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Nutrition, data experts join EDCOM 2’s standing committees


The Second Congressional Commission on Education (EDCOM 2) welcomes five new members to its roster of experts to focus on its priority areas on Early Childhood Care and Development and Governance and Finance. 

To fulfill its mandate to conduct a national review and assessment of education agencies, formulate policy and program recommendations, the Commission has added five renowned experts to join its Standing Committees. 

Dr. Maria Asuncion Silvestre, nutrition expert

Dr Silvestre is a staunch advocate for exclusive breastfeeding and mother and child care. She is the founder of Kalusugan ng Mag Ina, Inc., and among her exceptional works include the Unang Yakap, an innovative protocol and now part of the standard of care in all births. She was recently awarded the 2024 United Arab Emirates Health Foundation Prize during the 76th World Health Assembly for her work in promoting exclusive breastfeeding and improving the health of mothers and newborns. She is currently a consultant of Alliance for Improving Health Outcomes for maternal, newborn, and child health and nutrition projects. 

Dr. Malcolm Garma, education systems specialist

Dr Garma began his career in the education sector as an instructor and leader in the University of the Philippines Integrated School, and steered the Department Education as former Regional Director of DepEd NCR and Region III, and as Assistant Secretary for Field Operations. With his expertise in education systems strengthening, he is currently the adviser of the ABC+ program of USAID-RTI International. Garma joins the EDCOM 2 Standing Committee on Governance and Finance. 

Sec. Nieves Confesor, former DOLE Secretary

Joining EDCOM 2’s experts on governance and financing is former Secretary of Labor and Employment (1992-1995) Maria Nieves Confesor. She is currently an adjunct faculty of the Asian Institute of Management teaching Business Administration and International Studies. Secretary Confesor specializes in leadership and strategic negotiation, and labor and employment policy and administration. She joins the Standing Committee on Governance and Finance. 

Dr. Karl Kendrick Chua, former NEDA Director-General

Dr. Karl Kendrick Chua is one of the renowned economists of the Philippines. Prior to his leadership roles in the government, the former National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Director-General and Department of Finance Undersecretary was the senior country economist of the World Bank, advising the government on strategies that will attain inclusive growth. He led the Strategy, Economics, and Results Group, the DOF fiscal strategy group responsible for providing strategic and research on fiscal policies, and spearheading policy negotiations on landmark socio economic reforms. Sec Chua was also named one of the Ten Outstanding Young Men and Women (TOYM) in January 2019 by the Junior Chamber International (JCI) Philippines. Dr. Chua joins the Standing Committee on Governance and Finance, with a focus on Data. 

Mr. Roger Masapol, education specialist

The former Department of Education Director of Planning Service, Roger Masapol is a humanitarian civil servant and right to education advocate. He specializes in education planning, policy development and analysis, program development, and research monitoring and evaluation. He is currently an education specialist for UNICEF, having received his Master of Public Administration from the University of Sydney and his Master of Arts in Economics Education from the University of Asia and the Pacific. Mr. Masapol joins the Standing Committee on Governance and Finance, with a focus on Data. 

The five join the other members of the Standing Committees of the Commission, which include Technical Vocational Education and Training & Lifelong Learning, and Higher Education & Teacher Education and Development. 

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