The Department of Energy welcomes its first woman Secretary as President Benigno S. Aquino III sworn in the newly appointed Zenaida Y. Monsada on 23 October 2015 at Malacanan Palace.
Prior to her appointment, Secretary Monsada served as the DOE’s Officer-in-Charge (OIC) since July 2015 and is tasked to make key decisions and set priorities as well as execute operational management of the Department. Alongside the OIC task, she was also the Undersecretary for four frontline Bureaus of the DOE, namely: the Electric Power Industry Management Bureau, Energy Resources Development Bureau, Oil Industry Management Bureau, and the Renewable Energy Management Bureau.
Among her 13 predecessors, Sec. Monsada is also the first DOE head who rose from the ranks. As part of the DOE, she is a member of various inter-agency/international committees and working groups representing the DOE such as the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (Phil.), Tripartite Council for Biofuels, Technical Committee on Petroleum Products and Additives (Chair), Harmonization of Vehicle Standards and Regulations, and the Partnership for Clean Air/Clean Air Asia Initiative, to name a few.
Sec. Monsada led the creation of the DOE’s national petroleum testing laboratory and the acquisition/operation of the mobile testing facility. She also facilitated the institutionalization of the multi-sectoral advocacy campaign on the downstream oil industry, and was part of the “Benchmarking of Biodiesel Fuel Standardization in East Asia” of the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia.
“I am greatly honoured to be given this task to lead the Department of Energy, which I’ve been serving for 36 years. The DOE will continue to do its part of serving the Filipino people beyond the needs for power but also for all other energy needs of the country, be it on fuels, renewable energy, and energy conservation, among others,” Sec. Monsada said.
Sec. Monsada is a graduate of BS Chemistry from the University of San Carlos, Cebu City. She also earned units in MS Chemistry from UP Diliman, and Master in Public Management from the Development Academy of the Philippines. In addition, she had professional studies in Petroleum Management at the Arthur D. Little Management Education Institute in Boston, USA and the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate in Stavenger, Norway.
Hailing from a family of public servants, her first foray in the energy sector, prior to the deregulation of the downstream oil industry, was at the Energy Regulatory Board, the quasi-judicial oil price regulatory body.
With her accomplishments, she was named Outstanding Alumni for Public Service by the Chemistry Department of the University of San Carlos in 2011 and Outstanding Alumni in the field of Science by the Saint Peter’s College Alumni Association in 2014.