PASIG CITY, June 29, 2018 – In recognition of her unparalleled contributions as an educator, a champion of fiscal management and social development, and a public servant, the University of the Philippines-National College of Public Administration and Governance (UP-NCPAG) formally honored Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones as one of its pillars during the library exhibit entitled “Leonor Magtolis-Briones: Professor Emeritus, Public Finance Expert, Social Activist and Lingkod Bayan” on Friday.

“I’m happy to be part of the honorees, maraming salamat. Ano ba ang worth ng tinuturo ko sa aking mga estudyante? Ang challenge ko sa atin is ipagpatuloy natin kung anong ginagawa natin, maraming sinasabi about sa accomplishments ko but you always just have to do your best. You have to love something that is more than yourself. Your life will be empty unless there is something you love more than yourself. And in doing your best, success will come,” Secretary Briones stated.

The library exhibit featured Secretary Briones’s researches and advocacies – which span decades of her commitment to good governance and accountability – from when she obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, major in Accounting (magna cum laude) to when she joined UP-NCPAG with a Master’s degree in Public Administration, major in Local Government and Fiscal Administration, until her sterling performance as a top official in various citizens’ organizations and government agencies.

“Ang UP-NCPAG Pillars ay sinimulan noong 2017. Nais bigyang halaga ng exhibit na ito ang mga naimbag ng nominee sa larangan ng pampublikong administrasyon. Ang kaganapang ito ay nais na rin magbigay ng karangalan at pagbibigay pugay sa mga intelektwal na haligi ng UP-NCPAG, at upang lumikha ng isang lugar para sa pagpapakalat at pagbabahagi ng mga naisulat at mga publikasyon ng mga intelektwal na haligi para sa UP academic community. Ang kanyang mga naging kontribusyon ay nagbibigay ng malaking impact sa ating bayan at sa ating kolehiyo,” UP-NCPAG Head Librarian Jocelyn Basa pointed out.

Colleagues, fellow alumni, and former students in UP-NCPAG seconded Basa’s remarks and affirmed their esteem for Secretary Briones as an exemplar in the academe and in civil service.

Former UP-NCPAG dean, Dr. Proserpina Tapales noted: “Liling has soared much higher, overcoming changes and hurdles in government and international boundaries. What is more, she has become respected for it. Therefore, to speak about Liling as an academician and administrator, one has to trace a deep connection of her ideological passion for social change to any endeavor which has colored her personal and professional life.”

DepEd Undersecretaries Annalyn Sevilla and Nepomuceno Malaluan, and Assistant Secretary G.H. Ambat each shared their fondest moments with the Secretary as a mentor in UP-NCPAG and as a leader in the Department.

Former Senator Teofisto “TG” Guingona III, who has worked with the Secretary in championing citizen participation in budgeting, also attested to her brilliance: “She is a woman with a vibrant soul, and it’s manifested in her love for music. Ma’am Liling is a person of remarkable sagacity. Lastly, Ma’am Liling is a true nationalist, talagang nagmamahal sa bayan natin. Once upon a time, she was the country’s National Treasurer, but today, we honor a national treasure.”

Secretary Briones’s notable positions in education include: Professor Emeritus, UP-NCPAG (March 2013 to present); Regent, Universidad de Manila; Chair, Silliman University Board of Trustees (2001–2016); Director, Center for Policy and Executive Development, National College of Public Administration and Governance (July 2002 to May 2005); and Vice President for Administration and Finance, University of the Philippines (1996–1998).

In the government, she served as: Treasurer of the Philippines, Bureau of the Treasury (August 1998 to February 2001); Presidential Adviser for Social Development with Cabinet Rank (in concurrent capacity), Office of the President of the Philippines (August 1998 to January 2001); and Secretary to the Commission, Commission on Audit (1978–1987).

Her stint in civil society includes: Lead Convenor, Social Watch Philippines, Co-coordinator of Social Watch Asia, and member of the International Committee of Social Watch (1996 – 2016); Chair, People’s Public Finance Institute (2013–2016); and President, Freedom from Debt Coalition (1988–1996).

The Education chief joined the ranks of previous honorees, including Tapales, fellow Professor Emeritus Jose Abueva, and former UP-NCPAG dean, Prof. Romeo Ocampo.