Budget Secretary Amenah F. Pangandaman named 2024 MSU-IIT Commencement Speaker

by Office of the Campus Secretary | Jun 07 2024

Photo from DBM OSEC - Appointments

The lone Muslim member of President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr.’s Cabinet who is descended from the royal houses of Marawi City, Amenah Flaminiano Pangandaman, will be the commencement speaker of MSU-IIT’s 54th Commencement Ceremonies on July 8.

“I am happy to announce that the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Secretary has accepted our invitation to be the commencement speaker,” Chancellor Alizedney M. Ditucalan announced to University constituents late Monday afternoon. 

“Secretary Pangandaman’s work at the DBM to spur growth and development for the country, as well as her efforts to give Mindanao a voice and expansive representation are an inspiration to us all here, especially to our students,” Chancellor Ditucalan said.

"Pangandaman is also an ex officio member of the èAVBoard of Regents," he added.

MSU-IIT is set to graduate an estimated 2,512 government scholars of multi-ethnic and diverse religious backgrounds, the majority of whom come from Mindanao.  

Being a young Muslim woman who is highly regarded in the field of economics, Pangandaman stands out from the male-dominated Marcos cabinet and his team of economic managers. She is viewed as somebody who will provide a different way of thinking regarding how to take on the country’s economic challenges.

Pangandaman has been working to modernize the budget system, embed sustainability and green principles in government spending, and promote sustainable economic growth through strategic investment in high-impact infrastructure and human capital development.

Pangandaman consistently champions financial inclusion and key budgetary reforms, such as digitalization; climate change and green public procurement; and open government partnership to promote good governance, fiscal transparency, and accountability. 

Pangandaman is professionally linked to Benjamin Diokno, the former Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor and former DBM Secretary. She served as his Chief of Staff at the BSP and his Budget Undersecretary at the DBM.

While also at the BSP, Pangandaman served concurrently as Assistant Governor for Strategic Communication and Advocacy, as well as Executive Offices Coordinator.

Pangandaman’s experience also extends beyond implementation of budget policies and includes assisting in the creation of budget laws during her stint at the Senate where she served as Chief-of-Staff to Sen. Edgardo J. Angara, the former Senate President, and Sen. Loren B. Legarda, the former Chairperson of the Finance Committee.

Pangandaman earned her economics degree from Far Eastern University and her Master’s degree in Development Economics from the University of the Philippines.

She is the recipient of the following awards: the Rising Tigers “Woman of Substance” Award; Public Servant of the Year (Men & Women Who Matter List of the Asia Leaders Awards); Philippines’ Women Leaders Award (World Women Leadership Congress); and the Tanglaw ng Bayan Award (Philippine Polytechnic University).

In expressing his support for Pangandaman’s confirmation in 2022, Senator Alan Peter Cayetano told Inquirer.Net that “she’s a woman in a predominantly male cabinet. She is a Muslim in a predominantly Catholic and Christian nation. She’s no stranger to being a minority.”

“She doesn’t only have a strong voice… Now she has a big voice sa budget, so we are hoping that many of those who are voiceless and minority in the Philippines will have a voice in the Cabinet,” Cayetano said.

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