From the Department of Finance
Secretary of Finance Cesar Purisima was conferred with the Parangal San Mateo Award for 2013 during the Induction of the Board of Trustees of the Philippine Institute of Certified Public Accountants (PICPA) Foundation in Makati last Thursday, July 18, 2013. The award, which is the most prestigious honor that the PICPA Foundation bestows on accountants, counted Purisima as the sole awardee this year.
Purisima began his acceptance speech by joking that PICPA may have made a mistake.
“I think accounting has been my blessing since I pursued accounting by accident. I never dreamed of becoming a government official either, so I suppose my being given this award is an accident also.” Purisima said. “But this is, I think a very pleasant accident and I am truly humbled and honored.”
The Parangal San Mateo, named for Saint Matthew, the patron of accountants, has only been given to seven other recipients since 2001: Ms. Corazon dela Paz-Bernardo, Dr. Washington SyCip, Amb. Alfonso T. Yuchengco, Ms. Alicia Reyes. Amb. Ramon C. Del Rosario, Sr., Mr. Alfredo Velayo, and Mr. Eugenio R. Reyes. “I never expected to be mentioned in the same breath as these other previous awardees,” the Finance Chief added.
Purisima stressed the importance to accountants of having a strong moral compass that will guide an individual in his day-to-day actions. “To this day, when I am faced with difficult decisions in government, I always come back to my core principles,” Purisima said.
Purisima also spoke of the future challenges for the Philippines and the administration of President Benigno S. Aquino III in his speech.
“The next three years of President Aquino’s term will be truly challenging, but they will also give us an opportunity to prove to the rest of our neighbors that the Philippines can be much better,” Purisima added. “In this effort, the CPAs of the Philippines will play a major role. You are the witnesses of what goes on in our economy.”
Purisima ended by inviting the accountants in the audience to collaborate with the government. “As Finance Secretary, I would like to work closely with the profession. The PICPA institute has a very big responsibility to elevate the profession and lead our members. We must be respected because of our principles and because we add value to the community,” Purisima said.