MANILA — The Ateneo de Manila University is set to confer an honorary degree to former Vice President Leni Robredo, it announced on Wednesday.
The university said the conferment will be held next month, August 27 — the day when Robredo delivers her commencement speech to the Loyola Schools' Class of 2022.
The decision to confer the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Economics, honoris causa on Robredo was made last July 11 by the university's Board of Trustees.
Robredo obtained her degree in Economics from Ateneo's neighbor, University of the Philippines Diliman.
The Ateneo said honorary degrees are conferred on people "who have made notable and invaluable advancements" in their field.
"Ideally, they have dedicated themselves to a noble cause for the benefit of others, and are renowned for their work in advancing social justice and development, as well as compassionate action and humanitarian service," it also said.
"They must be persons of integrity and probity, exemplars of Ateneo ideals, whom the University is honored to include in its roster of alumni."
Robredo now chairs the non-governmental organization Angat Buhay, which she launched after stepping down from office.
In its statement, Ateneo said Robredo's 6-year term as the country's vice president "made remarkable contributions towards poverty alleviation, in spite of limited government budget, through the programs her office undertook with a vast network of partners."
"Her responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, natural and man-made disasters, and violations against human rights and the Philippines’ national sovereignty, demonstrate leadership that is both strategic and compassionate, qualities which we hope to form in our students, graduates, and employees," added the statement penned by its president Fr. Roberto Yap, SJ, who backed Robredo's 2022 presidential candidacy.
Robredo, through her Angat Buhay NGO, has revived "Bayanihan e-Konsulta" — a telemedicine program of her former office that helped Filipinos affected by the pandemic.
Robredo was Adamson University's guest speaker in its 84th commencement exercises last July 14.
There, she urged the school's fresh graduates to fight disinformation.