The Ramon Magsaysay Award and the Magsaysay Laureates

Since 1958, the Ramon Magsaysay Award is being given to persons - regardless of race, nationality, creed or gender - who address issues of human development in Asia with courage and creativity, and in doing so have made contributions which have transformed their societies for the better.

The roster of Magsaysay awardees includes social and political leaders who have led independence movements; established, restored, or strengthened democratic institutions; and reformed inept government systems. Other awardees have modernized their post-war economies; preserved and promoted indigenous cultures; and pioneered in setting up basic human services programs in health, education, and social welfare especially for the poor and marginalized.

As scientists and doctors many Magsaysay Awardees have revolutionized agricultural production; led breakthroughs in disease control and cancer treatment; pioneered improvements in promoting maternal health and child survival. As public intellectuals, other awardees have shaped public policy and discourse towards environmental protection, promoting human rights, religious tolerance, the empowerment of women, and participative development.

Still others have worked tirelessly and against great odds to save lives at risk from social stigma, uncontrolled pandemics, protracted government neglect and unabated corruption, civil wars, pervasive ignorance, and the abuse of shared natural resources like water and forests and air. There are also Magsaysay awardees who, by the power of their pen and artistic works, have awakened the conscience of their societies to address urgent social ills.

In continuing to recognize individuals and organizations who address these issues with extraordinary vigor, integrity and selflessness, the RMAF seeks to honor the legacy of President Ramon Magsaysay and to place living examples of inspiring leadership and service before the public. From them, present and future generations may draw courage, challenge, and hope.