The Philippine government recently honored 27 outstanding overseas workers for their excellence in their own fields of endeavor and for their assistance to their compatriots who needed help.
In ceremonies at the Heroes Hall of the Malacañang Presidential Palace on June 28th, these individuals were given Bagong Bayani (New Hero) Awards organized by Ang Bagong Bayani Foundation Inc. and the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, an attached agency of the country’s Department of labor and Employment.
Eight individuals and 19 seafarers from two separate ships were given plaques, medals and cash rewards. President Estrada’s Executive Secretary Ronaldo Zamora, assisted by officials from the Departments of Labor and Employment and Foreign Affairs, conferred the awards.
“We acknowledge their valuable economic contributions but we are doubly grateful to them for raising the image of the Filipino in the global stage because of their skills, industry and dedication to work,” the president has said prior to the awarding ceremony.
One of the Bagong Bayani Awards recipients in the individual category was Rafael I. Santos, head of the Filipino Programming of Family Radio KSAI located on Beach Road, Susupe, Saipan. He was nominated by the RP Consulate’s Philippine Overseas Labor Office headed by Labor Representative Araceli Maraya.
Formerly a newspaper reporter, Santos was recognized for helping his countrymen in the Northern Marianas by providing relevant information on various issues and matters affecting them. His weekly program “Talakayan” over at 936 KSAI was specifically cited for addressing the problems and concerns of Filipinos on the islands. In doing so, Santos serves as a voice of Filipinos in Saipan, according to POEA Administrator Reynaldo A. Regalado.
Santos joined KSAI Radio, a Christian station owned by the California-based Far East Broadcasting Co. Inc., in 1995 to handle the station’s Filipino programs that provide entertainment and information. The Tagalog programs are part of the overall ministry of KSAI Radio and its parent company FEBC Saipan located in Marpi.