DSWD Sec. Corazon “Dinky” Juliano-Soliman: Doctor of Humanities, honoris causa

Apr 9, 2014

by Ma. Elena L. Paulma, Ph.D


For her exemplary contributions to social work and community development, and for her untiring, unflinching and methodical service to the Filipino people especially in Mindanao, Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan conferred an Honorary Doctorate in Humanities to DSWD Secretary Corazon “Dinky” Juliano-Soliman during the 27 March 2014 Convocation for the University’s 75th Commencement Exercise 2014 held at the XU gymnasium.

DSWD Sec Dinky Soliman is conferred an Honorary Doctorate in Humanities by XU Pres Fr Bobby Yap

Mahusay, Matapat, at Magiliw na Paglilingkod sa Sambayanan.” 

These are the guiding principles of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) led by Secretary Corazon “Dinky” Juliano-Soliman. In the face of the grave challenges brought by 2013, especially in the aftermath of the most recent disasters that hit Mindanao such as Sendong, Pablo, and the MNLF siege of Zamboanga City, Dinky and her team stepped up and responded to what was most urgently  needed at that time.  She said that they were able to endure the physical and emotional challenges because they believed in the hope and strength of the Filipino people.

Fun moment with Engr Elpie Paras


Dinky believes that just as civil society should exact accountability from the government, it should also share in the responsibility for social change. She embodies this collaboration in her own life and work. Even as she acknowledges her roots in the NGO sector, she is currently revolutionizing the DSWD as secretary, steering it towards more people-empowering and holistic development programs.


She obtained her bachelor and master’s degrees in Social Work from the University of the Philippines-Diliman, and a master’s degree in Public Administration at the Kennedy School of Government in Harvard University.  As a young graduate of UP’s School of Social Work, she helped local farmers save native rice strains from extinction through a pioneering grassroots program of chemical-free cross-fertilization.


Pose for posterity with Archbishop Antonio Ledesma and XU Officers and Board of Trustees

Dinky is known for her stellar gift of facilitation and negotiation which has won her a very large following in all social strata on a nationwide scale.  She has lent this gift to formal institutions like the United Nations and other global fora without concern for personal credit.


At home, she is known to Muslim Mindanao, the Riverside communities of the Pasig River, the foothill communities of Mt Banahaw and farmers all over the country. Dinky was the executive Vice-President of Community Organizers Multiversity and Executive Director of CO-TRAIN.  In 1976, she was a pioneer, trainer and coordinator in developing a rural organizing program under the province’s Social Action Center in Bukidnon, Philippines.  In 1987, she successfully campaigned for the passage of the Agrarian Reform Law, uniting for a time the entire Philippine agrarian community.


Fun moment with Fr. Bobby Yap

Not surprisingly, Dinky has been a recipient of numerous awards and citations in the field of social work and community development, including the Ten Outstanding Women in the Nation’s Service Award in 1992 and the Most Distinguished Alumnus Award given by the University of the Philippines, also in 1992.


A committed social worker within and without the government walls, Dinky has managed to translate the language of the historically oppressed into working relations with the rest of Philippine society, under the belief that evolution, and not revolution, is the way to achieve sustainable change.


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