The Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) ng Bataan headed by Vice Governor Cris Garcia unanimously passed a resolution expressing profound sympathy and condolences on the death of Department of Migrant Workers Secretary Susan “Toots” Vasquez Ople.
Sponsored by Board Member Tony Roman, SP Resolution 366 expresses deep sadness on Ople’s demise and honors her as a champion of the rights of migrant Filipino workers. The resolution states, “An advocate of OFW rights, she is a great loss to the country”. “She has deep compassion for Filipino migrant workers”. Prior to being the first Secretary of the Department of Migrant Workers, Ople served as undersecretary of the Department of Labor and Employment. She was also the chief of staff at the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) during the administration of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. In 2013, she received the Trafficking-in-Persons Hero Award from the US State Department while in 2010, Ople received the Alumni Achievement Award from the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. She headed the Blas F. Ople Policy Center and Training Institute, a non-profit organization that is actively involved in labor and migration issues. She was the youngest daughter of the late Senate President and Foreign Affairs Secretary Blas F. Ople. She succumbed to breast cancer on August 22.