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State-owned Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) recently recognized its former chairman and chief executive Roberto F. de Ocampo, who was conferred by Queen Elizabeth II the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE).

The honor is in recognition of De Ocampo’s significant contributions to the development of United Kingdom-Philippines relations for over four decades. He is the first Filipino awardee who was a full-time member of the Philippine Cabinet, and among only three Filipinos to have been bestowed the recognition in the last 40 years.

The Order of the British Empire recognizes distinguished service to the arts and sciences, public services outside the Civil Service and work with charitable and welfare organizations of all kinds.

The award cited De Ocampo’s accomplishments as chairman of the British Alumni Association, which he transformed into a proactive promoter in raising the consciousness of Filipinos on British education opportunities. He also initiated the Philippines-UK Friendship Week which has become a high-profile annual activity fostering UK-Philippine relations.

The recognition adds up to the long list of De Ocampo’s accomplishments. In 1995, he became the first and only Filipino to receive the “Global Finance Minister of the Year” award from Euromoney. He was also named “Asian Finance Minister of the Year” by Euromoney in 1996. In 1997, Asia Money named him “Asian Finance Minister of the Year.”

In 1998, he was also awarded the Philippine Legion of Honor, the highest honor conferred on Filipino civilians by the Republic of the Philippines, for his outstanding contributions to the country.

Before being named Finance Secretary by former President Fidel V. Ramos in 1994, De Ocampo served as DBP chairman and chief executive. During his tenure, DBP was recognized by the prestigious International Banker Magazine as one of the world’s soundest banks. - source: PNA

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