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CEBU, Philippines - Liloan Mayor Vincent Franco “Duke” Frasco was named one of The Outstanding Young Men of the Philippines this year in the field of public administration. The Junior Chamber International Philippines together with the TOYM Foundation and the Gerry Roxas Foundation announced the awardees as they concluded the much-awaited search for the country’s best and brightest people, ages 40 and below.

Frasco and five other TOYM awardees “are true models of exceptional young Filipinos worth emulation by the young generation and the nation in general,” the JCI Philippines said in a statement.

“I am deeply humbled by this great distinction. I share this award with the people of Liloan and of Cebu. Serving as Mayor of Liloan for the past 8 years has truly been a privilege. Receiving this award is an affirmation that we must be doing something good,” Frasco said.

He said his gratitude goes to his team in Liloan, the municipal and barangay officials, purok leaders and members, whose hard work and support through the years have made it possible for his vision for Liloan to come into fruition.

Frasco is also grateful to his family and friends whose constant encouragement has continued to reaffirm in him the will to serve. 

He claimed, since becoming mayor of Liloan in 2007, town revenues have increased up to 400 percent, allowing them to provide quality basic services, infrastructure and economic opportunities for the people.

“What I do consider my biggest accomplishment, however, is on the aspect of education, which has always been my top priority,” Frasco said.

In 2008, they established a scholarship program that benefits underprivileged young individuals whose financial means would have otherwise prevented them from pursuing their studies.

From an initial 48 scholars, they now have 1,617 scholars. Many of them graduated with distinction from top universities in Cebu and secured good-paying jobs that have allowed them to support their families.

Frasco is grateful to have had the opportunity to take even just a small part in changing the course of the lives of these scholars and those of their families.

Also recognized Monday night were Inquirer’s veteran business reporter Ma. Doris Dumlao in the field of journalism, Biñan City Mayor Marlyn B. Alonte-Naguiat for government and public service, Jessie Pascual P. Bitog for agricultural engineering, Dr. John Mark S. Velasco for medical science and public health, and Oscar Franklin B. Tan for the field of law.

The board of judges is chaired by Inquirer chair Marixi Prieto, with Philstar and The Freeman president Miguel Belmonte, Jesus Dureza, Fr. Aloysius Maranan, Manuel Orig, Rep. Romero Quimbo and Rep. Paulino Salvador sitting as members.

The TOYM awards were initiated by the Manila Jaycees in 1959. In 1973, the Gerry Roxas Foundation came onboard as a cosponsor, and in 1996, the awards’ name was changed to The Outstanding Young Filipino, and finally reverting back to TOYM in 1999.~By Gregg M. Rubio/FPL (The Freeman)

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