CHAMBER History

IS THE PROVENANCE and OLDEST economic business institution, in the country dating back to 1886, whose programs, projects, and advocacies, ushered the country TO BECOME A LEADING ECONOMY (GDP Per Capita) in the ASEAN and 2nd in Asia in the 1960’s. Given a MARKER by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines as a Landmark historical structure and Heritage Institution. AND AS A CONTINUING GUIDE for the country’s laws, policies, and actions TO REBUILD ITS GLORIOUS PAST, the Chamber, rekindled and repositioned, NOW HEREIN ADOPTS THE ADVOCACY:

“History Builds the Future”
Economic Compass Pillars Five

I. THE FILIPINO & EDUCATION – “Top of the world”
II. BUSINESSES & INDUSTRIES – “Globally Competitive”
III. THE GOVERNMENT – “Governs with 12 Traits”
IV. INFRASTRUCTURE & ENVIRONMENT – “Heaven on Earth”
V. THE ECONOMY – “Diverse, Self-Reliant, Wealthy”

The Beginnings (1886 to 1902)

April 9, 1886 

The Chamber traces its roots back to The Spanish period when Queen Regent Maria Cristina issued a Royal Decree creating the 

“Camara” institutions for all Spanish colonies. 

Queen Regent Maria  Don Joaquin Elizalde Cristina of Spain  1st President, 1886

 

Tumultuous Period followed  from 1886 to 1902:

1892

Katipunan and Philippine revolt begins against Spanish rule

1896

Dr. Jose Rizal executed.

1898

Spanish – American War.

1899 to 1902

Philippine – American War.

July 19, 1903

With Peace once again, the Camara de Comercio de Manila held its first session in Spanish as the Camara de Comercio Filipina, with Don Francisco Reyes as the Chamber’s President, and Philippine Governor General William Howard Taft as Honorary President.

Handwritten Minutes July 28, 1903 in
Spanish presided by President Don
Francisco Reyes and Honorary President
William Howard Taft

(Original Document still exists in the Chamber Archives).

1905

The Chamber publishes “Revista de la Camara de Comercio Filipina” and later as “Revista de la Camara de Comercio de las Islas Filipinas”, the incorporated name of the Chamber since 1916. And later renamed to Commerce Magazine and captioned as the “Voice of Business.”

1919

English began to be used instead of Spanish, thereby the Camara was also officially referred to in documents as the Chamber of Commerce of the Philippine Islands, or Camara de Comercio De las Islas Filipinas, which became its official name succeeding prior names.

1933

On July 17, 1933 during the Third session of the Ninth Philippine Legislature, the Secretary of Agriculture and Commerce was authorized to sell to the Chamber a land for its building and approved therein on December 6, 1933. 

The Chamber of Commerce of the Philippine Islands was issued title to its own land, and through the contributions of private businesses, the Chamber’s 3-storey building was built. 

1937

1938

Commonwealth President Manuel L. Quezon inaugurated the Chamber Building.

President Manuel L. Quezon during the inauguration of the Chamber building on July 1938 with then Chamber Officer  Aurelio Periquet, Sr

1942 – 1945

The Chamber building was occupied by the Japanese Imperial Army as one of their headquarters and was spared by American bombs.

American soldiers looking at the Chamber Building spared from bombing; view from ruins of the  Letran Campus/Intramuros Walls.

1963

1971

Sent the first trade mission to China in 1971, among many other international trade missions. This led to the establishment of Diplomatic ties with the People’s Republic of China.

Chamber Trade Mission with Red China Premier Chou En-lai, People’s Republic of China

1971

MARTIAL LAW PERIOD STAGE 1

A. Upon the assumption to power of the martial law government, the Chamber of Commerce of the Philippine Islands (CCPI) and another organization – the Philippine
Chamber of Industries (PCI), were asked to merge into one single organization, as counterpart to the reorganized Ministry of Trade and Industry.

B. The PCI dissolved itself, while the Chamber of Commerce of the Philippine Islands continued its existence by appending the word Foundation to its name: Chamber of
Commerce of the Philippines Foundation.

C.But, instead of merging, both organizations named 30 individuals each from CCPI and PCI, for a total of 60 charters founding members to establish in 1978 a new organization – the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), while the original Chamber continued to exist, operating in preservation and continuation of its history.

1978

MARTIAL LAW PERIOD STAGE 2

In support of the newly created PCCI, the Chamber transferred some of its income making activities like the Annual National Business Conference (renamed Philippine Business Conference) and the issuance of Certificate of Origins for exports, and some of its staff to the PCCI, while retaining research, niche business advocacy and other activities in accordance with its Articles and By-Laws and to preserve its historical existence.

1979 to 1986 to 2002

POST MARTIAL LAW: PEOPLE POWER REVOLUTION OF 1986 FEBRUARY  

With regained freedoms, various other business organizations came to the fore and the PCI – Philippine Chamber of Industries reemerged as the Federation of Philippine Industries (FPI), along with other organizations/associations. The Chamber continued to exist with certain activities in preservation of its provenance. 

2003

The National Historical Institute (NHI) former name of the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) gives a Marker to the Chamber in Tagalog, recognizing its landmark building and historical organization.

2010

The Chamber amends its Articles and ByLaws to revert back to its former name –  Chamber of Commerce of the Philippine Islands.

National Historical Institute Marker (2003)

2014 November 20

The National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) grants unto the Chamber a historical Marker in Spanish, English and Tagalog (languages that span the Chamber’s history), in recognition of the Chamber’s landmark Historical Building and its stature as the oldest traditional Business Institution. 

2014 Rekindling & Repositioning

The 2nd NHCP Recognition Markers in three languages in addition to the 2003 NHI Marker, provide the impetus for the Chamber to Rekindle and Reposition itself.

1. The Chamber rekindles and repositions itself as the “Chamber of History,” with a special Honorary Membership category for 25 year-old companies and above, recognizing their long term contributions to the country’s economy; as of 2015 there are over 24,000 said Honorary Members.

2. The Chamber continues implementing programs and projects in line with its overall objectives, its Articles of Incorporations and By-Laws, to promote the economy of the country in general and business in particular.

3. In line with its Rekindling and Repositioning, the Chamber crafted its main advocacy as our ongoing work program, with the slogan and vision “Chamber of History”: Five Pillars Economic Compass.

National Artist Don Fernando Amorsolo, encouraged his nephew, Contemporary Master Cesar Amorsolo, to paint the spirit of trading during the Pre-Spanish era.

This Masterpiece portrays Barter Trade of our Ancestors with Chinese, Malay Merchants.

This masterpiece portraying early trade in the pre-Spanish era depicts the flourishing trade of our ancestors with Chinese and Malay merchants. The mutual trust and confidence demonstrated by the early traders and merchants serve as a continuing inspiration for all Filipino businessmen of today to conduct business with integrity, carry on our commercial responsibilities consistently and value the linkages that we have built up through the centuries. Within the history-rich conference room of the Chambers Building is the mural painting of artist Cesar Amorsolo which forms part of the design of the commemorative stamp. It is quite fortunate that the Chambers has properly preserved this invaluable work of art, which is truly symbolic of the ideals of Chambers.

MARTIAL LAW PERIOD STAGE 2

 

In support of the newly created PCCI, the Chamber transferred some of its income making activities like the Annual National Business Conference (renamed Philippine Business Conference) and the issuance of Certificate of Origins for exports, and some of its staff to the PCCI, while retaining research, niche business advocacy and other activities in accordance with its Articles and By-Laws and to preserve its historical existence.

MARTIAL LAW PERIOD STAGE 2

 

In support of the newly created PCCI, the Chamber transferred some of its income making activities like the Annual National Business Conference (renamed Philippine Business Conference) and the issuance of Certificate of Origins for exports, and some of its staff to the PCCI, while retaining research, niche business advocacy and other activities in accordance with its Articles and By-Laws and to preserve its historical existence.

MARTIAL LAW PERIOD STAGE 2

 

In support of the newly created PCCI, the Chamber transferred some of its income making activities like the Annual National Business Conference (renamed Philippine Business Conference) and the issuance of Certificate of Origins for exports, and some of its staff to the PCCI, while retaining research, niche business advocacy and other activities in accordance with its Articles and By-Laws and to preserve its historical existence.