THE University of San Jose-Recoletos (USJR) will confer an honorary degree on Roberto “Bobby” E. Aboitiz to recognize him for his business and humanitarian contributions.

Mila Espina of USJR said the award is meant to recognize Aboitiz’s “significant contribution to business” and for his endeavors that “touched other people’s lives.”

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USJ-R, which started honoring people in 1986, will confer the Doctor of Science in Business Management honorary degree on Aboitiz on Aug. 19 at the Center for Performing Arts in the USJR main campus.

Abotiz, who once scrubbed the bottom of power barges in Davao, is chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Aboitiz Construction Group Inc. and director of Aboitiz and Company, Aboitiz Equity Ventures Inc, Aboitizland Inc, Cebu Industrial Park Development Inc, City Savings Bank, Tsuneishi Heavy Industries and Aboitiz Foundation.

Aboitiz is also the president of the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc (Rafi). The group is behind the Coalition for Better Education in Cebu, which was organized to promote responsive quality education by addressing issues on teachers’ training and development, curriculum development, academe-industry-government linkage, leadership and governance.

The foundation is engaged in projects in health, education, environment, community development, youth development, children’s welfare and development, women empowerment, citizenship and governance, and heritage conservation.

Among community leaders honored by USJR are Francisco Benedicto and Norberto Quisumbing.

“It takes us a lot of research meetings and brainstorming to be able to decide who will be fit for the award. The person should have significant achievement,” said Espina.