by Hipolito Alibin, Jr.
In November, I attended the 2012 CGA Manitoba Convocation in Brandon and I am proud to share and congratulate “10 Kababayans” (12% of 86 grads) who obtained this respected and globally recognized accounting designation. The graduates were: Michael Balolong, Dexeryll Balolong, Melanie Torre-Cabacungan, Tristan Cupida, Elenita Gatpayat, Herbert Herrera, Janette Nuilan, Joan Presto, Maria Rafal, and Jovito Rasay.
We have heard many stories of kababayans who experienced hardship in getting their education and work experience recognized in Canada, and these graduates share the same. According to Herrera, “I found it hard to apply for supervisory position because my (work) experiences were not here in Canada”, and Rasay adds, “I used search companies, mailed many applications, resulted in only 3 interviews, and none gave me the opportunity. It was difficult for employers to get confirmation of my work experiences and education from the Philippines”. CGA Manitoba has made efforts to recognize the credentials of and assist internationally trained accountants. According to M.Balolong, “CGA was closest to what I have (CPA) in the Philippines, and recommended by my work colleagues”, and Rafal adds, “A one-year scholarship from the Province of MB Labour & Immigration and CGA allowed me to finish up to Level 4 courses prior to seeking employment”.
Students complete the program in both classroom and online setting, Presto says, “The online learning structure allowed me to work full-time while earning my designation and bachelor’s degree”. The program is known for its rigorous academic curriculum where perseverance, discipline, and commitment are a must, but the professional opportunities are endless. According to D.Balolong, “Working full time, raising a family and studying are really draining but with family support, especially my husband, it became a lot easier”.
CGA Canada has many member and certificate affiliations internationally such as, U.K., Australia, Ireland, France, Caribbean, China, and India. CGA’s are in excellent position to work anywhere as they please. According to Presto, “With this (CGA) designation, I would also like to obtain my CPA Australia so that I can live and work there.” The program draws respect and recognition from employers, Gatpayat says, “I am convinced that CGA, just like the other designations, is reputable. It also opens doors for a wide range of career opportunities”.
The notion of accountants as ‘bean counters’ is in the past. CGA’s can be found in mid-level to executive positions such as, Manager, Controller, CFO, President/CEO, and even as Politician. Majority of CGA graduates aspire the same positions in their career. According to Cupida, “I want to use my designation to get into positions where I would handle more responsibilities”, and M.Balolong adds, “I need to add value to the organization where I work and show how a CGA makes a difference”.
Again, congratulations to our CGA graduates! The CGA family, your families and friends, employers, and Filipino Community are very proud of your accomplishments.
If you want to know more about the CGA Program, please call the CGA-MB Association office at telephone (204) 477-1256 or visit www.cga-manitoba.org, “CGA, We see more than numbers.”
Hipolito Alibin Jr., B.Comm.(Hons.), CGA
Hipolito is a member of CGA-MB Member Services Committee and works full-time for the Province of MB as Admin. & Financial Manager.
For questions or comments about this article, send an email to: email@example.com