FOREIGN AFFAIRS SECRETARY ALBERT F. DEL ROSARIO:
Staunch Advocate of a Principled Philippine Foreign Policy
The Honorable Albert F. del Rosario was born in Manila on November 14, 1939 and has worked for both the private sector and government. He attended Xavier High School in New York City and subsequently graduated from New York University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Economics. Secretary del Rosario is married to Gretchen de Venecia. They have five children and six grandchildren.
- Impact on Public Welfare and National Development
As Philippine Ambassador to the United States of America (2001-2006):
As Philippine Ambassador to the U.S.A., he was instrumental in securing US$1.2 Billion U.S. funding assistance for the Philippines; achieved reciprocal State Visits within the period of six (6) months in 2003; obtaining bilateral cooperation in counter terrorism and peace and development in Mindanao; realizing investments in the country's Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) industry; and acquiring greater access for Philippine exports. His enduring legacy which continues to benefit the Philippines includes a first-time formation of the Philippines-US Friendship Caucus composed of over 80 legislators from the US House of Representatives; successfully launching an unprecedented challenge to the decision of the California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS), to remove the Philippines from its list of approved investment locations; pro-actively supported the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ Modernization Program (AFPMP) by negotiating major Excess Defense Articles (EDA); worked for the Philippines’ designation as a Major Non-NATO Ally (MNNA); successfully lobbied before the U.S. Congress not to prejudice the Philippine canned tuna industry as a result of a preferential treatment for Andean countries; undertook efforts to realize major benefits for Filipino and Filipino-American veterans; and pioneered both the Ambassadors/Consuls General Tour (ACGT) of the Philippines, and the Bayan Ko-Bahay Ko Program.
In end of August 2006, Ambassador del Rosario preferred to be removed from the Philippine Foreign Service rather than agree to support the incumbent administration’s request for his support on their plans to lift the writ of habeas corpus and initiate an emergency rule.
As Secretary of Foreign Affairs (February 24, 2011 – present):
When the Secretary entered the Department, he had a clear vision in mind for the organization – to maximize its potentials and transform it into a strong, professional, and high performing organization with members who are not only the best and the brightest, but also with the highest degree of commitment to serve the country and the Filipino people.
The SFA has embarked on and continues to pursue a carefully thought-out DFA transformation program, namely:
- Restoring morale by limiting the number of political appointees;
- Upgrading economic diplomacy skills through a partnership with AIM;
- Placing merit over seniority in the career advancement process;
- Rationalizing PH presence overseas resulting in the closure of ten (10) Foreign Service posts and reallocating resources where these are most needed;
- Bringing cost-effective consular services closer to the people by moving DFA offices to malls such as Ayala, Gaisano, Robinsons, SM, and Ali Mall;
- Developing effective strategies to negotiate and assert the rightful position of the Philippines in the community of nations;
- Submitted and awaiting the President’s approval of a new scheme for the Non-Resident Ambassadors (NRAs) to cover Africa and Central America; and
- Strongly encouraging all foreign service personnel to reach beyond their grasp, at all times, to promote the national interest.
Under the Secretary’s leadership, the DFA has consistently ranked as one of the top government agencies in terms of efficiency and effectiveness, in surveys conducted by the Social Weather Stations (SWS) and the Makati Business Club (MBC).
In the SWS’ December 2015 survey results on the Aquino administration’s performance, out of 14 issues, four (4) received the highest grade of “GOOD.” These are: Foreign relations; Promoting the welfare of OFWs; Protecting the country’s territorial rights; and Helping the poor.
The DFA was directly responsible for delivering three (3) of the four (4) issues, i.e., “Foreign relations’’; “Promoting the welfare of OFWs”; and “Protecting the country’s territorial rights”. On “Helping the poor’’, DFA’s efforts have directly and indirectly contributed to by increasing to record-levels the Official Development Assistance or ODAs.
- Participation in government, professional, socio-civic, religious organizations and non-government organizations.
- Trustee, Cultural Center of the Philippines Foundation, Inc. (2010)
- Trustee and Member, Makati Business Club (2008)
- Member, Asia Society’s International Council (2008)
- President, Management Association of the Philippines (2007)
- Chairman, Fundraising Committee of Philippine National Red Cross (2007)
- Trustee, PinoyMe Foundation, Inc. (2007)
- Chairman, Free Rural Eye Clinic, Inc. (1998)
- Trustee, Philippine Cancer Society (1990)
- Chairman of the Makati Foundation for Education (1989)
- President, Manila Jaycees (1970)
- Awards and Recognition for Secretary Albert F. Del Rosario
- Order of Lakandula with a Rank of Grand Cross (Bayani) as Co-Chair of the 2015 APEC; 22 December 2015
- Doctor of Laws (Honoris Causa) for “principled commitment to democracy, integrity and the rule of law both at home and around the globe”; conferred by the College of Mount Saint Vincent, New York City; 24 September 2015
- One of People Asia’s 2015 People of the Year Awardees; 19 January 2015
- 2015 Management Man of the Year Award; Management Association of the Philippines; 24 November 2014
- The 2014 Tanging Dangal ng Lipi (Provincial Government of Bulacan), 15 September 2014
- The 2013 Professorial Chair for Public Service and Governance (Ateneo School of Government and the Metrobank Foundation), 03 December 2013
- The Outstanding Manilan Award (City Government of Manila), June 2013
- The Twenty Outstanding Filipinos Abroad Award (Filipino Image Magazine, Pinoy Global Online News and RAM Memorial Foundation), 01 September 2007
- The Xavier Hall of Fame in New York City, 2006
- The Order of Sikatuna, Rank of Datu (conferred by H.E. President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo for his outstanding efforts in promoting foreign relations), September 2004
- The EDSA II Heroes Award (awarded by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in recognition of his efforts in promoting Philippine democracy), 2001
- The Philippine Army Award (awarded by President Corazon Aquino for his initiatives as Chairman of the Makati Foundation for Education), 1991
- Impact on Professional Field
In accordance with President Benigno S. Aquino III’s directives, Secretary del Rosario has pursued a Philippine Foreign Policy that is independent, principled, and based on the rule of law; standing firmly in promoting and defending the Philippine national interest in the global arena.
Through his dynamic interactions with his counterparts, the Secretary was able to enhance the Philippines’ bilateral relationships and partnerships with international institutions. He has done so by steadfastly articulating Philippine interests and initiatives ranging from maritime security to economic cooperation, from counter-terrorism to people-to-people exchanges.
The Secretary has staunchly defended the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country, raised the standards of economic diplomacy as a tool of statecraft and proactively ensured the safety and security of overseas Filipinos everywhere.
With President Aquino’s guidance, the Secretary has provided leadership in the following major Philippine advocacies and priorities: signing of Agreement between the Republic of the Philippines and the Republic of Indonesia Concerning Delimitation of the Exclusive Economic Zone Boundary on 23 May 2014, successful hosting of the 2015 APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting (AELM) in November 2015, the launch of the ASEAN Community in December 2015, the Supreme Court’s favorable decision on the PH-US Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) and the Philippines’ arbitration case before the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague.
Other milestones in international diplomacy actively led by Secretary Del Rosario include the broadening and deepening of Philippine bilateral relations with valued partners through the signing of cooperation agreements, namely, Philippines-Japan Joint Declaration on a Strengthened Strategic Partnership, Joint Declaration on Philippines-Australia Comprehensive Partnership, and Joint Statement on the Establishment of a Philippines-Vietnam Strategic Partnership.
In 2015 the Philippines signed 59 economic agreements covering labor, trade, education, and air services.
Under the guidance of President Aquino, since 2011 the Philippines has repatriated 27,000 Filipinos from countries torn by civil strife and devastated by natural disasters. From 2012 to 2015, DFA extended assistance to over 73,000 overseas Filipinos and members of their families.
In other frontline services, the DFA established more efficient and streamlined electronic passport processing facilities in cooperation with partner agencies such as the APO Production Unit, Inc., while our 21 Regional Consular Offices and 5 Satellite Consular Offices make our services more accessible to the general public.
Since 2011, Secretary del Rosario has conducted 151 Official Missions in almost 50 countries for the purpose of negotiating and asserting the rightful place of the Philippines in the international community.