The legacy of the late President Fidel V. Ramos was memorialized in the Philippines’ first Online Presidential Library.
The “living document” was inaugurated at the National Museum on Saturday to mark the 95th birthday of Ramos.
“The National Museum is a most fitting venue for this momentous event and commemoration as it is among the tangible and key legacies of President Ramos, who devoted his time and energy towards the progress and development of the institution," said Jeremy Barns, the museum’s director-general.
“This very building, the former Legislative Building, became the home of the National Museum of Fine Arts due to his efforts, together with the establishment of what is today the National Museum of Anthropology at the former building of the Department of Finance, inaugurated on June 11, 1998, the eve of the Philippine Centennial,” he added.
Roberto De Ocampo, former finance secretary and chair for the FVR Legacy Initiative, said the culmination of the National Museum is just among the nation building and trail blazing triumphs of the former head of state, which can be reviewed in the digital library.
“It provides detail about a leading political actor, a soldier who became a statesman through various leadership roles as his country emerged from the Cold War. President Ramos undertook these roles by systematically attending to both political and economic empowerment. He believed that economic growth is the true foundation for democratic reform,” De Ocampo explained.
He went on: “A leader who solidly affixed democratic principles to economic development, who guided his country through the turn to the 21 st century; and in succeeding, gave his nation, the region, and the world a leadership model distinct for his time.”
Aside from his leadership journey which can be seen in the archival collection of photos and videos, speeches, and key governance documents that marked and drove the structural reforms during his term, the pioneering library also “illustrates and documents” the milestones of Ramos’ personal life to provide a more “genuine and human view of the country’s 12th president.
The wife of Ramos shared he began working on the digital space in 2016.
“I believe that he is with us in spirit, beaming with pride and joy watching our friends, partners, and family in lively and meaningful conversation,” Amelita Ramos said.
She continues: “He loved this country and dedicated his life to serving his motherland. Unity, solidarity and teamwork - those were his words and that is what I witnessed today.”
The FVR Online Presidential Library, De Ocampo explained, aims to provide “factual and accurate documentation intended to support the work of students and scholars” as well as “inspire generations of Filipinos living here and across the globe, and contribute to the living chronicles by the international community.”
Before the program ended with a toast led by Ramos’ family members, his wife also rendered a sentimental performance on the keyboard to commemorate the would-be birthday of the former President.