2 August 2013 – The Philippine Embassy in Kuala Lumpur's Labor Attaché Dr. Alicia D. Santos was bestowed the Gawad Mabini with the rank of Dakilang Kasugo in ceremonies held on July 31 in Manila on the occasion of the 115th Department of Foreign Affairs Foundation Day.

The Presidential award, the highest given to DFA and foreign service personnel and service attaches, was bestowed on Labor Attaché Santos by Secretary of Foreign Affairs Albert F. Del Rosario upon the recommendation of Philippine Ambassador to Malaysia J. Eduardo Malaya.

Dr. Santos was given the recognition for her work with the Filipino community in Malaysia, particularly in unifying the Filipino community organizations in Malaysia under one umbrella organization, the Federation of Filipino Associations in Malaysia (FFAM), and for working for its accreditation with the Malaysian Registry of Societies. The organization received its accreditation in August last year.

The FFAM is composed of around 35 Filipino community organizations and has been the Embassy's conduit in activities involving the Filipino community.

Under the Ambassador's supervision, Labor Attaché Santos also organized events for the Filipino community, through the Filipino Workers Resource Center (FWRC), where education, skills training and financial literacy being the main thrust of its activities. The FWRC in Kuala Lumpur prides itself at not just being a refuge to distressed Filipinos in Malaysia, but also as a center where Filipinos can enhance their knowledge and skills.

"Dr. Santos has been a most valuable and effective member of the Embassy team in the accomplishment of its missions and undertaking of its initiatives. She and the Philippine Overseas Labor Office staff have been very helpful in not just safeguarding and protecting the welfare of Filipinos in Malaysia, but also as partners in the Embassy's various initiatives. We are happy and proud that she was recognized for her exemplary achievements," Ambassador Malaya said.

With a career in government service spanning almost 35 years, Dr. Santos started in government as an Administrative Officer at the National Manpower and Youth Council (now Technical Education and Skills Development Authority) in 1977 and worked her way up to becoming Regional Director of the Department of Labor and Employment.

She has a storied career as Labor Attaché, serving in countries such as South Korea, Lebanon, Syria and Italy before her present position.

Dr. Santos holds a master's degree in Public Policy and Program Administration from the University of the Philippines and a masters of arts in English literature from the University of Santo Tomas. She was also conferred a Doctor of Humanities, honoris causa, by the Universiti of Regina Carmeli. END