President Benigno Aquino III conferred the Order of the Golden Heart, Rank of Grand Collar (Marangal na Kuwintas) posthumously to Dr. Fe del Mundo during the necrological service held in del Mundo’s honor at the Department of Science and Technology in Bicutan, Taguig City, Metro Manila on 11 August 2011.
The Grand Dame of Philippine Medicine and the first female National Scientist, the 99-year old del Mundo died August 6 after a long and distinguished career.
In his eulogy, Pres. Aquino specially recognized Del Mundo’s significant contribution to the Philippine society, “even without holding a position in the government or being a successful entrepreneur” (Pinatunayan niyang hindi kailangang magkatunkulan sa gobyerno, o maging matagumpay na negosyante upang maka-ambag sa pag-unlad ng bansa.)
Pres. Aquino also noted that del Mundo “did not desire to be wealthy or powerful; she only focused her efforts on the health and sake of the children and the Filipino family.” (Hindi niya hinangad na magpakayaman at kumapit sa kapangyarihan, tanging ang kapakanan at kalusugan ng mga bata at pamilyang Pilipino ang kanyang tinutukan.)
Meanwhile DOST Secretary Mario Montejo noted that del Mundo’s stellar reputation and her various academic and professional recognitions were “overshadowed by her passion and quiet dignity.”
“Even in death, she continues to live in the hearts of those whose lives she touched warmly,” Montejo said.
Del Mundo earned local and international recognitions for her pioneering works in pediatrics and research works in dengue, polio, and measles. Aside from authoring the first local textbook on pediatrics in the country, del Mundo also showed her remarkable ingenuity when she developed an incubator made of bamboo which saved many babies in communities without electricity.
Del Mundo likewise moved for the immersion of physicians and other medical personnel in far-flung communities to effect greater coordination among medical professionals and the public, and improve the delivery of health programs such as immunization and nutrition.
Her initiatives on addressing the medical needs of children and indigents, and on strengthening the role of medical professionals in the greater community gave significant contributions to Philippine medicine.
The Order of the Golden Heart was first conferred in 1954 by the late President Ramon Magsaysay to recognize "those who have rendered distinguished services or given noteworthy monetary or other material aid, encouragement to the campaign for the amelioration and improvement of the moral, social, and economic conditions of the Filipino masses, and for volunteerism in the service of the Filipino masses." (Framelia V. Anonas, S&T Media Service)