MANILA, Philippines - Former President now Congresswoman Gloria Macapagal Arroyo is celebrating her 65th Birth Anniversary today, April 5, 2012. She was the country's 14th President, the 2nd female Chief Executive after former President Corazon C. Aquino. She is now a member of the House of Representatives, representing the 2nd District of Pampanga.
Born in San Juan, Rizal, to former President Diosdado P. Macapagal, the 9th President of the Philippines, and Dr. Evangelina Macaraeg Macapagal, Congresswoman Arroyo studied elementary and high school at the Assumption Convent, graduating valedictorian in 1964. She studied for two years at Georgetown University's Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service in Washington, DC in the United States of America, then finished her Bachelor of Arts in Economics at the Assumption Convent, graduating magna cum laude, in 1968. She obtained Master's in Economics from Ateneo de Manila University in 1978 and a Doctorate in Economics from the University of the Philippines in 1985. From 1977 to 1987, she taught economics at Ateneo de Manila University and University of the Philippines.
She joined government service in 1987 when President Corazon C. Aquino appointed her Assistant Secretary and later, Undersecretary of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). It was during her concurrent stint as Executive Director of the DTI Garments and Textile Board that the local garments industry attained robust growth. She first ran for the Senate in 1992, then topped the Senatorial race when she ran for reelection in 1995. As Senator, she authored or sponsored 55 economic and social legislations, including Republic Act (RA) 7844, the Export Development Act; RA 7721, the Bank Entry Liberalization Law; RA 7916 creating the Philippine Economic Zone Authority; and RA 7637 creating the Mt. Pinatubo Commission. She filed over 400 bills seeking the protection of women, children, overseas Filipino workers and marginalized sector. After serving as senator from 1992 to 1998, she was elected as the 12th Vice President of the Philippines.
She was installed into the presidency by the EDSA Revolution of 2001 and was sworn in by Chief Justice Hilario G. Davide Jr. on January 20, 2001. She was elected President in the May 10, 2004, polls. She focused on socio-economic development during her presidency. She laid the fundamentals for sustained growth, thus sparing it from the 2007 global recession. After her presidency, she was elected to the House of Representatives on May 10, 2010. She is married to lawyer-businessman Jose Miguel T. Arroyo of Binalbagan, Negros Occidental, and they have three children - Juan Miguel, Evangelina Lourdes, and Diosdado Ignacio.
We greet Former President and now Congresswoman Gloria Macapagal Arroyo on the occasion of her 65th Birthday today and wish her the best and success in all endeavors. Happy Birthday!