Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year to all the Filipinos who have contributed to a more optimistic environment in 2007. To those who have been sowing fear and pessimism that the Philippines is a basket case, there is still time to change your view and reap the rewards of investing in our country.
It’s been 2 years since Go Negosyo was born out of a way to bring back hope and fight the pessimism that was prevailing at that time. Peso was at a high of P56 (per US Dollar), the stock market index was below 2,000 level, inflation rate hit a high of 7.6% and interest rates hovering over 12%.
Today, we see our peso strengthened to a level of P41, the stock index soaring beyond 3,600 levels, inflation rate below 3% and interest rates around 9%. Countless of Filipinos are starting their own businesses and investing in the country. The success of Go Negosyo has been brought about by the entrepreneurs who have started to give back in helping this advocacy become today a battlecry or a brand that has motivated the people to take control of their own destiny.
2008 will be another great year for the Philippines. While a lot of banks have predicted the Philippine peso to appreciate even more, this will depend on the dollars strength or weakness. I believe we will be moving towards a stronger dollar especially as USA elections comes closer, the Peso should be trading within this range already. Foreign direct investments as well as the hot money in the stock market will continue. There will be volatility in the first quarter as the USA nears the end of the sub prime problem.
The President will definitely pursue her economic programs more aggressively this coming year 2008 and into year 2009. PGMA and her cabinet will definitely move for reforms to push this country to greater heights. Hopefully our legislators will focus on the laws that are needed to ensure a strong republic which lies on a strong economy. 2008 is the year of the rat, and ends with 8, my favorite number. A number of people say this is going to be a lucky year. While it may be true, luck comes only for those who have the right attitude, which is to be optimistic, hardworking, passionate and creative.
I would like to thank the following for helping us encourage Filipinos to take on the challenge and fight for this country not to be the basket case of Asia but rather the shining star of Asia. Special thanks to the staunchest entrepreneurship advocate and leader of our country PGMA, for always showing her full support in all the Go Negosyo activities and attending our forums and caravans whenever she is in the country. We also thank the equally supportive and dynamic MSME Council Head and PMS Director General Sec. Cerge Remonde, Senate President Manny and Congresswoman Cynthia Villar, Senators Mar Roxas, Kiko Pangilinan, the PCE trustees for their unwavering support, Tony Tan Caktiong, Joselito Campos, Atty. Felipe Gozon, Dr. Rolando Hortaleza, Carla Limcaoco, Imelda Madarang, Socorro Ramos, Harley Sy, Vivienne Tan, Gov. Luis Raymund Villafuerte and Myla Villanueva.
I would also like to thank the Go Negosyo key advocates and mentors who have joined us in all our caravans and spent their time mentoring in our website and helping other entreps such as Fe Perez-Agudo, Jay Aldeguer, Bernadette Allyson, Jenilyn Antonio, Santi Araneta, Maoi Arroyo, Senen Bacani, Arsenio Barcelona, Butz Bartolome, Paolo Bediones, Vicky Belo, Jay Bernardo, Henry Lim Bon Liong, Delby Bragais, Cathy Brillantes, Francisco Buencamino, Roberto Castañeda, Ruelito Cayamanda, Ben Chan, Yu Ming Chin, Sam Chioson, Jojo Clemente, Ben Colayco, Topax Colayco, Richie Cuna, Dr. Eugenio Dayag, Loudette Dayrit, Lin Deres, Illac Diaz, Milagros Espina, Danilo Fausto, Andy Ferreria, Gaita Fores, Julie Gandionco, Ray Gapuz, Clang Garcia, Jeffrey Hidalgo, Anthony Inocencio, Butch Jimenez, Eduardo Jimenez, Chit Juan, Mike Jurado, Johnlu Koa, Pax Lapid, Lex Ledesma, RJ Ledesma, Genevieve Ledesma-Tan, JC Leviste, Sammie Lim, Gina Lopez, Lloyd Luna, Jolina Magdangal, Dennis Mendiola, Francis Monera, Bobby Montelibano, Tess Ngan Tian, Dominic Ochoa, Eric Papa, Cecilio Pedro, Patrick Pesengco, Ronald Pineda, Angelita Resurreccion, Les Reyes, Leo Riingen, Paco Sandejas, Joel Santos, Richard Sanz, Herwin See, Tessie Sy-Coson, Victor Tan, Chinkee Tan, Chris Tan, Donnie Tantoco, Paulo Tibig, William Torres, Doyee Tumpalan, Orlando Vea, Jay Yuvallos, Avelino Zapanta and Jaime Zobel de Ayala. Congratulations again to the most inspiring entrepreneur awardees from Tourismnegosyo: Jay Aldeguer, Anton Carag, Jose Mari del Rosario, Don Ado Escudero, Ralph Espino, Jomar Fleras, Evangeline Garcia, Ariel Jersey, Joaquin Ernesto Po, Gov. Lray Villafuerte, Vicky Wallace, Robert Yupangco, in Cebu: Roberto Aboitiz, Steve Benitez, Kenneth Cobonpue, Jack Gaisano, Julie Gandionco, Augusto Go, Michel Lhuillier, Bernie Liu, William Christopher Liu Jr, Wilson Ng, Norberto Quisumbing, Justin Uy, in Bacolod: Dianna Lynn Agustin, Maria Corazon Bitong, Jose Maria Cajili, James Chua, Cecille del Castillo, Josephine Locsin, Benjamin Lopue Sr., Joseph Marañon, Roberto Montelibano, Joaquin Torre, Olivia Yanson, Association of Negros Producers Inc., Negros Kabisig Livelihood Foundation, Inc., IT Focus Team, University of Saint La Salle (Business Resource Center), In Baguio: Mario Alzona Jr., Nancy Busacay, Leonarda Capuyan, Michael del Rosario, Arturo Gayao, Evelyn Ibay, Pinky Magsino, Donna Rufino, Naty Sugguiyao, Religious of the Good Shepherd Sisters, in Manila: Helena Benitez, Carlos Celdran, Gerry Chua, Alejandra Clemente, Betty Go-Belmonte, Alice Guerrero, Robert Kuan, Willen Ma, Jose Reyes, Nicanor Reyes, in Pampanga: Emmanuel Angeles, Jose Bituin, Teresa David-Carlos, Fatima del Rosario, Michael Escaler, Prudencio Garcia , Lolita Hizon, Peter Nepomuceno, Ryan Razon, Wilfredo Tan, Jaime Uy, in Cagayan de Oro: Henry Canoy, Alonzo Chiong, Eleanor Jose, Alfonso U. Lim, Mercedes Mejia, Elpidio Paras, Reynaldo Rafisura, Rene Jose Stuart del Rosario Sr., Isidra Tan, Henrik Kelly Yu, for Gawad Kalinga’s Inspiring Entrepreneurial Communities: Freedomville GK Village, GK Selecta Village, GK Sunshineville and the inspiring People with Disabilities Entrepreneurs : Dennis Rhoneil Balan, Jocelyn Garcia, Antonio Llanes Jr, Juan Benedicto Magdaraog, Maria Gilda Quintua. Credit also goes to our able forum moderators Karen Davila, Anthony Pangilinan, Cito Beltran, Cheryl Cosim, Chal Lontoc and Eco dela Sala.
Special thanks to our key partners in government- Secretaries Jesli Lapus and Director Joey Pelaez and Sec. Romy Neri who helped us in several forums that focused on the students, to Sec. Art Yap and Asec Doy Salacup in GK- AGriNegosyo, Sec. Ace Durano and Usec Oscar Palabyab for the support during the Tourism Negosyo and Sec. Peter Favila and Usec. Carissa Cruz-Evangelista for the participation of OTOP entrepreneurs, Governors Gwen Garcia, Ed Panlilio and Vice Gov. Yeng Guiao.
We also thank Sec. Dodi Limcaoco, Mia Concio, Joey Isabelo and Edith del Rosario of the government media group.
Thank you also to our media partners especially to Miguel, Kevin and Isaac Belmonte and Gracy Glory Go of Philippine Star, Phil daily Inquirer, Manila Bulletin, GMA Network Inc., RPN9, ABSCBN, ANC, NBN, Aspac Law and Ad Agency and Creativoices Productions.
Our special thanks to the Corporate partners who have allowed us to spread the advocacy around the country throughout the year. Our gratitude to Gerry Ablaza and Maridol Ylanan of GLOBE, Mr. Genuino and Butch Francisco of PAGCOR, Mr. Lee and Fe Perez-Agudo of Hyundai, Nanay Coring of National Bookstore, Ramon Ang of San Miguel Corporation, Splash Corporation, Butch Jimenez of PLDT, Olan Pena and Bong Mojica of Smart, RFM Corp., Paramount Life Insurance, ICTSI, Kettle Korn, Selecta, Chinese-Filipino Business Club, Concepcion Durables Inc., Island Souvenirs, Philamlife, Philippine Airlines, SM Supermalls, STEAG State Power Inc., our partner organizations, ABSCBN Bayan Foundation, the Baguio Benguet Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Cagayan de Oro Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Entrepreneurs School of Asia, Gawad Kalinga, HSBC, Metro Angeles Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Microfinance Council of the Philippines, Pampanga Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Rotary Club International, our government partners, the Presidential Management Staff, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, DepEd, CHED, and the member-agencies of the Micro SME Council.