Game Changer

We are nearing the 100th day since Pnoy has assumed presidency. While there were the usual critics during his campaign, many are now seeing Pnoy as a change agent leader and a game changer.

I have attended different events over the past weeks. The most recent one was GMA Network’s 65th anniversary. Atty. Gozon, a Go Negosyo trustee, was humbled by Pnoy’s presence at the anniversary. He spent time during the affair. According to Atty. Gozon, he is a very simple and humble president.

Pnoy is definitely on the right track and he is guided by his own gut feel. He has a correct read of the Filipino pulse. The “no wang wang” policy is a visible sign of simplicity. The instance of not wanting his face or name on any infrastructure is another simple example. No president really thought of doing this. Everything he has done has resonated throughout the country.

The seriousness of the government in balancing the budget, cutting excessive spending, improving tax collection and fighting smuggling is music to the ears of the foreign investors and the negosyo community. This is why we see now the stock market hitting all time high and our peso gaining ground against the dollar.

The economic team – is a cohesive team composed of Sec. Domingo, Purisima, Singson, Almendras, Paderangga, De Jesus, Alcala and Lim. They are well chosen, as we now see a pledge of support from the negosyo community. The MAP, Makati Business Club, PCCI, Chinese Federation and even the entrepreneurs of Go Negosyo are all supportive of the initiatives of the government. They are all bullish about the future. This is also reflected in the business confidence index which grew to 44% in the second quarter of this year from -2.6% last year. Consumer index likewise went up to 10% in the second quarter of this year, coming from -7% same period last year.

In a meeting with Usec. Merle Cruz of DTI under Sec. Greg Domingo, we have discussed the consolidation of all agencies related to MSMEs. DTI will be helping in a focused approach and speed up the process of delivering good service to the negosyantes. Go Negosyo has also proposed to her to train all her provincial and regional directors to help them even become better mentors. We can even call them the DTI – Go Negoyo Angelpreneurs.

The negosyo fever is starting to heat up, with the help of the ongoing negosyo campaign in print and TV of PLDT SME Nation, Smart, Globe and BPI with even more to follow. The awareness is getting higher.

Let me share with you the thoughts of a good friend Val Suarez, who is now the PSE president, on what he thinks of the Philippines. I have also asked for the thoughts of Guilly Luchangco, a respected investment guru who has done well with the funds that he created in investing in technology companies, and Jose Manuel Romualdez, the Spybiz columnist of PhilStar. Let me share the views of people who are bullish about the Philippines’ future.

“I tend to believe that a lot of businessmen are bullish about our economy, nurturing a lot of enthusiasm and good vibes because of the new administration’s policy to cut down on corruption and to level the playing field. As a matter of fact, a lot of Malaysians – two of whom I know personally – are interested to invest once again. All they want is the assurance that things that happened before will not be repeated where they got burned because of changing rules on business. As for the US and Europe, their economies are very fragile but they will be able to overcome their difficulties because they have the resources to do so, plus the fact that growth seems to be stronger than anticipated much earlier.” –Jose Manuel Romualdez, Stargate Media Corporation

“The Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) maintains a bullish outlook on the Philippine economy considering the strong growth of 7.3 percent in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the first quarter of 2010. We expect the economy to continue its recovery throughout the year amid the low interest rate environment, moderate inflation, and resurgence in exports brought by the recovery in global demand. Against this economic backdrop coupled with the country’s adequate external liquidity, which is supported by more than $15 billion in annual remittance inflows, the Philippines is less vulnerable to the impact of the European debt crisis. While the debt woes in Europe may prove to stall global recovery and growth, the Philippines along with other Asian economies may benefit from capital inflows as investors tend to flock to safer investment havens. The Exchange, for example, has seen a significant rise in foreign investments with the net foreign buying as of the first half of the year amounting to P15.2 billion or 91.3 percent higher than its level in the same period last year. The future is bright for the development of our capital markets and the growth of our economy.” –Val Suarez, Philippine Stock Exchange

“I am bullish on the Philippine economy because, in addition to the attractions we have always had such as productive and English speaking manpower, abundant natural resources, etc., our recent elections are seen by the world as having been generally successful and democratic. This, together with the election of a president that is favorably regarded by most peoples, should mean that more investment will flow into the country. As to the US, I think it still has weak spots but bar-ring the unexpected will continue to improve in general. Europe may be facing more difficult challenges because of the strain on the union of diverse and independent countries arising from the weaker ones.” –Guillermo Luchangco, ICCP Venture Partners

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PLDT SME Nation in partnership with Go Negosyo is on a nationwide search for the country’s Small and Medium Enterprises, through the MVP Bossing Awards. We are seeking to recognize the country’s most valuable Pinoy entrepreneurs – those who continuously work hard by tapping skill, creativity, technology, and the right attitude, in order to succeed in their respective business ventures. The Grand MVP Bossing Awardee will receive a trophy, and one million peso worth of prizes from PLDT SME Nation during the Grand Awards Night this coming October. For inquiries, you may call the Go Negosyo Secretariat at 6379347 or 6379229.

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The Entrepreneurs School of Asia’s development foundation; the Institute for Social Entrepreneurship will be launching their 5th Teenpreneur Challenge this Saturday. Teenpreneur Challenge 2010 is an inter-high school challenge, with participants from 20 different public and private high schools. The wisdom and guidance of 30 successful entrepreneurs and 40 ESA apprentices will serve as mentors to the young kids, who in turn will be helping several communities improve the marketability of their livelihood products. They will be facilitating and processing the kids’ different entrepreneurial and income-generating ideas. Congratulations to ESA for this “big brother” program. We need more mentors like you to develop more entrepreneurs in the Philippines.