Ex-DOST Usec, NRCP prexy is new DOST chief
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.