by unanimous resolution of its Board of Directors
proudly confers upon
DOMINGO L. SIAZON, JR.
The Medal of Merit
for Outstanding Achievement in the Promotion
of Philippines-Japan Relations
The Honorable Domingo L. Siazon, Jr. was born on July 9, 1939 in Aparri, Cagayan. He graduated from the Ateneo de Manila University with a degree of Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. A Japanese Ministry of Education scholar, he obtained his certificate of Proficiency in Japanese language at the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies in Tokyo, Japan. He completed a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics at the Tokyo University of Education, an Economics Certificate at the Economics Institute of the University of Colorado and a Masters Degree in Public Administration at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.
He served as interpreter and translator in the Philippines Embassy in Tokyo and after passing in 1966 the Foreign Service Officer Examination, he was appointed as Third Secretary and Vice-Consul in the Philippine Embassy in Tokyo from 1966 to 1968, thereby deepening his understanding of the Philippines-Japan relations.
Secretary Siazon is the first career diplomat and the first Ryugakusei (Foreign Student to Japan) to head the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA). Prior to his appointment as Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs, he served with the Philippine Embassy in Berne, Switzerland, and subsequently became the Philippine Ambassador to Austria, where he was also the Philippine Permanent Representative to the United Nations and to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna. He was then appointed Philippine Ambassador to Japan, a position he held from 1993 to 1995.
It was during his tour of duty as the country’s envoy to Japan, that Japanese investments to the country increased tremendously, thereby making them the leading investors in Economics Processing Zone and the total official development assistance to the Philippines increased on an annual basis.
The highlight of Secretary Siazon’s diplomatic career was his election as Director-General of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). He was re-elected unopposed in 1989, thereby making him the first head of the organization to hold the position for two consecutive terms (1985-1993). The highest ranking Filipino executive in the United Nations system, he steered UNIDO through a difficult transformation process from being a UN autonomous department to the status of an independent specialized agency. He has been recognized for initiating innovative programs to support the industrialization efforts of developing nations on a sustainable manner.
He has represented the Philippines in many international conferences dealing with economic cooperation, trade, industry and the environment. He has written articles on the peaceful uses of nuclear energy.
A linguist, Siazon speaks a variety of dialects and languages, namely: Ilocano, Filipino, English, Japanese, Spanish, French and German.
A recipient of local and international awards and citations, Secretary Siazon has been recogmized and awarded with coveted distinctions and commendations, from the Federal Republic of Austria (Grand Decoration of Honor in Gold with Sash) in 1985, from the Ivory Coast (Commander of the National Order of the Lion) in 1986 and from Japan (Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun) in 1995.
As the 18th Philippines-Japan Medal of Merit Awardee, he was recognized and honored for his outstanding achievements being the first career diplomat of the Philippines foreign service and the first Ryugakusie (foreign student to Japan) to head the Department of Foreign Affairs, and immense contribution towards the cause not only on the realm of Philippine-Japanese relations, but also for the promotion of friendship, cooperation, mutual understanding and development among the nations of the world.
Given at Makati City, Metro Manila this 28th day of February in the year of our Lord Nineteen Hundred and Ninety-Seven on the 25th year of the Society.
JOSE S. LAUREL III BENJAMIN F. SANVICTORES
President Emeritus President
BENJAMIN C. LAUREL