Women Leaders


Estrella F. Alabastro
Secretary Estrella Fagela Alabastro was appointed to head the Department of Science and Technology on 12 March 2001. Previous to that, she was the Department's Undersecretary for Research and Development since July 1995.

Dr. Alabastro was Officer-in-Charge of the Philippine Council for Advanced Science and Technology Research and Development from July 1997-April 1998 and Executive Director of the Philippine Council for Industry and Energy Research and Development from July 1991-January 1995. She is currently Professorial Lecturer at the College of Home Economics and the Technology Management Center of the University of the Philippines (UP).

A registered chemical engineer and Career Executive Service Officer, she obtained her Bachelor's degree in Chemical Engineering, cum laude, from UP in 1961. She also holds Masters and Doctorate degrees in Chemical Engineering from the Rice University in Houston, Texas in 1965 and 1967, respectively.

Dr. Alabastro is the recipient of several awards, including the Most Outstanding Alumna of the UP College of Engineering (1977), the Achievement Award in Food Technology from the National Research Council of the Philippines (1987) and Fellow for Outstanding Achievement in Food Research from the Philippine Association of Nutrition (1988). She is also a three-time President of the Philippine Association of Food Technologists. Likewise, she has attended numerous conferences and workshops and has written several research papers on food technology and processes.

Contact information:
Gen. Santos Ave., Bicutan, Taguig, Metro Manila, Philippines
Tel 837-2071 to 82/ 837-3171 to 90 Trunkline
Web www.dost.gov.ph

Corazon Cojuangco-Aquino
Ms. Aquino assumed the Philippine presidency in the aftermath of the first People Power Revolution in February 1986, which toppled the corrupt regime of Ferdinand E. Marcos. Her ascendancy to the presidency is attributed to the assassination of her husband, Senator Benigno S. Aquino, in August 1983.

Chosen as Time Magazine's Woman of the Year in 1986, her term is best remembered for restoring democracy in the Philippines, which has been under military rule since 1972.

After turning over the reins of power to her elected successor in 1992, she has been actively involved in non-governmental organizations advocating for transparency and good governance. Together with Manila Archbishop Jaime Cardinal Sin, she led hundreds of thousand of Filipinos in rallying against the constitutional reform in 1997 in what was then perceived as a way to lift term limits for public officials. In January 2001, again with Cardinal Sin, she led Filipinos in the second People Power Revolution, which ousted movie actor-turned-president Joseph Estrada.

Related links:
Various websites on Cory Aquino
Women's International Center - Biography
Speech during the 1996 William Fulbright Prize for International Understanding
Time's 1986 Woman of the Year
1986 EDSA Revolution

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Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo

She was sworn in as the country's 14th Philippine President on 20 January 2001 after the Supreme Court unanimously declared the position of the President vacant when Joseph Estrada was ousted by the people's uprising in the second People Power Revolt.

She first entered government service in 1986 during the administration of former President Corazon Cojuangco-Aquino as Undersecretary of Trade and Industry. She ran for the Senate in 1992 and was reelected in 1995 with 16 million votes, the highest in Philippine history at that time. In 1998 she was elected as Vice President.

Some of the legislation she authored/co-authored for women are as follows:

For more information visit: GMA's website

Related links:

Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo: President of the Philippines
Inaugural speech of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
Speeches of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo

Risa Hontiveros-Baraquel
Ana Theresia "Risa" Hontiveros-Baraquel is a peace activist. She is a member of the Coalition for Peace (CfP), serving as Secretary-General from 1988 to 1992, and a member of the National Peace Conference since its inception in 1990, serving on its Governing Council. She was also a member of the Multi-Sectoral Peace Advocates and of the Peace Consortium (for CfP).

From August 1998 to June 1999, Risa was a member of the Government Panel for Peace Talks with the National Democratic Front, chairing the Panel's Reciprocal Working Committee on Socio-Economic Reforms.

In August 2001, Risa is re-elected as Chairperson of Pandayan para sa Sosyalistang Pilipinas (Pandayan/Forge for a Socialist Philippines), a democratic socialist political organization. She is also a member of Pilipina, a socialist feminist organization. She also serves in the following non-profit institutions: as member of the Board of Directors of Amnesty International Pilipinas; Institute for Politics and Governance; and as Executive Committee member of Akbayan-Citizens Action Party, a democratic left political party. Risa has also been active on the international front in gender and peace issues promoting women's contribution to a culture of peace.

Since 1986, Risa has variously anchored, hosted, and produced public affairs and news programs on five of the six television channels in the Philippines. Since late 1998, she has been producing documentaries as a freelancer. She is about to co-host two current affairs programs on one of the cable channels in the country

Contact information:
Address: PASCRES, Room 207, 2nd Floor Center for Community Services Building, Social Development Complex, Ateneo de Manila University, Loyola Heights, Quezon City.
Tel (632) 4265657/ 4266001
Email kaugnay@codewan.com.ph

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Emilia T. Boncodin
Emilia T. Boncodin is the Secretary of the Department of Budget and Management. She is among the six fenale secretaries in the Macapagal-Arroyo cabinet.

Sec. Boncodin is a true-blue career official whose ascent up the hierarchical ladder at the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) is nothing short of meteoric. From Senior Fiscal Planning Specialist in 1978, she quickly rose to become Division Chief at age 27, then Director of the then Office of Budget and Management, and then Officer-in-Charge of the Government Corporations Budget Bureau of the reorganized DBM. In 1989, she was appointed as Assistant Secretary and eventually in 1991 as Undersecretary of DBM.

On the side, she was a Professorial Lecturer at the University of the Philippines and the Lyceum of the Philippines.

Contact information:
(632) 735-4926/ 7351959/ 7354847
(632) 7354927
Email etb@dbm.gov.ph

Karina Constantino-David
A noted civil society leader, Karina Constantino-David was appointed February 23,2001 by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo as chair of the Civil Service Commission.

Immediately preceding her appointment as CSC chairperson, Chair David headed the highest policy-making and coordinating office on shelter and urban development, the HUDCC, from 1998-1999. As the housing czarina, Chair David was mainly responsible for setting housing and urban development goals and strategies, monitoring of targets and broadening of private sector participation.

Prior to government service, David was the executive director of HASIK or Harnessing Self-Reliant Initiatives and Knowledge from 1988-1998. HASIK is a non-government organization whose activities are focused on the urban poor, gender, children and adolescents, and housing and livelihood. Other organizations where she held prime posts were the Caucus of Development NGO Networks (president, 1989-1998); Women's Action Network for Development (vice chairperson, 1990-1998); Partnership of Philippine Support Service Agencies (chairperson, 1989-1995); Independent Commission on Population and the Quality of Life (commissioner, 1992-1996); and People's Forum for Habitat II (national convenor, 1995-1996).

David has served as consultant for women and poverty and women's program policy planning of the Asian and Pacific Development Center. In 1989, she also served as consultant for the women's mission of GTZ or Deutsche Gessellscahft Fur Technische Zusammenarbeit and on women for enterprise development mission of the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). From 1988-89, Chair David was the over-all consultant for the Philippine Development Plan for Women at the National Commission on the Role of Filipino Women (NCRFW). Chair David has again rendered consultancy services at the NCRFW from 1995-96 for the Philippine Plan for Gender Responsive Development. Presently, she is an active member of the Philippine Sociological Society, Human Development Network, and Asia-Pacific Development Journal.

David is a performing artist as well. From 1981 up to present, Chair David is a composer-guitarist of Inang Laya, a female duo that performs and records progressive and feminist songs. Inang Laya has cut a number of albums.

Contact information:
CSC Building, Constitutional Hills Batasang Complex, Diliman 1119, Quezon City
Tel (632) 931-7913/ 9318187
Fax (632) 931-7997
Email cscphil@csc.gov.ph

Profile of Chair Karina Constantino-David

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Teresita Quintos-Deles
Teresita Quintos-Deles has been one of the most respected NGO leaders in the Philippines. She served as Executive Director of the Gaston Z. Ortigas Peace Institute since its founding in 1991 until her recent appointment to government as Secretary of the National Anti-Poverty Commission in January 2001.

Ging, as she is called by her NGO colleagues, was a co-founder of the Coalition for Peace, the Philippines' first citizen's peace formation to emerge after the 1986 People Power uprising. She was a co-convenor of the first "International Conference on Conflict Resolution in the Philippines" in 1988; convenor of the "International Consultation on Women as Peacemakers: Toward Beijing and Beyond" in 1995; and was Vice-Chairperson of the Forum on Early Warning and Early Response (FEWER) since 1999.

Ging has maintained an active involvement in the women's movement since 1981 when she helped to found PILIPINA, which is recognized as the first women's organization in the Philippines to espouse an explicitly "homegrown feminist" line. PILIPINA claims its primary constituency among women development workers and operates with autonomous chapters in the National Capital Region and nine provinces spread throughout the country. PILIPINA spearheaded the formation of Abanse! Pinay, which was one of only thirteen parties which garnered the required number of votes in the first party-list elections held in 1998. Ging sits as a member of the Executive Committee of PILIPINA.

On the women's international front, Ging was a founding member and served on the steering committee of the Asian Women's Research and Action Network (AWRAN), which produced the fourteen-country "Alternative Asian (and Pacific) Report on the Impact of the UN Decade for Women", a paper presented at the NGO Forum on Women held in Nairobi in 1985. In 1989, she was elected to a four-year term as an expert-member of the United Nations Committee on the Elemination of Discrimination Against Women (UN-CEDAW), subsequently serving as Committee Rapporteur in 1992-1993.

Contact Address:
Secretary Teresita Quintos-Deles, Lead Convenor of the National Anti-Poverty Commission
Tel. Nos. (632) 3733361 to 64

Loren Legarda-Leviste
An award winning broadcast journalist, Loren Legarda-Leviste was elected to the Philippine Senate in 1998 topping the senatorial race with an overwhelming mandate of more than 15 million votes. She is the youngest woman ever elected to the Senate.

At the opening of the 12th Philippine Congress in July 2001, she was elected Senate Majority Floor Leader, another first in the history of Philippine politics.

As a legislator, Senator Legarda has devoted herself to some of the most critical issues and concerns facing Philippine society. She has encapsulated these concerns in the acronym LOREN - Law and Order; Rights of Women, youth and children; Education, environment and employment; and Nationalism. She authored/co-authored the following significant legislation such as the Philippine Clean Air Act (RA 8479); Public Employment Service Office (RA 8759), Mt. Kitanglad Protected Area Act (RA 8978), Early Childhood Care and Development Act (RA 8980), Batanes Protected Area Act (RA 8991), and the Integrated Solid Waste Management Act (RA 9003).

In 1999, Senator Legarda was the only woman in the so-called "Magnificent Five" who voted against the controversial RP-US Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA), despite tremendous public pressure for its ratification.

For her contributions and achievements for the protection and preservation of the environment, the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) elected her into its prestigious Global 500 Roll of Honour for the year 2001. As a new laureate, she is now part of a global network of allies assisting the UNEP in its responsibilities for the care of our planet.

Contact information:
Senate of the Philippines
GSIS Headquarters Building Financial Center,
Roxas Blvd., Pasay City
Tel Nos. 552-6872 – Executive Staff
552-6770 551-7789 – Legislative Staff
551-7608 – Projects/Constituency
551-7603 – Media Relations
552-6601 loc. 5540, 5541
Fax: 551-7763

Email llegarda@info.com.ph, legis@info.com.ph

Related links:
Senator Loren Legarda-Leviste

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Patricia Licuanan

Patricia Licuanan has actively participated in research, training, and advocacy work in applied social psychology, education, and educational reform, human resource development, and gender issues in the Philippines.

Dr Licuanan is currently President of Miriam College and Trustee of the Center for Asia Pacific Women in Politics.

Her previous roles have included Academic Vice President and Professor of Psychology at Ateneo de Manila University, and Commissioner and Chairperson of the National Commission of the Role of Filipino Women. She also headed the Philippine Delegation for the UN Fourth World Conference on Women held in Beijing in 1995.

Sylvia Muñoz-Ordoñez
Sylvia was a student leader in the activist years of 1970s. She was president of the student council of St. Scholastica's College Manila and an officer of the National Union of Students of the Philippines, then one of the largest student organizations in the country.

She has worked for both the government and non-government organizations for more than 20 years.

In government, Sylvia worked with the government as Managing Director of the Technology and Livelihood Resource Center for 19 years before she became a consultant for the United Nations (i.e., UNIFEM and UNDP among others). She was a Commissioner of National Commission on the Role of Filipino Women (NCRFW) representing the youth, member of the UNESCO National Commission, and head of the Bliss II, a government program providing low cost and economic housing in the late 1970s. In the 1990s, she served as the Deputy Chair of the Mt. Pinatubo Rehabilitation Commission and in charge of the Housing and Livelihood component (provided housing and livelihood for millions of the volcano eruption victims).

One of the founders of CAPWIP, she is also co-founder and board member of Global Network of Women in Politics and Women in Politics Institute-Philippines, founder & president of the Foundation for the Advancement of Filipino Women, and founder and president of Youth and Students Hostel Foundation of the Philippines.

She also worked as the logistics coordinator of the NGO Forum in Beijing in 1995. Sylvia also served as a consultant in various international and Philippine national organizations (Technical Educations and Skills Development Authority-TESDA).

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Remedios Ignacio-Rikken
Although an accountant by profession, Remedios Ignacio-Rikken opted to pursue a career in social development work. At present, she is the Chief Executive Officer of Women in Politics Institute Philippines.

She undertook pioneering work in grassroots development in the early 60s to mid 70s. Through the years, she constructed building blocks in preparation to her present work, that of assisting women's empowerment.

Remmy, as she is called by her colleagues, served as Administrator of Philippine Educational Theater Association, Executive Director of National Commission on the Role of Filipino Women and National Coordinator of PILIPINA, a network of feminist activists. Most recently, she was the Secretary-General of ABANSE! Pinay, a women political party that won a seat in Philippine Congress during the 1998 election.

Contact information
4227-4229 Tomas Claudio Street Baclaran, Parañaque City, Philippines
(632) 8322112/ 8320680
Email rikken@info.com.ph, rikken@philonline.com

Patricia Sto. Tomas

She is the secretary of the Department of Labor and Employment.

Sec. Sto. Tomas is a recipient of many awards for her untiring efforts to uplift the working conditions and wages of the Filipino workers in many countries around the world. She has made strong representations at the International Labor Organization Conferences in Geneva and other countries. She is also an awardee of the Ten Outstanding Women in the Nation's Services for Public Administration,

Sec. Sto. Tomas is an Outstanding Graduate, Career Executive Service Development Program Phase 2, a Mason Fellow, Harvard University Fellow, International Visitors Program, US International Visitors Program, and US International Communication Agency.

She was administrator of the POEA/ DOLE from May 1982 to September 1987. Then, she was appointed Assistant Secretary at the Department of Education a post she held very briefly because she was re-appointed at the DOLE. In March 1988, she was appointed Chairman of the Civil Service Commission until March 1995.

Profile of Sec. Patricia Sto. Tomas of DOLE

Contact information:
DOLE Bldg., Intramuros, Manila, Philippines
(632) 527-2116/ 527-2118

Corazon Juliano-Soliman
A committed social development worker herself, Secretary Soliman's appointment to the helm of the Department of Social Welfare and Development has been laudably welcomed by civil society especially by non-government organizations.

Prior to her appointment, "DINKY" as she is known to associates and friends was Executive Vice-President of Community Organizers Multiversity as well as Executive Director of CO-TRAIN. She pioneered in developing a rural organizing program as a trainor and coordinator in Bukidnon under the auspices of the Social Action Center of Bukidnon way back in 1976.

In 1998, she finished her Master in Public Administration degree at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in Boston, USA. She is also a recipient of countless awards and citations in the field of social work and community development, most notably as Ten Outstanding Women in the Nation's Service Awardee in 1992 and the Most Distinguished Alumnus Award from the UP.

Contact information
Batasan Complex, Constitutional Hills, Quezon City
(632) 9318191/ 9318068/ 9318191
Web http://dswd.gov.ph

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Dated: 16Oct2002