■ Ofelia C. Empian
For her dedication and excellence in service to the community, Cordilleran lawyer Mary Inglay Capu-yan-Fokno has been chosen as the country’s “Outstanding Professional of the Year” in the field of social work by the Professional Regulation Commission.
The “Outstanding Professional of the Year” is the highest award bestowed by PRC upon a professional, as recommended by their peer for having successfully conducted themselves with integrity in the exercise of their profession.
PRC Commissioner Erwin Enad, in a letter dated Oct. 25 to Fokno, popularly known as “Inglay”, said the award will be conferred on Dec. 10 in Metro Manila for the Cordilleran lawyer who has demonstrated professional competence of the highest decree.
“The demonstration of competence and integrity is shown by the professional’s meaningful participation in professional activities through the professional organization, significant contribution for the advancement of the profession, and effective discharge of social responsibility through personal or professional engagement in social-related activities,” Enad said.
Inglay was born in Sagada, Mountain Province where she also completed her secondary education at St. Mary’s School.
She graduated as a social worker at Silliman University in 1976 before taking up her Masters in Social Work in UP Diliman in 1979. She took her Law degree at Saint Louis University in 1985. She then took and passed the bar exams in 1991, and established the Fokno Law Office on the same year.
She serves as a legal counsel for small-scale miners and juvenile delinquents. She also opened Cordillera Quest to provide out-of-school youths from Benguet and nearby provinces skills training from the Technical Education Skills and Development Authority.
Her restaurant, Inglay Restaurant in La Trinidad, Benguet, had served as a food drive many times to calamity victims. During the pandemic lockdown, she also opened a feeding station in the restaurant.
The PRC said the awards “remain as an avenue for recognizing and honoring professionals that are hallmarks of integrity, responsibility, competence, excellent service, and valuable contribution to the professions.”
She was awarded for the second time as an Outstanding Social Worker in the Philippines by the Philippine Association of Social Workers, Inc. during its 75th Jubilee celebration of service in Manila City, Philippines on Sept. 22.
In 2022, the municipality of La Trinidad also honored Inglay for outstanding professional social service work and as among the 24 awardees of the Special Kayabang Awards during its 72nd foundation anniversary celebration.