Quezon City Administrator Aldrin C. Cuña provided a brief background on the award, which is conferred to Quezon City’s outstanding women who embody the 7 virtues of Melchora Aquino – katapatan (honesty), kasipagan (industry), paglilingkod (service), palabra de honor (word of honor), kagandahang loob (kindness), mapagmalasakit (caring), and pagkalinga (protectiveness).
Previous awardees include Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales, former QC Mayor Adelina Rodriquez, and journalist Tina Monzon-Palma.
Accepting the award in behalf of the senator is her daughter, Amina Rasul-Bernardo, President of the Philippine Center for Islam and Democracy. The conferment ceremony was held during the commemoration of the 207th birth anniversary of Melchora Aquino at the Tandang Sora National Shrine in Barangay Tandang Sora last January 6, 2019. Ms. Bernardo is also joined by the relatives of Senator Rasul.
Representative Kit Belmonte cited the former senator’s outstanding contributions to the country as the rationale for her selection as this year's awardee. These include her sterling work in Philippine legislation such as Republic Act 6949, the law recognizing March 8 each year as National Women's Day in the Philippines and Republic Act 7192 or the Women in Development and Nation Building Act of 1995. The latter opened the doors of the Philippine Military Academy to women and advocated for the allocation of government funds for programs that would benefit and develop women's capabilities.
Dr. Rasul joined government service as a public-school teacher in 1952. She has held various positions in government representing Muslims and Cultural Minorities, including: Commissioner of the National Commission on the Role of Filipino Women (NCRFW) from 1976 to 1985, UNESCO Philippine Commission (1986-1989), Member Textbook Board, Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports in 1986. She was elected Senator of the Republic of the Philippines in 1987 and re-elected in 1992. She was the first and only woman Muslim senator elected and the first Muslim senator re-elected to the Senate.