By Alexandria San Juan
The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) has approved the designation of lawyer Ryan Estevez as the new officer-in-charge of the Office of Executive Director of the Unified Student Financial Assistance System for Tertiary Education (UniFAST).
In a statement sent by CHED chairman Prospero De Vera III, he said that Estevez worked at the Presidential Legislative Liaison Office (PLLO) in the House of Representatives where he was appointed undersecretary by President Duterte in January 2017 prior to his assignment in UniFAST.
Estevez left the PLLO on June 2 this year to join the UniFAST, De Vera added.
The UniFAST Secretariat supports the UniFAST Board in carrying out its functions under Republic Act (RA) 10687 or the “UniFAST Act,” and in implementing student financial assistance programs through the RA 10931 or the “Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act.”
According to De Vera, who also chaired the UniFAST Board, Estevez entered the government service as a legislative staff of former Senate President Nene Pimentel after passing the bar exams in 2007.
When the senator’s term ended, he worked in the House of Representatives under Bagong Henerasyon (BH) Partylist Representative Bernadette Herrera-Dy, and also became the chief political officer of former Senate President Koko Pimentel in 2016.
As undersecretary for PLLO, he assisted the office Secretary in promoting Presidential initiatives and acted as a conduit between the Office of the President and the individual members of Congress, non-government organizations (NGOs), and other cooperative interest groups supportive of the President.
Estevez also helped in the drafting of bills and resolutions to ensure that policies and bills are in consonance with the legislative agenda of the President or the Administration.
Prior to joining the government, he taught music, religious education, humanities, and law courses in public and private higher education institutions, and also gave lectures and served as an adviser on Mandatory Continuing Legal Education to various civic and non-government organizations.
He finished his Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy at the Rogationist Seminary College-Adamson University, Bachelor of Laws at the University of Santo Tomas-Legazpi Inc., Master of Arts in Religion Education at the Ateneo de Manila University and Master of Arts in Public Policy at the National Graduate Research Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS) in Tokyo, Japan.