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"I graduated because of your taxes," IP certified accountant says

MLANG, North Cotabato — (NDBC/October 18)--Dedication and strong determination. 

These are the characteristics that served as guiding principles of a 22-year old daughter of the indigenous people (IP) here to pass the national licensure examination for accountants.


Catheryn Canete-Formanez of Barangay Magallon passed the Licensure Examination for Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and became the first IP resident of this town to become CPA for the past 63 years.


Formanez is a pure “lumad” who belongs to the Kaulo tribe that usually lives in mountain tops. 

Her parents migrated in the town of Mlang where they were able to acquire a small piece of land for farming.  


She was a consistent honor student during her elementary and high school days and graduated on top of her class while helping her parents attend to their small rice farm.


Armed with unusually high grades, she confidently applied for the scholarship grant from the Local Government Unit (LGU).  She took the qualifying exam easily and earned the respect of screening committee that gave her the go signal to pursue education.

She took up Bachelor of Science in Accountancy (BSC) and graduated cum laude in March 2014.


“Thank you for your prayers and encouragement. I owe this success to God and to the people of Mlang because of their taxes paid to LGU, I was able to pursue my college education,” Formanez said.


Harold Santillan, LGU scholarship coordinator, described Formanez as hardworking, dedicated to her studies and persevered to achieve her dream of earning a college degree.

“There was even a time that this girl go to school with empty stomach because she don’t want to be absent in her class. But despite this she was able to maintain good grades in all her subjects,” Santillan said.


Santillan said Formanez never complained or blamed her parents for their being poor. Instead she made poverty as inspiration in order to pursue her dream of becoming a CPA in the future, Santillan added.


“She was a classic example of a strong woman who, despite obstacles since childhood, managed to earn a degree,” Santillan said.


The LGU is spending P4.5 million for the scholarship program every year.


Lester John Dimasuhid, LGU scholars association president also encourages his fellow scholars to emulate Formanez to also become successful in the future.

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