Minority Senators pay tribute to Soliman, honor her for contributions to public service


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Minority Senators honored former Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Dinky Soliman for her invaluable contributions to the field of social work as a distinguished public servant exemplified by her lifelong crusade to uplift the quality of life of the poorest and most vulnerable sectors of society.

In filing Proposed Senate Resolution (PSR) No. 913, Minority Senators Leila M. de Lima, Franklin M. Drilon, Risa Hontiveros and Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan said it is only proper to recognize Soliman’s contributions to public service and honor her exemplary work, dedication, and commitment towards combatting poverty and inequality in society.

“Sec. Dinky left nothing materially but so much in the respectful affection of all who worked, dreamed and fought with her causes and advocacies. Her passing ends a chapter in the country’s civil society sector,” they said.

“Her untimely death as an exemplary public servant and social worker, the first responder on the ground and the last person to leave the disaster-stricken area, is a great loss to the Filipino people and the nation as well, particularly in this time of crisis and upheaval,” they added.

Last Sept. 19, Soliman, who is known for her signature single-streaked hair color which she attributed to the causes she fights for and a symbol of “good vibes”, passed away at the age of 68 due to complications from renal and heart failure.

Soliman first headed the DSWD during the administration of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo but later resigned, along with other Cabinet officials, when Arroyo was accused of fraud in the 2004 Presidential elections.

In her four years at the DSWD during President Arroyo’s term, Soliman launched the Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (KALAHI-CIDDS), a poverty alleviation program which empowered barangays and communities.

In 2010, Soliman was appointed again as the DSWD Secretary of then-President Benigno S. Aquino III and headed the Human Development and Poverty Reduction Cabinet Cluster.

“As DSWD Secretary, Sec. Dinky steered the government’s flagship poverty alleviation program, the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), which was initiated by the Arroyo administration but was massively expanded and further developed under the Aquino administration,” the Senators said.

“Likewise, Sec. Dinky accelerated other social welfare programs such as the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP), and the Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan- Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services – National Community- Driven Development Program (KC-NCDDP),” they added.

The Minority Senators pointed out that Soliman’s legacy will go down in Filipino history as that of a champion of social justice and democracy.

“She made a name for herself as a civil society leader, a reformist in the field of social welfare where its programs are anchored on evidence-based policy making, planning, and evaluation and a crusader against corruption in government,” they noted.

“Her passionate love and steadfast commitment to serve the poorest and most marginalized of Filipinos and improve their quality of life through meaningful social reforms should serve as a benchmark for any aspiring public servant,” they added.

In 2015, Soliman was recognized for her leadership by the Global Partnership for Social Accountability (GPSA) and was awarded by the World Bank for “promoting social accountability as a means to eradicate poverty and promote inclusive growth”. (30)

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