UE Alumnus and 2018 Ramon Magsaysay Awardee to Give Major Lecture on Peace


Ambassador Howard Q. Dee, a UE 1951 Bachelor of Business Administration graduate of the UE College of Business Administration-Manila and the lone Filipino recipient of the 2018 Ramon Magsaysay Award, will give a lecture on “Why is Peace So Elusive?” on the occasion of his momentous Magsaysay Award. Amb. Dee’s lecture will be held on Tuesday, September 4, 2018, 10 a.m. to 12 noon, at the Ramon Magsaysay Hall at the Ramon Magsaysay Center on Quintos Street in Malate, Manila.

Amb. Dee’s lecture will come a few days after he and his five fellow 2018 Ramon Magsaysay Awardees, who hail from Cambodia, East Timor, India and Vietnam, are to be formally recognized at the awarding ceremony to be held at the Cultural Center of the Philippines today, Friday, August 31, 2018, 4:30 p.m. (viewable here: https://www.facebook.com/rmafoundation/).

The awarding ceremony coincides with the 111th birth anniversary of former Philippine President Ramon Del Fierro Magsaysay Sr., the namesake of the Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation. President Magsaysay, who was the country’s seventh president when he perished in a plane crash on March 17, 1957, is likewise the namesake of the University of the East Ramon Magsaysay Memorial Medical Center Inc. (UERMMMCI), UE’s Quezon City-based third campus, which was inaugurated initially as a Medical Center on July 3, 1957.

Ambassador Dee is dubbed as one of the “Heroes of Hope,” namely the six Asian nationals who are this year’s Ramon Magsaysay Awardees, and his lecture, in fact, concludes the lecture series featuring individual talks by the six awardees.

He is being recognized by the Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation for “championing the human face of peace, justice and economic growth,” and for his “quietly heroic half-century of service to the Filipino people, his abiding dedication to the pursuit of social justice and peace in achieving dignity and progress for the poor, and his being, by his deeds, a true servant of his faith and an exemplary citizen of his nation.”

The Tondo, Manila-born Ambassador Dee, who is currently the Chairman of the Assisi Development Foundation Inc., which he founded in 1975 and which has gone on to aid millions of needy Filipinos (the ADF’s 40th-year commemorative book can be viewed here: http://www.assisi-foundation.org/adf-40th-book-launching/), has long devoted himself to helping others, especially the underprivileged.

He was initially with United Laboratories in the 1960s, the largest pharmaceutical company in the Philippines and in Southeast Asia at the time and a pioneer of the concept of corporate social responsibility, and was its President by 1965.

In 1970 he became one of the Founding Trustees of Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP), a consortium in which member corporations donate two percent of their profits to social development. Much later on, he was the Founding Chairman of the Philippine Development Assistance Program in 1984, and the Lead Convenor of the National Peace Conference in 1990.

His social services record eventually earned for him the crucial assignment of being Philippine Ambassador to the Holy See and the Republic of Malta, from 1986 to 1990.

In 1993, he chaired the government panel for the peace talks with the members of the Communist Party of the Philippines, the New People’s Army and the National Democratic Front. He later on served as Presidential Adviser on Indigenous People’s Affairs (with the rank of Cabinet Secretary) in 2002.

Ambassador Dee’s civic duties have earned him several awards, including the Pontifical Order of St. Sylvester in 1985, the Gawad Mabini Award of the Republic of the Philippines in 1999, the Rizal Peace Award in 2004 and the Aurora Aragon Quezon Special Peace Award in 2006.

The tireless, now 87-year old Ambassador Dee had served as ADF President, Co-Chairman of “Tabang Mindanaw, and Vice Chairman of both Caritas Manila and Pondo ng Pinoy.

UE has continually recognized Ambassador Dee’s contributions to the betterment of Philippine society, including being recognized as the Most Outstanding UE Alumnus in 1991 and as one of the 60 Most Outstanding UE Alumni who were formally recognized in a ceremony on September 29, 2006, at the UE Theatre on the occasion of the University’s 60th Foundation Anniversary.

He is the University’s 29th honorary degree recipient overall, and the ninth UE alumnus to be bestowed the honor by his Alma Mater following the conferment upon him of the degree of Doctor of Humanities, Honoris Causa, at the UE 64th Yearend Commencement Rites on April 25, 2012, at the PICC Plenary Hall.

Established in 1957, the Ramon Magsaysay Award aims to “celebrate the memory and leadership example” of former Philippine President Ramon Magsaysay. Touted as the Nobel Prize of Asia, the award is given to select “Asian exemplars of service and excellence,” as the Philippine Daily Inquirer put it in its July 29, 2018 editorial (http://opinion.inquirer.net/114960/the-defiant-ones), who “move their societies forward through their unequivocal pursuit of the larger good.”

As the Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation puts it, Ambassador Dee and his fellow awardees represent the “defiant declaration of hope” in Asia, “[refusing] to give up despite meager resources, daunting adversity and strong opposition. Their approaches are all deeply anchored on a respect for human dignity.”

Congratulations and more power to you, Warrior Alumnus Howard Q. Dee!

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