MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has a new top official with decades of local government experience under her belt.
New undersecretary for local government Marivel Sacendoncillo took her oath on Friday, January 11, replacing fellow local government veteran Austere Panadero, who availed of optional retirement.
“Her long and distinguished career makes her eminently qualified to hold such an important position,” DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said in a statement on Wednesday, January 15.
As DILG undersecretary, Sacendoncillo can craft policies that would improve local governance aimed at decentralizing power and resources concentrated in the national government.
Sacendoncillo’s track record: Sacendoncillo is a familiar face to local officials as she frequently gave lectures as director of the Local Government Academy (LGA), the government’s premier training institution for local government officials and their staffers.
In 1996, Sacendoncillo began her almost 3-decade career as the LGA’s director. During that period, she concurrently held the regional director post of the DILG for two years. She became DILG assistant secretary in August 2018 prior to her recent promotion.
How she stands out: Sacendoncillo has stepped up as currently the only woman undersecretary in the DILG.
She will be sharing the table with men in uniform during high-level meetings. Apart from former Armed Forces chief Año, Sacendoncillo will work with police-generals-turned-DILG-executives Bernardo Florece Jr, Nestor Quinsay, and Manuel Felix.
Sacendoncillo has a Master’s degree in Development Management from the Asian Institute of Management. As Chevening fellow, she studied conflict management and recovery in the United Kingdom. – Rappler.com
Rambo Talabong covers the House of Representatives and local governments for Rappler. Prior to this, he covered security and crime. He was named Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs. In 2021, he was selected as a journalism fellow by the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics.