Philippine Presidents: Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo Posted by Carrie B. Yan on 04/19/2011 10:50 AM
Fourth President of the Fifth Republic of the Philippines Term: 2001 - 2010
Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was the 14th President of the republic, and is currently the 15th, after being re-elected in May 2004. She was born on April 5, 1947 to late President Diosdado Macapagal and his second wife Dr. Evangelina Macaraeg. The Macapagals have been well known for their integrity and simple but dignified lifestyle.
Arroy was a bright student; she graduated valedictorian in high school and Magna Cum Laude at Assumption College with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Commerce. She obtained her Master of Arts in Economics at the Ateneo de Manila University and her Ph. D. in Economics at the University of the Philippines. She was also a consistent Dean’s Lister during her 2-year college stint at Georgetown University in Washington, where former USA president Bill Clinton was one of her classmates.
Arroyo began her professional career as a teacher in Assumption College and later became an Assistant Professor at the Ateneo de Manila University and Senior Lecturer at the UP School of Economics. Her first government service was as an Assistant Secretary at the Department of Trade and Industry during the Aquino administration. She also became an Executive Director of the Garment and Textile Export Board under the Aquino administration and became one of the top dollar earners in the country.
Her first entry in politics was in 1992 when she was elected as a senator. She was re-elected in 1995 and got 16 million votes - the highest number of votes in Philippine history. During her senatorial years, Arroyo authored 55 laws in economic and social reform. She was named Outstanding Senator several times, and her awards were recognized by the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines, SBN 336, Magna Carta for the Urban Poor, Philippine Graphic Weekly Magazine, Philippine Reporter Magazine, Public Eye Magazine, and by Emil Jurado, Manila Standard Columnist.
In 1998, she was elected Vice President of the republic, garnering a total of 13 million votes. During her reign as Vice President, she was appointed by then President Estrada as a Secretary of the Department of Social Welfare and Development, a position that she held until October 12, 2000.
On January 20, 2001, Arroyo was inaugurated and became the 14th president after the Supreme Court declared the position vacant. She became the second woman to hold the highest position of the land.
Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is married to lawyer-businessman Jose Miguel Arroyo, who is the grandson of the late Senator Jose Ma. Arroyo of Iloilo. They were blessed with three children: Mikey, Luli and Dato.