Gokongwei happy with Bacolod honors-A A +A
Friday, February 15, 2013
"I'M honored and happy. I'm floating," said business tycoon John Gokongwei Jr. after receiving the replica of the City Council resolution declaring him as an Adopted Son of Bacolod City on Thursday.
Gokongwei was also installed as the Honorary Mayor of Bacolod City for the Year 2013, by virtue of an executive order issued by Mayor Evelio Leonardia, at the New Government Center.
Sitting on the mayor's desk at the Mayor's Office, the founder of the JG Summit Holdings Incorporated conglomerate signed business permits as honorary mayor of the city.
JG Summit Holdings owns Cebu Pacific, Sun Cellular, Universal Robina Corporation (URC), five URC sugar mills, three of which are in Negros, among other businesses. According to Forbes, Gokongwei is worth $3.2 billion as of June 2012.
"I've done many things in my 86 years of life, but I've never held any political office. Mayor John Gokongwei. I like the way that sounds. And to think I didn't even have to spend months out on the streets of Bacolod campaigning, making speeches and shaking hands," Gokongwei said.
Witnessing the event which wrapped up the 8th Bacolaodiat Festival at the L’ Fisher Hotel were local Filipino-Chinese communities, city officials, business and civic leaders.
"It is also very much an honor to be named an adopted son of Bacolod. I really am Bisaya, just like you. My mother, Juanita Marquez Lim, grew up in Iloilo. My father, John Gokongwei, grew up in Cebu," he added.
Gokongwei lauded Bacolod as one of the partners in the success of their businesses, citing that his businesses have been involved with the city for many years.
"We have made Bacolod one of the prime destinations of our airline. Cebu Pacific flights from Manila to Bacolod and vice-versa every day, six times a day. It takes about an hour and fifteen minutes each way," he said.
In his speech, Gokongwei also mentioned the long relationship of Negrenses with SUN Cellular, as they keep in constant touch with their family members and loved ones all over the country and all over the world with SUN's unlimited text and call plans.
"I really enjoy coming up with new possibilities and partnerships, of figuring out how to contribute to the progress of the Philippine economy. Thank you, Bacolod and Negros, for being our partners in this journey. We hope to continue to be of service to all of you. And as Honorary Mayor of Bacolod, I am now personally your humble public servant as well," he said.
Gokongwei, who ranks with Lucio Tan and Henry Sy among the richest entrepreneurs in the country, established in 1997 the first giant mall in
Bacolod City, Robinsons Place Bacolod along Lacson Street in Mandalagan.
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on February 15, 2013.