Bacolod City: City of Sweet Smiles and Entrepreneurs

My last blog was about Iloilo, and today, we will try to show you a glimpse of the beautiful city of Bacolod where the people wears a “sugar-sweet” smile.

Bacolod City is situated on the northwestern part of the island of Negros, it is bounded by the Guimaras Strait on the west, the municipality of Talisay on the north, the municipality of Murcia on the east, and Bago City on the South.

Bacolod is known as the “Sugar City in the Philippines,” it is one of the most progressive and elite cities in the country. Along its highway, sugarcane plantation is a typical scene, coconut and rice are also grown. The people are engaged in livestock, fishing and pottery. The majority of the people speak Ilonggo and the rest speak Cebuano.

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Mr. and Mrs. Federico Cuervo

The first time I saw Bacolod was when I attended the wedding of my brother Federico Cuervo and my favorite sister-in-law Amparo “Gingging” Bustamante Cuervo.

Bacolod’s famous landmarks include beautiful 19th century mansions of sugar barons, historical monuments and churches during the Spanish era.

The San Sebastian Cathedral, is located in downtown Bacolod. It was originally a small chapel which became a cathedral in 1933. The structure, made of coral stones from Guimaras Island was completed in 1882. Beside the cathedral is the Palacio Episcopal or Bishop’s Palace constructed in 1830.

The Sta. Clara Chapel in Sta. Clara Subdivision, features a large mural mosaic of Barangay Sang Birhen, a local version of the Virgin Mary made of 95,000 pieces of polished shells. The Stations of the Cross, the images of the saints and altar pieces are a collage 30,000 Philippine shells.

The San Antonio Abad Church, showcases national artist Solomon Saprid’s masterwork “The Risen Christ.”

The Provincial Capitol Building, was built in 1927 using the Neo-Roman architectural design of American Daniel Burnham executed by Filipino Architect Juan Arellano. In July 2001, Gov. Joseph G. Marañon initiated the rehabilitation of the Capitol. It was inaugurated on June 23, 2004.

They also have this colorful festival called the Masskara Festival which takes place every October 1 to 20. Local and foreign visitors get a chance to enjoy 20 days of merry making, beer-drinking, dining and street dancing. The symbol of the festival is a smiling mask that was adopted by the organizers to dramatize the Negrenses happy spirit, in spite of periodic economic downturns in the sugar industry.

There is also the ancestral house of General Aniceto Lacson in Talisay City. You might ask who is Gen. Aniceto Lacson is? He was the general who led the revolutionaries North of Negros which led to the surrender  of the Spanish Forces in Negros thus liberated the island of Negros from Spanish rule on November 5, 1898.

Don Aniceto Lacson Ancestral House Photo source: www.viajenegrense.info

Don Aniceto Lacson Ancestral House
Photo source: http://www.viajenegrense.info

Hence, Negros Day is commemorated on that date to honor the Negrense revolutionaries who fought against the Spanish forces. It was constructed in the early 1880 using Filipino-Chinese design with colonial Spanish influence, the farmland was bought from Nicolas Loney who first introduced sugar farming in Negros, General Lacson became the first and only president of the Cantonal Republic of Negros in 1889 and this house became the Malacañan Palace of the short-lived Republic.

Bacolod City was known for producing sugar before, and when the sugar industry crisis occurred in the province, sugar workers struggled, they then opt into livelihood projects and making bags, baskets or handicrafts that is now being exported to different countries.

I have my Bacolod friends one of them is Arsenio “toto” Barcelona President of Harbest Agribusiness Corporation and ITX DISTRIBUTORS CORP. He became also a member of Governing Council at Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquaculture and Natural Resources Research and Development and a member of the Board at Negros Economic and Development Foundation.

Another good friend of mine is Ms. Anna Balcells, born and raised on the beautiful island of Negros Occidental where she spent many happy and precious years, Anna Maria Claparols Balcells, at the age of 16, left for Barcelona, Spain, the land of her father to continue her studies and to establish a career. Soon after she arrived in Spain, she was shocked to see the great difference between this first world country and the third world country she had been living where poverty was so pronounced and widespread. With this realization, Anna found herself participating in projects in Barcelona spearheaded by organizations that helped the poor in her country, the Philippines and eventually Negros Occidental, the place of her place of birth. She became a Top Executive in a hotel in Europe but chose to give up her career and committed herself into social works.

In June 2007, after some funds started to come in to help the homes,  Anna sought the advice and help of some close friends,  who urged her to put up a foundation to ensure the continuity of her advocacy. Thus the Kalipay Negrense Foundation, Incorporated (KNFI) was born. The Kalipay Negrense Foundation aims to ‘bring joy to disadvantaged children’. It seeks to make a difference by supporting the causes of these disadvantaged children.

Ms. Anna Balcells with the children from KNFI

The children from KNFI with Ms. Anna Balcells in the middle.

I have so many beautiful experiences in Bacolod, and I can say that this place is where good people who always wears a sweet smile lives.

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Iloilo City: “Tiger Economy” and Ignition Point for the Visayas Region

Last February 21, 2014, I wrote about decentralization of Metro Manila, spreading of government agencies into different parts of the country, and today’s article will focus on the booming city of Iloilo.

We know that Iloilo is one of the places that were hit by the super typhoon Yolanda. And investments will be a big help for the city to rise again.

The City of Iloilo is a highly urbanized city of Panay Island in the Philippines. In the 2010 census, Iloilo City had a population of 424,619 with a 1.8% population annual growth rate.

Every fourth weekend of January, Dinagyang is being celebrated, dubbed as the “Festival of Excellent Folk choreography”. It is a colorful display of street dancing and story-telling. The festival traces its roots as a thanksgiving celebration in honor of Senior Sto. Niño, the child Jesus. Today, it has grown to be one of the Philippines’ most spectacular religious and cultural festivals.

Dinagyang Festival Photo source: fufsblog.blogspot.com; www.myiloilo.net

Dinagyang Festival
Photo source: fufsblog.blogspot.com; http://www.myiloilo.net

Last March 13, 2014 I read in the news paper BusinessWorld written by Daryll Edisonn D. Saclag, that around a hundred billion pesos’ worth of investment projects in Iloilo were pledged to tap the province’s economic potential.

“We’ve been investing and committing approximately P2 billion a year over the last two years, and we feel that this level of commitment can be sustained over the next five to 10 years. That is the amount of capital that we are allocating for the development of Iloilo City,” said Antonino T. Aquino, President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of property developer Ayala Land, Inc., at the “Iloilo means Business” forum in Makati City.

(left)Fort San Pedro, (right) The National Shrine of Our Lady of the Candles Photo source: www.aroundcebu.com;vigattintourism.com

(left)Fort San Pedro, (right) The National Shrine of Our Lady of the Candles
Photo source: http://www.aroundcebu.com;vigattintourism.com

The company plans also to embark on a major tourism project in northern Iloilo, similar to what they’ve done in El Nido, Palawan-Ayala Land in 2010 entered into eco-tourism agreement through a partnership with the Ten Knots Group for a 60% stake El Nido Resorts.

Edgar J. Sia II, CEO of Injap Investments, Inc. also committed to build more commercial establishments in Iloilo.

“On top of the pioneering, ongoing, and recently completed projects of DoubleDragon [Properties Corp.] in Iloilo, we are pleased to inform you that the company, through its subsidiary CityMall Commercial Center, Inc. (CMCCI), will soon roll out five city malls in Iloilo, with a total project cost of P1.4 billion in the next two years,” said Mr. Sia at the same event.

CMCCI is 66% owned by the 50-50 joint venture of Injap Investments and Honeystar Holdings Corp., chaired by Jollibee Foods Corp. founder Tony Tan Caktiong, and 34% owned by SM Investments Corp.

“Iloilo is not only a great place to expand your business. It is also a highly conducive place to start your business from scratch,” said Mr. Sia, who also founded fast food chain Mang Inasal.

Kevin Andrew L. Tan, first vice-president and head of the commercial division of property developer of Megaworld Corp., said: “We are going to invest P35 billion over the next 10 years as we convert the old Iloilo airport in Mandurriao district into a master plan community complete with luxury residential condominiums, office buildings, tourism and retail establishments, Iloilo convention centers, and sports facilities, among others.”

“What attracted us in Iloilo is its vast economic potential,” said Mr. Tan, adding: “We have always kept an eye on Iloilo given its inherent strength and strong qualities and its enormous potential to become a premier investment destination.”

Dion Ugbebor, CEO of IntraCare, Inc., said the company “plans to bring first class hotel and hospitality accommodation” in Iloilo worth P150-200 million.

Palm Concepcion Power Corp. (PCPC), Global Business Power Corp. (GBPC), Dream Engineering Co., Ltd., Energy Renewables Asia, Inc., and NV Vogt Singapore Pte. Ltd., meanwhile, pledged to build power plants in Iloilo to ensure enough supply in the province and in the Visayas.

PCPC Executive Chairman Walter W. Brown said the company plans to build two power plants worth a total of P24 billion and expected to be fully operational by 2016 and 2018.

Islas de Gigantes in Carles, Iloilo Photo source: www.beachresortphilippines.net

Islas de Gigantes in Carles, Iloilo
Photo source: http://www.beachresortphilippines.net

“We are also constructing on behalf of NGCP (National Grid Corp. of the Philippines) a 42-kilometer power line so that the whole province of Iloilo will be properly supplied. We also initiated talks with NGCP to improve supply lines between Cebu, Negros and Panay so it will be fully stable in the next 2 years,” said Mr. Brown.

Francisco C. Sebastian, GBPC Chairman, said his company recently broke ground on a 150-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power plant that will supply 30% of the capacity to Iloilo and the balance to nearby Kalibo City and Guimaras province and it is expected to be completed by June 2016.

Dream Engineering Chairman Youn Pyo Hong said his company is putting up a waste-to-energy power plant in Iloilo City worth P1.35 billion. He also said that the company is interested in linking the island of Guimaras and Iloilo City via cable car.

Energy Renewables Asia President James Buskowitz committed to build a P1-1.2-billion worth 6.5-MW photovoltaic solar power plant while NV Vogt Director Nikesh Sinha said the company will be investing P2.5-3 billion in the next three years to put up a 5-10-MW solar power plant.

These projects came as Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick E. Mabilog

Bulubadiangan Island, Concepcion, Iloilo Photo source: mybeautifuliloilo.blogspot.com

Bulubadiangan Island, Concepcion, Iloilo
Photo source: mybeautifuliloilo.blogspot.com

invited the business community to invest there, citing the province’s young, highly educated workforce and reliable infrastructure.

Mr. Mabilog also asked investors to take part in government projects, mainly in education, tourism, services, and agro-processing.

Some of the projects include a food processing plant, fruit processing plant, fish processing plant, sugar mill, the University of the Philippines Visayas Community Enterprise Center, sports academy, medical complex, various markets’ redevelopment, and a retirement village.

Given the chance, I would like to set up a business in Iloilo, aside from BPO’s, I want to be involved in a tourism oriented type of business and I would like to offer marine foods like “talaba”, shrimp, squid etc. to the tourists.

By boat, Bacolod City is 45 minutes from the Port of Iloilo. By land, Bacolod City is approximately 3 hours from Iloilo City via Dumangas route. Our next article will focus in the province of Bacolod.

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CLEAN AIR FOR SALE?

Today, I will commence writing my blog, after stopping writing for more than two weeks for I‘ve had problems with my computer,  because it was hacked, but I’m happy to be back again.

Well, these past days, Hospitals have reported an increase of cases involving Pulmonary infections, Upper Respiratory disorders, Asthma, etc. These cases can be directly correlated with the increase of Pollution, Smoke, and Poor air quality.

Republic Act 8749, or the Clean Air Act of 1999, goes beyond “making the polluter pay.” It focuses primarily on pollution prevention rather than on control by encouraging cooperation and self-regulation among citizens and industries. It also enforces a system of accountability for adverse environmental impacts to heighten compliance to government environmental regulations.

Let us first recall the China’s air pollution which spread throughout the whole world, in a news in New York Times written by Joseph Kahn and Jim Yardley on August 26, 2007, “China is choking on its own success. The economy is on a historic run, posting a succession of double-digit growth rates. But the growth derives, now more than at any time in the recent past, from a staggering expansion of heavy industry and urbanization that requires colossal inputs of energy, almost all from coal, the most readily available, and dirtiest, source.

The World's most polluted city, Linfen, China. Photo Source: china-mike.com

The World’s most polluted city, Linfen, China.
Photo Source: china-mike.com

China’s problem has become the world’s problem. Sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides spewed by China’s coal-fired power plants fall as acid rain on Seoul, South Korea, and Tokyo. Much of the particulate pollution over Los Angeles originates in China, according to the Journal of Geophysical Research.

More pressing still, China has entered the most robust stage of its industrial revolution, even as much of the outside world has become preoccupied with global warming.”

Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Ramon J. P. Paje has partnered with three private entities for the conduct of an inventory of greenhouse gases (GHG) in Metro Manila’s 16 cities and one municipality.

“We intend to undertake under this project an inventory of greenhouse gases or carbon footprint down to the level of local government units.  And this effort is going to be a milestone as this is the first of its kind in the world,” Paje said during the signing of the memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Manila Observatory (MLAOB) chairman Fr. Jose Ramon Villarin, S.J.; International Resources Group-L3 of the Climate Change and Clean Energy Project (CEnergy) Chief of Party Divina Chingcuanco; and SEED Institute President Carmen Ablan-Lagman Tuesday at the Bulwagan Ninoy at the Parks and Wildlife Center in Quezon City.

A “carbon footprint” is a measure of the impact of human activities on the environment, specifically relating to the amount of greenhouse gases (GHG) produced by daily activities such as burning fossil fuels, which causes global warming and eventually leads to climate change.

According to him, the project would have scientists and experts in GHG inventory address issues in power, transport and waste management. It would also provide benchmark data for all sustainable development efforts within Metro Manila as it would track GHG emissions within and across city boundaries. The data would then help local government officials manage future emissions and offset their carbon emissions by participating in activities such as, among others, the National Greening Program.

The project is also expected to develop the concept of a carbon bank to serve as repository of excess carbon removals by an LGU who has adopted technologies to reduce the levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

The inconvenience of the sky being darkened is nothing to the lasting effects of all the carbon being thrown into the atmosphere and radically changing our climate by trapping the heat from the sun (once the clouds of ash have disappeared).

Science has correlated climate over the ages with core samples from ice sheets and found that carbon dioxide levels fluctuate or possibly drive, climatic events. Only recently has been able to understand how this CO2 actually works to trap the heat in the atmosphere and by calling it the greenhouse effect gives us the basic understanding of what goes on.

Other gases are also responsible for containing the heat of our planet and some are far worse that CO2. However, since CO2 is the main contributor to the effects of Global Warming, the Greenhouse Gases are known collectively as CO2 emissions. Since a lot of the arctic permafrost is now melting, methane is now becoming more significant which is worrisome.

The same can be said in those developed nations where the simple act of recycling can generate Carbon Credits if it can be proven that the ‘business as usual’ practice of discarding whatever it is that is now recycled will save energy and hence earn Carbon Credits.

Needless to say that the processes for application and qualification for this and other energy saving practices that will earn Carbon Credits are too detailed to go into here. Just type in ‘carbon trading’ in a search engine and remember that agencies will be able to represent certain nations and practices better than others.

It’s pretty simple really in forward thinking theory. All growing things absorb carbon which ultimately ends up in the soil. Planting trees reduces the carbon in the atmosphere but not if they are then cut down and burnt and crops that are planted and harvested will not actually store carbon within them. Crops can be farmed in such a way that the soils are not ploughed to let the stored carbon escape. Weeds and borders to fields can be encouraged. Forests can be left to stand. Fuel usage can be cut and power generation can be more efficient and all this reduced consumption of carbon will mean that less Carbon Credits will have to be purchased. In other words, any potential Carbon Tax will be lower.

That’s where alternative technologies come in. We still have to go about our daily business and not pollute.

A global market may become less global if the cost of a product is measured in terms of total CO2 emissions. The end result will be that we may all be seeking to trade locally. Along with our new found local power generation facilities (solar, wind, fuel cell, biomass, hydro, tidal, wave, nuclear??) we may see a shift away from massive corporations and a move back towards co-operatives. Made in China might be something people in Europe see less of. Alternatively, goods could be moved around the globe super efficiently and only the large corporations will be able to afford this (as they do now maybe!). The ramifications of the Kyoto Protocol are that it will affect the way we measure the cost of items. The development and fine-tuning of the terms of the Protocol are to be introduced in 2008 and it may seem to be a huge headache for businesses and governments alike. However, the increased chance of damaging climatic effects can already been seen. We need no reminder of why we should be very determined to reduce CO2 production as quickly as we can.-Planet Green recycling.

According to Vincent Cabreza of Inquirer.net, he wrote last August 14 2011, that the Kyoto Protocol requires all members of the United Nations to reduce their carbon emissions and mitigate the worsening changes in the world’s climate. But for developed countries, which would need more time to achieve low carbon emissions because of the impact on industries, the protocol designed a carbon trading mechanism that would allow industrialized countries to finance the renewable energy project of less developed nations like Philippines, may undertake Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects to earn carbon creditor Carbon Emission Reductions (CER). Each CER is equivalent to the reduction of a metric ton of CO2e (this unit is translates to carbon dioxide and its equivalent.

An industrialized country can buy carbon credits of Philippine company to add to the volume of carbon emissions. It has set to reduce when it ratified the Kyoto Protocol. But a Philippine company may also convert these credits through climate change markets developed by the protocol, such as the European Union Emission Trading System (EUETS).EU countries hold their own credits, which are referred to as European Union Allowances (EUAs).

CDM Appraisal Toolkit (CATK)

International Finance Corporation (IFC) is working with its partner financial institutions in emerging markets to stimulate lending to Clean Development Mechanism projects. As part of this effort, IFC has developed an Excel-based CDM Appraisal Toolkit (CATK). The CDM Appraisal Toolkit aims to provide financial institutions with an analytical tool to assess risks associated with carbon revenues generated by CDM projects and assess potential lending opportunities against such carbon revenues. A separate manual provides a step-by-step guide for FIs on how to use this toolkit.

photo source: www. ifc.org

photo source: www. ifc.org

The CDM Appraisal Toolkit consists of a set of interlinked Excel-spreadsheets that use historical performance data for Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects to assess expected delivery of carbon credits and carbon finance revenue streams for individual projects.  Checklists for common technologies complement historical performance information. Outputs from the CATK are presented in an Assessment Report which summarizes carbon credit issuance analysis results, discounted CER cash flow, project risk summary, qualitative risk analysis, and carbon finance cash flow for debt service.

The CDM Appraisal Toolkit is available to IFC partner FIs as part of the IFC Advisory Services product to enable FIs to enter carbon markets. We are grateful to the government of the Kingdom of the Netherlands for funding this toolkit.

Carbon markets have been a key driver of channeling finance and investment to projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions in developing countries since 2005, when the Kyoto Protocol came into effect. The verified emission reductions associated with these projects are used to generate financial assets (carbon credits) that are tradable in several carbon markets that have emerged at regional and national levels. The carbon finance associated with the sales of these credits contributes to meeting the incremental costs of ‘greening’ investments. Between 2005 and 2010 the cumulative value of origination and trade in these carbon credits was US $95 billion (Cumulative value of trade in primary and secondary Clean Development Mechanism contracted credits. Source: State and Trends of the Carbon Market Report 2011, the World Bank). Significant investment flows have been mobilized, especially from the private sector, as carbon credits can be used to meet climate commitments while simultaneously contributing to low-emissions economic development in IFC client countries. As more countries seek to establish domestic carbon markets and use carbon pricing to achieve their climate related objectives, carbon finance is expected to remain a key instrument for catalyzing finance for low-emissions development.

Having an active presence in the carbon market for more than nine years, Carbon finance is a key component of the IFC climate business strategy. IFC has introduced value-added financial products to help mitigate risks in the carbon market by leveraging its ability to take long-term project and credit risks in emerging markets. It manages carbon facilities, offers a carbon delivery guarantee product to client companies, and provides up-front loans to projects earning income from sales of carbon credits. IFC also offers advisory services products that help IFC client-banks enter carbon markets.

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IS DEPRIVATION of Child’s EDUCATION, Justified by CORPORATE GOVERNANCE?

One of the most important roles of the Family, particularly the parents, is the responsibility of the Good upbringing of their children. A formal education is a natural right of the child. After the family, it is also the responsibility of our Society, State, Religious Institutions, Civil & even part of Business Sectors to “invest” in the education of our next generation. Our Children is our Hope and we Nurture them to Grow, Mature and Contribute to the Nations Development.

Unfortunately due to poverty, greed, self-interest, ignorance and what is worst, the hypocrisy and a self righteous attitude, of those who  have” ( money, riches) but would not share, give or care in providing Scholarships and Education to those in need.

To site a specific situation, let me share a case where I am a witness of. This involves a Family Corporation, were the Father and Founder dies. The Widow then appoints a new Board to the Family Corporation. The family nominates two new board members who happen to be “prestigious” businessmen. They are part of the “high” society of Manila, and one of them happens to be a cousin of the widow. This well known businessman is a member of a religious group, and a promoter of “Corporate Governance”. The other new board member is his brother-in-law an American Economist works for the “American Interest” in South East Asia.

Using their position of Power, Authority & Influence, they conspired to “fire” out the President, a son of the Founder. He is a Licensed Real Estate Professional of the said Family Corporation.

During a board meeting, the two new appointed members of the board accused the President for allegedly, “not being a team player”, spent too much on gasoline, unliquidated expenses, etc.

After the accusations, came the judgment, then the execution…all in one sweep of a “mob” rule. There was no due process of a defense, except a proposal from the President for a win-win solution… but this was rejected. There was no separation pay, no compensation, his company car and other belongings sequestered with no pity…it was so cruel to say the least.

The Board justified their inhuman act, because the President did not “comply” with the rules they set: “Corporate Governance”

The Consequences of the injustice are still being felt even after 10 years are:

1.) Poverty, Hardships, Humiliations, Tears, Fear of the President’s Family. His Loving Wife suffered beyond anything that one cannot even imagine. They have six children, at that time they’re just 16 to 5 years old and ALL in NEED of EDUCATION!

2.) Their Eldest daughter had to stop her studies, go abroad for work to support a younger brother.
3.) The Special Child had to be given private tutorials.
4.) The Family Corporation suffered some issues about their credibility because of the scandal they involved. And the Siblings ended up divided. What was once a happy, United Family, ended up Torn apart because of the corporate saga.
5.) The Rights and Privileges of a Son the former President were ignored.
6.) They did not allow the former President from going to the office & Family Home. They even had guards, to ban him to visit his Mother.

7.) The deep wounds will not heal. Yes, we need to forgive but there must be JUSTICE, TRUTH, & RESTITUTION.

Bottom line:

These so called “honorable” businessmen drove a wedge of division, discord and animosity to a Family of which they are not even part of.

The poor, innocent children were deprived from a proper EDUCATION. This will leave a lifelong sad memory in the tender minds of the Children who saw and experienced the Tears, Pains & Sufferings of their parents, brothers and sisters. The Consequences of forcing “Corporate Governance” above Human Rights and the Dignity of the person will go down to the next generations and history will expose the Truth.
I could not stop the tears when this cousin of my Mother even had the guts to say when he ordered to the president to step down and leave with the words still echoing in my mind… “Don’t Worry, We Love You just the same”. Is this “love”?!!!

Is Corporate Governance above Human Rights, Respect of the Person, and His Family? What about Solidarity, Unity, Fairness, Justice and Harmony?
This cousin of my Mother, is popular for his “charitable” works…But is it not True that Charity is expressed in Good Works? Charity begins at HOME and not Lip service.
Now, what about the EDUCATION of the Children? Why “punish” the innocent?
To end, I was told that after 10 long years, this family corporation is now making money. They are profitable… very good… but at what price?

What will it profit a corporation, if they gain high earnings, but have suffered the Loss of their Soul, Spirit and Humanity…?

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Practical Suggestions on How to Protect the Rights of Real Estate Salespersons

Yesterday, we discussed some issues and concerns facing the practice of real estate selling in the Philippines. Today, we will tackle some suggestions on how or what can be done to protect the rights of real estate salespersons.

Photo source: www.sulit.com.ph

Real Estate Salespersons taking their Oath  (source: http://www.sulit.com.ph)

Real Estate Salespersons common complaints are the abuses being done by some real estate brokers. For example, demanding unrealistic sales quotas, deducting their allowances, and worst of all, non-payment of commissions due.

When it comes to  project selling, such as condominiums or subdivisions a salesperson needs to invest  a lot of time and effort. They are also required to comply with Professional Regulation Commission requirements, and register to the  HLURB, and in doing so the real estate salesperson has to pay corresponding dues and licenses.

My advice and practical solution is that real estate salespersons should consider and form a National Organization or Association in order to protect their rights, to be heard, and implement their advocacy in professionalizing the practice of real estate selling. Forming a National Association will be  a big help in preparation for Global Real Estate Marketing  and the ASEAN  integration.The right of forming an association is found in the charter of the United Nations, our Constitution and Civil Law.

The Social Doctrine of the Church also promotes the Solidarity of Workers and I quote: “The Magisterium recognizes the fundamental role played by labour unions, whose existence is connected with the right to form associations or unions to defend the vital interests of workers employed in the various professions. Unions “grew up from the struggle of the workers — workers in general but especially the industrial workers — to protect their just rights vis-à-vis the entrepreneurs and the owners of the means of production”. Such organizations, while pursuing their specific purpose with regard to the common good, are a positive influence for social order and solidarity, and are therefore an indispensable element of social life. The recognition of workers’ rights has always been a difficult problem to resolve because this recognition takes place within complex historical and institutional processes, and still today it remains incomplete. This makes the practice of authentic solidarity among workers more fitting and necessary than ever.

The principle of subsidiarity protects people from abuses by higher-level social authority and calls on these same authorities to help individuals and intermediate groups to fulfill their duties. This principle is imperative because every person, family and intermediate group has something original to offer to the community. Experience shows that the denial of subsidiarity, or its limitation in the name of an alleged democratization or equality of all members of society limits and sometimes even destroys the spirit of freedom and initiative.

The principle of subsidiarity is opposed to certain forms of centralization, bureaucratization, and welfare assistance and to the unjustified and excessive presence of the State in public mechanisms. “By intervening directly and depriving society of its responsibility, the Social Assistance State leads to a loss of human energies and an inordinate increase of public agencies, which are dominated more by bureaucratic ways of thinking than by concern for serving their clients, and which are accompanied by an enormous increase in spending”. An absent or insufficient recognition of private initiative — in economic matters also — and the failure to recognize its public function, contribute to the undermining of the principle of subsidiarity, as monopolies do as well.

In order for the principle of subsidiarity to be put into practice there is a corresponding need for: respect and effective promotion of the human person and the family; ever greater appreciation of associations and intermediate organizations in their fundamental choices and in those that cannot be delegated to or exercised by others; the encouragement of private initiative so that every social entity remains at the service of the common good, each with its own distinctive characteristics; the presence of pluralism in society and due representation of its vital components; safeguarding human rights and the rights of minorities; bringing about bureaucratic and administrative decentralization; striking a balance between the public and private spheres, with the resulting recognition of the social function of the private sphere; appropriate methods for making citizens more responsible in actively “being a part” of the political and social reality of their country”.

And in the case of non-payment of their commission, they can opt to mediation or arbitration and look for a mediator or an independent person who can help them in the settlement of disagreements.

They must also have an advocacy to propose how to resolve the disputes among themselves, in a way that they won’t resort into filing cases to each other, because aside from it is expensive, the due process will take long.

Most importantly, real estate salesperson should have the professional advancement, education, and accurate knowledge in the kind of job they’re into, because having the knowledge will lead them nowhere but in the path of success. Eventually, when they become a successful real estate broker they will not abuse the real estate salespersons that they will work with because they understand the hardships of selling- they have been there.

In the Book written by Mr. Jun Garing, titled “Superb Selling Secrets” The Filipino Art of Breakthrough Selling, he wrote “Failure is success turned inside out, so they say. But failure is the most adversary of success. So, you must know how to deal with this problem if it comes your way.

blaNK

To properly deal with failure, regard it as it is-failure! No more, no less. It is never a game badly played. You do not fail in order to win. You win by playing the game Right…

collage

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Some issues and concerns of Real Estate Salespersons

 Yesterday, we discussed some key points and factors on how to become real estate sales champion. In today’s article we will continue on some issues and concerns facing the practice of real estate selling in the Philippines.

images (7)

photo source: ovlcommercial.com

Real estate salespersons work for brokers they help brokers to act as agents whether in selling or buying, renting or managing a particular property, of their client and principal

The demanding work of a real estate salesperson requires that they be familiar and well informed of the properties or projects that they’re handling.

photo sourc: depositphotos.com

photo source: depositphotos.com

 Since the real estate salespersons are the front liners, they undergo all sources of difficulties, for example we see them handing out fliers and brochures in the streets under all types of weather conditions, rain or shine just hoping to catch a prospective buyer. Often they get humiliated or rejected and yet their work attitude has to be positive with a sincere smile and with true sense of service. Those who persevere do so because of their love and passion in what they are doing. They do not allow the pressure or stress to discourage them in pursuing their career.

One of the most common complaints I received from real estate salespersons are the abuses being done by some re brokers, for example, giving of unrealistic sales quotas, deducting their allowances and worst of all non-payment of commission due.

The real estate broker has the necessary authority and power like an employer but this can sometimes be abused. The real estate salesperson is under the mercy of their real estate broker. And what’s frustrating is, there is no regulatory government agency to protect the sales person, sort of a constitution, human rights, civil code and some provisions of the labor code.

It is written in the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church under the right to fair remuneration and income distribution that Remuneration is the most important means for achieving justice in work relationships. The “just wage is the legitimate fruit of work”.

They commit grave injustice who refuse to pay a just wage or who do not give it in due time and in proportion to the work done. A salary is the instrument that permits the labourer to gain access to the goods of the earth. “Remuneration for labour is to be such that man may be furnished the means to cultivate worthily his own material, social, cultural, and spiritual life and that of his dependents, in view of the function and productiveness of each one, the conditions of the factory or workshop, and the common good”. The simple agreement between employee and employer with regard to the amount of pay to be received is not sufficient for the agreed-upon salary to qualify as a “just wage”, because a just wage “must not be below the level of subsistence” of the worker: natural justice precedes and is above the freedom of the contract.

When I was a real estate salesperson, I also experienced looking for a buyer of raw lands and had to walk from Wawa Dam to Boso-boso all the way to Teresa, Rizal through the river, not minding the heat of the sun and my tired foot. I also had experienced to be abused by this developer, and it took us more than one year to get our commission. We know that project selling takes a lot of time and effort from registering to HLURB, to payment of fees, there’s so much to pay and yet they don’t get the back pay they deserve.

 It is very annoying that some people can’t see the sacrifices and the hardships that real estate salespersons had to go through. Because there are brokers’ and developers possess this characteristic I call “bullets+grapes” (balasubas).

tesdaIn conclusion, salespersons are being abused because they are not covered by the Labor Code, and there is no regulatory government agency to protect their rights. There should be rules to be implemented on what to do with this people who are not paying the real estate salespersons’.They can associate themselves and found a UNION which will protect their rightsI would also suggest that they would have their trainings in TESDA. It will be a good training ground for them.

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Professionalizing Real Estate Salespersons: Front Line Movers of Real Estate Projects and Brokerage

In 1972, I started my career in the real estate as salesperson, since I was under age I could not take the Broker’s Exam, but I was born into and grew up with a family of realtors, grand fathers, uncles, aunties, and close family friends and I learned it through “osmosis”, attending seminars, joining the real estate brokers when they do their project selling.

I even recall that I was always invited to join and drive for them. I would drive our company car a Volks Wagon Combi which we use for tripping. We would travel  far as Lucena where we had a subdivision that called “Imaculada Concepcion” or the subdivision in Calamba now known as Lakeview subdivision, or Villa Pansol in Los Baños and as far as our project in Baguio City, the Buenos Aires Subdivision.

Left: Old Manila Board of Realtors Logo Right: New Manila Board of Realtors Logo

Left: Old Manila Board of Realtors Logo
Right: New Manila Board of Realtors Logo

One of the most enjoyable moments and learning experiences as a young real estate salesman, where the monthly meetings I attended at the Manila Board of Realtors. These meetings were prepared and followed proper protocol and looking back I realized, that these realtors were all very prestigious followed to the letter the Code of Ethics with integrity and prestige.

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THREE GENERATIONS OF QUALITY REAL ESTATE SERVICES, A TRUSTED LEGACY, PILLARS OF THE REAL ESTATE INDUSTRY IN THE PHILIPPINES

My mentors were Ruben Palacio who thought me how to prepare for the Broker’s Exam,I idolized the realtors then, outstanding professional such as A.U. Valencia and Rod “RGV” Valencia, Rey Asuncion, Atty. Filamor, Mr. Castañeda who’s still a lone survivor of the original Manila Board of Realtors, Mr. Lao, Mr. Buencamino, Nanding Caluag, and to name a few of those who made a difference in the spirit of true professionalism as the original Realtors.

Definition of Real Estate Salesperson

Real estate salesperson as a duly accredited natural person who performs service for, and in behalf of a real estate broker who is registered and licensed by the Professional Regulatory Board of Real Estate Service for or in expectation of a share in the commission, professional fee, compensation or other valuable consideration. Real Estate Service Act (R.A. 9646) defines.

Oath taking of Salespersons

Oath taking of Salespersons

Salespersons are not allowed to receive or demand a fee, commission or compensation of any kind from any person, other than the duly licensed real estate broker who has direct control and supervision over him, for any service rendered or work done by such salesperson in any real estate transaction.

Qualifications of Real Estate Salesperson:

On the Section 31 of the RESA Law, for real estate salespersons, no examination shall be given, but they shall be accredited by the Board. Providedthat they have completed at least two (2) years of college and have undergone training and seminars in real estate brokerage, as may be required by the Board. Real estate salespersons shall be under the direct supervision and accountability of a real estate broker. As such, they cannot by themselves be signatories to a written agreement involving a real estate transaction unless the real estate broker who has direct supervision and accountability over them is also a signatory thereto. No real estate salesperson, either directly or indirectly, can negotiate, mediate or transact any real estate transaction for and in behalf of a real estate broker without first securing an authorized accreditation as real estate salesperson for the real estate broker, as prescribed by the Board. A real estate broker shall be guilty of violating this Act for employing or utilizing the services of a real estate salesperson when he/she has not secured the required accreditation from the Board prior to such employment.

Real Estate Salespersons, being the front liners in the field of real estate service, should have proper skill training, human formation, basic vocational education, and ethical professional values.

In today’s article, we shall tackle how can a salesperson becomes a real estate sales champion.

blaNKIn the Book written by Jun Garing titled “The Filipino Art of Break-through Selling”, where he discussed Superb Selling Secrets. Jun Garing is the owner of the Salesman’s Center, Inc., founded in 1994, is a professional body dedicated to the development of people and organizations, as well as to enhancement of selling skills and expertise.

He wrote that to become a successful salesperson, he should have the confidence. How does one can acquire self confidence? If you know yourself, if you know what you are doing or what you are talking about and if you know what you are talking with, that is self-confidence in action.

There are essentially three keys that open this big door called self-confidence. The first key is Know Yourself. This seems to say easy. In fact, ten out of ten will automatically say “Of course, I know myself. Trust me”. But a lot of things in this world are easier said than done.

You are here today where your actions and decisions in the past have brought you. Your actions and decisions today will determine where you will be tomorrow to the fulfillment of your desires: a successful sales professional, a champion.

The second key is, know what you are talking about. If you are selling the Pasig River, the Luneta Grandstand or the Manila City Hall, you are expected to know with full authority the whys and the wherefores of these places and structures including each one’s history, architecture, Torrens title, Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) and so on.

It is important to note that these places are not, and may never be opened up for sale. But some very enterprising and unscrupulous salespersons have been able to sell city creeks, canal, tributary rivers, including nonexistent buildings and lots. Some of them even possess the ability to sell tiny “dilis” (long-jawed anchovy) for the price of a golden “bangus” (milk fish). These people definitely know what they are talking about. That they are selling properties not up for sale is evidence enough of what they know.

True enough, if you know what you are talking about, the spirit of self-confidence subliminally sets in and stays in your system.

The third key is, know with whom you are talking. You are a salesperson doing business in the Philippines. So generally, your client is Filipino. Having identified your client or his nationality is a good springboard towards getting to know him better.

Knowing with whom you are talking to not only saves you from pitfalls of trouble and embarrassment. It also helps you steer your way through the labyrinth of peculiar human behavior towards the tunnel, where it is bright and where you can see clearly your client filling up the order form you brought for him.

A successful real estate sales person should also be competent. To be competent, it is a must that you are qualified for the job you have undertaken. This is not so much about academic qualifications. It is more of being qualified to push forward, real hard, in order to realize the fulfillment of a predesigned objective, which is to win.

Competence is best enhanced and supported by three factors equally independent of each other: (1) Walking Tall or the manner by which you carry yourself is one but necessarily the first: your client will momentarily forget that you are a salesperson, who has trailed him to the beach get his signature. At first, you may probably talk about the water or about his jet ski. By talking less and listening more, you gain a foot hold over him. Gradually, depending on your capability to steer the conversation, you get to your desired direction. You end up a winner. (2) Talking Rich, or your propriety in speech, is necessarily the second: your speech must be rich with proper conversation conduct and ethics. It also includes having extensive knowledge of how your products fare with other name brands. It is also a matter of injecting humor. (3) Feeling Good, you should always wear a beautiful smile. A genuine smile radiates a loving feeling. It neutralizes everything that is negative and it also breaks down the invisible wall that always separates the salesperson from his clients.

It is important how well you present yourself to the clients, how good you will converse with them because the way you talk is only your weapon of showing how credible you are.

Tomorrow, we shall continue on some issues and concerns facing the practice of real estate selling in the Philippines.

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