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Written By Kit Bagaipo of the Bohol Chronicle newspaper

Iluminado Boc, the tricycle driver who became prominent after he returned $1,700 inside a bag that was left in his tricycle will be among five individuals who will be honored during the 153rd Bohol Foundation Day on July 22 at the Bohol Cultural Center.

Australian envoy to the Philippines Anthony John Hely will also be bestowed the Datu Sikatuna award together with three others at the commemoration of Bohol's separation as a province distinct from Cebu and Siquijor.

Hely, who will keynote the event, will likewise inspect projects implemented in Bohol funded by his government through the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), and speak on "Water for Bohol's Economy, Communities and Environment" during the Bohol Water Summit the following day.

Along with Hely, to be conferred Datu Sikatuna awards by Gov. Erico Aumentado are Peter Reichmann of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints Charities, Dr. Ludgerio Torres of the Philippine Heart Center and vice president of the Heart Foundation of the Philippines and provincial government social and health services consultant Francesca Baluyot.

The Datu Sikatuna award is the highest honor the province gives to individuals who have contributed much to the development and progress of Bohol.
          
Aumentado said the Australian government is Bohol's third biggest Official Development Assistance (ODA) funder to date.

The award recognizes Hely for his invaluable support for the sustained ODA through the Philippines-Australia Community Assistance Program (PACAP), Philippines-Australia Human Resource Development Facility (PAHRDF), Local Governance Development Program (LGDP), Land Administration Management Project Phase 2 (LAMP 2-Bohol), Philippine-Australia Technical Support for Agrarian Reform and Rural Development (PATSARRD), Australian Centre for International Agriculture Research (ACIAR), Strengthening the Implementation of Basic Education in Selected Provinces of the Visayas (STRIVE).

These projects, the governor said, lead to poverty reduction in the province, good governance and well-being of the Boholano people.

Aside from the inspection of projects in Loboc and Sevilla towns, Hely will also break ground for the LAMP 2 One-Stop-Shop building at the new Capitol Site, as well as keynote the Bohol Water Summit at the MetroCentre Hotel and Convention Center, both in Tagbilaran and launch the LAMP pilot site in Corella town.

Torres is recognized for his humanitarian missions in Bohol by bringing open-heart surgeries to the province, thereby giving a new lease on life and well-being to heart patients from Bohol and the rest of the Visayas, Luzon and Mindanao.

Reichman is honored for his humanitarian missions in Bohol and in acting as Bohol's ambassador of goodwill to the CJC-LDS, the friend of all nations, thereby ensuring its sustained assistance in terms of medical equipment, supplies and medicines as well as improvement of some district hospitals therein resulting to the enhancing of the health services for the Boholano people and their well-being.

On the other hand, Baluyot is recognized for her invaluable services as coordinator of various humanitarian, medical and surgical missions in Bohol by foreign and domestic missioners, which have benefited thousands of indigent patients and contributing to the improved health services and well-being of the people.

Meanwhile, Aumentado will also confer a special award on Boc for his outstanding honesty despite his extreme need for money for the hospital bills of his ailing wife and installment dues for his tricycle unit and his house at Habitat Village, this city. - July 15, 2007

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