UPDATED - Respected business icon and philanthropist Washington SyCip passed away while on a flight to Vancouver, Canada from Manila Saturday night, October 7. He was 96.
SyCip founded SGV & Co., the country's largest professional services firm.
In his authorized biography written by Jose Dalisay in 2009, SyCip was described as "one of the foremost practitioners of accounting in the Philippines and Asia, as well as a prime advocate of closer cooperation between the Philippines, the United States, Europe and Asia."
He started SGV as a one-man accounting venture in 1946, while the country was recovering from the ruins of World War II. He later partnered with boyhood friend Alfredo Velayo. SGV stands for SyCip, Gorres and Velayo.
After he retired from SGV in 1996, he continued to mentor younger accountants, was active in civic endeavors, and played an active role as member of the board of several companies and foundations.
His advocacies included the improvement of public education, micro finance and entrepreneurship, and public health, Dalisay wrote.
His passing brought sadness to the Philippine finance and business community.
Former Finance secretary Cesar Purisima described SyCip as a "towering pillar of the Philippine economy."
"Today, we mourn the profound loss of a dear boss, friend, and mentor. I owe much of who I am to the privilege of having been under his wing. Washington SyCip was a towering pillar of the Philippine economy. For decades, he stood as an exemplar of excellence and integrity while shining the light of his sage guidance on our business community. Our country will miss the weight of his presence. We will, however, move forward with the gift of his contributions to our society," he said. (MVI/SunStar Philippines)