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RVR Awards: Honor Roll for Nation Building

The RVR (Ramon V. del Rosario) Awards for Nation Building started in 2010.

The first recipients of the awards were Ambassador Jesus Tambunting and agriculturist Senen Bacani.

Mr. Ramon Del Rosario, Jr., proponent of the leadership recognition program, said, “We are also honored when we honor these men who distinguished themselves in nation building.”

Through the years, ten other Filipinos joined the illustrious honor roll.

A new awardee joined the royal honor this year.


His story as a technology innovator and venture capitalist in Silicon Valley is the perfect illustration of rags to riches classic. A life of innumerable unexpected turns before he became the engineer that transformed the lives of many through his inventions.

He is the Bill Gates of the Philippines though others will say that Bill Gates is the Dado Banatao of America. The Philippines is very proud of having an extraordinary Filipino in the global community of great technopreneurs and innovators.

Diosdado P. Banatao, born May 26, 1946 in the small barrio of Malabbac in the town of Iguig, Cagayan, Philippines, is a Filipino-American entrepreneur and engineer working in the high-tech industry, credited with having developed the first 10-Mbit Ethernet CMOS with silicon coupler data-link control and trans-receiver chip, the first system logic chip set for IBM’s PC-XT and the PC-AT, and the local bus concept and the first Windows Graphics accelerator chip for personal computers.

A three-time start-up veteran, he co-founded Mostron, Chips and Technologies, and S3 Graphics.

His father, Salvador Banatao, was a rice farmer. His mother, Rosita Banatao, was a housekeeper.

Banatao is known for his rags to riches story. During his childhood, he walked barefoot on a dirt road just to reach Malabbac Elementary School. He pursued his secondary education at the Jesuit-run Ateneo de Tuguegarao.

After high school, he pursued his Bachelor of Science in Electric Engineering from the Mapúa Institute of Technology and graduated cum laude.

After college, he turned down several job offers, including one from Meralco.

He joined Philippine Airlines as a trainee pilot, and was later pirated by Boeing.

At Boeing, he worked as a design engineer for the company’s new commercial airliner and cargo transport aircraft, Boeing 747, in the United States. With the opportunity to stay in the United States, he then took his Master of Science in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Stanford University and finished in 1972. Banatao also joined the Homebrew Computer Club, where he met Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak.

After finishing his master’s degree, Banatao worked with different technology companies such as the National Semiconductor, Intersil, and Commodore International where he designed the first single chip, 16-bit microprocessor-based calculator. In 1981, he developed the first 10-Mbit Ethernet CMOS with silicon coupler data-link control and transreceiver chip while working in Seeq Technology. He was also credited for the first system logic chip set for IBM’s PC-XT and the PC-AT; the local bus concept and the first Windows Graphics accelerator chip for personal computers.

In 1984, Banatao and his business partner Francis Siu, founded a high-technology company, Mostron, starting with a capital of half a million US dollars. Mostron was launched as a manufacturer of motherboards. They also hired Ron Yara of Intel as a company executive. After he developed a five-chip set, he co-founded Chips and Technologies in 1985.

The company developed system logic chip set for IBM’s PC-XT and the PC-AT. The company earned $12 million in its first four months. After 22 months, the company went public. In 1989, Banatao launched his third start-up company, S3 Graphics, with Yara in Santa Clara, California. S3 focused on enhancing the graphic capabilities in personal computers by using a graphic accelerator chip.

The key to this was, Banatao’s invention of a local bus. The company had an initial public offering of $30 million. In 1996, the company became the leader of the graphic-chips market, beating a strong competitor, Cirrus Logic, Inc.. In the same year, Chips & Technologies was sold to Intel for about $300 million. In 2000, he decided to start-up his own venture capital firm named Tallwood Venture Capital with a capital of US$300 million, all of which came from his own pocket. He later sold another company for more than $1 billion, where it had less than 20 employees.

Dado was also part of SiRF, where it started the consumerization of GPS after it had been declassified by the US Government.

In 2010, Banatao became Ikanos Communications’ CEO after Michael Gulett resigned as the company’s CEO and President.

In the Philippines, Banatao through his Dado Banatao Educational Foundation, annually awards five educational scholarships to intelligent Filipino students who have bright futures in the field of engineering and technology.

Also, with Philippine Development Foundation which he chairs, he is helping send brilliant young Filipinos to school to help them reach their full potential.

PhilDev was spun off from Ayala Foundation’s program.

Through his Banatao Filipino American Fund, he assists Northern California high school students of Filipino heritage who are pursuing a college education in engineering.

He also built a computer center at his grade school in his childhood town of Iguig in Cagayan Valley, making it the only public school with the most modern computer network in the Philippines.

“The gift of education is very important. This is the area that government should invest more,” says Dado Banatao. “Education is the key in creating an opportunity for those brains, for those minds to produce. All of us are part and parcel of this responsibility,” Dado shares.

He went on to describe the educational landscape of the country especially in engineering. He related himself from being a regular guy who was only trained by international expertise.

“We’re as bright as anyone. I’m just an average guy. I went to Silicon Valley and got trained by the environment itself. We have to have that here in the Philippines.”


George Siao Kian Ty is a Filipino banker and business magnate born in 1932. He founded Metropolitan Bank and Trust Company, currently the second largest bank in the Philippines in terms of assets and capital. He also has stakes in Federal Land, Inc., the Bank of the Philippine Islands and Philippine Savings Bank, a Metrobank subsidiary. Ty was the owner of the G.T. International Tower in Makati.

Ty has been a senior advisor of Philippine Savings Bank since April 2008. Ty serves as an advisor of First Metro Investment Corporation and Philippine AXA Life Insurance Corporation. He served as an advisor of Philippine Savings Bank from April 2006 to April 2008. Ty is the founder of Metropolitan Bank and Trust Company (MBTC). He founded and served as the general manager of Wellington Flour Mills. He has been the honorary chairman of First Metro Travel, Inc. since 1989.

He serves as honorary chairman of Thomas Cook (Philippines) Inc., and FMIC. Ty serves as chairman emeritus of GT Capital Holdings Inc. and served as its chairman since its inception from July 2007 to July 11, 2011. Dr. Ty has been chairman of Toyota Motor Philippines Corporation since 1988. He serves as chairman of Global Business Holdings, Inc., and Manila Medical Services, Inc. He has been chairman of Metrobank Foundation, Inc., since 1979.

Ty has been chairman of Metrobank Group since 2006. He has been chairman of the Advisory Board of First Metro International Investment Co., Ltd since 2002. He serves as chairman of the board of Global Business Bank Inc.

He served as chairman of Toyota Autoparts Philippines Corp. from 1990 to July 2005. Ty served as chairman of Metropolitan Bank & Trust Company from 1975 to 2006 and also served as its co-chairman since May 2006. He has been director of Manila Doctors Hospital since 1979 and GT Capital Holdings Inc. since May 14, 2013. He serves as a director of Metrobank Group, San Miguel Corp., Maynilad Water Services and Metropolitan Bank & Trust Company.

He serves as a director of Toyota Autoparts Philippines Corporation. He served as a non-executive director of Lai Fai International Holdings Ltd. since September 14, 2002. Ty graduated from the University of Santo Tomas.


Henry T. Chi Sieng Sy Sr. born October 25, 1924, is a Chinese-Filipino business magnate, investor and philanthropist. He is involved in real estate, hospitality, banking, mining, education, and health care.

He is responsible for the establishment of SM Malls, anchored by Shoemart Department Store and Supermarket. He is founder of SM Prime Holdings, the holding corporation for all his business interests in his vast business empire. In 2015, Forbes magazine listed him as the richest man in the Philippines, ahead of 11 other billionaires including John Gokongwei and Lucio Tan.

Henry Sy was born to a poor family in Ankhue Village, Jinjiang City, Fujian Province of China. He is the son of Henry H. Sy and Domini Magdaraog.

He completed his secondary education in a school now known as Chiang Kai Shek College and earned his Associate of Arts degree in Commercial Studies at Far Eastern University in 1950.

In 1956, Sy established a small shoe store in Quiapo, Manila that marked the establishment of SM Prime Holdings. In November 1972, the small shoe store became SM Quiapo, SM’s first stand alone department store.

On November 8, 1985, he established his first SM Supermall, SM City North EDSA.

Sy was named “Richest Man of the Year” by the Makati Business Club in 1999 and was conferred an Honorary Doctorate in Business Management by De La Salle University in January of that year. He organized the SM Foundation Inc., which helps underprivileged and promising young Filipinos.

In August 2005, Sy’s stake in the San Miguel Corporation, Southeast Asia’s largest food and beverage conglomerate, reached 11%. He sold that stake in October 2007 for $680 million.

Sy is considered a tai-pan. The Sy group is the operator of Banco de Oro and owner of Chinabank. In 2006, he bought the remaining 66% of Equitable PCI Bank which is merged with BDO today, the Philippines’ third largest lender, in which he already had a 34% stake, and merged it with Banco de Oro in 2007. The merger created the Philippines’ second largest financial institution with resources of close to $17 billion.

He is the Philippines’ richest man, gaining $5 billion in 2010, amid the global financial crisis. The huge gain was due to his holding company, SM Investments Corporation, which has interests in Banco de Oro, inter alia. Forbes magazine’s 2008 list of 40 wealthiest Filipinos revealed the Sy family’s net worth was $6.2 billion. Earlier, he was the second-wealthiest individual in the Philippines, next to Lucio Tan, and (as of 2010) 201st-wealthiest in the world.

In 2017, Sy stepped down as chairman of SM Investments Corporation.


Manuel V. Pangilinan, (born July 14, 1946 in Manila, Philippines) is a Filipino businessman and sports patron. He is managing director and CEO of First Pacific Company Limited, a Hong Kong-based investment management and holding company with operations in the Asia-Pacific region.

He is also First Pacific’s chief executive for the group’s investments in the Philippines, such as Metro Pacific Investments Corporation, PLDT and Philex Mining Corporation.

He was the first president of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP), serving two consecutive terms from 2008 to 2015.

Pangilinan spent his elementary and high school days at San Beda College. He graduated cum laude from the Ateneo de Manila University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics. He received his MBA degree in 1968 from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Pangilinan began his career with the PHINMA Group. After six years, he was recruited by Bancom International, a Filipino investment bank operating in Hong Kong. He was later assigned to Bancom’s joint-venture bank with American Express. In 1981, he help co-found First Pacific together under Anthoni Salim, one his investment banking clients.


Jaime Augusto Zóbel de Ayala II (born March 6, 1959) is a Filipino businessman, from the prominent Zóbel de Ayala family. He currently serves as chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) of Ayala Corporation. He succeeded his father Jaime Zóbel de Ayala, as the company’s president and CEO in 1994 and as chairman and CEO in 2006.

In addition to his position in the Ayala Corporation, Zobel is chairman of Globe Telecom, Bank of the Philippine Islands, and Integrated Microelectronics Inc. (IMI); vice chairman of the board of directors and member of the Executive Committee of Ayala Land, Inc. (ALI); vice chairman of Manila Water Co.; and co-chairman and trustee of Ayala Foundation, Inc.

He also sits on the boards of various international and local business and socio-civic organizations.

Member, JP Morgan International Council
Member, Mitsubishi Corporation International Advisory Committee
Chairman, Harvard Business School Asia-Pacific Advisory Board
Chairman, Singapore Management University Advisory Council in the Philippines
Member, Singapore Management University Board of Trustees
Member, Harvard Global Advisory Council
Member, J.P. Morgan International Council
Member, University of Tokyo Global Advisory Board
Member, Board of Trustees of Endeavor Philippines
Trustee, Eisenhower Fellowships
Member, Harvard University Asia Center Advisory Committee

In the past, he held the following positions:

Chairman, Asia Business Council
Chairman, Ramon Magsaysay Foundation
Chairman, World Wildlife Fund Philippine Advisory Council
Philippine Representative, APEC Business Advisory Council

Honors include World Economic Forum Global Leader for Tomorrow in 1995; Emerging Markets CEO of the year in 1998 (sponsored by ING); Philippine TOYM (Ten Outstanding Young Men) Award in 1999 and Management Association of the Philippines Management Man of the Year Award in 2006.

On September 27, 2007, he was conferred Harvard Business School’s highest honor, the Alumni Achievement Award, by Dean Jay O. Light. The award was also given to: Donna Dubinsky, A. Malachi Mixon of Invacare, Sir Martin Sorrell of WPP Group and Hansjorg Wyss of Synthes. Zobel de Ayala received his MBA from HBS in 1987.

Zobel de Ayala was cited for “his innovative, entrepreneurial style of management (that) has benefited both Ayala and an island nation that faces significant social and economic challenges.” He is the first Filipino to receive this prestigious award.

Zóbel was conferred the Presidential Medal of Merit in 2009 and the Philippine Legion of Honor, Rank of Grand Commander in 2010.

Later on, Finance Asia named him Best CEO for 2009/2010 and he received the CNBC Asia Business Leader Award in 2010.

On November 25, 2010, Zobel received the Asia Talent Management Award at the 9th CNBC Asia Business Leaders Awards held in Singapore. Zobel was recognized for “his personal involvement in supporting and nurturing leadership within the company.” Zobel was quoted as saying that he and his brother Fernando Zobel de Ayala, president and COO of Ayala, consider succession planning as a critical element in ensuring the corporation’s sustainability. He was the third Filipino to be recognized by the annual program, following Globe Telecom CEO Gerardo Ablaza, Jr. who received the ABLA in 2004, and Jollibee CEO Tony Tan Caktiong for corporate citizenship in 2006.”

On September 14, 2017, Zobel was named by the United Nations Global Compact as one of the 10 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Pioneers for the year 2017. He was the first Filipino and Southeast Asian to be recognized with this honor. Since 2016, the UN Global Compact has identified individuals “who were showcasing how business can be a force for good” and recognized them “for their efforts and achievements in advancing the SDGs.”

Zobel studied at the Ateneo de Manila University (1966–1968), Ladycross School (1968–1971), and Worth School (1972–1976) before earning a B.A. degree in economics (cum laude) from Harvard College in 1981, and an MBA from Harvard Business School in 1987. He is married to Elizabeth (Lizzie) Eder Zóbel, a descendant of Santiago Eder. The couple have four children.


Vicente Tirona Paterno (18 November 1925 – 21 November 2014) was a Filipino businessman and politician. He served as Minister of Industry (1974–1979) and of Public Highways (1979–1980) during the Ferdinand Marcos’ government. He later served as member of the Senate of the Philippines from 1987 to 1992. He was born in Quiapo, Manila, to Jose P. Paterno and Jacoba Encarnacion Tirona.

He is a graduate of De La Salle high school class 41 and later on earned his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering degree at the University of the Philippines in 1948 and obtained Master of Business Administration at Harvard University in 1953.

Paterno was a lecturer in graduate school of U.P., La Salle and Ateneo de Manila from 1954 to 1962.

He died three days after his birthday in 2014. He is survived by his wife Baby, his children Judy, Mailin, Maite, Victor and Tina, and eight grandchildren.

In October 1982 he founded Philippine Seven Corp. He is known as the first general manager of Phinma and first Filipino treasurer of Manila Electric Company (Meralco).

Paterno started Philippine Seven Corporation in 1982. Popularly known as 7-Eleven, the convenience store has over 1,200 branches in the country.

He served as independent director for different companies such as City Resources Phil Corp., Benpres Holdings Corp., Metro Pacific Tollways Corp., Cityland Development Corp. and of First Philippine Holdings. He eventually resigned as his health failed.

Paterno won several awards – the 1982 MAP Management Man of the Year, the Order of the Sacred Treasure from the Emperor of Japan, and the 2013 Ramon V. del Rosario Award.

He was elected as a representative to the Batasang Pambansa following his resignation from former President Ferdinand Marcos’ Kilusang Bagong Lipunan. At the time, he criticized the administration’s response to the assassination of Senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr.

He then became chairman of the National Citizens’ Movement for Free Elections (Namfrel) in Metro Manila during the 1986 presidential elections.

Afterwards, Paterno, a graduate of the Harvard Business School, was appointed Deputy Executive Secretary for Energy from April 1986 to February 1987, and Chairman of the Philippine National Oil Company from March 1986 to February 1987. Then President Corazon Aquino convinced him to run for senator. He succeeded and served from 1987 to 1992.

As chairman of the BOI and Minister of Public Highways in the Marcos administration, Paterno refused to surrender his independence or integrity and contributed to the rebuilding of the nation after the EDSA Revolution as president of the PNOC. A respected businessman, he served on the boards of numerous corporations in addition to his family’s own enterprises.

Throughout his public life, whether in the halls of government or the boardrooms of the private sector, Paterno was an exponent of honesty, efficiency, faith and love of country.


Washington Z. SyCip, (30 June 1921 – 7 October 2017) was a Filipino accountant. He was founder of the accounting firm EY SGV & Company and the Asian Institute of Management.

He was born in Manila to Albino and Helen SyCip. His father, Albino SyCip, co-founded Chinabank in 1920.

His name was derived from the fact that his father was in Washington, D.C. at the time of his birth.

He spent his early years living in Shanghai before attending Padre Burgos Elementary School and Victorino Mapa High School. He skipped three grade levels in elementary school.

SyCip earned a commerce degree at the University of Santo Tomas (UST) with summa cum laude honors at age 17. He taught in UST while pursuing a master’s degree. He passed the board examinations for Certified Public Accountants at age 18.

In 1940, he went to the United States to attend the Columbia University in New York to complete a post-graduate degree. He completed all academic requirements for the degree except for his dissertation due to the outbreak of World War II.

After learning of his father’s imprisonment in the Philippines by Japanese invading forces, he reevaluated his plans of pursuing a doctorate degree. In 1942, he enlisted himself in the US Army and became a naturalized US citizen in 1943. He joined Camp Cooke but was told to be “overqualified” for the infantry for having the highest IQ level in his regiment. He studied Japanese in a language school in Colorado and cryptography in Virginia. He was then deployed to Calcutta, British India as a codebreaker.

After World War II, SyCip was discharged from the US Army and returned to Manila at age 24. He initially taught accounting at the University of Santo Tomas and two other colleges. He decides against joining one of the British accounting firms returning to the country following the war reasoning that only a white person could become a business partner in such firms

In March 1946, he opened W. SyCip & Company with a desk in his brother Alexander’s law office in Binondo. He eventually partnered with Alfredo M. Velayo and Ramón J. Gorres to form what is now known as SGV & Company (SGV). SyCip earned a Master of Science in Commerce from Columbia Business School.

By 1958, SGV was already the biggest accounting firm in the Philippines and already overtook Fleming & Williamson, then largest British firm operating in the country. He retired as chairman of SGV in 1996 but remained involved with the firm until his death.

In 1968, he co-founded the Asian Institute of Management in the Philippines and served as chairman of its board of trustees and board of governors. He was the first chairman of the Euro-Asia Center of INSEAD, a leading graduate business school, in Fontainebleau, France.

SyCip was a founding governor of the Wharton School’s Lauder Institute.

SyCip died on October 7, 2017 aboard Philippine Airlines Flight 126, which took off from Manila bound for Vancouver with continuing service to New York City. He was with his son, George SyCip, and an assistant, Roberto Cabilles. He died before reaching Vancouver.

The Washington SyCip Park in Makati, Metro Manila was named in his honor on the occasion of his 85th birthday.


Mr. Oscar M. Lopez serves as an Executive Director of FG Bukidnon Power Corp. Mr. Lopez has been an Executive Director of Lopez Holdings Corporation (Benpres Holdings Corp.) since June 8, 1993. He serves as the President of Lopez, Inc., INAEC Aviation Corporation and ABS-CBN Holdings Corp.

He has been an Executive Director of ABS-CBN Holdings Corp. since 1966. He joined ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corp. in 1970. He serves as the Chief Executive Officer and Chief Operating Officer of ABS-CBN Holdings Corp.

He serves as Group Chief Strategic Officer of First Philippine Holdings Corporation. He served as the Chief Executive Officer of First Philippine Holdings Corporation from 1986 to June 2010. He served as the Chief Executive Officer of Lopez Holdings Corporation (Benpres Holdings Corp) from 1999 to June 10, 2010. He served as the President of Benpres Corporation from 1973 to 1986 and Lopez Holdings Corporation (Benpres Holdings Corp.) from 1999 to 2004.

Mr. Lopez served as the Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. until November 2008. He served as Compliance Officer for Corporate Governance of ABS-CBN Corporation. He serves as Chairman Emeritus of Energy Development Corporation and Asian Eye Institute, Inc.

He has been the Chairman of the Board at ABS-CBN Holdings Corp. since 1999. He serves as the Chairman Emeritus of FPH and EDC. He has been Chairman Emeritus of First Philippine Holdings Corporation since June 12, 2010. He has been the Chairman Emeritus at Lopez Holdings Corporation since June 10, 2010. He serves as the Chairman Emeritus at First Gas Power Corporation.

He has been the Chairman Emeritus of First Gen Corporation since June 2010 and Rockwell Land Corporation since 2012. He served as the Chairman at Energy Development Corporation since December 29, 2007 and Lopez Holdings Corporation (Benpres Holdings Corp.) from June 8, 1993 to June 2010.

He served as the Chairman of Lopez, Inc., First Generation Holdings Corp., RCPI, INAEC Aviation Corporation, Philippine Electric Corporation, First Philippine Industrial Corporation, First Balfour, Inc., First Private Power Corporation, Bauang Private Power Corporation, FGP Corporation, First Gas Pipeline Corporation, First Gas Holdings Corporation, First Gas Power Corporation, Securities Transfer Services, Inc., First Sumiden Circuits, Inc., First Sumiden Realty Inc., First Gen Renewable, Inc., First Electro Dynamics Corporation, First Philippine Lending Corporation, First Philippine Infrastructure Development Corp., Manila North Tollways Corporation, Tollways Management Corporation, Bayan Telecommunications Inc., Bayan Telecommunications Holdings Corporation, Central CATV Inc., Sky Vision Corporation, Griffin Sierra Tours, Inc., Seacraft Management Services, Inc., Knowledge Channel Foundation, Inc.

Mr. Lopez served as the Chairman of First Gen Corporation from December 1998 to June 25, 2010. He served as the Chairman of First Philippine Holdings Corporation from 1986 to June 2010. He served as a Vice Chairman at Rockwell Land Corporation from 1995 to 2010. He serves as a Director of First Gen Hydro Power Corporation and First Gen Hydro Power Corporation. He serves as a Director of First Philippine Industrial Park, Inc. He has been Director of First Gen Corporation since 1998; First Philippine Holdings Corporation since May 27, 1986 and ABS-CBN Corporation (also known as ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corp.). He serves as Director of Sky Cable Corporation; NLEX Corporation and Manila North Tollways Corporation. He served as a Director of Energy Development Corporation from December 29, 2007 to October 3, 2017.

He served as a Director of Bayan Telecommunications, Inc., (BayanteI), First Philippine Balfour Beatty and Bayan Telecommunications Holdings Corporation. He served as Director of Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. from 2007 to November 2008.

Mr. Lopez is a staunch environmental advocate who strongly supported projects that promoted biodiversity and conservation. He also spearheaded two advocacies internal to the group – business excellence and corporate governance. As custodian of Lopez values, he introduced the Lopez Credo – a statement of purpose that puts all the Lopez Group businesses in the service of the Filipino.

Mr. Lopez was chosen Management Man of the Year 2000 by Management Association of the Philippines and inclusion in the Roll of Honor of CNBC’s Asia Business Leader Awards in 2004. He was also bestowed with the Officer’s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany (Verdienstkreuz I, Klausse) in 2005. He was recipient of the Outstanding Manilan in the field of Corporate Leadership and Social Responsibility in 2007, JCI’s Ten Outstanding Filipinos TOFIL award in 2009, International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) Philippines Lifetime Achievement Award in the 2010 Communication Excellence in Organizations (CEO EXCEL), and 2011 Ramon V. Del Rosario Award for Nation Building.

He has a Masters degree in Public Administration from the Littauer School of Public Administration, Harvard University in 1955. He obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree (cum laude) from Harvard University in 1951. Mr. Lopez was conferred the degrees of Doctor of Humanities honoris causa by the De La Salle University and Ateneo de Manila University in 2010 and Doctor of Laws honoris causa by the Philippine Women’s University in 2009 and the University of the Philippines in 2012.


Senen Bacani, a Certified Public Accountant, was the first non-American Dole general manager in Costa Rica and the Philippines. He was Secretary of Agriculture from 1990-1992 and was named Most Outstanding Cabinet Member.

His other awards include the Philippines’ inaugural Ramon V. del Rosario Sr. Award for Nation Building, Junior Chamber International TOFIL (The Outstanding Filipino) for Agriculture, SGV Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year and La Sallian Achievement Award for Social Entrepreneurship. But his greatest reward has been peace.

As a child, Bacani saw the rural poor pay for his physician father’s services in farm produce; decades later, as a national official, he watched them struggle to feed their families.

Bacani convinced Middle Eastern firm Chiquita Unifrutti International to invest in banana farms in a predominantly Muslim area on Mindanao in 1996. La Frutera, the first large-scale banana plantation in the region, now employs 1,745 people and exports to Asia and the Middle East. It is one of the top 10 banana producers in the country and the only plantation in the Philippines certified by the Rainforest Alliance and International Organization for Standardization for environmental management.

The plantation’s success has transformed the once war-torn area, employing former rebels of the Moro National Liberal Front and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and proving that providing jobs is a sustainable way to alleviate poverty and strife.

“We cannot keep waiting for peace to come first. The reason there is no peace therefore there is no development,” Bacani says. “Only real development can bring about enduring peace.”

Noting that the nation has gone from self-sufficiency and export of rice, corn and sugar to importing these key staples, he advocates for increased investment in agriculture, and he works to unite cooperatives to give small farmers a stronger political voice.


Ambassador Jesus P. Tambunting served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Planters Development Bank; Chairman of SME Solutions.com, Inc., PDB Insurance Agency Inc., and Plantersbank Properties Inc. and President of Manila Polo Club.

His other significant positions include: Vice Chairman of Micro Enterprise Bank of the Philippines, Special Adviser to the Board of Directors Association of Development Financing Institutions in Asia and the Pacific, Member of the Board of Advisers of Philippine Business for Corporate Governance, Vice Chairman of Philippine Business for Social Progress and member of the Board of Trustees of the Carlos P. Romulo Foundation.

Amb. Tambunting has been an Independent Director of Globe Telecom Inc. since January 2003. From 1993 to 1998, he served as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Ambassador to the Republic of Ireland and Permanent Philippine Representative to the International Maritime Organization.

Amb. Tambunting is an independent director of BPI-Philam Life Assurance Corp.

He is Board Chairman of Small Business Corporation (SBCorp), the agency under the Department of Trade and Industry tasked with promoting the growth of the Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) sector.

He founded Planters Development Bank in 1971. He is Co-Chairman of the Philippine-British Business Council, member of the Philippine-US Business Council, PinoyMe Foundation, ABS-CBN Bayan Foundation, Makati Medical Center Foundation and the Asian Institute of Management’s Ramon V. del Rosario Sr–C.V. Starr Center for Corporate Governance. He is also a member of the Makati Business Club National Issues Committee.

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