DSEA Judges’ profiles

bam-aquinoSenator Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV
Republic of the Philippines
DSEA 2015, 2016 (Chairman)Senator Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino is the youngest senator of the 16th Congress of the Republic of the Philippines. A multi-awarded youth leader and social entrepreneur before being elected into the Senate, he is also the Philippines’s first social entrepreneur-senator.

In 2003, Bam became the youngest head of a government agency when, at 25, he was appointed as the Chairperson of the National Youth Commission, the primary national policy-making body for Filipino youth.

After his stint in government service, Bam co-founded the social enterprise The “Hapinoy” Program, which has since received global awards for its program that helps lift poor Filipinos out of poverty through micro-finance and micro-enterprise support. In 2008, he was awarded a scholarship to the Executive Education Program on Public Policy and Leadership of the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government.

Bam has dedicated his entire career to empowering the youth and the poor, and helping thousands of Filipinos improve their lives through access to opportunities and crucial support systems.

Because of his work, Bam received the following awards:

  • Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum in 2006
  • Ten Outstanding Young Men of the Philippines in 2010
  • Asian Social Entrepreneurs of the Year in 2011
  • Ten Outstanding Young Persons of the World in 2012

He currently chairs the Senate Committee on Trade, Commerce, and Entrepreneurship and the Senate Committee on Youth.

alex-cabrera Alexander B. Cabrera
Chairman and Senior Partner
PwC Philippines
DSEA 2015, 2016

Alex, both a Certified Public Accountant and lawyer, is the Chairman and Senior Partner of PwC Philippines since 2013. His exposure in public practice lies in audit, tax, business advisory and legal services. He specializes in tax planning and business mergers and acquisitions.

Before becoming Chairman and Senior Partner, he was Tax Managing Partner since 2006. He is the managing partner of Cabrera & Company, a law firm he founded in 2002.

He spearheaded the Philippine Gems campaign, a nationwide search to identify the country’s next wave of tourist destinations. It is one of five Gold finalists in the 2014 Asia-Pacific SABRE Awards.

He likewise led Philippine Resiliency: a Gem Uncovered project that sought the insights of top Filipino CEOs in the Philippines. It won an Asian Publishing Award for the firm in 2010.

Alex is a columnist of the Philippines’ leading print and digital newspaper, The Philippine STAR, with his “as easy as ABC” column published every Sunday.

The Philippine Institute of Certified Public Accountants presented him the Young Achiever Award in 1998 for his outstanding achievements in public practice.

He holds a Bachelor of Science in Accountancy from the Philippine School of Business Administration, which in 2006 named him as one of its outstanding alumni. He earned his Juris Doctor at the Ateneo de Manila University in 1994 and became a lawyer in 1995. Alex attended a leadership and management program at Harvard Business School in 2006. He is currently completing Wharton University’s CEO Global Transformation program.

antonio-yapAntonio S. Yap
DSEA 2015, 2016

Mr Yap graduated with AB in History and Political Science, BS in Business Adminstration and BS in Commerce major in Accounting and Financial Management – taken simultaneously at De La Salle University (Taft), then immediately completed his MBA from the Asian Institute of Management in 1976. He had Doctoral Studies at DLSU, UST and Philippine Normal University. Mr. Yap graduated also with a Professional Diploma in Family Ministries and Counselling from Cefam, Ateneo de Manila University.

Current President of the Sact College System, Mr. Yap is the immediate past President of the Philippine Association of Private Schools, Colleges and Universities (which he served for five consecutive years). Mr. Yap taught at DLSU.

Mr. Yap is a past Director of the Bureau of Small and Medium Industry, first Director of the Small and Medium Enterprise Development Office, one of two key Members of the Presidential Task Force on Credit for the Poor under Pres. F V Ramos (which created the People’s Credit and Finance Corp.), former National Vice-Chairman of the NCCA National Committee on Cultural Education, immediate past Chairman of the Board of the Cultural Center of the Philippines, and was a Charter Member of the Rotary Club of Makati Ayala (and first President of the RCMAyala Foundation).

Mr. Yap is the Founder of the Kapampangan Development Foundation (KDF), Convenor of the Talete King Panyulung Kapampangan Inc. (TPKI), and is the Founder of the Gawad sa Manlilikha Ng Bayan (National Folk Artist Awards now given through the NCCA).

Mr. Yap was the youngest ever Partner in Sycip, Gorres & Velayo and one of two Principals of the Project Development Services Division.

che-javierCherrylin M. Javier
Assurance Partner
PwC Philippines
DSEA 2015

Che Javier is an Assurance Partner of PwC Philippines since 1999. With over 25 years of experience in auditing, design of internal control system, due diligence review, business operations review, as well as Sarbanes-Oxley related engagements, Che’s extensive experience is one of the foundations of the firm’s audit practice.

Che is the lead partner of the firm’s Consumer and Industrial Products Group with over 120 professionals. She concurrently serves as the firm’s Finance Partner.

Despite her busy schedule, Che finds time to occasionally write for BusinessWorld where she has written, among other topics, about mitigating corporate fraud, wind energy, state of industrial and consumer products industries, and even how a beauty queen’s story is relevant to the manufacturing industry.

jerry-clavesillasJerry T. Clavesillas
Director III
DSEA 2015, 2016

Jerry T. Clavesillas is presently the Director III of the Bureau of Small and Medium Enterprise Development (BSMED) of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). He has been in government service for 35 years, having spent the entirety of his career serving the SME sector.

He is the Philippine representative to the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) Working Group as well as the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) SME Working Group and oversees DTI’s programs for SMEs such as: Shared Services Facilities Project, SME Roving Academy, National Industry Cluster Capacity Enhancement Project (NICCEP), and Promotion of Green Economic Development (ProGED).

gill-puyatGil Miguel T. Puyat
IRC Properties, Inc.
DSEA 2015, 2016

Gil Miguel T. Puyat is the Director of IRC Properties, Inc. (formerly Interport Resources Corporation) since March 12, 2008. He earned his Marketing Strategy Course at Asian Institute of Management, M.A Economics (candidate), at University of San Francisco, and BS Agriculture Economics, at University of Wisconsin.

His present business affiliations include: Chairman and President, TFS Credit Corporation; Chairman and President, Tambunting Puyat Pawnshop, Inc.; Director and President, Dell Properties, Inc.; Director and Vice President, Loyola Group Marketing and Management Corporation, Director, Loyola Memorial Chapel, Inc.; Director, Loyola Cemetery Services, Inc.; Director, Philippine Pawnshop & Jewelry, Inc.; Director, Omega Finance, Inc.; and Director and Treasurer, Militan Management Corporation.

rene-fortunoRene M. Fortuno
Chief of Party
DSEA 2015

Rene Fortuno is the Chief of Party for the Microenterprise Disaster Assistance Fund for Resiliency (MIDAS) program at the Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP).

MIDAS is a two-year USAID-funded program that aims to institutionalise a wholesale credit window that micro finance institutions can access for onlending to disaster-affected micro entrepreneurs. The long-term vision is to enable microenterprises to bounce back from a disaster to a productive and competitive level where they can mitigate negative impact of future disaster risks.