Press Release
August 12, 2013


Sen. Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada filed twin Senate resolutions honoring two women who have demonstrated relentless efforts to promote the welfare of OFWs.

Sen. Estrada, Chairman of the Committee on Labor, Employment and Human Resources Development, says while we should criticize and punish unscrupulous individuals preying on our OFWs, it is equally important that we shower with praise and recognition people who have selflessly dedicated their life to serving and lending assistance to our so-called "modern day heroes."

Sen. Estrada recently delivered a privilege speech entitled "Maginoo Pero Sobrang Bastos" denouncing the sexual abuses made by corrupt embassy/labor officials and staff against distressed overseas Filipino workers in their custody. The speech prompted an ongoing Blue Ribbon Committee investigation on the capacity and existing policies of our overseas posts to effectively take care and address the concerns of our OFWs across the world.

Proposed Senate Resolution 176 congratulates and commends Dr. Alicia Santos for being conferred the prestigious Gawad Mabini with the rank of Dakilang Kasugo Presidential Award.

Dr. Santos is currently the Labor Attaché in the Philippine Embassy in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. She was able to unify 35 Filipino community associations in Malaysia under one umbrella organization called the Federation of Filipino Associations in Malaysia (FFAM) which serves as the embassy's effective partner in implementing its activities and programs.

She also served as Labor Attaché in various countries including South Korea, Lebanon, Syria and Italy. She is in government service for more than three decades.

Gawad Mabini Award is conferred by the President on personnel of the Department of Foreign Affairs as well as on other Filipinos who have rendered distinguished service or promoted the interests of the country at home or abroad.

Sen. Estrada states in his proposed resolution, "The recognition given to Dr. Santos renews the call for public service with integrity, honesty, responsibility and dedication. Amidst various issues and controversies alarming our line of foreign service, Gawad Mabini and Dr. Santos bring inspiration, hope and fervor to our public servants to strengthen their cause for our nation's progress and genuine development."

Meanwhile, in proposed Senate Resolution 130 Sen. Estrada commends Maria Susana Ople "for having been conferred by the government of the United States of America the Global Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Hero Award for 2013 for her persistent and unyielding effort to curb human trafficking."

The resolution reads: "The TIP Hero Award recognizes individuals who have devoted their lives to the fight against human trafficking. Through their efforts preventing human trafficking, protecting victims, and prosecuting offenders, TIP heroes are at the forefront of the fight to end modern day slavery."

Ople, more popularly known by her nickname "Toots" and fondly called as "nanay" of overseas Filipino workers, is the President of the Blas Ople Policy Center and Training Institute and an active voice on labor and migration issues.

Ople, the only Asian awardee this year, received the TIP Hero distinction last June 19, 2013 in a ceremony held in Washington, D.C.

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