Datu Bago Awards nominations still open

Nov. 07, 2016

DAVAO CITY, Philippines — The Datu Bago Awards committee announced that the nomination for the highest award conferred by the City government to the residents is extended until Nov. 29.

“The deadline we imposed this year is on Nov. 29 but so far we have not received any nomination forms. We are asking the media to help us identify candidates worthy to be nominated as Datu Bago awardees, as many as you can,” Marina Ruivivar, head of the Datu Bago Awards Committee, said in a press conference here Monday.

Datu Bago Foundation Executive Director Tisay Torres said the “search bestows honor upon the individual who has contributed to the development of city of Davao.”

Torres said such contribution was done “with exemplary competence and dedication and who best serves as the model of excellence and inspiration for the residents of Davao city.”

The nominees, she said, must have “substantial contribution” both to the growth and development of Davao.

“With exemplary service rendered to the community in any field or endeavor. Work related accomplishments must merit national and/or international recognition placing the city of Davao in the map,” Torres said describing the nominees’ contribution in general.

Apart from local residents, the committee also said that government officials may also be nominated, noting that in the previous years, the Datu Bago Awards have not been given because of then Davao City Mayor now Pres. Rodrigo Duterte’s policy that government officials should serve and do their job well.

“There was a time when we were able to nominate government officials, for example, Councilor Pilar Braga is a nominee. But when it reached the city mayor, [she was not awarded] because that is the mayor’s policy,” Ruivivar said.

Ruivivar also said the foundation tried to nominate the president many times during his stint as a mayor, but he refused it every single time.

“The board is trying to nominate him. But we need the acceptance of the nominee. We’ve done it many times, but he really doesn’t want it. He would always say that he was a government official, in public service, and that why would he ask for an award. But he is very much qualified,” Ruivivar shared.

“Elias B. Lopez was an exception because he was the founder,” Ruivivar added.

Established in 1969 during the term of Mayor Elias B. Lopez, the Datu Bago award is the highest citation that the city government of Davao confers to its residents for their services to the city. Lopez was given the award posthumously in 2014.

The award is named after a Bagobo named Datu Bago, proclaimed as a local hero of the city, who fought the Spanish forces of Don Jose Cruz de Oyanguren until he was defeated in 1848 by the combined forces of Oyanguren and Don Manuel Quesada. (davaotoday.com)

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