MANILA, Philippines – President Benigno S. Aquino III on Wednesday conferred the “National Scientist” title on pediatrician Dr. Perla Dizon Santos-Ocampo.
The honor is in recognition of Santos-Ocampo’s contribution as "scientist in the field of pediatrics, as medical educator, leader and mentor, institution-builder and advocate for better health of the Filipino people, particularly, the children.”
It also acknowledges her groundbreaking research in diarrheal disease which later on provided the basis for diarrhea-related policies of the Department of Health.
Morever, her research on the malnutrition effects on the growth and development of children paved the way for the country’s efforts in managing nutritional problems among Filipino kids.
During her term as Chancellor of the University of the Philippines-Manila, Santos-Ocampo developed academic programs to enhance the quality and number of medical experts, trainors and child care specialists.
She also spearheaded the creation of the National Institutes of Health, the National Graduate School of the Health Sciences, and the National Telehealth Center.
Aquino signed Proclamation No. 138 entitled "Amending Proclamation No. 2099 dated June 23, 2010 and According to Perla Dizon Santos Ocampo, MD, the Rank and Title of National Scientist" to amend Proclamation No. 2099 which unintentionally conferred on Santos-Ocampo the title of “National Artist” instead of “National Scientist.”
The National Scientist Award was established in 1976 and was given by the President annually since then.
It is the highest national recognition given to Filipino scientists.
The recognition entitles awardees the status reserved only for heroes.
Furthermore, it gives them financial gratuity, medical and hospitalization benefits, and a place of honor at all state functions.
They are also entitled, upon death, to a state funeral, the same recognition given to National Artists.