Sen. Gil Puyat honored as UNITAS Awardee

The Philippine Federation of Pre-need Plan companies, Inc. (PFPPCI) has named Sen. Gil Puyat as posthumous UNITAS awardee. UNITAS which stands for Unity, Nobility of purpose, Integrity, Trust, Action and Service, is the battlecry of the the PFPPCI, and has since been an inspiration for the creation of UNITAS Awards, This time-honored recognition is given to exemplary individuals whose achievements, professionalism, and service have been of the highest standards leading to their exceptional contribution and support of the pre-need industry.

Sen. Gil Puyat was a pioneer of the pre-need industry as founder of Loyola Plans Consolidated, Inc., (LPCI). Following his father's footsteps, Sen. Puyat took after his father's busines acumen and sincere intentions to serve his countrymen.

Puyat started young. He took the reins from his father, Don Gonzalo Puyat, to lead one of their companies after he graduated Cum Laude from the University of the Philippines. He was also one of the great statesmen with an untarnished name and inspiring personality in the golden days of Philippine politics. Puyat was hailed by his peers when he became Senate President in the 1970s.

Above all his accomplishments, Sen. Puyat was a civic leader, an educator and a parliamentarian who held the Filipinos in high-esteem adn even compared them with the best in the world.

Touting his busines philosophy, "Above All, Integrity" Sen. Puyat's name became more prominent when he delved into the pre-need industry. In 1969, he took his personal experience as a revered statesmen and made them relevant to the needs of his countrymen. Seeing and feeling his constituents pain, Sen. Puyat sought to dignify death and free the living family members from the emotional trauma and financial burden brought by the death of a loved one. Thus he gave life to a more advanced concept of memorial plans.

His breakthrough concept changed the landscape of pre-need. With the affordable memorial plans, cremation services, at-need services, and other bereavement policies coming to life, other forms of pre-need products evolved.

Indeed Sen. Puyat's innovative spirit was the driving force of the pre-need industry. It is in the light that UNITAS Awards remembers this invaluable contribution of a man who has left and indelible mark on the lives of countless of Filipinos.

To develop pre-need consciousness in the country by seeking recognize individuals who have excelled in management performance and service in the pre-need industry, PFPPCI has launched the UNITAS Individual Award of Distinction. Its objective is to give due recognition to individuals in the pre-need industry who have contributed immensely to the growth of the industry and to the prestige of the institutions they represent.

Acceptance Speech of LPCI President and CEO Mrs. Jesusa Puyat Concepcion last February 7, 2006 during the Pre-Need Forum at Crown Plaza Galleria in Ortigas Center, Pasig City.

"With a deep awareness of your trust and confidence, I accept this year's Unitas posthumous award in behalf of my father, Senate President Gil J. Puyat. It comes at a time when the values that Unitas promotes need to be affirmed so that the public may again appreciate the significance and value of pre-need plans in their lives.

My Father was the embodiment of Unitas Values.

First of all Unity. He was an organization person, whether he worked in the field of education, business, politics or civic work. He always worked within the framework of an organization. So when the idea of affordable memorialization came to his mind, the first step was to organize men and women, who would concretize the idea. Thus, Loyola Life Plan was set up in 1968.

N - Nobility of Purpose. Daddy was in politics dedicated to helping people. In the course of his campaign travels as well as his working days in the Senate, inevitably people would approach him asking for help because a loved one had passed away and they didn't have the money for the funeral expenses. He was determined to find a solution to this. First of all, he noted the low propensity to save. He realized that the life plan would be the answer because people would in a way save up thru their installment payments and they would be covered by their plans when the inevitable occured.

I- Integrity. He believed strongly in the value of one's honor and name. He consistently reminded us that we have to comply with all our contractual obligations. To underscore the value of integrity, the epitaph on his tomb is a phrase he used very often in life - "Above all, integrity".

T-Trust. Daddy believed in trusting and being trusted. He believed in the vaue of the word, even just the spoken word. However, he made sure that we implemented the safeguards in business. I remember him telling me that "if an otherwise honest man goes wrong because of laxity in systems, you will somehow be accountable".

A-Action. He was action driven. As he saw the problems brought about by being unprepared for certain realities like death, he sought a solution. Thus the three companies which addressed memorialization were formed, the memorial park developer (1964), the pre-need plan issuer (1968) and the memorial service provider (1971).

S-Service. Loyola Life Plan was conceived as a means of helping people prepare for the inevitable. Death is something for which one can never be ready emotionally. Compounded by financial inadequacies, it can be doubly painful. And as far as the company was concerned, since our life plan contracts had a service component, Loyola Memorial Chapels was set up in 1971, to ensure availability and a high standard of quality.

On a personal note, I feel privileged that this award was given in my watch for truly we in the board, management and our personnel have held on to his vision, made it our mission and over 38 years of service, we have, to some degree, brought it to fruition. Over the years we have extended about a billion pesos of memorial service benefits alone. More importantly however, we have helped about 146,000 families face painful permanent separation, with care, compassion, sympathy, professionalism and with integrity.

For an economist like Daddy, I am sure that he is very happy about how this seed germinated, eventually mutated and became the giant industry that pre-need is today - a muti-billion peso industry with P70 billion in trust funds, billions in taxes paid and the 250,000 gainfully employed sales people and employees. These are the facts that will surely make him smile.

Thank you again for this very meaningful award. And God-willing, may the pre-need continue to thrive, so we can continue to serve our people. Allow me to leave you with my father's dictum in life and which serves as Loyola's guide in business.



Mrs. Jesusa Puyat Concepcion