Fortunato de la Peña

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Fortunato Tanseco de la Peña (born 12 November 1949)[1] is an engineer, academician and government official. As of 30 June 2016, he is the secretary of the Department of Science and Technology under the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte. Prior to taking on the role, he was the undersecretary of the department’s science and technology services, holding the position from 2001 to 2014. Except for the period between 2014 and 2016 during which he was retired, he has been with the department since 1982.[2]

De la Peña is also a former chairman of the United Nations Commission on Science and Technology for Development[3] and a former president of the Philippine Association for the Advancement of Science and Technology.[4][5]

Early life and education

Fortunato De la Peña was born on 12 November 1949 in Bulacan, Bulacan to Emilio Banzon de la Peña and Luz Fajardo Tanseco.[1] He earned a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman in 1969.[6][2] He also obtained a master’s degree in industrial engineering and a doctorate degree in business administration from the same university.[5] In 1975, de la Peña received a diploma in industrial quality control from Bouwcentrum International Education in Rotterdam, Netherlands and studied operations research at the New York University Tandon School of Engineering in 1982.[5]


UP Diliman

De la Peña became a member of the faculty of the University of the Philippines College of Engineering in 1978. He worked as a research assistant and became the first editor of the Philippine Engineering Journal. After becoming a full-time professor in industrial engineering, he became the chairman of the Department of Industrial Engineering and Operations Research, serving in this capacity until 1988.[7] He was the director of the university’s Institute for Small Scale industries from 1992 to 2011 and the vice president for planning and development of the University of the Philippines System from 1993 to 1999.[5] The university gave de la Peña an Outstanding Achievement Award in 1999 for his illustrious career.[6]

Department of Science and Technology

De la Peña joined the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) in 1982, while working as a part-time professor at UP Diliman. He was the head of the department’s planning service from 1982 to 1984 and became the director of the Technology Application and Promotion Institute from 1989 to 1991.[5] He played a key role in the development and implementation of a number of government programs, including the Manufacturing Productivity Extension (MPEX) program, which has provided support to small businesses since 1991, and the Technology Business Incubation (TBI) program.[7][5]

De la Peña became the undersecretary for scientific and technological services of the DOST in 2001, serving in this capacity until 2014. As an undersecretary, he oversaw the implementation of vital programs relating to information technology and e-commerce, before the establishment of the Commission on Information and Communications Technology. The programs included the DOST’s e-Government Program and the Philippine e-Library Project, which was a collaboration among the DOST, the National Library of the Philippines, the University of the Philippines, the Department of Agriculture, and the Commission on Higher Education. De la Peña received the highest civil service award in 2005 for his work in the e-library project.[8]

In 2011, de la Peña became the chairman of the United Nations Commission on Science and Technology for Development.[3][7][5]

After retiring in 2014, de la Peña returned to the DOST as its secretary in 2016 He was sworn into office on June 30, 2016, the same day that President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration commenced.

Personal life

De la Peña is married to Mariquit Tablan Banzon. They have five children.