New gumamela hybrid named after Briones

The University of the Philippines – Los Baños (UPLB) decided to name a new gumamela hybrid after Department of Education Secretary Leonor Briones.

The newest Hibiscus rosa-sinensis “Leonor M. Briones” was named under the DepEd chief for her "outstanding contributions to society by setting professional standards for public servants and introducing basic education reform initiatives." 

“I am humbled and deeply honored to have a wonderful variant of Gumamela named after me. As a nature lover and educator, I appreciate UPLB’s Women in Public Service series that recognizes outstanding Filipino women in government,” Briones said Saturday.

The Women in Public Service series names Gumamela or “Hibiscus rosa-sinensis” hybrids after women who have dedicated their time and effort to public service.

The DepEd chief was nominated by Dr. Glenn B. Gregorio, Director of Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture, and duly endorsed by the UPLB Screening Committee on naming Hibiscus, Mussaenda, and other Ornamental Plants.

Developed by the Institute of Plant Breeding (IPB), the new hybrid dedicated to Briones will be formally presented and awarded to her today, October 16 by Ms. Agripina Rasco, Plant Breeder from IPB, Dr. Jose V. Camacho, Jr., UPLB Chancellor, Dr. Merdelyn Lit, Chair of the Committee on Naming Hibiscus, Mussaenda and Other Ornamentals and Vice-Chancellor for Research and Extension, Dr. Elpidio M. Agbisit Jr., Dean of the College of Agriculture and Food Science, and Dr. Fe de la Cueva, IPB Director.

Briones was a teacher for most of her life and has taught young children in church schools and students in undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral studies. 

She was also conferred as Professor Emeritus of the University of the Philippines – National College of Public Administration and Governance.

In her term as the Education secretary Briones spearheaded the Sulong EduKalidad, the Department’s aggressive campaign to improve the quality of basic education in the Philippines.

She also led the establishment of the Education Futures Programme in the Department to study global trends and innovations in the basic education system.