About Us

Welcome to the Chamber of Pawnbrokers of the Philippines Inc.

The Voice of the Pawnshop IndustryThe Chamber of Pawnbrokers of the Philippines, Inc. is the first and only organization to serve and to represent the best interests of the firms and individuals involved in the aspects of the pawn brokering industry. The CPPI offers a wide range of services and programs which can make a real difference in the success and growth of your business. Membership to the CPPI definitely has its advantages...

Chamber of Pawnbrokers of the Philippines, Inc.

The history of the Chamber of Pawnbrokers of the Philippines, Inc. may be divided into three distinct epochs or periods.

The first epoch came right after the war, when Manila was not yet fully rehabilitated and its founder, Vicente M. Fortich Zerda, organized the group initially as the Philippine Pawnshops Association as Mr. Zerda refused to yield the former name.  The thrust of this period was to make the chamber national in scope even as the different cities and municipalities had their own ordinances and regulations governing pawnshops.  At that time, the local government units in the cities and towns where they were located regulated the operations of pawnshops.  If one had several branches in different cities and towns, these branches operated under different sets of rules and ordinances.

The third phase was from the time P.D. 114 made all pawnshop operations uniform, bringing them under one set if rules and regulations.  This was done in accordance with a recommendation of the International Monetary Fund-World Bank (IMF-WB) to place all financial institutions under the Central Bank.



The national association of pawnbrokers was conceived, born and baptized out of necessity. Politicians would prey on pawnshops individually either to please their pawning constituents or for ulterior motives. Many times, they threatened to pass ordinances, which would increase the burden on the business.

To present a concerted stand on problems affecting the profession, a group of pawnbrokers headed by Mr. Zerda gathered together in October 1949 and registered with a notary public the name Philippine Pawnshops Association.

The Association held its first recorded meeting at the Old Selecta on Azcarraga Street (now Recto Avenue) cor. Lepanto, Manila on November 26, 1949.

Pending the formal organization of the Association, ad interim officers were elected by acclamation.  They were Fortich Zerda, president; Aguirre and Antonio Tambunting, vice presidents; Domingo Arcega, secretary; Tirso Losa y Soloaga, treasurer; and Enrique Zalamea, Lorenzo Lerma, Jose Arrienda and Dr. Francisco Ramirez, directors.


The Philippine Pawnshop Association met three other times after its organization meeting, its Bulletin of September 20, 1951 shows.

Fortich Zerda, as interim president, hosted a meeting at his residence at 48 Adela St., Aviles, Manila on February 19, 1950.  The then newly prescribed Central bank Report was explained and discussed during this meeting.

The second meeting of the Association took place at the Oak Room of the Manila Hotel on December 12, 1950.  A number of city officials of Manila were invited to establish rapport with City Hall.  They explained existing municipal ordinances covering pawnshop operations, including the nagging “papeleta” fee, which was discussed lengthily.  It was agreed henceforth, no collection would be made for “papeleta” but for service only.

In its last recorded meeting on September 16, 1951 at the New Selecta at Dewey (now Roxas) Boulevard, among the pertinent matters taken up were:

  1. to study the feasibility of members of the Association borrowing money from government institutions against reserves or securities.
  2. uniform rate of service fee to be charged on loan.
  3. Enrique Zalamea replaced Tirso Losa y Soloaga as treasurer

Young Turks

About five years after this last meeting, a group composed mostly of second-generation members, younger and with ideas attuned to the “atomic age”, felt the need for a more dynamic association responsive to the current problems of pawnbrokers throughout the country. These young Turks started holding their own meetings in 1956 and elected by acclamation their own set of officers.

In a meeting held at the Aristocrat on Roxas Boulevard, the following were elected officers of the group known as the “Philippine Pawnbrokers Association, Inc.”: Domingo Arcega, president; Pedro B. Aguirre, vice president; Jose P. Tambunting, secretary; Temistocles Elvina, Jr., treasurer; and Apolonio Aguirre, Nicolas Navarrete, Ceferino Picache, Antonio L. Tambunting and Enrique Zalamea, directors.

The first set of officers was to hold office up to June 4, 1958.

A Special Committee of 11 members was formed to write the Constitution and By-laws of the bigger association envisioned by the group. Pedro B. Aguirre, lawyer by training, was chosen to head this committee and to register the organization with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). A mini Constitutional Convention was held at the A. Aguirre Pawnshop at 558 Sales St., Quiapo, Manila.

New Name

The present name of the group was adopted and officially announced in a Circular Letter dated June 6, 1958, signed by Jose P. Tambunting, secretary.  The letter read: “Notice is hereby given to all our members that our Association’s name ahs been changed from the official name of  “Philippine Pawnbrokers Association, Inc.” to “Chamber of Pawnbrokers of the Philippines, Inc.”

The Special Committee constituted to write the Articles of Incorporation and By- laws of the Chamber finished its task and its 11 founding members signed their completed work on July 2, 1958.  They were Clemente C. Abella, Apolonio Aguirre, Domingo Arcega, Temistocles Elbina, Jr., Cesar de Larrazabal, Nicolas Navarette, Marcelo Raymundo, Antonio Tambunting and Enrique Zalamea.

A cursory look yields interesting details about the Chamber at the time of this reorganization into its present form.  For instance, except for de Larrazabal and Navarette, all the signatories to the Articles of Incorporation of the Chamber have their pawnshops located in the Sta. Cruz-Quiapo area.  One of the signatories in the original Article, named after his father, signed his name without distinguishing suffix Jr.  On July 26, 1958, 79 members were listed in the Treasurer and Auditor’s report on the Induction of Officers at the Petal Room, Manila Hotel.  By this time, the Chamber had 14 members doing business outside Manila, as far as Angeles City, San Fernando, Pampanga, and Baguio City.



The first Christmas celebration of the Chamber was held at the family residence of Tambunting at 355 P. Guevarra Ave., San Juan, Rizal on December 18, 1958.  Since then, this has been one of two traditional social fetes of the Chamber.

A year later, the maiden issue of The C.P.P. Newsette, the official publication of the Chamber, came out in eight pages, datelined November 1959.  It contained accounts and pictorials of the induction of officers by Presiding Justice Jose Ma. Paredes and was a “work of love” of Clemente C. Abella, as were the next 18 issues.

In March 2-6, 1960, the CPP sent its first delegation to the Convention of Businessmen in Baguio City sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines.  It was headed by Ceferino M. Picache, incumbent first vice president, with Amparo Angeles of the Pines Pawnshop in Baguio City as vice chairman of the delegation.  Members included Mariano Ocampo III of Ocampo, Tarlac; Crispulo Antolin of Dealrite, Inc.; Cesar Ocampo, of Ocampo, Angeles City; Temistocles Elvina, Senior and Junior, of E. A. D. Elvina, Inc.; Enrique Zalamea of P. Zalamea; Ricardo Ocampo of Ocampo, San Fernando, Pampanga; Domingo Arcega of Manalac Pawnshop; Marcelo Raymundo of R. Raymundo; Felipe David of David Pawnshop; Onofre Lagman of Lagman Pawnshop; Feliciano Santiago of F. E. Santiago, Pasay City; and Jose P. Tambunting of A. L. Tambunting.

This composition of the delegation shows the Chamber could now boast of members doing business outside of Manila and its suburbs.


CPP members eventually participated more actively in the country’s business projects, taking leading roles in the Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines Trade Mission to Hong Kong from January 3-8, 1961. Past president Arcega headed the CPP Trade Mission with also had the following CPP members: incumbent president Clemente C. Abella, Felicula Galang, Picache, and past president Zalamea.

Subsequently, in the next couple of years, the Chamber of Commerce organized a trade mission to Hong Kong and Taipei, Taiwan, which was headed by pawnbrokers. Abella was chairman with Jose P. Tambunting as vice chairman and there were 20 members, among them then Commerce and Industry Secretary Manuel Lim, former Commerce Secretary Teofilo Reyes, as well as other leaders in banking and industry. The top officials of Taiwan, its Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and leaders of civic groups like the Lions, Rotarians, and Jaycees received the mission with great honors.p>

Antonio J. Villegas, then vice mayor of Manila, sworn into office the officers of the Chamber for 1961-1962 at the Club Filipino, Sta. Mesa, Manila on August 26, 1961. For the next 11 years or until 1971, when he was already mayor, the Mayor of Manila was the inducting officer of CPP Officers.


A milestone in the life of the CPP Newsletter came with its issue of September 27, 1962, when two firsts graced its pages: a guest editorial by David F. Cohen, president of the Pawnbrokers Association of New York, and a reprint of a comic strip on pawnshops, or Casa de Empenos, carried by El Correo Espanol in El Pueblo Vasco, Spain.

The workings and funding of the all-important Legal Committee were initiated and organized by Jose P. Tambunting, president for Fiscal Year 1962-63. The functions of this committee have always been among the most important features extended to members and have benefited the pawn broking profession in court cases.

During the incumbency of Tambunting, he initiated a legal fund contributed by its members so that the Chamber assured the legal defense of pawnshops unknowingly accept items which are the subject of estafa, robbery or theft cases or any questionable pledges. Before this fund was set up, pawnshops had to individually defend themselves. Instead of spending huge amounts of money for lawyers’ fees and expenses, they gave up the pawned items covered by search warrants rather than lose some more money. Many swindlers usually had their way and would profit at the expense of pawnshops.



With the fund, the Chamber was able to retrieve all pledges taken on the basis of search warrants at a nominal cost per member, securing pawnshops from the manipulation of swindlers. This was a victory for all, since the wider contribution of funds made it cheaper for individual members to go to court and the decision of the court would be binding on all its members.

This same fund, but with a bigger contributions, was used to nullify judicially the illegal imposition of the percentage tax and the documentary stamp tax on pawnshops. The Chamber won the case in the Regional Trial Court, which enjoined the Bureau of Internal Revenue to stop collecting these taxes against the pawnshops. The Chamber again won the case when it was brought up to the Court of Appeals and it is now pending with the Supreme Court for final adjudication.


In 1962, the first Directory of Members of the CPPI came out, including in its contents the Code of Business Ethics, Foreword by Abella, immediate past president; Message by Jose P. Tambunting, president; pictures of the three past presidents; boards of directors for 1961-62; 30 pages of pictures and bio-data of members and representatives or a total of 122 listings; Rules and Regulations governing the pawnshop business in the City of Manila, Amended By-laws of the CPPI  and its Articles of Incorporation.


 Our Mission

To contribute to the professional and personal development of member pawnbrokers through the enhancement of the image and the perception of the industry by advocating pawnbrokers’ rights, responsibilities and issues and by representing and speaking for the whole pawnbroking industry.

Our Vision

Become the single most trusted institution for the institutional, professional and personal development of pawnbrokers and their employees in the Philippines.

Become the central advocate of pawnbrokers’ rights and responsibilities by representing and speaking for the industry in all major forums


1. Mr. Jean Henri D. Lhuillier                        President

2. Mr. Ramon C. Tambunting                        VP-Internal Affairs

3. Atty. Henry R. Villarica                              VP-Legal Matters

4. Mr. Ergie S. Ong                                       VP-External Affairs

5. Atty. Pablo P. Magno                                 Legal Counsel/Asst. Corp. Secretary

6. Ms. Michelina A. Olondriz                          Corporate Secretary

7. Ms. Isabel A. Abella                                   Treasurer

8. Mr. Celso DLM Hernandez                         Auditor

9. Ms. Rosemarie B. Bonifacio                       Public Relations Officer

10. Mr. Tito L. Alcala                                       Asst. Public Relations Officer

Board of Directors:

1. Mr. Marc Thomas R. Ablaza

2. Mr. Bobbly L. Castro

3. Mr. Michael L. Lhuillier

4. Ms. Debbie Ann R. Riveral

5. Mr. Pedro T. Roxas


1. Mrs. Romen M. Runas, Executive Director

2. Mrs. Mary Jane C. Barranco

3. Mr. Arnel O. Corpuz