Ex-finance secretary receives award from Queen Elizabeth II

ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 31 2012 02:31 PM | Updated as of May 31 2012 10:31 PM

Dr Roberto F de Ocampo, OBE is shown holding his medal symbolising the honorary OBE bestowed by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II for his significant contribution to the development of UK-Philippines relations. British Ambassador Stephen Lillie (right) recently hosted a special dinner in de Ocampo's honor.
MANILA, Philippines - Former Finance Secretary Roberto F. de Ocampo has received an award from Queen Elizabeth II for his efforts to promote UK-Philippine relations in the last four decades.

British Ambassador Stephen Lillie presented de Ocampo with the medal for his appointment as an honorary Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE).

De Ocampo is a former Secretary of Finance under President Fidel V. Ramos and a multi-awarded and internationally recognised authority in global finance and economic development.

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 organisations of all kinds.

"This award is not only an immeasurably precious one to me for my lifetime but a treasure for my family to have and keep and to pass on to the next generations. The fact that this is all taking place during the Queen's Jubilee Year, the London Olympics, and the 250th anniversary year of the first British presence in the Philippines makes the memory of this event more compellingly special to me," said de Ocampo.

Lillie described de Ocampo as "a tireless and influential advocate for friendship, business and co-operation" between the UK and the Philippines. He cited his work as chairman of the British Alumni Association in the Philippines, which has been an effective body in promoting bilateral friendship and understanding.

De Ocampo said his "association with and affection for the UK" started in 1971 when he was accepted to a post graduate program in Development Administration at the London School of Economics.

"Looking back, I consider this a major turning point in my career as I was able later on to use the combination of private sector business tools learned via my MBA and economic development strategies and practices learned at the LSE throughout my service in the public sector… I benefitted from being there at a time of substantial historical significance for the UK as it was in the process of transitioning from a longstanding Welfare State System towards the Margaret Thatcher era. The experience was both an exciting one and a profound influence on me," he said.