THE PHILIPPINES-JAPAN SOCIETY, INC.
by unanimous resolution of its Board of Directors
hereby confers upon
The Honorable JOSE G. SANVICTORES
the Medal for Outstanding Achievement in
the Promotion of Phlippines-Japan Relations
manifested not only in specific accomplishments but in
the totality of his life-long record as a public official
and a private citizen in the pursuit of this purpose.
Early in his youth, he decided on a career in agriculture, believing he could contribute to the nation’s economic development as an essential complement to political independence, and graduated with the Degree of Bachelor of Science in Agriculture, Class of 1908, from the University of Illinois, U.S.A.
He first joined the Philippine Government in 1908. He also served as Member of the House of Representatives for the provinces of Agusan and Bukidnon and was subsequently elected Delegate to the 1934 Constitutional Convention. In the various positions he occupied, he had the opportunity to deal closely with the Japanese in our country, especially during his tenure in the Executive Department, where he was able to study the so-called Davao problems and to acquire deep insights in to the relations of the Philippines and Japan, particularly in the fields of politics and trade.
Upon the occupation of the Philippines by the Japanese Imperial Forces, he served as Assistant Commissioner of Agriculture & Commerce and later, in 1943, assisted President Jose P. Laurel in organizing the Executive Office. He was then appointed Food Administrator, a very sensitive and responsible position during that time in view of the food crisis brought about by the war and the necessity for massive efforts toward adequate production of food and its systematic distribution. In this capacity, he was also able to provide placement for released Filipino prisoners of war dislocated by the Occupation and unable at the time to find adequate employment.
As a publisher, occupying first the position of General Manager of the Philippine Herald and later Executive Vice-President of the Evening News, he consistently advocated the promotion of Philippines-Japan friendship, even when bitterness against the Japanese engendered by the occupation years was still rife among our people and it took tremendous moral courage to espouse a policy of amity toward a former enemy nation.
In 1949, suiting action to the word, he chose to deal primarily with Japan when, at the age of 62, he embarked on his own private business and pioneered in the development of Philippine trade with this country by importing from it agricultural equipment, through his own company, the SEA (Southeast Asia) Commercial Co., Inc. and later exporting to it Philippine logs, lumber and veneer, dealing directly for this purpose at the beginning with the Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in the Pacific (SCAP), and later through the Aras-asan Timber Co., Inc., which he had also founded. Significantly, he even personally accompanied Japanese technicians to Mindanao in the early 1950’s despite his advanced years, to train Filipino workers in the operation of machinery purchased from Japan to insure better production of Philippine plywood. He also entered into the first joint ventures with Japanese companies in reforestation, the export of Japanese rubber shoes (jikatabi), and the manufacture of water pumps for export to Japan and Southeast Asia.
It is no less noteworthy that he has reared ten children, all of them prominent professionals, outstanding members of their communities and, like him, active in civic and business affairs. Three of his sons are as involved as he is in the Philippines-Japan Society, which he has supported avidly since its organization in 1972, one of them being a founding member, now director and Treasurer, whom he sent to Japan at the age of 15 for his secondary and collegiate studies.
Such a man as JOSE G. SANVICTORES, deserves the accolade of the Filipino nation for the lifetime of service he has rendered in its behalf and, particularly, of the Philippines-Japan Society, for his assiduous pursuit of its paramount purpose of promoting relations between the two countries for their mutual benefit. It is meet, therefore, that he be conferred, for the first time in the history of the Society, this highest recognition within its gift.
DONE in Makati, Metro Manila, this 17th day of January 1979, and the sixth year of the Philippines-Japan Society.
JOSE S. LAUREL
ANTONIO Q. PAULINO