CITY OF MALOLOS – Governor Daniel R. Fernando together with Vice Gov. Alexis C. Castro urged Bulakenyos to walk with the same ideals and spirit of the late Gat Blas ‘Ka Blas’ F. Ople during the commemoration of his 97th Birth Anniversary held in front of Gat Blas F. Ople Building: Sentro ng Kabataan, Kaalaman, at Hanapbuhay, Antonio S. Bautista, Bulacan Provincial Capitol Compound here on Saturday, February 3, 2024.
He said, “Habang tinatahak natin ang mga hamon ng ating panahon, pamarisan natin ang kanyang diwa ng kahusayan, pagkamalasakit, at pagmamahal sa ating mga kababayan. Gayundin ang kanyang dedikasyon at adbokasiya para sa karapatan ng manggagawa. Higit sa lahat, ang kanyang matibay na pangako sa kapakanan ng bawat Pilipino”.
He emphasized that Ka Blas’s excellence in public service is an honor that his children are continually embracing and pursuing.
“Nais ko lamang bigyang diin na ang kahusayan ni Ka Blas sa pagseserbisyo-publiko ay karangalang naipagpatuloy ng kanyang mga anak”, he added.
Also, in his speech, Department of Foreign Affairs Undersecretary for Migrant Workers’ Affairs Eduardo Jose A. De Vega, representative of DFA Secretary Enrique A. Manalo as guest of honor, said that they are continuously emulating the good deeds of Ka Blas during his time as the DFA secretary from July 16, 2002 to December 14, 2003.
“Sa ilalim ng liderato ng kasalukuyang Kalihim Enrique A. Manalo, patuloy po naming isinasapuso ang mga aral at mabuting halimbawa na ipinakita ni Gat Blas F. Ople. Sa mahigit isang taon niyang pamumuno sa DFA, malaki ang naging ambag niya bilang Punong Sugo ng Pilipinas. Una na rito ang pagpapatibay niya sa pagprotekta ng karapatan at pagtaguyod ng kapakanan ng ating mga Overseas Filipino Workers. Hanggang ngayon, nananatili pa rin itong kasama sa Tatlong Haligi ng ating Polisiyang Panlabas, kasama ng pambansang seguridad (national security) at diplomasyang pang-ekonomiya (economic diplomacy),” De Vega said.
He added that Ople played a big role in the passage of Republic Act for overseas absentee voting and dual citizenship.
“Tunay na maituturing siyang huwarang anak ng Bulacan na naging respetadong lider hindi lamang sa ating bansa kundi sa mundo ng diplomasya”, the DFA undersecretary said.
Meanwhile, a wreath laying ceremony was held in front of Ople’s monument and was attended by City of Malolos Councilor Therese Cheryll Ople, Hagonoy Councilor Dalisay Ople-San Jose, Board Members Romina Fermin and Casey E. Howard, and Provincial Government of Bulacan department heads and employees headed by Provincial Administrator Antonette V. Constantino.
February 3, 2024 was declared as Special Working Holiday in the Province of Bulacan.