Bayanihan Media Awards National Winner

DBM USec leads PH’s top government communicators

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO — Long-time Pampanga resident and now Department of Budget Management Undersecretary Goddes Hope Libiran is named as Top Communicator in Government Agencies in the country by the RP-Mission and Development Foundation Inc. (RPMD) with an 88% job performance rating.

The RPMD, thru its “Boses ng Bayan” performance assessment for the third quarter, emphasized the pivotal roles played by government officials in the Philippines. 

Accordingly, the comprehensive assessment evaluated and spotlighted the contributions of individuals in two categories: the “Top Government Senior Officials-Philippines” and the “Top Communicators of Government Agencies- Philippines.”

The Top Communicators of Government Agencies in the Philippines category recognizes individuals who effectively convey the objectives and undertakings of their respective national agencies. 

USec Libiran has led the Top Communicators of Government Agencies category with an 88% job performance rating, among the 69 government agencies in the country.

RPMD said in a statement that government communicators like Libiran play an essential role in government, bridging the gap between the administration and the populace. They ensure transparency, clarity, and active engagement, ensuring the national agency’s agenda is communicated coherently and promptly to all stakeholders.

The undersecretary is a proud resident in the heart of Pampanga and is currently President of the Homeowners Association in one of the posh subdivisions in the City of San Fernando.

Following USec Libiran in the “Top Communicators of Government Agencies in the Philippines” category is Marge Gutierrez from the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), who achieved an impressive score of 86%. She is succeeded by Daphne Oseña-Paez of the Presidential Communications Office with 85%, Mico Clavano from the Department of Justice at 84%, and Edu Punay representing the Department of Social Welfare and Development with a score of 82%. Additionally, Mike Poa from the Department of Education secured an 80% rating, Cesar Chavez from the Department of Transportation obtained 78%, Reynaldo Munsayac from the Office of the Vice President achieved 77%, Beverly Ho of the Department of Health garnered 76%, and Jean Fajardo representing the Philippine National Police concluded the list with a commendable 71% performance score.

On the other hand, the category of “Top Government Senior Officials” holds particular significance. These officials are instrumental in shaping the success of their respective principals. Their expert guidance and strategic decision-making capabilities are indispensable for their principals to efficiently navigate the intricate corridors of the national office and foster fruitful collaborations with other government agencies. Topping the list is Sofonias ‘Ponyong’ Gabonada, with a 91% performance assessment score, who currently serves as the Deputy Secretary General at the House of Representatives and Chief of Staff of House Speaker Martin Romualdez. His influential position holds a stature akin to that of an Undersecretary.

Following Sofonias ‘Ponyong’ Gabonada in the rankings for “Top Government Senior Officials-Philippines” is Neliza Macapayag from the Senate of the Philippines, who secured a notable score of 89%. Epi Densing III, representing the Department of Education, attained an 87% assessment score. Ruth Castelo from the Department of Trade and Industry achieved an 86% rating. Hubert Guevara, from the Office of the Executive Secretary, received an 84% score, while Emerald Ridao of the Presidential Communications Office garnered 82%. Zuleika Lopez, affiliated with the Office of the Vice President, marked an 81% score. Reinier Yebra from the Department of Transportation and Zeno Abenoja from the Department of Finance followed closely with scores of 80% and 78%, respectively. Janet Abuel of the Department of Budget and Management recorded a 76% score, Jonathan Malaya of the National Security Council secured 75%, and rounding out the list, Athalia Liong from the Office of the Special Assistant to the President achieved a 70% performance rating.

According to Dr. Paul Martinez, Executive Director of RPMD, said the performance evaluation criteria for senior government officials, especially undersecretaries serving as chiefs of staff, encompass leadership effectiveness, successful policy execution, stakeholder engagement, collaboration across agencies, and realizing strategic goals. In contrast, top government communicators are assessed based on their ability to convey clear messages, engage proactively with stakeholders, manage media relations adeptly, handle crisis communication efficiently, and respond promptly to feedback, he said.

The “Top Government Senior Officials” and “Top Communicators of Government Agencies” in the Philippines survey was part of the “Boses ng Bayan” nationwide performance assessment of public officials with 10,000 respondents conducted September 20-30, 2023, with a 1 +/- percent margin of error.