Into the life of the Department of Education Secretary

“She has taught young children in church school and students in undergraduate, masters and doctoral studies. Whenever and wherever she delivers a public lecture, she teaches.”-DepEd

She has been a recognized speaker in and out of the country for her outstanding career in Economy, Education and Politics. In fact, she spoke during the UN General Assembly where she appealed to the member-nations of the United Nations to fulfill their promises in fighting poverty. (Leonor M. Briones)

Her contributions in public institution administration were also recognized. She was Secretary to the Commission on Audit, and served as Treasurer of the Philippines.

She was former President of Freedom from Debt Coalition. She then became Lead Convenor of Social Watch Philippines, Coordinator of Social Watch Asia and Social Watch International. Social Watch reports to the United Nations on social development issues. (DepEd)

Early Life

Leonor was born in Guihulngan, Negros Oriental on October 16,1940. She was the daughter of Carlos Magtolis, Sr., a school teacher and Ursula Mirasol.

Prior to her service in the Duterte Administration as DepEd Secretary, she was active in the private sector. She is also a former Presidential Adviser for Social Development and was National Treasurer of the Philippines (head of the Bureau of the Treasury) from August 1998 to February 2001.


Briones obtained her Bachelor of Business Administration degree with a major in accounting from Silliman University in 1958 and subsequently obtained her Master in Public Administration major in local government and fiscal administration from University of the Philippines-Diliman in 1967.

A year obtaining her masters, she acquired a post graduate diploma at Leeds University in England. She also earned a certificate in Policy for Public Enterprise from the Harvard Institute for International Development at Harvard University in 1984.

In 2016, she finished her Doctor of Humanities (Honoris Causa) in Public Administration from Central Philippine University.


Aside from her outstanding educational attainments, she was also bestowed with the rank of professor emeritus of public administration in 2012. She is one of the two professor emeriti of the National College of Public Administration and Governance along with former UP president José Abueva.

This honorable distinction was given to her by the University of the Philippines’s Board of Regents (BOR), the national university’s highest policy-making body.

Briones is also an Outstanding Sillimanian Awardee in the field of Fiscal and Public Administration and in 2011, she received the Bayi Citation Award for Government Service.

Read More: Deped Secretary Briones’ Message of Hope

Sources: Leonor Briones , BRIEF BIOGRAPHY , The Secretary

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