ISAWAD General Manager Aleli C. Almodovar was recognized by the US Embassy to the Philippines for her vision, fearless leadership, and dedication to providing clean drinking water and improved sanitation services to conflict-affected communities in Isabela City, Basilan.

Deputy Chief of Mission Michael Klecheski, representing US Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim, awarded the plaque of recognition to GM Almodovar in a ceremony held at the US Embassy in Manila last August 2, 2018. Also present during the ceremony were USAID Philippines Mission Director Lawrence Hardy II, other officials and staff of the US Embassy Philippines and USAID Philippines, ISAWAD Board of Directors and staff, as well as family and friends of GM Almodovar.

The US Embassy to the Philippines nominated GM Almodovar to the 2018 US Secretary of State’s International Women of Courage (IWOC) Award where she became a finalist representing the country. The IWOC Award is an American award presented annually by the United States Department of State to women around the world who have shown leadership, courage, resourcefulness, and willingness to sacrifice for others, especially in promoting women’s rights.

In her response message during the recognition ceremony, GM Almodovar shared how she has always been branded as brave and fearless by her colleagues and for that, she even got the title of “Iron Lady” for being firm and relentless in her resolve to do what she sets herself out to accomplish especially in the many conflict-affected areas where she was assigned to in order to help bring about change and development. From these experiences, she has come to see courage as a virtue that is drawn from passion, strong determination, and commitment to change the lives of many people, particularly of as many Filipinos as she can.

GM Almodovar also recognized that throughout her journey in public service she also drew courage and strength from her a supportive family who has always backed my decisions even when it would entail sacrificing a lot of valuable time from them as well as from the hard work and support of equally-talented staff and the trust of her Board of Directors in the water district. She also highlighted the valuable opportunities given by partner organizations most especially from USAID Philippines which was very instrumental in the accomplishment of major water supply system improvements in Isabela City and in the realization of the dream of the water district to become the very first water district in Mindanao to implement a septage management program.