Business owners and employees aren’t the only ones affected when the global pandemic hit as learning institutions were also forced to close down to abide by the protocols set by the government in order to reduce the spread of the virus. Events were suspended, trips were canceled, and the dreams of thousands of aspiring CPAs were delayed. However, as the months went by, businesses and learning institutions have slowly shifted online, and this was the light at the end of the tunnel for those who have put their life on hold when the world was hit by an international health crisis. Who is Atty. Reginald Laco and how did he become a symbol of hope amidst these trying times?
Building the Foundation of i-CARE Accountancy Review
i-CARE Accountancy Review was started by a small group of dedicated and passionate Accounting Reviewers whose goal is to provide students with an affordable alternative in order to push through with their dreams of becoming Certified Public Accountants. i-CARE was formerly known as COVID-19 Project for Accountants, simply because it was started during the time of the COVID-19 pandemic, but was later on renamed to i-CARE Accountancy Review.
Its President and Review Director, Atty. Reginald Laco organized the Review Center for aspiring CPAs with the goal of promoting social justice by helping underprivileged students achieve their dreams of becoming CPAs. i-CARE provides one of the lowest fees out of all the review centers dedicated to aspiring Certified Public Accountants. As of today, i-CARE Accountancy Review has already helped more than 10,000 aspiring CPAs through its CPA Review program, and out of the 10,000 aspiring CPAs, 6,000 are considered indigent scholars.
Atty. Reginald Laco – An Icon of Excellence and Social Justice
Atty. Reginald Laco, is a Certified Public Accountant, a Real Estate Broker, and a Lawyer. He has long been an icon of excellence, and it all started in his early years. He finished his Elementary Education in San Sebastian Elementary School (a public school in Lipa City, Batangas) and graduated as Class Valedictorian in 2001.
In 2005, he finished his Secondary Education at Mabini Academy (Lipa City, Batangas) and graduated as the Class Salutatorian. In 2008, he was named as one of the Ten Outstanding Accounting Students in the Philippines. He was also a CHED Scholar and in 2009, he finished with a degree in Bachelor of Science in Accountancy at De La Salle Lipa and graduated as a Magna Cum Laude. In the same year, he took the CPA Board exam and placed 2nd.
His feat for excellence did not end there. He enrolled in Law School at De La Salle Lipa after passing the CPA Board Exams, and 4 years later, he graduated at the top of his class. He took the Bar Exams in 2014 wherein he ranked 4th. However, life wasn’t always easy for Atty. Laco.
Striving for Excellence Against All Odds
Atty. Reginald Laco came from an indigent family. His deceased father was a farmer while his mother worked as a street vendor. Throughout his whole academic career, he has been a working student. Ever since he was young, he was working in their family’s sari-sari store in order to help make ends meet. When he was already studying Law, he had to work in not one, not two, but three different schools as an Accounting professor in order to fund his education and support his family all at the same time. However, this did not stop him from achieving his dream of becoming a Lawyer because not only did he pass the exams but he also became a Bar topnotcher and placed 4th in the hardest Licensure Exam in the Philippines.
In an interview, Atty. Laco said “Since I came from an indigent family, I want not only to pass the CPA Board Exam and Bar Exam but to top them in order to give inspiration to underprivileged students that achieving your dreams is possible regardless of your status in life. Poverty will never be a hindrance to success as long as you have Faith in God and you give your best.”
Turning Tests Into Testimonies
Now, Atty. Laco is the Managing Partner and Chief Executive Officer of Laco Inandan Rivera Recio Rosuello (LIRRR) Law – a law firm based in Lipa City, Batangas which is engaged in general practice. Most of the cases they take are pro-bono in order to promote the time-honored principle of social justice which means that those who have less in life should have more in law.
Atty. Laco is also the Managing Partner and Chief Executive Officer of Laco Garachico Protacio & Co. (LGP & Co.) Auditing Firm – an Accounting Firm based in Lipa City Batangas that primarily caters to the accounting, financial, tax, and consultancy needs of Small & Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and Barangay Micro Business Enterprises (BMBEs).
For more than 12 years, Atty. Laco is a Bar Reviewer, Law professor, CPA Reviewer, and Accounting Professor in various universities and he considers teaching as his passion. For him, education is the key to alleviating poverty.
Here is a portion of our interview with Atty. Reginald Laco:
Have you encountered failures or mistakes in your business ventures? If so, what are they and what have you learned from them?
“I have encountered failures and mistakes not only in my academic life but also in my professional life. I was rejected for several scholarships that I have applied for as a student. I was also rejected by different colleges and universities that I have applied to as a professor. I have learned that God has a proper plan for my life – I just have to trust His will and continue to give my best.”
If you would face your younger self right now, what would you like to tell him?
“I would tell myself to enter public service.”
When asked about the advice he can give to start-up founders and to aspiring entrepreneurs, he answered “They should be willing to take risks but a calculated one while balancing it with the possible returns. Aside from that, their businesses should consider not only profitability but also social responsibility.”
Do not settle for less. Always aim for the best but pray, study, and work the hardest. – Atty. Reginald Laco, CPA
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