Cabinet members mourn death of DMW chief Susan Ople
MANILA, Philippines — Several Cabinet members mourned the death of Department of Migrants Workers (DMW) Secretary Susan “Toots” Ople on Tuesday, citing her dedication to her work and her “legacy of compassion.”
Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr. issued a statement extending his condolences to the loved ones of the late Ople, whom he called a “beloved friend.”
He called Ople’s appointment as the first DMW secretary a “huge blessing” to the country. He noted Ople’s reputation of “unblemished integrity, impassioned service for the country, and genuine affection” for Filipinos, especially the vulnerable members of the migrant sector.
“Sec. Ople’s demise leaves a profound sense of loss and a huge vacuum in public service that is tough to fill,” Teodoro said.
He vowed that the Department of Defense would honor Ople’s service by continuing to assist the DMW not only in the repatriation of overseas workers but whenever the need would arise.
“This is our modest way of keeping Sec. Ople’s legacy alive,” he said.
In a post on his Facebook page, Social Welfare Secretary Rex Gatchalian paid tribute to Ople, saying that she would be missed.
We'll miss you Sec. Toots Ople
In a separate statement, Tourism Secretary Christina Frasco extended the Department of Tourism’s condolences, citing Ople’s “unwavering commitment” to championing the welfare of Filipinos.
Frasco said Ople had left behind a “legacy of compassion and care that inspires all.”
“I am grateful to have worked with Secretary Toots. I mourn the loss of a friend and colleague whose devotion to duty and deep love of country will always stay with me,” Frasco said.
Health Secretary Teodoro Hebosa said Ople’s death keft behind “an indelible void in the realm of public service.”
“Her unwavering dedication to the well-being and empowerment of migrant workers, especially our health care workers abroad, touched the lives of countless individuals and families, both within our borders and beyond,” Herbosa said.
He urged both the government and the public to honor Ople’s memory by continuing the work she started, further expressing hope that Ople’s commitment to public service will inspire everyone to “put the needs of others before our own in pursuit of a more just and equitable society.”
Ople died on Tuesday at around 1:00 p.m. surrounded by her loved ones.