Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Secretary Jesse M. Robredo, Quezon Service Cross Awardee

The Philippine Postal Corporation issued on May 27, 2013 a special stamp honoring the late Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Jesse M. Robredo, a Quezon Service Cross Awardee.

The stamp with a denomination of PhP 10.00 and a quantity of 400,000 recognizes the late secretary's contribution to nation building. The release of the stamp coincides with his 55th birthday. The stamp's design bears a profile photo of Secretary Robredo and a photo of President Manuel L. Quezon and the Quezon Service Cross as background.

The photo was provided by the Office of Atty. Leni Robredo, the secretary's wife and courtesy of Ms. Joan Dela Cruz, Chief of Staff of the Office of the Secretary, DILG.

 Widely known as a "government man", Jesus "Jesse" Manalastas Robredo (May 27, 1958 - August 18, 2012) was born in Naga City, Camarines Sur. He was the third of five children of Jose Chan Robredo Sr. and Marcelina Manalastas - Robredo.

He became the youngest mayor in Philippine history after he won the seat in 1988 at the age of 29. His law-adhering style of governance at city hall earned for him the respect of his constituents. He got the people's participation and stakeholdership in governance that catapulted Naga City to become the premier city of the Bicol Region. He transformed the once dull and lethargic city to become one of the "Most Improved Cities in Asia" in an Asiaweek Magazine report in 1999.

For his skills and competence as a leader, he was elected as President of the League of Cities in the Philippines in 1995. From 1992 until 1998, he served as chair of the Bicol Regional Development Council that is composed of six provinces and seven cities.

After serving as Mayor of Naga City for 19 years, he was appointed by President Benigno S. Aquino III to serve as Secretary of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).

On August 18, 2012, while on his way back to Naga City after an official agency engagement in Cebu City, the Piper Aircraft he boarded crashed into the off shore of Masbate. The government immediately conducted a search and rescue operation. Three days after, his body was retrieved.

The country mourned the untimely passing of an icon of good governance. He was accorded a state funeral and conferred with different posthumous awards. Among them is the Quezon Service Cross, the highest recognition given by the Republic of the Philippines to an individual. 

The Quezon Service Cross is a decoration conferred by the President of the Philippines with the concurrence of the Congress of the Philippines to Filipino citizens for exemplary service to the nation in such a manner and degree as to add great prestige to the Republic of the Philippines, or as to contribute to the lasting benefit of its people.

Secretary Jesse Robredo is one of five recipients of the award since its creation in 1946. The other four recipients were Carlos P. Romulo, the President of the United Nations General Assembly; President Emilio Aguinaldo; President Ramon Magsaysay and Sen. Benigno S. Aquino Jr. (posthumous).

Secretary Robredo's wife Maria Leonor "Leni" Robredo a reluctant candidate for congressman now sits as the Representative of the 3rd District of Camarines Sur after winning a landslide victory over her opponent on May 16, 2013.

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