Statement, Migrante International
On the Passing of Secretary Toots Ople
22 August 2023
Migrante-International expresses its deepest condolences with the family, friends and colleagues of Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) Secretary Susan “Toots” Ople in the wake of news about her sudden passing.
Secretary Toots has a long and respectable record of NGO work and advocacy for migrant workers and all migrant Filipinos. While we have criticisms of her stint as DMW secretary and of the DMW, she did not close lines of communication with Migrante-International.
Recognizing that it is productive for the government to listen to grassroots organizations, families, and advocates of migrants, she engaged in dialogue on concrete measures to alleviate the plight of OFWs and migrant Filipinos. She would sometimes address our criticisms but without naming us and without the hostility shown by many government officials.
Her replacement, whoever s/he is, will surely have big shoes to fill.