25 March 2015
To the Xavier Community:
This year, the Board of Trustees has chosen to honor two Xaverians who have made significant contributions in the public sector, one in the field of education and academic research, the other in public health. The recipients of the 2015 Xavier-Kuangchi Award for Exemplary Alumni are:
DR. MICHAEL L. TAN (Class of 1969) Michael earned a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the University of the Philippines (UP) -Diliman in 1977, an MA in Anthropology from Texas A&M University (1982), and a PhD in Anthropology from the University of Amsterdam, Netherlands (1996). He joined the University of Philippines (Diliman) in 1998 as Director of the Anthropology Field School until 2001, and then served as Chair of the Anthropology Department from 2001 to 2010. He became Dean of the College of Social Sciences and Philosophy in 2010 and in 2014, was appointed Chancellor of UP-Diliman. Aside from teaching, he has devoted much time to academic research in the fields of medical anthropology, traditional medicine, public health, and gender and equality. His scholarly work has provided a strong foundation for his social development advocacies and in the formulation of public policy. He has received numerous accolades including the Rizal Outstanding Chinese-Filipinos Award for Literature and Journalism (2005), the Takashi Fuji Award from the International Federation of Social Science Organizations (1997), and the UP Centennial Professor Award (2009). He was elected member of the National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST) in 2012.
DR. ROBERT LOUIE P. SO (Class of 1993) Despite his relative youth, Robert has had a major impact in the field of public health. Losing his sight in one eye cut short a promising career as a heart surgeon. Undeterred, he shifted to government service and joined the Department of Health in 2003. His work has focused on promoting greater access to affordable medicine and treatment for the marginalized. In 2004, he became head of the National Drug Policy Program and conceptualized and enforced the guidelines (IRR) for the Cheaper Medicines Act, price regulation for essential prescription medicine, and the wholesale procurement system and generics-only prescription for government hospitals. He is credited for designing and implementing the Botikang Barangay program, running over 16,000 outlets that serve 40,000 local communities nationwide. He topped the Career Executive Service Board Exam in 2008 and was honored with the Young Physician Leaders Programme Award in 2014. He is presently the Chief Executive of PhilHealth.
We would also like to take this opportunity to thank the community for their active participation in the nomination process and particularly, the search committee chaired by Fr. Peter O. Pojol, SJ.
We congratulate Michael and Robert and thank them for their service to the country. May they inspire more of our students and alumni to let their light shine as men for others.
Starting this year, the awarding ceremony will be held in July as part of the school’s celebration of Ignatian Month, when we highlight the ideals taught to us by the founder of the Society of Jesus, St. Ignatius of Loyola.
Fr. Aristotle C. Dy, SJ Johnip G. Cua