Manila: Boxer Manny Pacquiao will be awarded a doctorate degree today, an achievement made doubly significant by the fact that he had been unable to attend formal schooling early in life due to poverty.

Reports reaching Manila said Pacquiao, 27, will be conferred with a Doctorate of Humanities (honoris causa) by the Southwestern University in Central Philippines' Cebu in recognition of his achievements and contributions in the field of physical education, or "Human Kinetics".

An honoris causa is an academic honour conferred by an institution where the normal requisites such as passing examinations are waived. The conferring university often derives benefits by association with the person given the honour.

The honour will be bestowed upon the Filipino boxing hero by Commission on Higher Education (CHED) chairman Emmanuel Angeles.

Unable to go to school because his family was so poor, Pacquiao has become a poster boy of sorts for many Filipinos and a rallying symbol in times of adversities, political or otherwise.

He gained world acclaim, for Filipinos in the field of sports and is now considered as the wealthiest sportsman the Philippines had produced.

Pacquiao has been a model for the Department of Education and Culture for inspiring Filipinos who failed to get education due to poverty to find time and go back to school.