Former Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) secretary Corazon “Dinky” Soliman passed away on Sunday morning at the age of 68.
The news was confirmed by Vice President Leni Robredo and former Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima.
During her weekly radio show, Robredo offered these words: “May napakalungkot na balita tayong natanggap, ngayon lang, na si former DSWD Secretary Dinky Soliman ay namayapa na ngayong umaga.”
(We just received very sad news that former DSWD Secretary Dinky Soliman passed away this morning.)
“Napakabuting tao,” she continued. “‘Yung buong buhay niya dinevote niya talaga sa paninilbihan sa mga mahihirap.”
(Such a good person. She really devoted her whole life to serving the poor.)
Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan also offered words of condolence in remembrance of Soliman. “Rest in peace, my dear classmate,” the senator said. “Hanggang sa huli, wala kang kapaguran sa mga laban para sa kapwa. Pahinga ka na sa gitna ng malawak at magandang bukid ng sunflowers sa langit.”
(Until the end, you did not give up on the fight for others. Rest in the midst of a wide and beautiful field of sunflowers in heaven.)
Soliman headed the DSWD during the terms of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III.
As chief of the DSWD, Soliman spearheaded programs like the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR) and helped lead massive relief efforts for Typhoon Yolanda victims.
She was also known for anti-poverty and anti-trafficking projects and supported initiatives like the 4Ps (Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program), which helped provide cash grants to struggling Filipinos.
“We pray for the eternal repose of her soul,” Soliman’s husband, public interest lawyer Hector Soliman, said. “We will share details of the wake later, and ask that the family be given some time and privacy for grieving.”
The DSWD also released a statement on their social media page, calling Soliman a “brilliant social worker” and a “champion of social change.”
“The DSWD family will truly miss Secretary Dinky,” the department said. “Apart from her notable accomplishments for the Department, she will also be remembered for her sunflower greetings.”
Soliman died at 7:32AM due to complications from renal and heart failure. She is survived by her husband, two children, and three grandchildren.