Eugenio Lopez Sr.
The Lopez Group
remembers Eugenio “Eñing” H. Lopez Sr. on his 110th birth anniversary on July 20, 2011.
The Group’s founder, Don Eñing was a visionary of the first water: he and his younger brother Fernando, or Nanding, belonged to a clan of sugar planters and hacenderos in Iloilo and Negros. The brothers sought to make their own fortunes and, armed with a small printing press they inherited from their late father Gov. Benito Lopez, started on their way in 1928.
By the 1930s, the brothers had diversified into publishing and air and land transport. After the war, Don Eñing moved his base of operations from the Visayas to Manila while Nanding remained in Iloilo. With his purchase of Meralco, the young man from Jaro became the country’s “leading capitalist” in 1961.
Meralco’s plant expansion program and other requirements later birthed several subsidiaries, thus giving Don Eñing the financial leverage to diversify further into other businesses.
The only thing keeping pace with the frenzied growth of the Lopez business empire was the breadth of the resources dedicated by Don Eñing to his philanthropies. Aside from his legendary generosity to people in his employ, the business magnate early on formulated his creed on corporate social responsibility.
“We sincerely believe that a greater proportion of the earnings accrued from business should be returned to the people whether this be in the form of foundations, grants, scholarships, hospitals or any other form of social welfare benefits,” Don Eñing asserted in 1958. “We consider this a sound policy and a good investment which, in the long run, will pay off because it will mean more business and goodwill for the company and would minimize, if not prevent, the social unrest and disorder which are prevalent nowadays.”
Some five decades later, under the leadership of the second-generation Lopezes led by Lopez Group chairman emeritus Oscar M. Lopez
, the founder’s philosophy has been formalized in the Lopez Credo. The credo is “a statement of purpose that puts all the Lopez Group businesses in the service of the Filipino and articulates the seven Lopez Values to guide corporate decisions and operations as well as employees”: a pioneering entrepreneurial spirit, business excellence, unity, nationalism, social justice, integrity and employee welfare and wellness.
A cascade project was launched during the Group’s 82nd anniversary in June 2010 with the aim of imbuing and inspiring the employees with the ideals of Don Eñing.