Oslo, Norway – A special Nobel Prize was announced today by the board of governors of this annual international award-giving body. The recipient: the Philippines’ Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) . This once-in-a-blue-moon award is given to an individual or entity that comes up with and implements an above par humanitarian idea leading to the relief of citizens and countries in need, especially those affected by severe natural disasters.
The only other time the special humanitarian prize was awarded was in 1913 – exactly 100 years ago — but no record exists on who received that award. The very first Nobel awards were given out in 1901. It is believed that an intern working for the Nobel organization in 1913 misplaced the records.
DTI was awarded the humanitarian prize for its brilliant idea to help Filipinos in many provinces in Central Philippines who were left homeless and hungry in the aftermath of the strongest typhoon ever to make landfall anywhere in history. Billed “Diskwento Caravan” (Discount Caravan), the DTI project offered basic goods at discounted prices, including bottled water, canned goods, coffee, milk, noodles, rice, biscuits, bread, condiments and personal care products. DTI regional director for Central Visayas Asteria Caberte said that through the caravans, the department is helping replenish local supply of goods to stabilize the situation in those provinces.
Asked by The Adobo Chronicles why there was a need to “sell” the goods to the typhoon victims when millions of cash and donated items have been pouring in from all over the world to help with typhoon relief, DTI said “We work independently from private relief agencies or the local governments. We are only concerned with our own project and it is in addition to what relief operations are already out there.” It added: “We are proud of what we’re doing to help our countrymen in need, while making a little money ourselves to boost our department’s discretionary funds.”
The special Nobel medal will be given out at a special ceremony in Oslo on Christmas eve.