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Taiwan office to help honored Taitung vegetable vendor in Manila

Taiwan office to help honored Taitung vegetable vendor in Manila

Manila, Aug. 27 (CNA) Taiwan's representative to the Philippines said Monday that his office will offer full assistance to Taitung vegetable vendor Chen Shu-chu on her visit to receive the Ramon Magsaysay Award for her philanthropy. Raymond Wang said personnel from his office will accompany Chen throughout her eight-day stay in Manila. Chen gave away all she earned from selling vegetables to help disadvantaged children, which has made her an inspiration and role model for all, Wang said. Chen, who has donated some NT$10 million (US$333,874) to fund local children's education and improve their lives, was chosen in July as one of six winners of the award that has been dubbed Asia's Nobel Peace Prize. The vendor arrived in Manila a day earlier and was received by Wang and Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation President Carmencita Abella upon her arrival. Over the following days, Chen will give interviews and visit a traditional market, as well as meet with Taiwanese businesspeople and expatriates based in the Philippine capital. She will accept her award Friday and return to Taiwan Sunday. Chen, who earlier announced she will donate the cash prize of US$50,000 to a hospital in Taitung, has been praised by the foundation for the "pure altruism of her personal giving, which reflects a deep, consistent, quiet compassion" and her decision not to publicize her actions. She initially showed little interest in receiving the award and only changed her mind after government officials talked her into it, saying she would attend the award for "the sake of Taiwan's honor." A winner of various international honors, Chen was named in 2010 as one of Times' 100 most influential individuals and as one of the 48 Heroes of Philanthropy by Forbes Asia. Ten Taiwanese have won the Ramon Magsaysay Award, given to Asian individuals for their selfless acts. The most recent winner from Taiwan was Cloud Gate Dance Theatre founder Lin Hwai-min in 1999. (By Emerson T. Lin and Scully Hsiao)