The life and legacy of Leonides S. Virata

Published December 1, 2021, 9:40 AM

by Manila Bulletin

Biography of former DBP chairman launched

DEVELOPMENT BOOK At the book launching at the end of October were, from left, Butch Dalisay, Luis Juan L. Virata, and DBP president and chief executive officer Emmanuel G. Herbosa.

State-owned Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) recently hosted the launching of the biography of its former chairman, Leonides S. Virata. Written by acclaimed writer and columnist Butch Dalisay, the book titled O, Ilaw: The Life and Legacy of Leonides S. Virata’ chronicles the professional accomplishments of the former DBP chairman both in government service and in business.

Virata was previously connected with the research department of the Central Bank, before moving to Philamlife in 1952 to direct the company’s support for various projects, including Far East Bank, Bacnotan Cement, and Manila Doctors Hospital, among others.

After almost two decades in the private sector, Virata was appointed secretary of Commerce and Industry in 1969 before being appointed DBP chairman in 1970, where he is credited for the shift in DBP’s focus and orientation to support countryside development.