Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Rafael M. Salas on Stamps

Rafael M. Salas, was the first head of the United Nations Population Fund from its inception in 1969 up to his death in 1987 (UNFPA). Salas is an alumnus of the University of the Philippines. Prior to accepting the UN post, Salas was Executive Secretary to then President Ferdinand Marcos before a falling out on policies prompted him to leave the administration.

Rafael M. Salas was born in Bago City , Negros Occidental, Philippines in August 7, 1928; one of three children of Ernesto Araneta Salas and Isabel Neri Montinola.

After the turmoil of World War II, Rafael Montinola Salas, went to Manila to continue his education and graduated with high honors in the University of the Philippines in 1950. He completed his B.A. (Magna Cum Laude) and LL.B (Cum Laude) from the U.P. College of Law both in 1953. He then attended Harvard University MPA in 1955. With his decision to stay in the academics and in the University of the Philippines, Manila, he became a lecturer in Economics until 1959 and transferred to the Far Eastern University as professorial lecturer until 1961. He succeeded to improve his status and became Assistant Vice-President back in the University of the Philippines in 1962-63 and as professorial lecturer of Law and a member of the Board of Regents in, 1963-66.

By 1966, Rafael M. Salas, also known affectionately as "Paeng," was called on to serve his country as Executive Secretary of the Republic of the Philippines under President Ferdinand E. Marcos. During his tenure as Executive Secretary, although he had previous governmental assignments, he was credited for having solved the yearly rice production problem of the country as action officer of the National Rice Sufficiency Program.

Due to irreconcilable differences with President Ferdinand E. Marcos, Rafael M. Salas stepped down as Executive Secretary and accepted to be the first Executive Director of the United Nations - Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA) in 1969, now known as the United Nations Fund with the rank of Undersecretary General. A position Rafael engaged with efficiency and distinctiveness.

The stamp was issued on September 25, 1995, the 50th anniversary of the United Nations.