By Daphne J. Magturo, Reporter

Former Trade secretary Cesar B. Bautista, 78

Posted on December 11, 2015

FORMER Trade Secretary Cesar B. Bautista, who led the National Competitiveness Council (NCC) and various companies, died on Wednesday. He was 78 years old.

Cesar B. Bautista -- BW File Photo
“First Philippine Holdings Corporation has received news of the untimely passing of Ambassador Cesar B. Bautista, a valued member of its board of directors,” the company told the Philippine Stock Exchange yesterday.

“He joined the board of FPH as an independent director on May 21, 2007 and was a member of the Risk Management, Audit and the Compensation & Remuneration Committees.”

D&L Industries, Inc. said in a separate disclosure: “Amb. Cesar Bautista passed away today, December 9. He was an Independent Director, a member of the Remuneration Committee, and the Chairman of the Audit Committee of D&L Industries.”

The companies did not disclose the cause of death, while a family member has yet to respond to a request for information.

“Don’t know the cause of death but interment is tomorrow at Heritage Park after the 9 a.m. mass at Santuario de San Antonio [Parish],” NCC co-chair for the private sector Guillermo M. Luz said in a text message yesterday.

Mr. Bautista used to be the private sector chairman of the NCC.

“Amb. Bautista was the Former Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, and Republic of Iceland,” according to his profile at the NCC Web site.

“He served at the Department of Trade and Industry for five years, the last half of the time as its Secretary. He was the Chairman of several economic agencies in the Philippines including the Board of Investments, Export Development Council, and Industry and Development Council.”

Mr. Bautista began his career with Caltex (Philippines) Inc. as a refinery engineer. He moved on to the Philippine Refining Company, Inc., now known as Unilever Philippines, where he rose from the ranks to become President and Chairman in 1986.

According to the NCC Web site, Mr. Bautista held a master’s degree in Chemical Engineering from Ohio State University and a bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering.

“Amb. Bautista is a recipient of the Presidential Order of Merit and was conferred the Order of Sikatuna-Rank of Datu. He has twice been named the Outstanding Chemical Engineer by the Institute of Chemical Engineers and installed into the Hall of Fame,” the NCC said.

When he returned to the private sector in 2003, then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo appointed him co-chair of the Task Force for Globally Competitive Industries and the NCC.