Karlo Nograles

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Karlo Alexei Bendigo Nograles (born 3 September 1976) is a Filipino lawyer and Cabinet Secretary of incumbent President Rodrigo Duterte. As a close adviser to the President, he ensures close coordination among different government agencies such as the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Health (DOH), and others.

He was also the co-chair and spokesperson until August 2020 of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID), the Philippine government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. He was also the Chairman of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Zero Hunger. He was the Representative of Davao’s City’s 1st district from 2010 to 2018.

He is an advocate of Education for All, a global movement that supports farmers and agriculture-related programs and gives opportunities to provinces. Nograles was a member of the National Unity Party (NUP) before joining the PDP-Laban in 2017. As a lawyer by profession, he previously worked for the Nograles Law Firm in Davao City.

He is part of Duterte’s initial list of senatorial bets in the 2022 elections.

Nograles is married to Marga Maceda Montemayor, a social entrepreneur and an advocate for women and Mindanao. They have three children.

Early Life and Education

He was born on 3 September 1976 in Davao City to Prospero Nograles, a former Speaker of the House of Representatives, and Rhodora Burgos Bendigo Nograles. He has three siblings.

In grade school, graduated valedictorian of his class from the Ateneo de Davao University. He studied at the Philippine Science High School, where he finished with a CAT Leadership Award. He graduated from the Ateneo de Manila University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Management Engineering. He studied at the Ateneo de Manila Law School in 2003.


He served as the Chief-of-Staff of his father, who was then serving as a member of the House of Representatives. In 2010, he was elected as Representative of the 1st District of Davao City. He successfully won another term in 2013, where he served as the Chairman of the House Committee on Labor and Employment.

In his third and final term in the 17th Congress in 2016, he served as Chairman of the House Committee on Appropriations. As such, he allocated budget for free higher education in accordance with the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act. He allotted a total of Php 40 billion to fund free education for students enrolled in state universities and colleges (SUCs) for school year 2018-2019. He also appropriated Php 3.767 trillion for the 2018 national budget. He also allocated Php 25 billion for the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) modernization program to acquire brand new attack helicopters, tanks, and other military hardware. He also allotted Php 64.2 billion for the salary increase of military and uniformed personnel.

As Chair of the House Committee on Appropriations, he made sure that funding is provided for the following:

In accordance with the Free Irrigation Law, he allocated Php 2.6 billion for irrigation fee subsidies.

Nograles was also the author of the following laws:

  • Green Jobs Act, which granted special tax deductions and duty-free importation of capital equipment for companies to help create employment to preserve or restore the quality of the environment
  • JobStart Philippines Act, which enhanced opportunities and employment facilitation for the Filipino youth through enhanced knowledge and skills acquisition through formal and technical education and shortened school-to-work transition to increase chances of productive employment
  • RA 10741, which strengthened the National Labor Relations Commission
  • Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act, which ensures free college tuition for those enrolled in SUCs, universities and colleges, and state-run technical vocational institutions
  • Salary increase for police and AFP personnel

He also advocated for the Cancer Care Bill, Universal Health Care Bill, and a bill that aims to have the regular barangay officials receive monthly salary.

Nograles was also a member of the following committees:

  • 15th Congress
    • Vice-Chairman, Committee on Human Rights
    • Member, Committee on Dangerous Drugs
    • Member, Committee on Good Government and Public Accountability
    • Member, Committee on Government Reorganization
    • Member, Committee on Health
    • Member, Committee on Public Order and Safety
    • Member, Committee on Revision of Laws
    • Member, Committee on Rules
    • Member, Committee on Suffrage and Electoral Reforms
    • Member, Committee on Transportation
  • 16th Congress
    • Chairman, Committee on Labor and Employment
    • Vice-Chairman, Committee on Human Rights
    • Vice-Chairman, Committee on Revision of Laws
    • Member, Committee on Constitutional Amendments
    • Member, Committee on Energy
    • Member, Committee on Higher and Technical Education
    • Member, Committee on Housing and Urban Development
    • Member, Committee on Transportation
    • Member, Committee on Ways and Means
    • Member, Committee on Dangerous Drugs
  • 17th Congress
    • Chairman, Committee on Appropriations
    • Member, Committee on Constitutional Amendments
    • Member, Committee on Mindanao Affairs

He was appointed by Duterte in November 2018 to head the Office of the Cabinet Secretariat. As such, he leads the following:

  • Co-Chair of the Inter Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF)
  • Chair of the Inter Agency Task Force on Zero Hunger
  • Chair of National Irrigation Administration (NIA)
  • Chair of the Cabinet Assistance System (CAS)
  • Chair of the Cabinet Cluster Secretariat

Nograles is a member of the Aquila Legis fraternity and of the Global Organization of Parliamentarians Against Corruption.

He is a recipient of the Golden Globe Annual Award for Excellence in Public Service in 2015 and 2016. He also won the Outstanding Congressman Award in 2012 and in 2015 by Superbrands Marketing International. He also won the TESDA Kabalikat Award for Region XI in 2013 and in 2015.


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  • "Bicam breaks 'impasse' on 2018 national budget —Nograles". GMA News.
  • "Solon says P25-B AFP upgrades a message to terrorists: 'We're capable of defeating you'". GMA News. GMA Network. Retrieved February 14, 2018.
  • "AFP and PNP salary increase". Manila Bulletin.
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  • "Artistahin! Davao Rep. Karlos Nograles chairs MMFF 2017 board of jurors". Politiko Mindanao.
  • "Congressman Karlo Nograles on the MMFF". Manila Standard.
  • “Meet Karlo”. Karlo Nograles. (Accessed on 19 October 2021).
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  • “HON. KARLO ALEXEI B. NOGRALES Cabinet Secretary”. National Irrigation Administration. (Accessed on 19 October 2021).
  • Santos, Eimor.“Duterte’s initial list of senatorial bets bared”. CNN Philippines. (Accessed on 19 October 2021).



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