Former Social Welfare Secretary Dinky Soliman, 68

Former Social Welfare Secretary Dinky Soliman, 68
This July 2011 photo shows former Social Welfare Secretary Dinky Soliman
Dinky Soliman Facebook page

MANILA, Philippines (Updated 3:34 p.m.) — Former Social Welfare Secretary Corazon "Dinky" Soliman died Sunday. She was 68.

Her death was first reported by Rappler, quoting Soliman's widower Hector.

Vice President Leni Robredo, speaking on her weekly radio show on dzXL, also confirmed the news and called Soliman "a very good person" whom she first met in 2012 when search and rescue operations were ongoing for then Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo, the vice president's late husband.

"We didn't know each other but she went to Naga to be with us while the search was ongoing for the remains of my husband," Robredo said in Filipino. She said that Soliman had devoted her long life to serving the poor.

Soliman, who was first appointed head of the Department of Social Welfare and Development during the Arroyo administration, expanded coverage of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) during the Aquino administration. The program gave poor families cash incentives for sending their children to school and for bringing them to health centers.

"With 4Ps, Dinky embodied the best of social work. Her legacy will always be impactful and can never be distorted by fake news," Sen. Risa Hontiveros said.

She also said Soliman "led a life full of love, sacrifice, courage, and of course, commitment to service."

"She is a remarkable hero and a comrade to me." 

Sen. Panfilo Lacson, who was appointed presidential assistant for rehabilitation and recovery to help with reconstruction of areas hit by Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) in 2013, said DSWD under Soliman "went all out in helping us craft the Yolanda Comprehensive Rehabilitation and Recovery Plant, providing all the needed data."

Sen. Richard Gordon, who is also chair of the Philippine Red Cross, said that Soliman was a partner in distributing humanitarian relief and assistance in the wake of calamities.

Prior to joining government, Soliman had been part of civil society and had worked with non-government organizations focused on development in poor communities.

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