Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Asuncion Arriola-Perez on Stamps

Asuncion Arriola Perez (1895-1967) a simple and quiet individual but her deeds speak for her. She has been a servant to her fellow men since she became a social worker for the Red Cross in 1924. She has unselfishly helped her countrymen specially the less fortunate. As the saying goes "Once a social worker, always a social worker.

She was the Executive Secretary of the Associated Charities of Manila and the Red Cross. During the was she and her husband were arrested by the Japanese. After the war she was called back to government service as superintendent of the Relief Office for the Greater Manila Area. As president of the PACSA (President's Action Committee on Social Ameliorization) she was entrusted to handle a budget of 4 million pesos to rehabilitate victims of the war. At the close of 1953 when President Quirino lost to Ramon Magsaysay, she resigned from her post as cabinet member. This brought to a close the government service of this great woman, Asuncion Arriola Perez.

She also provided social work training for college graduates since there was no course offered at that time. The training that she provided developed important people who are occupying important positions in government here and abroad. During the great depression in the United States, the American government decided to send home Filipinos working there. As she was aware of the social impact to the Philippines of such a move, President Quezon sent her to represent the Phil. Government in the U.S and her efforts paid off.

Her views were well respected by the social workers in the U.S and no Filipino was sent back home. She was also the first Filipina to be appointed as Director of Public Welfare. When the war broke out she was appointed as colonel with special assignment in the intelligence network but unfortunately in 1944 she was arrested together with her husband at Fort Santiago from February 3 to May 25. Her husband was executed by the Japanese. She died at the age of 73.

The stamp above was issued on June1, 1995.