Talking Finance with the Country’s Top Finance Honcho

Talking Finance with the Country’s Top Finance Honcho

Oct 15, 2014

“Wow Rose you got the Finance Secretary to read the Introduction of your latest book! How cool is that? And how did you do that?” was the reaction of most people who saw the book trailer and the Introduction of The Retelling of The Richest Man in Babylon.

Well, I think that’s one of the perks of my age. Secretary Cesar Purisima is only four years older than me and I had the opportunity of doing some investment banking deals with him back in the day. In fact, I remember traveling to Singapore with him in line with a common client, a company that operated an international container terminal. I can still recall that he was a fun person to travel with, asking the flight attendant for toys that they give to toddler passengers. When the attendant gave us a quizzical look, he said, “She has young kids waiting for her to come home.” The FA was gracious enough to hand us a couple of toys. On our way back home when he found me carrying big bags of toys, pasalubong for my boys, he and the other SGV partner Dave Balangue couldn’t help but tease me, “Of course, we have to carry these big bags for you. We’re the stevedores of Rose Fausto, not any different from the stevedores of the terminal operator we’re working on!”

A few years later, Cesar went on to become the Chairman and Managing Partner of the country’s largest accounting and multidisciplinary professional services firm, SGV. He was succeeded by Dave when he left to become the Finance Secretary under the GMA administration. And this housewife would say, “Wow! Look, ‘my stevedores’ have come a long way!”

Chitchatting with the Finance Minister

After coordinating with Baby Magsombol how we could squeeze in my shoot with the very busy Secretary, we finally made it to his satellite office in Makati. First, we had to shoot him reading the Introduction. We had some funny outtakes but I promised not to show them because the stability of our economy might be endangered. The final cut of the Introduction was featured in my new website Introduction: The Retelling of The Richest Man in Babylon.

The more interesting clip is what I’m about to share with you – our free-flowing conversation. We talked about many things. He shared his childhood money memory back in General Santos City where his grandfather would give them their daily allowance of 25 centavos that he used to buy his favorite merienda, maruya and how he would trick his younger sister to give him her allowance.

He also shared how he and wife Corrie are reading books to their son and hopefully how my new book would give him a head start on the laws of money.

He discussed the administration’s top three priorities when it comes to poverty alleviation, namely: 1.) education; 2.) affordable healthcare; and 3.) better work opportunities in the country.

He also discussed how they are not just waiting for the trickle down effect but are approaching development from different sectoral angles.

The Secretary discussed how we can take full advantage of the demographic dividends of being the youngest country in Asia and also the most mobile and easy to integrate people.

He was quite humble not to take credit when I congratulated him for his numerous Finance Minister of the Year awards.

See how he answered my question, “Can we withstand any presidency in 2016?” Oh, and watch how he sets me up me towards the end of the interview.Rose Fres Fausto interviews Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima

I had fun doing this interview with Secretary Purisima. Even the young men who helped me with the shoot did too. Find out why, watch this video – Rose Fres Fausto interviews Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima.