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Ms. Cindy Ortiz Talks About the ASEAN Integration 2015

February 18,2015

Last January 3, 2015, Ms. Cindy Ortiz, former professor at St. Scholastica’s College and the first Chair of the School of Accountancy, talked about the ASEAN Integration 2015, or ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) 2015 at the Function Hall A, 5th Floor, St. Cecilia Building. In attendance were BS in Accountancy and BS in Accounting Technology students from all levels.

After the singing of the National Anthem, an opening prayer, and a brief introduction from Dean Ester Ledesma and Jelena Del Rosario, NFJPIA Representative, Ms. Cindy began her talk by giving some information about the ASEAN and its member nations. 

The ASEAN was founded by the five founding fathers – Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand – on the 8th day of August, 1967. It was later on joined by Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Burma. It was mentioned how the ASEAN was formed with the fundamental principle of being recognized as one economic community to compete globally, without the interference in each other’s internal affairs, and with the cooperation of one another.

The AEC has three goals: (1) the integration of ten economic communities by 2015, (2) making the ASEAN community as a socially responsible, socio-cultural community, and (3) having peaceful cooperation among member nations. The AEC would involve the free-flow of goods, services, investments, and capital among the member nations.

Next, Ms. Ortiz explained how the ASEAN Integration 2015 would affect the economy and the educational sector in the country. This involves economic opportunities like a larger market and an opportunity for businesses and economies to grow, as well as challenges like more competition and having to improve logistics services in the Philippines.

In terms of education, the implementation of the K-12 is a step being undertaken by the Department of Education to be able to keep the country’s educational standards up to par with the other countries. Quality assurance for schools, colleges, universities, and students (graduates) will also be implemented. Challenges in terms of quality of education, the curriculum being implemented, as well as the manner of implementation were also discussed.

The last part of the talk focused on how the AEC would affect the accounting profession. This involves the Philippines forming bilateral agreements with other countries that will set the parameters as to what Philippine Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) registered under the ASEAN Charter of Professional Accountancy (ACPA) may or may not do in their respective countries.

To answer the question “Are we ready?” Ms. Cindy gave a few of her insights as to the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats Philippine accountants may face. This includes strengths in term of manpower and global competitiveness; weaknesses as to the knowledge of foreign tax laws, language, reportorial standards, and local accounting standards of other countries; opportunities to receive better compensation packages, an improved accounting curriculum, and increased job opportunity; lastly, threats include a weakened workforce in the country and the possibility of working in economically-advanced countries.

Overall, the talk was an informative and concise look into what the ASEAN Integration 2015 is, as well as its various effects in the Philippines. As the event ended with a prayer, students walked out with newfound knowledge regarding the AEC that will surely be helpful in the near future.

By: Ms. Lorlaine Joy Dueñas
Junior Philippine Institute of Accountants (JPIA), Publication Officer