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  Roco, Raul S.
AffiliationDemocratic Action  
NameRaul S. Roco
Naga City, , Philippines
Born October 26, 1941
DiedAugust 05, 2005 (63 years)
ContributorGerald Farinas
Last ModifedRBH
Jul 19, 2021 01:16pm
InfoRaul S. Roco, former senator and education secretary, was born October 26, 1941 in Naga City in the province of Camarines Sur, the son of farmer Sulpicio Azuela Roco and public school teacher Rosario Orlanda Sagarbarria.

A precocious learner, he finished elementary school at age 10 and completed high school at age 14 at the Ateneo de Naga. At age 18 he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English, magna cum laude, at San Beda College in Manila.

Roco received his Bachelor of Laws as Abbott Awardee for Over-All Excellence at San Beda College.

As a young Bedan, he wrote the lyrics of the San Beda College Alma Mater Song and was editor-in-chief of The Bedan, the college newspaper.

He took his Master of Comparative Law as a University Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania, U.S.A., where he was cross-enrolled at the Wharton School for Multinational Studies.
Roco has been conferred seven honorary doctoral degrees by various universities.

Youth leader and Con-Con delegate

Roco was the youngest ever president of the National Union of Students of the Philippines in 1961 and was one of the Ten Outstanding Students of the Philippines in 1964.

He was the youngest Bicolano delegate to the Constitutional Convention of 1971 and was also the youngest president of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, serving from 1983 to 1985.

As a member of the legal staff of the late Senator Benigno �Ninoy� Aquino, he drafted the Study Now, Pay Later Law.

Award-winning film producer and top solon

Taking time off from his legal work, he was executive producer of the late great film director Lino Brocka�s movie Tinimbang Ka Ngunit Kulang which won six FAMAS Awards including best film in 1974.

Representing the second district of Camarines Sur, he was adjudged by the Ford Foundation and the University of the Philippines Institute of Strategic and Development Studies as first in over-all performance among legislators of the Eighth Congress from 1987 to 1992.

Financial Law Reformer

As senator from 1992 to 2000, Roco was the author of the law that reformed the central banking system, a feat that earned him the title �Father of the Bangko Sentral.� Other laws passed under his stewardship resulted in the liberalization of the banking industry and the strengthening of the thrift banks. He authored the Intellectual Property Code and the Securities Regulation Code.

Teacher�s champion

Having always the public teachers in mind, Roco helped fund the teachers� cooperatives as well as the increment mandated by the Magna Carta for Public School Teachers for retiring public school teachers.

On the students� side, he pioneered in the Senate the computerization program for state universities and colleges and public schools. He also devised meal scholarships for poor students at the Philippine Normal University.

Champion of women and OFWs

As senator, Roco authored the Women in Nation Building Law, the Nursing Act, the Anti-Sexual Harassment Law, the Anti Rape Law and the Child and Family Courts Act. He prioritized women in the Department of Education�s literacy program.

For all this pioneering work that empowered women, he was named �Honorary Woman� by many womens� groups.

As senator, he worked hard to protect the welfare of Filipino workers abroad. One of his most notable efforts led to the abolishing of double taxation on overseas workers.

He was consistently cited outstanding senator during his term. For his exemplary performance in the senate impeachment trial of then president Joseph Estrada, he was given the Bantay Katarungan award by Kilosbayan.

Education reformer

As Secretary of Education, Roco implemented, for the first time in Philippine educational history, completely free public primary and high school education. He protected teachers� welfare, ensured prompt payment of their salaries, prohibited illegal deductions and stopped the onerous three percent service fee long deducted by the department�s payroll group from teachers� pay.

He implemented the long delayed basic education curriculum reform which focused the child on reading, writing, arithmetic, science and Makabayan subjects.

Successful corruption fighter

When Roco took over as education secretary in January 2001, the department was ranked the fourth most corrupt government agency by the Asia Foundation-Social Weather Stations Survey of Enterprises on Public Sector Corruption.

Roco quickly imposed a department-wide transparency policy, including the purchase of textbooks, one of the biggest sources of corruption in the DepEd.

Thus, with Roco as DepEd secretary, textbooks bought for
P 60 in the past the DepEd bought at P 21, and textbooks bought at P 120 before, the DepEd bought at only P 48.

As a result, in only eight months under Roco, the department of education was ranked the most trusted agency of government by the same survey group. It was given a 73% approval rating by the public.

This was during a period when corruption in the Philippines was perceived to be among the 10 worst in the world according to the Berlin-based corruption watchdog, Transparency International. That perception continues until today.

Roco�s experience in the DepEd shows that honest governance is achievable. With the support of the Filipino people in the coming May 2004 elections, successfully fighting corruption can be achieved again � this time on a much wider scale.

Best prepared to be president

By force of character, Roco�s career has been devoted to the idea of fair play, decency and honor under the most trying tests of public service.

The excellence that marks his career as a student leader; corporate and people�s lawyer; and effective change agent in the legislative and executive branches of the government, prepares him very well for the modern presidency.

It is a preparation that, by the strictest standards of those who watch the Philippine presidency, stands above all the current aspirants for the nation�s highest public post today.

Raul Roco is President of Aksyon Demokratiko. He is married to Sonia Cubillo Malasarte of Bohol, who was named most outstanding student of the Philippines in 1964. They have six children � Robbie Pierre, Raul Jr., Sophia, Sareena, Rex and Synara -- and four grandchildren.


Title Purchase Contributor

Start Date End Date Type Title Contributor

Date Category Headline Article Contributor

Importance? 2.00000 Average

Wife Sonia Roco 00, 0000-Aug 05, 2005

  05/10/2004 Philippines President Lost 6.45% (-33.54%)
  05/11/1998 Philippines President Lost 13.83% (-26.03%)