Former DOST de la Peña chief receives Asian Productivity Organization award

Former Science Secretary Fortunato T. de la Peña received the Meritorious and Distinguished Award for 2021 from the Asian Productivity Organization (APO) on August 23.

De la Peña was recognized for his “outstanding contributions to the centrality of productivity in socio-economic development efforts through policy development, strategic thinking, leadership and management”.

The award was presented on May 11, 2021, but due to strict health protocols due to the pandemic, the ceremony did not take place until August.

The plaque and certificate were presented to de la Peña in a ceremony led by the President and CEO of the Philippine Development Academy, Engelbert C. Caronan Jr., and the Deputy Director of APO filipino.

Based in Japan, APO is an intergovernmental organization established in 1961 to increase productivity in the Asia-Pacific region through mutual cooperation. It currently has 21 economies, including the Philippines, according to its website.

De la Peña thanked APO for the award and recognition. He also thanked his colleagues, collaborators and partners “whose appreciation of the importance of productivity has helped to improve the service and results of the organizations” he has served.

He gave a “special mention” to the Department of Science and Technology as evidenced by its outstanding service delivery to the country.

This was demonstrated, he said, by the 2022 United Nations Public Service Award for its Science for Change program, and special recognition of the contributions of DOST’s Small Business Technology Upgrading Program to the Forum. United Nations on Science, Technology and Innovation 2022.

De la Peña also noted the improvement in the Philippines’ Global Innovation Index from rank 100 to rank 51 in seven years from 2014 to 2021, out of 125 and 132 economies, respectively.

Previous APO honorees have included former DOST Secretary Ceferino Follosco, Philippine Foundation for Science and Technology President Filemon Berba Jr. and late Yazaki-Torres Manufacturing Inc. President Feliciano Torres.

Aubrey L. Morgan