PHILFEJA Plaque of Recognition (Oct 11, 2014)


Manila, Philippines


By unanimous decision of the Board of Directors of the Philippine Federation of Japan Alumni (PHILFEJA), this Recognition is posthumously presented with deep and grateful appreciation to the Family of our dearly beloved President

Benjamin “Benjie” C. Laurel
August 17, 1953 – August 10, 2014

for his lifetime advocacy of and outstanding contributions in the promotion, enhancement and strengthening of interpersonal and institutional relations between the peoples of the Philippines and Japan, and of all the countries comprising ASEAN, through his steadfast and dedicated leadership in, among others, the following organizations:

1996 to 1999; 2012-2014


1996 to 1999; 2012-2014





Done this 11th day of October 2014 in the City of Makati, Metro Manila






CECILIA TOLENTINO, Secretary-General

Sanvictores Succeeds Laurel as PHILFEJA President (Sept 17, 2014)

The Board of Directors of the Philippine Federation of Japan Alumni (PHILFEJA) unanimously appointed Philip B. Sanvictores, PHILFEJA Executive Vice-President as PHILFEJA President succeeding the late Benjamin “Benjie” C. Laurel, who passed away on August 10, 2014.  Mr. Sanvictores also succeeded Mr. Laurel as President of SAPILNIP (Samahan ng mga Pilipinong Nag-Aral at Nanirahan sa Nihon, Inc.).

With his father Amb. Benjamin F. Sanvictores administering the oath of office, PHILFEJA President Philip Sanvictores was inducted into office on October 11, 2014 in the presence of his family shown here with his wife Mrs. Patricia Maribel C. Sanvictores.

Mr. Sanvictores began to discharge the functions of PHILFEJA President Benjie Laurel when the latter’s health began to fail.  The first occasion was as the personal representative of President Laurel at the dinner tendered by Amb. Toshio Urabe for the members of PHILFEJA on March 19, 2014.  Thereafter, as the representative of Mr. Laurel, Mr. Sanvictores chaired the 28th ASJA International Directors’ and ASCOJA Governors’ Meetings in Tokyo on March 28th, both of which Mr. Laurel was the presiding Chairman.

He was then appointed Executive Vice-President of PHILFEJA during the Board meeting held on April 22, 2014 and has since presided over PHILFEJA Board meetings on behalf of President Laurel.

Mr. Sanvictores holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Arts from the Ateneo de Manila University (class of 1975).   He graduated from the 10-month intensive Nihongo Course of Kokusai Gakuyu Kai 国際学友会 (International Students Institute) in Tokyo, Japan in 1982, under the short-lived Asahi Dow Chemical Co., Ltd. Japanese Language Scholarship and has since been active in Philippines-Japan Society affairs and activities. He is the Vice-President (and a Trustee) of the Philippine Institute of Japanese Language & Culture Foundation (PIJLC) and the Nihongo Center Foundation, Inc. (NCF) both of which he helped establish as the personal project assistant of the late Amb. Jose S. Laurel III in 1991 and 199_, respectively.  Mr. Sanvictores is an active member of the Philippines-Japan Economic Cooperation Committee (PHILJEC) and has attended many of its annual Joint Meetings since the early 1990s.

He is President of Netmarks Philippines, Inc. – a joint venture company with Uniadex® Co., Ltd. of the Nihon Unisys® Group of Japan.  Netmarks PH is engaged in IT network systems integration.  He is also President of Lionapex Equipment (Phil.), Inc. which principally distributes and maintains Brother® CNC Compact Machine Tools widely used by manufacturers of precision machined parts and components for the HDD, electronics and automotive export industries.

He is the son of Amb. Benjamin and Mrs. Nennette Sanvictores, both of whom are prime movers of the various PJS organizations.  He is the younger brother of Gerry, Secretary-General of PHILJEC.  Philip is married to Patricia Maribel and they have four sons (two already married), one daughter and three grandsons.  His second son Raymond graduated from the Faculty of Policy Studies of Nanzan University 南山大学in Nagoya and is married to Megumi Murata who hails from Toyohashi, Aichi-ken.  Another son, Davey was an Ateneo exchange student at the International Christian University 国際クリスト教大学in Tokyo who later completed his Masters in e-Business at the International University of Japan 日本国際大学 in Niigata.

PHILJEC Co-Hosts 5th Asian Business Summit (Sept 16, 2014)

The 5th Asian Business Summit was held on September 15, 2014 at the new Solaire Resort & Casino, Manila, jointly hosted by the Philippines-Japan Economic Cooperation Committee (PHILJEC) and the Keidanren of Japan.  Seven Asian countries were represented, namely: Japan, Republic of China (Taiwan), Republic of Korea, India, Thailand, Singapore and the Philippines.  Mr. Egmidio de Silva Jose, PHILJEC President co-chaired the meeting with Mr. Sadayuki Sakakibara, Chairman of Keidanren.

PHILJEC - 5th ABS Mission Heads Group Photo

PHILJEC - 5th ABS Participants Group Photo
The full text of the Joint Statement issued by Keidanren follows:

The 5th Asian Business Summit Joint Statement

On September 15, 2014, eight business organizations from seven Asian Economies converged in Manila, Philippines to hold the 5th Asian Business Summit. The leaders discussed the major challenges for Asian economies in view of the emerging global economic realities, and came up with a Joint Statement.

The delegates agreed to play an active role in realizing the goals laid down at the Summit and to provide actionable inputs to the policy makers of their respective Economies.

The Joint Statement reflects the expectations and aspirations of the Asian business community, and delineates the future role of the private sector in sustaining Asia’s economic dynamism.

  1. Sustainability of Asian Economy

Asia has been demonstrating steady economic growth functioning as the growth engine for the global prosperity. The Asian Development Bank estimates that the average GDP growth of Asian region will edge up from 6.1% in 2013 to 6.2% in 2014 and 6.4% in 2015, bringing about economic ripple effect to other regions. The Summit requests each Economy to carry out its growth strategy so as not to lose the momentum.

In order to make this growth sustainable, realizing cross-border division of labor among the Asian region making the best use of advantages of each Economy and complimenting one another would be the key. This would also rectify disparities in the region and thereby strengthen the basis for further growth.

It is also important to exchange highly-skilled human resources between Asian economies, and encourage Asian institutions to undertake joint research and development initiatives to drive innovation across industries. Innovation-led industrial development and advanced human capital formation will contribute to developing high value-added products and thereby move up the global value chain.

  1. Regional Integration

The Summit urges each Asian Economies to press forward with the ongoing EPA/FTA negotiations. Especially the Summit anticipates that the establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community in 2015 would be a steppingstone towards creating the Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific (FTAAP).

EPAs and FTAs should be comprehensive so that they eliminate protectionism and bring about expanded trade in goods and services, greater cross-border investment flows, dismantling of non-tariff barriers and lifting of export restrictions on food and natural resources, strengthening of the IPR regime, and facilitation of remittances.

It is important that EPAs and FTAs are not exclusive. Any Economy that did not participate in the negotiations at the outset should be allowed to join subsequently, subject to terms and conditions that would be agreed with all other participants.

  1. Environment, Energy and Natural Resources

In order to make the best use of scarce energy resources while cutting greenhouse gas emissions, it is profitable for each Asian Economy to press forward with its energy efficiency policy. Private sector could collaborate with the government in implementing the energy efficiency policy by disseminating environmentally friendly technology such as highly efficient coal-fired power generation, smart grid, light rail transit, eco-houses and eco-buildings. Financing schemes, which include Official Development Assistance, export credits, bilateral offsetting mechanism, etc. would help implementing the above efforts.

Taking into consideration that a new protocol, another legal instrument or an agreed outcome with legal force under the convention applicable to all parties is aimed to be adopted at COP21 in 2015, the Summit agrees to collaborate towards establishing a fair and effective post-2020 international framework.

Under the condition that free trade of natural resources is guaranteed, the Summit is resolved to promote joint exploitation and technical assistance for domestic concentration and refinement.

  1. Infrastructure Development

In order to facilitate infrastructure development, the Summit calls for reduction of tariffs on materials and machineries related to construction, relaxation of excessive local contents requirements, free establishment of SPCs, deregulation of trans-border movement of engineers and skilled workers, transparency of government procurement procedures and domestic regulations.

With a view to developing infrastructures of high quality, the Summit continues to ask the Asian Economies to introduce bidding systems in which non-price factors such as environmentally-friendly technology, lifecycle cost efficiency and low environmental load are properly evaluated.

The Summit also agreed to play a key role in areas such as human resources development, designing of master plans and promotion of PPP projects including the third country cooperation.

With a view to utilizing private flows in the region for infrastructure development, the Summit requests Asian Economies to press ahead with the Asian Bond Markets Initiatives (ABMI).

  1. Improvement of Business Environment

Even if investment were liberalized through EPAs and FTAs, business would not be facilitated unless domestic regulations of the hosting countries are transparent and rational.

The Summit calls for establishing a mechanism comprised of representatives from governments, and the business community, to discuss issues on how to improve the business environment in each Economy. Impediments to business activities due to domestic regulations, administrative procedures, taxation and labor issues could be addressed, reviewed and corrected under this mechanism.

Improvement of business environment would not only benefit foreign investors but also domestic companies, especially SMEs.

  1. Movement of Natural Persons

Some Asian Economies will face labor shortages in the near future due to declining birthrate while other Economies have to undertake the task of youth employment stemming from population growth. To optimize this situation and to minimize the adverse effects resulting from demographic change, the Summit requests the Asian Economies to lift the existing restrictions on trans-border movement of natural persons.

In addition to free movement of intra-corporate transferees, professionals, trained workers, students and trainees, movement of medical workers and caregivers should be given attention. Regulatory reforms pertaining to medical services will greatly bridge the manpower needs of the region’s healthcare sectors and thereby addressing issues of the aging society.

Alongside facilitating movement of natural persons, it goes without saying that each economy and industry must take effective measures to enhance human capital through education and vocational training.


In Memoriam – Beatriz Castillo-Laurel (Dec 26, 1918 – Aug 20, 2014)

Just 10 days after her son Benjie passed away, Mrs. Beatriz “Betty” Castillo-Laurel peacefully went home to join her late husband Amb. Jose S. Laurel III.  She  was 95 years old.

MRS. BETTY LAUREL PHOTOMrs. Laurel was a founding incorporator and President of the Philippines-Japan Ladies Association (PJLA) from its establishment in 1975 until 1989.   She is the mother of Gov. Jose C. Laurel V, Chairman of the Philippines-Japan Friendship Foundation, Inc., (PJFF), Francis C. Laurel, President of the Philippines-Japan Society, the late Benjie Laurel, President of PHILFEJA, and Ma. Elena (Marilen) Laurel-Loinaz, Administrator of both the PJFF and PJS.  Mrs. Loinaz is also the President of the Philippines-Japan Ladies Association.  Mrs. Laurel is survived by her other children Tony Laurel, Mercedes (Ditas) Laurel-Marquez,Christine Laurel-Stortz and Eduardo Laurel.

Mrs. Betty Laurel was a young mother of two (Tony and Joey) when she joined the Laurel family to exile in Nara, Japan as the Pacific War was coming to a close.  She endured the separation from her husband Jose III who was incarcerated with his father, President Jose P. Laurel, Speaker Benigno S. Aquino, Sr., Amb. Jose Vargas and others in Sugamo and Kamioka prisons in Japan.

When her husband was released from incarceration by virtue of a Presidential Pardon, she focused on raising their children.  She joined her husband to Tokyo when he was designated Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Philippines to Japan in 1966.  She was always beside her husband in all his official duties.

Thus, when the Philippines-Japan Society was founded by Amb. Laurel in 1971, it was but natural that Mdme. Betty would lead the establishment of the Philippines-Japan Ladies Association in 1975.  Under her leadership, the PJLA organized and sponsored various ladies’ activities – such as tours, culinary demonstrations, Japanese culture sessions, chorale.  Being musically-inclined, Mrs. Laurel was a lead soprano of the Philippines-Japan Ladies Chorale.

Mrs. Laurel was a constant, faithful and loving helpmate to her husband, devoted mother to her eight children, doting grandmother to her many grandchildren, a true friend to both Filipinos and Japanese.

In Memoriam – Benjie Laurel (Aug 10, 2014)

Benjie Laurel

The Philippine Federation of Japan Alumni (PHILFEJA) announced the passing of its beloved President, Benjamin “Benjie” C. Laurel on August 10, 2014 after a lingering illness.  

Mr. Laurel was PHILFEJA President for two terms (1996 to 1999; 2013-2016), representing SAPILNIP. His incumbency coincided with the Philippines’ hosting of the 21st ASEAN Council of Japan Alumni (ASCOJA) Conference to be held in 2015.  By virtue thereof, Mr. Laurel took over the Chairmanship of ASCOJA from Vietnam which hosted the 20th ASCOJA Conference in Hanoi. In 2012, Mr. Laurel was also elected Chairman of the Asia Japan Alumni (ASJA) International for a two year term ending March 2014.  He was unable to preside over the 28th ASJA Board Meeting held in Tokyo on March 2014.  He then dispatched Mr. Philip Sanvictores to preside over both the ASJA Board Meeting and the ASCOJA Board of Governors Meeting on his behalf.

As a young man in 1974, Mr. Laurel joined Atty. Leocadio de Asis and Mr. Benjo Osias as emissaries of Amb. Jose S. Laurel III and PHILFEJA to Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore with a mission to encourage counterpart Japan alumni associations to organize the ASEAN Council of Japan Alumni (ASCOJA) which was eventually established in 1975. Since then, Mr. Laurel had attended all ASCOJA Council meetings and Conferences that have been held in the various capitals of ASEAN member countries.  ASCOJA eventually expanded its membership to 10 countries, including Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos and Brunei.

Benjie was 61.

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