Ombudsman Morales leads 2016 Ramon Magsaysay Awardees
Six esteemed Asian leaders, including the country’s own Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales, are this year’s Ramon Magsaysay Awardees, the Philippines-based prestigious award-giving body announced on Wednesday.
The Asian equivalent of the Nobel Prize recognizes individuals who have excelled in government service, public service and community leadership.
The 75-year-old Ombudsman was lauded for her “moral courage and commitment to justice in taking head-on one of the most intractable problems of the Philippines; promoting by her example of incorruptibility, diligence, vision and leadership the highest ethical standards in public service.”
The Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation (RMAF) announced the other awardees including Dompet Dhuafa, an Indonesian philanthropic organization, which fosters economic projects from zakat (Islamic obligatory taxes); Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers, a youth-led group providing Japanese humanitarian aid and assistance in developing countries; and Vientiane Rescue, an emergency rescue organization manning public safety in Laos.
Two Indians are also hailed by the award-giving body: anti-manual scavenging activist Bezwada Wilson and musician Thodur Madabusi Krishna, who is an awardee for Emergent Leadership.
RMAF President Carmencita Abella said the 2016 awards will be a milestone for aspiring leaders to create social good in the Asian region. “Clearly, they are creating bold solutions to deeply rooted social problems in their respective societies, problems which are most damaging to the lives of those trapped in poverty, ignorance, prejudice, and unjust systems,” she said.
She added: “While the respective social causes and leadership solutions are uniquely their own, there is one thing this year’s Magsaysay laureates all share in common: a greatness of spirit that infuses their crusade of change.”
The announcement coincided with the foundation’s launching of the Asian Leaders Talk, an initiative drawn from the incredible success of TED talks, and its newly overhauled website, rmaward.asia.
Makati Business Club and RMAF chair Ramon Del Rosario said the award bestowed on Morales would inspire other public servants to selflessly desire to help the underprivileged. “In the case of awardees who are incumbent officials, it would inspire them to do their work with more courage and dedication,” he added.
The Ramon Magsaysay Awards, which honors the late Philippine President who died in a plane crash, has recognized 312 prodigious and brilliant laureates since 1957. The highest number of awardees, totaling 55, comes from India. The Philippines comes second with 47 awardees and Japan third with 24. Other Filipino Magsaysay laureates include Washington SyCip, founder of SGV & Co., and former senator and Presidential candidate Miriam Defensor-Santiago.
The 2016 awardees will each receive a certificate, a medallion and a cash prize. The formal awarding ceremony will be held on Monday, Aug. 31, at the Cultural Center of the Philippines.
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