SEC Roadshows: A step towards a more balanced and sustainable economic landscape

I was in Butuan City last April 13 as a resource speaker at the 14th leg of the Security and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) Roadshow on Capital Formation for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises and Startups. The whole day event was held at The Pavilion at the Watergate Hotel.

Launched by the SEC in early 2023, the nationwide roadshow aims to promote and raise awareness of the various capital market financing options available for Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and business owners who have just started their operations.

Our MSMEs deserve all the support they can get. After all, they are the lifeblood of the Philippine economy, driving employment, contributing to exports, and playing a vital role across diverse sectors. They comprise 99.59 percent of the business enterprises operating in the country.

The author was one of the Resource Speakers during the Butuan leg of the 2024 SEC Roadshow on Capital Formation for MSMEs and Start-ups, held last April 12, 2024.

According to the 2022 List of Establishments (LE) of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), there are some 1,109,684 business enterprises operating in the country. Of these, 1,105,143 (99.59%) are MSMEs and 4,541 (0.41%) are classified as large enterprises. Micro enterprises constitute 90.49% (1,004,195) of total establishments, followed by small enterprises at 8.69% (96,464) and medium enterprises at 0.40% (4,484).

When the SEC asked me to join them in the Caraga Region leg, I did not hesitate to accept the invitation. Aside from sharing with the attendees our company’s capital market journey, I have long been planning to explore other parts of Mindanao where IDC could expand and contribute to the development and progress of places outside Metro Manila and Luzon.

At present, our development projects in Southern Philippines are focused on Cagayan de Oro City with our Primavera Green Residences, Primavera City, Verona Green Residences. We have more upcoming green development projects in Region X, which we are looking forward to announcing in due time. Mindanao, long known as the land of promise, is getting the attention it fully deserves in recent years and has contributed much to the country’s economic growth.

Recently, National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) chief Dr. Arsenio Balisacan was quoted as saying, “The rapid growth of our economy has led to a significant increase in the number of people traveling for work, running businesses, and even for leisure and tourism. We need to consider our entire transportation system and infrastructure, along with the development of our industries, commercial centers, and even residential areas.”

“That is why, we call on the business community to invest more in the provinces,” he added.

Italpinas is very much aligned with the government’s thrust to spur growth in the other parts of the country to provide more opportunities for our people residing in those areas. I could not agree more with Secretary Balisacan when he said that businesses should invest more in the provinces and develop new commercial centers to decongest the metropolis.

At the Butuan event, I shared with the audience our experience in getting publicly listed, only six years after we established the company. It was definitely not a walk in the park, but it was worth it.

We successfully held our initial public offering (IPO) on December 7, 2015. This milestone marked a significant step in IDC’s journey as a sustainable property developer and exemplified our commitment to growth and innovation in the real estate industry.

My testimonial was further boosted when Investment and Capital Corporation of the Philippines’ (ICCP) Managing Director, Manny Ocampo featured IDC as a business case in his presentation.

Manny highlighted that the IPO enabled Italpinas to increase its equity base, which grew the company’s capacity to take in more debt to fund future projects. He also mentioned that from 2015 to 2022, IDC was able to grow its total assets significantly.

I would like to take this space to thank ICCP for their partnership. The first project IDC built was in townships Developed by ICCP.

I thank the SEC for having me in Butuan City. Its initiative to go on a nationwide roadshow that is meant to help MSMEs in various parts of the country is truly laudable as it complements the government’s efforts to decentralize economic activities and empower local enterprises throughout the country.

By supporting our MSMEs with knowledge, resources, and regulatory guidance, the SEC is fostering an environment where businesses can thrive outside the traditional urban centers. This not only aids in reducing the strain on city infrastructure but also promotes inclusive growth, ensuring that the benefits of economic development reach all corners of the nation.

Advantages of a publicly listed company

  • Access to the capital market: Going public gives companies the chance to raise capital using different financial instruments. These funds can be used for strategic growth initiatives, acquisitions, and other expansion plans.
  • Enhanced Financial Position: Publicly listed companies benefit from increased transparency due to market-driven valuation and regular disclosure reporting. This transparency can facilitate more favorable corporate financing terms from other sources, such as banks and the bond market.
  • Enhanced Corporate Governance: Publicly listed companies must comply with strict corporate governance rules. Regular disclosures to the investing public ensure transparency and result in a professionally run company with sound management.
  • Positive Brand Imagery: As visibility increases through regular disclosures, the company’s credibility grows. A positive brand image attracts new investors and potential partners.