Former Budget Secretary Emilia Boncodin dies at 55

Former Budget Sec. Emilia Boncodin died today, March 15, at 2:05 p.m. due to cardiac arrest, reports

"We tried to resuscitate her for more than two hours, but unfortunately this had to happen," National Kidney and Transplant Institute (NKTI) Executive Director Enrique Ona said, as reported by According to NKTI's medical bulletin, "She was admitted on March 10 for difficulty of breathing and anemia and was diagnosed to be on end-stage renal disease."

Leah Navarro of the Black and White Movement told DzMM that Boncodin had been undergoing dialysis for months.

The NKTI said Boncodin had a kidney transplant from her sister in February 2005 but her body rejected the kidney. "After her term as budget secretary, she took on several consultancy jobs that led her to as far as Afghanistan. On several occasions, she would run out of medicines that would prevent the rejection of the donated kidney," Ona said.

Boncodin's wake is at the Della Strada Parish Church in Quezon City but burial plans have not been announced yet. The family spokesperson and Boncodin's friend of more than 30 years, Nieves Osorio, said the family requested donations to a bank account to be announced later instead of flowers.

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Boncodin resigned at the height of the Hello Garci scandal in 2005 which linked Pres. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to alleged poll manipulation. With six cabinet officials and three government executives, Boncodin became part of the group now known as the Hyatt 10. The Hyatt 10 called for President Arroyo's resignation. Deputy Presidential Spokesman Gary Olivar said President Arroyo would pay her respects to Boncodin "once details of the wake are made known."


Teresita Dales, former presidential adviser on the peace process and Boncodin's good friend, said in a TV interview, "She was an outstanding public servant, someone who grew-up in public service. She showed us that it is about serving the country and not for personal gain or prestige."

During her time as secretary, Boncodin resided near the Malacañang rather than use a car provided for her to go home every day to her family residence in Novaliches. "She didn't have a fancy car. She and her small family lived simply in a house that they built… She didn't like any fancy stuff. I don't know anybody else who reached the rank of Cabinet secretary who lived as simply as she did," Deles told

Osorio said Boncodin never married "because she was engrossed with her work."

Before becoming the Department of Budget and Management's (DBM) secretary, Boncodin went through the ranks of DBM fiscal planning specialist, senior fiscal planning specialist, chief fiscal planning specialist, assistant director, director and assistant secretary, according to and She also taught at the National College of Public Administration and Governance of the University of the Philippines, and the Lyceum of the Philippines.

She received the following awards: DBM's Most Outstanding Technical Employee in 1978, DBM's Most Outstanding Division Chief in 1981, Dwight Eisenhower Fellow for the Philippines in 1996, Outstanding Alumna of the UP College of Business Administration in 1992 and one of the Outstanding Women in Nation's Service awardees in 1995.

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