By DR. CRIS J. ICBAN JR., EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
Manila, Philippines – OUR beloved Chairman, Don Emilio T. Yap, who is remarkably healthy for his age and looks like one in his seventies, continues to take an active part in overseeing various business interests, all of which are all in the Philippines as he does not like to invest in other country.
He began his business career in 1942, or 70 years ago. In 1961, he invested in the Manila Bulletin.
On July 11, 1984, he was unanimously elected Chairman of the Board. Under his Chairmanship , the Corporation started to make Substantial Profits, gave Cash and Stock Dividends to its Stockholders, and granted Additional Benefits and Bonuses to Offices and Employees. At the same time, the government realized Greater Tax Revenues.
When he assumed the Chairmanship, he waived his Director’s Fees for distribution equally to all the Officers and Employees. When the Manila Bulletin went public on April 18, 1990, he waive his Annual Director’s Fees in favor of the Corporation for the benefit of all the Stockholders.
Since the 1990’s, he has led numerous Humanitarian Activities in response to the needs of his countrymen who were victims of Natural Calamities.
In 1992, our Chairman, as a symbol of his concern and care for newspapermen and newspaperwomen, constructed and today maintains a four-story Medical Building on the National Press Club of the Philippines (NPC) premises which houses a Medical Clinic with a Doctor and a Dentist at his own expense for the benefit of the NPC Members.
In 2000, when he reached the age of 75, he started to forego his Birthday Celebrations and instead donated to various Charitable Causes. Thus, instead of celebrating his 75th Birthday on September 24, 2000, he gave a personal donation to launch a fund drive for the Mindanao Peace and Development Program to help our Muslim brothers and sisters, and other donations to Pangasinan and Pampanga Flood Victims.
In 2001, he dispensed with his 76th Birthday Celebration and instead donated to five US charitable institutions, namely, the American Red Cross, the Federal Employee Education and Assistance Fund, the New York State World Trade Center Relief Fund, the United Way, and the Salvation Army, and to the Philippine Embassy in Washington, DC, to help the American, Filipino, and other unfortunate victims of the New York World Trade Center and Pentagon Tragedy in the United States of America.
In 2002, in lieu of his 77th Birthday Celebration, he donated to the Department of Social Welfare and Development Sagip Kalinga, to help rescue street dwellers and streetchildren and to help fund the Bagong Buhay Rehabilitation Center to help rehabilitate drug dependents and rugby sniffers.
In 2003, on his 78th Birth Anniversary, he donated his Social Security System Retirement Benefits through the President of the Republic of the Philippines for the benefit of our people.
In 2004, instead of celebrating his 79th Birthday, he donated to the Armed Forces of the Philippines Provident Trust Fund to help sons and daughters of disabled and deceased soldiers, and to the Philippine National Police Karangalan ng mga Alagad ng Batas Foundation to help improve the quality of life of policemen and their dependents.
In 2005, on the occasion of his 80th Birthday, he again decided to forgo his Birthday Celebration and instead announced he would undertake to construct a ten-story Filipino-motif nipa hut-style concrete building as the National Press Club of the Philippines International Center, to be erected at the National Press Club premises beside Jones Bridge, Manila, for housing local and foreign wire services under one roof for the convenience of all concerned, which would also help provide monthly rental income for the NPC, with a gym on the tenth floor, subject to the approval of its Land Owners and Government Authorities.
In 2006, on his 81st Birthday, Chairman Don Emilio T. Yap, instead of celebrating his birthday, donated One Million Pesos to Caritas Manila to help its scholarship program and presented the donation to the Minister for Social Services and Development of the Archdiocese of Manila.
In 2007, in lieu of celebrating his 82nd Birthday, he donated Two Million Pesos to the Philippine Red Cross to help calamity victims and to the National Federation of Women’s Clubs Foundation, Inc., to help their charitable projects.
On September 24, 2008, on the occasion of his 83rd Birthday, he donated Three Million Pesos to the Philippine Red Cross, the Department of Social Welfare and Development, and the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines to help Mindanao calamity victims.
On September 24, 2009, on the occasion of his 84th Birthday, he decided to forego his Birthday Celebration and instead donated Five Million Pesos to charitable causes One Million Pesos each to the Philippine Red Cross, the Department of Social Welfare and Development, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, Caritas Manila, and the City of Manila.
On September 24, 2011, on the occasion of his 86th Birthday, he decided to forgo his Birthday Celebration and instead donated Five Million Pesos to charitable causes One Million Pesos each to the Philippine Red Cross, the Department of Social Welfare and Development, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, Caritas Manila, and the City of Manila.
On September 24, 2012, on the occasion of his 87th Birthday, he decided to forgo his Birthday Celebration and donated Five Million Pesos to Republic of the Philippines to help Filipino calamity victims.
More than its business success, under his Chairmanship, Chairman Yap takes justifiable pride in the public service that the Manila Bulletin provides.
His vision in life is to help contribute his modest share to the social and economic development of our country. He looks forward to a prosperous Philippines where employment will be possible for all in our own country, so that Filipino men and women will not have to be employed as overseas workers away from their love ones at homes, and Filipino women do not have to work abroad away from their home, but they can stay home in our own country as united and harmonious families.
Our Chairman, who spent more than half of his lifetime with this newspaper, looks forward to his senior years as a vigilant patriot for responsible and affirmative action and as a generous supporter of praiseworthy causes, especially in the alleviation of those who have suffered from natural calamities and disasters.
In all the Corporations he holds with controlling interest, Chairman Yap was consistent in extending the same acts of liberality and generosity to the needy.
His achievements have been recognized through over 414 Awards and Citations and over 1,200 pictures of his meetings with leaders of Governmental, Professional, and Civic Organizations, including those given by Philippine Presidents, and 22 Honorary Doctoral Degrees from Distinguished Universities in the Philippines, which all came as a pleasant surprise.
We join the family, friends, admirers, and supporters of our beloved Chairman Don Emilio T. Yap, who marks his 87th Birth Anniversary on this happy day.
We wish you, Mr. Chairman, continuing blessings on your Endeavors and Length of Years. AD MULTOS ANNOS.