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Insular Life, JCI Senate Phils announce outstanding Filipinos for 2010 awards

A public health worker who works for access to public health services for the marginalized. A top cardiologist and a known public servant who dedicated her life for the poor. A physician known for his staunch advocacy on public health and preventive health education. A multi-awarded writer who has proven to be an effective voice of the masses. A renowned dance educator who strives to place the Philippines in the radar screen of the international dance community. A Jesuit priest who has tirelessly devoted his lifetime serving the poor, from Payatas to Bicol.

These five individuals share one thing in common: they are the winners of the 2010 The Outstanding Filipino (TOFIL) awards, jointly sponsored by the JCI Senate Philippines and The Insular Life Assurance Co., Ltd.

Now on its 23th year, the TOFIL award has already recognized a total of 104 outstanding Filipinos. Joining the highly esteemed roster of TOFIL awardees are the following:

Dr. Esperanza I. Cabral for Government/Public Service;
After more than 30 years in public service as a teacher, scientist and physician, Dr. Cabral took on the challenging task as Secretary of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). Under her four-year leadership, the DSWD expanded its activities to reach out to the poorest of the poor. One of its programs, the Kapit Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services, helped more than six million poor Filipinos in the poorest 4,229 barangays combat poverty. Dr. Cabral also spearheaded the Conditional Cash Transfer program, which has also been continued by the Aquino administration. In her brief stint as Secretary of the Department of Health, Dr. Cabral introduced various health reforms in accordance with the UN Millennium Development Goals. She also strongly pursued for controversial campaigns notwithstanding widespread opposition, namely the passage of the reproductive health bill in Congress, the issuance of a DOH administrative order requiring tobacco firms to place graphic warnings on cigarette packs, the Filipino label on food supplements, and the non-exploitative practice of organ transplantation. Dr. Cabral is now Senior Policy Advisor of the UN Population Fund.

Dr. Ray L. Catague for Public Health;
In his current capacity as Provincial Health Officer and his previous work as United Nations Population Fund Program Manager, Dr. Catague has made significant contributions and impact in Cotabato province. Proof of his untiring work include the construction and renovation of eight government hospitals, 18 Rural Health Units and the improvement and construction of 544 Barangay Health Stations of North Cotabato. He also engineered the creation of non-profit organizations such as the Barangay Health Workers, Barangay Nutrition Scholars, Trained Hilots, and Public Medical Technologies. His admirable skill in mobilizing resources from development agencies has made North Cotabato a regular recipient of UNFPA assistance for a decade. The province has successfully reduced health risks, the incidents of unwanted pregnancies, and the spread of HIV/AIDS, among other things, as a result of his efforts.

Dr. Isagani R. Cruz for Literature
Dr. Cruz has worn many hats: from being a newspaper columnist, editor, television host, book reviewer, publisher, cultural worker and manager, to being a quality assurance assessor and consultant, lecturer, Cabinet Undersecretary, anthologist, literary writer, scholar, and literature teacher. But no matter what hat he wears, he has always devoted his life to the advancement of the Filipino people. His outstanding achievements in the fields of literature, journalism and media have earned him various local and international recognitions, including the prestigious Chevalier dans l’Ordre National du Merite, British Council Senior Fellow, Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards in Literature Hall of Fame, South East Asian Writers Award, Gawad Dangal ng Wikang Filipino, Gawad Pambansang Alagad ni Balagtas, Patnubay ng Sining at Kalinangan sa Panitikan, among others.

Ms. Shirley Halili-Cruz for Arts and Culture
Ms. Halili-Cruz is the Founder and Artistic Director of the world-class ballet school, the Halili-Cruz School of Ballet, which was awarded the “Most Outstanding Ballet School in Asia” from 2000 to the present. Through her dedication and commitment to the promotion of Philippine arts locally and globally, she has reaped many awards for herself and her school that brought pride and honor to the country. She is also the Founder and Artistic Director of Dance Xchange, the only Philippine international dance event that brings various dance companies to the country. She is currently the head of the National Committee on Dance of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts.

Dr. Anthony C. Leachon for Medicine
Dr. Leachon has been running a successful practice as a top internist and cardiologist of Manila Doctors Hospital and Medical and Regulatory Affairs director of Pfizer Philippines. Beyond his medical practice, he is a staunch public health advocate. He strongly pushed for the passage of the Health Education Reform Order (H.E.R.O.) of 2006, which promotes comprehensive health education and disease prevention. Now the largest doctor-initiated advocacy program, H.E.R.O. has made possible the medical checkup of around half a million elementary school students all over the country by volunteer doctors and health workers. This year, the H.E.R.O. program targets one million school kids through the support of local government units and PhilHealth.

Fr. Joel E. Tabora, S.J. for Education
Since his days as parish priest in the dirt-poor Payatas area to his current post as President of the Ateneo de Naga University, Fr. Tabora has carried the staunch determination to fight poverty. He is known for his support of pro-poor programs in the Bicol region. Under his helm, Ateneo de Naga has been transformed into a modern and technologically equipped institution in the Bicol region. The University is now enjoying Autonomous Status, Level 4 Accreditation and being a Center of Excellence in four fields of expertise.

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.

“TOFIL gives us the vehicle by which to impart to our young people and to the rest of our nation the message that we can continue to have hope: hope for new beginnings, hope that we ourselves have the capacity to define our lives and improve the conditions of our community and our country,” Insular Life Chairman Vicente Ayllón said during the launch of the 2010 TOFIL search, which, this year, coincides with the Company’s centennial celebration.

The 2010 TOFIL awardees will be honored during the formal awards night on December 9, 2010 at the Insular Life Auditorium at the Insular Life Corporate Centre in Alabang, Muntinlupa City.









Organizers & Media Partner

The Insular Life Assurance Co., Ltd. is the first and largest Filipino life insurance company... Read more »

The JCI Senate Philippines is an organization of Jaycee International (JCI) members who... Read more »

The Philippine STAR is one of the top newspapers... Read more »

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