Mr. President, fellow members of the Commission on Appointments,
Last August 17, 2017, we celebrated the 54th Foundation and Alumni Homecoming of the National Defense College of the Philippines (NDCP). It is an annual tradition wherein graduates get together. It is also a time when our Alma Mater honors its alumni who were promoted, appointed to higher position or are recognized for their contribution to nation building and making the world a better place for our children.
This year, I am much honored to receive the highest award for alumni--Gawad Katiwasayan. Thus far, this award was bestowed to two very distinguished former Presidents of the Republic--President Diosdado Macapagal as the father of NDCP and a fellow alumnus, President Fidel V. Ramos.
But this speech is not about me. It is about a classmate of the Regular Class 27 Master in National Security Administration who that night was also honored with the Distinguished Alumni Award, Dr. Gloria Jumamil-Mercado, who is currently an Undersecretary at the Office of the President and designated Deputy Cabinet Secretary. Prior to this post, she was the Senior Vice President of the Development Academy of the Philippines and Dean of the Graduate School of Public and Development Management.
If I recall her citation as a Distinguished Alumna: As Undersecretary of the Cabinet Secretary's Office, she spearheaded the conduct of 33 sectoral summits, round table discussions and the adoption of the development and security framework of the Duterte Administration and many other reforms and redirections along streamlining the bureaucracy now embodied in Executive Orders 6, 9 and 24.
She is the first female Commodore and she earned it being Commander of the Naval Forces Reserve Eastern Visayas who undertook early relief operations during Typhoon Yolanda and worked with then OPARR Secretary Panfilo Lacson on a reconstruction program to capacitate the 189 municipal and 14 provincial planners in the Yolanda Corridor.
She is also the Founding Chair of the Women in National Development and Security (WINDS), an advocacy and support group for meaningful inclusion and mainstreaming in the security sector.
I could go on with her credentials, but as someone who sat with her for a year in class and interacted both in our professional and personal lives, I vouch for her integrity as a public servant of 39 years, starting as a MASICAP scholar of then Trade Minister Vicente Paterno. She climbed the bureaucracy. She earned her position. She is in fact, a rare resource with a PhD in Mainland China Studies from the National Sun Yat-Sen University and one of the few who grew professionally in security and development.
Mr. President, I therefore move for the confirmation of the ad interim appointment of Gloria Jumamil-Mercado to the rank of Commodore, AFP (reserve).
Source: Senate of the Philippines