The Senate has adopted a resolution expressing profound sympathy and condolences on the passing of Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) Secretary Susana “Toots” Ople, a champion of the rights of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).
Senators unanimously adopted Senate Resolution No. 747 (Adopted Resolution No. 83), introduced by Senate President Migz Zubiri, taking into consideration SRNs 748, 749, 751, 752, 753, 754, and 755.
“Sec. Toots Ople’s life was a testament to the enduring legacy of championing, being a person for others and becoming a pillar to whom generations of OFW families may rely on for light and support,” the resolution stated.
Ople, who passed away on August 22, 2023, at the age of 61, was the first Secretary of the newly-established DMW tasked to ensure the protection of OFWs, promotion of their interests, the timely and effective resolution of their problems and concerns, and their effective reintegration into Philippine society.
Zubiri described the late DMW secretary as a remarkable public servant who showed that true leadership is not about power and authority but kindness and compassion.
“She is a fierce protector and safe harbor to our fellow Filipinos who are toiling lonesome in different lands.”
“She is a fierce protector and safe harbor to our fellow Filipinos who are toiling lonesome in different lands. It is a great loss to the department under her care for only a short time. But even in this short time she left an indelible mark and her legacy will continue to shape the DMW (Department of Migrant Workers) in the years to come,” the veteran legislator stressed.
Senate Majority Leader Joel Villanueva said he was saddened by the passing of Ople who left not only her biological family but millions of OFWs who she nurtured until her last breath.
“Thank you for your love for the OFWs, thank you for your kindness, thank you for being a good friend.”
“Sec. Toots, you are the true champion of our OFWs. Thank you for your love for the OFWs, thank you for your kindness, thank you for being a good friend,” Villanueva said.
For her unparalleled zeal in advocating for the protection of the rights of migrant workers, Ople became the first Filipino to be a part of the Board of Trustees of the United Nations Trust Fund for Victims of Human Trafficking.
She was also conferred the Global Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Hero Award for 2013 by the United States Government.
“It is only fitting that as the nation mourns the passing of Sec. Toots Ople, we also honor the life of service she lived which has touched, changed, and inspired the lives of Filipinos around the world,” the resolution added.
Deputy Majority Leader JV Ejercito, Minority Leader Koko Pimentel III, Deputy Minority Leader Risa Hontiveros and Senators Bong Revilla Jr., Pia Cayetano, Jinggoy Estrada, Bong Go, Win Gatchalian, Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa, Mark Villar, Raffy Tulfo, and Robin Padilla also delivered their co-sponsorship speeches honoring the late DMW secretary.
All members of the Senate were made co-authors of the resolution.