Jorge B. Vargas

From ScoutWiki, For Everyone, Everywhere involved with Scouting and Guiding...
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Template:Spanish name Template:Infobox Officeholder Jorge B. Vargas (August 24, 1890 – February 22, 1980) was a lawyer and youth advocate born in Bago City, Negros Occidental, Philippines. He graduated valedictorian from Negros Occidental High School in 1909 and obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1911 and a Bachelor of Law degree with honors in 1914, both from the University of the Philippines. He was a founding member of the Philippine Amateur Athletic Federation (now the Philippine Olympic Committee) in 1911 and served in its Executive Committee in 1918.[1] He served as its second Chairman from 1935 to 1955. He was also the first Filipino member of the International Olympic Committee.[2]

Government service

After being admitted to the Philippine Bar in 1914, he was appointed as law clerk in the Philippine Commission. He quickly rose through the ranks and was promoted to the position of Chief Clerk of the Department of the Interior in 1917.[3]

In 1918 he served as the legislative secretary to Speaker Sergio Osmeña of the House of Representatives and in 1919 was appointed by President Manuel L. Quezon as his Executive Secretary, becoming the first in the country to serve in such a position.[4]

When the Japanese invaded the country in 1941, Vargas was designated to the Department of National Defense as its secretary. A few weeks later, he was appointed by President Manuel Quezon as mayor of the Greater Manila area in 1941. His responsibilities included administering the open city upon the arrival of occupational troops of the Imperial Japanese Army on January 2, 1942.

By 1942, Vargas became chairman of the Japanese-sponsored Philippine Executive Commission. During the collaborationist Second Philippine Republic, he was once asked by the Japanese to assume the Presidency, but he declined. He instead served as the regime's Ambassador to Japan. In that position, he was quoted shortly before Japanese troops were driven from Manila as stating that "we know Japan is destined for sure victory and prosperity for ages to come."[5]

Vargas served as Chairman of the National Planning Commission from 1946–1954 and was a member of the Board of Regents of the University of the Philippines from 1961-1965. In 1960, the Republic of the Philippines conferred on him the Legion of Honor with the rank of Commander.[1]

Vargas and his daughter, 1943

Scouting involvement

Vargas’ involvement with Scouting started in 1935 when he became a member of the executive board of the Philippine Council of the Boy Scouts of America. Together with other Philippine Scouting advocates he became one of the charter members of the Boy Scouts of the Philippines in 1936.[1]

Upon the death of Manuel Camus in 1949 he was unanimously chosen by the National Executive Board to serve as the BSP's President and Chief Scout. He served the position of National President until 1961. He became a member of the World Scout Committee of the World Organization of the Scout Movement from 1951 to 1957.

Vargas was awarded the Bronze Wolf in 1959 and received other awards including the Silver Tamaraw (Philippines), Silver Fox (Canada), Silver Ibex (Austria), Silver Wolf (UK), and the White Eagle (Japan). He also became the first recipient of the Tanglaw ng Kabataan (Light of the Youth) Award of the BSP in 1961.[1]

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 On My Honor, Boy Scouts of the Philippines, 2001, p. 136-137.
  2. Philippine Olympic Committee
  3. Philippine Department of Defense
  4. Jorge B. Vargas Museum
  5. "Japan is warned by puppet envoy of Manila's fate," Oakland Tribune, p. 2D, 1945-02-03.
Preceded by
Masaharu Homma
Japanese Military Administration
Presiding Officer of the Philippine Executive Commission
(de facto Head of Government)

January 23, 1942 – October 14, 1943
Succeeded by
Jose P. Laurel
President of the Philippines

Template:Manila Template:Head of State of the Philippines Template:Mayors of Manila

la:Georgius Vargas