Industry > Altruism

President Duterte receives these cars from Toyota PH

Given to him in commemoration of company’s 30th anniversary

There were multiple presidents onstage. Coolness. PHOTO BY VERNON B. SARNE

Yesterday, we went to Grand Hyatt Manila for the big celebration of Toyota Motor Philippines’ 30th anniversary (the company was officially established on August 3, 1988). We arrived at around 4:30pm, complying with Toyota’s request for punctuality as the event would be attended by very, very important people—including Toyota Motor Corporation president Akio Toyoda and Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte.

At around 6:30pm, Toyoda entered the ballroom and took his proper place on the stage, together with TMP president Satoru Suzuki. Which meant that, by this time, we and the other early guests had been standing for two hours (it wasn’t a sit-down affair).

The Toyota bosses had no choice but to wait. PHOTO BY VERNON B. SARNE

President Duterte finally showed up at 7:10pm—to the tune of a politicized version of Freddie Aguilar’s “Ipaglalaban Ko,” complete with these lyrics:

Sa piling mo, Digong, mawawala ang korapsyon.


The guests quickly forgot they were so tired and hungry when the President appeared. PHOTO BY VERNON B. SARNE

After the obligatory speeches—including a prepared one by the President, which, thankfully, he didn’t really deviate from—Toyota presented him with a donation consisting of 20 units of the new Vios and 10 units of the Innova. Or 30 vehicles, to be exact, in honor of the company’s milestone. For good measure, Toyota threw in three more units of the Hiace.

From one president to another: keys to 30 brand-new Philippine-made vehicles. Salute! PHOTO BY VERNON B. SARNE

Here’s what the car keys look like up close…

The keys to 20 Vios units and 10 Innova units. PHOTO BY VERNON B. SARNE

According to TMP senior vice president Jing Atienza, the keys presented were the actual ones and not merely mock-ups. Why the Vios and the Innova? We think it’s because they’re the two products that Toyota manufactures locally at its Santa Rosa, Laguna, facility. Proudly Philippine-made, in other words. Atienza told VISOR that the Office of the President would decide how and where to use these cars. Most likely, they will be distributed to government agencies that are most in need of service vehicles.

The Vios and the Innova are made in the country. PHOTOS BY VERNON B. SARNE

If you’re curious to see the cars turned over by TMP to President Duterte, here are photos sent to us by a reader who happens to be a Malacañang employee.

May these vehicles serve their purpose. PHOTOS FROM ADRIAN MAGPANTAY

Let’s hope these Toyota cars will be put to good use. And that they will be properly taken care of.

Vernon B. Sarne

Vernon is the founder and editor-in-chief of VISOR. He has been an automotive journalist since July 1995. He became one by serendipity, walking into the office of a small publishing company and applying for a position he had no idea was for a local car magazine. God has watched over him throughout his humble journey. He writes the ‘Spoiler’ column.