March and moving forward

March 2, 2018


Thank you all for being part of the packed house at the February 21 GMM, graciously hosted by Willis Towers Watson (WTW).


As the first meeting for 2018, there was plenty of internal business:

  • I reported on my course at the ICD (Institute of Corporate Directors), where GICC was the subject of my thesis — which became a springboard for the Board's January strat planning;

  • We introduced GICC's new corporate secretary, Kenneth Chua of Quisumbing Torres;

  • GICC board member Paolo la'O will lead Wells Fargo's 7,000-seat site in India, becoming the Philippines' first shared services expatriate to the country that has sent so many here;

  • and I join GICC member Optum UnitedHealth Group later this month, though I will continue my work with GICC.


For "What's New," our hosts discussed their presence in the Philippines and WTW's cyber risk offerings.


We then quickly cut to the topic on everyone's mind: the veto of 15% PTR for existing ROHQs, directly contradicting provisions legislated in TRAIN I. Providing clarity amid the high emotions were Chevron's Steve Callaghan, Citi's Jouela Traballo, and subject matter experts Atty. Michael Montero (Convergys) and Atty. Mimi Lopez-Malvar (of P&G and industry association PAMURI). Members shared their companies' various responses: some already adapting, others maintaining status quo pending release of implementing regulation from the BIR, still others preparing a legal response.


It was intense. But we must move past our disappointment to plan pragmatically for what's to come.


Every single GICC member must ensure that our employees understand the stakes: that without the incentives to be debated in TRAIN II, our country ceases to be competitive. It's important that individuals take on this cause personally, to demonstrate that the incentives support not multinational elites, but 1.2 million regular Filipinos, their families and the communities that depend on them.



Our monthly #Shoutouts helped us close on a more positive note, with constructive actions in fire safety, data privacy, and quality and continuous improvement (QCI) and the academe. Members from Bayer, FMC, Sunlife and P&G sought input on specific topics, and I am confident that GICC members will extend their help.


We are also happy to report that changes in the government-mandated minimum building density are temporarily in abeyance, pending an evaluation of the current standard and a formal notice from authorities.


Lastly, as we begin International Women’s Month, let me #shoutout to all young women leaders in the industry. Their engagement, drive and empathy prove yet again that successful leadership is a not a matter of chromosomes but about overcoming setbacks with all one’s mind and heart.


We will have renewed momentum and solid plans by the next GMM, date to be announced soon. See you then.







Karen Batungbacal
GICC Chair | IBPAP Board of Trustee


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