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Ambassador Roberto Romulo being presented with a token of appreciation by then PECC co-chair, Mr Jusuf Wanandi at the PECC General Meeting in 2015 for this services to the organization.
PECC mourns the passing of Ambassador Roberto Romulo. Bobby Romulo served as the PECC chair from 1996-1999 and as chair of the Philippines PECC committee from 1996 to 2005. He was also the founding chair of the APEC Business Advisory Council.
Former chair of the New Zealand PECC committee and Emeritus Professor Gary Hawke fondly recalled that “Roberto Romulo was one of the major figures of PECC in my time. I remember him for many contributions, both personal and institutional, but not least because I often use his definition of " concerted unilateralism". Organizations like APEC are just like Alcoholics Anonymous. Members know perfectly well what they should do; they also know that their future depends on what they themselves do; but they gain strength by coming together from time to time and sharing their experiences.
As with many people in the organization he embodied PECC’s tripartite character, he began his professional career with IBM in New York and rose to become Managing Director in Thailand, Burma and Bangladesh and the Philippines (President and GM). He joined government service in June 1989 when he was appointed Ambassador to Belgium, Luxembourg and the Commission of the European Communities. In 1992, he was appointed Secretary of Foreign Affairs.
In 1995, he rejoined the private sector and was elected as Chairman of PLDT. From 1999 to 2001, he was Chairman of the e-ASEAN Task Force. He was also chairman of non-profit foundations: Carlos P. Romulo Foundation for Peace and Development, Zuellig Family Foundation, and Asia-Europe Foundation of the Philippines. He is a Co-Founder and Trustee of the US-Philippines Society.
As a diplomat, he has been decorated by the governments of Belgium, Thailand, Spain, Chile, France and the Philippines. He was the fourth recipient of the Arangkada Lifetime Achievement Award for 2016 presented by the Joint Foreign Chambers of the Philippines. He graduated from Georgetown University and the Ateneo de Manila University (College of Law).
As chair of PECC on the eve of the dawning of the 21st Century he selected the theme "The Pacific E-conomy in the 21st Century." His closing statement for that meeting 20 years ago echo with some prescience “Information Technology holds the promise of prosperity and bringing together the people of the region into an e-community. However, realizing the potential of IT means overcoming the ‘digital divide’ which separates developed and developing economies of the region and sectors within societies. A major theme that emerged from the conference is the need for inclusiveness and greater representation in processes that drive the regional and global economy.” That prescience was evident in having committed much of life trying to bring the benefits of technology to more people in anticipation of the digital revolution he dedicated much of his time and energy to trying to achieve better health outcomes especially for rural communities through his work as chair of the Zuellig Family Foundation.