Newly appointed Philippine Honorary Consul for Alaska Rebecca “Becky” Carrillo, of Juneau, says she has much to learn still, but that one of her goals is to build a more productive relationship between Alaska and the Philippines.
She received a warm welcome on Saturday, Oct. 24, at an Anchorage luncheon in her honor.
A petite, soft spoken woman, she asked those gathered to greet her during Philippine-American History Month, including Alaska Deputy Commissioner of Labor Nelson San Juan, for their patience and cooperation as she became more acquainted with her new role.
As conditions allow during the novel coronavirus pandemic, Carrillo will be traveling throughout Alaska to provide consular, passport and immigration-related services to Alaska residents of Philippine heritage. There are currently over 30,000 individuals living in Alaska with ties to the Philippines, including many residents of Cordova.
Carrillo was sworn in as honorary consul in Juneau on Sept. 30. Her appointment was approved by the Philippine Secretary of Foreign Affairs Teodoro LL. Locsin Jr., with support of the Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose Manuel Romualdez.
Prior to that appointment, Carrillo served over 25 years as the state lead in Alaska for the federal Special Supplemental Food Program for Women, Infants and Children, providing services to some 27,000 low-income participants with nutritional health risks, retiring in 2017.
She also retired on Sept. 30 from a post with Alaska Airlines, where she worked for 25 years.
Through her work she has traveled extensively throughout Alaska, working with local agencies, tribal corporations, and health and social service providers to deliver healthcare to low income women, infants and children, and to provide nutritional education and counseling.
Most notably, in her extensive work with the WIC program, she secured community partnerships that led to the establishment of local WIC agencies serving the Cordova/Valdez area, as well as the Kenai Peninsula, Aleutian Pribilof Islands and Kodiak. In that capacity she also implemented U.S. Department of Agriculture Civil Rights requirements ensuring equal access to services and employment opportunities for grievance and fair hearing processes and complaint resolution and implemented the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s child immunization requirements for infants and children.
Through her work with WIC, Carrillo coordinated the Emergency Preparedness Response Initiative of the Section of Family Nutritional Services ad collaborated with a multi-disciplinary team to reduce nutrition-related and preventable diseases such as anemia, obesity diabetes and low birth weight. She also was instrumental in coordinating the addition of canned Alaska salmon into the national WIC food packages sponsored by the late Sen. Ted Stevens, and in collaboration with USDA officials.
Carrillo has received a number of honors for her work, including a National Association of WIC Directors Leadership Award in 1999. She was also honored by the 29th Alaska Legislature in 2016 for her 32 years of service with the WIC program, and also by the city and borough of Juneau for her many contribution so to public health in Alaska and the Philippines.
Carrillo was born in Manila, but grew up in Bulacan, in the Central Luzon region of the Philippines. She graduated from St. Paul College in Iloilo City with a bachelor’s degree in nursing in 1980. A year later she moved to Juneau, where she and her husband raised their son Ryan and daughter Laura. Now the grandmother of four, she also enjoys travel and gardening.