The Ramon Magsaysay Award is Asia's highest honor and is widely regarded as the region’s equivalent of the Nobel Prize. 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 that ruled the life of the late and beloved Filipino leader.
The Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation was created in 1957, the year the Philippines lost in a plane crash a President who was well-loved for his simplicity and humility, his passion for justice, particularly for the poor, and his advancement of human dignity. Among the many friends and admirers of the late President around the world were the Rockefeller brothers. With the concurrence of the Philippine government, the trustees of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund(RBF) established the Award to honor his memory and perpetuate his example of integrity in public service and pragmatic idealism within a democratic society.
Supported with a generous endowment from the RBF, the Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation (RMAF) was organized in Manila in May 1957, with seven prominent Filipinos as founding members of the foundation''s board of trustees. The Foundation has since implemented the Magsaysay Award program, pursuing the mission of "honoring greatness of spirit in selfless service to the people of Asia". The first Ramon Magsaysay Awards were given on August 31, 1958 to five outstanding individuals working in India, Indonesia, Philippines, Republic of China (Taiwan) and Sri Lanka, and a Philippine-based organization.
The Ramon Magsaysay Award program is managed by the RMAF board of trustees composed of seven Filipinos and two foreign Awardees serving staggered four-year terms. Annually, the RMAF solicits award nominations from a wide-ranging pool of international nominators. Nominations are carefully investigated and the awardees are determined after rigorous evaluation by the Foundation''s board of trustees. Presentation Ceremonies are held annually in Manila on 31 August, the birth anniversary of the late President.
With strong international presence and support, the Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation continues to honor persons and organizations as exemplars of selfless leadership, whose lives and work make Asia truly a better place by:
The Magsaysay laureates, through their ideas and programs, exert strong individual and collective influence as a community of moral leaders who promote just, democratic and sustainable responses to the challenges of human development throughout the Asian region. The Foundation''s work is supported by stable organizational resources and strong working relationships with local and international partners. Because of this, the development initiatives of the Magsaysay laureates are better known and more accessible to the public, and are increasingly supported by media and other relevant institutions within and outside Asia.
Each Magsaysay Award winners will receive a certificate, a medallion bearing the likeness of the late President, and a cash prize.
The mission of the Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation is to honor outstanding individuals and organizations working in Asia who manifest greatness of spirit in service to the people of Asia.
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