In Memoriam: Felicidad Imperial-Soledad, leader in development and philanthropy in the Philippines

Felicidad “Fely” Imperial-Soledad passed away on December 21, 2014, after a struggle with cancer.

She was the Executive Director of the Philippine Council for NGO Certification, a nonprofit organization established by six of the country’s largest NGO networks and authorized by the Philippine government to certify non-governmental organizations.

She played a prominent role in the development of philanthropy in the Philippines, serving as Executive Director of the Association of Foundations (AF), an umbrella organization of about 150 foundations operating in cities and provinces in the Philippines, and also as the Executive Director of the League of Corporate Foundations (LCF), a network of some of the countr’s largest and most active corporate foundations.

It was during her term in AF and LCF that the Department of Finance (DOF) of the Philippines, through the Comprehensive Tax Reform Program, signified its intention to take away the tax benefits enjoyed by local donors to NGOs. AF and LCF were among the six national NGO networks that negotiated with DOF for the retention of the tax benefits and eventually became two of the founding members of PCNC. As Executive Director of AF and LCF, Fely was deeply involved in the brainstorming and consultation sessions with representatives of government and other sectors that led to the birth of PCNC. She managed PCNC’s operations from the training of evaluators to the evaluation of organizations applying for certification

Fely had spent over 20 years as an educator, including serving as a volunteer accreditor in the Higher Education Division of the Philippine Accrediting Association of Schools, Colleges, and Universities. While in the academic world, she was active in the Philippine NGO community, having helped to establish a number of non-governmental organizations in the southern part of the Philippines during the Marcos dictatorship.

A long-time member of the Synergos family, she became a Senior Fellow in 2004 and served on our Senior Fellows Advisory Board from 2003-2006.

“Fely Soledad was admired, respected and liked by all who knew her. She worked tirelessly to advance the nonprofit sector in the Philippines, and to support collaboration with business and government. Her experience - which she generously shared - has proven valuable to her Synergos colleagues in every part of the world. She will be greatly missed.”