What rare award did ex-cong Arenas receive? Find out here

Former Deputy Speaker and Pangasinan 3rd district Rep. Rose Marie Arenas has just received a rare honor among parliamentarians in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Former Pangasinan 3rd district Rep. Rose Marie Arenas (2nd from left, standing) receives her Distinguished Service Award from AIPA (PPAB)

During the closing ceremony of the 43rd General Assembly of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA) last Nov. 24,, Arenas was given the AIPA Distinguished Service Award.

According to the Philippine House of Representatives, this was the first Distinguished Service Award to be received be received by a member of the country’s delegation in 20 years.

The 43rd AIPA general assembly held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Arenas represented Pangasinan's 3rd district in the House from 2013 to 2022, and was elected as vice chairperson of the Committee on East ASEAN Growth Area in 2013; chairperson of the Committee on Inter-Parliamentary Relations and Diplomacy in 2016; and Deputy Speaker in 2018.

In recognition of the honor Arenas brought to the country, the House plenary adopted House Resolution (HR) No. 598.

The resolution hailed Arenas for her “stellar participation” in major AIPA activities, particularly during the 38th AIPA General Assembly held in September 2017 in Manila, where she successfully mounted and adeptly managed important and spectacular ceremonies.

It noted that during her term as chairperson of the Committee on Inter-Parliamentary Relations and Diplomacy, Arenas displayed exceptional administrative leadership and diplomatic abilities, and guided the Philippine delegation in crafting important policies, rules, and resolutions for adoption during major inter-parliamentary assemblies.

Arenas also served as an adviser to the delegation of the House of Representatives to the inter-parliamentary meeting between the Philippine parliamentarians and members of the European Union (EU) Parliament in 2022.

She was the head of the Philippine delegation and speaker during inter-parliamentary exchanges and meetings from 2017 to 2022; panelist in the First East Asia Forum in 2018; and chairperson of the AIPA Committees on Organizational, Economic, and Social Matters of the Philippine Delegation from 2017 to 2021;

The resolution also cited Arenas’s advocacy that centered on the rights and protection of Filipino seafarers and overseas Filipino workers, and the rights of women, children, and migrant workers during her nine years as a legislator.

Arenas authored about three hundred House bills and resolutions, and co-authored several bills that were passed into laws including Republic Act (RA) No. 10747 or the “Rare Diseases Act of the Philippines", RA 10929 or the “Free Internet Access in Public Spaces Act", and RA 11641 or the “Department of Migrant Workers Act".

The resolution was introduced by Speaker Martin Romualdez, Majority Leader Mannix Dalipe, Minority Leader Marcelino Libanan, Senior Deputy Majority Leader Sandro Marcos, and Tingog Party-List Reps. Yedda Marie Romualdez and Jude Acidre.