Bacolod fetes Pinoys in group that won Nobel Prize
BACOLOD CITY , Philippines– The Bacolod City Sanggunian passed a resolution expressing the highest appreciation to two Negrenses who are members of an international chemical weapons watchdog that won the Nobel Peace Prize for 2013.
Franz Ontal is head of inspector training of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) that won the prestigious award. He grew up in Victorias City and in Bacolod City.
The OPCW has nine more Filipino members and one of them is Criselda Javelosa Van Dasler, who is also from Bacolod City.
Van Dasler is the personal assistant of the head of the office of strategy and policy of OPCW. She has been working at the OPCW in the Netherlands since 2003.
Other Filipinos working at the OPCW are Helen Andriessen and Gemma van Oudheusden-Vincoy from Davao City; Jenniefer Balatbat, Allan Laroza, Roycelynne Reyes and Mary Ann Nieto-Schroor from Metro Manila; Michael Conche from General Santos City, and Emily Castriciones from Quezon City.
Supported by the United Nations, OPCW helped eliminate the Syrian army’s stockpiles of chemical weapons. It was honored by the Norwegian Nobel Committee for its extensive efforts to eliminate chemical weapons and promote world peace.
The resolution said the efforts of Ontal and Van Dasler are remarkable and will serve as an inspiration to all Filipinos.
“The dedication of Ontal and Van Dasler in serving humanity is a great pride and honor to all of us for it showed to others that we Filipinos also have exceptional talents and skills that can create an impressive mark in the international stage,” the resolution reads.
Negros Occidental Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr. also congratulated Ontal.
“It is our great pride that a Negrense, Franz Ontal, head of inspector training of OPCW, is part of the organization that won the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize this year,” he said.
“May Mr. Ontal’s feat inspire Negrenses, and motivate others to pursue genuine advocacy work. Our congratulations to Mr. Ontal and the other Filipinos who are members of OPCW,” he added.
Ontal’s family and the University of St. La Salle where he studied are also elated that the OPCW won the Nobel Peace Prize.
Bro. Ray Suplido, head of the University of Saint La Salle in Bacolod City, said Ontal serves as a good example to students and to others as one who uses his knowledge and skills in the service of humanity.
“Ontal’s being part of the organization is a great honor and pride for La Salle Bacolod, which inculcates in its students the need to work for causes that benefit the people,” he said.