rey completed the training for BERDE - Buildings Version 4.2.0. They also attended the Building Green 2023 Conference, which focused on "Pursuing Public-Private Cooperation in Net Zero through Green Building." The training and conference were held from 26 to 28 September 2023 at the Modala Beach Resort Hotel in Bohol. The conference covered Local Actions on Green Building, National Programs on Sustainability, Regional Perspective on Public and Private Cooperation to Advance Green Building, and the Latest Green Building Innovations, Strategies, and Solutions (IS2).  The BERDE Program was established by the Philippine Green Building Council (PHILGBC) as an appropriate response to the Philippine construction industry's need to proactively address the negative impacts of climate change.  Congratulations, Katrina and Rey!
SGV held an Executive Briefing for its Alumni Partners on 16 October 2023 at the SGV 1, Washington SyCip Development Center (WSDC) Training Rooms.  Alumni Partners at the Executive Briefing SGV Vice Chair and Deputy Managing Partner Vivian C. Ruiz delivered the opening remarks. Climate Change and Sustainability Services (CCaSS) Principal Bonar A. Laureto, Financial Accounting Advisory Services (FAAS) Leader Aris “Bok” C. Malantic, and Consulting Principal Armand N. Cajayon were the resource speakers during the briefing.  Executive Briefing attendees Bonar and Bok talked about the impact of sustainability standards on businesses and accounting, respectively. Armand provided a short introduction on Blockchain. The speakers also led Q&A sessions after their respective discussions.
SGV was the technical adviser and official tabulator in the 2023 European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP) Europa Awards held on 11 October 2023 at the Raffles and Fairmont Makati. 2023 Europa Awards Tabulators with the ECCP Europa Awards organizing team Climate Change and Sustainability Services (CCaSS) Partner Benjamin N. Villacorte, CCaSS Directors Diana Rose A. Sadili and Ricardo S. Maulion Jr., Senior Associate Marsha P. Batusbatusan, and Associate Sofia Maria J. Evangelista served as tabulators and technical advisers for the event. They provided technical advice on the awards categories and scoring framework developed by ECCP and tabulated data from ECCP’s technical judges. The Europa Awards aim to recognize companies with exceptional performance in and contributions to promoting sustainability in line with global standards and the Philippine Development Plan.