MANILA— Education Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones now has a hybrid gumamela named after her.
The University of the Philippines - Los Baños said this is in honor of Briones' passion for education and governance.
“I am humbled and deeply honored to have a wonderful variant of Gumamela named after me. As a nature lover and educator, I appreciate the UPLB’s Women in Public Service series that recognizes outstanding Filipino women in government,” Briones said in a statement on Saturday.
UPLB's Women in Public Service series is now on its 21st year.
The new Hibiscus rosa-sinensi “Leonor M. Briones” developed by the Institute of Plant Breeding was named after the DepEd chief for her “outstanding contributions to society by setting professional standards for public servants and introducing basic education reform activities.”
Briones was nominated by Dr. Glenn Gregorio, Director of the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture, and endorsed by the UPLB Screening Committee on naming Hibiscus, Mussaenda, and other Ornamental Plants.
The new hybrid will be formally presented and awarded to Briones on Saturday by Agripina Rasco, Plant Breeder from IPB, Dr. Jose Camacho, Jr., UPLB Chancellor, Dr. Merdelyn Lit, Chair of the Committee on Naming Hibiscus, Mussaenda and Other Ornamentals, Vice-Chancellor for Research and Extension, Dr. Elpidio Agbisit Jr., Dean of the College of Agriculture and Food Science, and Dr. Fe de la Cueva, IPB Director.
A teacher for most of her life, Briones spearheaded the Sulong EduKalidad as DepEd chief, which aims to improve the quality of basic education in the Philippines. Briones also led the establishment of the Education Futures Programme in the department to study global trends and innovations in the basic education system.
Under her leadership, DepEd also developed the Basic Education-Learning Continuity Plan (BE-LCP) at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
She also pushed for the prioritization of teachers in the vaccination program of government and the pilot implementation of face-to-face classes in low-risk areas.