Ex-DOST Usec, NRCP prexy is new DOST chief

Business Mirror - - SCIENCE MON­DAY - S& T Me­dia Ser­vice

PROF. For­tu­nato T. de la Peña Jr., for­mer un­der­sec­re­tary of the Depart­ment of Science and Tech­nol­ogy ( DOST) Science and Tech­nol­ogy ( S& T) Ser­vices and pres­i­dent of the Na­tional Re­search Coun­cil of the Philip­pines ( NRCP), was named as one of the 34 Cabi­net men of Pres­i­den­t­elect Ro­drigo R. Duterte’s ad­min­is­tra­tion. Duterte, in his news con­fer­ence in Davao City on May 31, named de la Peña as his new sec­re­tary for the DOST.

De la Peña, or sim­ply USec. Boy to the mem­bers of the science com­mu­nity, is a staunch ad­vo­cate of ba­sic re­search and is widely re­spected as a dili­gent, ef­fi­cient and very ef­fec­tive science ad­min­is­tra­tor in the coun­try and abroad. As proof of this, while he was then serv­ing as DOST un­der­sec­re­tary for S& T Ser­vices, he si­mul­ta­ne­ously worked as NRCP pres­i­dent and as chair­man of NRCP Divi­sion of En­gi­neer­ing and In­dus­trial Re­search. He is noted for be­ing the long­est serv­ing pres­i­dent of NRCP, from 2002 to 2007, or for five con­sec­u­tive terms.

In 2013 de la Peña was named as one of the NRCP Achieve­ment awardees for his out­stand­ing con­tri­bu­tions in the field of en­gi­neer­ing and in­dus­trial re­search and ex­cel­lence in science ad­min­is­tra­tion.

Be­sides spear­head­ing the e- gov­er­nance pro­grams, he is also one of the fore­run­ners of the Na­tional Science and Tech­nol­ogy Plan 2002- 2020, which sets the na­tional pol­icy frame­work and di­rec­tion of S& T in the coun­try. These pi­o­neer­ing ef­forts, along with his achieve­ments as an en­gi­neer, as aca­demi­cian and as S& T man­ager, were up­held by var­i­ous no­table recog­ni­tions, like the Dan­gal ng Bayan and Out­stand­ing Ca­reer Ex­ec­u­tive Ser­vice Of­fi­cer ( Ceso) awards by the Ca­reer Ex­ec­u­tive Ser­vice Board in 2005.

De la Peña earned his bach­e­lor’s de­gree in Chem­i­cal En­gi­neer­ing mas­ters in In­dus­trial En­gi­neer­ing and spe­cial train­ing cer­tifi­cates in busi­ness ad­min­is­tra­tion all from the Univer­sity of the Philip­pines ( UP) Dil­i­man.

He pur­sued grad­u­ate stud­ies in Oper­a­tions Re­search in the Polytech­nic In­sti­tute of New York and ob­tained a diploma in In­dus­trial Qual­ity Con­trol from Bouw­cen­trum In­ter­na­tional Ed­u­ca­tion in Rot­ter­dam, the Nether­lands.

Prior to his ap­point­ment as science un­der­sec­re­tary, he was a noted professor of in­dus­trial en­gi­neer­ing at UP Dil­i­man Col­lege of En­gi­neer­ing, where he also chaired the Depart­ment of In­dus­trial En­gi­neer­ing and Oper­a­tions Re­search. Other key po­si­tions he held in­clude the 15th ses­sion chair­man for the UN Com­mis­sion on Science and Tech­nol­ogy for Devel­op­ment, a high- level agency tasked to pro­mote S& T for devel­op­ment and ad­dress is­sues of dig­i­tal di­vide and In­ter­net gov­er­nance; di­rec­tor of Tech­nol­ogy Ap­pli­ca­tion and Pro­mo­tion In­sti­tute of the DOST; head of plan­ning Ser­vice Divi­sion of the thenNa­tional Science and Tech­nol­ogy Author­ity ( pre­cur­sor of the DOST); vice pres­i­dent for plan­ning and devel­op­ment of UP Dil­i­man; and in­terim ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor for the Apec Cen­ter for Tech­nol­ogy Ex­change and Train­ing for Small and Medium En­ter­prises.

De la Peña at­tained Ceso I rank upon his re­tire­ment as DOST un­der­sec­re­tary in 2014. By far, only few gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials have at­tained this rank.

DE la Peña Jr.

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