2016 July 22
Former board chairman appointed DBM secretary in Duterte Cabinet
Benjamin I. Espiritu, a doctor of Philosophy, an educator, public servant, businessman, Certified Public Accountant, management and governance consultant, sports leader, and a brigadier general in the Armed Forces of the Philippines (Reserve), is the new chairman of the Board of Regents of the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila.
He replaces Benjamin E. Diokno, also a doctor of Philosophy, who was recently appointed by President Rodrigo Duterte as secretary of the Department of Budget and Management. Dr. Diokno, who became PLM Board of Regents chairman in September 2014, also served as DBM secretary under the administration of President, now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada. Before this, he worked as DBM Undersecretary during the term of President Corazon Aquino.
In the academe, Dr. Espiritu was the former Dean of Far Eastern University – Makati. He was also formerly Chairman of the Accounting, Finance, Business and Governance Department of De La Salle University Graduate School of Business, Program Coordinator of the Doctor of Business Administration program, and Course Director of the Corporate Governance and Risk Management program. He teaches strategic management, corporate governance, public governance, finance, and accounting courses.
Like his predecessor, Dr. Espiritu also has extensive experience in government service. He served as Provincial Governor of Oriental Mindoro for two consecutive terms; first, as the appointed OIC Governor from March 1986 to December 1987, and then, as the elected Governor from February 1988 to June 1992. Under his leadership, Oriental Mindoro became a first class province.
A businessman, Certified Public Accountant and management consultant, he is currently the president of Risks, Opportunities Assessment and Management, (ROAM) Inc., president and CEO of Change Management International, Inc., chairman and CEO of Ormin Realty Corporation, chairman of Banco de Mindoro, Inc., chairman and president of Konstruktura Development Resources Corp. and heads several other private corporations and two family foundations. He is a director of two publicly-listed corporations and an insurance company.
In sports, he is chairman of the Philippine Olympic Academy, president of the Larong Hockey sa Pilipinas, Inc. (Philippine Hockey Association), member of both the Ethics and Arbitration Commissions of the Philippine Olympic Committee, Deputy Chief of Mission to the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games, NOC Attaché to the 2011 Southeast Asian Games, Chef de Mission to the 3rd Asian Beach Games in 2012 Member of the Management Committee to the 2015 Southeast Asian Games, and Delegation Official to the 2016 Rio Olympics. He is likewise a Director of the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (PATAFA) and Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc. (LVPI).
In the military, he is a brigadier general and commander of the ready reserve 7th Marine Brigade which has the entire Luzon as its area of responsibility. Under his command, the 7th Marine Brigade was adjudged as the Ready Reserve Unit of the Year of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) for three consecutive years – 2015, 2014 and 2013 (Brigade/Wing Level) and Philippine Navy Reserve Unit of the Year also for five straight years – 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013 and 2012.
Dr. Espiritu earned his Doctor of Philosophy major in Public Administration degree from the University of Santo Tomas (graduating Meritissimus/Excellent); Master in National Security Administration from the National Defense College of the Philippines (Gold Medal-Leadership; Special Award-Academic Excellence; Special Award-Best Thesis); Master of Business Administration from De La Salle University; and Bachelor of Science in Commerce, Major in Accounting, also from De La Salle University.
He completed the Basic Management Program at the Asian Institute of Management (1975) and the Naval Command and General Staff Course at the Naval Command and Staff College (2001) where he finished at the top of the Non-Resident Instruction (NRI) group.
His book, A Practical Guide to Completed Staff Work (CSW) which he co-authored with Dr. Leonora Vasquez-De Jesus, PLM President, is being used by several large organizations both in the public and private sectors.
Dr. Espiritu was named Most Outstanding Faculty Member of the De La Salle Professional Schools Graduate School of Business in 2001, and in 2006 was given a Most Outstanding Alumnus award. In 2005, he received the St. Antoninus of Florence Award (Outstanding Alumnus in the field of Public Administration) from the UST Graduate School and the UST Graduate School Alumni Association, Inc. He was given an Outstanding Alumnus Award by the National Defense College of the Philippines and the National Defense College of the Philippines Alumni Association, Inc. twice – in 2007 and 2014.
In 2010, he received the Ulirang Ama Award in the field of education from the National Mother's Day and Father's Day Foundation, Inc., and in 2013, the Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) Outstanding Graduate Award from the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
"I'm very happy to welcome Dr. Espiritu as the new chair of the Board of Regents," President De Jesus says. "We've known each other for years and we have already collaborated on a number of projects, so I'm confident we can do a lot together to further improve the university."
"Although I'm still in the process of thoroughly familiarizing myself with PLM, I'm very impressed with what I've seen so far," Dr. Espiritu says. "However, I agree with President Lenny that PLM still has a lot of untapped potential so we're both committed to work together with the Board of Regents, the faculty and the university staff to make the Pamantasan the premier institute of higher learning of the City of Manila."