Jesli A. Lapus

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Jesli A. Lapus is the Secretary of the Department of Education (DepEd). Prior to his cabinet appointment, Lapus was known as a top professional manager in the manufacturing and financial sectors, a certified public accountant (CPA), a college professor, and a member of the House of Representatives for three consecutive terms, serving from 1998 to 2007.

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Early life and education

Lapus was born on September 12, 1949 in Tarlac, Tarlac. He attended the Little Flower Academy (Holy Spirit Academy) in Tarlac for his elementary and secondary education. In 1969, he earned a BS in accountancy from the St. Louis University in Baguio City, finishing college in three years and subsequently passing the accountancy board exams. He further honed his management skills by enrolling in the Masters in Business Management (MBM) program of the Asian Institute of Management (AIM) and graduating in 1973. In 1998, Lapus was conferred a doctorate in public administration (honoris causa) by the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP).

Lapus also attended several post-graduate studies, excelling each time in the following fields:

  • Investment Appraisals and Management – Harvard University, United States of America (USA)
  • Management of Transfer of Technology – INSEAD, France
  • Project Management – BITS, Sweden
  • Personal Financial Planning – University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), USA

Career

Private sector

The management career of Lapus started at a very young age. This earned for him the title, “Management Whiz Kid in the ASEAN,” given by Asian Finance international magazine. At 20, he worked as an auditor and consultant at SyCip, Gorres, Velayo & Company (SGV & Co.). He then became the chief financial officer (CFO) of the Ramcar Group of Companies at age 23, and helped propel Ramcar to become the country's undisputed leader in the battery industry. From 1979 to 1986, Lapus worked as managing director and chief operating officer (COO) of Triumph International (Philippines), Inc. He also worked in the banking sector, serving as director of Union Bank of the Philippines from 1988 to 1992.

Lapus also shared his management expertise in the academe. He was among the original core faculty members of AIM's Masters in Development Management program and has taught at the Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) and Maryknoll College (now Miriam College). He has also conducted executive training courses in Indonesia and Malaysia.

Executive branch of government

Lapus' expertise did not go unnoticed by two former presidents. From 1987 to 1989, he served as undersecretary of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) under the administration of President Corazon C. Aquino. He was instrumental in the establishment of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) Fund and the Support Services Sector of DAR.

During the administration of President Fidel V. Ramos, Lapus served as president, chief executive officer (CEO), and vice chairman of the board of directors of Land Bank of the Philippines from 1992 to 1998. Under his leadership, the bank rose to become the 3rd biggest in the banking industry and the best performing government financial institution (GFI).

Legislative branch of government

In 1992, Lapus was elected member of the House of Representatives, representing the 3rd district of Tarlac. He was reelected twice and was unopposed when he ran for his third and last term in the 2004 elections. In Congress, Lapus initiated important legislations pertaining to education, teachers' rights, suffrage, and other social issues.

Lapus exposed and helped streamline the infamous multibillion peso automatic payroll deductions scheme at DepEd which has adversely affected the net take home pay of public school teachers. This practice has been considered a major cause of teachers' low morale, thus, affecting the quality of Philippine education. Lapus was recognized for this effort and was honored with the title, "Champion of Public School Teachers," by teachers' associations.

In his capacity as chairman of the House Committee on Suffrage and Electoral reforms during his second term, Lapus sponsored the Overseas Absentee Voting Law. This law allowed Filipinos living and working overseas to vote, beginning in the 2004 national elections. He also sponsored the World Trade Organization (WTO) Safeguard Measures Law in 1999. Starting the year 2000, Lapus was also principal author of inquiries and bills on preneed companies . These measures led to timely Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regulations, years before the controversial collapse of a number of preneed companies.

Awards and recognition

The following are some of the awards and recognition given to Lapus in the course of his private and government career:

  • Triple A Award for outstanding achievements in the practice of Management (the highest AIM alumnus award) – given in 1980; was the youngest recipient (at 29 years old) of the award
  • Elevated to the Hall of Fame as Outstanding Legislator for 5 consecutive years (2000-2004) – given by the Makati Graduate School and Congress Magazine
  • Conferred the title Datu Bantugan V for invaluable service to Mindanao
  • Outstanding Citizen of Pampanga and Tarlac
  • Outstanding CPA in the Philippines
  • Outstanding Legislator of the Consumers Union of the Philippines

References

Citation

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