Sen. Cynthia Villar was awarded the Most Distinguished Alumni Award by the University of the Philippines Alumni Association (UPAA) during the homecoming and awards ceremonies at the Bahay ng Alumni in UP Diliman, Quezon City.
Villar in receiving the award said, “I am truly honored to be among the awardees this year and to be in the company of such line-up of distinguished alumni, who are most respected and considered as experts in their fields of endeavor.”
Aside from Villar, Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio and Department of Budget and Management Secretary Benjamin Diokno also received the alumni award. Some 20 others were also named as professional awardees.
“This recognition encourages me to carry on with my advocacies and it also serves as a validation of my continued efforts to inspire and help our fellow Filipinos. The award is really a bonus. It feels good to be recognized. But it feels even better to know that you are making a difference in people’s lives,” she added.
As the current chairperson of the committee on agriculture and food, Villar is pursuing poverty reduction as her legislative priority.
Together with her husband, former Senate President Manny Villar, she established the Villar Social Institute for Poverty Alleviation and Governance (Villar SIPAG) which allowed her to provide assistance to overseas Filipino workers, support environmental protection, and establish livelihood projects and farm schools all over the country.
Villar earned her bachelor’s degree in business administration from UP and her master’s degree in business administration from the New York University.
She was elected representative of Las Pinas in 2001 and served for three terms until 2010. In 2013, she was elected as senator. Aside from the agriculture committee, she is also the current chairperson of the committee on environment and natural resources.