Business Strategy & Management Consulting

The practice of helping organizations to improve their performance, operating primarily through the analysis of the existing ...

Corporate Strategy

OLLI is well placed to advise not only on legal issues but on a broad spectrum of matters that are relevant to anyone seeking...

Online Reputation Management

Online Reputation Management (ORM) is a digital PR skill that deals with everything about your company's brand in the digital...

Government-Industry Alignment

To face and overcome the challenges of the business, political and regulatory landscapes, enterprises need topro-actively add...

Occupational Safety and Health

Occupational safety and health are essential for business operations. Implementing occupational health and safety regulation...

How we help

Business organizations today need to keep pace with accelerating events that impact on the local economy and the Region, notably AFTA, AANZFTA, and developments in the Philippines Mining, Agriculture, and Public Private Partnership (PPP) sectors, and seize opportunities by pro-actively pushing initiatives that provide for sustainable business growth and profitability.

 

OLLI’s seasoned Consultants can assist you by providing perspectives in various functional areas both at Corporate Strategy and Operations levels, as well as in appropriate engagements with the public sector.

Recent news

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Manila, June 8, 2020 - When the Chamber of Mines of the Phil...

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Makati, November 29, 2019 - On the issue of Philippine mines...

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Manila, November 28, 2019 - The OLLI Consulting Group Inc. P...

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Makati, October 29, 2019 - OLLI Consulting Group Principal a...

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Pasay, Metro Manila — October 17, 2019— The Mining industry ...

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Makati, 8 October 2019 - A Policy Workshop and Focused Group...

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PH Mineral Reporting Code and Its Relevance to PH Minerals Industry

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Manila, June 8, 2020 - When the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines organised their annual Mining Philippines last year in September, one of the most important parts of their three-day international conference and exhibition took place on its first day at the Sulu Room of the Sofitel Philippines Plaza Manila. It was a small gathering in a separate venue outside of the main conference -- the “Focus Group Discussion on the Philippine Mineral Reporting Code (PMRC) and Its Relevance to the Philippine Minerals Industry”. Although the discussion took place last September, the further development of the PMRC is something to look forward to this year and perhaps even the following year.

 

The Philippine Mineral Reporting Code or the “Code” was created to set out minimum standards, recommendations and guidelines for Public Reporting in the Philippines of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves. “The Code was formulated with the intent of setting minimum standards for public reporting on minerals that is compatible with global standards. The formulation of the PMRC relied on the international codes from Australia, South Africa, European Union and Canada,” according to the Philippine-Australia Business Council (PABC).

 

The closed-group discussion was moderated by Atty. Ronald S. Recidoro, COMP Executive Director. Atty. Dennis A. Quintero (PABC Chair and Meeting Chair) started the event with an “Introduction of Meeting Attendees and Brief History of PMRC”.

 

"The idea of having a Philippine Mineral Reporting Code started during one of the mining roadshows in Australia, participated in by representatives from the Philippine-Australia Business Council. Back then, the Chairman was Atty. Leo Dominguez and the delegation was composed of the various mining industry stakeholders like the Chamber of Mines and also the Philippine Stock Exchange. And the idea came up that if Australia has its JORC (Australasian Joint Ore Reserves Committee), and [thought of] the idea for the Philippines to have its own as well. And that's how the idea of having PMRC came about,” said Atty. Quintero.

 

Organizations that were involved in the promulgation of the PMRC back in 2007 were Philippine Minerals Development Institute Foundation, Philippine Society of Mining Engineers, Geological Society of the Philippines, Society of Metallurgical Engineers of the Philippines, Mines and Geosciences Bureau, Philippine Stock Exchange, Board of Investments, Chamber of Mines of the Philippines and Philippine-Australia Business Council.

 

The Secretariat Head of the Geological Society of the Philippines CPAC, Engr. Ramon N. Santos reported on the “Basics of the Philippine Mineral Reporting Code 2007 and Its Implementing Rule and Regulations”.

 

Engr. Juancho Pablo S. Calvez, Chief Metallurgist of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau and Member of the PRC Board for Metallurgical Engineering gave a rundown of the PMRC Committee Role and Composition. This was followed by a discussion on the Committee for Mineral Reserves International Reporting Standards (CRIRSCO) and International Reporting Codes by Mr George B. Baquiran. He is the Chairperson of the Geological Society of the Philippines - Competent Person Accreditation Committee (GSP CPAC) and PMRCC Standards Committee Chair.

 

PMEA President, Mr. Joey Nelson R. Ayson reported on “PMRC: Updates and Relevance to the Mineral Industry”. Included in his report is the CRIRSCO Membership Update (Task Force of International Council for Mining and Metals - ICMM):

 

● Feb. 23, 2019 - CRIRSCO-PMRCC MOU signed

● March 2019 - PMRCC-CRIRSCO Working Group formed

● Sept. 9-11, 2019 - Annual CRIRSCO Meeting in Washington D.C., U.S.A.

○ PMRCC Executive Committee attended (Jun Angeles and Jake Foronda)

● Proposed Timeline for PMRCC to become a CRIRSCO member

○ Aim by third quarter of 2020

● Upgrading PMRC 2007 according to the CRIRSCO Reporting Template 2019

○ Approved PMRC Code aim by second quarter of 2020

 

Mr. Ayson also reported the “Bases for PMRC Review/Upgrade” wherein the primary basis is the CRIRSCO International Reporting Template 2019, and the secondary bases are JORC 2012 and NI 43-101.

 

In conclusion, he stated the PMRC and PMRCC relevance to the Philippine minerals industry, namely:

 

● To protect investors in mineral exploration and mining

● To protect the capital markets from fraudulent practices

● To promote a common understanding in reporting mineral assets

● For our Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) to be world class in attracting mineral investments, both domestically and internationally.

 

 

PMRC Committee’s Relevance:

● Need for a Philippine-wide National Reporting Organization (NRO) to monitor the effectiveness and relevance of the PMRC and subject the PMRC to periodic reviewers

● Growing importance of compatibility and substantial equivalency with other international reporting codes

○ It is important to be a CRIRSCO member to ensure that PMRC Code will always be at par with the CRIRSCO family of internal reporting codes.

 

Finally, the Open Forum was conducted by Engr. Roger A. De Dios, PSEM National President.

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Photo: Atty. Dennis A. Quintero, PABC Chair - Presenting the Brief History of Philippine Mineral Reporting Code (PMRC) at the "Focus Group Discussion on the Philippine Mineral Reporting Code and Its Relevance to the Philippine Mineral Industry", Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila - 10 Sept. 2019 (Photo by Marcelle P. Villegas, Philippine Resources Journal)

Article by: Marcelle P. Villegas

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This article was originally published by Philippine Resources Journal on this link: https://www.philippine-resources.com/post/ph-mineral-reporting-code-and-its-relevance-to-ph-minerals-industry

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OLLI lends expertise to Hospitality Industry via e-forum

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Metro Manila, June 6, 2020 — The OLLI Consulting Group Inc., in partnership with JCI Manila, hosted an online seminar entitled "Harnessing the Hotel Industry's Resilience Reflex in the New Normal" on the JCI Manila Facebook Page.

 

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(From top to bottom, left to right: Undersecretary Benito C. Bengzon of the Philippine Department of Tourism; JCI members and e-forum hosts Karl Ian Verzosa and Camille Garbin; Atty Leo G. Dominguez, OLLI Principal and CEO; Jose Vicente L. Camus, OLLI consultant for Finance and Industry Head for Public Infrastructure; Dominic A. Dorol, OLLI Industry Head for Hospitality & Tourism; Atty. Ariel R. Arriola, OLLI consultant for Legal Affairs; and Maria Paula A. Tolentino, OLLI Head for Online Reputation Management)

 

 

As event speakers, OLLI consultants Dominic Dorol, Jose Vicente Camus, Maria Paula Tolentino, and Atty. Ariel Arriola offered insights on the four pillars of the hotel industry business: operations, finance, reputation management, and legal compliance that could help the industry navigate the new normal following the COVID-19 global pandemic. With guest of honor, Undersecretary Benito C. Bengzon of the Philippine Department of Tourism (DOT) in attendance, he shared the government's plans and programs for the tourism industry during and after the crisis, while the OLLI Consulting Group's Principal and CEO, Atty. Leo Dominguez served as the event's moderator.

 

 Effective Operational Management and Robust Financial Support

 

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"The hospitality industry was the first to get hit by the pandemic, and will probably be the last to recover," said Dominic Dorol, OLLI's lead consultant for the Hospitality & Tourism Industry. He offered important advice on how hotel executives should adopt moving forward. He also reminds them not to lose touch with visitors. "When you put in your additional security and safety measures, please make sure that they are still of a service nature." Mr. Dorol also recommended hotels to create a 28-week implementation plan which they can adjust according to government regulations on business resumption.

 

Joey Camus, OLLI's consultant for Finance and head for Public Infrastructure, affirmed the need for planning, not just operationally but also financially. "The public and private sectors are doing a lot to stimulate the economy," he shared. Among these programs are the Philippine Department of Finance (DOF) and the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA)'s PH-PROGRESO Program, the Philippine Economic Stimulus Act (PESA), and the Financial Institutions Strategic Transfer Act (FIST). Through PESA, hotels and other tourism-related MSME can avail of interest-free loans and fiscal incentives.

 

Mr. Camus also cited private sector-led financing programs for supplier networks and MSMEs, such as the Philippine Franchise Association (PFA)'s COVID-19 Assistance to Restart Enterprises (CARES) Program. "Hospitality businesses should keep themselves open and updated with policy developments. They should find programs that match their needs and apply for those programs," he recommends. Finally, he advises hoteliers to get liquid, update and negotiate with lenders, and continue investing in their business. According to Mr. Camus, "having a well-defined strategy moving forward that attracts new customers to your hotel" is something that banks look at when considering enterprises to finance.

 

 The Importance of Communication and Legal Compliance

  

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Maria Paula Tolentino, OLLI's head for Online Reputation Management, touched on the importance of effective communication in a landscape where consumption patterns and customer perceptions are evolving at an unprecedented rate because of the pandemic. She observes, "most customers avoid personally shopping for groceries, relying instead on delivery services, thereby accelerating the development of online sales and promotion. As society phases into a hygiene-conscious world, "customers will focus more on their choices, mainly food. They will rely more on whether the source of the ingredients is reliable, good enough quality, have been safely handled, and are rich in nutrition." A hotel's service is something customers will comment on online, especially now that everyone exercises more caution than before. Having a crisis management plan in place is crucial to keep the hotel's positive image intact amidst problems that may arise.

 

A solid legal foundation is also vital to managing the operations and maintaining a hotel's reputation. Atty. Ariel Arriola, OLLI's consultant for Legal Affairs, discussed the importance of complying with the Occupational Safety and Health Standards Act (R.A. No. 11058), the Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases Act (R.A. No. 11332), Data Privacy Act (R.A. No. 10173), especially in gathering customer and employee data, and in reporting cases of COVID-19 to local government units. To ensure compliance, hotels must design and implement programs and train personnel for COVID-19 reporting, occupational safety and health, and data privacy.

 

 

Timely Government Response

 

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According to DOT Undersecretary Bengzon, "the Philippines is one of the very few countries that has gone the extra mile to look after its foreign and domestic tourists." He reports, "the DOT, together with its attached agencies, assisted around 37,000 stranded tourists affected by travel restrictions implemented across the archipelago by facilitating bookings, arranging border passages, sweeper flights, land, and sea transfers, and distributing tourist hygiene care kits. Remaining resolute and optimistic, the DOT also conducted numerous seminars for tourism frontliners and industry stakeholders through its online learning series. The DOT presented its three-year Tourism Response and Recovery Plan, which enables them to partner with the private sector to protect and ensure employment and business survival. USec. Bengzon emphasized the importance of legal compliance in sustaining the country's tourism industry. "The expectations of tourists from our products and services post-pandemic, specifically on cleanliness and hygiene, will be high. And these will have to be met to regain their confidence in us."

  

USec. Bengzon shares, "Our goal for the country is to deliver remarkable service when our guests, pack their bags, fly to, and wake up in the Philippines." Mr. Dorol adds, "the world around us has changed, but the Filipino hospitality within us has not." This same spirit of Filipinos will drive the hospitality industry and jumpstart our recovery. 

 

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Experts weigh in on how to rehabilitate legacy mines across the Philippines

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Makati, November 29, 2019 - On the issue of Philippine mines, President Rodrigo Duterte once said "Explain to me and explain it well... what happened here? Explain to us, to the lawmakers such degradation. Look at the water. So, where's the fish, where's the marine life? Ano kakainin ng mga tao, yung mga mahihirap lang dito [What would the poor people here eat]? So, what can your ₱70B do for the government? Nothing.” Duterte said the ₱70B in revenues that the Philippine mining industry brought in was meaningless if the result was such deterioration.1

 

Two years in, we are still on this conversation. The only difference now is that the industry is swiftly re-aligning itself with what the President seeks for his country and his countrymen - the protection of the environment and quality of life for all.

 

On November 29, 2019, at Makati City, the Philippine Mining Club introduced three key speakers who are helping address this dilemma: Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) Chief for Mine Safety, Environment, and Social Development Engr. Rodolfo Velasco Jr., GHD’s Technical Director for Tailings and Mine rehabilitation Engr. Robert Longey, and the Bamboo Initiative’s lead and the OLLI Consulting Group’s CEO, Atty. Leo Dominguez.

 

The Philippines’ abandoned and inactive mines

 

Abandoned mines refer to mines with no valid/existing mining tenement, and no/incomplete rehabilitation was done. While inactive mines refer to mines with a pending application for renewal and with valid/existing mining tenement but temporarily stopped operation or is under the care and maintenance due to operational constraints (voluntary stoppage) and suspension (involuntary stoppage) of operation.2

 

Based on MGB’s 2019 list, there are approximately 10 abandoned mines in the Philippines. These are Philex Mining Corp., Western Minolco Mining Co., Black Mountain, Inc., Benguet Exploration, Inc., Silica Sand Mines, Palawan Quicksilver Mines, Inc., Romblon Marble Mines, Benguet Consolidated, Inc., Unidos Mining Corp., and Zambales Base Metals, Inc.

 

Velasco mentioned that MGB has, in place, a Mine Rehabilitation Program Roadmap for 2019-2022. MGB seeks to implement the Environmental Management Plans for all abandoned mines which are in line with the long-term vision of Philippine President to transform abandoned mines and mined-out areas into land use that is beneficial both to the communities and the environment. Coincidently, Velasco mentioned that November 29 is also the 121st Anniversary of MGB.

 

What the Philippines can learn from Australia’s legacy mines

 

According to fellow speaker Australian Rob Longey, abandoned mines are a ‘black mark’ in the industry. He says that “abandoned mines are a legacy we need to deal with appropriately to ensure communities have the confidence to allow new mines to develop and continue operating.” Apparently, Australia itself has over 50,000 legacy mines! Twenty-five percent of which were planned closures, while the remaining seventy-five percent were unplanned or prematurely closed. This has resulted in unsatisfactory closures, long term care and maintenance of these mines. However, the opportunity presenting itself here is that Australia is in the perfect position to become a world leader for mine rehabilitation and closure, which could be replicated by countries such as the Philippines.

 

Australia has its own challenges with legacy mines. But how is Australia’s situation relevant to the Philippines? Like the Philippines’ small-scale mining, Australia has more than 100 years of historical mining. With a similar climate like the Philippines (high rainfall, tropical climate, steep terrain), Australia admittedly also has poor environmental practices in the past. And lastly, Australian mines closed due to the communities surrounding the mine and its sensitive environments.

 

Longey sees that mine repurposing - reprocessing are such opportunities for the industry. He noted that partial infrastructure could be made available (roads, plant, dam, pits); industry collaboration; technology transfer; commercial incentives for communities to help clean up legacy mines; opportunity to move tailings from the surface to the pit; while also building new dams to modern standards. A good example is repurposing a legacy mine into a tourist hub through rehabilitation. He says that sites with a high concentration of metals and minerals (arsenic, cobalt, copper, manganese, nickel, selenium, thallium and zinc) provide a great opportunity for future commercial applications such as mineralized soils, crops, and other novel approaches. One such approach is the OLLI Consulting Group’s ‘Bamboo Initiative’.

 

The real question to be answered here is ‘can the post-closure become a self-sustaining asset?’ According to Longey, “given the right approach and strategy, yes it can be”.

 

 

A Nationwide Movement

 

Dominguez, the proponent for the Bamboo Initiative, presents his case categorically “By working efficiently together under this Bamboo Initiative, the mining companies will be able to revegetate their mined-out areas as quickly as the President has directed them to do”.

 

“The mining companies would contribute much-needed hectarage to the DTI (Department of Trade and Industry) to increase bamboo production, thereby boosting the supply of raw material and manpower from the mining communities to grow the bamboo industry”.

 

“Agencies like the DENR (Department of Environment and Natural Resources) would be in a much better position to deliver the commitment of the country to plant 1M hectares of bamboo addressing climate change”.

 

“Under the DENR and the DTI, the mining industry could develop truly sustainable livelihood and enterprises for the mining communities, thereby delivering on the demand by the President that not only should mining companies pay taxes but also show what they are doing for the country and its people, while reinventing mining as a social enterprise.”

 

Admittedly, the industry still has a long way to go. However, with a nationwide movement like the ‘Bamboo Initiative’, a fast, safe and effective means to revegetate and rehabilitate mine sites across the country is slowly changing the conversation on mining.

 

 

In photos:

 

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Experts weigh in on how to rehabilitate legacy mines across the Philippines at 53rd Philippine Mining Luncheon.

(L-R) Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) Chief for Mine Safety, Environment, and Social Development Engr. Rodolfo Velasco Jr., Bamboo Initiative’s lead and the OLLI Consulting Group’s CEO, Atty. Leo Dominguez and GHD’s Technical Director for Tailings and Mine rehabilitation Engr. Robert Longey.

 

Article by Maria Paula Tolentino

 

 

 

References:

1 CNN Philippines. ‘Duterte considering total mining ban’. 14 March 2017.

2 Mines & Geosciences Bureau Philippine Mining Luncheon Presentation. 29 November 2019. Engr. Rodolfo Velasco Jr.

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OLLI meets with Pakistan’s Special Envoy, trade mission plans for 2020 in the pipeline

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Manila, November 28, 2019 - The OLLI Consulting Group Inc. President Atty. Leo Dominguez and Government-Industry Alignment Consultant Stephen Araneta met with key members of the Pakistani trade mission led by Pakistan’s special envoy, Mr. Ali Jehangir Siddiqui. 

 

Siddiqui has made a name for himself both as an entrepreneur and diplomat. He is an experienced businessman who helped set up various companies such as Airblue, the second-largest airline in Pakistan; Arabian Gulf Steel, a steel producer in the UAE; Jura Energy, a Canadian oil and gas company; and RAK Ghani Glass, the largest pharmaceutical glass producer in the UAE and GCC countries. He also served as Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United States in 2018 and is currently serving as Pakistan's Ambassador for Foreign Investment in an Honorary Capacity. At just 42 years old, this man continues to champion his country as an investment destination and is keen to tap the Philippine market.

 

OLLI Consulting Group, together with the Chairman of AG&P and Country Chairman of OceanaGold Philippines Inc., Jose Leviste Jr. had the rare privilege of talking economic diplomacy with Siddiqui and his colleagues: Ahmed M. Saeed, ADB Vice President; Werner Liepach, ADB Director General, Central and West Asia Department; and Shahid Mahmood, ADB Alternate Executive Director.

 

The meeting covered key industries in Pakistan: Agriculture, Power, Mining, Franchising & Retail and Pakistan’s interest to invest in the Philippines.

 

 

Agriculture


According to Siddiqui, Pakistan’s main crops are rice and wheat and grows apples, apricots, oranges and a wide variety of mangoes. However, the industry experiences 30%-40% in losses due to the lack of technology in processing and supply chain management. Pakistan is currently looking for Philippine companies to invest and address these concerns.

 

 

Power


Siddiqui says there is much opportunity for renewable energy in Pakistan, especially for wind and solar. Pakistan also currently has Nuclear power and is setting up new plants near Karachi. However, distribution losses are high. They want to set up more power plants to be near the target consumers. As power resources become competitive, the upfront tariff is being reduced over time. Pakistan is offering low debt-financing interest rates at 8%. Coal is also another power source and quite indigenous to Pakistan, though the quality is not that high. The country has 250B tons of coal reserves in total.

 

 

Mining


Pakistan is a country rich in reserves of Copper, Gold, Uranium, and Zinc. Siddiqui says there are no restrictions to foreign ownership of land. Land tenure is generally structured under a leasehold or
long-term lease arrangement, and as a requirement, the foreign company should be locally registered.


Though the tax regime is unclear, Siddiqui mentioned that Barrick Gold winning an arbitration in the supreme court vs the Pakistan government is a good case study to look into.

 

 

Franchising / Retail


With a population of 220 million, Siddiqui says that there is potential for snack food manufacturing and distribution. He cited that Frito Lay recently invested in Pakistan and that there are reputable families in
Pakistan wanting to enter the franchising business.

 

 

Pakistan Investing in the Philippines


Siddiqui adds that Pakistan currently manufactures pharmaceutical glass and is looking for markets for this product. Dominguez mentioned that there is a huge market in the Philippines since the country is trying to lessen and eventually replace single-use plastic. Glass could be that option. Atty. Dominguez brought up investment in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) also as an opportunity for Pakistani Investors to consider. Siddiqui mentioned that Philippine business tycoon Ricky Razon is an investor in Pakistan.

 

At the conclusion of the meeting, it was decided that a Philippine trade delegation to Pakistan will be organized come February 2020.

 

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In photo:
Exploring business synergy with the Pakistani delegation. In photo (L-R clockwise): OLLI Consulting Group’s consultant for Government-Industry Alignment Stephen Araneta; OLLI President and Principal Atty. Leo Dominguez; AG&P Chairman and Country Chairman Oceana Gold Philippines, Inc. Jose Leviste, Jr.; ADB Alternate Executive Director Shahid Mahmood; Pakistani Special Envoy Ali Siddiqui, and ADB VP East Asia Dept., Southeast Asia Dept. and Pacific Dept. Ahmed M. Saeed. Not in photo but who was earlier in the meeting was ADB Director General Central and West Asia Dept. Werner Liepach.

 

Article by Maria Paula Tolentino
With context and photos provided by Stephen Araneta

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Furthering inclusive business through the Municipality of Bacolod-Kalawi

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Makati, October 29, 2019 - OLLI Consulting Group Principal and President, Atty. Leo Dominguez, together with Government-Industry Alignment Consultant, Stephen Araneta, had the rare opportunity to meet and talk with the municipal Lady Mayor of Bacolod-Kalawi, Lanao Del Sur, Mayor Nora Lucan Dipatuan.

 

Politically subdivided into 26 barangays, the Municipality of Bacolod-Kalawi is a 3rd class municipality in the province of Lanao del Sur, Philippines. Formerly known as Bacolod Grande, it changed into its present name by virtue of Muslim Mindanao Autonomy Act No. 32 in 1994. Based on its 2015 census, Bacolod-Kalawi has a population of 20,841, and an electorate of 6,873 voters as of 2019.

 

The objective of this meeting was to explore possibilities on how the Municipality of Bacolod-Kalawi and the OLLI Consulting Group can collaborate, with the hopes of a synergy between the public and private sectors on furthering inclusive business across Mindanao. This meeting was also participated in by: Nordjiana L. Dipatuan-Ducol, General Manager of Lanao del Sur Electric Cooperative and Kince Alhansah Panondiongan.

 

At the end of the meeting, OLLI’s Atty. Dominguez agreed to visit Bacolod-Kalawi in 2020. With this visit, he plans to introduce the Mayor to OLLI Consultant Joe Green and Harley Beltran, both social-entrepreneurs, to discuss examples of how the municipality of Bacolod-Kalawi can benefit from inclusive business.

 

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Furthering Mindanao with exploratory collaborations on inclusive business through the Municipality of
Bacolod-Kalawi, Lanao Del Sur. In photo (L-R) Kince Alhansah Panondiongan; General Manager of
Lanao del Sur Electric Cooperative Nordjiana L. Dipatuan-Ducol; Bacolod-Kalawi, Lanao Del Sur
Lady-Mayor Nora Lucan Dipatuan; OLLI Consulting Group Principal Atty. Leo G. Dominguez and OLLI
Consultant for Government-Industry Alignment, Stephen Araneta.

 

 

 

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OLLI and Mining Industry Launch The Bamboo Initiative at Manila FAME

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Pasay, Metro Manila — October 17, 2019— The Mining industry represented by the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines and the Philippine Nickel Industry Association, together with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and Department of Trade and Industry, unveiled The Bamboo Initiative - a nationwide campaign aimed at revegetating mined-out areas with fast-growing bamboo, thereby increasing bamboo production and creating lucrative enterprises for mining communities  - at the Manila FAME.

 

 Bamboo Initiative photo 1

Jose Camus, Stephen Araneta of OLLI, Larissa Alivio of The Bamboo Initiative, Department of Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez, Bambike Founder Bryan McLelland, Atty. Leo Dominguez, President of OLLI and one of the Bamboo Initiative's prominent thought leaders; Deputy House Speaker Deogracias Victor Savellano, Congress Representative, 1st District of Ilocos Sur; and other DTI officials (Photo: Kieffer Carrascal)

 

Bamboo for Rehabilitating Lands

 

The campaign is a response to President Duterte's order to the mining industry to revegetate mined-out areas. “In his State of the Nation Address, the President said that the mining industry should repair the environment which has been mismanaged. The DENR and the DTI are initiating the rehabilitation of mined-out areas using bamboo to address this matter, while also helping expand the country’s bamboo resources”, said DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu. According to Cimatu, the group chose bamboo in rehabilitating degraded lands because it “grows fast, releases 30 percent more oxygen than trees, and can absorb heavy metals from contaminated soil or water.”

 

Bamboo for Economic Growth

 

DTI Secretary and Philippine Bamboo Industry Development Council Chairman Ramon Lopez added that “the potential for bamboo is limitless, given the variety of its use.” Lopez also lauded Secretary Cimatu and the mining companies who have started to plant bamboo in their mined-out areas, which will help increase the supply of raw materials for use in creating high-value bamboo products in the future. According to the Mines and Geosciences Bureau, 12 mining companies have already begun planting bamboo in 12 provinces across nine regions all over the country.

 

Bamboo for Communities

 

For the Philippine Nickel Industry Association Chairman Butch Alcantara, planting bamboo was more than just for rehabilitation, but also the long-term economic development of their communities. “What sustainable livelihood do we leave our host communities, especially the indigenous peoples, when the mining stops?”, he asked. Mr. Alcantara added that a 10-hectare plot of bamboo can help a worker earn five to six times more income than their salary. “The bamboo industry is a $60 billion industry where our communities can participate by manufacturing and supplying high-value products globally”. Atty. Ronald Recidoro, Executive Director of the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines stated that the Bamboo Initiative emphasizes the significance of the mining industry’s role in creating opportunities and social enterprise.

 

            “The Bamboo Initiative will boost the development of the bamboo industry, create sustainable livelihood projects for mining communities and thereby re-invent mining as a social enterprise. This will help change the conversation about mining”, says Atty. Leo Dominguez, a proponent of the Bamboo Initiative, and a prominent mining lawyer. 

 

Cover photo credit: Vhoyeth Solis

 

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For more information about the Bamboo Initiative,

please contact Maria Paula Tolentino via email at paula.tolentino@olli.ph or bambooinitiative.pr@gmail.com

 

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Bridging the poverty gap through a policy workshop on Federalism

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Makati, 8 October 2019 - A Policy Workshop and Focused Group Discussion (FGD) on Federalism were recently conducted by the country’s premier international management school and research institution, the Asian Institute of Management, and attended by the OLLI Consulting Group’s Principal, Atty. Leo Dominguez, Government-Industry Alignment Consultant, Stephen Araneta and representatives from both the private and public sectors, specifically local government units (LGUs).

 

In order to stick to the FGD’s objectives, AIM opted for a certain process and flow to guide the participants. Both the business group and the local government units had to answer two key questions: a) Will the present Constitution and Presidential form of government facilitate or hinder the attainment of the goal in the workshop? And secondly, b) Will Federalism be a better form of government compared to that of a presidential type to help facilitate the attainment of the goal identified in the workshop? Methodical in approach, AIM made it clear to its participants that they needed to 1) Identify a problem or Issue; 2) Process the problem and convert it to an objective and 3) Assess if a Presidential form or a Federal form of government will attain the objective.

 

From the business group’s perspective, the objective was to reduce poverty from 21% to 14%. In this group, it was noted that tweaking both the Presidential form of government as well as a Federalism form of government can both address the objectives. Speaking from the business perspective, Dominguez explained that a tweaked Presidential form of government can address the immediate issues of poverty while federalism is at an advantage to reduce poverty for the long term. He added, however, that this will all “depend on the provisions placed in the constitution on either form of government”.

 

On the one hand, the LGU representatives mentioned that their objective was to increase the revenue share on national taxes. They concluded that their objective can be attained through a Presidential form of government. Different views, methods, and approaches in helping address poverty, made for a richer and substantial discussion that afternoon.

 

Representing the business groups were OLLI Consulting Group CEO and Philippines - Sweden Business Council Chairman, Atty. Leo Dominguez together with Coffee for Peace CEO, Joji Pantoja. While the government was represented by Sandra Paredes, Executive Director of the League of Provinces.

 

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Meeting of Minds. Through a focused group discussion, the Asian Institute of Management pooled together the private and public sectors to discuss policies concerning Federalism and how it can address poverty.

 

Article by Maria Paula Tolentino
with context and photos by Stephen Araneta

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Maria Paula Tolentino is the Chief Content Officer of SEM Scribe Publishing House. A certified Safety Officer, she is an advocate of
responsible mining, quarrying, and mineral extractive practices with a clear focus on the quadruple bottom line (people, planet, profit
and purpose). She is also the Vice President for Programs under women-mining NGO, Diwata - Women in Resource Development,
Inc. and a Consultant for the OLLI Consulting Group, Inc.
For questions, she can be reached at:
LinkedIn - Miss Tolentino
Email - paula@semscribepublishing.com ; semscribe@gmail.com ; paula.tolentino@olli.ph
Website - SEM Scribe Publishing House

 

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PABC makes courtesy visit to Sydney Australia Consul-General Tago, discusses bilateral issues

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Manila, October 4, 2019 - The Philippines-Australia Business Council (PABC) made a courtesy call to Sydney Australia Consul-General Ezzedin H. Tago. With PABC Past Chairs Albert Garcia (2008-2012) and Antonio V. Enriquez (2013-2016), the group took the opportunity to discuss how to further create engagement and dialogue with the Consular office and the Consul-General himself on a number of bilateral issues, specifically the matter of the Social Security Agreement (SSA), which the PABC continues to champion on behalf of the Filipino community in Australia.

 

Moving forward, Garcia, a Sydney resident, would be the more practical choice to coordinate on behalf of the PABC in Australia, should the group’s presence be needed.

 

Aside from being the previous Chairman of the Philippines-Australia Business Council from 2013 - 2016, Antonio Enriquez also represents the OLLI Consulting Group, Inc. as its Managing Director.

 

In photos:  

 

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On October 4, 2019, at the Australian Embassy in Manila, past chairs of the Philippines-Australia Business Council (PABC), Albert Garcia (left) and OLLI Consulting Group’s Managing Director Antonio Enriquez (right) make a courtesy visit to Sydney Australia Consul-General Ezzedin H. Tago (center) to discuss bilateral issues affecting the Filipino community in Australia.

 

Article by Paula Tolentino

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PABC discusses AANZFTA opportunities, key Philippine Ambassadors in attendance

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Makati, October 3, 2019 - The Philippines-Australia Business Council held its General Meeting together with a discussion on how the ASEAN-Australian-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (AANZFTAA) can help boost doing business within the Pacific island countries.

 

The meeting covered four major parts: (1) the Philippines Innovations Act and Philippines Start-Up Act, (2) a discussion on the Triangular Business Cooperation, (3) possible joint Pacific posts business and tourism visit to the Philippines either on year 2020 or 2021, and lastly (4) a discussion on APEC 2021 by New Zealand and how to leverage such opportunities.

 

AANZFTAA and an overview of doing business within the Pacific island countries were covered by the Bureau of International Trade Relations, DTI Officer, Myrene Bedano while the Philippines Innovations Act and Philippines Start-Up Act was discussed by Director of the Bureau of Trade and Industrial Policy Research Ms. Maria Lourdes Yaptinchay. While succeeding areas of the meeting were provided commentary by Philippine Ambassadors: Excellencies Jesus S. Domingo of New Zealand, Hellen de la
Vega of Australia and Bienvenido Tejano of Papua New Guinea.


The Philippines Innovations Act and Philippines Start-Up Act

 

AANZFTA is a manifestation of ASEANʼs push for an ASEAN Economic Community (AEC). The establishment of the AEC is the goal of the ASEAN, guided by the AEC blueprint 2015/2025. Regional economic integration is both internal (within the ASEAN) and external (with other countries). Other ASEAN FTAʼs include: ASEAN-China-FTA, ASEAN-Korea-FTA, ASEAN-Japan-CEP, AANZFTA ASEAN-India-FTA, and ASEAN-HK-FTA.

 

In relation to free trade agreements, Yaptinchay says that the Philippines Innovations Act (PIA) under Republic Act No. 11293 helps leverage opportunities for Philippine startups such as a) the creation of Philippines startup Ecozones, b) the establishment of a Startup Investment Development Plan (SIDP) and a Startup Grant Fund (SGF) which could also lead to the creation of a c) Startup Venture Fund.

 

Other opportunities seen are d) the creation of the National Innovation Council (NIC), that cements the Innovations Startup Act (ISA) under Republic Act No. 11337, that could eventually lead to the e) establishment of an Innovation Fund, f) the creation of the National Innovation Agenda and Strategy Document that mandates the enforcement of Intellectual Property Legislations in the country, and lastly, the g) the establishment of Startup Visas, which comes three-fold: Startup owner visas for prospective or current foreign owners of a startup business, Startup foreign employee visa for foreign employees and Startup investor visa, for prospective or current foreign investors.


Discussion on Triangular Business Cooperation

 

Philippine Ambassador to New Zealand Jesus S. Domingo encouraged more business to business (B2B) trade relations. Under his office, he can help facilitate the matching of local chambers with corresponding New Zealand entities. He sees more local government unit(s) matching with NZ-based LGUs. He adds that since New Zealand will be hosting APEC in 2021, he finds this an opportune time to promote trade with the Philippines.

 

Possible joint Pacific posts business and tourism visit to the Philippines

 

According to Philippine Ambassador to Australia Hellen de la Vega together with her fellow diplomats, the countries of Australia, New Zealand, and Papua New Guinea are organizing a trade and tourism mission to the Philippines in the year 2020. Philippine Ambassador to Papua New Guinea Bienvenido Tejano says that there are 49,000 Filipinos residing in PNG alone, with thriving (mining gold, oil, gas) and growing industries (agriculture and fisheries) that is steadily making PNG the richest in the Pacific. Tejano affirms that they are bullish about the investment prospects in Papua New Guinea.

 

Represented by these diplomats, the Filipino communities residing in Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea are keen to do business in 2020, thus are seeking the support of the PABC and other local chambers.

 

Also in attendance are past PABC Chairman Atty. Leo G. Dominguez, Principal of the OLLI Consulting Group, Inc., and Stephen Araneta, Consultant for Government-Industry Alignment of the OLLI Consulting Group, Inc.

 

In photo(s):

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Speaking at PABC’s meeting, Philippine Ambassador to Australia Hellen de la Vega encourages PABC and other local chambers to support the 2020 Trade Mission to be spearheaded by the Diplomatic offices of Australia, New Zealand, and Papua New Guinea.

 

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A group photo of attendees in PABC’s recent general meeting held on October 3, 2019, at the Elk’s Boardroom, Makati City. Seated are (L-R) Ambassador to New Zealand, Jesus S. Domingo; Ambassador to Australia Hellen De La Vega; current PABC Chairman Atty. Dennis Quintero and Ambassador to Papua New Guinea Bienvenido Tejano together with past PABC Chairman Atty. Leo G. Dominguez, Principal of OLLI Consulting Group, Inc., and Stephen Araneta, Consultant for Government-Industry Alignment of the OLLI Consulting Group, Inc.

 

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Article by Maria Paula Tolentino
with context & photos provided by Stephen Araneta

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

Maria Paula Tolentino is the Chief Content Officer of SEM Scribe Publishing House. A certified Safety Officer, she is an advocate of inclusive business, responsible mining, quarrying, and mineral extractive practices with clear focus on the quadruple bottom line (people, planet, profit, and purpose). She is also the Vice President for Programs under women-mining NGO, Diwata - Women in Resource Development, Inc. and a Consultant for the OLLI Consulting Group, Inc.

For questions, she can be reached at:
LinkedIn - Miss Tolentino
Email - paula@semscribepublishing.com; semscribe@gmail.com; paula.tolentino@olli.ph
Website - SEM Scribe Publishing House

 

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Mindanao opens its doors, bullish on economic development

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Makati City, August 9, 2019 - “Though there are struggles in mind, we are determined to accomplish the aspirations of the Bangsamoro people,” says Mr. Al Haj Murad Ahod Ebrahim, Chief Minister of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), on August 9 during a luncheon held at I’m Hotel, Makati City.

 

The BARMM government, though moving forward and seeking to develop its economy, Ebrahim reminds his audience that “the BARMM is first and foremost an identity, not a business.” He added, “To boost economic development, we are exploring various industries, but also taking into consideration the 4 bottomlines: People, Planet, Profit and Purpose and BARMM’s 12-point agenda.”

 

Published by the Bangsamoro Planning and Development Authority, the 12-point agenda of the BARMM includes: 1) The enactment of priority bills; 2) integration of development plans; 3) establishment of appropriate bureaucracy; 4) continuity of existing government services; 5) special programs for transitioning combatants; 6) support for the on-going Marawi rehabilitation; 7) development of enabling policy environment; 8) activation of job-generating industries; 9) enhancement of security; 10) maximizing synergistic partnerships; 11) ensure environmental compliance; and 12) and exploration of the Bangsamoro economic potentials.

 

The Bangsamoro Identity

 

According to R.A. 11054, otherwise known as the Bangsamoro Organic Law, the original inhabitants of Mindanao, the Sulu archipelago and its adjacent islands, whether of mixed or full blood, shall have the right to identify themselves, their spouses and descendants, as Bangsamoro.

 

The Bangsamoro Autonomous Region is an integral, indivisible, and inseparable part of the territory of the Philippines and shall uphold the Philippine Constitution as the fundamental law of the land while owing allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines. In the exercise of its right to self-governance, the BARMM is free to pursue its political, economic, social, and cultural development as provided in the Organic Law. It shall have a democratic political system and have a parliamentary form of government.

 

Included in the powers of the Bangsamoro Parliament are to (a) enact laws to promote, protect, and ensure the general welfare of the Bangsamoro people and other inhabitants in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region and (b) be consulted on matters affecting the environment.

  

Mining Policy under the Bangsamoro Organic Law

 

According to Section 13 of the Bangsamoro Organic Law, the Bangsamoro Government shall have the authority and jurisdiction over the exploration, development and utilization of mines and minerals in its territorial jurisdiction, taking into consideration environmental protection and ecological balance. Its government shall also have the power to grant permits, licenses, and contracts for this purpose. As regards to Small-scale Mining, Section 15 of the Organic Law states that the Bangsamoro government shall regulate an ecologically balanced, safe and healthy mining operation with the interests of the affected communities, the miners, the indigenous peoples, and the local government units, duly protected and safeguarded. All gold produced by small-scale miners in any mineral area shall be sold to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, or its representatives, that will buy the gold at prices competitive with those prevailing in the world market, regardless of volume or weight.

 

Section 16 further states that the Parliament shall establish policies on mining and other extractive industries in accordance with a comprehensive sustainable development plan and overall medium-term and long-term Bangsamoro Development Plan.  The Bangsamoro Organic Law gives the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA), its interim government, the power to honor previous mining permits (under ARMM) and grant new ones for operations in the region.

 

But before it exercises this power, the Bangsamoro government should first conduct an audit of mining operations to ensure compliance with environmental regulations and other laws. This mining audit will be led by BARMM Minister of Environment Abdulraof Macacua (aka Sammy Gambar), Murad’s former military chief who led the Moro Islamic Liberation Front's Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces (BIAF).

 

According to Murad, “the BARMM Environment Minister will constitute a mining performance audit team that will look into the compliance of mining companies based on their commitments and contributions. The results of this audit will be the basis in crafting a Bangsamoro mining code.” Murad expects the audit results to be in by the end of August 2019 and set for discussion by the Bangsamoro Parliament in September 2019.

 

Energy Exploration in the Bangsamoro

 

Based on Section 10 of the Bangsamoro Organic Law, the Bangsamoro Government and the National Government, through the Department of Energy, shall jointly exercise the power to grant rights, privileges, and concessions over the exploration, development, and utilization of uranium and fossil fuels such as petroleum, natural gas, and coal in the territorial jurisdiction of the Bangsamoro. The use of renewable energy shall be promoted for power generation to achieve sustainable development goals and promote low carbon energy generation policies.

 

The Bangsamoro Government shall adopt a competitive and transparent process for the grant of rights, privileges, and concessions in the exploration, development, and utilization of fossil fuels and uranium. Both the Department of Energy and the Bangsamoro Government shall identify and select prospective contract areas to be offered for exploration and development. Qualified Filipino citizens who are bona fide residents of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region shall be given a rating higher than other proponents during the evaluation process. The award of the service contract shall be made jointly by the Department of Energy and the Bangsamoro Government.

 

Hosted by the Philippine Mining Club on August 9 at I’m Hotel, Makati, the BARMM Chief’s audience included envoys of countries with mining interests in the Philippines particularly outgoing European Union Ambassador Franz Jessen, New Zealand Ambassador David Strachan, and Australian Ambassador Steven J. Robinson AO. Representing the OLLI Consulting Group Inc. is the organization's Principal and the Mining Luncheon's Master of Ceremonies, Atty. Leo Dominguez together with consultants Stephen Araneta and Maria Paula Tolentino.

 

Read more below:

 

 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Maria Paula Tolentino is the Chief Content Officer of SEM Scribe Publishing House, a boutique digital communications agency. She is also the digital consultant for the OLLI Consulting Group, Inc., and the Vice-President of Mining group Diwata - Women in Resource Development, Inc. For more information, she may be reached at the following: semscribe@gmail.com, paula.tolentino@olli.ph, and www.semscribepublishing.com

 

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Mr. Al Haj Murad Ahod Ebrahim, Chief Minister of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) addresses an audience composed of mining professionals, industry players and political envoys at the recent Philippine Mining Luncheon held at I’m Hotel, Makati City. Photo by Marcelle P. Villegas. 

 

 

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Mr. Al Haj Murad Ahod Ebrahim, Chief Minister of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) is presented with a token of appreciation by the OLLI Consulting Group’s President and Principal, Atty. Leo Dominguez. Photo by Marcelle P. Villegas.

 

 

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Included in the photo (L-R) Philippine Resources Journal General Manager Mr. Matthew Brimble, Australian Ambassador to the Philippines H.E. Steven J. Robinson AO, OLLI Consultant Maria Paula Tolentino, OLLI CEO Atty. Leo Dominguez and First Secretary for Economics, Australian Embassy in the Philippines, Ms. Jenni McEwin. Photo by Marcelle P. Villegas.

 

 

 

 

 

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Revisiting Australia’s ambitious trade deal with the Philippines

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Manila, August 7, 2019 - Described as a landmark trade deal, the ASEAN, Australia, New Zealand Free Trade Area or AANZFTA is the ASEAN’s most comprehensive trade transaction and Australia’s most ambitious free trade agreement to date.

 

On February 27, 2009, Australia, New Zealand and country members of the ASEAN signed a Free Trade Agreement called AANZFTA that took effect a year later, January 1, 2010. Signed by 12 parties (Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam), AANZFTA is treated as a ‘living document’ with benefits that include: 1. eliminating tariffs by at least 90%; 2. transparent and flexible movement of goods; 3. simplified customs procedures; 4. liberal market access to service suppliers; 5. easier movement of business persons engaged in trade and investment; and 6. investment protection via the utilization of investor-state dispute settlement mechanism.

 

In line with the ASEAN Community Vision 2025, AANZFTA aims for sustainable economic growth in the region by providing a more liberal, facilitative and transparent market among its twelve signatories. According to its secretariat, AANZFTA opens up opportunities for approximately 663 million peoples of ASEAN, Australia, and New Zealand.

 

On August 7, 2019, the Philippines Australia Business Council (PABC), with guidance from the Philippine Ambassador to Australia H.E. Ambassador Ma. Hellen B. De La Vega, requested a meeting with the Department of Trade & Industry (DTI) to work towards holding an event participated in by the government and private sectors to assess the track record of usage of the ANZFTAA and to further promote its utilization by Philippine exporters and traders.

 

This meeting was attended by DTI Assistant Secretary, Industry Development and Trade Policy, Atty. Allan Gepty; PABC Vice Chairman Thomas Aquino; PABC Chairman and Quisumbing Torres Partner Atty. Dennis Quintero; DTI Chief, Regional Relations & Arrangement Division, Bureau of International Trade Relations, Myrene Bendaño; and the OLLI Consulting Group Inc. Digital Consultant Paula Tolentino.

 

Through the PABC, we would like to help promote Philippine businesses and brief our local businessmen through an FGD (Focused Group Discussion) that could propel more talks, excitement, and movement for the AANZFTA treaty,” says Quintero. 

 

We hope to see more investing done in the Philippines. This can be effectively exhausted by utilizing AANZFTA. Through AANZFTA, the Philippines is granted special preference for exports and imports for partner countries who have signed under AANZFTA. A business-confidence boosting strategy both for the Philippines and their counterpart traders,” says Aquino.

 

Aquino adds that the issuance of a special kind of VISA for both Filipino and Australian traders is a strategy that could make AANZFTA more attractive, thereby easier to sell. This statement was further strengthened by Bendańo when she mentioned that under the EMB (Export Market Bureau), “The Philippines is the number one user of Certificate of Origin (COO) under AANZFTA”.

 

PABC together with its government partner, the DTI, hopes to finalize the details of this proposal by October of this year. PABC is looking at inviting reputable Filipino exporters to share best practices, how they have taken advantage of AANZFTA with focus on tangible benefits to their business. The DTI, on the other hand, looks at making this event with PABC a regular and consistent discussion to further strengthen Filipino businesses. 

 

For more information on AANZFTA, refer to below links:

 

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In photo: The Philippines - Australia Business Council (PABC) meet with the Department of Trade & Industry (DTI) Officers to discuss utilizing the AANZFTA agreement for Filipino export and import traders. Featured in this photo are (L-R) Paula Tolentino of the OLLI Consulting Group Inc., PABC Vice Chairman Thomas Aquino, Assistant Secretary, Industry Development and Trade Policy, Atty. Allan Gepty, PABC Chairman and Quisumbing Torres Partner Atty. Dennis Quintero and DTI Chief, Regional Relations & Arrangement Division, Bureau of International Trade Relations, Myrene Bendaño.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Maria Paula Tolentino is the Chief Content Officer of SEM Scribe Publishing House, a boutique digital communications agency. She is also the Vice-President for Mining group Diwata - Women in Resource Development, Inc. and a Consultant for the OLLI Consulting Group, Inc. For more information, she may be reached at the following: semscribe@gmail.com, paula.tolentino@olli.ph, and www.semscribepublishing.com

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Have we become more concerned about agriculture?

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#MINDANAO

 

By JOHN TRIA

 

Time was when agriculture was an ignored topic, often relegated to the back pages of established newspapers or the wee hours of broadcasts.


From that we now see a greater concern for agriculture and the performance of the sector, evidenced by the increase in agriculture-related facebook pages and young agriblogger events such as the one held in Davao last September, slated to be repeated this year.


This pressure on the agriculture is welcome. A growing economy demands food and with proposals for stronger support echoing loudly in light of three important laws that will create opportunities for farmers — the free irrigation law, the personal property security act, and the innovation law — and the recently approved Rice Tarrification Law (RTL) that sets a Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF).


The free irrigation law is a game changer in that it removes the need for farmers to pay irrigation fees. Studies have shown that irrigation fees are about 2-4% of a farmer’s direct cash cost. Removing this already allows them to turn it into income.


The personal property security act allows movable assets such as equipment to be used as collateral for loans by financial institutions, something only lending companies do at high interest.


Historically, agricultural lands were not acceptable as collateral, leaving many farmers, even agrarian reform beneficiaries unable to access credit needed to buy inputs and seeds. But many of them do have other things they can set as collateral.


Then there is the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund from the RTL which uses the tariffs collected from imported rice to boost productivity of almost 2 million rice farmers (out of the estimated 50 million rural population) by using this fund to enhance their capability to boost local rice production and farm incomes by engaging new technologies and methods that are more environmentally sound, conserve soil and use better inputs.


So far, almost P7 billion has already been collected this year alone, on top of the P10 billion allocated for this year’s budget. Have our agriculture officials used these wisely?


It must be noted, however, that this covers rice farms alone which are in the lowlands near cities, and where most of our agrarian reform beneficiaries are and cover almost half our total agriculture output.


Our policy fixation on rice should not allow us to ignore a large segment that does not plant rice, Coconut is effectively a fourth of our total agricultural output.


That said, 60% of our coconut production is in Mindanao, and depressed prices of copra have reduced farm incomes to levels way lower than that of the rice farmers, the majority of which are in Luzon.


I believe our coconut farms deserve the same attention, given that the potential total income from coconut is higher than what rice can ever achieve for the country, hence the establishment of the coconut levy during the Marcos regime (A discussion on that will merit another column). While copra prices are very low, reportedly almost P4 a kilo in many parts (much lower than the P15/kilo buying price for rice).


Despite these challenges, other opportunities for agriculture are present. From increased demand from local consumption to feed an increasingly affluent economy, to the demand by our neighboring countries for specialized food that is produced primarily in Mindanao, there is little reason why agriculture growth should remain low.


Countries like Singapore import almost all of their food and Singaporean producers are coming to the country to seek suppliers. China has begun to develop its appetite for durian and young coconut. Exports have begun.


In response to the SONA call of President Rodrigo Duterte, Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) submitted its three-year agriculture development plan to help small farmers and fisherfolk. This promises to increase lending to push production.


Now comes the tough question. Are these new programs and opportunities harnessed by the Department of Agriculture to boost production? Are they doing it well enough?


For reactions: facebook.com/johntriapage

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A Head for business, A Heart for the world'  Enactus Country Leader addresses 2019 participants 

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Pasay City, July 27, 2019 - This speech was delivered by Atty. Leo G. Dominguez, Country Director of Enactus Philippines, and President of OLLI Consulting Group, Inc. on July 27, 2019.

 

“A Head for Business, A Heart for the World”

 

Official Speech of

Atty. Leo G. Dominguez

Enactus Philippines Country Director

 

Enactus, a network composed of students, social innovators, businesses and academic leaders in 37 countries, share a common belief in the power of entrepreneurship to be a force for good. This shared mission binds all of us together and inspires us to tap and engage our next generation of leaders to continue carrying the torch as positive role models for their communities and countries.

 

This year, Enactus Philippines will be having two competitions. In the morning of the National Finals, we will have:

 

The Business Innovation Idea Challenge (BIIC) where five (5) new recruits get the chance to present their business innovation concepts before a panel of experts.

 

For everyone’s information, BIIC is a byproduct of our Country Leaders’ Summit that happened last year in the US and earlier this year, in Canada.

 

Enactus Philippines seeks to align with Enactus International’s objective of highlighting projects that use technology and innovation. This exercise under BIIC aims to provide a platform for new or existing teams to pitch their business innovation ideas that demonstrate entrepreneurial leadership and provide cutting-edge solutions to pressing economic, social, or environmental problems.

 

The five new recruits who will be competing at this new BIIC development are: 

1. Ateneo de Zamboanga University

2. De La Salle University – Manila

3. Mindanao State University – Main Campus

4. Technological Institute of the Philippines

5. University of the Philippines – Mindanao

 

While in the afternoon, we will have our main event where active Enactus teams vie for the chance to be our country’s representative and ambassador at the Enactus World Cup in San Jose, California on September 16-18, 2019, to compete with 36 other champion teams.

 

As communicated to our teams during the EEI Training this year, there will be a shift in the judging criterion for Enactus starting next academic year. Enactus will not only focus on entrepreneurship as a powerful tool to improve the lives of people and its communities, but it should incorporate science, technology, engineering, and innovation as an integral part of how we do things.

 

We know that technological change and digital disruption are forms of transformation in the production process or design to increase efficiency and performance. All of which result from new information bringing forth what we call now, innovation.

 

Innovation, defined as the introduction of a new idea or process, entails production and transfer of new information to people who can use it to solve problems, improve productivity, see the world in a better way, or to directly enhance the quality of life.

 

We don’t need to look far to start infusing innovation. Technological innovation may refer to a new product, process or system; it may also be a substitute for a cheaper but better material to a production mechanism; or the reorganization of a process that will lead to increased efficiency, better support for a product, or simply to lower costs.

 

Innovation for Enactus means ‘equipping our next generation of leaders with all the possible resources and opportunities to quench their thirst for knowledge and research, while being able to support and motivate them in opening doors for partnerships and linkages both in the government and private sector.’

 

The ten teams presenting today are truly inspiring. We believe that this generation of social innovators will change the world in ways we may not see now, but confident in the head start Enactus Philippines is giving them. The world is truly their oyster.

 

At Enactus, we not only create opportunities for these social innovators, but we set the standard on a global business scale. We seek to harness effective partnerships and worthwhile projects that are future-proof and drive lasting impact that addresses the world’s greatest and most pressing challenges.

 

For those of you who are with us today, thank you for being a part of this growing movement.

 

And for those competing at today’s finals, we wish you luck and may the most outstanding and innovative team win!

 

1

Enactus Philippines 2019 National Finals opens at SMX Convention Center, Pasay City.  

 

2

Enactus Philippines Country Leader Atty. Leo Dominguez addresses the participants and audience at the SMX Convention Center, Pasay City.

 

3

Trophies, plaques, medals and cash prizes for the lucky hopefuls competing at Enactus 2019. 

 

4

The ten teams presenting today are truly inspiring. We believe that this generation of social innovators will change the world in ways we may not see now, but confident in the head start Enactus Philippines is giving them. The world is truly their oyster.” - Enactus Country Leader, Atty. Leo Dominguez

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Maria Paula Tolentino is the Chief Content Officer of SEM Scribe Publishing House, a boutique digital communications agency. A Consultant for the OLLI Consulting Group, Inc., Paula also served as a Judge for the Business Innovation Idea Challenge (BIIC) at this year’s 2019 Enactus National Finals. 

 

For more information, she may be reached at the following: semscribe@gmail.com, paula.tolentino@olli.ph, and www.semscribepublishing.com.

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Exports part of Argentina productive policy, eyes to become world food supplier

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Taguig City, July 26, 2019 - According to the Philippine Chamber of Commerce & Industry (PCCI) President Ma. Alegria Sibal-Limjoco, “the Philippines and Argentina have over 70 years of diplomatic relations both on the cultural and economic front. Now, Argentina once more seeks to strengthen its ties with the Philippines. Argentina sees the country as a trading hub, and given the current business climate, now is definitely the best time to invest, trade, and do business.”

 


Organized by the Argentine Republic, and under the leadership of Undersecretary for Agro-Industrial Markets, Ministry of Production & Labour, Mr. Pedro Manuel Vigneau, together with the Embassy of the Argentine Republic in Manila Charge d’ Affaires Mr. Flavio Chomnalez and Philippines-Argentine Business Council Chairman, Mr. Jesus Pineda, Jr., a 15-person delegation composed of Argentinian business owners and representatives, flew in from a previous engagement in Indonesia to meet with the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Manila being the delegation’s last leg.

 

Held on July 26, 2019 at the Commerce & Industry Plaza, Taguig City, the delegation was met by PCCI member companies and key representatives from the government and the private sector to discuss further the product and service offerings both Argentina and Philippines have for one another.

 

In his presentation, Vigneau states that “exports will be the axis for Argentina’s productive policy. Currently, the country’s agribusiness is composed 60% of exports, and given this, we aim to become a world food supplier”. The delegation was composed of producers, business managers, and owners of dairy, wine, fruits, honey, soybeans, and fishing/shrimp.

 

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Attending on behalf of the OLLI Consulting Group, Inc. are consultants Chris Lacson and Paula Tolentino.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Maria Paula Tolentino is the Chief Content Officer of SEM Scribe Publishing House, a boutique
digital communications agency and is also the Digital Consultant for the OLLI Consulting Group,
Inc. For more information, she may be reached at the following: semscribe@gmail.com ,
paula.tolentino@olli.ph , and www.semscribepublishing.com .
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OLLI newest member to join the Philippine Chamber of Commerce & Industry

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Taguig City, July 16, 2019 - On July 16, 2019, the country’s largest business organization, the Philippine Chamber of Commerce & Industry (PCCI), welcomed OLLI Consulting Group, Inc. among its distinguished member companies.

 

Held at the PCCI Boardroom, Commerce & Industry Building at McKinley Hills, Taguig City, PCCI President Ms. Maria Alegria Sibal Limjoco welcomed its new members reiterating the Chamber’s important and catalytic role as the recognized ‘Voice of Philippine Business’.

 

“As President of this revered organization, the Chamber hopes to be steadfast in providing its members the programs, services, and avenues for pursuing our shared mission of creating globally competitive enterprises while addressing the country’s demand for sustainable and inclusive economic growth and development.”

 

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In photo: Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Ms. Maria Alegria Sibal Limjoco welcomes the newest members of the prestigious organization.

 

Similar to the Chamber’s business thrusts, the OLLI Consulting Group Inc. is an organization that seeks to champion micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) nationwide, pioneer policy reform initiatives, while doing business matching, trade missions, and information sharing. OLLI also promotes and supports the drive for globally competitive Philippine enterprises in partnership with government, local chambers and other business organizations.

 

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In photo: Introducing the newest members of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce & Industry for 2019. Representing the OLLI Consulting Group, Inc. is Digital Consultant Maria Paula Tolentino (front row to the right, in black).

 

Currently, OLLI Consulting Group Inc. is lead by its Principal and CEO, Atty. Leo G. Dominguez who also happens to be the Chairman of the Philippines - Sweden Business Council; the Country Director for Enactus Philippines; and a Director, Products and Allied Services of the Philippine Franchise Association. For more information on OLLI, please go to our website: http://olli.ph

 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Maria Paula Tolentino is the Chief Content Officer of SEM Scribe Publishing House, a boutique digital communications agency. She is also the Vice-President for Mining group Diwata - Women in Resource Development, Inc. and a Consultant for the OLLI Consulting Group, Inc. For more information, she may be reached at the following: semscribe@gmail.com, paula.tolentino@olli.ph, and www.semscribepublishing.com.

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A burgeoning Philippine maritime industry still possible, Australia eyes investments

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Makati City, July 10, 2019 - On January 8, 2019, Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction Philippines (HHIC Phil), the largest shipyard in the Philippines and one of the largest private employers with the bulk of workers consisting of nearly 19,000 Filipinos, filed for corporate rehabilitation due to default or failure to comply its loan obligation of $412 million to five Philippine banks, becoming the biggest bankruptcy in the country.

 

Since then, the Philippine shipbuilding and ship repair industry has been on standstill. However, experts say that the industry can not only be revived but become the leader in shipbuilding and repair services if 1) we learn from our neighbors, 2) the Philippine government becomes a formidable partner and 3) we take baby steps.

 

“After what happened to Hanjin, the RORO industry could just be that top domino we are looking for to help bring our stagnant Philippine maritime industry back to life” says DTI Program Director Romulo Manlapig during a meeting hosted by the Philippine-Australian Business Council (PABC) on July 10, 2019 at the Manila Elks Club, Corinthian Plaza, Makati City.

 

Manlapig, together with former Board of Investments (BOI) Governor Henry Co, are leading the roadmap for the Philippine shipbuilding industry, addressed the audience composed of representatives from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Office of Asia Pacific Affairs, the Australian Embassy, AusTrade, Australian-based shipbuilding company Austal, and the Philippine mining and steel industries.

 

“Fifteen years ago, JICA (Japan International Cooperation Industry) already proposed this idea. It is only now that we are realizing this, once we rolled up our sleeves to work on the solution to our challenges. After World War 2, Japan’s maritime industry is similar to what the Philippines has now. It is a sad comparison, but it also gives us a glimpse of what can be done if the government becomes a key partner in rebuilding our maritime industry”, the former BOI Governor, Henry Co said. 

 

According to Manlapig and Co, the Philippine ShipBuilding and Ship Repair (SB/SR) Industry is the 4th largest in the world (2M GT/yr). Market share comes from 98% of foreign shipbuilders for export while 2% from our local shipbuilders for domestic distribution. The challenges in the industry include being plagued by high costs, low quality services, poor safety records and an aging fleet of used imported vessels.

 

“The RORO modernization program is the first step, and could be that top domino, to stir and propel our stagnant shipbuilding and ship repair industry. The vision is for our Philippine maritime services to become safe and efficient, has wide coverage, agglomerated, has updated technology, adequately capitalized with the right suppliers, and is an export champion”, says Manlapig.

 

PABC Chairman and Quisumbing Torres Partner, Atty. Dennis Quintero says “Australian investments in the Philippine shipbuilding industry is one of the priority initiatives and advocacies of Philippine Ambassador to Australia Hellen De la Vega. We at the PABC is supporting this initiative.”

 

When asked separately if the Philippine President has seen BOI’s recommendations, Co says that there is absolutely no problem with the President. If given the chance, he says “PRRD would most likely say ‘Make it happen!’ however, the BOI (and the DTI) can only suggest how we can move forward with our Philippine Maritime industry. Ultimately, this initiative shall have to be spearheaded by the DOTR (Department of Transportation) and MARINA (Maritime Industry Authority)”.

 

For more information on the above story, refer to below articles:

 

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The Philippines-Australia Business Council holds a general meeting on July 10 2019 at the Manila Elks Club, Corinthian Plaza, Makati City, chaired by PABC Trustee and Chairman Atty. Dennis Quintero (seated, middle), with guest speakers former BOI Governor Henry Co (seated, second to the left) and DTI Program Director Romulo Manlapig (seated, fourth to the left).

 

 

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Former BOI Governor Henry Co has the floor and gives the rationale on how the RORO Modernization program will benefit the shipbuilding and ship repair industry for the long term.  

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Maria Paula Tolentino is the Chief Content Officer of SEM Scribe Publishing House, a boutique digital communications agency. She is also the Vice-President for Mining group Diwata - Women in Resource Development, Inc. and a Consultant for the OLLI Consulting Group, Inc. For more information, she may be reached at the following: semscribe@gmail.com, paula.tolentino@olli.ph, and www.semscribepublishing.com.

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OLLI Consulting Group participates at 5th Davao ICON

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Davao City, June 21, 2019 - On its 5th year, Davao City held its annual Investment Conference, also known as Davao Icon, from June 20 - 21, 2019 at the SM Convention Center Davao City, Philippines.

 

Organized by the Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (DCCCII), Davao ICON 2019’s theme centered on “Davao: Your Southeast Asian Investment Destination” with the goal of promoting potential investments on Infrastructure, Real Estate, Halal Trade, Tourism, IT, and Business Process Management (BPM).

 

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In cooperation with the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP), the Japanese Chamber of Commerce of Mindanao (JCCM), American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (AmCham), Canadian Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (CanCham), and the British Chamber of Commerce Philippines (BCCP), the objective of this year’s Davao Icon was “to encourage capitalists to invest in the Davao Region, facilitate business matching and generate employment. It envisions connecting Davao to the different parts of the world as a strategic and suitable place for investors.”

 

 

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Meeting between Davao City Mayor Sarah Duterte-Carpio (in red dress, far right) and Swedish Ambassador Harald Fries (in white Barong Tagalog, center).

 

Notable highlights of the event included the discussion between Davao City Mayor, Sara Duterte-Carpio and Swedish Ambassador H.E. Harald Fries. In a separate meeting, the Swedish Ambassador asked the Mayor on the possibilities of lifting Martial Law in Mindanao, to which Mayor Duterte replied “(I will) request my father, President Rodrigo R. Duterte, to exempt Davao City from his martial law declaration and only place areas under military rule where peace and order is unstable. It doesn’t have to be the entire area of Mindanao.1

 

 

Farmers First

 

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The private ECCP meeting with the rest of the delegates. 

 

OLLI Consulting Group Principal, Atty. Leo Dominguez, together with European diplomats and member companies, attended a private meeting of the ECCP discussing how to empower the country’s biggest yet most overlooked producer - the Filipino farmer. In the meeting, one of the proposals was to provide equipment and technology to small farmers.

 

 

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OLLI Manila delegates (L-R) Jose Camus, Atty. Leo Dominguez and DCCCII EVP, John Carlo B. Tria, meet with Singaporean Ambassador Gerard Ho Wei Hong (extreme right). 

 

While a separate courtesy call to Singaporean Ambassador Gerard Ho Wei Hong began a discussion on importing Mindanao products to Singapore. The Ambassador announced that he is preparing for the Singaporean Prime Minister’s state visit to Davao later this year and is keen on importing agricultural food products from Mindanao to his country. The objective was for Singapore to diversify its food sources with obvious challenges, such as passing Singapore’s strict food regulations and the logistics necessary to transport the products, that are all still on the table.

 

 

Manufacturing and Real Estate Development

 

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The OLLI Manila delegation met with the Malaysian Chamber of Commerce Vice Chairman Datu Philip Ting, second to the right.  

 

In the same event, the OLLI delegation met with the Malaysian Chamber of Commerce Vice Chairman Datu Philip Ting and DPI Holdings Berhad Executive Chairman and Managing Director, Peter Chai.

 

According to Chai, the manufacturing company is keen to explore setting up an aerosol manufacturing plant in Mindanao and was equally met with enthusiasm as the Malaysian Chamber of Commerce echoed plans of making another trip back to Mindanao November of this year. In this trip, the Chamber will be bringing in other potential investors from Malaysia and will be directly coordinating with the OLLI Consulting Group.

 

 

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The OLLI Manila delegation (L-R) Stephen Araneta & Atty. Leo Dominguez met with two corporate officers from Japanese companies Key of Life and ARCHITEX, over lunch.

 

Manufacturing aside, the OLLI delegation also met with two corporate officers from Japanese companies Key of Life and ARCHITEX. These officers are currently exploring how to work further with OLLI in setting up a boutique Japanese residential and resort development in Davao.

 

 

OLLI Principal Acknowledged

 

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OLLI Principal and Philippines-Swedish Business Council Chairman Atty. Leo Dominguez is recognized together with other delegates during Davao ICON 2019.

 

Right after Mayor Duterte’s message, ECCP acknowledged the presence of Dominguez both as a representative and Chairman of a Foreign Business Chamber called the Philippines - Sweden Business Council, and as CEO and Principal of the privately-owned consulting firm, the OLLI Consulting Group, Inc.

 

Representing the OLLI Consulting Group, Inc. at Davao Icon 2019 were consultants Stephen Araneta, Jose Camus, and John Carlo B. Tria. Tria also happens to be the Executive Vice President (EVP) of the Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (DCCCII) and is the key organizer of this year’s Davao Icon 2019.

 

For more information about this event and investment opportunities in the country, please reach out to Mr. Stephen Araneta at steve.araneta@olli.ph.

 

References:

1 MindaNews. Colina, Antonio. 20 June 2019. “Mayor Sara to ask President Duterte to exempt Davao City from martial law”.

 

Article by Maria Paula Tolentino
with context & photos provided by Stephen Araneta 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Maria Paula Tolentino is the Chief Content Officer of SEM Scribe Publishing House, a boutique digital communications agency. She is also the Vice-President for Mining group Diwata - Women in Resource Development, Inc. and a Consultant for the OLLI Consulting Group, Inc. For more information, she may be reached at the following: semscribe@gmail.com, paula.tolentino@olli.ph, and www.semscribepublishing.com

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OLLI Joins Meeting with Malaysia Business Delegation

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Makati City, June 21, 2019 - On invitation by the Makati Business Club (MBC), OLLI Consulting Group Inc. Managing Director Tony Enriquez II represented their CEO Atty. Leo Dominguez at a meeting with the Malaysia Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI), with the specific objective of enhancing Mindanao – Sabah trade and investment.  Topics of interest were that of sourcing agriculture products such as pineapple and coco-related products from Mindanao as well as moving halal products and cement from Malaysia.

 

The meeting was also aligned to the broader BIMP – EAGA agenda of enhancing trade and investment amongst Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines.  A business networking event is being planned in August 2019, in time with the next BIMP – EAGA consultative meeting in El Nido, in Palawan.

 

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From Left to Right: Mr. Coco Alcuaz, Executive Director, MBC; Edgar O. Chua, Chairman, MBC; Terrence Siambun, Chairman, Cement Industries (Sabah) Bhd.; Aileen Pico Dy-Ang, FDP Marketing (Iligan City); Christopher Masudal, Special Officer, Minister of International Trade and Investment, Malaysia; Vivian Cabrera, MATRADE Manila; and Antonio Enriquez, Managing Director, OLLI Consulting Group, Inc.

 

 

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From Left to Right: Mr. Coco Alcuaz, Executive Director, MBC; Vic Lao, president, Mindanao Business Council (Davao City); Jaime T. Lao, COO, Summit Konkrete Products Corp.; Terrence Siambun, Chairman, Cement Industries (Sabah) Bhd.; Christopher Masudal, Special Officer, Minister of International Trade and Investment, Malaysia and Roxanne V. Lu, Head, Programs and Projects, MBC.

 

 

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Manila delegation visits OLLI Bambu, explores food security initiatives

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Davao City, June 21, 2019 - Coinciding with the Davao Investment Conference (DVO Icon) that happened from June 20-21, 2019 at the SMX Convention Center in Davao City, Philippines, OLLI Consulting Group’s Manila delegation made a pit stop to OLLI’s Bamboo nursery located at Baracatan, Toril, Davao City.

 

Aptly called OLLI Bambu, the delegation composed of consultants Stephen Araneta, Jose Camus, and Principal Atty. Leo Dominguez, together with Davao-based OLLI Consultant, Joseph Castillo, popularly known as Joe Green, explored the OLLI bamboo nursery and discussed the potential of social enterprise. 

 

“Finally, after 3 yrs, our bamboo nursery is up and operational! We can now cater to bamboo seedling orders for bamboo farming purposes! We have kayali, giant, tiger and laak varieties available and can deliver in 2 months time. We only grow seedlings when an order is made and a downpayment is deposited. Bamboo ornamentals are soon to follow!” posts Joe on his Facebook page.

 

Heavily involved in community development, Joe was featured by the foreign media thanks to his ocean-cleanup drive and recently awarded by the City of Davao for his Joe Green projects. “Rivers are the arteries that flows out to our oceans. What we throw out in our rivers, soon ends up in our oceans. If we keep our rivers clean, we keep our race alive.”

 

Another passion for this Green Warrior is agriculture, particularly the welfare of the farmers. Joe walked his fellow consultants on his livelihood activities “Our farmers should be considered national treasures. They play a major role in national security. Food security is crucial in keeping our country stable. Without farmers who produce our food, it will be chaos. To help them, I’ve decided to buy their products at a premium price so they get maximum profit. They don’t need to pay for the logistics in transporting their produce to the city, and most importantly, the middleman is taken out.” says Joe.

 

Previously at Davao Icon, the OLLI Manila delegation made a courtesy visit to Singapore Ambassador Gerard Ho Wei Hong. The Ambassador mentioned that Singapore is working to import agricultural products from Mindanao with the objective of diversifying their country’s food sources. Though the initial challenge identified, on top of passing the strict food regulations of their country, was the logistics needed to export the products to Singapore.

 

Currently, the OLLI Consulting Group is spearheading the “Bamboo Initiative” in partnership with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the mining sector to help rehabilitate and revegetate mine sites. A technical working group is presently being assembled. Under the OLLI Consulting Group Inc., OLLI Bambu is the first step of many that seeks to address the socio-economic gap in livelihood, food security and climate change.

 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Maria Paula Tolentino is the Chief Content Officer of SEM Scribe Publishing House, a boutique digital communications agency. She is also the Vice-President for Mining group Diwata - Women in Resource Development, Inc. and a Consultant for the OLLI Consulting Group, Inc. For more information, she may be reached at the following: semscribe@gmail.com, paula.tolentino@olli.ph, and www.semscribepublishing.com.

 

 

IN PHOTOS:

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In photo: OLLI Consulting Group’s Manila Delegation visits the bamboo nursery, OLLI Bambu at Baracatan, Toril Davao City. Standing next to the OLLI Bambu signage from left to right are consultants Stephen Araneta, Jose Camus and OLLI Principal, Atty. Leo Dominguez.

 

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Featured in the photo (extreme left) is Davao-based OLLI consultant Joseph Castillo, aka Joe Green, who tends to the OLLI Bambu nursery.



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Turkish economic delegation meets with Filipino business groups

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Taguig, June 18, 2019 - On June 18, 2019, the Dış Ekonomik İlişkiler Kurulu (DEIK), otherwise known as the Foreign Economic Relations Board of Turkey, made a trip to Manila to explore opportunities and business synergies between Turkey and the Philippines. Held at the CIP Building, McKinley Hill Town Center, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig, the 18-man delegation represented Turkish companies from the industries of energy, textile, media, construction, infrastructure, cosmetics, food, and tourism.

 

According to a previous mobile message to reporters by Department of Trade & Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez “The President of the Turkish-Philippine Business Chamber Ilkem Sahin is bullish on exploring all these opportunities in the Philippines, committing to invest and buy more of our products. He has a direct mandate from Turkey President Erdogan, being his friend, to strengthen business ties with the Philippines. We target to double our trade and investment in two to three years.1

 

In 2016, Turkey was the Philippines' 45th trading partner, 45th export market, and 43rd import supplier. By 2017, total trade between the two countries hit a significant increase with USD 163 million.2

 

 

Food, Fruit & Construction

 

In a separate meeting that took place on April 5, 2018, Turkish-Philippines Business Chamber (TPBC) Chairman Mr. Ilkem Sahin said, “the Philippines could be a hub to distribute Turkish products to ASEAN consumers, while Turkey could be the Philippines' gateway to the Middle East markets, products such as coco sugar, coco oil, and mangoes have big potential in the Turkish market.3

 

For this delegation, food and fruit was noticeably the prominent product amongst the Turkish delegates.

 

In line with the Philippine government’s “Build, Build, Build" program, TPBC is also looking at the construction sector to generate millions in investments either through joint ventures or supply of construction materials. The group also plans to participate in the rehabilitation of Marawi by providing low-costing housing to its residents, tie up on engineering projects, mobile hospitals and construction of port and cold storage facilities as possible opportunities.3

 

Present in the meeting was Ambassador of Turkey to the Philippines, H.E. Artemiz Sumer; Philippine Chamber of Commerce & Industry (PCCI) Chairman & Director for International Affairs Dr. Francis Chua; PCCI President Ms. Ma. Alegria Sibal-Limjoco; Philippines-Turkey Business Council (PTBC) Chairman Mr. Ernesto Chua; Turkey-Philippines Business Council (TPBC) Chairman, Mr. Ilkem Sahin and DTI Trade Service Officer, Ms. Clariza Mae Columna.

 

Attending on behalf of the Philippines-Sweden Business Council and the OLLI Consulting Group, Inc. are Atty. Maila De Castro and Maria Paula Tolentino.

 

 

In Photos:

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From Left to Right: Philippine Chamber of Commerce & Industry (PCCI) Chairman & Director for International Affairs, Dr. Francis Chua; PCCI President Ms. Ma. Alegria Sibal-Limjoco; Ambassador of Turkey to the Philippines, H.E. Artemiz Sumer and Turkey-Philippines Business Council (TPBC) Chairman, Mr. Ilkem Sahin.

 

 

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 Turkish economic delegates under the Turkey-Philippines Business Council (TPBC) together with the Philippine Chamber of Commerce & Industry (PCCI), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Philippines-Sweden Business Council.

 

 

All photos courtesy of Ms. April Micah Esteron of the Foreign Trade Service Corps (FTSC).

 

References:

 

1 Inquirer. 9 February 2018. “PH eyes doubling trade, investment with Turkey”.  https://business.inquirer.net/245670/ph-eyes-doubling-trade-investment-turkey

2 Department of Trade & Industry. 7 February 2018. “DTI Officials address Turkish Business Group”. https://www.dti.gov.ph/businesses/494-main-content/paris-news/11667-dti-officials-address-turkish-biz-group

3 Philippine Chamber of Commerce. “PCCI And Turkish Businessmen Discuss Expansion Of Philippines- Turkey Trade”. http://philippinechamber.com/News.aspx?newsID=1093

 

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Maria Paula Tolentino is the Chief Content Officer of SEM Scribe Publishing House. A certified Safety Officer, she is an advocate of responsible mining, quarrying, and mineral extractive practices with a clear focus on the quadruple bottom line (people, planet, profit, and purpose). She is also the Vice President for Programs under women-mining NGO, Diwata - Women in Resource Development, Inc. and a Consultant for the OLLI Consulting Group, Inc.

For questions, she can be reached at:

LinkedIn - Miss Tolentino
Email - paula@semscribepublishing.com ; semscribe@gmail.com ; paula.tolentino@olli.ph
Website - SEM Scribe Publishing House

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The ‘broader economy’ is our bright spot

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#MINDANAO

 

By JOHN TRIA

 

In a week’s time, a much-awaited State of the Nation Address will again be heard from the president whose stay in office will pass the midpoint of a six-year term.

 

In the run up to this important milestone, we take a hard look at our economy that has been a bright spot for us.

 

Consistently averaging higher than 6% over the last three years, the Philippine economy has weathered political noise, a short-lived spike in inflation, and even external headwinds such as the US-China Trade war to remain robust while instituting essential reforms that aim to make the growth more sustainable in the near future.

 

Tax reforms, “build, build, build” and other measures such as the Ease of Doing Business Law have cemented government’s resolve to invest in our economy and people, while gaining the ability to manage external debt by improving revenue collection.

 

These reforms and good numbers resulted in strong investor interest, with higher Foreign Direct Investments $20 billion in the last two years) than the $5 B of the last administration. Improving Debt to GDP ratios and BBB+ credit ratings (better than Indonesia) show how well we can pay debts, and that this capacity is increasing. Even the 7.1 million tourists in 2018 is a figure we had never reached before. These record numbers indicate that government’s efforts, through the economic team, are paying off.

 

But has the growth gone beyond the traditional, Manila-based middle class? The main criticism of the previous government is that whatever growth achieved then had little effect on unemployment figures and remained concentrated in the Greater Manila. New numbers may show that the growth is being distributed, becoming broader.

 

For the majority of Filipinos, the results of these economic gains are clear — record low underemployment (15.6%) and unemployment (5.2%) (PSA), our lowest poverty rate in history at 21%, lowest self-rated poverty at 38% (SWS).

 

True enough, for those asking, our per capita Gross Domestic Product, or the value of the economy for each Filipino is now at P3,102, breaching the $3,000 a-year level for the first time in history in 2018, nearing that of Indonesia, and remaining well above Vietnam’s.  (World Bank website)

 

A look at regional growth data will show that Mindanao’s growth has accelerated consistently at around 7% in 2017 and 2018, higher than the country’s. Some regions like Davao, Socksargen, and ARMM in Mindanao boast even better growth numbers, with unemployment numbers in the first two regions better than the country’s.

 

They tell us that growth is broadening, and spreading. Can we expect even better numbers in the future? Perhaps.

 

With the resounding victory in the midterm elections, the perception of a strong and stable government pushing the reform process attracts investors, enabling positive responses from the global financial community. Little wonder why in recent investment and business conferences, even in Mindanao, attendance from expats is increasing.

 

The recent Davao Investment Conference and the upcoming South Cotabato Investment Conference in Koronadal show that foreign business interest in Mindanao, long regarded as a no- go place for investments, seems to be more attractive. Davao’s had about 200 foreign businesspeople attending; the Koronadal event has five foreign countries participating.

 

The question to be answered now is how these gains can be sustained and broadened. The recent pre-SONA consultative activities recommended the improvement of our human capital and the implementation of the various reforms already instituted or legislated in the last three years.

 

Looks like the Duterte administration has institutionalized many of the reforms it sought to achieve within the first three years. Getting them implemented will now be up to the rest of the government, and the vigilant public.

 

Proper taxes for everyone, including POGOs

 

Sustaining growth will depend on how well revenue is generated and thus, how tax laws are implemented. In light of articles saying that Pagcor Chair Andrea Domingo hoped that that Philippine Offshore Gaming Operations (POGOs) and their mostly foreign workers should not be “overtaxed,” we hope her agency will help fully uphold and implement the tax laws on POGOs and their workers.

 

This article was originally published by Manila Bulletin on July 16, 2019 on this link: https://news.mb.com.ph/2019/07/16/the-broader-economy-is-our-bright-spot/

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OLLI Bambu supports university architecture project

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Quezon City, June 11, 2019 - As a result of globalization and constant technological advancements, it is imperative for the academe and the industry to enhance the diffusion of knowledge, increase research and development, patent innovations that help build the country’s organizational capacity. One such school is none other than the country’s national university, University of the Philippines.

 

On June 11, 2019, Tuesday, OLLI Bambu under flagship organization the OLLI Consulting Group, Inc., shipped out 10 Guadua bamboo seedlings to Architect Mary Ann A. Espina, Associate Professor and Architect of Record for UP College of Architecture Building, via air cargo. These seedlings were immediately received the following day, June 12, Wednesday.

 

Consequently, on June 14, 2019, Friday, a ceremonial planting of these seedlings was conducted at the new parking lot near the new building of the UP College of Architecture.

 

 

 

UP Arki & OLLI Bambu

 

Forget steel and concrete. The building material of choice for the 21st century might just be bamboo. According to OLLI Consultant Joseph ‘Joe Green’ Castillo, Architect Espina aims to fill up the open spaces in the parking lot with the Guadua bamboo variety. The rationale behind choosing this specific species was due to its robust characteristics. This variety is used not only as a construction material and for interior design, but this grass can withstand earthquakes! 

 

A piece of knowledge that may give architecture students the insight, and likely lead to further research and development, on other viable alternatives other than steel and concrete when using construction and building materials.

 

The OLLI Consulting Group, Inc., a strong proponent of the grass, has been leading the discussion together with the Department of Environment & Natural Resources (DENR), the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Philippine Mining Industry to help rehabilitate and revegetate the mines using bamboo. While supporting Architect Espina’s project for UP,  OLLI may just reach the next generation of architecture, design and construction professionals on considering bamboo as a greener, better and cheaper alternative.

 

IN PHOTOS:

 

 

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A planting demonstration at the UP Arki Proposed Bamboo Forest together with OLLI Bambu, an affiliate of the OLLI Consulting Group, Inc. 

 

 

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Underneath this life-sized bamboo architectural design is Davao-based OLLI Consultant, Joseph ‘Joe Green’ Castillo with Associate Professor and Architect of Record for UP College of Architecture Building, Architect Mary Ann A. Espina.

 

 

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Academe volunteers together with Joe Green start with the bamboo planting ceremony.

 

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Representing the academe, architectural students, volunteers and OLLI Bambu’s very own, Joe Green.

 

 

Article by: Maria Paula Tolentino
With context & photos provided by Joseph ‘Joe Green’ Castillo

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Maria Paula Tolentino is the Chief Content Officer of SEM Scribe Publishing House, a boutique digital communications agency. She is also the Vice-President for Mining group Diwata - Women in Resource Development, Inc. and a Consultant for the OLLI Consulting Group, Inc. For more information, she may be reached at the following: semscribe@gmail.com, paula.tolentino@olli.ph, and www.semscribepublishing.com.

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Why Mindanao will keep growing

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#MINDANAO

 

By JOHN TRIA

 

Several economists have already opined and have begun becoming more hopeful for Mindanao’s economy.

 

Not just because its average growth is higher than the country’s at 7.7%, but because its own contribution to overall Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has begun to increase relative to other regions.

 

A look at our Gross Regional Domestic Product tables from 2016 to 2018 reveal steady increases in the overall GDP shares of key Mindanao regions relative to others. This simply means that as the country grows, Mindanao grows alongside it and may already is exceeding other regions in doing so.

 

This change in perspective comes to challenge long beliefs of many policymakers that dismissed Mindanao as a poor, violent backwater that will forever be a net beneficiary of limited national government budgets that can do little to improve lives.

 

But as attention has now been given the island’s potentials, starting with a slightly larger share of national budgets and slowly improving infrastructure, these have had a direct effect on economic numbers.

 

With these macroeconomic developments, people’s perceptions are changing.

 

Investor sentiment from Manila and key economic hubs in Asia now see Mindanao as an investment destination worth exploring.

 

This comes as no surprise given that the economic growth figures beat those of many ASEAN countries. This means that Mindanao’s nearly 26-million population, which is near Malaysia’s total and bigger than Laos, Cambodia, and Brunei combined is slowly becoming more affluent. With this comes a taste for new and better lifestyle choices and products.

 

Apart from the numbers, other signs support the view that Mindanao’s economy has become more attractive.

 

The increase of honorary consulates and the establishment of consuls general for China and Japan and additional direct international flights are key drivers to spur direct trade.

 

Property prices in key Mindanao cities have accelerated, showing robust demand for commercial properties. In key commercial districts of Davao, prices per square meter are nearing P100,000. Similar increases to a lesser degree have been observed in Cagayan de Oro and Iligan, where new commercial developments have opened to meet higher consumer demand.

 

Mindanao reached its highest-ever electric consumption in May 8 at 2,013 megawatts, the highest in history.

 

This shows that demand for property and electricity are key indicators of higher levels of economic activity.

 

Peace initiatives may already be bearing fruit. The absence of large encounters between government and rebel forces show a steadily improving peace and order situation.

 

Other recent events indicate increased interest.

 

The revival of the barter trade council and increased maritime security cooperation with neighboring Malaysia and Indonesia point to more harmonious relations that can spur revitalized cross border trade with Malaysia and Indonesia, which are an overnight boat ride away.

 

The recent signing of a memorandum of agreement between the Davao City Chamber of Commerce and the Financial Executives Association of the Philippines heralds the interest of many in Manila’s financial circles to look at Mindanao as an investment location.

 

In the upcoming Davao Investment Conference on June 20-21 at Davao’s SMX Convention Center, several delegations from various Asian countries are expected to arrive, a first since events such as these were organized early this decade. It positions Davao as a Southeast Asian investment destination.

 

These robust economic numbers position Mindanao as a key economic hub in ASEAN. As investments come in, particularly manufacturing companies, the close proximity to other fast-growing  ASEAN economies allows Mindanao to easily export its excess products and import to meet supply gaps when needed to fuel its possible surge.

 

This ability enables continued robust economic activity. It looks like the government’s economic team deserves credit for helping the countryside increase its economic output with policies and programs geared towards spreading wealth and opportunity.

 

With the positive numbers and signs mentioned, it is no surprise that Mindanao’s growth will be boosted further.

 

For reactions, facebook.com/johntriapage

 

This article was originally published by Manila Bulletin on this link: https://news.mb.com.ph/2019/06/11/why-mindanao-will-keep-growing/

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OLLI joins Nordic colleagues, celebrates #TeamSweden Day

DESCRIPTION

Makati City, June 6, 2019 - The Swedish business community celebrated National Sweden Day on the 6th of June 2019, Thursday at The Fifth, Rockwell Makati City. A well-attended affair, the audience included dignitaries from the Swedish diplomatic community and key personalities from Philippine business and the arts.

 

The Chairman of the Philippines-Sweden Business Council (PSBC) and Principal of the OLLI Consulting Group Inc., Atty. Leo Dominguez brought in fellow consultants Stephen Araneta, Christopher Lacson, Atty. Maila De Castro and Maria Paula Tolentino, to represent the organization while they met with Swedish business executives and Filipino Glass Sculptor and National Artist, Ramon Orlina.

 

This event was also a key opportunity for the OLLI Consulting Group to present itself as a key player in the business community, where professionals of diverse competencies and industries come together to provide expert advisory services to organizations seeking to do business in the Philippines and Asia-Pacific.

 

In his speech, Swedish Ambassador to the Philippines Harald Fries says, that the premise of the #TeamSweden theme is built on the Swedish way of working together to build a better society through joint collaboration and sustainable innovations.

 

“The typical Swedish approach is that we cooperate. This is why for this year’s National Day celebration, we are highlighting Team Sweden, where Swedish government agencies and private sector join forces. By working together, we get better results than by individual initiatives.” explains Ambassador Fries.1

 

The evening was an unforgettable affair. Entertainment included a band that played conga drums, a busy DJ booth, and a Swedish singer that could sing in Tagalog!  Equally delightful was the food and drink, with an open bar and Swedish-Filipino buffet tables strategically located across the function hall. Likewise, the event sponsors was a combination of Swedish and Filipino owned businesses such as BDO, Volvo, Epiroc Transcom, Scania, Atlas Copco, Ericsson, Swedish Match, SKF, Don Papa Rum, Thai Airways, and Carmen’s Best Ice Cream.

 

From the OLLI Consulting Group Inc., we wish our Nordic colleagues Happy National Sweden Day!

 

OLLI Nordic 1

 Featured in the photo is the OLLI Consulting Group Inc. (L-R) Stephen Araneta, Maria Paula Tolentino, Principal Atty. Leo Dominguez, Atty. Maila de Castro and Christopher Lacson with Swedish Ambassador to the Philippines, H.E. Harald Fries and his wife, Susan (center).

 

OLLI Nordic 2

Here, the OLLI Consulting Group, Inc. meets Filipino Glass Sculptor and National Artist, Ramon Orlina (extreme left)

 

 1 Pamaran, Maan D’Asis. ‘#TeamSweden set to score goals’. 6 June 2019, Manila Times

--------

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Maria Paula Tolentino is the Chief Content Officer of SEM Scribe Publishing House. A certified Safety Officer, she is an advocate of responsible mining, quarrying, and mineral extractive practices with a clear focus on the quadruple bottom line (people, planet, profit, and purpose). She is also the Vice President for Programs under women-mining NGO, Diwata - Women in Resource Development, Inc. and a Consultant for the OLLI Consulting Group, Inc.

For questions, she can be reached at:

LinkedIn - Miss Tolentino
Email - paula@semscribepublishing.com ; semscribe@gmail.com
Website - SEM Scribe Publishing House

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Updates on the Bamboo Initiative by OLLI Cares

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PMC Leo pic1 mpv DSC05616

3 May 2019 - Mr. Leo Dominguez, President of OLLI Consulting Group at the Philippine Mining Club, I’M Hotel, Makati City (Photo by Marcelle P. Villegas, Philippine Resources Journal)

 

Makati City, May 3, 2019 - During [the] Philippine Mining Club [Luncheon] at I’M Hotel, Makati City, Mr. Leo Dominguez presented updates on his Bamboo Initiative, an advocacy which he started with the support of other mining companies and groups. Mr. Dominguez is the President of OLLI Consulting Group, Inc. and flamboyant Masters of Ceremonies in Philippine Mining Club events.

 

During the recent PMC event, he stated, “If you were here on June 8, 2018 you will recall that we had this speaker from our Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Secretary Cimatu, where he spoke to us about reinventing mining. And during that presentation of his and in the ‘Question and Answer’ period after that, we started a conversation around bamboo.”

 

“I'd like to report that that conversation has actually led to some developments. The first development after that was the participation of the mining industry in the FAME exhibition in November (2018) where bamboo products were put forward as part of the exhibit in a pavilion that was funded, thank you, by the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines as well as the Philippine Nickel Industry Association to the tune of PHP1.6 million. And it is in that FAME exhibition that the collaboration amongst the Department of Trade and Industry, the DENR, and the mining industry was first told. So we expect that FAME every year will repeat the story of that collaboration as it improves.”

 

Furthermore, he said, “Now, beyond that in April this year, the Secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Cimatu, hosted a meeting with the DTI Secretary, the mining industry as well as his staff responsible for bamboo. So I'd like to refer to it as a bamboo initiative and it was in that very well-attended meeting that the next steps of the bamboo initiative with the mining industry were discussed.”


“So our next move will be a technical working group that will deal with the regulations and all that need to be tweaked to really make bamboo a greening material for the mining industry as we go forward.”

The meeting which Mr. Dominguez was referring to took place on 2nd April 2019 where OLLI Consulting Group, Inc. with DENR, DTI and mining companies and its stakeholders discussed the potential of bamboo in “reinventing mining”. OLLI Consulting Group, Inc. has a CSR component called “OLLI Cares” which supports the “Tanging Tanglaw” Project of Diwata-Women in Resource Development, Inc. (For more information about OLLI Cares and Tanging Tanglaw Project”, please visit their webpage at https://olli.ph/olli-cares.)

In that meeting with Secretary Cimatu and DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez, Mr. Dominguez started the session by explaining the importance of bamboo. He said “Aptly called the Bamboo Initiative, this endeavor seeks to create a synergy between the government and the private sector on how to effectively harness the power and potential of this grass for the revegetation and rehabilitation of mine sites across the country.”[1]
The following were present in that meeting [1]:
~ Philex Mining Corporation - Eulalio Austin
~ Marcventures Mining & Development Corporation - Isidro ‘Butch’ Alcantara Jr.
~ Filminera Resources Corporation - Gloria Tan Climaco
~ OceanaGold Philippines, Inc. - Jose ‘Joey’ Leviste, Jr.
~ The Chamber of Mines’ (COMP) Executive Director Atty. Ronald Recidoro
~ Philippine Nickel Industry Association’s (PNIA) Executive Director Charmaine Olea-Capili
~ Mine & Geosciences Bureau (MGB) - Mine Safety, Environment and Social Development Division Engr. Rodolfo L. Velasco, Jr.
~ DENR’s Forest Management Bureau (FMB) Director - Lourdes Ferrer
~ Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau’s (ERDB) - Bighani Manipula and Angelito Exconde
~ Biodiversity Management Bureau’s (BMB) - Juvy Ladisla
~ OLLI Consulting Group - Christopher Paris Lacson, Steve Araneta and Maria Paula Tolentino

- - -


Now, going back to the PMC event, Mr. Dominguez said, “As you all know, the whole idea is the bamboo will also be the material that the communities on whom your SDMP funds are being spent will be taught to work with the bamboo. The result will be implementing the DTI's roadmap for the development of the bamboo industry. This will generate livelihoods and hopefully more than that -- real enterprises involving our mining communities.”

 

“So one day, we hope to say that when visitors do come to the mining companies, the first protocol will be the community, seeing how hard they are working, products that are going to export market, and so on. And you, mining companies, will be able to tell your visitors that the mine over there is what makes it possible.”

 

“So ladies and gentlemen, at the end of the day, with bamboo we have the opportunity to reinvent mining and then mining will now be defined as follows: The success of a mining company will no longer be judged simply by how profitable or how responsible the mining company is, but it will also be judged by how successful it makes its mining communities.”

Finally, he concluded, “Therefore, mining reinvented, thanks to bamboo, will mean that mining is also a social enterprise. We'd like to see where that is going. Ladies and gentlemen, with your help and continuing support for this initiative, we hope to change the conversation about mining and therefore make that conversation speak of it as a social enterprise as well. You will hear more about this as the developments take place.“
- - -
Reference:
[1] Tolentino, Maria Paula (27 April 2019). "OLLI Cares spearheads the Bamboo Initiative".
SEMScribe Publishing

by Marcelle P. Villegas


- - -
Acknowledgment:

Mr. Leo Dominguez and Ms. Maria Paula Tolentino
- - -
This article was originally published by Philippine Resources Journal - Issue 2 - 2019 on thislink: https://www.philippine-resources.com/post/updates-on-the-bamboo-initiative-by-olli-cares
- - -

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ARTICLE TITLE

OLLI Cares spearheads the Bamboo Initiative

DESCRIPTION

Manila, April 2, 2019 - On April 2, 2019, OLLI Consulting Group, Inc., under its CSR component "OLLI Cares", joined the Department of Environment & Natural Resources (DENR), the Department of Trade & Industry (DTI), mining companies, and stakeholders to discuss the potential of bamboo both as a socio-economic & environmental solution to the mining industry’s challenges in rehabilitating and revegetating its mines.

 

OLLI Consulting Group, Inc. President and Principal, Atty. Leo Dominguez, opened the session by giving the rationale behind bamboo. Seated with him were DENR Secretary General Roy Cimatu and DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez.

 

“Aptly called the Bamboo Initiative, this endeavor seeks to create a synergy between the government and the private sector on how to effectively harness the power and potential of this grass for the revegetation and rehabilitation of mine sites across the country,” says Dominguez.

 

“This initiative aims to fill in the missing gap in how mining companies can effectively answer our President’s demand for a ‘responsible’ mining industry. The conversation is just starting but the interest for this grass is growing. Bamboo can dynamically change the conversation both on a socio-economic and environmental level not only for our mines but for those affected by the mines” adds Dominguez. 

 

WHY BAMBOO

 

According to the Forest Management Bureau, the Philippines has over 70 bamboo species, eight of which are highly regarded for commercial use, namely Kauayan Tinik, Kiling, Bayog, Laak, Giant Bamboo, Bolo, Kayali, and Buho.

 

This ‘grass of hope’ has a wide range of applications and is an effective tool in addressing soil erosion, landslides, and flooding which are all common disasters in many mine sites. Bamboo is also fast-growing, a potential source of renewable energy, and can withstand typhoons, earthquakes, fires, pests, and diseases.

 

Bamboo also has the highest potential as a source of livelihood. This grass can release up to 35% more oxygen than trees and can sequester up to 12 metric tons of carbon dioxide per hectare. In essence, Bamboo is the fastest growing canopy for the regreening of degraded lands.

 

POLICIES ON BAMBOO

 

Under Executive Order No. 26, s. 2011 and Executive Order No. 193, s. 2015, Bamboo was included as one of the priority commodities under the DENR’s National Greening Program and its expansion program until 2028. It may be a long way to go, but it is also a great opportunity for the public and private sector to work together on making this vision a reality, most especially for industries where carbon footprint is considerable.

 

One good case study can be made that of the Bamboo Development Program of mining company Marcventures. Their program will be undertaken in three phases over the next five years, which includes the establishment of a 10-hectare demo bamboo plantation, business development, and market research. The mining firm is identifying and training community members who will eventually be organized either as a cooperative or a community corporation. The demo plantation is expected to rise on the Pili mined out area, which is now undergoing rehabilitation.

 

WHERE ARE WE NOW ON BAMBOO

 

According to the MGB, mining companies are already growing and/or implementing their own bamboo initiatives. MGB’s representative Chief Mining Engineer Rodolfo Velasco, Jr. stated that some metallic and non-metallic mines are already at the forefront of this initiative, but still have yet to see the rewards of this endeavor. He stated in a separate dialogue that there is no problem having bamboo as the answer to rehabilitate mines, only that this be made into an actual policy issued specifically for mining companies as a proper barometer to measure the program’s effectiveness in mine rehabilitation. 

In the table below, Velasco cited the following companies as drivers of this initiative:

 

BAMBOO PLANTATION IN MINING AREAS IN THE PHILIPPINES

 

 

METALLIC MINES

 

REGION

MINE

SITE

PROJECT

Region II

FCF Minerals Corporation

Runruno, Quezon, Nueva Vizcaya

FCF Bamboo Nursery

CAR

Philex Mining Corporation

Tuba, Benguet

Decommissioned Tailings Storage Facility No.1

Region II

OceanaGold Philippines, Inc.

Nueva Vizcaya & Quirino, Province

Ecotrail Area of OGPI

MIMAROPA Region

Rio Tuba Nickel Mining Corporation

Rio Tuba Bataraza, Palawan

Rehabilitated Mined-out Area in Guintalunan Pit

Region VII

Carmen Copper Corporation

Toldeo City, Cebu

CCC’s Ecopark

Region XIII

Marcventures Mining & Development Corporation

Cantilan, Surigao del Sur

Pili Mined-out Area

Region XIII

Taganito Mining Corporation

Claver, Surigao del Norte

TAGA 2 Mined-out Area

Source: Mines & Geosciences Bureau (MGB)

 

Presenter: Rodolfo Velasco, Chief Mining Engineer, April 2, 2019 

 

 

NON-METALLIC MINES

 

REGION

MINE

SITE

PROJECT

Calabarzon Region

Rapid City Realty and Development Corporation

Antipolo City, Rizal

RCRDC Bamboo Nursery

Region I

Northern Cement Corporation

Sison, Pangasinan

Buffer zone inside the MPSA

Calabarzon Region

Globorock Mining Corporation

Sariaya, Quezon

Janagdong-Sampaloc River (adjacent to Plant site)

Region X

Holcim Resources and Development Corporation

Lugait, Misamis Oriental

Buffer Zone Area

Region XII

Republic Cement Mindanao, Inc.

Iligan, Lanao del Norte

Active Limestone and Shale Quarry Area

Source: Mines & Geosciences Bureau (MGB)

 

Presenter: Rodolfo Velasco, Chief Mining Engineer, April 2, 2019 

 

 DSC 0084

 

 

In attendance and in no particular order, were representatives from mining companies and its various stakeholders: Philex Mining Corporation - Eulalio Austin, Marcventures Mining & Development Corporation - Isidro ‘Butch’ Alcantara Jr., Filminera Resources Corporation - Gloria Tan Climaco, OceanaGold Philippines, Inc. - Jose ‘Joey’ Leviste, Jr., Chamber of Mines’ (COMP) Executive Director Atty. Ronald Recidoro, Philippine Nickel Industry Association’s (PNIA) Executive Director Charmaine Olea-Capili, Mine & Geosciences Bureau (MGB) - Mine Safety, Environment, and Social Development Division Engr. Rodolfo L. Velasco, Jr., DENR’s Forest Management Bureau (FMB) Director - Lourdes Ferrer, Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau’s (ERDB) - Bighani Manipula and Angelito Exconde, Biodiversity Management Bureau’s (BMB) - Juvy Ladisla, OLLI Consulting Group - Christopher Paris Lacson, Steve Araneta and Maria Paula Tolentino.

 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

Maria Paula Tolentino is the Chief Content Officer of SEM Scribe Publishing House. A certified Safety Officer, she is an advocate of responsible mining, quarrying, and mineral extractive practices with a clear focus on the quadruple bottom line (people, planet, profit, and purpose). She is also the Vice President for Programs under women-mining NGO, Diwata - Women in Resource Development, Inc. and the Digital Consultant for the Olli Consulting Group.
For questions, she can be reached at:
LinkedIn - Miss Tolentino 
Email - paula@semscribepublishing.com; semscribe@gmail.com 
Website - SEM Scribe Publishing House

 

 

 

 

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ARTICLE TITLE

Tanging Tanglaw

DESCRIPTION

“Tanging Tanglaw” is a project of collaboration among Diwata-Women in Resource Development, Inc. (Diwata), the Philippine Mine Safety and Environment

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ARTICLE TITLE

Turning IP Grandmothers into Solar Engineers

DESCRIPTION

On 20 May 2017, Her Excellency Amanda Gorely, Australian Ambassador, turned over to the solar grandmother community of Bamban, Tarlac, the Rural Elect

OLLI Cares

The project involves sending grandmothers from indigenous tribes in the Philippines to the Barefoot College in Tilonia, India. At the Barefoot College, they undergo a 6-month training course on solar engineering, specifically, fabricating, installing, repairing and maintaining solar lighting equipment.

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