BIZ BUZZ: Finance, farm guys join PDIC board

BIZ BUZZ: Finance, farm guys join PDIC board

/ 02:12 AM April 30, 2024

Two names with diverse backgrounds in investment banking, digital finance and agriculture innovation are joining the governing board of the Philippine Deposit Insurance Corp. (PDIC), an attached agency of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) mandated to protect depositors.

PDIC Chair and BSP Governor Eli Remolona Jr. administered the oath of office of John Mark Frondoso and Luis Rey Velasco. Both will serve at the PDIC Board as independent directors representing the private sector until Nov. 16, 2028.

Frondoso will bring with him a wealth of experience in the fields of investment banking and digital finance, while Velasco will join PDIC equipped with a background on agriculture innovation and public-private sector partnership in rural development.


Frondoso is the president of FSG Capital Inc., a financial advisory and holding company. Prior to founding FSG Capital, he was country head for Morgan Stanley’s Philippine Representative Office.


Meanwhile, Velasco—a former chancellor of the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) from 2005 to 2011 and Dean of the UPLB College of Agriculture—is currently the president of Japan-Asia Development Foundation Inc. and a member of the Board of Trustees of the Philippine Rice Research Institute of the Department of Agriculture.

Frondoso and Velasco’s roles as independent directors are vital in ensuring impartiality in policies governing deposit insurance, and promoting the integrity and soundness of the country’s deposit insurance system. —Ian Nicolas P. Cigaral

IFC boosts fintech firms

Fintech is the magic word these days for the International Finance Corp., the private sector arm of the World Bank.

After recently announcing a $7 million investment in Salmon Group Ltd., which provides short-term credit to Philippine consumers underserved by traditional banks, we hear that IFC is keen on deploying the same amount to beef up another Philippine-focused fintech, this time one that lends to small and medium enterprise (SMEs).

We’re talking about Carabao Capital Global Pte Ltd., currently operating in the Philippines under the brand name First Circle.

“With data and technological edge as the cornerstone of First Circle’s strategy, the company is providing unsecured credit lines to SMEs with competitive rates, flexible repayment options and the convenience of fast digital operations, in a country that has one of the lowest SME credit penetrations in Southeast Asia,” IFC said in a project note.


“The proposed investment is up to $7 million in equity by IFC as part of a fundraising round to enable the company to scale its business,” it added.

For its part, Salmon operates and owns a licensed bank, Rural Bank of Sta. Rosa Laguna Inc. and uses artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled technology and a proprietary credit engine to offer “market-disruptive” consumer loans.

With IFC as its proposed new investor, could First Circle take the same route of scaling up by gobbling up a local bank? — Doris Dumlao-Abadilla

BIR logo buzz

Aversion comes to many Filipinos whenever they see the imposingly yellow logo of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), the agency tasked to collect taxes from people. And it has been like that for 120 years—as old as the bureau itself.

BIR Commissioner Romeo Lumagui Jr. is aware of this and his solution is to change the agency’s logo for the first time in over a century. The problem with the current logo, Lumagui explained, is that it does not reflect the bureau’s transformation through the years and its important role in nation-building.

”Why is the current logo showing industries? I don’t like to see industries in the logo because we are all taxpayers. Employees are the biggest taxpayers, why are they not represented in the logo?” Lumagui told reporters.

“I don’t see the mission of BIR in the logo. We are collecting taxes for nation-building and upliftment of the lives of Filipinos,” he added.

Learning from recent mishaps on government logo changes (*clears throat* Pagcor), the BIR is crowdsourcing designs via a contest that will have three winners who will receive prizes of P100,000, P50,000 and P25,000.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

Once the new design secures all necessary approvals, Lumagui plans to unveil the new logo in time for the BIR’s anniversary in August. — Ian Nicolas P. Cigaral

TAGS: Biz Buzz, Business

© Copyright 1997-2024 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.