Miguel Rene Dominguez has been named awardee for governance and public service in this year’s search for Ten Outstanding Young Men by the Junior Chamber International Philippines and the TOYM Foundation.
Dominguez was governor of Sarangani province for three consecutive 3-year terms that began in 2004.
He graduated from high school at the Ateneo de Davao University.
After briefly enrolling at the University of the Philippines, he was sent to the United States for his college studies. He finished with a bachelor’s degree in economics at Boston College in Massachusetts.
He went home straight to Sarangani after finishing college in 1999 to start as a mid-level executive of the family-owned Alson’s Aquaculture Corporation in Sarangani. Here, he successfully opened up markets for Alson’s bangus (milkfish) in China, Canada, US and some parts of Europe.
Five years after, however, he joined politics.
At 27 years old, he then became the second youngest elected governor in the country but the youngest in Mindanao.
He ran on a platform of good governance and won handily after the previous leadership was rocked by P43m fund scandal.
Marshaling his ability to draw support and grants from corporate entities and donor countries, Dominguez made education, or providing opportunities to have access to education, his priority in local governance.
He transformed Sarangani from the fourth poorest province to ten notches better at 14th by the time he left office due to term limits.
Dominguez almost singlehandedly put Sarangani in the national map as investment and tourism destination by rallying residents, involving the participation of indigenous peoples in local governance and engaging armed combatant of Moro rebels in peace dialogues. He reached out to his political opponents to make Sarangani a better place to govern.
Under his stewardship, Sarangani became a Galing Pook Hall of Fame awardee and received the Seal of Good Housekeeping for good governance.
He was also only the second Mindanaoan to become a Dwight Eisenhower fellow on public administration.
Dominguez was also named a 40 under 40 awardee by Devex Manila, a recognition bestowed to young men under 40 years old who made exemplary achievements in their respective fields.
The 37-year-old Dominguez is married to Tisha Dominguez with whom he has two daughters. He also has a son by previous relationship.
He is the son of former Presidential Assistant for Mindanao Paul Rene Dominguez and Rosevida Alcantara.
The TOYM award is the country’ most prestigious honor given to the country’s outstanding young achiever below 40 years old.
The TOYM awarding ceremony will be held at the Malacañang Palace on December 19.