THE PHILIPPINES-JAPAN SOCIETY, INC.
By unanimous resolution of its Board of Directors proudly confers upon
CESAR E. A. VIRATA
MEDAL OF MERIT
For Outstanding Achievements in the Promotion
In grateful recognition of his exemplary contributions to the development and growth of Philippines-Japan relations
Cesar E. A. Virata was born in Manila on December 12, 1930 to Enrique Topacio Virata and Leonor Aguinaldo Virata, a niece of General Emilio Aguinaldo – one of three forerunners of Philippines-Japan relations. An achiever even as a student, Mr. Virata holds two Bachelor of Science degrees, in Mechanical Engineering and Business Administration, which he completed with honors (Cum Laude) at the University of the Philippines in 1952. In 1953, he earned his MBA in Industrial Management from the University of Pennsylvania.
Mr. Virata is the quintessential Filipino technocrat. His career started unassumingly in the sheltered confines of the academe, at the University of the Philippines where he taught from 1952 and eventually became Dean of the College of Business Administration in 1969. Between 1956 and 1967, Prof. Virata developed the practice in business consultancy of the accounting firm of SyCip, Gorres, Velayo & Company (SGV), which led to the establishment of its Management Services Division. By 1967, government took note of Mr. Virata’s talents and expertise and was thus appointed Deputy Director-General fir Investments of the Presidential Economic Staff. This led to a string of appointments, first as Undersecretary for Industry at the Department of Commerce and Industry (1967~1968), then as Chairman of the Board of Investments (1968~1970), Secretary/Minister of Finance (1970~1986), Chairman, Development Committee and Consultative Group for External Assistance from the World Bank and International Monetary Fund and the Asian Development Bank (1976-1980), among others. In all these offices, he distinguished himself and in the negotiation of major projects funded by Japan, such as the Philippines-Japan Friendship Highway, and numerous basic infrastructure projects on energy, power generation and transportation. From the late 1960s, he led government bodies that licensed 12 Japanese Trading Houses and registered many Japanese investments under the progressive Car Manufacturing Program, copper mining, petroleum, power generation and distribution, exports.
He served as an elected Member of the Batasan Pambansa (Parliament) from 1978 to 1986, the last five years of which, as Prime Minister of the Republic of the Philippines (1981~1986). As Finance Secretary, Mr. Virata actively participated in and passionately pushed for the ratification of the Philippines-Japan Treaty of Amity, Commerce and Navigation in 1976. This landmark agreement not only normalized postwar trade relations between the Philippines and Japan were finally established.
Throughout his 34 years of outstanding government service, Prime Minister Virata developed a reputation for unsullied integrity, shining competence and sterling performance. It is a well-known fact that during the Philippines’ most turbulent crises of the 1970’s to the mid-1980’s, it was the reputation of Prime Minister Virata, which allowed the country continued access to international finance and recognition by the world business and banking community. In such a prominent capacity, he found himself consistently dealing with major Japanese institutions, mainly the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Trade and Industry, Bank of Japan, Japan Export-Import Bank, OECF and Office of the Prime Minister. He also dealt with private banks, notably the Bank of Tokyo, Fuji Bank, and many of Japan’s largest securities firm. He negotiated for the Philippines the issuance of Samurai Bonds, the promulgation of the Philippines-Japan Tax treaty, and the comprehensive restructuring of Philippines sovereign debt with the Bank of Tokyo, Fuji Bank, the New York and Paris Clubs and Japan Export-Import Bank. Mr. Virata’s prominent role in all these earned him the respect and trust of Japan and its people.
Though retired from public service in 1086, the former Prime Minster Virata continued to keep an extremely active schedule through his involvement in various business and civic organizations, notably: as Chairman & President, C. Virata & Associates, Inc. a consulting firm he founded which advises many Japanese clients and undertakes policy studies for government institutions; as Vice Chairman, Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation – a joint venture with Japan’s Sanwa Bank; as Director for several Yuchengco Group joint ventures with major Japanese corporations, such as : Nippon Life, Tokio Marine, Honada Motors, Isuzu Motors, JCB, Itochu, Eisai, Daiei and Daiwa. Mr. Virata is also involved in many other charitable/educational/business/historical foundations, some of which are: the Asean Japan Business Meeting (AJBM) in which Mr. Virata was its prime mover and current Chairman of Philippine Delegation, the National Cetennial Commission where he served as its overall Vice-Chairman, and the Philippines-Japan Economic Cooperation Committee (PHILJEC), of which he is a Senior Adviser. Mr. Virata has been an active member of the Philippines-Japan Society since 1990.
The achievements of Mr. Cesar Virata is widely recognized by many local and international organizations, for which he had received various awards, including: Gold Medal – Outstanding Mechanical Student, Philippines Society of Mechanical Engineers (1952); Outstanding Citizen – City of Manila; Outstanding Citizen – City of Cavite; Ten Outstanding Young Men (1962), several awards from his alma mater, the University of the Philippines and honorary Degrees from the Ateneo de Manila University , University of the Philippines , St. Louis University, Manila Central University, Centro Escolar University, Philippine Women’s University and The Lyceum of the Philippines. He has been conferred with state medals and decorations by the Federal Republic of Germany, Republic of Columbia, Republic of Korea, Kingdom of Thailand and the Institutional Investor named Prime Minister Virata its Outstanding Finance Minister.
In acknowledgement of the aforesaid achievements and of his untiring efforts in the promotion of lasting friendship between the peoples of the Philippines and Japan, the Philippines-Japan Society proudly confers upon the Honorable CESAR E. A. VIRATA, the 23rd Philippines-Japan Society Medal of Merit, the highest award within its gift to convey.
Done this 28th day of February in the year of our Lord Two Thousand One in Makati City, Philippines on the occasion of the 23rd Philippines-Japan Celebration, and the 29th year of the Philippines-Japan Society.
JOSE S. LAUREL III BENJAMIN F. SANVICTORES
President Emeritus President
BENJAMIN C. LAUREL