THE PHILIPPINES-JAPAN SOCIETY
by unanimous resolution of its Board of Directors
proudly confers upon
FELICIANO L. TORRES
MEDAL OF MERIT
for Outstanding Achievement in the Promotion
Mr. Feliciano L. Torres is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Yazaki-Torres Manufacturing, Inc., a joint venture established in 1974 between the family of Mr. Torres and Yazaki Corporation of Japan. The company is the country’s number one exporter of automotive parts for more than three decades. It started with a modest workforce of 150 which has since become a large corporation now complemented by more than10,000 employees.
His accomplishments did not stop with the establishment of Yazaki-Torres. Together with his family, they established the first ever medical tourism enterprise in the pioneering medical tourism economic zone, located in Sto. Tomas, Batangas, the St. Cabrini Cancer Institute, a state of the art facility located in the said zone, a rural bank, and other trading and service companies. Then in partnership with the Senator Sotero Laurel’s Family, they also founded two educational institutions.
Mr. Torres’ business acumen had been greatly influenced by his exposure to the Japanese culture and discipline as early as 1952. When his parents got him involved in their trading firm, which supplied auto parts to local importers, he took it as an opportunity to open business dealings with the different OEMs in Japan that enabled him to gain knowledge on the Japanese business principles.
Over the years, Mr. Torres has admired, embraced and put into practice the Japanese ways of doing business, namely: nurture a lasting personal and business partnership; give value to quality; sustain good human relationships; and, share with the community and with other sectors.
To the credit of his parents, Mr. Torres’ acquaintances with the Japanese gave him the opportunity to create stronger business partnerships when the family put up their own trading company, the Unique Distributing Company in 1962 and eventually Yazaki-Torres in 1974. For over forty years now, his Japanese associates have remained his friends and business partners, and the relationship continues to grow ever stronger.
Mr. Torres also gives premium on the Japanese discipline of producing quality products. Having been awarded the exclusive distributorship of Japanese OEM automotive parts in 1962, he never doubted the quality of these products even if it was difficult to sell it because, at that time, the market was dominated by the American and European brands. Through his persistent effort and sheer patience, and given the good quality of the products he was promoting, he was able to effect a change in the perceived regard for Japanese brands, which eventually gained consumer acceptance. To date, said brands remain popular in the market and continue to dominate sales in the field.
Mr. Torres is always mindful of the Japanese way of maintaining good human relationship. This is clearly manifested in the case of the executives and other employees at Yazaki-Torres who have worked with the company from the very beginning. With his way of dealing with people, the turnover rate in the company has been very negligible. More importantly, for more than 3 decades, the company has a record of zero labor dispute as it continues to cultivate and preserve better working relationship with its labor force.
Subscribing to the wisdom of the Japanese culture of sharing, Mr. Torres has shared his knowledge, talent and skills to the community and other sectors. He takes pride in promoting and advocating the Japanese philosophy of workplace improvement, more commonly known as 5S, for several years, going from one company to another. With 5S wide application in Yazaki Torres, it has become a model site for benchmarking activities on various quality and productivity programs. Many industries – academe, private institutions, local government, NGOs and others – have visited the company since 1987. To date, the company has become host to 4,525 visitors. Moreover, as a firm believer of Japanese philosophy, and as founder and Chairman of Employees Confederation of the Philippines Institute for Productivity and Competitiveness (EIPC), Mr. Torres even upgraded his advocacy improvement programs with 5S as the foundation into having other Japanese systems such as plant layout and process flows exemplified in the training curriculum of ECOP’s Big Enterprise-Small Enterprise Program (EBESE).
Through the personal invitation of the late Ambassador Jose S. Laurel III sometime in 1988, Mr. Torres became a member of the Philippines-Japan Society. Under its auspices, Mr. Torres served as the Chairman of the Philippines Japan Economic Cooperation Committee (PHILJECC) for two consecutive years during which time he espoused very relevant topics on economic, cultural, and business development issues and themes in the annual fora of the PHILJECC.
As a leader in the industry, Mr. Torres serves as the Chairman of the Philippine Automotive Federation, Chairman Emeritus of Motor Vehicle Parts Manufacturers Association of the Philippines and Trustee of the Automotive Sector in PHILEXPORT. In his modest way, he contributed to the forging of the Japan Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement (JPEPA), which to him is a vital economic measure that will open and provide many opportunities as Japan and the Philippines pursue advanced cooperation under a free trade regime.
With his accomplishments, Mr. Torres may be considered as a living testament of a Filipino who, for more than fifty years, has embraced the Japanese business culture and discipline and, in the process, has brought benefits and success not only for himself but for the Filipino society as well. Through him, the other Filipino businessmen may realize the greatness of the Japanese way of doing business, conversely for the Japanese businessmen, they may see in him the ability and talent of the Filipinos in imbibing the Japanese best practices in business. The success of his partnership with the Yazaki Corporation of Japan is a clear and convincing proof of the good chemistry of Filipinos and Japanese in doing business that exemplifies a heart-to-heart relationship (kokoro to kokoro no fureai) founded on mutual trust and respect as envisioned in the Fukuda Doctrine. Along this line, it can be stated that Mr. Torres, in a sense, may be considered as the epitome or the perfect symbol of the harmonious relations reigning between Japan and the Philippines.
In recognition of the aforesaid achievements, the Philippines-Japan Society proudly confers upon Mr. Feliciano L. Torres the 31st Philippines-Japan Society Medal of Merit, the highest award within its gift to convey.
Given this 27th day of February in the year of our Lord, Two Thousand and Nine in Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines on the occasion of the 31st Philippines-Japan Friendship Celebration and the 37th year of the Philippines-Japan Society.
FRANCIS C. LAUREL
BENJAMIN C. LAUREL