Camp Emilio Aguinaldo, Quezon City
12 September 2012

President Benigno S. Aquino III led the Bakas Parangal awarding ceremony in recognition to 308 individuals and organizations that exhibited exemplary and extraordinary acts of selflessness during the search and retrieval operations for the late Interior and Local Government Sec. Jesse Robredo and the immediate response and assistance delivered during the onslaught of flooding brought by the southwest monsoon.

In his message, the President quoted a famous line from the late DILG Secretary, ‘Later on in life, you will realize that it is neither your successes nor your conquests that will give you satisfaction. It is your contribution that really matters—paying back what you owe the community that nurtured you.’ …kayong mga kinikilala ng Bakas Parangal sa araw na ito—para bang kayo mismo ang direktang kinakausap o tinutukoy ni Jesse sa kanyang pahayag.”

The President personally bestowed the Bakas Parangal ng Kagitingan bronze medal to 36 individuals who joined the search and retrieval operations for the late secretary, including two AFP personnel who exerted extraordinary heroism when they saved nine passengers onboard a barangay rescue boat that capsized on August 7 despite the life-threatening condition brought by the ‘Habagat’. Both soldiers will be promoted to their next rank.

Spearheaded by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), the awarding ceremony also recognized 172 group and organization leaders as recipient of the Bakas ng Kabayanihan award after they exhibited selfless dedication in reaching out to the needy during the height of flooding brought by ‘Habagat’. Plaques of recognition under the Bakas ng Kadakilaan awards were also given to 99 groups and organizations for their participation during the rescue efforts.

The Bakas Parangal Awards is a recognition bestowed on individuals and groups that exhibited exemplary dedication and selflessness at times of calamities and disasters in hope to inspire heroism among Filipinos.

*  *  *