Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Today in Philippine History July 20

On July 20, 1826, Margarita Roxas de Ayala, founder of La Concordia College and one of the country's greatest businesswomen, was born in San Miguel, Manila.

Assuming control of her father's company during the Spanish time, Margarita acquired her vast wealth as she diversified into real estate, mining, and alcohol production.

She personally supervised her field foremen (capataz) in the harvesting of nipa palm alcohol which became the basis of Ginebra Ayala.

She was married to her father's business partner who was 25 years her junior, Don Antonio de Ayala, a Spaniard from the Basque region of Alava de Ayala, Spain.

Notably, she and Don Antonio co-founded Banco EspaƱol-Filipino de Isabel II, currently known as Bank of the Philippine Islands.

It was the first private commercial bank in the Philippines and Southeast Asia and Don Antonio became one of its first directors.

As a philanthropist, she donated her own summer residence called La Concordia in Santa Ana, Manila in 1868 to the Colegio de la Concordia which survives to this day as La Concordia College.

The school, upon her instruction, was staffed by a Spanish order of nuns, the Sisters of Charity, and dedicated to educating and giving scholarships to marginalized women.

She died on November 1, 1869 at age 43.

Also on this same day in 1961, President Carlos P. Garcia signed an administrative order pursuant to Republic Act No. 3019, otherwise known as the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Law.

This prohibits public officials and employees from dealing with relatives of high government officials “in any business, transaction, contract, or application with the government or any other business, calling for action or decision by such officers or employees.”

Philippine News Agency

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