Tribute to Dr. Amelou B. Reyes

As the eldest of the 3rd generation of the Benitez, the family legacy on education was entrusted to Dr. Amelou Benitez Reyes as the 8th president of the Philippine Women’s University (2003 to 2009) and 2nd president of the Philippine Women’s College (PWC) of Davao. The Benitez Legacy on education and service to the nation was the cornerstone of her presidential leadership. After her term, she continued her service as a member of both the PWU and PWC Board of Trustees.

As FAPE Director and Assistant Vice-president, she conceptualized the Graduate Centers, now known as Centers of Excellence and Development; the Educational Voucher Scheme (now being implemented as the DepEd service contracting program), and the Faculty Scholarship Assistance and Teachers’ Training improvement programs. ABR was the founding executive director of the Federation of Accrediting Agencies of the Philippines (FAAP) and directed the conceptualization and establishment of the PERAA (Private Education Retirement Annuity Association). For her pioneering work on education development, she was the TOWNS (The Outstanding Women in the Nation’s Service) awardee for education in 1981.

In the field of women’s advancement, Dr. Reyes was president of the National Council of Women of the Philippines (NCWP) from 2005 to 2012 and vice-president of the ASEAN Federation of Women’s Organizations (ACWO is a member of the ASEAN Committee on Women). As NCWP President, Dr. Reyes spearheaded the ACWO regional conference on WOMENOMICS: empowering women and expanding their participation in the globalized economy. ABR was also president of the Women’s Studies Association of the Philippines (WSAP) promoting gender-fair curriculum and women’s education as the essence of spiritual transformative leadership through womenomics responding to globalization.

ABR served as Commissioner for Culture and Arts in the National Commission on the Role of Filipino Women. As former NCRFW Chair, ABR helped conceptualize the mainstreaming of women’s agenda for women’s empowerment. As head of the RP delegation to the UN General Assembly Special Session, Women 2000 Beijing Plus 5, Dr. Reyes successfully introduced in the UNCSW Outcome Document (paragraph 34) the concept of HERSTORY whereby the invisibility of women in historical documentation could be remedied so that women’s contributions and achievements can be recorded and disseminated and made substantial part of the nation’s history.

Until her death, she was the President of the United Nations Association of the Philippines (UNAP) and a Board Member of the Girl Scouts of the Philippines.

Dr. Amelou Benitez Reyes and the late Professor Alejandro Albert Reyes of the Asian Institute of Management (AIM) have four children and 15 grandchildren: Freddie (PWU Trustee and VP for External Affairs) and Myra Reyes; Martin† and Yvette Dizon Reyes; Marlyn and Tony Lilles; Alex and Dra. Tintin Santiago Reyes. All her children are professionals involved in various businesses and socio-civic organizations. ABR’s grandchildren include: Mika, Mikyle, Misha Aina and Chesca; Andie, Sevi, Chino and Rafa; Maia & Miela Lilles; and Renzo, Ryvo, Ravi and Rohan.

Daily Novena Masses for Dr. Amelou B. Reyes will be held on Zoom and live-streamed on YouTube via PWU_Official from April 5 to April 12, 2021 8PM Manila time (5AM West Coast, 8AM East Coast).

A celebration of ABR’s life will be held on Friday, April 9, 2021, at 8 PM (Manila Time) with live streaming on PWU Official Facebook.

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