MANILA, Mar 13 (Mabuhay) — President Benigno S. Aquino III conferred the Order of Sikatuna with the rank of Datu Katangiang Ginto (Grand Cross, Gold Distinction) on outgoing outgoing Asian Development Bank (ADB) president Haruhiko Kuroda, in simple ceremonies at the Music Room of the Malacanang Palace on Wednesday.
The Chief Executive presented the award on Kuroda, in recognition of his contribution for making the ADB an invaluable partner in the Aquino administration’s pursuit of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), through various initiatives such as the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT); technical assistance projects, including the Social Protection Reform; and the delivery of multiple forms of loan assistance to spur the needed reforms in the Philippines.
The award was also given to Kuroda “in recognition of eight years of dedicated leadership at the helm of the Asian Development Bank, contributing to the over-all economic development of the Philippines as well as other countries in Asia.”
Kuroda was likewise cited for tripling ADB’s capital base from US$55 billion to US$165 billion, bolstering the Asian Development Fund and enabling the ADB to further support important socio-economic initiatives in the fields of poverty alleviation, climate change, infrastructure, agriculture, science and technology, social services, education, among others.
He was also recognized “for the ADB’s support of a new financing framework for Philippine national government projects, which gives the government greater flexibility in arranging for Philippine development initiatives.”
Kuroda helped in promoting the Philippines as the location of the ADB’s 2012 Annual Meeting which provided an invaluable opportunity to showcase the country’s economic achievements and national beauty.
He was awarded for utilizing his post to foster goodwill, enhance cooperation and deepen fellowship among the world’s nations and peoples, through regional macroeconomic stability. Kuroda was recognized “for being a good and steadfast friend of the Filipino people”.
Last February, Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe nominated Kuroda as the next governor of the Bank of Japan, a key post in Tokyo’s bid to overhaul the economy.
Kuroda, 68, was named along with two deputies – Kikuo Iwata, an economics professor at Tokyo’s Gakushuin University, and Hiroshi Nakaso, the BoJ’s executive director. Kuroda submitted his resignation from the ADB on February 28.
Kuroda was accompanied by his wife Kumiko Kuroda to Malacanang for the conferment rites. Present during the event were Finance Secretary Cesar V. Purisima, Tomoyuki Saisu, Chief Advisor to the ADB President and Kunio Senga, Director-General of the Southeast Asia Department.
The Order of Sikatuna was established in 1953 and is conferred by the President of the Philippines to give recognition to individuals who have rendered exceptional and meritorious services to the Philippines, and to diplomats, officials and nationals of foreign states who have rendered conspicuous services in fostering, developing, and strengthening relations between their country and the Philippines as well as personnel of the Department of Foreign Affairs both in the Home Office and in the Foreign Service. (MNS)