Press Release
August 8, 2022

Senate proudly honors 2021 TOYM Awardees

For their distinguished service and contribution to Philippine society, the Senate of the Philippines congratulated and recognized the Outstanding Young Men (TOYM) 2021 awardees at the plenary session Monday, August 8, 2022.

All members present unanimously adopted Senate Resolution No. (SRN) 77, authored by Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian, taking into consideration SRN 91. All other senators have been made co-authors of the measure.

In his sponsorship speech, Gatchalian said there is "a deeper meaning and significance" of being awarded the TOYM during the pandemic, as the recipients, including many others, have gone through "unprecedented challenges and disruptions" to their lives.

"The 2021 TOYM Awardees show us the best of what the post-pandemic Philippines could be. Their stories reflect the Filipino spirit persevering amidst the challenges we face. For many of us, the pandemic was the darkest time we faced in our lifetime," Gatchalian, an honoree of the 2011 TOYM Awards, said.

"At the same time, it brought out the best of what our fellow Filipinos could be, and the 2021 TOYM Awardees were among those who shined the brightest to serve as beacons of hope to our country," he added.

Sen. Sonny Angara, author of SRN 91, who was also a TOYM honoree for 2010, said it is important to honor excellent Filipino youth to help inspire others who wish to follow their footsteps and contribute to the country's progress.

"It has become a tradition, through the efforts of the JCI Philippines, for the country to regularly search and recognize its most outstanding individuals. And that's because we believe exemplary and excellent acts deserve due praise and should not go unrecognized. We are what we repeatedly do, after all," Angara said.

"We also do this because we want to inspire those among our countrymen, especially the youth, who wish to make a contribution, but do not necessarily know where or how to begin. We wish to dispel their fear to start," he added.

Senate President Pro Tempore Loren Legarda, Bong Revilla, Pia Cayetano and Risa Hontiveros also commended the TOYM recipients.

The 2021 TOYM Honorees include: Ariestelo A. Asilo, for Social Entrepreneurship; Iloisa Romaraog-Diga, for Agricultural Entrepreneurship; Eleazar Abraham "Abe" L. Orobia, for Education and Culture; Anna R. Oposa, for Environment and Marine Conservation; Dr. Jayeel S. Cornelio, for Education and Sociology; Maria Yzabell Angel V. Palma, for Science and Technology; Jaime Alfonso M. Aherrera, for Medicine-Cardiology; Lou Sabrina S. Ongkiko, for Education and the Academe; Jaemark S. Tordecilla, for Digital Journalism; and Melvin J. Sanicas, for Science and Medicine.

After adopting the measure, Senate President Juan Miguel "Migz" F. Zubiri invited the 2021 TOYM awardees to join the senators to present to them copies of the Senate Resolution.

Currently, there are seven members (aside from Gatchalian and Angara) of the Senate who have been awardees of the TOYM for various contributions in nation building. This include Senators Alan Peter Cayetano (2010), JV Ejercito (2007), Chiz Escudero (2005), Risa Hontiveros (2001) and Loren Legarda (1992).

The TOYM Awards of the Philippines are traditionally awarded to recognize the outstanding achievement of young Filipino men and women between the ages of 18 and 40 years old, whose selfless dedication, passion and integrity to their respective profession and fields of endeavor made positive and significant contributions to the betterment of the Philippine society and resulted in the advancements in their respective fields.

The TOYM Awards was established in 1959 and is an annual project organized by the Junior Chamber International Philippines, together with the TOYM Foundation, Inc. and the Gerry Roxas Foundation, Inc.

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