The Quezon Service Cross was proposed by President Manuel Roxas in honor of President Manuel L. Quezon to serve as the highest honor that the Republic of the Philippines could bestow on Filipino citizens.
On August 2, 1946, Roxas, in a message, submitted a proposed joint resolution to Congress for the creation of the Quezon Service Cross.
In his message, he said, “I am proposing that the President be authorized to make such award, with the concurrence of Congress. The resolution itself limits the type of nominations which may be made; this should be the highest national recognition of outstanding civilian service in the gift of the Republic “
Thus, the Quezon Service Cross was created by virtue of Joint Resolution No. 4, Series of 1946, enacted by both Houses of Congress.
Three individuals were awarded prior to the abolition of the Third Republic in 1972.
When Congress was abolished upon the declaration of Martial Law in 1972, the Quezon Service Cross remained but it was not awarded to any individual.
In 2003, Executive Order 236 retained the original intention of President Roxas to have the Quezon Service Cross as the highest recognition that a Filipino can receive from the Republic.
The Quezon Service Cross is unique in that the President nominates individuals (limited to Filipino citizens only) but the nomination must be approved by Congress.
Since its creation in 1946, only five people have been awarded the Quezon Service Cross.
The last recipient was former Secretary of the Interior and Local Government Jesse Robredo, who was conferred the highest honor posthumously on November 26, 2012.
The other recipients were Carlos P. Romulo (April 12 1951), Emilio Aguinaldo (June 12, 1956), Ramon Magsaysay (posthumous, July 4, 1957) and Benigno S. Aquino Jr. (posthumous, August 21, 2004).