Ramon Magsaysay awards 2020 cancelled due to COVID-19 virus

This is the third time that the annual awards have been cancelled in the last six decades.

Created On: Jun 10, 2020 15:38 IST
Ramon Magsaysay awards
Ramon Magsaysay awards

Ramon Magsaysay awards, known as Asia’s version of the Nobel Prize, have been cancelled this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Manila-based foundation issued a statement on June 9, 2020 saying that it has no choice but to cancel the 2020 awards with COVID-19 almost immobilizing the world. 

This is the third time that the annual awards have been cancelled in the last six decades, the first time was due to a financial crisis in 1970 and the second time when a disastrous earthquake hit the Philippines in 1990. 

Ramon Magsaysay awards

The Ramon Magsaysay Award is an annual award, which is named after seventh Philippine President Ramon Magsaysay who died in a plane crash in 1957. 

The award was established in April 1957 by the trustees of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund with the cooperation of the Philippine government.

The award is conferred by the Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation to Asian individuals who achieve excellence in their respective fields and to honour those who selflessly serve to help others.

The award was traditionally given in five categories- journalism, literature and creative communication arts; public service; government service; community leadership and peace and international understanding. Five categories, however, were discontinued in 2009. 

So far, the award has been conferred to more than 330 individuals including world leaders such as late Philippine President Corazon Aquino and Mother Teresa. 

2019 Ramon Magsaysay Awardees

In 2019, the award was conferred to five individuals-

1. Kim Jong-Ki: A South Korean who helped fight suicide and bullying.

2. Angkhana Neelapaijit: A Thai woman who became a human rights defender after losing her husband to violence in southern Thailand.

3. Ravish Kumar: The Indian Journalist was chosen for harnessing journalism to give voice to the voiceless.

4. Ko Swe Win: He is a journalist from Myanmar, who was honoured for building the quality and force of media’s truth-telling. 

5. Raymundo Pujante Cayabyab: A musician credited with shaping modern Philippine musical culture.


The Philippines is a coronavirus hotspot in Southeast Asia with over 23,732 confirmed COVID-19 cases. The nation has so far reported 1,027 deaths. Similar to nations across the world, the Philippines has also eased lockdown restrictions for millions of people to bolster its economy, which contracted majorly in the first quarter.

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