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SGV Tax Partner Cheryl Edeline C. Ong (CCO) was one of the panelists at the PEZA Industry Briefing: Updates on the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) Act on September 9, 2021. The virtual briefing, which was spearheaded by the IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP), in partnership with Leechiu Property Consultants, Inc., welcomed over 300 IBPAP member companies.   PEZA Industry briefing panel with the SGV team The keynote speaker in the virtual briefing was PEZA Director General Charito Plaza focusing on the latest updates/developments surrounding the CREATE Act and the salient provisions of its Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR), particularly those which keenly interest BPOs and other firms, such as work-from-home policy and VAT zero-rating rules. In the ensuing panel discussion, CCO was one of the tax experts invited to share valuable insights. CCO shared her insights on VAT zero-rating rules affecting locator companies in the IT and BPO industries. She then discussed the concerns of most of the companies with the advent of the CREATE Act and its IRR, specifically the feasibility of optional VAT registration of entities enjoying five percent (5%) Gross Income Tax incentive, application of the cross-border doctrine for VAT purposes, and the improvement of the enhanced VAT refund system.  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 Tax Senior Director Alden Patrick C. Labaguis, Tax Senior Associates Gracia Mae A. Beronilla and Roland Joseph C. Mendoza. 
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The US-ASEAN Business Council organized a webinar titled CREATEing Investment Opportunities in the Philippines: Webinar on the Rationalization of Incentives under CREATE Law on 6 August. The webinar featured discussions on the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises Act (CREATE Act) and its impact on businesses, particularly on the members of the US-ASEAN Business Council. The speakers and organizers of the webinar The webinar began with opening remarks from Chief Country Representative of the US-ASEAN Business Council Elizabeth Crebassa. SGV Tax Partner Karen Kaye Sta Maria-Constantino then discussed the salient provisions of the CREATE Act. Afterwards, Board of Investments Director Sandra Marie Recolizado provided an overview of the Strategic Investment Priority Plan. Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) Director General BGen. Charito B. Plaza then led a session on new economic strategic locations and other PEZA updates.  The sessions were followed by a Q&A portion facilitated by Tax Partner Betheena Dizon. Tax Leader Fame delos Santos then delivered the closing remarks. The webinar was hosted by Tax Senior Director Josephine Grace Sandoval and the organizing team included Tax Partner Margaux Advincula and Tax Director Joyce Elaine Laohoo.  
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The Subic Bay Freeport Chamber of Commerce (SBFCC) organized a webinar on VAT updates last 7 July. Tax Partners Hentje Leo L. Leaño (LLL) and Margaux A. Advincula (MAA) discussed the VAT provisions under the CREATE Act and Revenue Regulations No. 9-2021. They explained their respective tax implications and provided insights on how they will impact Subic locators. The session was moderated by SBFCC Executive Director Donna Tamayo. Over 500 representatives from company members and non-members of the SBFCC attended the briefing, including Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Chairman and Administrator Atty. Wilma Eisma and SGV Clark Head Jose Pepito E. Zabat (JEZ).LLL and MAA with Donna Tamayoand other members of the SBFCCThe session concluded with an open forum where the speakers addressed the participants’ questions. The webinar’s organizing team included Tax Associate Director Michael Lapasaran, Senior Associate Virly Tiare and Associate Brevin Perez.
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Strategy and Transactions (SaT) Associates Gabriel Luis A. Danguilan and John Carlos A. Plata recently passed the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Level 1 examination. They are now one step closer to completing the CFA program.Gabriel DanguilanJohn Carlos PlataOffered by the CFA Institute, the CFA credential is the standard of choice for investment professionals with real-world analytical skills, technical competence, and high ethical and professional standards. Level 1 tests a candidate’s knowledge and comprehension of investment tools, while Level 2 focuses on the application of these tools and analysis for asset valuation. Finally, Level 3 synthesizes all learnings in the portfolio management context and incorporates a constructed response component. Candidates who have completed all three levels of the exam may seek to earn the CFA Charter after meeting the required professional work experience. Congratulations, Glad and JC!
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Consulting Director Nathaniel Dizon was among the speakers at the Executive Insight: Fortinet Security Series last 15 July hosted by former PLDT Public Affairs Head Mon Isberto. He joined Fortinet Country Manager Louie Castañeda and Goldilocks Bakeshop Inc. Enterprise Infrastructure Head Don Balolong, who discussed cybersecurity threats and trends affecting the retail industry, as well as solutions and best practices that retailers can implement to address the challenges caused by the pandemic.Nathaniel with the host and other speakers at the webinarNathaniel discussed the global threats and trends in cybersecurity, highlighting the initial results of the EY Global Information Security Survey 2021. He talked about how cybersecurity leaders can reposition themselves as enablers of growth by addressing four main issues – the changing environment caused by the pandemic, pressure brought by fragmented regulation, increasing scale and complexity of cybersecurity threats, and budget inflexibility. During the panel discussion, he emphasized that retailers should invest in cybersecurity solutions and prepare for the future beyond the pandemic. 
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Consulting Leader Rossana A. Fajardo (RAF) was among the speakers at the 8th Philippine Institute of Certified Public Accountants (PICPA) Cebu Chapter Summit. She led the plenary session on Embracing the New Reality: Growth Mindset for Transformative Times and emphasized the importance of possessing the right mindset to lead teams, reimagine new opportunities, and thrive in uncertain times. RAF with PICPA Cebu officers at the summitRAF shared, “transformative leaders are purpose-driven and bring out the best in themselves and in others” by fostering a culture of trust, belonging and teaming. She compared two types of mindsets: the fixed mindset where individuals are focused on proving and demonstrating their abilities; and the growth mindset where individuals leverage on their past growth and success to find ways to improve their abilities and skills. She then provided tips on how participants can lead with a growth mindset using if-then plans – the habit of setting specific actions and goals to effectively visualize success.
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Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (MPIC) held its Sustainability Summit 2021 on 6 August and among the speakers were EY Climate Change and Sustainability Services (CCaSS) Leader Mathew Nelson and CCaSS Partner Joseph Ian M. Canlas (JMC). The event included global environmental, social and governance (ESG) resource speakers who talked about key issues such as climate change, sustainability reporting standards, investor expectations and emerging global trends. Over 300 participants attended the event, including the Board of Directors and Senior Management of MPIC. Mathew presenting at the summitMathew discussed the results of the 2021 EY Global Climate Risk Disclosure Barometer, a report which provides a global snapshot of the increasing corporate focus on climate risks and opportunities. He emphasized that climate risks and opportunities should be more than a reporting or disclosure matter. These should be at the center of a business’s growth strategy as understanding climate-related issues can help accurately assess their potential impact on an organization. JMC presenting at the summitJMC then discussed local and global developments on sustainability reporting, as well as the highlights of SGV’s Beyond the Bottom Line: Sustainability Reporting in the Philippines publication. He discussed how publicly listed companies in the Philippines are complying with the Philippines SEC's requirements on sustainability reporting that were implemented in 2019.Both sessions concluded with a Q&A portion where the speakers addressed the participants’ questions. The summit was part of MPIC’s commitment to elevate its sustainability initiatives across all its businesses under the group.
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The Institute of Internal Auditors Philippines (IIAP) held the IIAPRisk Summit 2021 on 11-13 August. With the theme Risk Reset: Respond, Recover, Reimagine, speakers of the summit encouraged participants to reevaluate their companies’ risk management practices and develop strategies that can better mitigate the risks caused by the pandemic. JMC presenting at the summitConsulting Partner Joseph Ian M. Canlas (JMC) was one of the speakers at the plenary session on Risk Mapping: Then, Now & Beyond. He discussed the results of the EY Global Board Risk Survey 2021, which revealed how some board members view enterprise risk management and the need to reframe risks as opportunities. He encouraged participants to reframe the future of their organizations by thinking beyond today’s challenges to understand how they and their organizations can bolster risk management to drive growth and build resilience against future disruption.   JMC also shared the top risks for 2021 based on the survey. He explained that COVID-19 is not only a major risk event — it accelerated risks that were already omnipresent such as cybersecurity attacks, supply chain disruption and other external threats. He then discussed how organizations were able to adapt to the latest disruptions, emphasizing the value of organizational stress testing and contingency planning to ensure business continuity and resilience.
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The Philippine Institute of Certified Public Accountants (PICPA) Batangas Chapter in partnership with the Association of Certified Public Accountants in Public Practice (ACPAPP) Batangas held a webinar titled CREATE Law and Latest Tax Updates last 20 August. Don Don with participants at the joint PICPA and ACPAPP webinarSGV Tax Senior Director and ACPAPP Chairman of the Tax and Advisory Committee Don Don T. Mojica led the discussion on the CREATE Act and its Implementing Rules and Regulations. He also covered the latest tax issuances from the BIR. The discussion was followed by an open forum where Don Don addressed the participants’ questions. Over 100 PICPA and ACPAPP members joined the session. Tax Associate Jose Gabriel Domingo assisted in the preparation of the webinar materials.
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The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA), in coordination with the Business and Investment Department for Manufacturing and Maritime, organized a tax webinar for SBMA board members and officers. MAA led the briefing on the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) Act (Title XIII) and VAT updates. SBMA Chairman and Administrator Atty. Wilma T. Eisma delivered the opening remarks. AA presenting at the webinarMAA discussed the recently released implementing rules and regulations of the Act, specifically Title XIII. She then explained the amendments and tax reduction rates it introduced. She also provided VAT updates per the newly released Revenue Regulations No. 9-2021. SBMA Senior Deputy Administrator for Business and Investment Mr. Renato W. Lee III delivered the closing remarks.Engr. Panfilo S. Jurilla, SBMA Representative to the TWG-SIPP, CREATE and Head of the Business and Investment Department for Information and Communications Technology, hosted the webinar. SGV Tax Associate Director Michael Ray Lapasaran, Senior Associates Atty. Maria Clara Theresa David and Atty. John Marti Duya, and Associate Brevin Perez were part of the organizing team.
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