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2017 Ramon Magsaysay awardees announced

MANILA – The Board of Trustees of the Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation (RMAF) has announced that this year six individuals and organizations from Indonesia, Japan, Philippines, Singapore, and Sri Lanka will receive Asia’s premier prize, the Ramon Magsaysay Award.

The 2017 Magsaysay Awardees are:

Yoshiaki Ishizawa, from Japan. He is being recognized for “his selfless, steadfast service to the Cambodian people, his inspiring leadership in empowering Cambodians to be proud stewards of their heritage, and his wisdom in reminding us all that cultural monuments like the Angkor Wat are shared treasures whose preservation is thus, also our shared global responsibility.”


Lilia de Lima, from the Philippines. She is being recognized for “her unstinting, sustained leadership in building a credible and efficient PEZA, proving that the honest, competent and dedicated work of public servants can, indeed, redound to real economic benefits to millions of Filipinos.”

Abdon Nababan, from Indonesia. He is being recognized for “his brave, self-sacrificing advocacy to give voice and face to his country’s IP communities, his principled, relentless, yet pragmatic leadership of the world’s largest IP rights movement, and the far-reaching impact of his work on the lives of millions of Indonesians.”

Philippine Educational Theater Association, from the Philippines. They are being recognized for “their bold, collective contributions in shaping the theater arts as a force for social change, its impassioned, unwavering work in empowering communities in the Philippines, and the shining example it has set as one of the leading organizations of its kind in Asia.”

Gethsie Shanmugam, from Sri Lanka. She is being recognized for “her compassion and courage in working under extreme conditions to rebuild war-scarred lives, her tireless efforts over four decades in building Sri Lanka’s capacity for psychosocial support, and her deep, inspiring humanity in caring for women and children, war’s most vulnerable victims.”

Tony Tay, from Singapore. He is being recognized for “his quiet, abiding dedication to a simple act of kindness – sharing food with others – and his inspiring influence in enlarging this simple kindness into a collective, inclusive, vibrant volunteer movement that is nurturing the lives of many in Singapore.”

Established in 1957, the Ramon Magsaysay Award is Asia’s highest honor. It celebrates the memory and leadership example of the third Philippine president after whom the award is named, and is given every year to individuals or organizations in Asia who manifest the same selfless service and transformative influence that ruled the life of the late and beloved Filipino leader.

“The Magsaysay awardees of 2017,”says RMAF President Carmencita Abella, “are all transforming their societies through their manifest commitment to the larger good. Each one has addressed real and complex issues, taking bold and innovative action that has engaged others to do likewise. The results of their leadership are palpable, generating both individual efficacy and collective hope.”

She adds, “All are unafraid to take on large causes. All have refused to give up, despite meager resources, daunting adversity and strong opposition. Their approaches are all deeply anchored on a respect for human dignity, and a faith in the power of collective endeavor. We have much to learn from the 2017 Magsaysay awardees, and much to celebrate about their greatness of spirit.”

The six 2017 Magsaysay awardees join the community of 318 other Magsaysay laureates who have received Asia’s highest honor to date. This year’s Magsaysay Award winners will each receive a certificate, a medallion bearing the likeness of the late President, and a cash prize. They will be formally conferred the Magsaysay Award during formal Presentation Ceremonies to be held on Thursday, 31 August 2017 at the Cultural Center of the Philippines, to which the public is cordially invited.

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