Sonia R. Lorenzo: A woman who turned down a PDAF scam

By Sheena Valenzuela

Posted at Aug 10 2015 09:14 PM | Updated as of Jun 16 2016 02:00 PM

Award for outstanding women leaders in local governments launched

In commemoration of the 1st death anniversary of the late Sonia R. Lorenzo (SRL), the University of Santo Tomas and Kaya Natin Movement, a civil society organization that promotes good governance and leadership with integrity, launched an award recognizing women leaders in the local government who exemplify effective, empowering, and ethical leadership. The launching was held last July 20, 2015 at the Thomas Aquinas Research Center inside the UST campus in Manila.

The nationwide search entitled “Sonia R. Lorenzo Award for Women in Leadership and Good Governance” is open to all current or former local government officials with at least five (5) years of government service.

Associate Professor Reynaldo Lopez, coordinator of the Political Science Program of UST, explained the rationale of the Award: “The University of Santo Tomas affirms its role in the formation of men and women to become competent and compassionate professionals committed to the service of the Church, the nation and the global community. It is for this reason that we joined forces with the Kaya Natin Movement to give due recognition to women in elective local positions who continue to shape the future of our nation through good governance in their community. This recognition is long overdue.”

“My late husband and former Mayor Sonia Lorenzo helped start the Kaya Natin! Movement and together they advocated good governance in different parts of the country. This is a very timely award since I believe that there are many women leaders in our local governments that are working hard to serve their constituents. Hopefully, the recipient of this award will serve as an inspiration for more young women to serve in our government and do their own share in nation-building,” shared Rep. Leni Robredo, wife of the late DILG Sec. Jesse Robredo.

Sonia R. Lorenzo was the mayor of San Isidro, Nueva Ecija for twelve (12) years where she became known for her exemplary brand of servant leadership. Under her leadership, San Isidro was transformed from an impoverished fifth class municipality to a growing second-class municipality. She implemented innovations in public health to ensure that all of her constituents would have access to health services and medicines.


Aside from this, she was able to also augment meager resources in her municipality by developing long-term partnerships with private organizations such as Gawad Kalinga, Acts of Hope for the Nation (AHON) Foundation, Asian Institute of Management (AIM) and the Ateneo de Manila University. She showed her dedication in fighting corruption when she turned down a P10 million appropriation of Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) from a senator last 2010 when she noticed that the transaction was irregular and doubtful. She studied Chemical Engineering at the University of Santo Tomas. Last July 18, 2014, she died of cancer.

Applicants and nominees will be judged according to their leadership experience, promotion of good governance, service to the community, and promotion of the empowerment of women. The winner of the SRL Award will receive fifty thousand pesos (P50,000) and a plaque of recognition. Application and nomination forms can be downloaded at the official website of the award, . Deadline for nominations and applications will be on September 11, 2015.

For more information about the awards, you can call (02) 518-0021 or send an email to [email protected] .