Sponsorship Speech of Sen. Bam Aquino on Confirmation of Sec. Leonor Magtolis Briones as DepEd Secretary

Mr. President, majority floor leader, dear colleagues, magadang hapon.

 I stand before this Chamber as the Chairperson of the CA Committee on Education, Culture and Sports to recommend the approval of the confirmation of Secretary Leonor “Liling” Briones of the Department of Education.

 Mr. President, just this week, the Senate sent a strong signal to the Filipino people with an 18-0 vote for the passage of the Affordable Higher Education for All Act.

The message? As a country, we prioritize is education. The investment to educate our countrymen and arm them with the knowledge and skills to overcome poverty is the best investment we can make as a country.

 So today, Mr. President, it is my distinct privilege to manifest support for an esteemed Filipina who can lead the charge to provide quality education for every Filipino.

 Isa po siyang katangi-tanging lingkod bayan na kilala sa pagsulong ng de kalidad na edukasyon kasabay ng mabuti at maayos na pamamahala — she is no other than the incumbent Secretary of the Department of Education, Sec. Leonor Liling Briones.

Mr. President, our nominee has always exhibited excellence.

She graduated Magna Cum Laude in Business Administration major in Accountancy at Silliman University in 1958.

In 1967, she completed her Master’s Degree in Public Administration and was awarded Dean’s Lister for Local Government and Fiscal Administration in the University of the Philippines, Diliman campus.

 In 1968, she completed her Diploma course with distinction in Development Administration with a major in Public Enterprises in Leeds University, England.

 She also completed specialized studies in governance at Harvard University in 1984 and then again in 2004.

 But, distinguished colleagues, Sec. Briones has extended her reach beyond academic excellence. She has also embraced her passion for public service.

She served as the Secretary of the Commission on Audit for 9 years, from 1978 to 1987.

In 1996, she became the Vice President for Finance and Administration of the University of the Philippines System for two years before serving as the Presidential Adviser for Social Development.

Then, in 2001, Sec. Briones served as the country’s Treasurer. And as we are all aware for the past months, she lent her expertise, talents, and skills as the incumbent Secretary of the Department of Education.

Mr. President, kaakibat ng kanyang paglingkod sa bayan ang kanyang pagmamahal sa edukasyon.

As a technocrat in public administration, she maintained her involvement in the academe.

For forty years, she served as a professor and a faculty member at the graduate level of her alma mater – the UP National College of Public Administration and Governance, which we all know as NCPAG.

And in March 2013, the board of Regents of the same University conferred to her the honorary title Professor Emeritus.

 Not one to be confined – whether as a member of the academe or as a government official – Sec. Briones was also the Lead Convenor of Social Watch Philippines where she led a civil society campaign to increase the budget for social services, especially for education.

Mr. President, her service in various capacities, not to mention her consultancy engagements across sectors, has merited her numerous awards – perhaps too many to mention this afternoon.

What is evident is that Sec. Briones has made a lifelong commitment to exceptional public service. And we are fortunate to have her serve as a leader in our country’s pursuit of excellence in education.

 Honored colleagues, based on the accomplishments alone, it is clear that Sec. Briones is qualified for this job.

 And based on my personal experience working with her over the past 8 months, I can say that she truly is champion for education – one who can make our hopes and dreams for every Filipino student a reality.

And with that, Mr. President, dear colleagues, it is my distinct honor to endorse Sec. Leonor Liling Briones for the position, Secretary of the Department of Education.

Maraming salamat po, Mr. President!

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