Gil J. Puyat
Senate President Gil J. Puyat was born on September 1, 1907. His father, Don Gonzalo was the founder of one of the first business empires in the Philippines.
Having been exposed to the world of business, Gil was inevitably drawn to a course in commerce for his higher education. This he pursued at the University of the Philippines where he topped his class. Even as a student, he was already immersed in intricate operations of finance and expense, of capital and production, and of management labor handling.He became a member of the Rotary Club of Manila at about the same time that he was also a young professor of economics at the University of the Philippines.
Gil Puyat’s renown for business acumen and foresight in managing the family business caught the eye of the late President Manuel L. Quezon. At the time, the country was predominantly agricultural in activity and the President was advocating industrialization. Quezon named the young Puyat as dean of the College of Business Administration at the University of the Philippines when he was only 33. At this age, he became the youngest dean the UP ever had. An active member of international trades bodies, he acquired international stature in business. The Business Writers’ Association of the Philippines voted him “ Business Leader of the Year “ in 1948 and the Association of Red Feather Agencies voted him “ Civic Leader of the Year “ in 1949.
In 1953, he received a plaque from the Community Chest of Greater Manila for “ outstanding services as one of the founders, first president and first campaign fund chairman “ of the body. The Philippine Institute of Public Opinion (PIPO) awarded him a certificate of honor for demonstrating national leadership in business, economics, the civic and political fields and for his distinguished service to the youth. Puyat consistently served various other organizations which saw in him a champion of civics and charity.
In 1951, he was elected Senator and served the Senate until 1973, the last six years of which as Senate President.
As a legislator, Puyat created a sensation unmarked in political history by his reforms and innovations involving the dispensation of the controversial public works funds.
He was married to the former Eugenia Guidote. They had seven children.
Puyat’s inspiring and fruitful life ended on March 23, 1980.