President Aquino shines the spotlight on 5 outstanding Filipinos at Insular Life, JCI Senate Phils TOFIL Awards
(Date Posted: January 25, 2012)
(TOFIL 2011 Awarding Ceremony at Malacanang Palace)
There are no limits to doing good and striving for excellence.
President Benigno S. Aquino III made this statement as he led guests in honoring the five 2011 The Outstanding Filipino (TOFIL) awardees in Malacanang recently.
Saying that the awardees were inspiring and reaping the goodness that they sowed, the President said: Like them, our ambition for the Philippines is simple: a nation where justice and accountability prevail; where if you do something good to your fellowmen, it will also be returned by goodness That is why this event symbolizes the challenge that you pose before every Filipino: that whatever your status, gender or origin, doing great things is not shooting for the moon.
The five TOFIL awardees for 2011 were: Dr. Jesus P. Estanislao for Governance; Dr. Ramon M. Nery for Government/Public service; Mr. Jose T. Pardo for Business; Sylvia D. Pendon for Entrepreneurship; and Dr. Emerlinda R. Roman for education.
Dr. Estanislao, former finance secretary and an accomplished academic, was honored for his roles in carrying out successful fiscal reforms during the administration of the late President Corazon Aquino, in being the architect of the rehabilitation of government financial institutions and in carrying out governance reforms in both the public and private sectors.
Mr. Pardo was cited for pioneering the franchising model in the country that continues to drive the economic engine. The current chairman of the Philippine Stock Exchange is also one of the earliest to push for corporate social responsibility decades before it became a key part of business.
Dr. Nery was awarded for his untiring work in the poorest provinces in Mindanao, where he initiated a host of reforms to improve the services of public hospitals and alleviate the ailing healthcare situation. His pioneering work in voluntary blood services program saved thousands of lives and became a model for similar initiatives.
Dr. Roman was recognized not only for being the first woman president of the University of the Philippines, but also for being a model educator for more than 30 years. UP’s centennial president ushered the country’s National University into its second century with notable improvements in the areas of infrastructure, curriculum development, fiscal capability, and public service.
Ms. Pendon was cited for pioneering the organic food movement in Palawan and empowering hundreds of women as a home economics teacher. This octogenarian broke new ground in the country’s cottage industry by introducing Philippine handicrafts to the world and creating a lucrative export market.
They joined a roster of 110 other Filipinos who have been recognized as Outstanding Filipinos. The TOFIL is a joint project of the JCI Senate Philippines and Insular Life since 1988.
In their acceptance speeches, the awardees took the opportunity to share the honor with their fellowmen and inspired them to continue collectively working for the improvement of the nation.
In his speech, Dr. Nery said: Our country is not devoid of heroes. There will always be a Filipino willing to be counted in and do his part for the country when needed. The EDSA Revolution and Sendong are just two events depicting this fact.
Dr. Estanislao said the Filipino people deserve recognition for the problems we have had to resolve; the opportunities we have had to seize; and the progress we have been able to make.
When events may be discouraging, when the odds in favor of what is good for the country may be at their lowest point, have hope and the will to realize our hopes. We need to reach as far and as high as we can through calm, through change and through storm, Dr. Roman said.
Mr. Pardo, who traced his humble beginnings, said: I did not become an entrepreneur with the goal of changing the world in an instant; nor did I become a public servant in order to walk the house of power. I know that I simply did what I thought I do best.
For her part, Ms. Pendon said, the hope of our country lies in the ordinary people who do not make it to the headlines, but work diligently without fanfare for those who might not even thank or appreciate them, for God works through those who are little and unrecognized.
The TOFIL awards annually pays tribute to the country’s men and women, 41 years and above, who have contributed significantly to the upliftment of the lives of their fellow Filipinos in particular, and humanity, in general.