Dr. Stephen Zuellig supports UP

FILIPINO WORLDVIEW - Roberto R. Romulo - The Philippine Star

Immediately after typhoon Haiyan destruction was assessed, Dr. Zuellig decided to rebuild a facility for UP Palo in Leyte. Unfortunately, due to relocation issues, it never materialized. In 2016, the UP Manila College of Public Health (UP CPH) submitted a grant request to fund a 10-storey building. The donation was approved later in the year only to be placed on hold when he died in January 2017.

On December 20 at the Zuellig Building, UP President Danilo Concepcion accepted the donation from David Zuellig, honorary Philippine Consul General to Monaco: “On behalf of the family of the late Dr. Stephen Zuellig, it is my honor to turn over this gift to the University of the Philippines, his last personal gift to an institution. My father has always recognized his gratitude to the Philippines, the land of his birth has been good to him and his business. The family philanthropy, carried out through the Zuellig Family Foundation since 2008, has always focused on health for the disadvantaged.” The USD$4.3million facility donation is for the construction of a building which will be named Dr. Stephen Zuellig Hall. An additional USD$500,000 program donation will be divided over a period of three years between two programs, which will be offered under the UP CPH: Dr. Stephen Zuellig Program for Health Leadership and Governance, and the Program for Health Equity.

UP Manila Chancellor Dr. Carmencita Padilla said: We are grateful to the Zuellig Family for its recognition and appreciation of the role and impact of the College of Public Health in the country’s progress and development……. But equally important, this edifice will rise as a fitting tribute and a lasting legacy of the great man that was Dr. Stephen Zuellig.”

In January 2017, during Dr. Stephen Zuellig’s memorial rites, two former Presidents attended: President Fidel V. Ramos (who decorated him in 1998 with the Order of Lakandula, rank of Lakan) and President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (who later decorated him in 2007 with the Order of Sikatuna, rank of Datu, the highest civilian decoration at that time).

FVR said: “Now personally I knew Stephen from a different perspective – a Filipino committed to be of service to his country and to be proud of it. (Since the time of DFA Secretary Carlos P. Romulo, he has been the honorary Philippine Consul General to Monaco).   But what very few people know was about his personal diplomacy that succeeded in recovering US$356 million of the so-called Marcos hidden wealth despite the labyrinthine processes of the Swiss government and Swiss banks at the time. ( He did this pro bono). Let me end by saying that this is how we should remember Stephen Zuellig – a selfless public servant, a dedicated patriot, a great Filipino who served with real devotion for his country, our country, our people. Thank you, Stephen and thank you also Stephen’s family, for your substantial commitment to the promotion of Philippine national interests.”

I would like to echo President Ramos’ sentiments. Over the course of two decades, I consider myself fortunate that Stephen Zuellig was my boss, adviser, benefactor and close personal friend.

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