Philippines honors Campbell, Peace Corps with Golden Heart Award

Jun. 11, 2007

MANILA — President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo posthumously awarded today the Orden ng Gintong Puso (Order of the Golden Heart) with the rank of Officer to the late US Peace Corps Volunteer Julia Campbell who died in Ifugao last April.

The United States Peace Corps, which has been sending volunteers to the country since October 1961, was also given the same award, with the rank of Grand Cross.

Wearing a pretty avocado green dress and dressy pump heels of the same color, the President handed Campbells citation and medal handcrafted and assembled in gold and avocado green metal by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas to US Ambassador to the Philippines Kristie Kenney who was in a cream skirt ensemble.

Kenney was assisted by a Peace Corps volunteer, Joshua Corbett, who is presently assigned to a Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) youth facility in Magalang, Pampanga.

The late Campbell was a hardworking and persistent journalist in New York before she joined the US Peace Corps. She was killed while vacationing in Banaue, Ifugao province in Northern Luzon. Her self-confessed killer is set to be arraigned this month.

The award for the US Peace Corps was received by Country Director Carl Beck.

So far, more than 8,000 volunteers have served the Philippines since the arrival of the first group of 130 education volunteers in 1961. While the assignments of volunteers are regularly rotated, some 120 volunteers are always in the Philippines at any one time.

The US Peace Corps has been addressing the countrys development priorities with emphasis on mentoring and life skills development for the youth.

It has also been assisting and enhancing the English language teaching in the primary and secondary levels; promoting improved environmental governance and education through grassroots projects; and working with communities to improve and promote business development and training.

Among those who attended the awarding rites at Malacanangs Reception Hall were Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto Romulo, Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita, Armed Forces Chief Hermogenes Esperon and Philippine National Police Chief Oscar Calderon. (OPS) (

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