Biography of Ramon Magsaysay Award

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Ramon Magsaysay Award Biography

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The Ramon Magsaysay Award is an annual award established to perpetuate the late Philippine President Ramon Magsaysay’s example of integrity in government, courageous service to the people, and pragmatic idealism within a democratic society. The Ramon Magsaysay Award is often considered Asia’s Nobel Prize.

The prize was established in April 1957 by the trustees of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund based in New York City with the concurrence of the Philippine government.

Every year the Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation grants the prize to Asian individuals and organizations for achieving excellence in their respective fields. The awards are given in six categories :

  • Government Service
  • Public Service
  • Community Leadership
  • Journalism, Literature and Creative Communication Arts
  • Peace and International Understanding
  • Emergent Leadership

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In May 1957, seven prominent Filipinos were named to the founding board of trustees of the Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation, the non-profit corporation tasked with implementing the awards program.

The RMAF recognizes and honors individuals and organizations in Asia regardless of race, creed, sex, or nationality, who have achieved distinction in their respective fields and have helped others generously without anticipating public recognition.

The awards have traditionally been given in five categories : government service; public service; community leadership; journalism, literature, and creative communication arts; and peace and international understanding.

During the 2000 Magsaysay Awards presentation ceremonies, the Foundation announced the creation of a sixth Award category, Emergent Leadership.

This new Award category was established with the support of a grant from the Ford Foundation. The Ramon Magsaysay Award for Emergent Leadership honors “individuals, forty years of age and below, doing outstanding work on issues of social change in their communities, but whose leadership is not yet broadly recognized outside of these communities.” An award in this category was given for the first time in 2001.

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