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Hong Kong’s Tiamson, Wimler receive Presidential Awards

06 December 2018

This year's Presidential Awardees include Tiamson (6th from left in the last row)
and Wimler's Leila Rispens-Noel (in front row, 6th from left)

By The SUN

Two Hong Kong nominees – a musician and a foundation – were among those conferred the Presidential Awards for Filipino Individuals and Organizations Overseas (PAFIOO) at ceremonies held in Malacanang on Wednesday, Dec. 5.

Drummer and Filipino community leader Saturnino H. Tiamson, Jr was awarded the Pamana ng Pilipino award while Wimler Foundation Hong Kong Limited received the Banaag Award. Previously, Tiamson was also conferred the Bagong Bayani award by the Department of Labor and Employment.

President Rodrigo R. Duterte handed out the awards, assisted by Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, Social Welfare Secretary Rolando Bautista, CFO Secretary and Chairperson Justice Francisco “Nick” Acosta, and OWWA Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac.

Tiamson and Wimler were among 25 outstanding overseas Filipinos and organizations who received awards, along with six families who were honored with the Model OFW Family of the Year Award (MOFYA) award.

“OFWs are the lifeblood of the nation. As appreciation for all your hardships, you have my assurance that the protection and promotion of your welfare and well-being will remain as one this administration’s top priorities,” President Duterte said in his speech during the awarding ceremony.

“This nation will always recognize your invaluable contribution to nation-building, and this administration will continue to craft policies and implement programs that will respond to your needs and protect your rights,” he added. He also urged the OFWs to remain committed to their families “as we work towards a more equitable progressive future for our country.”

A total of 96 nominations were received this year by the Commission on Filipinos Overseas from 28 countries through 37 Philippine embassies and consulates.

The Presidential Awards is a biennial search for individuals and organizations based abroad who have dedicated their work in the service of Filipinos. 

This year’s Presidential awardees come from 12 countries and territories and had gone through a 4-stage selection process involving multi-sectoral representation. The Awards have four categories – Banaag, Pamana ng Pilipino, Lingkod sa Kapwa Pilipino (LINKAPIL), and Kaanib ng Bayan.

The Banaag Award is conferred on Filipino individuals or organizations for their contributions that have significantly benefited or advanced the cause of overseas Filipino communities. Aside from Wimler Foundation, the other Banaag awardees are Corazon A. Francisco (Australia), Agnes Katbeth O. Kreimer (Peru), Dindo B. Malanyaon (Italy), Juliet Montano (Taiwan), Pilipino Workers Center of Southern California (United States), and Maria Cristina F. Sulaik (Sudan).

The Pamana ng Pilipino Award is conferred on Filipino overseas, who, in exemplifying the talent and industry of the Filipino, have brought the country honor and recognition through excellence and distinction in the pursuit of their work or profession. Tiamson received the Pamana ng Pilipino award along with Paul C. Balan (United States), Edward M. Brotonel (United States), Nicolas M. Caraquel (United States), Elizabeth L. Engle (United States), Maria Theresa A. Eviota (Switzerland), Pedro A. Jose (United States), Teresita A. Marques (Portugal), C. Joe Sayas, Jr. (United States), Jose Dennis C. Teodosio (Myanmar), and Jhett D. Tolentino (United States).

The LINKAPIL Award is conferred on Filipino individuals or organizations for exceptional or significant contributions to the reconstruction, progress and development of the Philippines. The LINKAPIL awardees are Association of Fil-Am Teachers of America, Inc. (United States), Salvacion G. Cimanez (Netherlands), Filipino-American Law Enforcement Officers Association (United States), Friends Indeed U.S.A., Inc. (United States), and Hilda L. Gigioli (United States).
The MOFYA 2018 awarding, also at Malacanang

The Kaanib ng Bayan Award is conferred to foreign individuals or organizations for their exceptional or significant contribution to Philippine reconstruction, progress and development, or have significantly benefited a sector or community in the Philippines, or advanced the cause of overseas Filipino communities. The Kaanib ng Bayan awardees are Foreign Domestic Worker Association for Social Support and Training (Singapore), and Stichting LOOP (Netherlands).

After the conferment of the Presidential Awards, President Duterte also awarded this year’s MOFYA, which is given to OFW families that have successfully hurdled the challenges of overseas employment. It also aims to highlight the role of OFW families in achieving socio-civic, education and professional success.

The 2018 MOFYA awardees are engineer Mohammad Ali Sulay Urao and family (outstanding achievement in community projects); engineer Arnulfo Navarro Geganto and family (in entrepreneurship); Josefina dela Chica Villamor and family (Model OFW Family of the Year: land-based); and Domingo Cuanang Jr. and family, Reynaldo Granada Gaitan and family, and Gemelito Geloca and family (sea-based OFW family). 
The event was hosted by CFO Usec. Astravel Pimentel-Naik and OWWA Deputy Administrator Arnell Ignacio.


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