CESAR BANZON BAUTISTA was the 13th Philippine Ambassador to the United Kingdom (England) and Northern Ireland from 1999 until 2003. He was also the Secretary of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) from 1996 to 1998.
Ambassador Bautista is the son of the late Pascual Bautista and the former Milagros T. Banzon, first muse of the HAS Club of Balanga and a descendant of Julio Banzon and Esperanza Quindoy.
Ambassador Bautista was awarded the Presidential Order of Merit, Distinguished Alumnus Award from UP and Ohio State University, Gintong Haligi Award from the Advertising Foundation of the Philippines, Professional Excellence Award and many others.
Having served at the Department of Trade and Industry for five years, the last half of the time as its Secretary, he played the key role in the development of trade and investment with emphasis on Small and Medium Enterprises. He was the Chairman of a broad number of key economic agencies in the Philippines including the Board of Investments, Export Development Council, Industry and Development Council, WTO/AFTA Advisory Commission, the National Development Corporation, The Presidential Committee on National Museum Development, Cabinet Committee on Tariff and Related Matters, Economic Growth Areas/Zones, etc.
He was the Monetary Board Member, representing the President and the Cabinet Man in charge of Region III. He was also named the Chairman of the Presidential Economic Monitoring and Mobilization Task Force to address the impact on Asian financial contagion in the country. Ambassador Bautista is a recipient of the Presidential Order of Merit.
He started his career with Caltex (Philippines) Inc. as a refinery engineer. He moved on to the Philippine Refining Company, Inc. – UNILEVER – the leading consumer goods company worldwide, where he rose from the ranks to become President and Chairman, in 1986. He also served as Chairman of two other companies, Biocon (Philippines) Inc. (an Irish firm on seaweed processing) and Inter Natinal Starch Corp. (affiliate of U.S. National Starch Corp).
Ambassador Bautista holds a Master’s Degree in Chemical Engineering from Ohio State University in the United States and a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from the University of the Philippines. He attended postgraduate management courses within the Unilever “University System” including IMEDE’s Chief Executive Course. In 1998, the University of the Philippines recognized him as the “Most Outstanding Alumnus”. In 2010 he was named one of the “Top 100 Engineers” in the course of the centennial of UP College of Engineering.
He was also awarded “The Distinguished Alumnus Award” by the Ohio State University.
The Philippine Federation of Professional Organizations recognized him as the Most Outstanding Professional in 1989. He had twice been named the Outstanding Chemical Engineer by the Institute of Chemical Engineers and installed into the Hall of Fame.
Ambassador Bautista was conferred the Order of Sikatuna – Rank of Datu by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in August 2003 in Malacanang.
Upon his return to the private sector after serving as the country’s ambassador to the Court of St. James from 1998 to 2003, the President appointed him co-chair of the Task Force for Globally Competitive Industries (IT-Enabled Services, Health-Wellness-Retirement Services, Seamless Supply Chain), and the National Competitiveness Council. He chairs the English Speaking Council (Phil Chapter), seats in the Boards of Institute of Corporate Directors on Governance, Institute of Solidarity for Asia (public governance, Foundation for IT in Education, Asia-Europe Foundation, European IT Services Foundation, Philippine Foundation for Science & Technology, among others. He represented the Philippines in the ASEAN-ROK and the ASEAN-CONNECTIVITY Eminent Persons Groups. He was the country’s Point of Contact with the U.S. Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) who established the Policy Improvement Processes (PIPs) which made the Philippines compact-eligible for Threshold Program Assistance.
Despite these achievements, Ambassador Bautista knew much more what had to be done. He identified the challenges that will continue in the future – hasten infrastructure development, maintenance of a business-friendly environment, continuation of the policy of openness, market-orientation and reward via performance, under the aegis of transparency in a democratic regime. Up to his death, he worked to meet these challenges in his advocacies in the private sector.
When he passed away on December 8, 2015 at the age of 78, the country has lost a champion for national competitiveness. A “compleat” professional; he was a model public servant in his humility. He left the world, the way he lived it – not interested in the trappings of power but focused on the job to be done; doing the work well and fast so he could move to the next task.
May we be inspired to continue the challenging task and in doing, honor the legacy of Ambassador. Cesar Banzon Bautista.