MANILA, Philippines—President Benigno Aquino III on Wednesday commended the awardees of “The Outstanding Filipino Award (Tofil) 2013” for setting aside their self-interest to promote public welfare and national development.
Aquino led the awarding of the 2013 Tofil ceremonies, which honored Dr. Alfredo Mahar Francisco A. Lagmay, scientist and executive director of the Nationwide Operational Assessments of Hazards (Project Noah) for Geology and Earth Science and Public Works and Highways Secretary Rogelio Singson for Governance and Public Service and scientist Arsenio B. Ella, Forester of the Department of Science and Technology for Environmental Conservation and Sustainable Development.
Aquino said the awardees have greatly contributed in improving and advancing the lives of Filipinos and the country as well.
He urged the three awardees to continue their passion and excellence in helping the government in creating a progressive society for all Filipinos.
Aquino was the keynote speaker during the Tofil Awarding Ceremonies which has for its theme “Building Legacies” at the Insular Life Auditorium, Insular Life Corporate Center, Filinvest Corporate City, in Alabang in Muntinlupa City.
Instead of complaining or pushing their personal interest, Arsenio Ella, Dr. Alfredo Mahar, Assistant Secretary Rogelio Singson chose to serve their fellow Filipinos. They made efforts to contribute in uplifting our society. They are indeed worthy to be called as ‘Outstanding Filipinos,” Aquino said in Filipino.
Aquino cited Singson’s contribution for preventing corruption and implementing efficiency in the Department of Public Works and Highways.
“He started a new culture of professionalism and honesty. With this, at least 19 billion was saved by the agency from July 2010 to November 2013,” he said.
President Aquino, on the other hand said Lagmay dedicated his time in doing research on geological hazards in areas hit by disasters.
He said Lagmay showed how technology could be used for the benefit of the Filipinos. He said the “Project NOAH” pioneered by Lagmay was “revolutionary” in country’s preparedness on disasters.
Aquino, meanwhile, commended Ella for his wood anatomy expertise at the Forest Products Research Development Institute. She said Ella showed how to balance environmental conservation in providing for the needs of the people.
The Tofil Award is a project of Junior Chamber International (JCI) Senate Philippines and the Insular Life Assurance Co., Limited.
JCI honors the country’s men and women who have made significant contributions to the advancement in his/her field of expertise, public welfare and national development.
Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. and other executives from JCI attended the event.