A career executive of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) was a recipient of the prestigious The Outstanding Filipino (TOFIL) Awards for 2022.
DPWH Undersecretary Maria Catalina E. Cabral, in an awarding ceremony on Monday, December 12, 2022 at the Rizal Park Hotel Manila, was presented with the Laureate for Government and Public Service/ Infrastructure Development as recognition for her extensive efforts in pioneering unified and inclusive projects through various sectors.
Aside from Undersecretary Cabral, other recipient of the 2022 TOFIL Award are Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) Chief Atty. Percida V. Rueda-Acosta for Justice and Law; Artist and “Father of Imaginative Figurism” Nemesio R. Miranda, Jr. for Visual Arts and Sculpture; Businessman Hans T. Sy for Business and Resilience; and scientist and Former Chancellor of the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) Dr. Ruben L. Villareal for Agriculture Science.
The award is a prestigious honor extended by the Junior Chamber International (JCI) Philippines through the JCI Senate Philippines, Inc. – TOFIL Foundation in partnership with the Affiliated Network for Social Accountability (ANSA) Foundation to experts and professionals that provided exemplary and noteworthy contributions towards the upliftment of the Philippine society through their chosen fields and advocacies.
Considered by many as “Nobel Prize of the Philippines”, each of the TOFIL awardees since the award’s inception in 1989 are composed of exceptional men and women aged 41 and older screened and chosen by equally distinguished panel of judges.
With this laureate, Undersecretary Cabral joins the roster of other notable TOFIL-awarded government and public servants which consists of Former President Diosdado P. Macapagal; Former Senate President Jovito R. Salonga; Former Senator and Philippine Red Cross Chairman Richard J. Gordon; Former Speaker of the House of Representative Feliciano R. Belmonte, Sr.; and Former DPWH Secretary Rogelio R. Singson.
Undersecretary Cabral’s nomination and eventual conferment of the distinguished honor sits well with the award’s theme this year which centered on “Resiliency in Rebuilding Our Nation”.
As DPWH Undersecretary for Planning and Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Services, Undersecretary Cabral plays a vital role in paving the way for the Department to ascend from being just a building and public works agency into the strategic, planning, and forward-looking infrastructure arm of the Philippine government that it is today.
In her acceptance message, Undersecretary Cabral mentioned topics such as the acceleration of infrastructure investment in the country and its positive effects on easing poverty alleviation initiatives of the government; maximization of government resources allowing faster and more efficient planning and execution of long-term masterplans for high-standard highways, expressways, and flood control across the country; adaptation of new technologies and processes to better monitor the thousands of projects implemented by the DPWH; and the expansion of private sector participation in public infrastructure through the PPP modality.
“We promise, in behalf of my DPWH family, that we will continue to work together not only with the local government but also with the private sector to ensure that we accelerate our infrastructure development without putting our country, particularly our financial situation, in jeopardy,” said Undersecretary Cabral.
Several DPWH officials attended the awarding ceremony as a show of support for this new career achievement of Undersecretary Cabral, the first female National President of the Philippine Institute of Civil Engineers (PICE) in 2017-2018 and the 2021 Professional of the Year in the field of Civil Engineering by the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC).