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PES at 50

Philippine Economic Society was founded in August 1962 through the efforts of young social scientists and business graduates who had just received their degrees from various schools in the United States. Among them are Amado Castro, Benito Legarda Jr., Quirico Camus Jr., Jose G. Fernandez Jr., and Armand Fabella, who were graduates of Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S.A.

This small but influential group of like-minded people, including some foreign scholars, formed an informal association which they called the “Social Economy Association” where they discussed issues affecting the economy and the society. Aside from those already mentioned, Joachim Ahrensdorf, Thomas McHale, Sixto K. Roxas, Fr. Michael McPhelin of the Ateneo, Oscar Lopez, Felix de la Costa, Onofre Corpuz, and Juan Ponce Enrile also took part in some of the social economy discussions.

Were it not for certain incidents that occurred during this period, such informal discussions would not have led to the organization of the Philippine Economic Society (PES). The two events that catalyzed the immediate organization of PES are the Columbia Research Project in 1958 and the visit by a group from the International Economic Association.

The PES core group was dominated by notable economists and a few professionals with business training. The Society’s first three presidents were Armand Fabella, Amado Castro, and Benito Legarda, Jr.

For the complete history of PES, read: The Early Years of the Philippine Economic Society by Gerardo Sicat (From the Philippine Economic Journal, Vol XII No. 1, 1974)